Eye Diseases and General Eye Care Tips
This article describes common eye diseases and offers advice on how to maintain healthy vision.
This is a common swelling of the conjunctiva usually caused by an infection (but sometimes by an allergy) leading to irritation and watering of the eyes. If kept clean, the eyes usually recover within days but in some cases a course of antibiotics is required.
Lazy Eye and Cross Eyes
Lazy Eye (amblyopia) develops when the brain doesn't communicate properly with one eye, gradually reducing function. An eye patch is a common corrective treatment when the condition is caught early in childhood. Strabismus or Cross Eyes results from a misalignment of the eyes and can be corrected with eyeglasses, vision therapy or surgery.
Cataracts are caused by a degeneration of the eye lens which clouds and impairs vision. Cataracts often affect older people and can be removed by surgery.
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease which damages the optic nerve. It is frequently associated with Ocular Hypertension, an increased pressure in the eyes. Glaucoma can be gradual in its development and if left undetected leads to permanent eye damage or blindness.
These conditions can affect anyone but diabetics are more at risk. Retinitis is an infection of the retina; a serious disorder that is common in patients with an immune deficiency or disorder. Retinal Detachment is when the retina becomes separated from the back of the eye and requires immediate treatment. Macular degeneration usually affects older people and can produce a hole in the retina, affecting vision.
The cornea at the front of the eye becomes conical in shape and affects vision. This disease affects one in every thousand and can be treated with contact lenses or with surgery in more serious cases.
This interior inflammation of the eye's middle layer (uvea) is a significant cause of blindness and should be treated at an early stage. Symptoms include pain, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Tips for Healthy Eyes
Good healthy vision begins with regular visits to an eye specialist who can test your eyesight and prescribe glasses or contact lenses for any refractive impairment. Alternatively corrective eye surgery may be an attractive course with a professional provider. Remember, an optician not only checks your vision but also screens for serious conditions such as Glaucoma, tumours and cataracts.
Ensure that your work is kind to your eyes; work in a well-lit environment and take plenty of breaks. If you sit regularly at a computer then adjust its brightness to a comfortable level. Also ensure that the screen is at the correct distance, angle and level.
Stay in the Shade
In sunlight, wearing a hat or UV filter sunglasses (or both!) is a simple and practical way to protect your eyes from the sun.
Feed the Eyes
Good food and proper hydration facilitate healthy eyes. Enjoy a varied diet, rich in fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water. You might also consider supplementing your diet with a multi-vitamin. Needless to say, smoking and alcohol or drug abuse are potentially damaging to the eyes.