The eyes, arguably the most-used sense in contemporary society, have many potential ailments that fall short of total blindness. Many are uncommon but disastrously debilitating, like Ebola or Keratoconus; many more are common but equally devastating. Still, the most common eye ailments are rather treatable, like cataracts or glaucoma. I’ve compiled a list of common eye ailments, preventions and treatments. Some of these diseases have no known treatment and others may require surgery, while still others can be treated safely and cheaply by purchasing eye medications online.
Allergic conjunctivitis effects somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the population but is more common in young people and children. A variety of tests exist to reliably diagnose allergic conjunctivitis and those who think they may be affected should seek the help of a qualified physician.
There are two primary forms of this condition: acute and chronic. Acute allergic conjunctivitis most commonly occurs during allergy season and is a short term condition. Symptoms are burning, swollen, itchy eyes and may be accompanied by a runny nose. Chronic allergic conjunctivitis is a year-round condition that can occur due to exposure to food, dander or dust.
Prevention and treatment for this condition should include keeping a dust-free home, closed windows during high pollen count seasons and an indoor air purifier. Sufferers should apply a cool compress to their eyes which should help reduce inflammation and itching. Do not rub eyes, as it will only agitate the conjunctivitis. More advanced cases may be recommended by a doctor to take an over-the-counter anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory eye drops or eye drops to shrink congested blood vessels. Allergic conjunctivitis isn’t fatal unless operating heavy machinery while impaired but sufferers should seek medical assistance should the condition adversely affect daily life.
Cataracts are the result of other eye diseases and age. They are so common that a majority of Americans will experience them by age 65, and according to the CDC, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. There are less common instances of cataracts, such as those caused by retinal wounds, but the most common by far is that caused by a long lifespan.
Symptoms for cataracts include sensitivity to light, clouded or blurred vision, poor night vision and frequent prescription changes. These will all begin subtly and become more dominant as the cataract advances. Advanced cataracts can cause a visible milky film to form over the eye. As with any of these conditions, you should contact a medical professional if these symptoms appear.
Cataracts have been linked, like many other diseases, to tobacco usage, high blood pressure, obesity and the excessive consumption of alcohol. Thus, prevention includes prevention of these other diseases. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that has been proven to be effective for cataracts that doesn’t involve surgery. However, cataract surgery is widely performed and a range of options are available.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a comprehensibly named condition as it is one in which the individual’s eyes are, you guessed it, dry. The condition is more common in women than men and in people over 50 than any other age group. Thus, older women are at the greatest risk, especially those experiencing menopause. Reading extensively, a dry environment or working at a computer for extended periods of time can both induce and worsen this condition in people of all ages. A wide variety of treatment possibilities exist for sufferers of this condition and individuals should consult their physician to find the best one. Most cases are easily treated with false tears.
Glaucoma is probably one of the worst of these ailments as ocular damage is often irrevocable, so after diagnosis regular visits with physicians become necessary. The ailment has many causes, but intra-ocular pressure is the most common. Intra-ocular pressure is pressure from within the eyeball pushing outwards and damaging the optic nerve. Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms except sudden vision loss. For this reason, it’s imperative to seek regular treatment to check the pressure of the eyes once an individual has reached a certain age.
Styes are bumps that forms on the eyelid from the inflammation of oil glands, generally due to bacteria. Styes are particularly common in teenagers and can arise from poor nutrition and lack of hygiene among other things. Prevention includes proper hygiene and nutrition.
The most common bacterial cause is Staphlyococcus, the same bacteria that causes the frightful staph infection in other wounds. An eyelid stye can make the affected eye watery, sensitive to light or give the impression of abrasiveness or scratchiness. Depending on the size, they can even interfere with vision.
Avoid completely lancing, popping, scratching or squeezing the stye. These can inflame the stye or cause serious infection that can spread to other nearby tissues. Instead, sufferers should place a warm compress on styes up to four times a day. Regular hand washing with soap and warm water are also recommended to reduce the risk of reinfection.
Although these diseases vary in severity, many of them are easily treatable. If you think your vision is at risk of these or any other eye-related condition, seek the advice of a qualified physician.