We’ve compiled a list of the 5 most common eye problems people experience and how to identify them. Knowing how to spot the signs can slow down the progression of certain conditions and stop problems in their early stages when they arise. The AOP recommends getting your sight tested every two years, or more often if your optometrist recommends it.
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 vision and headaches. Thankfully, myopia can be easily diagnosed with an eye test and corrected with prescription glasses or prescription contact lenses.
Conact lenses are a great way to correct myopia and can offer many advantages. For example, comfi lenses offer both comfort and value for money. Try comfi Daily Disposable contact lenses for a hassle-free experience. These lenses can be disposed of at the end of the day, while comfi Air are silicone hydrogel contact lenses that can be worn for an entire month. These lenses provide an increased amount oxygen making it suitable for longer wearing times. comfi All-in-One Solution is an easy to use multipurpose solution and perfectly complements comfi Air monthly lenses.
Dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) occur when the eyes are not producing enough tears, or the tears produced dry up too quickly to keep the eyes surface 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 not an option if you have dry eyes. We recommend wearing a contact lens with a mid-level water content, or a contact lens made of silicone hydrogel. Most silicone hydrogel lenses are combined with excellent moisture and allow a higher amount of oxygen to reach 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.
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 single 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 and prescription glasses too. Astigmatism requires a special type of lens known as a 'toric contact lenses'. These lenses have a cylinder power and axis, both are needed to correct the astigmatism.
A cataract is when the lens within the eye becomes cloudy. They often appear as a misty haze and can affect visual clarity as they mature. Cataracts are age-related, which means they occur due to the natural ageing process of the eyes. Cataracts are the result of proteins breaking down, overtime they will multiply and grow, making it more difficult to see.
While they are not painful, 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 appearance on the lens, a cataract is easily identifiable. We advise seeing a doctor or optician to clarify the stage at which the cataract is and what treatment is best suited for you.
Cataracts, 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 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 the correct (medicated) 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 and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses. Read our full guide on how to insert and remove contact lenses.
Visit our Eye Care Hub for more information about contact lenses eye health.