Category Archives: Health Care & Medical

Hay Fever And Your Eyes

The pollen can get in to your eyes, nose, throat and sinuses and if allergic, can cause irritation, swelling and inflammation. People can be allergic to three different types of pollen; weed pollen; that is released in late autumn, tree pollen; which is released during spring, and grass pollen; released mainly during the summer months.

A lot of people who suffer from hay fever, will also suffer from seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which is where the pollen affects your eyes. The most common symptoms are burning, redness, itching and watering of the eyes, and puffiness of the eye lids. Visiting an eye clinic will ensure your symptoms are related to seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and not something else.

Most people who are affected by seasonal allergic conjunctivitis notice their symptoms are part of their hay fever and the cause is normally the same. Pollen from weeds, trees or grasses, lands on the eyes’ surface and activates the release of histamine, which is what causes the symptoms. The section of the eye that is mainly affected is not seen and lies underneath the eyelids. The white part of the eye (sclera) is only slightly affected and the cornea is not affected at all.

When an eye doctor is checking for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis they will note that the underside of the upper eye lid will be slightly swollen, red and sometimes bumpy. The minimal signs, alongside seasonal symptoms help the eye doctor to diagnose seasonal allergic conjunctivitis from other forms of inflammation and infection.

There are various types of treatment for hay fever and its eye symptoms and by going to an eye clinic to have an assessment will make sure you get the best treatment for your eyes. One of the most common types of treatment would be anti-histamine eye drops. These work by stopping the histamine affecting the cells in your body in the usual way.

Anti-histamine eye drops can be bought over-the-counter or on prescription and are usually quite effective. Eye drops containing mast cell stabilisers (sodium cromoglicate) are a very effective and safe way to help treat seasonal allergic conjunctivitis and work by preventing the allergic reaction. Again these can be purchased over-the-counter. If your hay fever is affecting your eyes too much your eye doctor may prescribe you steroid eye drops, these are available on prescription only due to their possible long term side effects.

Steroid eye drops have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is why they are good at treating the eye symptoms of hay fever. Be aware that overuse of antihistamine eye drops might harm your eyes and hence it is advised that in case of long term use of antihistamine eye drops we recommend that you consult your eye surgeon.

Tips To Look After Your Eyes This Summer

1. Sunglasses:

It is commonly known that exposing our bodies to UV rays is very bad for our skin but we need to remember to protect our delicate eyes from the suns rays as well. Too much exposure to UV rays can result in pain and irritation to the cornea (clear window of the eye) and in extreme cases this can lead to age related macular degeneration, cancer of the cornea, cataracts or even blindness.

Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from the suns UV rays. When buying sunglasses make sure they comply with BSEN 1836: 1997 or have the CE kite mark and are marked with UV 400. It is best to get sunglasses that are UVA and UVB 100% protected, if you are unsure always ask your eye clinic or optician. You can also get polarized sunglasses, not only do they protect your eyes from UV rays but they can help decrease glare which can strain your vision, they are very useful when you are by the pool on holiday or taking part in outdoor sports.

Do not forget, it is not just adults that need sunglasses, children should wear them too but the best protection is to stay in the shade on sunny days.

2. Sports:

Not only do you need to wear sunglasses if it is a sunny day but also eye wear to protect you from possible injury. Ophthalmologists advise eye protection should be worn when playing most ball sports. The bigger the ball the less likely for an eye injury to occur, for example footballs are less likely to injure your eyes than a golf ball. Good sporting shops should sell plastic shields or masks to protect you.

Also when swimming it is best not to wear contact lenses to prevent infections and damage to the eye and swimming goggles are a must if you are swimming underwater.

3. DIY/Gardening:

Summer months are a great time to do DIY projects around the house and spend time in the garden but these things can lead to eye injuries if proper precautions are not taken. You often see someone trimming the grass while children are playing nearby and all of them are at risk from flying stones, soil, twigs and even the grass itself. Make sure children are out of the way when doing such tasks and make sure you wear professional quality goggles.

Lacerations to the cornea are not uncommon when undertaking gardening and can lead to surgery. You should wear goggles when hammering nails, sawing or anything that can involve debris entering the eye.

If you do get hit in the eye with something first factor in your vision, then the pain. If you vision is not affected, it should be enough to apply an ice pack. If your vision is affected or you have a penetrating injury you must seek immediate attention from an eye doctor, eye clinic or A&E.

4. Chemicals:

If you get into a swimming pool and it stings your eyes it can mean the chemicals are not balanced correctly, this is unlikely to affect your vision and tends to be a comfort concern. If the water hurts your eyes it is always best to get out and rinse your eyes with clean water. If the pain continues you should seek medical attention, ideally with an eye doctor. You can soothe irritated eyes by using artificial tear drops.

Types Of Allergic Eye Disease

There are various types of allergic eye disease but the main types are seasonal, perennial and contact allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Here I will go through these types of allergic eye disease.

Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis

This type of eye disease, as its name suggests, is seasonal and affects people depending on the type of pollen, such as weed pollen; this is released in late autumn, tree pollen; this is released during spring, and grass pollen; this is released during the summer months. It normally comes as a side effect of hay fever. Common symptoms include irritated, red, and watery eyes. The eyelids can be swollen or puffy.

Perennial Allergic Conjunctivitis

This eye allergy has the same symptoms as the seasonal form but they occur all year round instead of certain times depending on air pollen. The symptoms of this type of eye disease are generally milder than its seasonal cousin. With this year round allergy, people have a response to mold, pet hair, dust and other domestic allergens.

Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis

This type of allergic eye disease is a form of eye allergy that is severe and involves the inner lower lid lining but can also include the cornea. Atopic keratoconjunctivitis mainly affects young adults but can persevere for years and can occur all year round. A lot of people who suffer with this type of eye allergy usually suffer allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and sometimes asthma. Symptoms can include burning, intense itching, redness and the production of thick mucus. Common causes are dust mites and pet hair amongst others. If atopic keratoconjunctivitis is left untreated complications can occur such as corneal scarring and infection, this is why it is very important to seek attention from an eye doctor if you feel you suffer from this type of allergy.

Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis is more serious than some other types of eye allergies. It mainly affects boys and young men who mostly have a family history of allergies or have eczema or asthma. Symptoms include itching, photophobia, foreign body sensation, intense tearing and thick mucus production. Visually the eye area may be swollen and red and there are hard bumps underneath the upper eyelid. It can affect people all year round but symptoms can get worse seasonally. If left untreated this eye allergy may impair vision and in very severe circumstances can cause corneal ulcers leading to scarring.

Contact Allergic Conjunctivitis

This type of eye allergy is caused by contact lens irritation which is caused by an allergic reaction in the conjunctiva or it can be caused by the proteins found in tears binding to the surface of the lens. Symptoms include itching, redness, mucus and being uncomfortable in contact lenses. It is best to go to your eye clinic if you feel you are suffering with this before it gets worse. Your eye specialist may recommend changing your contact lenses and/or contact lens solution.

Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that occurs in patients who suffer from diabetes. This condition causes progressive damage to the retina which makes the eyes more and more sensitive to light. Since this condition occurs in patients who suffer from diabetes, it is a tough condition which can damage the eyes and cause loss of vision when avoided. It is essential to consider Diabetic retinopathy treatment as soon as the condition is identified. Diabetes is a condition where the body begins to store excessive sugar and thus causes damage. Over a period of time, this condition affects the eyes and causes Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes prevents the blood from flowing in the body and this slowly becomes a problem with the retina.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused with the tiny blood vessels in the eyes get damaged and begin to leak. This causes blood deposits on the lens of the yes. It also results in swelling of the retinal tissue and cloud vision. Diabetic retinopathy usually occurs in both eyes at the same time. A patient who has been suffering from diabetes for a long time is prone to getting Diabetic retinopathy. It is essential to treat this condition as soon as possible because when left untreated it can cause blindness in a patient.
Some of the most common symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy include the following
�Cloud vision or seeing spots while trying to focus on an object.
�Blurred or distorted vision.
�A dark or empty spot in the way of your vision.
�Difficulty in seeing objects at night.
Diabetic retinopathy is more common amongst patients who have high blood sugar levels which are not controlled for a long time. The high level of blood sugar prevents the blood from flowing thus causing accumulation of fluids in the eyes causing a tiny cell damage. This damage leads to the leakage of fluids and blood into the eyes thus causing a swelling in the eye. This swelling results in a disrupted vision. One of the best ways to avoid Diabetic retinopathy is to keep the blood sugar levels in control.
It is always advised for a diabetic patient to visit an eye doctor for a detailed eye examination regularly. Always ensure you get a checkup even if you find the slightest discomfort with your eyes. The sooner the condition is detected, the easier it is for Diabetic retinopathy treatment.
Diabetic retinopathy treatment is not uncommon, however the sooner the treatment begins the lesser the risk of permanent vision loss. Treating this condition in earlier stages is easier and can be done with medication. Diabetic retinopathy treatment at later stages involve laser surgery procedures.
All diabetic patients should control their diabetes in order to avoid Diabetic retinopathy. Regular exercise, a daily walk and controlling what you eat can help you avoid Diabetic retinopathy. This condition is not genetic, and is only found in patients with erratic blood sugar levels. So keep your diabetes in control for a healthy body.

Treating Myopia The Right Way

The main cause of Myopia is the shape of the eyes. Normal eyes are curved slightly, while patients who suffer from Myopia have an elongated eyeball which does not allow the light to refract correctly. This causes images to look blurry and distorted. Myopia is not a genetic disorder. Parents with perfect eyesight can still have a child who is myopic. Myopia needs to be treated on time since it can worsen. The condition usually occurs at a very early age and worsens as the child grows. If your child complains about constant headaches and difficultly in focusing on objects it is advised to get their eyes checked. The sooner Myopia is detected the faster you can begin Myopia treatment. Myopia is a condition that can get worse when ignored, so make sure you take the right measures to identify it soon. Most Myopia patients confirm that although the condition worsened during their childhood, it stabilized once they reached adulthood.
If you are a parent, look out for the early symptoms of myopia in your child to make sure you diagnose it early. Some of the most common symptoms include the following
�Difficulty in focusing on objects that are far away such as the blackboard.
�Constant squinting while attempting to focus on distant objects.
�Headaches due to eyestrain.
�Adults with myopia will find it difficult to drive and focus on road signs.
�Difficulty to see at night.
�Children with Myopia will sit very close to the television or the computer to focus on the screen.
�They will hold books very close to them.
�Failure at identifying people or objects at a distance.
�Excessive blinking.
�Constant eye rubbing.
Although Myopia is not a genetic condition, a child is more prone to suffering from Myopia when either one or both parents suffer Myopia. The number of children who suffer from Myopia is going up these days which is why it is essential to take your child for regular eye checkups.
There are a number of methods that can be used for Myopia treatment. Since Myopia is mostly found in children, the most common way to treat it is with eyeglasses. These glasses help the light reflect correctly and enable a person to focus on distant objects with ease. As a child grows they can switch to using contact lenses if they aren’t comfortable using eyeglasses.
There are a number of jobs that require a person to have clear vision. These jobs are now also available for a myopia patient thanks to the laser surgery options that are available. These surgeries help to repair the lens of the eye and enable a myopic patient to see without the use of eyeglasses or lenses