Have you ever wondered what is wrong with your eyes?

blue eye

SOME USEFUL DEFINITIONS of EYE PROBLEMS

Ingrown Eyelashes / Trichiasis

Ingrown eyelashes are a fairly common problem affecting both males and females of all Nationalities and affecting a wide age group.

The medical name for ingrowing eyelashes is “Trichiasis” pronounced tri-ke-a-sis.

Ingrowing eyelashes or trichaisis is a painful and potentially damaging eye condition, where the eyelashes grow inwards towards the eye.

The constant rubbing of those eyelashes on the cornea can lead to infection and eventual scarring and vision problems. Ingrowing eyelashes can be of a normal colour and thickness or very fine and white or pale and are extremely hard to see. There is no permenant cure. The only solution being to remove the offending eyelashes.

Even one ingrown eyelash causes pain and irritation to the eye, with soreness, watering and redness of the eye being present until the offending ingrowing eyelashes are removed.

They need to be attended to promptly so that further eye problems will be avoided.


Check www.owneye.com for a useful instrument to help you to see an ingrown eyelash magnified so large that you can remove it easily.

Often people who suffer ingrown eyelashes also have dry eyes and possibly blepharitis. See the articles on dry eyes on this blog. An article on Blepharitis will be available soon.

Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism & Presbyopia

Short sight (myopia) and long sight (hyperopia) are common conditions, both caused by the cornea and lens not focusing properly on the retina.

Myopia

Myopia, better known as  near sightedness or short-sightedness, is the most common type of refractive error and is a condition that results in blurred distance vision. This occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature. If you have myopia, objects in the distance appear out of focus and may lead you to squint or strain when trying to see distant objects clearly.

Short sight (myopia) is where the eyeball is elongated or the lens is too thick, causing the image to focus in front of the retina.

Symptoms: The main symptom of myopia is blurred vision. If you are myopic, you have trouble viewing things at a distance such as the blackboard, television or street signs. The blurred vision can be worse at night and can also contribute to headaches and eyestrain

Hyperopia

Hyperopia, sometimes referred to as far sightedness or long-sightedness, results when structural defects in the eye cause your vision to be blurry. This can include the cornea having too little curvature or the eyeball being too short, causing light entering the eye to focus incorrectly. If you have hyperopia, you see distant objects more clearly than close objects, though both near and distant vision may be affected, and you may have trouble focusing when performing tasks such as reading or sewing.

Long sight (hyperopia) is where the eyeball is too short or the lens too thin, causing the image to focus behind the retina.

Symptoms: The main symptom of hyperopia is blurred vision, especially when viewing close objects. If you have hyperopia, you may also experience frequent headaches; aching eyes or eyestrain; blurred vision, especially at night; and difficulty performing tasks up close, such as  reading or sewing.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the normal worsening of near vision with age. As middle age approaches, the eyes’ lenses tend to thicken and lose flexibility. The ability of the lens to bend allows your eyes to focus on objects at varying distances. The loss of this ability means that the vision declines and typically close objects begin to appear blurry or fuzzy, as they cannot be brought into focus.

Symptoms: As with all of these conditions, a common symptom of presbyopia is blurred vision due to an inability to focus on objects at different distances, but especially up close. If you notice yourself needing to hold a book or newspaper farther from your face to focus on it, you are probably developing presbyopia.

Age and genetics are the two primary contributing factors to these eye conditions.

Recent research has indicated a link between close work, such as reading and the development and progression of short or nearsightedness (myopia). Studies show that people in professions that involve extensive reading have higher degrees of nearsightedness.

Researchers don’t fully understand why some people develop hyperopia or astigmatism and others don’t. Some contributing factors to astigmatism may include: the weight of the upper eyelid resting on the eyeball, blunt eye trauma, scarring in the cornea from causes like infections or surgery, or changes in corneal shape following eye surgery.

As you age, your eyes lose the ability to change the shape of the lens to focus on near objects (accommodation). Known as presbyopia and typically noticed after age 40, this is unavoidable. Once you find yourself reaching for eyeglasses to read or see items up close, it’s an indication presbyopia is setting in.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is also a very common refractive error responsible for blurry vision and often occurs in combination with myopia or hyperopia. The inability of the eye to focus clearly at any distance because of uneven curvatures of the cornea is known as astigmatism. Instead of having uniform curvatures in all meridians, astigmatic corneas have more curvature in one meridian than the others. Corneas with pronounced astigmatism are shaped more like a football than a well-rounded soccer ball.

Symptoms: Most people with astigmatism experience distorted vision at all ranges. If you are only slightly affected, you may not notice that much is wrong with your vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism include blurring of small print causing difficulty in reading and the inability to see both near and far without squinting.

Ref. Alcon Pty Ltd

Interesting Statistics

Worldwide Presbyopia (age related) = 1.04 billion predicted to grow to 1.4 billion by 2020

Worldwide Myopia (short sighted)     = 1.6 billion predicted to grow to 2.5 billion by 2020

Myopia is increasing due to a massive growth in computer screen & text activity.

(ref ICCE ) ref Vision CRC

Globally in 2008 there were approximately 670 million people with significant vision impairment.
( ref. Prof. Brein Holden )

The most common long-term conditions that affected the health of older persons in 2001 included diseases of the eye, particularly

Hyperopia/ long-sightedness  =46%

Myopia/ short sightedness       =31%

Presbyopia/ age related = 34%

Diseases of the eye increased consistently with age: the reported prevalence of long-sightedness was 24% and presbyopia 7% for persons aged 15-64 years in 2001.

The most commonly reported conditions were diseases of the eye in 2005 (90%), particularly

Hyperopia/long sightedness  = 62%,

Myopia / short sightedness 35%.

presbyopia/ age related               = 14%


Below are figures for 2007- 2008

The most commonly reported long-term conditions in 2007/2008 were problems with eyesight affecting 60% of adults.

Hyperopia / Long sightedness = 29% males & 36% females

Myopia / Short sightedness        = 25% males & 31% females

Which means that although these statistics are not up to date there is significant growths in hyperopia, myopia and presbyopia especially in a constantly increasing ageing Worldwide population.

Both long and short sightedness can be overcome by wearing glasses.

** Therefore it is MOST important to have your eyes checked regularly, ideally every one or two years.

Global Eye care

There is an explosion in the need for eye care worldwide, with billions of people in the world needing spectacles/ glasses.

This figure is growing rapidly, driven by:

  1. A massive growth in the number of people with myopia due to increased urbanisation and text  and screen-based activity (near work). For example, in Singapore a series of studies has shown an increase in myopia in males aged 15-25, from 26% of this group in the late 1970s, to 83% in the late 1990s [Wu 2001, Au Eong 1993, Chew 1988].

It is estimated that the number of people with myopia worldwide will grow from the current figure of 1.6 billion to 2.5 billion by 2020 [ICEE data 2002].

  1. An ageing population means that presbyopia (an age-related difficulty of focusing on near objects) will soon affect over 40% of the world’s population. A recent study has put the number of people with presbyopia at 1.04 billion – estimated to grow to 1.4 billion by 2020 [Brien Holden et al. 2008].

These figures were collated from many sources and were accurate at the time of writing this article. Up to date statistics were not available as yet, but indications show that figures are predicted to grow substantially, especially due to our obsession with computers and mobile / cell phones. We strain our eyes constantly and need to rest our eyes often when using these important items in our daily lives.

Again it is very important to have eye tests regularly and to really take care of your eyesight.


It is one of the most precious gifts we have and must not to be taken for granted.

More definitions coming soon….what is Blepharitis??

Ten Symptoms of Dry Eye

close up blue eye

Dry Eye

Dry Eye affects approximately 16% of Australians and around 10 million Americans.

The medical term for this condition is “keratoconjunctivitis sicca”

 Pronounced  (ker-uh-to-kun-junk-ti-VIE-tis sik-uh).

Dry Eye is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Dry Eye is a very common problem with a gritty or sandy feeling in the eye and often redness of the eye. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or the composition of the tears causes them to evaporate too quickly, you can be prone to dry eye.  Dry eye causes excessive tears that burn and itch, which sounds the opposite to the name “dry eye”.

The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eye symptoms. Without tears, good vision is impossible, so tears are vital to good eye health. Tears not only wash out dust etc but also help keep the eye surface moist.

Ten Symptoms of Dry Eye

1. Irritation and itching.

2. Sore red eyes.

3. Gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes.

4. Burning or stinging sensation.

5. Excessive tears or watery eyes.

6. Blurring of vision.

7. Stringy mucus in or around your eyes.

8. Eye fatigue after short periods of reading or working on computer

9. Sensitivity to light

10. Increased eye irritation from smoke or wind

*** Please check with your Doctor or Eye Care Professional for advice, especially if you have these symptoms and they persist for more than a few days.

 Factors Contributing to Dry Eye

* Ask  your Doctor about the side effects.

Dry Eye Treatments

Treating dry eye is important not only for your comfort but also for your eye health. Left untreated dry eye syndrome can lead to eye inflammation and problems with your cornea.

 ** Ask your Eye Care Professional for advice with Dry Eyes as everyone has individual needs.

***Please treat this information as a general guide only and always consult your Doctor or Eye Care Professional before trying any treatment suggested above.

“TheraTears” gets good reports for helping with dry eyes. Recently it has been found that dry eyes can be helped by a daily dietary supplement of Omega-3 essential fatty acid using “TheraTears Nutrition” (Omega-3 supplement with flaxseed and fish oils and Vitamin D).

“BioTears” also gets good reports.

*NB I have not used any of theses products so cannot make personal observations, however I do use a product called “TheraTears SteriLid” Eyelid cleanser that I find very good for help with Blepharitis and general crustiness in my eyes. It  has worked for me.

** Coming soon in my blog, I will review the Dry Eye Chapter in “The Eye Care Revolution. Prevent and Reverse Common Vision Problems” by Robert Abel Jr. MD

** Coming soon a blog on “Blepharitis…what is it?”

Ingrowing Eyelashes are a pain!

INGROWING EYELASHES are a PAIN!close up blue eye

 Anyone with ingrown eyelashes knows this is SO true!

Constant rubbing of those eyelashes can cause serious damage to your eye.

The frustration of having something in your eye constantly and not being able to remove it, is intense.

I have had chronic trichiasis ( the fancy name for Ingrowing Eyelashes) for many many years so I do know what all of my fellow sufferers are going through. I have Distichiasis also which is basically two rows of eyelashes with sometimes two lashes growing from the same follicle, and most of  this second row grow towards my eye (of course).

 two eyelashes view in OEM

These problem eyelashes often are white and very fine, so seeing them against the white of the eye is a challenge.  You can see a fine white eyelash here next to a normal one for comparison. Photo was taken holding the  eyelashes with Ergonomic Tweezers, looking into my Own Eye Magnifier. This tiny white eyelash is hard to see even with good eyes.

 

My next huge challenge is that as I age  my eyesight is deteriorating too, so without my glasses on even seeing my face is a problem , let alone those tiny eyelashes! Without my glasses the World is a total blur.

It doesn’t stop there as I have dry eye and blepharitis just for good measure. So when I talk about these eye problems it is not as someone who is quoting words that I have learned BUT as someone who has lived with these eye problems and most of them for a very long time.

This blog came about because there are  lots of people having these same challenges and it is time we were able to “talk among ourselves” about eye problems and to share our knowledge and hints. Those of us suffering with eye problems often feel we are alone in our pain and that we should not make a big fuss because there are so many really ill people out there who are so much worse off  BUT eye issues DO affect our everyday lives.

To us it is a very important subject indeed! A subject worthy of discussion and comments, so please tell me what your experience has been, share it with the World and maybe we can all keep each other informed. Some of the so called “Experts” seem to want us kept in the dark so let us share hints and our stories.

We have power so let us use it!

I did promise the next blog was going to be about Dry Eye and so it will be. Coming very soon, the Dry Eye blog post.

Ingrown Eyelashes / Trichiasis

Ingrown Eyelashes / Trichiasis

close up blue eye

 

 

 

 

 

Ingrown eyelashes are a fairly common problem affecting both males and females of all Nationalities and affecting a wide age group.

The medical name for ingrowing eyelashes is “Trichiasis”

pronounced tri-ki-a-sis.

Ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis is a painful and potentially damaging eye condition, where the eyelashes grow inwards towards the eye.

 The constant rubbing of those eyelashes on the cornea can lead to infection and eventual scarring and vision problems. Ingrowing eyelashes can be of a normal colour and thickness or very fine and white or colourless and are extremely hard to see. From many years of personal experience, I find that the normal thicker eyelashes can scratch the eye BUT those fine, colourless lashes are extremely irritating and tend to tickle the eye constantly.

Ingrown eyelashes cause pain and irritation to the eye, with soreness, watering and redness of the eye being present until the offending ingrowing eyelashes are removed.

They need to be attended to promptly so that further eye problems will be avoided.

**There is an excellant optical instrument that helps you to see those eyelashes.   Go to www.owneye.com

Symptoms of Ingrowing Eyelashes:

Possible Causes of ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis:

**Stye also known as Hordeolum is a red tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid.

Treatments for ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis:

     Some relief may be obtained by applying hot ( not too hot) and cold compresses to  reduce swelling,  always ask advice from a Professional.      

Removal of offending ingrown eyelashes seems to be the only effective solution.

However, most eyelashes grow back in approximately 4 to 8 weeks.

 Those suffering for trichiasis often have a condition called “dry eye” too.

** NB Dry Eye will be the topic of our next discussion.

Treatments by Optical Professionals

Distichiasis

 “Distichiasis” pronounced dis-ti-ki-a-sis

Distichiasis  is another type of abnormal growth of eyelashes from the eyelid, where there is often an additional row of eyelashes that turn in towards the eye.Two hairs can grow from a single follicle and these lashes often grow towards the eye.

***Symptoms and Treatment for Distichiasis are the same as for Trichiasis.

NB. Please always seek professional help and advice from your Eye Specialist or Optical Professional.

The information included  here is to be used only as a guide.

***To see a useful instrument to help you see your ingrown eyelashes go to

www.owneye.com

 

 

7 Simple things you can easily do to care for your eyes.

Welcome to the Eye Care Problems site.

This is our first blog post!

Blue eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our eyesight is one of our most precious gifts. It is essential that you take care of your eyes and the eyes of your loved ones.

 

Our aim is to provide you with up to date information, tips and useful products to help you to care for your eyes.

 We focus on your eye care needs.

 

If you have any questions regarding eye care problems or eye products please write to us and we will do our best to obtain answers for you.

We are not experts ourselves but do have access to Professional people who are willing to answer your questions.

 

The information we are providing is to be used as suggestions only. Please check with an Eye Specialist or Eye Professional.

 

There are a lot of people with various eye care problems that may sometimes be helped by simple steps. There are general things we can do to help avoid undue eye problems.

 

Of course, if you have serious eye problems, an Eye Specialist or Professional must attend to these conditions without delay.

 

There are lots of us who have constantly sore irritated eyes for one reason or another. We often work in air–conditioned offices, spending hours at computer screens straining our eyes in the process. We often forget to do simple things like blink regularly or drink water to keep ourselves plus our eyes properly hydrated. Even if you work outdoors hot sun, wind, dry conditions and dust can irritate eyes.

There are many areas where our eyes are vulnerable.

 

The good news is there are simple steps we can take to help our eyes.

 

7 Simple Things you can easily do to care for your Eyes.

 

1.     Get your eyes checked regularly.  Eye Professionals suggest having eyes checked every 2 years, especially after you turn 40.

 

2.     Drink more water to hydrate your eyes as well as your body.

 

3.     Blink or rest your eyes more frequently, especially while reading, watching television or when using the computer. Blinking helps prevent evaporation of the tear film that protects the eyes.

 

4.     Change your focus periodically while reading, doing close work such as sewing, while watching television or working at the computer. When driving for long stretches alternate between close  and distant objects for less eye fatigue. Changing focus by looking at another object a distance away helps your eye muscles and helps prevent eyestrain.

 

5.     Eat a balanced healthy diet with plenty of fresh red, yellow and orange fruit and vegetables that are especially high in Vitamins necessary for good eye health. Eating dairy foods, nuts, whole grains, fish and fish oil, lean meat and liver seems to be more effective than nutritional supplements. ** NB. Overuse of some vitamin supplements in addition to these foods, may result in toxicity. Ask a professional for advice.

 

6.     Wear sunglasses outdoors in bright sunshine, also when there is  glare from the sun or snow and on a windy day. Wrap around glasses are particularly good. ** NB. Always avoid looking directly into the sun, especially through binoculars etc.

 

7.     Wear protective eyewear or goggles when in the workshop or when cutting the grass, edge trimming, tree trimming etc and also when doing any activity at home or work where there is flying debris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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