Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem. Various antihistamine and decongestant drops and sprays can soothe irritated eyes and nose.
Make every effort to avoid allergens. An allergist can help determine what you are allergic to so you can stay away from it. Staying away from outdoor pollen may be impossible, but remaining indoors in the morning when the outdoor pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. If you are allergic to house dust, open windows and keep household filters clean.
Cool compresses decrease swelling and itching. Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye. Avoid rubbing the eyes. It makes the symptoms worse.
If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, see an ophthalmologist. There are several new safe and effective anti-allergy drops that can be prescribed. An ophthalmologist can also make sure symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem.
Chalazion tend to occur farther from the edge of the eyelid than styes, and tend to “point” toward the inside of the eyelid. Sometimes a chalazion can cause the entire eyelid to swell suddenly, but usually there is a definite tender point.
When a chalazion is small and without symptoms, it may disappear on its own. If the chalazion is large, it may cause blurred vision. Chalazions are treated with any or a combination of the following methods:
Warm compresses can be applied. The simplest way is to hold a clean washcloth, soaked in hot water, against the closed lid. Do this for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Repeatedly soak the washcloth in hot water to maintain adequate heat. The majority of chalazions will disappear within a few weeks. Sometimes antibiotic ointments are used in combination with warm compresses.
A surgical incision or excision may be used to remove large chalazions that do not respond to other treatments.
Chalazions usually respond well to treatment, although some people are prone to recurrences. If a chalazion recurs in the same place, your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) may suggest a biopsy to rule out more serious problems.
Either a bacterial or a viral infection may cause conjunctivitis. Viruses, which are more common and last several weeks, may cause an upper respiratory infection (or cold) at the same time. Unlike viruses, bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with a variety of antibiotic eye drops or ointments, which usually cure the infection in a day or two.
Conjunctivitis can be very contagious. People who have it should not share towels or pillowcases and should wash their hands frequently. They may need to stay home from school or work and should stay out of swimming pools.
Not everyone with conjunctivitis has an infection. Allergies can cause conjunctivitis too. Typically, people with allergic conjunctivitis have itchy eyes, especially in spring and fall. Eye drops to control itching are used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. It is important not to use medications that contain steroids (they usually end in "-one" or "-dex") unless prescribed by an ophthalmologist.
Finally, not everyone with pink eye has conjunctivitis. Sometimes more serious diseases, such as infections, damage to the cornea, severe glaucoma, or inflammation on the inside of the eye cause the conjunctiva to become inflamed and pink. Vision is usually normal if the pink eye is really conjunctivitis. If vision is affected, or if the problem does not get better in a few days, see an ophthalmologist.
As one gets older, the vitreous, the clear gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye, tends to shrink slightly and take on a more watery consistency. Sometimes as the vitreous shrinks it exerts enough force on the retina to make it tear.
Retinal tears increase the chance of developing a retinal detachment. Fluid vitreous, passing through the tear, lifts the retina off the back of the eye like wallpaper peeling off a wall. Laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing) are often used to seal retinal tears and prevent detachment.
If the retina is detached, it must be reattached before sealing the retinal tear. There are three ways to repair retinal detachments. Pneumatic retinopexy involves injecting a special gas bubble into the eye that pushes on the retina to seal the tear. The scleral buckle procedure requires the fluid to be drained from under the retina before a flexible piece of silicone is sewn on the outer eye wall to give support to the tear while it heals. Vitrectomy surgery removes the vitreous gel from the eye, replacing it with a gas bubble, which is slowly replaced by the body's fluids.
Fluorescein, a harmless orange-red dye, is injected into a vein in the arm. The dye travels through the body to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive nerve layer at the back of the eye. A special camera with a green filter flashes a blue light into the eye and takes multiple photographs of the retina. The technique uses regular photographic film. No X-rays are involved.
If there are abnormal blood vessels, the dye leaks into the retina or stains the blood vessels. Damage to the lining of the retina or atypical new blood vessels may be revealed as well. These abnormalities are determined through a careful interpretation of the photographs by an ophthalmologist.
The dye can discolor skin and urine until it is removed from the body by the kidneys. There is little risk in having fluorescein angiography, though some people may have mild allergic reactions to the dye. Severe allergic reactions have been reported but very rarely. Being allergic to X-ray dyes with iodine does not mean you'll be allergic to fluorescein. Occasionally, some of the dye leaks out of the vein at the injection site, causing a slight burning sensation that usually goes away quickly.
The more common types of glaucoma are:
Other types of glaucoma can be caused by trauma to the eye, medications, diseases such as diabetes, etc.
Bacteria normally reside on everyone's skin, but in some people they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. Nearby oil glands may be overactive, causing dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins, which can cause redness, stinging or burning.
Lid margin disease cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with a few simple daily hygienic measures:
At least twice a day, place a warm, wet washcloth over the closed eyelids for a minute. Rewet it as it cools. With your finger covered with a thin washcloth, cotton swab, or commercial lint-free pad, gently scrub the base of the lashes about 15 seconds per lid.
When medications are necessary, they may include:
Medications alone are not sufficient; the application of warmth and detailed cleansing of the lashes daily is the key to controlling lid margin disease.
Low vision can result from birth defects, inherited diseases, injuries, diabetes, glaucoma or macular degeneration. Although reduced central or reading vision is most common, a person can have low vision in their side (peripheral) vision, or a loss of color vision or contrast sensitivity.
Low vision devices or aides are available in optical and non-optical types. Optical devices use lenses or combinations of lenses to provide magnification. They should not be confused with standard eyeglasses. There are five main kinds of optical devices: magnifying spectacles, hand magnifiers, stand magnifiers, telescopes and closed-circuit television. Different devices may be needed for different purposes. If possible, try the optical device before purchasing it and be sure you understand how to use it.
The simplest non-optical technique is to bring the object of interest closer. Non-optical low vision devices include large print books, check writing guides, enlarged phone dials, talking appliances (timers, clocks, computers), and machines that scan print and read out loud.
Government and private agencies have social services available for people with low vision. For more information, contact the following resources:
Website : http://www.aao.org
Phone : (800) 232-5463
Phone : (212) 889-3141
Phone : (800) 424-8567/p>
Phone : (800) 334-5497
Phone : (301) 496-5248
Phone : (800) 331-2020
Phone : (212) 425-2255
Despite proper surgical removal, the pterygium may return, particularly in young people. Protecting the eyes from excessive ultraviolet light with proper sunglasses and avoiding dry, dusty conditions and use of artificial tears may also help.
A pinguecula is a yellowish patch or bump on the white of the eye, most often on the side closest to the nose. It is not a tumor, but an alteration of normal tissue resulting in a deposit of protein and fat. Unlike a pterygium, a pinguecula does not actually grow onto the cornea. A pinguecula may also be a response to chronic eye irritation or sunlight.
No treatment is necessary unless it becomes inflamed. A pinguecula does not grow onto the cornea or threaten sight. If particularly annoying, a pinguecula may on rare occasions be surgically removed, but the postoperative scar may be as cosmetically objectionable as the pinguecula.
The visual field test provides information that no other test can. It is used to detect many diseases, such as glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa, which affect the eye, optic nerve, and brain. It can also help diagnose brain tumors, strokes, and other conditions. Visual field testing helps diagnose the disease and can follow the progress of the disease and its treatment.
During a visual field test, one eye is temporarily patched while the other eye is being tested. You are asked to look straight ahead at a fixed spot and watch for targets to appear in your field of vision.
There are two kinds of visual field tests. One method uses moving targets. Targets are moved from outside the visual field (where you can't see them) toward the center of your vision. When you see them, you press a button. The test can be done using a dark screen on a wall (called tangent screen testing) or using a large bowl-shaped instrument (called Goldmann testing).
The other testing method uses small fixed targets that appear briefly as bright or dim lights (called computerized static perimetry). You sit in a chair facing either a bowl-shaped instrument or a computer screen and indicate when you see the targets appear.
During a vitrectomy operation, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the sclera (the white part of the eye). Using a microscope to look inside the eye and microsurgical instruments, the surgeon removes the vitreous and repairs the retina through the tiny incisions. Repairs include removing scar tissue or a foreign object if present.
During the procedure, the retina may be treated with a laser to reduce future bleeding or to fix a tear in the retina. An air or gas bubble that slowly disappears on its own may be placed in the eye to help the retina remain in its proper position or a special fluid that is later removed may be injected into the vitreous cavity.
Recovering from vitrectomy surgery may be uncomfortable but the procedure often improves or stabilizes vision. Once the blood- or debris-clouded vitreous is removed and replaced with a clear medium (often a saltwater solution), light rays can once again focus on the retina. Vision after surgery depends on how damaged the retina was before surgery.
During cataract surgery part of the front (anterior) capsule that holds the lens is removed. The clear back (posterior) capsule remains intact. As long as that capsule stays clear one has good vision. But in 10 to 30% of people, the posterior capsule loses its clarity. When this happens, an opening can be made in the capsule with a laser (posterior capsulotomy) to restore normal vision.
Before the laser procedure, the ophthalmologist does a thorough ophthalmic examination to make sure there is no other reason for vision loss.
A posterior capsulotomy is painless and takes five minutes. Vision should improve within hours.
YAG peripheral iridotomy is a laser procedure to treat or prevent closed-angle glaucoma. An opening is made on the outer edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye) with a laser to decrease pressure that has built up in the eye due to closed-angle glaucoma. This procedure may also prevent future build-up of pressure in that eye.
The YAG peripheral iridotomy is done in the office as an outpatient procedure. While there may be some mild discomfort during the procedure, there is usually no pain after the peripheral iridotomy.