Common Eye Problems
Refractive errors that cause a distortion or blurred vision are the most frequently reported eye problems. Refractive errors include myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distortions at all distances) and presbyopia (the ability to focus up close), which typically occurs in individuals between 40-50 years old. These conditions can be corrected through eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness which can eliminate the need for glasses or contacts.
Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily. LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.
Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.
Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily change shape to focus on distant and near objects. As we age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately. Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties. Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting lens implants.
What is a chalazion?
A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid resulting from a blocke oil gland. Often, you might not know you have a chalazion developing as there is usually little or no pain. But as it continues to grow, your eyelid may become red, swollen, and tender or painful to touch. If the chalazion rows large enough, it can press on your eye and cause blurred vision. In some cases, the whole eyelid may swell and be difficult to open.
What is a stye?
A stye (also called a hordeolum) is a small, red, painful bump that grows from the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid. Sometimes a stye may look like a pimple on your eyelid. Styes are frequently caused by a bacterial colonization. There are two kinds of styes, external and internal.
An external stye typically occurs near the base of your eyelashes. Most are caused by an infection at the root of the hair follicle. These are the type that most often resemble a pimple.
An internal stye occurs on the inside of your eyelid. Most often these are caused by an infection in an oil-producing gland inside your eyelid.
You may be more prone to developing styes if you have blepharitis. This is a condition that causes your eyelids and at the base of your eyelashes to appear red and swollen and is often accompanied by crusting in the corners of your eye or on the eyelashes.
What treatments are there for chalazions and styes?
Treatment for chalazions and styes ranges form simple additions to your daily hygene ritual for early and mild cases to medication or surgical incision and drainage for the more severe cases. To determine what the most appropriate remedy is for these conditions, you will need to consult with your eye care provider for guidance.
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