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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Eye Care

Overview
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Eye care is important even though a person does not have any eye infections or vision problems. Eye problems increase with age or presence of chronic diseases like diabetes. Regular checkups with eye specialists help correct vision changes or diagnose eye problems earlier.  Eye problems can be prevented with proper eye care.

Common preventable eye problems include eyestrain, night blindness, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, and impact or irritation to the eyes. Some age- or disease-related eye problems include cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Health Tips

  • Eat a balanced and healthy meal that includes food good for the eyes such as green and leafy, yellow or orange vegetables, fruits rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fish high in omega-3 like salmon.
  • Have comprehensive eye exams at least once a year for earlier detection of eye problems and maintenance of eyesight. Routine eye exams should be done in children ages 6 months, 3 and 5 years old.
  • Keep the eyes clean by using a warm, moistened and clean cotton ball or washcloth to wipe any fluid from the inner to the outer part of the eyes. Use a new cotton ball or washcloth for each wipe. Loosen any crusts by placing a clean, moistened cotton ball over it.
  • Handle contact lenses with clean hands. Clean and store it using fresh solution. Do not wear it for prolonged periods and during swimming. Dispose contact lenses beyond their expiration date.
  • Avoid or quit smoking because it destroys eye cells and increases the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration.
  • Protect your eyesight and the skin around the eyes from sun exposure by using sunglasses and applying sunscreen.
  • Prevent or resolve computer eyestrain by ensuring that the lighting is not too bright, blinking more, and adjusting the brightness and contrast of the computer screen.
  • Avoid dry eyes due to reading or working on a computer for prolonged periods. Try the 20-20-20 rule by looking away for 20 seconds at an object 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Protect your eyes from wind, smoke or dry air to prevent fast tear evaporation.
  • Prevent allergic conjunctivitis from occurring by avoiding allergens that trigger the symptoms.
  • Prevent diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness. Maintain the blood sugar levels within the normal range.
  • Consult a doctor immediately if there is eye injury, sudden blurring or loss of vision, or swelling, bleeding or pain in the eyes. Do not attempt to treat yourself if an eye injury occurs.
  • Flush affected eye with cool water for 15 minutes if chemicals or small foreign objects come in contact. Go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
  • Minor impact on the eyes can be managed with a cold compress in 5 to 10-minute intervals. Switch to a warm compress 24 hours after the impact.
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Artificial tears eye solution are commonly used for dry eyes and to remove small foreign objects. An example of this is hypromellose eye drops which relieves sore and dry eyes. It can lubricate the surface of the eyes and reduce discomfort. This should not be used over contact lenses. It can be used 3 to 4 times a day or as prescribed by the doctor. Side effects: irritation, tearing, sensitivity to light, temporary blurred vision.
  • Decongestant allergy eye drops reduce eye redness for a short period. This is used to remove the bloodshot appearance of eyes, but not recommended to treat eye allergies. A risk in using this for too long is continued eye redness and swelling even after discontinuing the eye drops. Tetrahydrozoline is a decongestant eye drop that can reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the eyes. Do not use it for more than 3 days or while wearing contact lenses. Side effects: stinging or redness, temporary blurred vision, widened pupils
  • Antihistamine allergy eye drops are the most commonly prescribed treatment for eye allergies if other treatments are ineffective. These bring relief to itchy and watery eyes for a few hours. Prescription drops include azelastine, emedastine difumarate and levocabastine. Side effects: stinging or burning, temporary blurred vision, bitter taste
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
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