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A lot of us have suffered from some type of eye problems at one time or another. While some are small and easy to treat at home, others need the attention of a specialist eye doctor.

Whether things have “appeared” to be too clear recently, or you’ve always had a vision issue, you can definitely improve your eye health and achieve better vision. Read on to find out about common eye problems and what causes them.

Eyestrain

If you’ve ever been reading continuously, sitting in front of a computer, or driving long distances for hours, you know what this is like. Eyes, just like other parts of the body, need rest. Eyestrain happens when you overuse your eyes and don’t give them that rest.

If you experience eye strain, take some rest and soothe your eyes. This will usually make the strain go away, but if it still persists, check with a doctor to make sure it isn’t something else.

Red Eyes

Your eyes almost look “vampire” eyes. Ever wondered why this is? It’s because the eye surface is covered with blood vessels that expand when they are infected or when irritated. This expansion gives them the red appearance. This symptom, however, can be the result of various factors. For example, even eystrain can cause it, in addition to getting less sleep or even allergies.

Other times this may be due to an injury, for example something colliding with the eye. In this case it’s usually necessary to get it checked by a medical expert and acsertain the extent of the issue, plus treatment.

Apart from routine stress and injuries, eye conditions can also be the cuplrit. For example, conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye). In this case, OTC eye drops and rest will usually make the infection go away, but it’s best to consult a doctor.

Night Blindness

If it’s too hard to see at night, especially while you drive, you might be experiencing night blindness. Also see if its hard to find your way around dark places, for example a basement or a closed room.

Night blindness is typically a symptom, as opposed to an eye condition. Meaning, doctors can fix it by honing in on the exact nature of the problem: cataracts, vitamin A deficiency, nearsightedness, etc. can all be contributing factors and doctors can resolve them to restore vision to normal.

In other cases treatment migth not be so easy, or unfortunately possible at all. For example, when the problem is by birth, or when the retina might be affected due to a degenerative disease.

Lazy Eye

Also known as amblyopia, this happens due to the lack of proper development of one eye. The weaker eye tends to move around “lazily” while the other eye stays normal. However, this rarely affects both of the eyes. Unfortunately it’s found in all age groups. And if it involves infants and children, treatment must be sought immediately. This is so that future problems can be avoided and the issue is treated right during the early stages. Treatment options include

  • corrective glasses
  • contact lenses
  • using a patch
  • other methods to make a child use the affected eye

Cross Eyes

If the eyes don’t line up with each other when people look at something, it could well be a case of “strabismus”, or crossed eyes. This problem won’t go away by itself, and needs specialist attention from an ophthalmologist or eye specialist. Another similar condition is called “nystagmus”, where one eye moves on its own. In terms of treatment options, doctors will examine and determine the best option, but these include vision therapy to make the eyes stronger, as well as surgery.

Colorblindness

According to the Vision Eye Institute of Australia, colour blindness affects 8% of males and 0.4% of females. This condition occurs when you can’t see certain colors at all, or can’t tell the difference between some of them, for example green and brown. The cause is attributed to the color cells in the eye not working properly, or being absent.

In severe, but rare cases, a person may only see in shades of gray. Most affected people are born with this issue, but it can also develop later in life as a result of certain diseases or drugs. The diagnosis of this condition is a relatively simple test where the subject is shown various images and instructed to decipher what they see. And while there’s no treatment for those born with it, advances in science have made it possible to produce special contacts and glasses that can help color blind people tell the difference between various colours.

Dry Eyes

You might feel like something has gotten in your eye or experiencing a burning sensation. This happens when your eyes can’t produce enough moisture in the form of tears.

The first thing to see is if there’s a lack of moisture in your surroundings. In this case, you might need a humidifier around the home. If it’s not in the surrounding, then you might need special eye drops that produce tears or plugs in your tear ducts to reduce drainage.

A more natural way of controlling this condition is taking supplements with fish oil and Omega-3. If the problem persists, you may have dry eye disease and in these cases, a doctor can prescribe medication to stimulate tear production.

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next Optometry appointment. Click on the following locations to find an optometrist in your state or territory.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.