Common Eye Conditions
Eye allergies are a common condition that affects up to 50 million Americans, causing redness, tearing and many other symptoms that can impair a patient’s vision and affect their overall quality of life.
Patients with eye allergies often experience:
- Red, itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
These symptoms are caused by triggers in the air, such as pollen, mold, dust or pet dander; or by certain foods or medications, which can cause a different type of allergy. These triggers affect the conjunctiva, the clear layer of skin over the eyes that is similar to the area of skin on the inside surface of the nose, another common source of allergy symptoms.
Treating eye allergies can most effectively be done by avoiding the specific triggers that cause your symptoms. If avoidance is not possible, patients can apply cold compresses to the eyes or use artificial tears or over-the-counter medication to relieve symptoms. Prescription eye drops or oral medications may also be recommended to relieve symptoms of eye allergies.
Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation – a long-term swelling – of the eyelids and eyelash follicles. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, acne, bacterial infection, allergic reaction or poor eyelid hygiene. The eyes may become red, blurry or tear frequently. The eyelids crust, flake, scale or redden, and the smooth inside lining of the lids may become rough. In more serious cases, sores can form when the crusting skin is removed, the eyelashes may fall out, the eyelids can deform, the infection can spread to the cornea, and patients often suffer from excessive tearing. Blepharitis can also cause styes, chalazions and problems with the tear film.
Treatment and preventative care for blepharitis involves thorough but gentle cleaning of the eyelids. Warm compresses can be applied to loosen crust. OCuSOFT®* or SteriLid® lid scrubs can help keep the eyelids clean. This may be combined with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the problems.
* OCuSOFT® and SteriLid® eyelid cleansers can be purchased over-the-counter at most pharmacies.
Your eye has a clear lens through which light passes, allowing you to see. When the lens loses its transparency, the cloudy tissue that develops is known as a cataract.
Cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision. The lens clouds naturally as we age, so people over the age of 65 usually see a gradual reduction of vision. No one is exactly sure what causes cataracts. In younger people they can result from an injury, certain medications, or illnesses such as diabetes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light may also play a role in the formation of cataracts. Studies have also shown that people who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers.
Although cataracts usually develop without apparent pain, some indications that a cataract may be forming are:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Double vision
- Poor vision in bright light
- Seeing halos around lights
- Yellowish tinged vision
- Night vision difficulty
If visual impairment interferes with your ability to read, work, or do the things you enjoy then you will want to consider cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is relatively painless and is one of the most frequently performed procedures. It has a very high success rate and more than 90 percent of cataract surgery patients regain useful vision.
- Click Here to read our Cataract frequently asked questions.