General Eye Care
A refractive error is when the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, causing blurred vision. The common refractive disorders are:
- Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, myopia is when distant objects appear blurry. The condition is inherited and usually discovered in childhood. As a person ages, myopia can progress, requiring a stronger prescription to correct vision.
- Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is when close objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is most common in children. It can improve as a person ages.
- Presbyopia: presbyopia is the aging of the lens in the eye, which can make reading more difficult. This usually occurs in people over the age of 40.
- Astigmatism: is an irregular curvature on the cornea (front surface of the eye) which causes a person’s vision to be blurred at all distances.
If you experience blurred vision, difficulty reading or crossing of the eyes, it may mean you have a refractive disorder. Contact our office for a complete eye exam.
Also known as “pink eye”, conjunctivitis is a very common affliction of the cornea that causes irritation, itching and burning of the eyelid lining. Many times, the disease’s symptoms are easily managed and disappear after several days, but in extreme cases, professional treatment may be needed. If severe cases are left untreated, they may worsen and impair vision.
Herpes of the eyes, also known as ocular herpes, is the single most common infectious cause of corneal blindness in America. Ocular herpes typically causes painful sores on the eyelid or cornea, and can eventually cause the cornea itself to inflame, which can lead to the destruction of cells within the cornea, causing scarring and blindness. Though the virus itself never leaves the body, breakouts can be controlled and treated with prescriptions.
A pterygium is a pinkish-colored patch of tissue that grows on the cornea. Pterygia can potentially obstruct vision, but this is rare. More often, it is a cosmetic concern, since the pterygia can be seen when it becomes red and inflamed from dust or sunlight. Eye lubricants are usually an effective treatment for smaller pterygia. For larger occurrences, surgery may be needed.
A sty is a tender, red bump on the eyelid caused by an acute infection or inflammation of the oil glands in the eyelid. If the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland will become congested and cause the oil to protrude through the wall of the gland forming a lump. A sty can grow on the upper and/or lower eyelid and cause tenderness and burning.
Most sties will go away on their own within a week. You can apply warm compresses four to six times a day, 15 minutes at a time to help the drainage. It is important to stop using eye makeup and lotions while the sty is present. Also, do not wear contact lenses because the sty could cause an infection that could spread to your cornea. Seek treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Eyelid is swollen shut
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Swelling that lasts longer than three weeks
- Eyelashes fall out
- Sties on the bottom eyelid close to the nose
- Excessive tearing
- Sty is bleeding
If you suffer from seasonal eye allergies, consult our office, especially if you experience unusual eye pain, tearing, itching or swelling. Many different types of medical treatments for eye allergies are available by prescription. Prescription eye drops can treat certain eye conditions, infections or diseases. Before you use any eye drops, be sure to tell us about any other prescription or non-prescription medications that you are taking or any allergies that you have.
Most eye injuries are preventable with proper planning and care. When playing sports, always use eye protection: safety goggles designed specifically for sports are readily available. When working in the yard, beware of debris that can become dangerous projectiles and injure eyes when using a lawnmower, power trimmer or hedger. Pesticides and household chemicals like cleaning fluids, detergents and ammonia are extremely hazardous and can burn the eye’s delicate tissues. Proper storage, labelling and care when using these chemicals are essential.
- Cuts: If you receive a cut on or near your eye, bandage the eye lightly, then immediately seek medical attention. Do not attempt to wash out the eye or to remove objects that may be stuck in the eye or eyelid. Avoid applying pressure to the injured eye.
- Foreign Objects: If you get something caught in your eye, pull the upper lid down over the lashes of the lower lid and blink a few times. This action allows the eye to wash itself out.