LESS TALKED ABOUT EYE PROBLEMS
There is a lot of information about eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to have annual exams to screen for diabetic retinopathy. There are also many lesser-known eye conditions that we diagnose and treat.
This condition causes inflammation of the eyelid. The lids can become “crusty,” red and irritated. Blepharitis may be caused by bacteria, mites, eczema, acne rosacea, dry eye, and even makeup. Prescription eye scrubs, sprays, and drops are often used to treat this problem. Although uncomfortable, blepharitis is usually not contagious and generally does not cause any permanent damage. Statistics show that 37-47% of the population has blepharitis.
Most people who suffer from allergies develop eye symptoms which can include itchy, red, tearing, and swollen eyes. Severe eye allergies can leave eyes vulnerable to infections, so tell us if you are experiencing prolonged or severe symptoms. Sometimes medications taken for allergies can lead to a dry eye condition.
Hormonal changes, medications, some diseases, contacts, and even the weather can cause dry eye conditions. If this is a transient problem, OTC artificial tears may help. More often, dry eye symptoms occur because you may not be making the right quantity or quality of tears. As there are many types and treatments, we recommend seeking our care before self-medicating for dry eye.
Those irritating black spots that appear and float around your line of vision occur when small bits of material known as vitreous naturally break away. While floaters are common and harmless at times, they could be a symptom of an impending retinal emergency if they are accompanied by flashes or and are frequent. Approximately 1% of flashes and floaters lead to retinal detachments, but no one should ignore the symptoms.
Some people are naturally more sensitive to light than others, but sudden light sensitivity may occur as a result of eye conditions or illnesses associated with viruses or chronic migraine conditions. Sunglasses should be worn by everyone to help reduce the light sensitivity when outside. If there is a sudden onset of this problem, consult us so we might determine the underlying problem.
The dreaded and highly contagious pink eye is a symptom of conjunctivitis, and it is one of the most common eye problems which affect children. Treatment for pink eye includes medicated drops and warm compresses and/or lubricating drops to make the eyes more comfortable. Causes of pink eye include viruses, bacteria, allergies, and some irritants such as smoke and pool chlorine. Pink eye should be treated immediately as it can be a vision-threatening infection. Pink eye can even affect newborns.
Styes and Chalazions
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion. A stye is very painful. It often appears at the eyelid’s edge, usually caused by an infected eyelash root. It often swells, sometimes affecting the entire eyelid. A chalazion is not usually painful. It is a bump that usually develops farther back on the eyelid than a stye. It is caused by a clogged oil gland. Rarely does it make the entire eyelid swell. You should make an appointment for us to treat either of these.
Twitching is often caused by eyestrain, but it can also be caused by too much caffeine, dry eyes, or even allergies. Eye twitches are usually brief and tend to disappear without treatment. If you experience prolonged twitches, you should let us know.
The most common of all eye problems are vision problems which need to be corrected with eyeglasses or prescription contacts. Children’s vision problems are often not caught until grades begin to fall or they begin to complain about not being able to “see the board.” Often children complain of headaches, and they should always be evaluated by an eye care professional. Approximately 5-10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-age children have vision problems. Recommended ages for child exams are at six months, three years, and for 5-6-year-olds, just before kindergarten.