5 common eye problems and how to handle them

Monday, 25 June 2018
5 common eye problems and how to handle them

The eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in the body and constantly exposed, meaning we must take extra care to look after them. Thankfully, most refractive errors can be easily spotted and corrected.

We’ve complied a list of the 5 most common eye problems people experience, how to identify them and how to treat them. Knowing how to spot the signs can prevent damage and stop problems in their early stages when they arise. We recommend visiting your optician at least once a year for a routine eye check-up.

Myopia

Myopia (more commonly known as short-sightedness) is one of the most common refractive errors that affects people’s eyesight. Objects that are further away appear blurry and are difficult to see. Myopia occurs when light cannot focus on the retina (light-sensitive tissue) at the back of the eye. This is usually caused when the eyeball has grown too long. Although there is no conclusive evidence as to why, a growing amount of study suggests that the dramatic increase of screen use may be contributing to the increasing number of individuals who have myopia.

Myopia usually starts during early childhood, although has a tendency to equalise during early adulthood. Early signs of myopia include straining to read writing from a distance, blurry vison and headaches. Thankfully, myopia can be easily diagnosed with an eye test and correct with contact lenses. Myopia is corrected with a minus (-) power.

Fortunately, contact lenses are able to correct myopia. Comfi lenses offer both comfort and value for money. Comfi Daily Disposables can be disposed of at then end of the day, while comfi Air lenses can be worn for an entire month and are made of silicone hydrogel for increased moisture and hydration.  Comfi All-in-One Solution perfectly complements comfi Air monthly lenses.

 

dry eyes

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes (kerato conjunctivitis sicca) occur when the eyes are not producing enough tears, or the tears produced dry up too quickly to keep the eyeball properly hydrated.

Contact lenses do not cause dry eye, but can aggravate the problem in some people. This doesn’t mean that contact lenses are a non-option if you have dry eyes, however. We recommend wearing a contact lens with a mid level water content, or a contact lens made of silicone hydrogel. Silicone hydrogel allows a higher amount of moisture and oxygen to pass in and out the eye in comparison to standard hydrogel lenses.

Extended screen use can also lead to dry eyes. As a result, it usually helps to take breaks during the day if you work in front of a computer screen. In addition, we recommend lowering the brightness on your smartphone device and keeping it at a reasonable distance.

Eye drops are the most effective treatment to help soothe dry and gritty eyes. Blink Intensive Tears Vials are a perfect choice. As well as offering intensive hydration for dry eyes, they are also conveniently small and can fit into your purse or pocket. Blink vials can also be used in conjunction with contact lenses, meaning you don’t have to take out your lenses during use.

 

Astigmatism

A lot of people who have a refractive error will have some level of astigmatism, although the severity of this will vary from person to person. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped in an irregular curve, similar to a rugby ball, instead of a smooth and round curve like a football.

This causes light rays to enter the eyes at an irregular, unfocused angle, resulting in an image that’s blurred. Astigmatism can easily be detected with an eye test and corrected with contact lenses. Astigmatism requires a special type of contact lens known as a ‘toric’ lens. They are made with a torus shaped design that adds stability to the cornea. This is aided by an additional ‘cylinder’ power, offered on a different meridian of your lens than the normal (spherical) power which corrects the different degrees of myopia or hyperopia.

 

common eye problems

Cataracts

Cataracts are a cloudy or misty growth on the eye. They often appear as a frosty-like layer and can affect visual clarity as they mature. Cataracts are the result of proteins clumping together, which, overtime, will multiply and grow making it more difficult to see.

While they are not necessarily painful in their initial stages, cataracts are the primary cause of vision loss for people over 40 and are the primary cause of blindness across the world. The condition usually affects adults, but children can also be affected, which is a condition called ‘childhood cataracts’ and relatively rare. Cataracts in babies is referred to as ‘congenital cataracts’, and can occur when the baby is born or a short while afterwards.

Due to the cloudy colour it forms over the eye, a cataract is easily identifiable. However, we still advise seeing a doctor or optician to clarify the stage at which the cataract is and what treatment is best suited for you.  

When the cataract is minor, it may be possible to treat it with contact lenses or glasses with a stronger prescription. Cataracts do however, typically get worse as time goes on, and in most cases, surgery will be required to remove them. Cataract removal is a common, straightforward and typically successful procedure that can be done in a day and requires very little recovery time.

 

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye infections, and most people will experience it at least once in their lifetime. Due to its red and aggravated appearance, it can sometimes be misidentified as something more serious, but is easily treated with eye drops and is rarely painful.

The conjunctiva is a thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye. When this becomes inflamed, the eye becomes red, gritty and swollen. This is called conjunctivitis. In some cases, a sticky yellow coating may be seen along the eyelashes.

Causes of conjunctivitis include allergies to a range of influences, such as heavily-perfumed beauty products. It can also be caused by bacterial and viral infections, sometimes from bad hand hygiene when handling contact lenses. For this reason, and many others, it is especially important to wash your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses. You can read our full guide to inserting and removing contact lenses here.

 

Visit our Eye Care Hub for more information about contact lenses eye health. 

 

 

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