Eye Safety Checklist

Our eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in our body and are highly vulnerable to irritation, scratches and dreadful injuries. Therefore, our eyes need extra care to maintain a good vision.

Fortunately, there are several different ways how you can keep your eyes safe from injuries. Here, we have presented a short checklist for ensuring the safety of your eyes.

  • Identifying risk hazards

The first and foremost step to keeping your eyes safe is identifying the risk hazards. We are all surrounded by risk factors for eye injuries such as sprays, projectiles, and sharp/pointed edges.

If you are working in a room or a workshop, you need to identify and evaluate the risk factors. This way, you can prepare and assess eye safety accordingly.

Some of the most common types of risk hazards in a workplace include Chemicals, Flying Debris, Biohazards, Radiations, and other irritants. It is also important to identify other additional hazards posed by tools and machinery.

  • Take safety precautions while working (create a safe workplace)

It is important to wear safety gears such as helmet and protective eyewear while working in a workshop. You stand at an increased risk of eye injuries such as scratches, irritation, and corneal abrasion while in a workshop. So, apart from wearing protective wear, you should also minimize the risk factors by creating a safer workplace.

For instance, if the machinery in the workshop poses eye injury threat with flying debris and projectile, then assess these factors and minimize them. If this is not possible, put a warning sign so that visitors can take safety steps prior to entering the risk zone.

  • Be cautious with spectacles and contact lenses (don’t use beyond recommended use date)

Spectacles and contact lenses come as a great help in correcting visual acuity but did you know that they pose risk for eye injury as well? The eyes are most vulnerable to injuries caused by spectacles while playing sports, during falls, or engaging in any physical activity. So, make sure that you don’t wear spectacles while pursuing any physical or outdoor activity. This is in special regard with the kids as they are often reckless while playing.

Similarly, contact lenses are a great alternative to spectacles but are just as risky to the eyes. There are instances where people forget to take off their lenses and sleep while wearing them. Doing this can cause scratches and corneal abrasion.

Also, you need to be careful while cleaning the contact lenses. To avoid irritation and infection, clean the lenses as per the instruction given by the doctor or optometrist.

  • Wear eye protection during sports and in school laboratories

Sports-related eye injuries are the most common type of eye injuries in children. It is therefore crucial for children to be instructed for wearing eye protection gear in any sports.

School laboratory is another important risk factor for eye injuries in children. Laboratory professionals should instruct children to wear safety glasses and gloves while inside the room.

  • Avoid facewash and soaps getting into the eyes

Often, we are careless when washing our face with facewash, scrubs, and cleaning soaps. When these get into the eyes, it can cause irritation, severe itching, allergic reactions and pain. In some cases, it may even cause temporary blurriness in vision. So, avoid the eye area whenever you wash your face with these types of cleansers.

  • Limit the use of eye make-up

Most women who use eye make-ups aren’t aware of the fact that they pose a great threat to the eyes. Almost all eye make-ups contain harmful chemicals that can cause irritation and allergy to the eyes.

Taking certain precautions while using make-up is essential for ensuring eye safety. Health experts recommend replacing your eye make-up with new ones twice a year. Also, make sure that you don’t share your eye make-up with your friends.

Don’t wear eye make-up for too long – rinse them off as soon as you get home. Be careful while using false eyelashes as they can pose a pricking hazard.

  • Don’t use OTC eye drops

The practice of buying OTC eye drops to soothe eye itching or burning sensation is very harmful to the eyes as it can cause infection. There are instances where people go and buy the wrong eye drops. This can cause protein to build up in the eyes which can lead to vision impairment.
OTC eye drops can even cause severe irritation. So, if you face any discomfort in your eyes, consult a doctor and only buy the prescribed eye drop(s).

  • Wear waterproof glasses while swimming

Most swimming pools contain chlorine stabilizers and calcium added into the water for treatment. The added chemicals in swimming pool water can cause irritation, temporary blurry vision, and reddening of the eyes.
So, it is important that you wear swimming glasses that prevent water from reaching your eyes.

  • Wear sunglass while going out in the sun

Sunlight contains harmful UV rays which pose a great threat to the eyes. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause cataract and other dreadful eye complications. So, it is crucial that you wear sunglasses before going out in the sun. Make sure that you wear sunglasses which come with UV protection.

  • Have a plan (contact for medical assessment) for unexpected eye injuries

Eye injuries can occur anytime and anywhere. So, it is beneficial to have a plan to address eye injuries. For instance, you can learn the basic procedures for relieving eye injuries and keep the right first aid kit with you.

Or you can keep the contact number of the nearest hospital for emergency during serious eye injuries.

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Blepharitis: What’s it? Symptoms. Treatment. Hygiene Tips.

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Blepharitis is a common eye condition in which the eyelids get inflamed and become red and swollen, and can form dandruff-like scales on the eyelashes. People suffering from the condition may experience a burning sensation in their eyes.

Although some people experience only minor irritation; but if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to further complications such as misdirected or missing eyelashes, blurry vision, and inflammation of other eye tissue.

Let’s discuss different types of Blepharitis

Anterior Blepharitis – affects the outer edge of the eyelid, near the eyelashes.

Posterior Blepharitis – occurs at the inner edge of the eyelid which touches the eyeball.

Mixed Blepharitis – it is a combination of both Anterior Blepharitis and Posterior Blepharitis.

Causes

Blepharitis (in general) is caused either by bacteria or skin condition. Other causes of Blepharitis include Dry Eyes, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), Parasites (Demodex eyelash mites), and Fungal Eyelid Infection.

Anterior Blepharitis

There are two major reasons for Anterior Blepharitis – dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows (seborrheic blepharitis) or bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis). In normal circumstances, bacteria are found on the face and eyelids. But when they become excessive, the eye lid area gets affected.

Posterior Blepharitis

This type of Blepharitis generally occurs when there’s irregular production of oil in the eyelids. As a result, excessive oil presence creates a favourable environment for bacterial growth. Skin conditions such as scalp dandruff and Rosacea also cause Posterior Blepharitis to occur.

Mixed Blepharitis

Mixed Blepharitis is a combination of Anterior Blepharitis and Posterior Blepharitis.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of all types of Blepharitis include reddening and swelling of the eyelids. Other symptoms of the condition include:

  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Crusty or greasy eyelashes
  • Eyelids that stick together
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Abnormal eyelash growth
  • Uncomfortable feeling while wearing contact lens
  • Blurry vision
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Stinging sensation
  • Frequent blinking
  • Flaking of the skin around the eyes

Diagnosis

Blepharitis is generally diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. During the eye examination, the doctor lays special emphasis on the eyelids and the front surface of the eyeball.

Some of the steps taken during the eye exam include:

  • The doctor may go through the patient’s history to check whether there are any symptoms or health complications that are causing the disease.
  • The doctor will examine the lid margins, meibomian gland openings, and base of the eyelashes using magnification and bright light.
  • The doctor will also examine the eye as a whole – including eyelash appearance, skin texture, and lid structure.
  • The doctor will also evaluate the quality and quantity of tears to check for any abnormalities which might be fostering the development of the condition.

During the eye exam, the doctor will also check signs and appearance of the eyelid margin to determine the type of Blepharitis. The symptoms which help doctors to evaluate the type of Blepharitis include:

Meibomian Blepharitis – the signs include redness of the eyelids, poor quality of tears, and blockage of the oil glands in the eyelids.

Ulcerative Blepharitis – sign for this type of Blepharitis include chronic tearing of the front edge of the eyelids, eyelash loss, formation of hard crusts around the eyes and removal of the crusts leading to sores that bleed.

Seborrheic Blepharitis
– this type of Blepharitis is characterised by mild redness of the eyelids and formation of greasy flakes around the base of the eyelashes.

Staphylococcal Blepharitis – this type of Blepharitis is characterised by misdirected or missing eyelashes, thickened lid margins, and mildly sticking eyelids.

Treatment

Treatment for Blepharitis depends upon the type of the condition and cannot usually be cured. The most common form of treating Blepharitis is eyelid hygiene.

Here are some of the available treatments for Blepharitis.

Oily tear eye drops

Oily tear eye drops are helpful if there’s quick drying of the tears. These eye drops replace the oily layer of the tear film which reduces evaporation of tears from the surface of the eye.

Oral antibiotics

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics as they can be used as anti-inflammatory agents for three or four months. In some cases, other treatments don’t work for Blepharitis; in such situations, patients may require taking the antibiotic orally.

If it’s Rosacea that’s causing Blepharitis, then the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics during the starting of the treatment. Although patients may respond well during the first week of the treatment,doctors insist on completing the course of antibiotics.

Antibiotic drops and ointments

When regular cleaning is not effective for Blepharitis, the doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotic ointment, eye drops or creams. These are usually to be used for 4 to 6 weeks.

Patients are required to rub ointment gently on the edge of the eyelids using either cotton buds or clean fingers. Patients are required to do this only when the condition begins to improve.

When using the antibiotic eye drops, patients should avoid wearing contact lenses. This is because the eye drop builds up behind the lenses which may irritate the eyes and cause further complications.

Diet

Omega 3 helps in treating the condition or, at the least, improves it. Some of the foods that are high in Omega 3 protein include:

  • Fresh tuna ( and not the canned ones as they do not contain beneficial oils)
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

It is often advised that people with Blepharitis should eat at least two portions of fish a week. Other food sources of Omega 3 include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Soya and soya products
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Various nuts and seeds

Hygiene Tips

The key to relieving the symptoms and treating the condition is maintaining eyelid hygiene. Keeping the eyelid and lid margin clean is necessary as Blepharitis can reoccur.

Eyelid hygiene

If you have Blepharitis, then it is very important to clean your eyes and eyelids every day even if you aren’t experiencing any symptom or are on medication. Good eyelid hygiene can relieve the symptoms of the condition and even prevent it.

Some of the steps to keep the eyelids clean include:

Warm Compresses

This is one of the most common eyelid hygiene practices.

  • Take a bowl of lukewarm water
  • Soak a clean eye pad or a flannel in the lukewarm water and place it in the eyes for 10 minutes
  • Reheat the eye pad by soaking it in the warm water again

Lid Margin hygiene

Another great way to keep the eyelid clean is to buy commercially available (over the counter) eye drops from the market.

When you are diagnosed with Blepharitis, the doctor may prescribe you a suitable cleaning solution. It is very important that you continue to maintain lid margin hygiene for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Doing this helps to prevent the permanent scarring of the eyelid margins.

Eyelid massage

Massaging the eyelids may help relieve the discomfort caused by the condition. One of the best ways to massage the eye lids is to roll your little finger with a circular motion over the closed eyes.

Another way to massage the eyelids is to roll a cotton bud downwards gently towards the edge of the eyelids while keeping the eyes shut. Doing this helps to push out melted oil out of the glands. Repeat this process over several times.

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Eye Health Tips for Elderly

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With age your vision changes. Once you are in your 60s, you will notice changes in your vision that might even affect your day-to-day works. While this is normal but, the risk rate continues to increase with age, especially, if you have certain health conditions or eye conditions. However, when you know what to expect from your eyes as you age and when to seek help from eye experts, you can protect your vision for longer.

How your vision changes with Age?

Your vision starts to change as you get into your mid-40s. You may start to have problems seeing objects at close distances clearly. This is especially when you are reading something or working on the computer. This is the most common problem that adults develop as you get older. This is normal. It happens because your eye’s focusing ability is affected. This condition is known as presbyopia and it continues to progress with time.

You will notice that

  • Your eyes now take longer to focus and adjust or cannot adjust very well if you get into a poorly-lit area from a well-lit area or vice versa.
  • This problem in adjusting to dark and light is problematic if you drive. This becomes difficult if you have any eye condition that affects your peripheral vision or increase your sensitivity to light or glare. So, it’s better to avoid driving as you get older.
  • It has become tough for you to distinguish images from their background even if there are subtle gradations of tone. This condition is known as loss of “contrast sensitivity.”
  • You need more light to see clearly. You may notice that close-up tasks such as working on a laptop and reading are easier in areas with bright light. Also, you may see that printed materials appear less clear now. This happens because the lens of your eye loses its flexibility with time.
  • There are changes in your colour perception and it has become difficult for you to distinguish between different shades of colour. Even, the clear lens located inside your eye may start to discolour.
  • Your tear production has diminished. With age, the tear glands present in your eyes produce fewer tears. Women who are undergoing hormone changes with age (particularly post-menopausal women) are more likely to experience this. As a result, your eyes may feel irritated and dry. An adequate amount of tears is important for keeping your eyes healthy and for maintaining a clear vision.

As you age, you may initially see that holding reading materials at a distance is helping you in seeing them clearly. Or removing your glasses is helping you in seeing better up close. If you are using contact lenses or prescription glasses for near or distant vision, then these changes in your near vision can be easily corrected by using multifocal or bifocal lenses. Fortunately, if you have presbyopia, you have multiple options for improving your vision.

Source: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age

The “rod” cells in the eye that tend to degrade with age compared to the “cone” cells that help in visual acuity and colour vision. A number of environmental factors such a nutrition, excessive exposure to sun, and smoking affect the health and function of the rod cells.

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/seniors-vision-develop
https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age

Common Eye Problems that comes with Age

With age, you become vulnerable to a number of eye conditions. This includes:

1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

In this condition, the central part of the tissue lining the retina, known as Macula, gets damaged. The Macula helps in your central vision and as a result, tasks such as reading fine print become difficult. However, this doesn’t affect the peripheral or side vision. AMD is of two types.
The Dry type of AMD affects the majority of people. This condition is marked by a subtle and gradual loss of vision as the cells in the retina break down. For instance, straight lines may appear wavy to you or you may see just parts of letters. The dry type of AMD often advances into the wet type of AMD.

Symptoms of the Dry type of AMD include:

  • Hazy vision
  • You may need extra light or having vision issues when switching from bright to low light
  • You may have difficulty in reading or recognizing people’s faces
  • Colours will appear less vivid

The wet type of AMD is much severe and causes sudden loss of central vision. This happens as blood starts leaking from the blood vessels growing in or under your retina. As a result, you may see large dark spots in the centre of your vision field. If you see blind spots, then immediately consult an eye specialist.
Symptoms of wet type of AMD also include:

  • Distorted vision
  • The Same object appears different size for each eye
  • Colours become less vivid or you see same colour differently in each eye

You are more likely to develop AMD if you smoke or if you are obese or have a family history of AMD. Other risk factors include lack of essential nutrients, excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays.
There is no cure for AMD; however, there are ways to slow its progression, especially the wet macular degeneration. These are:

  • Anti-VEGF treatment that helps in limiting the growth of new blood vessels in your eyes.
  • Thermal laser treatment. This uses heat for slowing down the progression of the disease.
  • Photodynamic therapy. This is used for destroying the leaking blood vessels in the eye.

2. Glaucoma

This is a group of eye diseases resulting in vision loss. The increased pressure in your eye or poor circulation damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries images from the eye to the brain, helping in your vision.

Glaucoma develops slowly and usually doesn’t have any clear early symptom. You may not realise that you have it until you start losing your vision. Glaucoma can cause blindness. Age is one risk factor of Glaucoma. Other risk factors include:

  • a family history of glaucoma
  • If you have Hispanic or African ancestry
  • If you are high degree myopic or hyperopic
  • Past history of eye injury
  • Low blood pressure or high eye pressure
  • Diabetes

The doctor may suggest laser treatment, surgery or medications for treating Glaucoma.

3. Cataracts.

This is a condition where the lens of your eyes become cloudy and your vision becomes blurry. Cataract is a common problem that comes with ageing.

Symptoms often develop slowly and usually include:

  • Dim, cloudy and hazy vision. You may feel like looking through an extremely dirty windshield
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Problem in night vision or in low light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Light sensitivity
  • Colours appear faded. You may have trouble telling the difference between blues and greens
  • Difficulty in seeing an object with the same colour background.

Factors that increase your risk for developing cataract are:

  • Family history of cataracts
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • High cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

During initial stages, changing the contact lenses and eyeglasses prescription might help. Using a magnifying glass and brighter lights for reading or other close-up works may also help. If glare or halo is causing a problem then avoid driving at night. However, glare can be an issue during daytime as well. Ensure that your prescription is up-to-date. Use special tints to lessen glare. If cataract interferes with your day-to-day activities then consult an ophthalmologist who specialises in cataract surgery for removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with clear lens implants.

Other Retinal Diseases

1. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication when there’s an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina that leaks fluid or bleeds. You may experience blurred vision and have trouble reading.

Laser treatment can stop the leakage in early stages of the disease, thus, helping in preventing serious complications.

2. Retinal vessel occlusion is a complication that occurs with diabetes or glaucoma. It is a condition when a vein in the retina is blocked. You are at greater risk of developing this condition if you have high blood pressure or due to narrowing of the arteries.

Depending on the type of blockage you experience moderate levels of vision loss that comes and goes. You may even have sudden and severe vision loss accompanied by pain that may require immediate attention.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/age-related-vision#2-3

Eye Health Issues: Warning Signs

The 60s is also the time when you are at greater risk of developing sight-threatening conditions. All the eye troubles come with definite symptoms and early signs. Visit an eye specialist immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Fluctuating vision: Frequent changes in your visual clarity can be a sign of high blood pressure or diabetes. These are chronic conditions that damage the blood vessels in the retina. Sometimes this vision loss is permanent.
  • Seeing floaters and light flashes: You may also see spots or floaters in your vision field. In most cases, these floaters or shadowy images are nothing but of the particles floating in the liquid that covers the inside of the eye. They are bothersome at times but spots and floaters don’t harm your vision. They are a part of the eye’s natural ageing process. However, if you see that there is a sudden surge in the number of floaters then it’s a sign that there might be a tear in your retina and that it might have detached. This is a condition that deserves immediate medical attention for preventing serious vision loss.
  • Loss of peripheral vision: If you lose your peripheral or side vision, then it’s a sign that you might have Glaucoma. The most common form of Glaucoma doesn’t have any symptom unless your vision is affected.
  • Images becoming distorted: If images appear distorted, such as a straight line appears wavy or if you see an empty area in your central vision, it’s a sign of AMD. It affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for your central vision.

Source: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age

  • Keep your Eyes Healthy

There are several things that you can do to keep your eyes as healthy as possible in your 60s:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is essential for your eyes. Not eating eye-healthy nutrients is often one of the major causes of many eye conditions. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and fill your plate with different colours. It doesn’t only benefit your overall health but also shields you against eye conditions such as AMD and Cataract.
  • Wear sunglasses when out in the sun: The harmful UV rays can damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing cataracts. Whenever going out in the sun, wear sunglasses or contact lenses that have a UV filter.
  • Quit smoking: because it increases your risk of developing conditions such as AMD and cataracts.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, it increases your risk of diabetes, which may cause vision loss.
  • Increase the lighting: When you are in your 60s, your eyes need three times more light to see clearly than they did in your 20s. Poor lighting conditions can strain your eyes. So, improve the daylight in your home. Ensure your home has good electric lighting. Use direct light for reading and any kind of close-up work. Make sure that it doesn’t cause glare.
  • Exercise: because it improves the flow of oxygen and blood circulation to every part of your body including your eyes. This is important for maintaining a good eye health.
  • Get enough Sleep: It’s because when you sleep your eyes are continuously lubricated, thus helping in clearing dust and irritants that may have accumulated throughout the day.
  • Wear the right lenses: An eye test will establish whether you need a different prescription for your glasses or contact lenses. It’s important to wear the correct prescription lenses. This will improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of accidents such as falls.

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/over60s/Pages/eyehealth.aspx

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Common Eyelid Problems that you Shouldn’t Ignore

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The eyelid is a crucial part of your eyes. Anatomically, the eyelid has a complex structure. It has an anterior layer of skin, an orbicularis oculi muscle, and the posterior layers of tarsus and conjunctiva. The eyelid covers and protects the eyes from any kind of trauma, dust, and any other debris. The closure of eyelid helps in distributing tear film on the eye surface. And that is why the health of your eyelid is essential for the health of your eye. Infection and any kind of irritation can affect the health of your eyelids. Symptoms of eyelid problems include itching, swelling, excessive tearing, and redness.

Common Eyelid Problems

1. Blepharitis

This is one of the most common eyelid problems. It is the inflammation of the margin of the eyelid. The common symptoms of Blepharitis include:

  • Tearing
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • The sensation of a foreign particle inside the eyes
  • Crusting around the eyes after waking up

When examined closely, you will find that the eyelids and lashes are thick with crust and debris. Mild mucus discharge and conjunctival injection may also be present. This condition usually occurs due to chronic bacterial lid infection and other conditions such as acne rosacea that affects the eye (ocular rosacea), meibomian gland dysfunction, and seborrhea.

How to treat it?

Initially, you may treat this condition with warm compresses, antibiotic ointments, and eyelid scrubs. Apply warm compresses for 15 minutes for loosening the crusts and the eyelashes. Warm compresses help in melting the oil produced by the meibomian glands, which can obstruct the orifices of the gland. Scrub the eyelids once you have removed the crusts using Q-tip cotton swabs, washcloth or using your finger. The doctor may prescribe Erythromycin or any another antibiotic ointment that is to be applied to the margin of the eyelid. Since this ointment temporarily blurs the vision, it is better to apply it at bedtime. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotic eye-drops.

If the problem persists, the eye specialist may obtain eyelid cultures for ruling out any possibility of resistant organisms. The doctor may give your oral antibiotics. If ignored, severe blepharitis may cause corneal ulcers. This is a chronic disease and eyelid hygiene is extremely important for avoiding the disease.

2. Chalazion

This is a benign and painless bump or occurring inside the upper or lower eyelid. It is caused by healed internal styes. These styes are usually not infectious. These cyst-like bumps form around the meibomian gland (oil gland) present within the eyelid, causing swelling and redness of the eyelids. The chalazion is mainly filled with pus and blocked fatty secretions that usually help in lubricating the eye but doesn’t drain out. Often, chalazion drains and disappears. This is especially when you have used periodic warm compresses and gentle massage on the eyelid. However, some may persist for over several weeks and may also grow to such extent that it becomes cosmetically unappealing. A large chalazion presses the cornea, thus, causing temporary irregularity on your eye surface. It may also induce astigmatism, resulting in blurry vision.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/chalazion.htm

How to treat it?

Apply warm compresses for 15 minutes. Do this multiple times throughout the day. Visit a doctor. The doctor may give you a topical antibiotic if he or she finds any signs of infection are present. If the condition continues for over four weeks, It might require medical therapy and may be incised and drained.

3. Hordeolum or Stye

A hordeolum or a stye is a painful lump appearing either inside or outside the eyelid. It is an abscess which is filled with pus. A stye is caused by Staphylococcus Bacteria. Styes are extremely common and most of the people experience this at least once in their life. The external stye usually starts as a small spot appearing just next to your eyelash. Gradually it turns into a red and painful swelling. It usually lasts several days before it bursts and heals without any kind of treatment. Most of the external styes heal on their own and are short-lived. On the other hand, an internal stye appears on the underside of the eyelid. This also causes a painful reddish swelling. However, due to its location, the familiar whitehead doesn’t appear on the eyelid. The internal stye usually disappears completely after the infection is gone. However, it may also leave a fluid-filled cyst on the eyelid which may be opened and drained.

How to treat it?

Use a cloth soaked in warm water and apply it on the affected the area. Repeat this several times to reduce swelling and redness.

Source: https://www.webmd.boots.com/eye-health/guide/stye-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment

4. Seborrheic Keratosis

This is a non-cancerous lesion or skin growth commonly occurring in older adults. It is a brown or black coloured growth which is greasy, scaly and is slightly elevated. These result from excessive exposure to sun and are usually painless. Removal may require surgical excision. Visit a doctor if you get multiple lesions in a short time.

5. Actinic Keratosis

This condition is marked by rough, patchy, and scaly skin that develops due to constant exposure to the sun. This condition is also known as Solar Keratosis and unlike Seborrheic Keratosis, it can become cancerous. The doctor may perform excisional biopsy for identifying carcinoma-in-situ or dysplasia.

6. Nevus

Also known as freckle of the eye, a nevus is a coloured growth which is much similar to a mole on the skin. This is a pigmented or nonpigmented congenital lesion and may be slightly elevated as well. As you age, the nevus becomes more pigmented or elevated or cystic. The eye nevus is usually harmless. Nevus may appear either on the skin around your eyelids or inside the eye.

7. Xanthelasma

Have you ever seen yellowish growth around the eyelids? These soft yellowish plaques are actually fat deposit under the skin, known as Xanthelasma. This usually appears on the surface of the eyelids or the area surrounding it and indicates congenital disorders related to cholesterol. These are harmless but if you want, you can remove it. You have to undergo a carbon dioxide laser.

8. Molluscum Contagiosum

This is a skin infection caused by Molluscum Contagiosum virus. This virus produces bumps or lesions on the skin surface. If these bumps are present on the eyelids, it may also cause follicular conjunctivitis. This condition can be treated with, cryotherapy or curettage and excision.

9. Hydrocystoma

This is a translucent cyst that appears on the margin of the eyelid. It usually results from a blocked sweat gland in the eyelid. Complete excision needs to be performed for treating the condition.

10. Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of eyelid cancer. It usually appears in the lower eyelid and looks like a pearly nodule. If it appears along the margin of the eyelids then you may see eyelashes missing from that region of the growth. Although this does not metastasize, it Basal Cell Carcinoma can be locally invasive. The treatment involves surgical procedure. If surgery doesn’t seem appropriate, radiation and cryotherapy is also considered.

11. Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is less common condition but is extremely aggressive. It appears as lesions that are scaly, raised, and are centrally ulcerated. The lesions generally occur on the upper eyelid. They may arise from the regions of actinic keratosis. The treatment procedure is similar to that of basal cell carcinoma.

12. Sebaceous Carcinoma

Middle-aged and older adults generally suffer from this condition. Sebaceous carcinoma often mimics a chalazion or blepharitis. It is locally invasive and spreads to the tissues surrounding it. It may also spread to the bones, lungs, and liver. Since it is much aggressive in nature, large and recurrent tumours may require surgical removal.

13. Melanoma

This is a very rare form of eyelid tumour and often appears like nevus. During examination, the doctor may evert the eyelid for investigating any conjunctival involvement. If it changes appearance, then an excisional biopsy of the lesion must be done. Constant and systemic monitoring and evaluation is essential.

14. Entropion

This is a condition where the eyelid margin turns inward. This causes redness, irritation, coupled with white mucus discharge. This condition generally affects the lower eyelid causing the lower eyelashes to rub with the conjunctiva and the cornea. This is more common in older adults and is an age-related condition. The doctor may prescribe teardrops and lubricating eye ointments or may also perform a surgical repair.

15. Ectropion

This is just the opposite of Entropion where the eyelid margin turns outward causing redness, irritation, and tearing. This mainly occurs in the lower eyelid. Treatment methods include application of lubricating tear drops.

16. Trichiasis

In this condition, the eyelashes are misdirected and rub against the cornea. This causes ocular pain, redness, and tearing. Removal of the misdirected eyelashes relieves the symptoms. If those eyelashes regrow, they can be re-epilated. Electrolysis or cryotherapy is also done for eyelash removal.

17. Dermatochalasis

Dermatochalasis is the laxity of eyelids muscle and skin and may cause functional loss of superior vision in case the tissue hangs over the eyelid and into your visual axis. This is an age-related condition and may require surgical repair.

18. Ptosis

Ptosis or droopy eyelid results from the weakening of the muscles that helps raise the eyelids. This is caused by damaged nerves that control these muscles or just due to the sagging of the upper eyelid skin. Ptosis is a part of normal aging process but it may also be caused due to a congenital abnormality or any type of injury to the eye or due to other health conditions such as stroke, tumours or other neurological problem. This can often interfere with vision. If it is caused by any other health condition, treating the underlying condition cures Ptosis.

Source: http://www.eyecaremed.com/eyelid-position-problems-portland-maine.html

19. Eyelid Retraction

The upper eyelid usually rests just 2mm below the junction of the sclera and the superior cornea. In case of the lower eyelid, it is at the junction of the sclera and the inferior cornea. The eyelid retracts often due to thyroid ophthalmopathy. If your eyelids are retracted, check your thyroid status. Other causes of eyelid retraction include tumours, blepharoptosis, and midbrain disease. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition.

20. Facial Palsy

Facial palsy makes the closing of the upper eyelid impossible. It also causes laxity of the lower eyelid. Vigorous lubrication of the eye is the way to treat this condition. Use artificial tear drops and lubricating ointment.

Source: http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0601/p2695.html

21. Blepharospasm

This is a neurological condition marked by the forcible closure of the eyelids. This is the uncontrolled muscle contraction of the eyelids. This abnormal twitching of the eyelids often lasts for a few days and disappear without any treatment. The exact cause of this condition is not known and it is also not associated with any other disease or underlying condition. Primary symptoms are often mild and infrequent spasms. With time, these become forceful and frequent. In advanced stages, it may also cause functional blindness due to the inability to open the eyes temporarily. The treatment involves the periodic injection of botulinum toxin (Botox). This condition can occur with any specific ocular disease or movement disorder.

22. Epiblepharon

This condition is often seen in East Asian children (Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese). In this condition, the lower and the upper eyelids turn inwards resulting in irritation, watering, redness of the eye. In most of the cases, it gets better with lubrication; however, surgical correction may also be considered for permanent relief.

Source: https://www.nuh.com.sg/eye/patients-and-visitors/diseases-and-conditions/oculoplastic-and-facial-aesthetic/common-eyelid-problems.html#baggy_eyes

Often, skin problems, such as seborrheic dermatitis and eczema can also affect the eyelids, causing flaking on the skin of the eyelids and eye irritation. People having skin issues and allergies may also have a problem with their skin on the eyelids.

Disha Eye Hospital

Eyelid conditions must be addressed immediately otherwise it may interfere with your vision. If you have any vision-related issues, you may get in touch with the experts at Disha Eye Hospital. Book an appointment at http://www.dishaeye.org/appointment.

Information on Kids’ Eye Health & Safety

Everything is possible for your kids when they have a good vision. Without a good vision, your kids aren’t able to learn which makes the world around them difficult. Factually, children are most vulnerable to poor eye health and safety than people of every other age group. This is because of their size, behaviour, and physiology.

So, here’s brief information on kids’ eye health and safety which will help you take more care of them.

Your child’s vision

To fully understand about kids’ eye health, it is beneficial to first know about how vision develops in a baby. Here’s a timeline of the development of vision in a baby:

  • Newborns – It is very interesting to know that the acuity (vision sharpness) is already fully developed in a newborn baby. They are attracted to faces and brightly coloured objects.
  • 3 months – By now, babies have full control over their eyes and are able to follow a moving object. Cot mobiles help in stimulating their vision development.
  • 6 months – The eye develops two third of its adult’s size at 6 months while distant vision and depth perception continue to develop.
  • 1 year old – By now, the eyes are almost fully developed. Coordination of the eyes can be improved with games which involve activities such as catching, placing, tossing, and pointing.
  • 2 to 5 years old – Vision is well coordinated with hearing at the preschooler age.

Kids’ eye health

As discusses above, a good vision is essential for any kid to learn properly in and outside of school. Here are the vision skills that every child needs to have to read and learn effectively.

Eye focusing – it is the ability to maintain clear vision while the distance of the object(s) changes. For instance, a child can easily maintain clear vision when looking from a book to the chalkboard (and vice versa) with a good eye focusing ability.

Visual acuity – with a good visual acuity, a child is able to see clearly over distant objects.

Eye tracking – it is the ability to focus on a target when shifting gaze from one object to another. For instance, following a moving ball, or moving the eyes along a printed page.

Visual perception – with a good visual perception, a child is able to organise, understand images and remember what it is. For instance, normal visual perception allows a child to read and remember.

Eye-hand coordination – it is the ability to direct hands using information. Normal eye-hand coordination allows a child to draw pictures, write, or play.

As children spend a great deal of time in school learning, they face increasing demand on their visual abilities while they are progressing. Although parents are very concerned about getting the best education for their children, the vision, which is one of the crucial elements of learning, is often overlooked.

Children have to spend a great time reading school books that have small print size and increased homework may put extra pressure on their eyes. This, therefore, can tire the eyes.

When the vision in a child is not fully developed or if the child has poor eye health, he/she may find attending the school and learning difficult. If your child is suffering from poor eye health, he/she may show these typical signs:

  • Short attention span – as they experience discomfort and fatigue.
  • Avoid reading or looking into objects that are near and intricate.
  • Poor performance in school work.

Children may experience vision changes during the school years. So, it is very important that parents ensure regular eye and vision care. Failing to do so can cause eye problems to occur.

Common eye problems in kids
common eye problem among kids
There are many eye problems (diseases and conditions) which can affect a child’s vision. Here are the common eye problems in kids.

  1. Strabismus – it is a condition in which one or both eyes get misaligned and may be intermittent or constant. Strabismus in children typically results in lazy eye.
  2. Amblyopia – Amblyopia (aka lazy eye) is the poor vision in an eye that has not fully developed eyesight. Amblyopia can also be referred as deterioration of vision which results from the misalignment of the eyes (strabismus).
  3. Refractive errors – it is a common eye problem in kids’ which involves blurry vision. Refractive errors are classified into two types: Nearsightedness (poor distant vision), and Farsightedness (poor close vision).
  4. Astigmatism – Astigmatism is a condition in which one cannot see both distant and close objects clearly as they appear blurred. It is the result of imperfection in the eye’s curvature.
  5. Epiphora – Epiphora (aka childhood tearing) is a condition which involves excessive tearing. The condition often occurs during infancy but can be acquired later on as well.
  6. Congenital Glaucoma – it is a rare condition in infants which is often inherited. The condition is the result of incomplete or incorrect development of the drainage canals of the eyes before birth.
  7. Infantile Cataracts – in general, cataract is the clouding of the eyes’ lens. Infantile Cataracts occurs in newborns.
  8. Retinoblastoma – it is a malignant tumour which causes whiteness in the pupil and vision loss. Retinoblastoma can affect children of up to 3 years.
  9. Double vision – as the name suggests, double vision involves the displaced perception of an object in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal fashion. It is often caused by misalignment of the eyes (strabismus).
  10. Nystagmus – it is a condition in which the eyes move involuntarily. The eye movements can be circular, up and down, or side-to-side.

Spotting signs of eye problems in kids

Children may not complain or tell you about their eye/vision problems as they can be on the perception that how they see is the way everyone else sees. And children aren’t usually concerned about their health, they may try to get away with bearing the eye/vision problem(s).

So, it’s up to you to check for any sign which may be an indication that your child has eye/vision problem. Here are some indicative signs:

  • Short attention span
  • Difficulty in reading and seeing closer objects
  • Difficulty in remembering what he/she has read/watched
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Frequent headaches
  • Poor concentration
  • Consistently holding books and other objects close to the face to see properly
  • Frequent blinking
  • Chronic rubbing of the eyes
  • Reddening of the eyes
  • Watery eyes/excess tearing
  • Lower eyelids getting swollen
  • Covering one eye
  • Using a finger as a guide while reading
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Avoiding using the computer (as the eyes hurt)

Foods to keep the eyes healthy in kids
healthy food for eyes
The best ways to keep your child away from eye/vision problems is making them eat healthily. The right and healthy foods provide the eyes with essential nutrition which helps in keeping eye problems/diseases at bay.
Here are the foods that are beneficial for kids’ eye health and vision:

  • Green leafy vegetables

Fresh and green leafy vegetables play a profound role in improving eyesight and are thus considered as super foods for the eyes. Green leafy veggies such as Collards, Kale, Spinach and Broccoli are a rich source of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, A, and Calcium.

  • Blueberries and grapes

Making your child eat grapes and blueberries can improve their night vision. Make sure to include blueberries in your child’s lunchbox as they reduce eye fatigue and helps in improving vision.

  • Carrots and sweet potatoes

Yellow vegetables such as carrots contain a high amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene which promote retinal health and better eyesight.

  • Omega-3 fatty acid foods

Omega-3 fatty acid promotes blood circulation in the brain which in turn results in improved eye function. Dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts, and flax seeds are some of the plant-based omega-3 sources.

  • Almonds

Almond is a rich source of Vitamin E and is an excellent food for the eyes. Make sure that you give small amounts of almonds to your child.

Eye exams for kids

Taking children for regular eye check-up is essential in ensuring that they have a good eye health. There are different types of eye doctors and their names can be confusing.

Optometrist – they provide medical care of the eye but do not perform surgery.
Ophthalmologist – they provide complete eye care including medical care and surgery.
Pediatric Ophthalmologist – they specialise in treating kids’ eye problems.

Here are the eye exams that children should undergo:

  • New born babies should be checked for general eye health even if they do not have eye irregularities.
  • Babies who are 1 year old, should be checked for general eye health routinely.
  • At around age 3, kids should be screened for general eye health and visual acuity test.
  • Pediatric Ophthalmologist can be chosen for vision and eye alignment test for 5-year-olds.
  • Kids who are more than 5 years old should undergo routine screenings.

Eye health safety for kids

Eye safety is another crucial aspect of ensuring good eye health in your child. Children are often reckless and aren’t concerned much about their eyes. So, you as a concerned parent must teach/supervise eye safety to your child.

Here are some of the eye safety measures for kids:

1) Sports-related eye injuries

Kids are often energetic and can get carried away while playing outdoors. In such cases, they may unintentionally cause harm to their eyes. Kids aren’t bothered about their eye safety when they are exploring and experimenting new things.

So, it is very important to make your child wear a protective eye wear whenever he/she is playing outdoors. Similarly, if your kid takes swimming classes, make sure he/she wears swimming goggles as chlorine present in swimming pool water can irritate the eyes.

2) Eye injury with toys

Although toys are intended to be kids’ best companion, they can pose a risk of eye injuries as well. Try and get rid of all the jagged toys as they can cause eye injury upon mishandling. Also, when you are buying new toys for your child, check the packet to see if the materials used in the toy are safe for children.

3) Eye injury inside the house

As much the risk of eye injury outdoors is concerned, your child is not completely safe inside the house as well. Make your house safe and lower the risk of eye injury to your child. You can do this by identifying all the sharp corners inside the house and making them blunt or covering them with protective padding.

4) Too much of TV, computer, and games

Your child’s eye already has a lot to take in during school time and watching TV or using a computer at home for long hours adds extra stress to the eyes. So, you’ve got to limit TV, computer, PlayStation, and phone exposure to ensure that their eyes don’t get excessively tired.

5) Safety in school labs

Kids are often required to visit science labs in school to learn practical. When in the laboratory, the teacher must insist students to wear protective eye glass to stay safe from the risk of chemical spillage.

6) Carefulness with contact lens and spectacles

If you child has been prescribed glasses or contacts, then you’ve got to teach them how to handle it carefully. For instance, remind your child to take off the contacts while sleeping and bathing.

7) Precaution with chemicals inside the house

Chemicals inside your home such as petrol, insecticides, paint, and fertilizers pose a great risk to your kid’s eyes. Therefore, it is important to label them with a warning sign. For the best, keep them out of reach for your child.

8) Safety during travelling

When you travelling with your kid in the car, make your he/she is wearing a safety belt throughout the journey to avoid bumps upon applying brakes.

9) Sleep routine

One of the best ways to keep your kid’s eye health safe and sound is to insisting them on sleeping early.

10) Avoiding rubbing the eyes

Whenever you see your child rubbing his/her eyes, you should immediately stop them and instruct them not to do so. Instead, you can soak a piece of cloth in lukewarm water to bring relief in case a foreign object gets into the eye.

How Can UV Rays Damage Your Eyes?

Disha Eye Hospital

You must be aware of the potential dangers of harmful UV rays on your skin. But are you aware of the fact that UV rays are equally damaging for your eyes and can cost your vision? Scared, right? Or course we do not want to scare you but wants to share the secrets of protecting your eyes from these harmful rays.

But before we look deeper into the ways UV rays harm your eyes and the remedy, let’s understand what exactly UV radiations are.

All about UV Rays

The Ultraviolet Radiations (UV rays) are a type of electromagnetic radiation and these have higher energy than visible light. UV rays may also come from artificial light sources such welding torches and tanning beds but the sun is the main source of UV rays.[source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation/uv-radiation-what-is-uv.html]

Experts have divided UV rays according to their wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful it is. The classification of UV rays is as follows:

1. UVA Rays

This is the weakest of all UV rays as this ray is closer to the visible light spectrum. This ray cannot pass through your skin but can definitely penetrate your Cornea and reach the lens and the Retina of your eyes. If you are exposed to sunlight for long and without any kind of eye protection then, in the long run this might cause certain types of cataracts. UVA rays are the prime culprit behind Macular Degeneration.[source: http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html]

2. UVB Rays

This is a medium-wavelength radiation and can penetrate your skin surface to a certain extent (overexposure to UVB rays give you a sun tan). UVB rays cause pingueculae and pterygia. These are growths on the eye’s surface and can distort your vision and cause other corneal problems. UVB rays also cause a painful eye condition called “Photokeratitis.” Also known as “Snow Blindness,” this is the inflammation of your Cornea and in severe cases may cause temporary vision loss that may last up to 24-48 hours. Since the Cornea absorbs 100% UVB rays, these rays do not cause macular degeneration or cataract (these two are linked with UVA rays).[source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/spf.htm] Although UVB rays cannot filter completely through the earth’s atmosphere but still, a certain amount of these rays reach the earth’s surface.

3. UVC Rays

This ray is the most harmful of the rest of the two. This has the shortest wavelength and is most damaging. Luckily, the Ozone layer completely filters it and UVC rays cannot reach the earth’s surface.[source: http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html]

What Increases your risk of UV Exposure?

While any person who spends too much time out in the sun is at greater risk of UV ray damage but there are certain factors that determine the risks of eye damage from UV rays. These are:

  • Your Geographic Location: UV rays are also strong in tropical regions near the equator.
  • Altitude: UV rays are pretty strong in higher altitude so if you are on a vacation to any hilly area or live there, your eyes are at risk of damage.
  • The time of the Day: When the sun is high in the sky, typically between 10 AM to 2 PM, the risk of damage is greater.
  • Open spaces: Levels of UV rays are higher in open spaces and in places with highly reflective surfaces such as sand and snow increases the chances of eye damage from UV rays.
  • Medicines: Certain medication such as sulfa drugs, tetracycline, diuretics, and birth control pills increase your body’s sensitivity to UV rays.

[source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/spf.htm]

UV rays and Eye Damage

UV rays can cause serious eye damages. This includes:

  • Macular Degeneration: UV rays cause macular degeneration. This is a condition where the central part of your Retina called Macula is damaged. This blurs your vision, makes it distorted and also results in the development of a blind spot in your field of vision.
  • Cataract: Overexposure to UV rays, especially UV-B rays cause certain kind of cataracts. This is a condition where the natural lens of your eyes gets clouded.
  • Pterygium: This is a growth on your eye that first appears on the white of the eye and may also develop in the cornea. Eventually, the growth blocks your vision. People who stay outside for long hours are particularly at risk.
  • Skin Cancer: Prolonged UV exposure may result in skin cancer around the eyelids.
  • Corneal Sunburn: Also known as photokeratitis, this condition is often caused by high intensity but short-term exposure to UV-B rays. Spending long hours at the beach or in the snow without proper eye protection can cause photokeratitis. This can be painful and may cause temporary vision loss.

[source: http://www.preventblindness.org/how-can-uv-rays-damage-your-eyes]

Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

Follow these tips to keep your eyes safe in the sun:

  • If you think that sun rays are only harmful during summers then you are wrong. Sun rays can damage your eyes throughout the year. So, wear UV-blocking sunglasses every time you go out in the sun. Get sunglasses that block 100% UVA and UVB rays. Use broad-brimmed hats when outside. This also prevents sun damage to your eyes.
  • UV rays can damage your eyes even on a cloudy day. Clouds can block only visible light but UV radiations can easily penetrate the clouds. So, do not be fooled by the clouds.
  • Avoid looking at the sun directly even during the eclipse even while wearing a sunglass. This may cause solar retinopathy, a condition where solar radiation damages your retina.
  • Kids and older family members are also at risk. Protect their eyes as well. Make them wear UV protected sunglasses and hats when they go out. Use wraparound sunglasses for complete eye protection.

[source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun]

Next time when you are going out in the sun, do not forget to wear protective eye gear. And in case you have any kind of eye problem, simply get in touch with the experts at Disha Eye Hospital.

Eye Care for Computer Users – The Ultimate Guide

eye care tips

After staring at your computer or laptop for hours, have you ever felt a throbbing pain in your head or have your eyes ever felt dry, itchy, or fatigued? There is a name for all these symptoms- Eyestrain. Be it for work or any other purpose, people are now spending more time staring at the computers or any other digital device. This puts extreme stress on your eyes. Many of you spend more than 10 hours staring directly at the computer. In addition to that, you would also stare at a smartphone or other portable digital device with a small screen and smaller prints which lead to closer viewing distances. Often, while doing so, you forget to blink. This decreases your visual comfort and strains your eyes.

How Computers Affect Your Eyes?

When you working on the computer you eyes have to continuously focus and refocus. The printed lines appearing on the screen are of varied shapes, fonts, and colours. AS you read the lines, your eyes have to move back and forth. Moreover, often you have to refer to printed material and then again look at computer screen. As the images change, your eyes have o react accordingly for your brain to understand what you are seeing. For doing this, your eyes have to work really hard and as a result, it gets tired. This gets worse if the screen has contrast, glare, and flicker issues.

You will have more trouble if you already have any eye problem. If you have glasses and if you do not use them, then it may escalate the problem. Moreover, wearing fancy contact lenses or glasses with wrong lenses that aren’t prescribed by the doctor will increase your eye troubles.

As you age, working on the computer or any digital device gets tough. Your eyes lose their flexibility. Also, as you approach your 40s, your eyes lose their ability to properly focus and refocus on objects both far and near. Eye specialists call this condition Presbyopia. Staring at the computer screen for long hours make your eyes weaker and affect your vision.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome#1

Reading something on a computer screen is completely different than reading something on a printed page. Letters on a computer screen are often not well defined or sharp. The level of contrast of the letters compared to their background is also reduced and the glare from your computer screen makes reading a difficult task. Moreover, the viewing distances and angles that you generally use for doing computer work is different from the angles that you use for reading books or printed documents and writing. And that is why the eye focusing and eye movement requirements for computer work make your visual system work hard. If you are in your 40s, your eyes will find it a bit difficult to adjust to this additional requirement. Even the eyeglasses or contact lenses that are prescribed for general use may not seem appropriate for computer-related work. You may need to get specialised lenses that are designed to meet such additional demands for your eyes. This lens with certain power, coating, and tints helps in maximising your visual abilities and your viewing comfort.

Source: https://www.aoa.org/Documents/optometrists/effects-of-computer-use.pdf

How to Reduce Eye Strain

Here’s a list of what you can do to minimise eye strain:

1. Minimise glare.

Change the lighting of your environment or work station. This will help reduce the effect on your computer screen. If you sit near a window, move away. It’s because the light from the window may cast a glare on the computer screen. You may install a dimmer or get a desk lamp with movable shade. This will cast light evenly on your desk or else, you may even add a glare filter to your monitor. Most of the times, excessively bright light from other light sources (harsh interior light or light coming through the window) cause eye strain. Technically, when you are using a computer, the ambient light should be half as bright as found in any office setting. Close the drapes and shades to minimise exterior light. Reduce interior light by using lower intensity lights. Position your computer of a laptop in a way that the windows are to your side and not behind you or just in front of you. Turn off any overhead fluorescent light. Often, this might be uncomfortable for your eyes.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm

2. Check your sitting Arrangement

The monitor should be slightly below your eye level. It should be about 20 to 28 inches away from your face. Ideally, while working n a computer, you shouldn’t be stretching your neck and get closers to the computer to see what’s written on the screen. If you have to look simultaneously at the computer and any other printed document, place the document in a way that you do not have to look down and the up to the screen while you type. Put a stand next to the computer and fix the document there.

3. Give your eyes some exercise

It’s your eyes and not a machine. They too need a break. So when you are working on the computer at a stretch, try to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the computer screen every 20 minutes and look at anything that’s at least 20 feet away from you. Look at it for about 20 seconds. Use eye drops if your eyes hurt. You may try another exercise. Look at any object located far away for 10-15 seconds and then look at something that’ located nearby for about 10-15 seconds. Then again look back at the objects located far away. Repeat this for 10 times. Often, staring for long times at the computer screen locks the eyes’ focusing ability also known as accommodative spasm. This exercise helps in avoiding this condition.

Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of eye strain. Blink frequently while performing these exercises.

4. Change your computer display settings

You don’t need to continue with the presets installed in your computer or laptop. You can change them if it’s uncomfortable for your eyes. Adjust the following things:

  • Brightness: It should be about the same as the brightness of your surroundings. Look at the computer screen and then look at your surrounding background. If the screen appears like a light source, it’s too bright and if it’s too dull compared to the surrounding, the screen is too dark for comfortable viewing.
  • The contrast and text size: Adjust the text size and contrast, especially when you are reading long documents. Black letters printed on a white background is best for comfortable viewing.
  • Adjust the Colour temperature: The display of your computer emits blue light. This light has short-wavelength and causes more eye strain compared to longer wavelength colours such as red and orange. Lowering the colour temperature of your display reduces the amount of blue light emitted by it, thus increasing viewing comfort.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome#1

5. Upgrade the computer display

Still using the old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT)? If yes, then replace it with an LCD display. LCD screens have anti-reflective surface and also, do not have flicker issues. Flickering images increase eye strain. Flicker can also be an issue if the refresh rate of your screen is less than 75 hertz (Hz). In case you are still using a CRT screen adjust the display settings to the highest refresh rate. While buying new LCD display, get a screen that has the highest resolution. This is often related to the “dot pitch” of the computer display. Displays having a low dot pitch have sharp images. While buying, choose one with a display of a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller. Choose a large display. Get a display having a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.

6. Blink often

How often does it happen that you are so much into your work that you forget to blink? Is this common when you are working on a computer? If yes, then this might leave your eyes fatigued and tired. Not blinking while staring at the computer makes your eyes dry and itchy. Blink often to prevent this. Blinking moistens your eyes, thus reducing eye fatigue. The tear coating on your eyes evaporates quickly when you do not blink for a long time. And this is one of the main causes of dry eyes. Moreover, the air in your workstation may be dry, thus increasing the rate at which tears evaporate from your eyes. If you are experiencing dry eyes symptoms, then consult a doctor immediately. The doctor may prescribe you artificial tears for reducing the symptoms.

7. Take frequent breaks

Computer vision syndrome also results in shoulder, neck and back pain. To avoid this, take frequent breaks while working on your computer. Many of you take one or two long breaks during work hours. If you think this will reduce eye strain then you are wrong. This won’t help reduce discomfort. Instead of taking one or two breaks, take frequent 5-minute breaks in between work. When you take a break, stand up, stretch your legs, back, arms, and neck. This reduces muscle fatigue and tension. You may even talk to a fitness expert and get a list of the quick sequence of exercise you perform during the breaks.

8. Treat any uncorrected Vision Problem

Even a minor vision-related issue can affect your viewing comfort levels. Often, we tend to ignore minor vision related issues. Eye issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, binocular vision, presbyopia, and astigmatism if left untreated then can be a major contributing factor in increasing eye-related stress. Most of the computer users suffer from uncorrected vision problems. Most of these conditions often do not manifest themselves in works that are less visually demanding but appear while doing a visually demanding work. Most of the people tend to ignore this as a temporary problem. And this worsens the condition. If you work on a computer, you must undergo a comprehensive eye examination periodically. The examination must include an analysis of your eye function at various working distances.

Source: https://www.aoa.org/Documents/optometrists/effects-of-computer-use.pdf

9. Wear computer eyewear

This is necessary for the comfort of your eyes. Talk to your eye care specialist and get your glasses (if you use any) modified for maximum visual comfort. If you wear contact lenses then you should immediately do this. It’s because contact lenses often become dry and uncomfortable when used for a longer time. If you wear bifocals then also computer eyewear is a good option for you. Consider wearing photochromic lenses or lightly tinted lenses for computer viewing. This reduces your exposure to blue light emitted by the digital devices. Talk to your doctor today.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm

Take Care of Your Eyes

Follow these steps for healthy eyesight:

  • Eat healthily: Good vision depends on getting enough nutrients. Eat food items with lutein, omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin C and E. Eat lots of green leafy veggies, fish, citrus fruit, eggs, beans, and nuts.
  • Do not Smoke: Smoking harms your eyes and damages the optic nerves. It also increases your chances of cataract and macular degeneration.
  • Protect your eyes in the sun: Wear UV protected sunglasses whenever you go out. This reduces your chances of cataract and macular degeneration and other UV ray-related eye issues.
  • Use protective wear: Whenever you are playing or doing any dangerous work, wear safety eye gear for protecting your eyes.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/good-eyesight#1

Regularly visit your eye doctor and get your eyes thoroughly checked. Do not avoid even the slightest discomfort that you may have in your eyes. You may need glasses or contact lenses or special glasses, let the doctor decide what’s best for your eyes. If you are looking for places where you may get your eyes thoroughly checked, you may consider booking an appointment with the experts at the Disha Eye Hospital.

15 Tips for Computer Eye Strain Relief

Be it for work or studying, most of us spend a major part of our day in front of the computer. And with that, Computer Eye Strain too has become commonplace. Almost every day our eyes feel fatigued, dry, and irritated by staring for long hours at the computer screen. If you too feel the same, then you are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

How Computers Affect your eyes and Vision?

While working in front of a computer, your eyes continuously focus and refocus. As you read the words on the screen, your eyes move back and forth. Often, you have to look at other documents while working and switch your eyes between that document and the computer screen. While you do that your eyes respond to changing images on the screen to create so that your brain can process whatever you are seeing with your eyes. These tasks put much strain on your eye muscles. The flicker, glare, and contrast of the computer screen make things worse.

You may face more problems if you are already suffering from an eye problem. With age, working in front of a computer screen gets difficult as the lenses in your eyes begin to lose flexibility. Around 40 years, your eye’s ability to focus on near and far objects will start to diminish.

Computer Vision Syndrome: Symptoms

CVS affects both adults and kids. Children nowadays spend most of their time in front of the computer. This affects their vision at a young age and may hamper the normal development of eyesight. The common symptoms
Prolonged computer usage may affect the normal development of your child’s eyesight.

Look out for these symptoms to see if your child is having CVS:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry, itchy and irritated eyes
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Gradual deterioration of vision
  • Headaches, backaches, neck pain
  • Difficulty in shifting focus from the monitor to any other object

Here are a few tips to treat Computer Vision Syndrome:

1. Get your eyes examined

First things first- get your eyes checked if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. This is the most important thing that you must do at the first place. This is the first step for preventing any eye issue. Moreover, those who work on computers must get their eyes checked once in a year. During the test, do not forget to inform your eye doctor about how often you use a computer at work and at home. Also, measure the distance between your eyes and the computer screen and inform the doctor about that measurement and see whether it’s appropriate or not.

2. Do not put the computer monitor near a window

Additional light and glare is the biggest source of eyestrain while working on a computer. Ideally, the computer shouldn’t be anywhere near the window but if it’s still there then ensure that there are curtains and blinds in the window to control the intensity of light throughout the day. Do not face and un-shaded window when working on a computer or laptop. The difference of brightness of the screen and the outdoors may cause eye stress. Use an anti-glare screen for reducing reflections.

3. Adjust the height of your monitor

Maximise eye comfort by placing the centre of the computer screen about five to nine inches below the horizontal line of sight. Ideally, you should be looking just over the top of the computer screen in the straight line of your sight.

4. Adjust the display of your computer

This is very important for minimising eye strain and eye fatigue. Modify the display setting of the monitor. This will help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Change the brightness of the display so that the brightness of your display is same as the surrounding workstation. Also, when you are reading long documents on a computer, modify them so that while reading, you have black print on a white background.

5. Rearrange your desk

The best position for your monitor is just a bit below eye level and about 20 to 28 inches away from your face. It must be at a distance where you do not have to strain your eyes or stretch your neck to see what’s there on the screen. If you are looking simultaneously at another document, place it at the level of the monitor, just beside it. In this way, you do not have to look up and down while you work.

6. Consider the Colour temperature

The colour temperature of your display is important. The blue light of the visible spectrum of light has a short wavelength and causes more eye strain compared to colours of longer wavelength such as red and orange. Reduce the colour temperature of your display. This will reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the monitor, giving you viewing comfort.

7. Give your Eyes a much-deserved break

The eyes cannot see at a close distance for long hours. Give them a break. You may follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20-minutes and look at any object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. While you do that, move your eyes and see at different objects at various distances.

8. Blink, Blink, and Blink

It’s sad but true that we often forget to blink while looking at the computer screen. What most of us do is a partial lid closure or blink less frequently. Blinking moistens our eyes and helps prevent dryness and irritation. The tear coating on our eyes evaporates quickly and can cause dry eyes. Moreover, due to air-conditioning system, the air in many offices is dry. This hastens the evaporation process, thus exposing you to greater risk of dry eye problems. In case you have this problem, visit your doctor. He/she might give you artificial tears. Do not confuse them with lubricating eye drops. Such drops tend to reduce the size of the blood vessels in your eyes, making it appear clear. Do not use anything without consulting the doctor. Try blinking slowly, as you do while falling asleep. Do this 10 times. This might help in wetting your eyes.

9. Use Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is extremely important for reducing eye strain. Too bright and too low light will strain your eyes. Excessive light from the outdoor is tough for the eyes. So try to reduce outside light while working. Avoid overhead lighting. Instead, use floor lamps to provide indirect lighting. This will help in comfortable viewing. If you work in too low light, the computer screen may glare at your eyes. You have to balance the lighting.

10. Get Computer Glasses

Prescription eyewear specially designed for computer work may help you focus well on the screen. Also, this helps in reducing glare and computer eye strain. If you use eye glasses, then talk to your doctors and get it customised. If you wear contact lenses, it may become dry and uncomfortable from sustained usage. In that case, getting customised eyeglasses for computer work is the best. This is also beneficial for people who wear bifocals or progressive lenses. Since these lenses are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen so using computer glasses is a good choice.

11. Take frequent breaks

A headache, pain in eye and neck and shoulders are also symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. For reduce pain, the best way is to take frequent breaks during working. If you prefer to take one long break during the entire workday, do not do that. That’s not going to help. Taking frequent mini-breaks of four to five minutes work wonders in reducing discomfort and eye strain. And if you think that taking frequent breaks will affect your productivity then it’s right. It will affect but in a positive way. The less you feel fatigued, the more you can focus on your work. While taking breaks, stand up and move. You may take a short walk around the office or just stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, and back. This helps reduce muscle fatigue and tension.

12. Do not forget your Vitamins

If you have eye health issues then your doctor may prescribe you necessary vitamins. Do not forget to take them. Eat food rich in Vitamin A. This is important for a healthy vision and reinforces the macular tissues in your eyes, thus, keeping your vision clear and sharp. Food items rich in Vitamin A include cheese, egg yolk, milk, and butter.

13. Minimize glare

Glare on the walls and finished surfaces and reflections on the computer screen may also result in eye strain. Install anti-glare screen on your monitor. Consider painting the walls in darker colour or cooler shades in a matte finish. You may use glasses with a lens having an Anti-reflective coating. This also helps in minimising glare.

14. Do not hold digital devices closer to the eyes

People who hold digital devices closer to the eyes than they would if they were reading a book or any other printed material, they are at greater risk of straining their eyes. Digital devices emit blue light that causes eye strain and when you hold them closer, it puts more stress on your eyes. So whenever you are using a smart phone or tablet, try to hold them as far as possible from your eyes. You may try enlarging the print for comfortable reading.

15. Install a Humidifier

Most of the offices are air-conditioned. This makes the air much drier and dry air make your eyes dry. You may try keeping some real plants in and around your work area. You may also keep air humidifier. This helps in increasing the air humidity. Artificially controlling the humidity of your work environment helps reduce eye strain.

Make it a point to visit your eye doctor regularly for check-ups. The eye is a delicate organ and it’s important to take proper care of it for enjoying good vision and preventing any eye condition. Also, keep your prescriptions up to date. If you have any eye problem or experience any change in symptoms, let your doctor know about that. Do not wear fancy glasses or experiment with coloured contact lenses readily available in the market. Consult the doctor before using one. It’s up to the doctor to decide whether you can wear your regular glasses or contacts for computer work or whether you need a special pair. Get your kid’s eyes checked too. Ensure that you limit their computer usage and that they are using computers under proper light.

Eye Hospital in Kolkata

If you have an eye related problem or want to consult an eye specialist regarding Computer Vision Syndrome, you may book an appointment with our specialists.Make it a point to visit your eye doctor regularly for check-ups. Eye is a delicate organ and it’s important to take proper care of it for enjoying good vision and preventing any eye condition. Also keep your prescriptions up to date. If you have any eye problem or experience any change in symptoms, let you doctor know about that. Do not wear fancy glasses or experiment with coloured contact lenses readily available in the market. Consult the doctor before using one. It’s up to the doctor to decide whether you can wear your regular glasses or contacts for computer work or whether you need a special pair. Get your kid’s eyes checked too. Ensure that you limit their computer usage and that they are using computers under proper light.

Eye Hospital in Kolkata

If you have eye related problem or want to consult an eye specialist regarding Computer Vision Syndrome, you may book an appointment with our specialists.

Choosing the Right Sunglasses: Your Eye Health Depends on It

Choosing the Right Sunglasses

Sunrays are bad for your skin. True. But do you know that it’s equally bad for your eyes? Harmful UVA and UVB rays can cause extensive damage to your vision. What can you do to protect your eyes? Simple – wear a sunglass. It is a great fashion accessory and surely there’s a cool-factor attached to it but when it comes to protecting your eyes the right sunglass goes a pretty long way.

How Ultraviolet Radiations harm your Eyes?

UV rays are invisible and are of three types:

1. UVA rays

UVA Rays are closer to visible light rays. Compared to UVB and UVC rays UVA rays have low energy. But these rays can pass through the cornea, reaching the lens and the retina in the back of your eye. Overexposure to this radiation can cause certain types of cataracts. Also, UVA rays may also cause macular degeneration.

2. UVB rays

UVB rays have a bit longer wavelength than UVC rays but are lower in energy than them. While the Ozone layer filters UVB rays buts still a certain percentage reach the earth. In low doses, this radiation stimulates the production of melanin, giving you a suntan. However, in higher doses, UVB rays can increase your risk of skin cancer. It also causes wrinkles, skin discolorations and other signs of premature skin ageing. This ray also causes pingueculae and pterygia. These are growths on the eye’s surface and may distort your vision. UVB rays may cause photokeratitis. This is a painful inflammation of the cornea. Severe photokeratitis (commonly called Snow Blindness) may cause temporary vision loss that may last from 24 to 48 hours.

3. UVC rays

This is the highest-energy UV rays and is the most harmful of all. Thankfully, the Ozone layer all UVC rays but depletion of the Ozone layer means UVC rays reaching the earth causing severe skin and eye issues and other UV rays related issues.

HEV Radiation Risks

High-Energy Visible or HEV rays or blue light, is visible. Although this ray is low in energy than UV rays, they penetrate your eyes deeply and cause severe damage to the retina. With low blood plasma levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants, HEV rays can cause macular degeneration.

If you love to spend most of the time of day outside, then you are at greater risk of damaging your eyes. The damage from UV and HEV rays depends on a few factors:

  • Your Geographic location

Tropical areas (near the equator) have the greatest levels of UV rays.

  • Altitude

The levels of UV rays are higher at high altitudes.

  • Time of day

Levels of UV and HEV rays are high when the sun is high in the sky from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Setting

Levels of UV and HEV rays are high on open spaces especially on highly reflective surfaces such as the sand and snow. UV exposure is double when these rays are reflected from the snow.

  • Medications

Certain medicines such as the sulfa drug, tetracycline, diuretics, birth control pills, and tranquillizers, can make your body sensitive to UV and HEV rays.

If you think that you are safe on a cloudy day, then you are wrong. Clouds never cover UV levels. In fact, your risk of UV exposure is very high on cloudy days. This is because UV is invisible and can penetrate clouds.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/spf.htm

Does Sunglass Really Protect your Eyes?

Be it sunny days or cloudy, UV rays are always there. Moreover, certain elements such as grass, concrete, snow and water can reflect UV rays. This is equally harmful as direct UV exposure. And if your eyes are unprotected, then an excess amount of UV exposure even for a short period of time can cause Photokeratitis. This condition is also known as a “sunburn of the eye.” This condition is extremely painful. The symptoms include:

  • red eyes
  • a feeling of a foreign-body in the eye or a gritty feeling
  • extreme sensitivity to light, and
  • excessive tearing

The good news is these conditions are usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes.

Long term exposure to UV rays in the course of your life may result in many serious eyes conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, pterygium (an abnormal growth in the cornea) and cancer of the eyes or eyelids and the skin around the eye. Sunglasses with UV ray protection can help you prevent these conditions. These glasses safeguard your eyes from the harmful UV rays.

Source: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/uv-protection?sso=y

Not only it protects you from eye conditions but it also helps avoid wrinkles at the corners of your eyes. Too much sun exposure can cause wrinkles around your eyes (often called Crow’s feet). Moreover, it also protects the whites of your eyes.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/features/how-to-pick-good-sunglasses#1

If you are considering wearing UV protected contact lenses then you may do that but these contacts cannot replace sunglasses. It’s because, with the contacts, the white part of the eyes are still exposed to damage from UV rays. That’s why wearing a sunglass is essential.

Types of Available Lenses

Have you ever thought about the type of lens while buying a sunglass? The answer is quite obvious- No. Most of the people judge a sunglass by its style aspects but when it comes to protecting your eyes, considering the lens type is also important. And an optician is the only one who can guide you while choosing the perfect sunglass. You will find sunglasses with a wide range of lenses on the market. Here’s a quick guide:

1. Blue-blocker

As the name suggests, this lens blocks blue light. Blue light is harmful to eyes and can increase the risk of eye damage by causing conditions such as macular degeneration. Blue-blocker lenses are extremely popular among pilots, skiers, boaters, and hunters. They use this type of lens to heighten contrast.

2. Polarized lenses and Lenses with anti-reflective coating

Both types of lenses reduce reflected glare. Polarized lenses are widely used by those who are into water sports or snow sports. On the other hand, Anti-reflecting coatings eliminate glare caused by light that’s reflecting off the back surface of the lens of your sunglass.

3. Mirror-coated lenses

This type of lens helps limit the amount of rays that’s entering your eye, making your much comfortable.

Mirror coatings are highly reflective and are applied to the top surface of your sunglass lenses. This helps in reducing the amount of light that enters your eyes. This type of lenses is extremely beneficial for people who indulge in activities in very bright conditions, such as during bright sunny days or during snow skiing on a sunny day.

The mirrored sunglasses are available in all colours including silver, gold, copper, and other metallic colours. You will also get mirrored sunglasses in colours such as hot pink, blue and any other colour that you could think of. While choosing the colour absolutely depends on your sense of style but do not think that the colour of coating has anything to do with your colour perception. The tint is determined by the colour of the lens below the coating. So, don’t expect to see the world turn pink wearing those hot pink mirrored glasses.

4. Gradient lenses

These lenses tinted from the top down, so the top of the lens is the darkest. Gradient lens is good for driving as it shields your eyes from overhead sunlight while allowing more light through the bottom half of the lens so that you may clearly see the dashboard.

5. Double gradient

This type of lens is also tinted but from the bottom up. So the top and the bottom of the sunglass are the darkest while the middle part has a lighter tint. This type of lens is a great choice if you want sunglasses that are not too dark, but protect the eyes from bright overhead sunlight and light reflecting off the water, sand or any other reflective surfaces.

6. Photochromic lenses

This type of lens adjusts their level of darkness on the basis of a number of UV rays they are exposed to.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/faq/sunglasses.htm

How to choose the Right Shades?

Here is what to consider before buying sunglasses:

1. Does it block both UVA and UVB rays?

Before you check the price or brand, check whether the glasses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays or not. If not, do not buy them. This is not too much to expect from a quality sunglass.

2. Does it fit right?

If it doesn’t fit well then it can let UV rays seep onto your eyes and skin. You may fall in love with the great style and amazing design of the sunglass and your heart may ache to leave it on the rack but do it if it doesn’t fit you. Think about your eyes. They are more precious than style! Look for something that sits well on your nose, doesn’t touch your eyelashes, doesn’t need to be pushed, and is in the line up with your brow. Sunglasses that wrap around your eyes are best for blocking stray UV rays and also protect your eyes from sneaky dust and sand particles.

3. Darkness and Color

Do not think that just because the lens is black, it blocks UV rays. Always check the label. The pupil (the black dot just at the centre of your eye) regulates how much light enters through it. So when you wear dark glasses, the pupil opens more to let in more light. And if the glasses are not UV protected, that means you more UV rays are entering your eyes.

4. Type of Lenses

Plastic or Shatterproof glass? Well, it’s completely your choice but check how much they help you to see clearly and protect your eyes. There are certain lenses that are too curved and a can distort vision. As long as the lens is UVA and UVB protected, you may buy any lenses.

Source: //www.webmd.com/eye-health/features/how-to-pick-good-sunglasses#1

5. Get Bigger glasses

This gives you more coverage and ensures that your eyes are safe from sun damage. Always buy oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses. This will help cut down the levels of UV rays sneaking into the eye from the sides.

6. Price is not an indicator

High price doesn’t determine the quality of UV protection. Even costly sunglasses can be less effective in blocking harmful UV rays compared to less expensive glasses. As there is no uniform labelling of sunglasses, always consult the optometrist for selecting the best sunglass for your eyes.

7. Buy for your kid

Ensure that your child wears sunglasses when outdoors. Consider sunglasses with impact-resistant lenses and the frame has features such as spring hinges (if the kid is too active). Buy sunglasses with straps or ear pieces that wrap around the ear if the child is very young. If your child wears prescription eye glasses then make him/her wear prescription sunglasses.

A few Tips for protecting your eyes

1. Always wear sunglasses while going out. This is particularly essential during the peak sunlight hours. The sun rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, wear sunglasses when you’re at higher altitudes. UV rays are pretty intense at high altitudes.

2. Wear sunglasses even if it’s cloudy. Just like you wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day, wear sunglasses even if it’s not sunny outside. UV rays can penetrate clouds and harm your eyes.

3. You may consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat. This also helps in blocking some UV rays from entering your eyes.

4. Sunglasses are not only for summers. Wear them throughout the year.

Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com/vision-center/lenses-and-beyond/investing-in-the-right-sunglasses.aspx

Hopefully, these tips will give you a fair idea about sunglasses and their characteristics. With the right pair of sunglasses, you can enjoy outdoor activities without harming your eyes. See your eye specialist frequently and get your eyes examined thoroughly. This is the best way for monitoring your eye health and maintaining good eye sight.

Childhood Cataracts: What you Need to Know

Disha Eye Hospital

Your eye lens is crystal clear. When it gets cloudy or any opacity of your eyes is called Cataract. Cataracts are of many types. Some are minor and do not interfere with your vision. However, others can be large and cause vision impairment. If you think that cataracts only affect older adults, you are wrong. Babies are also born with cataracts or children may develop them at a very young age. Such conditions are called Childhood cataracts.

Childhood cataracts are also known as:

  • Congenital cataracts – This is when a baby is born with cataract or develops it shortly after birth.
  • Developmental or Juvenile cataracts – This is when older children develop a cataract.

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cataracts-childhood/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Classification of Cataract in Children

Cataracts in children depend on a number of factors such as age, causes and forms of cataracts. Depending on these factors, the classification of cataract in children is as follows:

1. The Age of Onset

  • Congenital or Infantile Cataract

Lens opacity may be present at birth indicating a congenital onset of cataract but often this may go unrecognised. So, a later diagnosis of lens opacity also falls under this category. Before the cataract is extracted, it is essential to provide a thorough description of the type of the lens opacity. Determination of type is essential to find out whether it is associated with any other disease or not. Morphological categories of cataracts including central foetal nuclear, anterior polar, and posterior polar indicate a congenital cataract. On the other hand, conditions such as Lamellar or cortical cataract can also be associated congenital or a later onset of cataract.

  • Juvenile Cataract

This cataract is caused due to an external cause. Many use this term for indicating the onset of cataract after infancy, which may not indicate a non-genetic cause.

Childhood Cataract: Causes

There are several factors for the onset of cataract in children. These include:

  • Genetic

Around half of the childhood cataracts are the result of genetic mutations. These genes code for proteins that are responsible for lens structure or clarity. Any metabolic disorders may cause cataracts.

  • Trauma

This is one of the primary reasons of acquired cataracts in children. This type of cataract is more common in boys. They may get it due to a penetrating or blunt injury to the eye. Also, the presence of intraocular or intraorbital foreign body may also cause this. So a thorough eye examination is essential.

Secondary Causes

Secondary causes of cataract include:

  • Uveitis – Cataracts may develop due to chronic ocular inflammation or due to the chronic use of steroids. Surgery of this type of cataracts is often complicated by postoperative inflammation. So, to avoid pre operative inflammation in the anterior segment of the eye, any usage of pre-, intra-, and postoperative sub conjunctival, topical, intracameral, and other systemic steroids should be avoided. Patients may often have a pupillary membrane covering the lens. This attaches to the iris, thus further complicating the surgery. These membranes can be peeled off of the anterior lens capsule during surgery for facilitating lens removal. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is yet another cause of anterior uveitis in children. Any other type of uveitis may also cause cataract due to inflammation of by complications created by usage of steroids.
  • Intraocular tumours – It is very rare for cataracts to develop as a result of intraocular tumours. However, treatment of such a tumour using radiotherapy may lead to the development of cataract. In this case, the timing of removal of cataract removal needs to be carefully considered.
  • Chronic retinal detachment – These cataracts result from injuries or are often associated with Stickler syndrome. If the lens is completely opaque, the eye specialist will perform pre operative ultrasonography to rule out any possibilities of chronic retinal detachment.
  • Maternal infection (rubella) – This type of cataract is only seen in some parts of the world where rubella hasn’t been eradicated.

Forms of Cataract

The forms of Childhood Cataract includes:

Diffuse or Total Cataract

This is one of the common types of congenital cataract; however, there is no specific cause of this type of cataracts.

Anterior Cataract

This type of cataract can be further divided into three forms:

  • Anterior polar – The opacity appears in the capsule itself and may extend into the anterior chamber as a very tiny mammillation.
  • Pyramidal – These are comparatively larger than Anterior polar cataracts and may progress to visual significance. Such type of cataract is pretty difficult to remove using a vitrectomy instrument. It may require removal using forceps.
  • Anterior lenticonus – This condition refers to a thinned central anterior capsule with or without any anterior cortical opacity. This condition is a characteristic of Alport syndrome. The lens may get ruptured causing a hydrated total cataract.

Cortical lamellar

This cataract occurs between the adjacent clear lamellae.

Fetal nuclear

This type of cataract occurs in the central part of the lens. They may appear like a dot or may also be dense. This type of cataract usually measure between 2-3.5 mm and is often associated with microphthalmia. It is said to be associated with postoperative glaucoma and may need surgery during early infancy.

Posterior polar

This type of cataract is different from posterior subcapsular cataract. The opacity occurs in the capsule itself.

Posterior lentiglobus (lenticonus)

In this condition, the central and sometimes paracentral posterior capsule thins and may protrude to the rear. This happens where the hyaloid system connects to the eye. This type of distortion may result in a specific area of extreme myopic refraction.

Posterior subcapsular

This type of cataract can be congenital but in most of the cases, is acquired due to any injury or steroid use. The opacity is cortical and does not involve the capsule.

Persistent fetal vasculature (PFV)

The opacity in this type of cataract is generally capsular. It is associated with, thickening, shrinkage, and vascularization of the capsule.

Traumatic disruption of lens

Traumatic anterior lens capsule ruptures quickly in children causing hydrated white cataract.

Source: https://www.aao.org/pediatric-center-detail/pediatric-cataracts-overview

The signs of cataracts

There are several signs indicating your child might be suffering from cataracts. The signs are as follows:

  • The child may not look directly towards any object. They may respond to faces or any other large, bright and colourful objects. If you see that your infant cannot locate small objects while he or she is crawling on the floor, then he may have vision problems or is suffering from cataracts.
  • When exposed to bright sunlight, the child may excessively squint and scowl, and try to shield his or her eye. This is due to the resulting glare from a cataract.
  • Your child’s eyes may not be aligned. They may not focus properly on the same point at a time. This condition is also known as strabismus.
  • Instead of a red reflex, you may notice a white reflex in your child’s eye. For instance, in the photograph of the child, one of his/her eyes may appear white while the other has the usual “red eye” look.
  • The child may have repetitive wandering movement in the affected eyes. This condition is also known as nystagmus. This sign may appear later when the infant is several months old.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/children/tc/cataracts-in-children-topic-overview#1

Treating Cataracts in Children

The treatment options for cataract in children include:

Surgery

The doctor will perform the surgery on your baby under general anaesthetic. It takes approximately an hour or two. Usually, an ophthalmologist performs this operation. If the child has cataracts are from birth, then you must get it operated as soon as possible. Usually, within a month or two of birth, the operation needs to be carried out. Any negligence or delay may result in vision loss.

Before the operation is performed, the ophthalmologist will apply drops to your baby’s eyes. This is for dilating the pupil of the eye. After that, the doctor makes a very small cut on the surface of the cornea and the removes the cloudy lens. In many cases, the doctor inserts a transparent plastic lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL) or an intraocular implant. This is done during the operation for replacing the cloudy lens that has been removed. This lens is inserted because you cannot focus without a lens. However, many times, the doctor may prescribe the use of external contact lenses or glasses (in case both the eyes are affected) for compensating for the lens removal. These external lenses are fitted a week of two after the operation.

The majority of the ophthalmologists will recommend using contact lenses or glasses in children who are under 12 months old during the time of their eye surgery. This is because babies who have an IOL inserted in their eyes have a higher risk of eye complications or may need further surgery. Once the operation is done, the incision in the eyes of your child will be closed with stitches which eventually dissolve.

Post- Operation

Once the operation is over, the doctor will place a pad or a transparent shield on your child’s eye for protecting it. In most of the cases, the child needs to stay in the hospital overnight so that the doctors may monitor his/her recovery.

If your child has cataracts in both eyes the doctor will operate on both eyes separately. This is done to reduce the risk of any complications that may affect both the eyes. Usually, there is a gap of several days between the two operations. The doctor may perform the second surgery within a week of the first one.

The doctor will provide you eye drops that you need to put in your child’s eye. This drop helps in reducing inflammation, redness and any kind of swelling in the eye. Every two to four hours, you need to put the drops in your child’s eyes. The doctor will show you the method before leaving the hospital.

Further treatment

After undergoing a cataract surgery, most of the children need to wear glasses or contact lenses. This is because the vision is usually blurred in the operated eye and it may not be able to focus on its own. Even if an artificial lens is fitted, the child will need glasses or contact lenses. This helps the child to focus on nearby objects as the artificial lens can only focus on distant objects.

Wearing a patch

For almost all cases of unilateral cataract (where only one eye is affected), the child needs to wear an eye patch. The doctor may also recommend wearing an eye patch of a child with cataracts in both eyes has a weaker vision in one eye. They need to wear the temporary patch on the stronger eye. This is known as occlusion therapy.

Occlusion therapy is used for improving vision in the weaker eye by forcing the brain to identify visual signals from the affected/operated eye. Without this treatment, children with unilateral cataract may not be able to develop good vision in the operated eye.

Orthoptists (often described as the physiotherapists for the eye) assess the visual function. The Orthoptist is the one to guide you about when your child needs to wear the patch and how long they may use it.

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cataracts-childhood/Pages/Treatment.aspx

A strong vision is essential for a child’s overall physical development including his/her success in school. In babies and young children, the vision system is not fully developed and equal input from both eyes is required for the proper growth of the vision centres of the brain. If your child’s brain doesn’t receive clear images from the eyes, his vision may get affected and become extremely limited in such a way that it cannot be corrected even later in their life. So, it’s extremely crucial to detect eye problems very early in life and treat them at the quickly once they are detected.

Perform a thorough vision checkup after he/she is born. The doctors usually do this. Check the child’s vision again during infancy, preschool and during his/her school years.

How can Disha Eye Hospital help you?

If you are looking for experienced eye specialist for performing a thorough check up of your or your child’s eye, you can book an appointment with our experts. Protecting your and your child’s vision is our first priority. Book an appointment today at http://www.dishaeye.org/appointment.