Common Eye Problems
Most people will experience some eye trouble at one time or another. Eyes can be tired, dry, bloodshot, infected or itchy to name a few conditions. Most of these eye problems are short-lived and will probably go away on their own with no complications. However, sudden eye problems and those that last for more than a couple of days should be checked by an eye doctor. The following is a list of common eye problems and their possible causes.
Bacterial Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is redness and inflammation of the membranes (conjuctiva) covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids. The term pink-eye is most commonly used to refer to the infectious (viral or bacterial) type of conjunctivitis, but it may also result from allergic reactions or chemical irritants such as air pollution, smoke, or noxious fumes. The infectious form is very common in children and is highly contagious. Children and adults who develop infectious pink eye should see a doctor to determine whether antibiotic treatment is necessary. Most infectious cases are caused by viruses and will not respond to antibiotics. In these instances, the discharge from the eye is clear and watery and symptoms of a cold may be present. Viral infections last from seven to 10 days. Bacterial pink eye generally results in a large amount of discharge that is green to yellow in color. This discharge can accumulate at night and make opening the eye difficult in the morning. Bacterial pink eye usually lasts three to five days and requires antibiotic eye drops to help the body remove the bacterial infection. Application of warm washcloths to the eye area is also effective in removing discharge.To reduce the chance of spreading infectious pink eye, those affected should use sun glasses and should also avoid touching the eye area and wash their hands frequently, particularly before applying medications to the eye area. Sharing of towels, washcloths, cosmetics, or eye drops can also spread the infection.
Corneal Ulcer Most corneal ulcers are caused by infections and can be bacterial (common in people who wear contact lenses), viral herpes simplex virus and varicella virus, or fungal (improper care of contact lenses or overuse of eyedrops that contain steroids). Symptoms include red eyes, pain, feeling like something is in the eye, tearing, pus/thick discharge, blurry vision, pain from bright lights, swollen eyelids, or a white or gray round spot on the cornea. Self-treatment consists of removing contact lenses, applying a cool compress to the affected eye, washing hands often, and OTC pain medications such Tylenol or Motrin. Anyone with a corneal ulcer should be seen immediately by an ophthalmologist, who will do testing and most likely prescribe antibiotic and other eyedrops. If the ulcer persists or worsens, a surgical procedure known as corneal transplantation may be performed.
Eyestrain Eyestrain causes a dull, aching sensation around and behind the eyes that can progress into a generalized headache. It may feel painful or fatiguing to focus the eyes. Eyestrain is commonly a result of overuse of the eyes for activities requiring close and precise focus, such as reading, embroidering, sewing or using the computer! This has become a common problem for people who work or surf the net often. Its important to look away from the screen from time to time and buy one of those UVA filters for you computer. Do you look at the computer 8 or more hours out of the day? If so, you have a high risk of straining your eyes! Follow these steps to reduce the risk
Instructions 1. Don't go for the small monitors when planning to look at the screen for long periods of time. The words on the screen are already small enough, so don't sit in front of a small screen. Pick out a monitor that has a large display (ex. flat screen) 2. To avoid straining eyes, place the computer monitor between 20-24 inches away from your face. Tilt the screen upward rather than downward as your eyes won't strain as much. 3. Try getting an anti glare screen guard for your monitor so it takes away the reflective light due to windows, blinds and other glares. 4.Take a break every 30 minutes from the computer to rest your eye muscles. During this break, take this time to blink your eyes over and over for no less than 2-3 minutes, this will make your eye focus alot stronger.