General Interest (Dry Eye, Conjunctivitis, etc.) - Treatments

Color blindness (color vision deficiency) is a condition in which certain colors cannot be detected. There are two types of color vision difficulties: congenital (inherited) problems that you have at birth, and problems that develop later in life.

Complaints of eye discomfort and fatigue are becoming more common as the use of computer screens increases. While it is true that computer screens can cause eyestrain, there is no convincing evidence that they can harm the eyes. 

Your eyes constantly produce tears at a slow and steady rate so that they stay moist and comfortable. Some people are not able to produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy or comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye.

The most common type of eye injury that needs immediate action is a chemical burn. Alkaline materials (lye, plaster, cement, and ammonia) can cause severe damage and even blindness. Solvents, acids, and detergents also can be very harmful to the eye. Eyes should be flushed liberally with water if exposed to any of these agents. 

Normal vision, or 20/20 vision, means that a person can read the smallest letters or see the pictures on an eye chart when standing 20 feet away from the chart. Some people cannot see normally even with eyeglasses or contacts because a medical condition affects their vision. These people are called visually impaired or visually disabled.

Any activity where something might fly at the eye puts the eye at risk for an injury. Over one million people suffer eye injuries each year in the United States. Almost 50% of these accidents occur at home, and more than 90% of them could have been prevented. 

Refractive errors occur when light does not focus properly on the retina because of the shape of the eye. The resulting image is blurred. Common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (aging eyes). 

A complete eye examination does more than determine how clearly you see from a distance and which lens prescription, if necessary, will give you the best possible vision. Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) will also run a number of tests to check the health and function of your entire eye. 

“Pink eye,” the common name for conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the outer, normally clear covering of the sclera (the white part of the eye). The eye appears pink when you have conjunctivitis because the blood vessels of the conjunctiva are dilated. Pink eye is often accompanied by a discharge, but vision is usually normal and discomfort is mild. 

Myth: Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.

Fact: Although reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.

 

Myth: Using a computer screen is harmful to the eyes. 

Fact: Although using a computer screen is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes. 

Infections, inflammation, glaucoma, and many other eye disorders often are treated with medicated eyedrops. 

It is important to remember that all medicines can have side effects. Surprisingly, even the small amount of medication in an eyedrop can create significant side effects in other parts of the body. There are ways to decrease the absorption rate of the eyedrop into the system and to increase the time the eyedrop is on the eye, making the medicine safer and more effective. 

People who lose vision in one eye because of an injury or a medical condition must adapt to a narrower field of vision and loss of depth perception. They may still see small objects as well as before, assuming the other eye is normal.

The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for many people a pair of eyeglasses is both unaffordable and unobtainable. The donation of old but useful eyeglasses to the needy in the US and abroad can help solve this problem.

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