Common Eye Disorder Explained- The Usual Vs. The Red Flags

Common Eye Disorder Explained- The Usual Vs. The Red Flags

Our eyes are highly complex and sensitive organs. If you want your eyes to be healthy and enjoy a colorful and vibrant life, you need to take good care of them. Some simple things to take care of your eyes are frequently blinking, eating foods rich in Vitamin A (such as carrots), and taking adequate sleep.

You must be observant about any problems, signs, and symptoms persistent to your eyes. Several eye conditions show no early symptoms or may feel painless at first, but these issues can become quite advanced and severely impact your vision with time. It is advisable that you immediately consult an eye care professional if you feel a severe itch, pain, soreness, or redness. To help you identify and understand some common eye problems, we have prepared a list. Read Below.

The Usual's

1. Digital Eyestrain

Digital eyestrain refers to a common eye condition in which your eyes feel weary due to strain instigated by excessive use of digital devices. 1 For example, if you continue working on your computer (or any other digital screen) for several hours at a stretch, you may start to feel discomfort and dryness in your eyes. While eyestrain can be quite irritating at times, it might not have severe implications if promptly treated.

Signs and Symptoms

Some common symptoms of digital eye strain comprises of:

  • Soreness, irritation, or fatigue in the eyes
  • Trouble focusing
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in keeping your eyes open
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Treatment Options may include using the glasses or contact lenses specially prescribed for computer usage, adjusting the computer screen position & brightness as per surrounding lighting conditions, rest brakes, blinking & other eye relaxation exercises. 1

2. Dry Eyes Syndrome (DES)

Dry Eyes Syndrome (or DES) is a typical eye condition in which your eyes do not have enough quality tears for lubrication and nourishment of the eye. The primary function of tears is to keep the front surface of your eyes well-lubricated. Moreover, tears help reduce the risk of an eye infection and wash away any foreign matter from the eyes. Without quality tears, your eyes may be prone to infections, and in more acute cases, corneal scarring may occur. 2

Signs and Symptoms

  • A throbbing or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision

Treatment Options

You will find various treatment options for Dry Eyes Syndrome, including warm compresses, lid massage, lacrimal Plugs, over-the-counter (OTC) topical medications (such as artificial tears, gels, and ointments).

3. Refractive Errors

Refractive errors 3 are commonly referred to as any condition of the eye that results in reduced visual acuity. In other words, if you have a refractive error in your eyes, you will not be able to see things accurately and clearly. Refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (near-sightedness) – Objects placed far-away appear blurry
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) – Objects placed nearby usually appears blurry
  • Astigmatism – Objects placed both at a nearby and far-away distance appears distorted or blurry
  • Presbyopia – Individuals above 40 years of age (middle-age and older people) may lose the ability to focus up close

Treatment Options

  • For Myopia – Myopia is corrected with a (-) lens or a concave lens (used in eyeglasses or as contact lenses) so that it reduces the power of the eye.
  • For Hyperopia – Hyperopia is corrected with a (+) lens or spherical lens (used in eyeglasses or as contact lenses) so that it increases the power of the eye
  • For Astigmatism – Two kinds of lenses to correct astigmatism – Plano-cylindrical (power is zero along one meridian, and more in the other meridian), and sphero-cylinder/ lens (used in eyeglasses or as contact lenses)
  • For Presbyopia – Both bifocal lenses and multifocal/progressive lenses (used in contact lenses and eyeglasses) can be used to correct the refractory error

4. Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye 4 is a condition that causes inflammation in the tissues covering your Sclera and those lining the back of your eyelids called CONJUNCTIVA. In the case of conjunctivitis, the eye can turn red, itchy, teary, blurry, and discharges a watery material. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious (children are most affected). However, it is highly unlikely that Conjunctivitis will damage your vision, more so if it is promptly identified and treated.

There are primarily three categories/types of Conjunctivitis:

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis (Allergic Conjunctivitis and Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis)
  • Infectious Conjunctivitis (Bacterial Conjunctivitis, Viral Conjunctivitis, and Ophthalmia Neonatorum)
  • Chemical Conjunctivitis (it spreads due to exposure to chlorine and other noxious chemicals present in water and air)
  • Burning or itching sensation in either or both eyes
  • A grainy feel in one or both eyes
  • Excessive formation of tears
  • Discharge from either or both eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Pink discoloration in the whites of either or both eyes

Treatment Options

There are various appropriate treatment options for Conjunctivitis based on the cause of the eye condition, including:

  • Artificial tears, cold compresses NSAIDs, Antihistamines if required (primarily for Allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointments (primarily for Bacterial conjunctivitis)
  • Topical steroid eye drops (primarily for Viral conjunctivitis)
  • Flushing of the eyes with saline or water (primarily for Chemical conjunctivitis)

Red Flags

1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), often known as Macular Degeneration, is an advanced eye condition that is associated with aging. AMD occurs in two forms – 'dry' (atrophic) and 'wet' (exudative) 5, causing severe damage to sharp and central vision. Moreover, AMD is common in people aged 60 years or more.

You need a central vision to see objects clearly and perform everyday tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula or the central part of the retina that helps you see and process fine visuals.

Risk factors associated with AMD

a. Genetic risk factors

  • Age
  • Family history of AMD
  • Compared to any other races, caucasians are at an increased risk of developing AMD

Risk Factors that You can Control

  • Smoking (non-smokers are at lower risk)
  • Diet (diets that have fewer antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, zinc, and lutein could be a risk factor)
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight

Treatment Options

If diagnosed early, wet AMD is treatable with the intra-ocular administering of anti-VEGF medication. [5] On the other hand, dry AMD can cause permanent loss of vision. If you experience any loss of cognitive ability, i.e., your ability to read, write, drive, or perform everyday tasks, you must visit an eye care professional for a thorough eye examination.

2. Bulging Eyes

Bulging eyes, also known as Proptosis, is a condition that occurs when either or both eyes protrude from the eye sockets, often due to an overactive thyroid gland caused by Graves' disease. 6

Proptosis occurs when there are6:

i. Lesions such as inflamed muscles, tissue, and fat behind the eye

ii. An infection of the tissue of the eye socket

iii. Cancerous tumors such as those caused by soft tissue sarcomas or neuroblastomas

As a result, more portion of the cornea is exposed to air, causing difficulty in keeping the eyes moist and lubricated. In more advanced cases, bulging eyes can potentially lead to vision loss.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Soreness in the eyes
  • Appearance of protruding eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Excessive dryness
  • Visible whiteness between the eyelid and the top of the iris
  • Loss of vision
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Pulsation in the bulging eye
  • Irritation in the eyes

Treatment Options

A cataract7 is the condition of the eye in which the eye's natural crystalline lens loses its suppleness with age. As you get older, the proteins and lens fibres in the eye stiffen and harden, turning opaque. Common causes of cataracts comprises of aging, inheritance, chronic diseases like diabetes, congenital disabilities, excessive use of steroids, and specific eye injuries.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Hazy or cloudy vision
  • Reduced sensitivity of colours
  • Recurrent changes in the prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • Poor vision, especially at night

Treatment Options

Intraocular lenses (IOLs) such as Standard mono-focal intraocular lenses, Toric IOL lenses, Multifocal IOL, or Accommodating lenses are used to improve vision after the patient undergoes cataract surgery. For more information, you must consult an eye care professional.

4. CMV Retinitis

CMV Retinitis 8 is a viral eye infection caused by the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) that attacks the retina. The CMV is a common source of infection in humans with weakened immune systems. If CMV retinitis is not diagnosed early and treated immediately, it may damage the retina and optic nerve, leading to loss of vision.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Slow onset of floaters or flashes in the eye
  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Blindspot in central vision

Moreover, the symptoms may first appear in one eye but often progresses to the other eye. Also, in more advanced cases, the infection may lead to retinal detachment.

Treatment Options

If you are frequently experiencing any such symptoms or have a weakened immune system, you should get your eyes examined regularly with an eye care professional for early diagnosis and treatment.

5. Crossed Eyes (Strabismus)

Crossed eyes, also known as Strabismus 9, is said to occur when your eyes appear to be pointing in different directions or are misaligned at the same time. Crossed eyes in children usually occur due to uncorrected refractive errors or amblyopia (lazy eye) and other reasons. In adults, it may occur due to:

i. Thyroid disease (Graves' disease)

ii. Diabetes

iii. Myasthenia gravis

iv. Stroke

v. Brain tumours

vi. Damage to eye muscles due to an accident or a head injury

Signs and Symptoms

  • Weakness in either or both eyes
  • Inability to move either or both eyes together
  • Double vision
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Squinting with one eye only

Treatment Options

To improve vision in the case of crossed eyes, the affected eye muscles are put to work. There are various treatments available that may be used in combination or alone based on the type, cause, and severity of the condition, including:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses – Different types of contact lenses and eyeglasses can be used to improve the condition if it is due to uncorrected farsightedness.
  • Surgery 

In case you are experiencing any eye-related problems, it is advisable that you promptly visit an optometrist for a thorough eye examination. Based on the results, you can opt for the best possible treatment for quick recovery.

At Bausch+Lomb, we understand the importance of having excellent eye health. We provide suitable solutions for refractive errors as well as cataract ophthalmic solutions so that you never have to compromise with your vision. We also offer various types of contact lenses to suit your requirements. These contact lenses are designed with the latest technology to provide high breathability and comfortable extended wear. Get in touch with us to embark on your journey towards healthier eyes today!


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