Guide Health: Eye drops — just a little drop will do it!

By Marie Berry
If you’ve ever had to use an eye drop, or if you do use eye drops regularly, it is important to use them properly to get the most benefit.  Keeping your eyes healthy is a lifelong activity, and using eye drops correctly is a key component.
Eyesight is a valuable, irreplaceable sense. Even so, however, the rate of vision loss is on the increase. In Canada, one in nine people over 65 are affected, and one in four over 80.
Some eye diseases are not reversible, such as macular degeneration, where the light-sensitive nerve cells at the centre of the retina (i.e. the macula) lose their ability to function. Others, however, can be treated. And often, this treatment includes the use of eye drops.
Cataracts form when proteins in the eye’s lens change, making the lens opaque or cloudy. The majority of cataracts are related to old age and there is a family tendency. Trauma like a hard blow or intense heat can increase your risk, as can smoking. Surgery can successfully remove the cloudy lens replacing it with an implanted artificial one, and most people regain most or all of their vision. Eye drops are an important part of the surgery regime.
Glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside your eyeball (that is, the “intraocular pressure”) is too high. The high pressure presses against the optic nerve causing damage and progressive loss of vision. It occurs in one to two per cent of people over 65, and it is a leading worldwide cause of blindness. The aim of glaucoma treatment is to reduce eye pressure by increasing drainage from the eyeball. Regular use of eye drops will keep pressure low and maintain eyesight.
Conjunctivitis or inflammation of the eye is often caused by infections, foreign objects like contact lenses, lack of sleep, airborne irritants such as smoke, and allergies such as hay fever. Antibiotic eye drops are ideal……
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Source: Country Guide