It isn’t uncommon for people to have some kind of eye trouble at some point in their lives. Some issues are minor and go away completely on their own or can be easily treated at home, while other issues need to be treated under the supervision of an eye specialist.
Regardless of whether your vision is not what is used to be or maybe was never that great to begin with, there are steps that you can take to have great eye health.
Below is a look at some common eye issues—some of which may sound familiar to you. If you have extreme symptoms or symptoms that do not clear up after a few days, reach out to your doctor.
Any individual that reads for hours on end, drives long distances, or works at a computer will understand this one. Eyestrain happens when your eyes are overused. Your eyes get tired and require rest, just like all other parts of your body.
If your eyes feel at all strained, let them rest. If they are still a little fatigued after several days, talk to your doctor to ensure that there isn’t an underlying issue.
Why do your eyes appear to be bloodshot? The surface area is covered in blood vessels, and these vessels will expand when they are infected or just plain irritated, giving your eyes a bloodshot look.
Eye strain can cause this to happen, as can a lack of sleep, a late night, and allergies. If an injury caused the red eyes, then your doctor needs to examine your eyes immediately.
In some cases, the bloodshot eyes may be a symptom of another eye condition like sun damage from failing to wear sunglasses over time or conjunctivitis (aka pink eye). If you can’t clear up the red eyes with some rest and over-the-counter eye drops, make an appointment to see your eye doctor.
Do you have difficulty seeing at nighttime, particularly when behind the wheel? Do you find it difficult to navigate dark places like movie theaters?
If so, it sounds like you may have what is called night blindness. This is a simple rather than an issue in its own right. A lack of vitamin A, cataracts, nearsightedness, and keratoconus all cause a certain type of night blindness that can be fixed by a doctor.
Some individuals are actually born with this problem, though, or it can develop from a retina-related degenerative disease that normally is unable to be treated. If you have this disease, it is important that you take extra caution when you are in low-lit areas.
Lazy eye—medically known as amblyopia—occurs when one eye fails to properly develop. In this eye, vision is weaker and the eye moves “lazily” while the other eye functions normally. It is often found in babies, children, and adults, and it very rarely affects both of the eyes. For infants and children, immediate treatment needs to be undergone.
As long as lazy eye is detected and treated early on, lifelong vision issues can be avoided. Treatment includes corrective contacts or eyeglasses as well as using patch, along with other strategies that force the adolescent to use the lazy eye.
Cross Eyes and Nystagmus
If you have eyes that are not lined up with one another when you look at an object, then you may have what is called strabismus (cross eyes). Some may refer to it as walleye or crossed eyes. This issue will not go away on its own, and an eye specialist or ophthalmologist will be needed to correct it.
With nystagmus, the eye will jiggle or move on its own all the time. There are treatments that are available, which can include vision therapy to strengthen your eyes. Surgery is an addition option. An eye doctor can examine your eyes to determine which treatment is best-suited for your individual situation.
If you are unable to see specific colors or tell the difference between certain colors such as greens and reds, then you may be colorblind. This happens when the color cells (also known as cone cells) found within the eye don’t work or are completely absent.
When this condition is most severe, you will only be able to see shades of gray, although this is incredibly rare. Most individual who are colorblind are born this way, though it is possibly to become colorblind later in life due to certain diseases or drugs. A doctor will be able to inform you of the culprit. Also, men are more likely to be born colorblind than women.
An eye doctor can use a simple test to diagnose your colorblindness. If you are born with it, there is no treatment, though there are special glasses and contacts that can be used by some individuals to help them distinguish certain colors.
This refers to a certain group of diseases that result in inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye which contains the majority of the blood vessels. These diseases have the ability to destroy eye tissue and may even result in eye loss. It is possible for people of any age to have it. Symptoms associated with these diseases may last a long time or they may disappear quickly.
Individuals with immune system conditions like ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or AIDS are more likely to have uveitis. Some of the symptoms include eye redness, blurred vision, eye pain, and sensitivity to light.
If you have any of these symptoms and they don’t subside after several days, contact your doctor. Depending on the exact type that you have, there are various treatments for uveitis.
This issue occurs when you lose the ability to see small print and close objects, even with you have decent distance vision. After you reach 40 years of age or so, you may need to hold newspapers, books, or other reading materials farther away from your eyes in order to read easier—kind of as if your arms are too short.
Reading glasses, contacts, LASIK (laser eye surgery), and other treatment procedures can be used to restore your reading vision.
These are tiny specks or spots that float across your vision field. Most individuals will notice floaters when they are outside on a significantly bright day or in a very well-lit room.
Floaters are typically normal, but they will often be a sign of a more grave issue like retinal detachment. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina (which is located at the back of the eye) separates from the layer beneath it. When this occurs, you may see light flashing along with the floaters or possibly a dark shadow across the edge of your field of vision.
If you see an abrupt change in the number or type of spots/flashes or notice a brand-new dark “curtain” in your side vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.
This occurs when the eyes are unable to produce enough quality tears. Your eyes may feel like they’re burning or it may feel as if you have something in your eye. In severe cases and this is very rare, extreme dryness can result in some level of vision loss. Treatments may include the following:
- Specialized eye drops, which works similar to real tears
- Using a humidifier in the home
- Plugs in the tear ducts, which will reduce drainage
- Testosterone eyelid cream
- Lipiflow, which is a procedure that utilizes pressure and heat
- Nutritional supplements with Omega-3 and fish oil
If you have a chronic dry eye problem, then you may actually have dry eye disease. Your eye doctor can provide you with a prescription for medicated eye drops like lifitegrast (Xiidra) or cyclosporine (Restasis or Cequa) to help stimulate the production of tears.
We promise; this one has nothing to do with your emotions. Instead, excess tearing may mean that you are sensitive to changes in temperature, light, or wind. You should attempt to shield and/or protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses (wraparound frames are best since they block the wind more).
Excess tearing may also be a sign that there is a more serious problem at hand like an eye infection or possibly a blocked tear duct. Either way, your eye doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
These are known as cloudy areas that can develop in the lens of the eye. A healthy eye lens is completely clear—like that of a camera lens. Light will pass through the lens to your retina, which is at the back of the eye and where the images are processed. If you have a cataract, though, the light is unable to get through the lens as easily. As a result, you are unable to see as well and may notice a halo around lights or a glare.
Cataracts tend to form at a slow pace. They don’t typically cause symptoms like redness, tearing, or pain in the eye. Some cataracts will remain small and don’t impact your vision, but in the event they do progress and impact your sight, surgery is typically effective at restoring your vision.
Your eye is comparable to that of a tire: A little bit of pressure inside is safe and normal. However, too much pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the name that has been given to the collection of diseases that cause this particular condition.
One of the most common forms is known as primary open angle glaucoma. Most individuals who have this type of glaucoma don’t experience pain or any early symptoms. Therefore, it is imperative to get regular eye examinations.
It does not often occur, but glaucoma can be caused by the following:
- Blocked blood vessels
- Injury to the eye
- Inflammatory eye disorders
Treatment typically consists of prescription eye drops or a surgical procedure.
The retina is a very thin lining that is located at the back of the eye and is comprised of cells that collect images and send them to the brain. Disorders of the retina, unfortunately, block this transfer. Now, there are a few different types of retinal disorders, including:
- Diabetic retinopathy – This refers to damage to the retina’s blood vessels as a result of diabetes.
- Age-related Macular Degeneration – This refers to the breakdown of a small part of the retina known as the macula.
- Retinal detachment – This occurs when the retina detaches from the layer beneath it.
An early diagnosis and treatment are both key for these conditions.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
With this particular condition, the lining tissue at the back of the eyelids, which covers the sclera, becomes inflamed. It often results in redness, burning, itching, discharge, tearing, and a feeling that there is something in the eye.
Anyone of any age can get pink eye. The causes of the condition may include exposure to irritants and chemicals, infection, and allergies. To reduce your chance of getting conjunctivitis, wash your hands frequently.
The cornea is what you know as the clear and dome-shaped “window” at the very front of the eye. It assists in focusing the light that enters the eye. Infection, exposure to toxins, disease, and injury can all damage the cornea.
Signs of damage include watery eyes, red eyes, pain, halo effect, and reduced vision. The primary treatment methods include medicated eye drops, new prescription for eyeglasses or contacts, and surgery.
Your eyelids are responsible for a lot—they spread teas over the eye’s surface, they protect the eye, and they limit how much light enters the eye.
Symptoms of eyelid problems include tearing, itching, sensitivity to light, and pain. In some cases, you may have inflamed outer edges (close to the eyelashes) and blinking spasms. Treatment of eyelid problems may include proper cleaning of the eyelids, medication, as well as surgery.
As you age, you will likely realize that you will be unable to see as well as you could when you were younger—and this is normal. You will likely need to get eyeglasses or contact lenses. You may opt for LASIK surgery to correct your vision. If you currently wear glasses, you may need to upgrade to a stronger prescription.
Of course, there is the chance that more serious condition can occur as you get older. Eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration can result in vision problems. The symptoms associated with these disorders vary, so it is important to schedule regular eye exams and keep those appointments.
There are some changes in your vision that you may experience that require immediate attention because they are dangerous. If you notice that your complete vision is blurry or you experience a sudden loss of your vision, contact your eye doctor immediately, go to the emergency room, or phone 911.
Issues with Contact Lenses
Contacts work sufficiently for many individuals, but it is vital that you take proper care of them. Prior to touching contacts, you need to thoroughly wash your hands. You should also follow the care guidelines that you received when you got your prescription. In addition, follow these rules:
- Do not wet your contacts by placing them in your mouth, as this increases the chance of an infection.
- Ensure your contacts fit properly to avoid unnecessary scratches in the eyes.
- Utilize eye drops that have been deemed safe for contact lenses.
- Avoid homemade saline solutions.
- Never sleep in your contact lenses. While some have been approved by the FDA to sleep in, doing so increases the risk of an infection.
If you follow all the care guidelines and rules and still end up having issues with your contact lenses, talk to your eye doctor. You may have dry eyes or allergies, or you may just simply be better off wearing eyeglasses. Regardless, once the problem can be identified, you and your doctor can be a well-informed decision on what is best for your situation.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, reach out to use at Performance Vision.
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