Your site is one of your five senses and one that you will want to protect. In most of the cases, once you lose your sight you can’t get it back. Taking steps to avoid problems is essential. That means understanding the signs of major eye issues and taking steps to prevent eye diseases and illnesses from getting worse.
There are some conditions that you can’t stop once you have them. You may be able to prevent them getting worse, but you can reverse the condition at all. Others you may be able to prevent becoming a problem later in life, but there is no guarantee as there are genetics and degeneration at play. Being aware of them will help you take steps to improve your lifestyle to protect your eyes and the sight as much as possible.
Here are all the eye problems you can suffer from and steps to prevent or treat them. Make sure you speak to an eye doctor if you are worried at all.
Eyestrain and Pain Within the Muscles
Eyestrain is one of the most common complaints in people, especially in those who work long hours at the computer, drive long distances, or read for hours at a time. The muscles in the eyes work just like other muscles. After a while, they will get tired and need to relax. If you overuse your eyes, then you’re going to experience some pain and strain within the muscles.
Working at the computer is one of the most common reasons for eyestrain in today’s age. The recommendation is to look at a spot 20m away for the 20s every 20 minutes. It won’t alleviate all the problems but can prevent major eyestrain.
If you do experience a lot of strain, give your eyes a break. This can mean avoiding the use of them as much as possible. Your doctor may even encourage bed rest to avoid the need to use your eyes if the strain is that bad!
Bloodshot and Red Eyes
Red eyes occur when there is an infection or irritation of the eyes. It’s often called “red eye” and makes your eyes look bloodshot. Eyestrain can lead to this, but so can stress and lack of sleep. You can also get the condition due to allergies, something getting into the eye to irritate it or from an illness.
You’ll want to find out the reason for the red eyes. Most of the time you’ll know if it’s due to strain, sleep or irritation. If there’s a particle causing irritation, then you’ll want to rinse it out. Use lukewarm water on some cotton buds and wipe from the tear duct to the outer eye. This will help to catch and move the irritation to get it out.
Red eyes can develop from infection. Sun damage and conjunctivitis are the most common reasons. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops depending on the severity of your condition. You can also use warm water to help remove the build-up of infection and to ease some of the itchiness associated with the condition.
Night Blindness Is More Common than You Would Think
Do you find it difficult to see at night? This can be both while driving or when you’re walking around dark places. Eyes usually take a couple of seconds to adjust to the lack of light. The pupils will expand when it’s dark to allow as much light in as possible. However, the eyesight can deteriorate causing what is known as night blindness.
There are various reasons for night blindness to occur and it’s more common than many people would think. In some cases, it’s due to a lack of vitamin A. Remember the saying that carrots will help you see in the dark? Well, there’s some truth to this. Carrots have what’s known as lutein, which is a protein that converts to vitamin A to help support the health of the eye. Your doctor can usually help rectify low levels of the vitamin to improve your eyesight.
Cataracts, short-sightedness, and keratoconus are other reasons for night blindness. Your doctor will usually help rectify the problems.
In some cases, cataract removal isn’t possible. Your doctor will need to assess your viability and suitability for cataract surgery.
Degenerative diseases can also lead to night blindness. There isn’t anything doctors can do to cure the condition, but some treatments can be given to reduce the progression of the disease. You’ll need to take steps to manage the symptoms and doctors can often help find the best aids for your needs.
Seeing Black Spots in Your Eyes
Do you sometimes see little black, floating spots in your eyes? They’re little specks that can sometimes obstruct your vision temporarily. They’re known as floaters and everyone is likely to get them at some point. Most people only notice them outdoors or when their rooms are well-lit. However, they can also happen regularly.
In most of the cases, floaters are normal and nothing to worry about. Your eye doctor will ask about them as they can be a sign of a more serious condition. Retinal detachment usually starts with floaters, but they won’t go away after a few minutes.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates between the eye and the layer underneath. You will usually see flashes of light suddenly or a dark shadow across your eyes. If treated quickly enough, the retina can be reattached, and your vision will come back. Some people ignore the condition at first and then go to the eye doctor a few days later, but by this point, it’s too late.
If you do experience something like closing a curtain around your peripheral vision, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
Dry Eyes Can Be Treated Naturally
Dry eyes are very common, especially during pregnancy and other hormonal changes. Your eyes need to create tears to keep the eyes moist. When they can’t do this, you can experience irritation and sometimes a burning sensation. Many people rub, but this just makes the condition worse than better!
The great news is this is a condition you can manage. Your eye doctor may prescribe artificial tears, which are eye drops that work just like real tears. They need to be used regularly but they help to get rid of all the symptoms.
You can also bathe your eyes in warm cotton buds to help encourage natural tear production. Sometimes the condition is due to your environment, so you may need to add moisture to your home through a humidifier for example.
Your doctor may prescribe a testosterone eyelid cream to help encourage more natural tear production. You’ll be monitored to see if this works. In some cases, lip flow (a heat and pressure treatment) or plugs are used to help manage the condition.
Dry eyes may be a symptom of another condition. Your eye doctor will look for this to ensure other treatments are needed.
Managing a Lazy or Cross Eyes
Some people have a lazy eye, which is also known as an amblyopia. This occurs when one eye doesn’t develop fully, so the vision is usually poorer in that eye. It can also not move around properly, moving on its own or not looking in the same direction as the other eye.
Lazy eyes are usually spotted in infancy or childhood. However, they can sometimes be missed and only diagnosed in adulthood. Most of the time the condition only affects one eye and there are treatments if it’s noticed in infants and children. Treatment early will help to avoid future eye problems. Corrective glasses or patches are usually used to help develop the muscles.
In adulthood, treatment just to help manage the symptoms is usually used. This can mean corrective glasses to help manage the vision.
Cross eyes are another condition. This is when the eyes don’t line up properly and can cause problems with the vision. It’s something that needs treating to repair. Your doctor will refer you to an eye specialist known as an ophthalmologist to correct the condition.
Another common issue is a nystagmus, which is when the eye jiggles or moves on its own. You have absolutely no control over it and it can cause double vision. There are treatments, including vision therapy and surgery. These treatments can work in both childhood and adulthood. Your doctor will help you determine the best option for you.
Colorblindness Mostly Affects Men
While women can suffer from colorblindness, most women are just carriers of the gene. Men are the most likely sufferers of this condition. And yes, as you likely guessed, it’s a genetic condition.
There are various forms of colorblindness. Some people struggle to differentiate between shades of the same color or get a few colors mixed up. The problem appears when the color cells within the eye either don’t work properly or aren’t there at all. In the most severe cases, people only see in various shades of grey, but this is the rarest form of the condition.
Many people will have colorblindness from birth. They may not know about it since it doesn’t affect their job and only find out if they take a colorblindness test. Many eye doctors won’t bother testing for it unless there’s a genetic link or if they’ve shown signs of it in life.
In some cases, medications and diseases can lead to colorblindness. Your doctor will be able to figure out why it’s happened if this is the case. There may be treatments to repair the damage. However, if you’re born with the condition there is nothing to treat it. However, glasses and contact lenses can be developed to help if it’s a more severe form of the condition.
Conjunctivitis Is a Contagious Disease
Many children will develop conjunctivitis at some point in their life. Some children are even born with it, due to the bacteria during birth. However, it’s a condition that is treatable. You will need to treat it more aggressively in some cases, as it can lead to damage to the eyesight.
The condition is also regularly called pinkeye, due to the symptom of the eye looking pink. The tissue in the back of the eyelids becomes inflamed, causing redness and itching. Many people experience discharge, which is the first sign they know something more serious is happening. There’s also this feeling of something being in the eye and it can be extremely irritating and painful.
There are various reasons it happens, including exposure to chemicals and allergies. It’s also extremely contagious, so you’ll need to wash your hands if treating a child with the condition. The bacteria will live on makeup, which can lead to constant exposure and the disease coming back.
Eye doctors will prescribe drops, but you can also get some over the counter medication to help. You can also use warm cotton pads to wipe the discharge away. If the discharge caused the eyelids to stick, you’ll need to bathe the eyes in warm water to help. Only use the cotton pads once, as the bacteria will instantly grow and can be put back into the eye.
There are other problems that can affect the eyelids. They can become irritated and infected, leading to discharge and eye problems. Your doctor will check which diseases or illnesses you must ensure the right treatment is given.
Inflammation of the Uvea
There is a range of diseases that can attack the uvea and cause inflammation. The group of conditions is known as uvetitis for simplicity. The uvea is within the middle layer of the eyes, where much of blood vessels are housed. The diseases can lead to tissue damage and eye loss and they affect people of all ages.
Sometimes the symptoms and disappear quickly. But in many cases, they stick around until treatments are given. Some of the symptoms include red eye, pain, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.
Usually, those autoimmune conditions will develop this illness. Your doctor will prescribe treatments if necessary.
Age-Related Conditions Within the Eye
Over time, the eyes will deteriorate. That doesn’t mean you have to completely lose your vision though. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing many age-related eye conditions.
Presbyopia is one of the most common and affects the ability to see the small print or objects up close. It usually affects people over the age of 40 and leads to many holding their books farther away to be able easily. However, the distance vision isn’t affected.
This is easily treated using glasses and contact lenses. In some cases, laser eye surgery may be encouraged. This can help to repair the damage but isn’t a permanent option. The eyes will continue to deteriorate, and the problem can come back.
Cataracts (as previously mentioned) can occur. They cause the eye’s lens to cloud over, giving a white covering. The cover stops the light getting into the retina, so the vision is affected. There are usually no physical symptoms, except the distorted vision and cloud cover. Cataracts form slowly, so many people don’t realize there’s an issue until the cloud forms over the eyes.
In some cases, cataracts will remain small and don’t cause complete blindness. Your doctor may suggest surgery if your vision is completely affected to remove cataracts.
Another common age-related condition is called glaucoma. There are genetic links to this, so your doctor will likely ask if a close family member has it. However, there is also a risk for those with some other disease, like diabetes.
Glaucoma isn’t just one disease. It’s a group of diseases that can lead to a build-up of pressure within the eyes. The pressure causes inflammation and blocks blood vessels. It can also injure the eye. In most of the cases, the vision is lost and there is no way of repairing the damage. However, doctors can help to slow down the progression to prevent the total loss of eyesight.
Age-related macular degeneration is another common disease that leads to part of the retina breaking down. This part of the retina is the macula, hence the name. The condition can’t be repaired and will usually cause the middle of the eyesight disappearing first. There are steps to help slow down the progression, including adding more lutein to your diet.
If you suffer from diabetes, you may find that you develop diabetic retinopathy over time. This is when the blood vessels are damaged due to your diabetes, causing the retina to become damaged.
Vision Changes Over Time
Your vision naturally changes over time. This is often age-related, but it can also be linked to your work, exposure to chemicals and sun, or even overuse of your eyes. You’ll find that your long-distance vision or computer vision changes to the point where you need glasses or contacts to treat.
It is possible to get laser eye surgery, but this isn’t suitable for all. This is also not a permanent treatment, as your eyes will continue to change afterward.
Your eye doctor will check your vision regularly. Most vision changes minimally, and you won’t necessarily need new glasses with every test. If the changes are rapid, your eye doctor will make sure there are no other conditions and diseases causing it.
Contact Lenses Can Lead to Problems
Contact lenses are usually used for correcting vision, especially for those who don’t like wearing glasses. However, it’s important to look after them and the eyes when using them. Eye doctors will give a lot of advice to help prevent various problems that contact lenses can cause.
There used to be the advice to use the saliva to moisten the contact lenses, but this is now considered bad advice. The bacteria in the mouth will get onto the contact lenses and transfer into the eyes. The only thing that can be used for moistening the lenses is a solution suitable for the type of contacts you have.
You will also need to wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. This reduces the risk of transferring bacteria, dirt, and dust into your eyes.
Make sure your case is suitable for contacts and use sterile saline solutions. Avoid making your own.
There are some contact lenses suitable for sleeping in. Your eye doctor will tell you if that is the case on your own. Never sleep in contacts that aren’t suitable for overnight use. You will increase the chances of infections. Even if your contacts are suitable, consider removing them regularly. Bacteria can build up behind them and cause irritation, ulcers, and infections within the eyes.
Always make sure your contact lenses fit properly. If they are irritating or cause dry eye, they may not be the right type of contacts for you. There are various options depending on your preferences and eye health. Don’t skip your appointments. Your eye doctor wants to make sure your contacts are always suitable.
Call Your Eye Doctor If There’s a Problem
Regardless of the issue, if there’s ever a problem with your eyes, your eye doctor is one of the first people to call. Eye doctors will have the right equipment to test the full eye, looking at both the vision and the overall health. Your eye doctor will also know the right treatments and steps to take to manage conditions and diseases.
Eye doctors will also offer advice to avoid most eye problems. While not all conditions can be prevented in full or treated, your eye doctor can help to slow down progressions. They can also make the symptoms more durable and manageable, helping to sustain your eyesight for as long as possible.
In many cases, treatments are natural. Glasses and contact lenses can rectify issues and medications aren’t needed. In some cases, medications or surgery are required. However, your eye doctor will look at overall health and any medical conditions you must make sure your overall health is protected.