The key to good eye health for the whole family starts with having the right pair of prescription glasses and having good eye health education. Having something go wrong with your eyes (or your child’s eyes) can be a terrifying or worrying experience when you don’t know what the diagnosis is or what the causes are. Whilst Myopia (short-sightedness) and Presbyopia (long-sightedness) are widely understood, there are many other eye disorders and problems which aren’t.
Here are 7 very common eye problems that many of us – or members of our families – will experience in our lifetimes.
The conjunctiva is the transparent membrane that covers the eyeball and the term ‘Conjunctivitis’ is used when this part of the eye becomes inflamed, itchy and irritated. A good indicator of Conjunctivitis is the presence of discharge and it can be treated easily with a course of antibiotics.
Amblyopia is a term which describes lazy eye and this can happen from a very young age. Amblyopia happens when the brain shuts down the vision in the weaker eye but therapy can help to correct any vision loss. If your child has a lazy eye, it’s important that you take them to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage or further loss of vision.
Some people suffer with difficulty in seeing in dark conditions. If you struggle to do ordinary things such as driving at night, you may have a vitamin A deficiency or a retina disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes the night blindness. Night blindness is also linked to other underlying health problems (such as liver disorder) so be sure to get your eyes checked out.
Dry eyes is extremely common and can cause discomfort such as burning or itching of the eye area. This happens when your tear glands under-produce and are unable to keep your eyes moist and hydrated. This problem is very easy to treat and your doctor may prescribe you some eye drops or suggest other ways of preventing dryness.
If you see tiny spots or specks in your line of vision, it isn’t something to be worried about. These little specks or ‘floaters’ are normal and many people have this problem. Floaters can sometimes be an indicator for bigger eye issues though so if you’re concerned or they are causing problems to your vision, seek medical advice straight away.
This is the medical term for double vision; it’s a misalignment of the eyes and can happen if you have suffered trauma to the head. If your child is complaining of double vision, book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible.
Macular Degeneration is a problem that occurs with age and is usually seen with people in their 50s and over. The problem affects central vision and occurs in around 8% of 65 year olds and around 20% of people who are aged 85. An indicator of Macular Degeneration is being able to see peripheral objects but not what’s right in front of you or what’s at the centre of an object that you are looking at. Although there’s no cure at the moment, Macular Degeneration can be treated with some medication, surgery and by improving your diet.