As precious as our eyes and our vision are to us, many people don’t really do much to protect them or even pay attention to their eye health until there’s a problem. We stare at the sun without sunglasses, don’t eat enough foods rich in just the right nutrients, we rub our eyes with unwashed hands and watch TV until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. Although this sort of reckless behavior can lead to different eye problems, even if we take all the precautions, there’s no guarantee that our eyes will remain completely healthy. Here are some of the most common eye issues and suggestions on how to treat them.
Red eyes are a condition in which the white of your eye, or sclera, doesn’t appear white at all, but rather red and bloody. Your sclera can be completely red or pink, or it can just have several red or pink lines across it. There are several causes of this condition. For instance, if you’ve strained your eyes too much, if you stayed up late, or haven’t slept enough, you have allergies, or you’ve injured your eye, one or both of them can turn red. Furthermore, the redness can be a symptom of some other condition, such as conjunctivitis or sun damage. Visit your pharmacy for some over-the-counter eye drops and do your best to rest your eyes as much as you can. If these don’t help, make an appointment with an eye specialist.
Refraction happens when light rays pass through your cornea and the lens, after which it reaches and focuses on the retina. The retina then sends these light rays through the optic nerve to your brain in the form of messages, and then the brain turns them into images which you see. However, sometimes this process is somewhat disrupted. The four of the most common refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
When you have nearsightedness or myopia, you can see the objects close to you clearly, but those that are far can be blurry and hard to see, while with farsightedness or hyperopia, you can see the distant objects much better than those close to you.
Astigmatism is caused by uneven light focus on the retina, which makes images seem blurry and sometimes stretched, and presbyopia usually happens to the elderly, since the eye loses its ability to focus clearly on objects in its immediate proximity with age. All four of these errors will require you to see a specialist and are treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or even surgery.
When your eyes are healthy, light passes through your lens to your retina, and then the images you see get processed in your brain. However, when you have a cataract, your vision gets hazy and unclear, due to the cloudy areas which appear in your eye lens. This means that you can’t really see things properly and when you look at lights in the dark, you may see some sort of a halo around them. Cataracts are painless, they don’t cause your eyes to redden or tear, and it takes time for them to develop.
This is why they sometimes go unnoticed, especially if they remain small enough not to affect your eyesight. On the other hand, if they grow big enough to cause you vision problems, you should visit a doctor. Fortunately, this is a problem which can be solved quickly and routinely with surgery, especially in developed countries. For instance, Australians will frequently opt for having laser eye surgery in Sydney without giving it too much thought, since it’s a safe and effective solution to the problem of cataract.
All healthy eyes have some fluid pressure inside them, but when that pressure becomes higher than normal, it can cause optic nerve damage and even lead to blindness. The whole group of diseases which can lead to this condition is called glaucoma. The type that appears most frequently is the primary open angle glaucoma, which isn’t usually followed by any symptoms or pain, especially in the early stages. This is why it’s essential to have eye exams on a regular basis. Some of the causes of glaucoma include blocked blood vessels, different kinds of eye injuries and inflammatory processes inside the eye, while the most important risk factors are age, family history, and even race. Most common treatments for glaucoma are either prescription eye drops or surgery.
Amblyopia or lazy eye occurs when one eye doesn’t develop as well as the other. The brain then starts favoring the better-developed eye, while the vision in the other eye grows weaker. The less-developed eye sometimes moves around in a lazy manner, while the other eye stays still. This is something that can happen to people of all ages, from infants and children to adults. When it happens at a young age, it should be treated straight away, since early detection and treatment can save the child of vision issues throughout their entire life. In case you notice a child’s eyes are misaligned, make sure you schedule an eye exam for them immediately. The condition can be treated with contact lenses or corrective glasses, while a patch can be used to encourage the child to use the lazy eye more.
Strabismus and Nystagmus
When looking at something, you try to focus your eye on it, which you do by using different muscles. However, if those muscles don’t work well, neither will your eyes, which leads to eye movement disorders. There are various kinds of these disorders, but the most frequent ones are strabismus and nystagmus. Strabismus, also known as cross-eyes, happens when your eyes are misaligned with each other when you try to look at something. This is something that doesn’t disappear without treatment, so make sure you don’t just wait for it to go away, but rather visit an eye specialist to help you correct this issue. On the other hand, nystagmus or dancing eyes is a condition in which one or both of your eyes move uncontrollably on their own. The way to approach this problem is by making your eyes stronger, which is something your doctor can help you with after a thorough eye examination. They may also recommend surgery since that’s another way to deal with the issue.
Visiting an optometrist or an ophthalmologist regularly is one of the safest ways to keep your eyes healthy and tended to. That way you may prevent some of the mentioned eye issues, or treat the ones which you already suffer from.