Maintaining healthy eyes will bring you more than sharper vision. Eye health is vital to having the best quality of life possible. Here are some common eye health issues and how to treat them.
WHAT CAUSES DRY, IRRITABLE EYES?
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce enough tears or produces tears that do not have the proper chemical composition causing an irregularity of the tear film.
Some common causes of dry eyes include:
- Environmental factors, such as dry air from heating or air conditioning
- Reduced blinking and eye strain from close-up work, such as on a computer
- Prescription drugs, especially antihistamines, diuretics and anti-anxiety pills
With contact lens use, there has to be a continuous fresh layer of tears evenly spread across the ocular surface creating a “comfortable cushion” between the contact lens and eye surface. Discomfort, especially dryness, remains the most common complaint from contact lens wearers, with 2.2 million contact lens wearers giving them up each year.
DO I HAVE AN EYE ALLERGY?
Hay fever, otherwise known as allergic rhinitis, can make performing at work or school a challenge, and can interfere with other activities you enjoy. The allergy produces cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sinus pressure, and perhaps most distracting of all, watery and itchy eyes.
Hay fever is caused by your body’s response to outdoor or indoor allergens like grass, dust mites, pet dander or pollen. Hay fever can surface at any age and you may experience worsened symptoms during certain times of year depending on your trigger.
If your symptoms are ongoing (more than three to seven days or as long as you’re exposed to allergens), you think you may have hay fever, and allergy medications either aren’t working or have problematic side effects, see your doctor.
The first step to managing eye allergies is minimizing exposure. When the pollen count is high (generally mid-morning and early evening), try to stay indoors or wear eye/sunglasses to protect your eyes from allergens. When driving, keep your windows up to avoid triggers entering the car and your eyes. Clean your floors with a mop as opposed to a broom to get rid of dust instead of stirring it up. If your pet is causing your allergies, keep it out of your bedroom at least, and outside of the house as much as possible. Lastly, try a cool compress on your eyes to soothe irritation instead of rubbing, which will only make things worse.
DO I HAVE A SCRATCH ON MY EYE?
If it feels like you have sand in your eye—tears, blurry vision, sensitivity, redness and headache—these may be symptoms of a corneal abrasion. The cornea is the protective window at the front of your eye, and can be scratched when coming in contact with anything from dirt and dust to sand and metal particles.
Seek prompt medical attention in the event of a corneal abrasion. Immediate steps for corneal abrasion care includes rinsing your eye with clean water or saline solution (use a cup with its rim resting on the bone at the bottom of your eye socket), blinking several times, or pulling the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid (causing the lower lashes to hopefully brush away any foreign object from underneath your upper eyelid)………
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