What causes melanoma of the eye?

You must have heard of melanoma. However, you must have heard about it in the context of skin cancer. Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that develops in the pigment that gives colour to the skin, eyes and hair. But do you know melanoma can also form in the eye? Just like skin cancer, eye melanoma also develops in the pigment-producing cells that lend eyes their colour. If the melanoma starts in the eye, it is called primary eye cancer. If melanoma begins elsewhere in the body and spreads to the eye, it is called secondary eye cancer.

Symptoms of eye melanoma 

Eye melanomas often form in that part of the eye that is easily visible. This makes eye melanoma difficult to detect. Moreover, there are early warning signs or symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they include 

  • Floaters 
  • Growing dark spot on the iris
  • Change in the shape of the pupil
  • Blurry vision in one eye
  • Loss of peripheral vision

Causes of eye melanoma 

The exact cause of eye melanoma is still not known. It occurs when errors develop in the DNA of healthy eye cells. What causes cells to grow and multiply out of control is not known. 

Here are some risk factors for melanoma 

Some people are at higher risk of developing eye melanoma than others and the risk factors include: 

  • Light eye colour. People with light coloured eyes are at higher risk of developing eye melanoma. 
  • Age: With age the risk of eye melanoma increases. 
  • Certain skin disorders: People who suffer from dysplastic nevus syndrome are at risk of developing melanoma on the skin and eye. People with abnormal skin pigmentation around the eyelids are also at risk.
  • UV exposure: It is not conclusive but ultraviolet exposure to UV light, may increase the risk of eye melanoma.
  • Genetic factors. Certain genes passed from parents to children may increase the risk of eye melanoma.

 

Complications related to eye melanoma include

  • Glaucoma: A growing eye melanoma may cause glaucoma by increasing the ocular pressure within the eye. 
  • Vision loss. Growing eye melanomas can lead to vision loss. In some cases, they may cause retinal detachment, which if not treated in time can lead to irreversible vision loss. While small eye melanomas can cause partial vision loss, advanced eye melanomas can cause complete vision loss.
  • Affect other organs: Eye melanoma can spread beyond the eye and can even spread to the liver, lungs and bones.

How to diagnose melanoma of the eyes? 

Early detection of melanoma of the eye can help increase the chances of better treatment. The best way to detect melanoma early is to get the eye checked annually. A comprehensive eye check up involves the examination of the outer part of the eye as well as the inside of the eye. 

Looking for an eye doctor in Kolkata? 

Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor if there’s any symptom or sudden changes in vision. From routine eye tests to critical surgical interventions, Disha Eye Hospitals offer holistic care and treatment for your eyes. We offer a wide range of surgeries – LASIK, refractive surgeries and cataract surgery. To book an online consultation with our eye doctor in Kolkata or visit the nearest branch.  

FAQs on Inherited and Genetic Eye Diseases

There are many factors that play an important role in determining overall eye health. Genetics is one of the most significant ones. Many eye diseases, including those that cause blindness among infants, children and adults, are inherited. In some cases, early diagnosis and effective treatment for inherited eye disorders can help prevent the conditions from worsening. Therefore, it is important to know about these conditions. We have some of the best eye specialists in Kolkata. These eye specialists will answer some of the frequently asked questions on inherited and genetic eye diseases 

Question 1: What eye problems are genetic?

There are over 350 eye diseases that are genetic. A genetic eye disorder occurs when a child inherits a disease from one or both patients. Some of the genetic eye disorders are: 

  • Congenital cataracts
  • Congenital glaucoma
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Colour blindness 
  • Corneal dystrophies
  • Keratoconus

Note: In adults, glaucoma and macular degeneration are among the leading causes of blindness. Both seem to be hereditary.

Question 2: Can common vision problems be inherited?

Yes, common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are also inherited. The risk of developing these conditions is higher if both the parents have the eye disorder. Strabismus and amblyopia can also be inherited. 

Question 3: Can genetic eye disorders be cured?

Early diagnosis and effective treatment of inherited eye disorders can help prevent the worsening of vision. For instance, congenital cataracts can be treated by removal as soon after the diagnosis. The surgery can be performed on an infant as young as 6 to 8 weeks. 

Question 4: What are the symptoms of inherited eye diseases? 

Symptoms vary depending on the type of eye disease. Some of the general symptoms include:

  • Abnormal appearance
  • Fluid in eyes
  • Impaired vision  

Question 5: How can genetic eye problems be diagnosed? 

The best way to protect a baby’s eyes from congenital or hereditary eye disease is through regular eye examinations. Certain eye diseases are present at the time of birth while some develop shortly thereafter. Therefore, it is important that the baby’s eyes are regularly examined by an ophthalmologist or paediatric ophthalmologist. When diagnosed early, the chances of treatment can be better and the impact of the disease can be minimised. 

Looking for the best eye specialist in Kolkata for children? 

We, at Disha Eye Hospitals, have a dedicated Paediatric Ophthalmology unit with some of the best eye specialists in Kolkata on board. We conduct various eye tests for infants, toddlers, pre-school children and verbal children. We work closely with parents and children to integrate ophthalmologic treatment into the patient’s total care plan.

Question 6: What to expect during the evaluation? 

The paediatric ophthalmologist or eye doctor will completely review the test results. The parents will be asked about their family medical history, with particular attention given to signs and symptoms of genetic disorders. The child will have to undergo a comprehensive eye checkup. For this, the pupils will be dilated. Some of the common tests for diagnosing genetic eye disorders are: 

  • Electroretinography
  • Visual evoked potential testing
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Fundus autofluorescence
  • Visual fields

 

Note: Additional tests may be recommended depending on the symptoms. 

 

How to wear glasses with a face mask?

If you wear spectacles, you must have experienced the innocuous problem of glasses fogging up when you step out of an air conditioned room. However, you may be facing this problem more often while wearing a face mask. But why does that happen? Well, when you wear a mask, breath escapes up to your glasses, causing glasses to steam up, making it difficult to see clearly. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid wearing a face mask. There are no two ways that it’s important to wear a mask, even if you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, or have recovered from the infection. 

Wearing a mask is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Wearing a mask is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Follow these tips curated by our eye specialists  on wearing eyeglasses with a face mask: 
1. Keep the lenses clean: Clean the lenses with a regular lens cleaning solution that comes with glasses. Doing so helps in creating a thin film on the surface of the lens that prevents the lens from fogging up. If you don’t have any lens cleaning solution, wash the spectacles in soapy water and then rinse them with clean water. You can also use an anti-fogging solution before wearing the eyeglasses.

Note: Do not use products that aren’t formulated for eyewear. Products such as toothpaste and vinegar may damage the coatings on the lenses. 

2. Dry the glasses properly: Before wearing the eyeglasses again, gently dry with a soft cloth. Do not use a paper towel to dry the lenses as it can leave scratch marks.

3. Fit your mask to your face: The warm air escapes and fog up your lenses when the mask is loose. When putting on your mask, make the top of the mask fit the shape of your nose. Use self-adhesive nose bridge pads or pins to close the gap between the bridge of the nose and the top of your mask. Using pins or pads will ensure that the mask is snuggly fit. Make sure you use well-fitted masks such as the ones that come with adjustable frames.

4. Adjust the position of your glasses: Push the glasses forward on your nose. This will allow more air to circulate and prevent your breath from fogging up the glasses.

5. Position the mask correctly: Pull the mask up over your nose and rest your glasses on top of it. This will block the air from escaping and prevent fogging.

6. Use anti-fog wipes: You can also use single-use anti-fog wipes to keep your glasses streak-free, safe, and fog-free.

Note: Many people often use hand sanitizer to clean their spectacles. However, they must realize that hand sanitizer are an effective anti-fog agent only in a hospital setting where surgical goggles are used. Alcohol in hand sanitizers can damage the protective coatings of the standard eyewear.

Having trouble with your vision? Book online consultation with an eye specialist 

Disha Eye Hospitals are leading eye hospitals in West Bengal. We specialise in all eye care, including LASIK and cataract surgery. Our eye specialists with the help of the latest techniques and equipment offer best patient care possible. You can book an online consultation with our eye specialist or visit our branches in-person.

 

 

Useful insights on blue light

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum; it can come from digital devices, fluorescent lighting solutions, and of course, the sun. Researchers have found that exposure to blue light at night from phones can disrupt your ability to fall asleep as blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that tells us when it is time to sleep. In addition to disrupting sleep, blue light can lead to retinal stress, which can cause an early onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  As one of the best eye hospitals in Kolkata,  we have curated a list of useful insights on blue light and its effect on our health: 

Useful insights on blue light

  1. Blue light affects sleep cycle: Exposure to artificial blue light closer to bedtime can disrupt the circadian rhythm —- internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. During the day, blue light from the sun has been found to help people stay focused and alert. It also boosts memory and cognitive functions. However, when a person is exposed to blue light in the evening hours, the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone, is suppressed. Harvard researchers conducted an experiment where they compared the effects in people who were exposed to 6.5 hours of blue light versus 6,5 hours of green light. It was found that blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long as the green light.
  2. Blue light may cause eye strain: Often many people experience discomfort after looking at digital screens. This is called digital eye strain. When looking at screens, people often blink less. Blinking keeps the eyes moistened and cleans the surface of the eyes of any debris or dirt. When one blinks less, the eyes dry up which can lead to irritated and dry eyes. The best way to protect the eyes against digital strain is to take frequent breaks and blink more often.
  3. Use devices on night mode:  Digital devices come with a night mode that reduces screen brightness, which can reduce eye strain. The night mode reduces glare and helps your eyes adjust to the surrounding light.
  4. You get more blue light exposure from the sun than any other source: People often associate blue light with digital devices whereas the largest source of harmful blue light is sunlight. A study found that higher levels of  sun exposure in teenage and early adult years were associated with early age related macular degeneration. To protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the blue light, wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB light. Also, it is important to wear sunglasses throughout the year , even during winters. Here is a useful read on choosing the right types of sunglasses for your eyes. 

If despite cutting back on your screen time and exposure to bright light the eye strain persists, see an eye doctor to find out the causes and the solutions to protect your vision. If you are searching for the best eye hospital in Kolkata and other cities in West Bengal, visit the nearest branch of Disha Eye Hospitals. You can also book an online consultation

 

 

Retinal diseases in children: things to know

Often when people talk about retinal diseases, they assume that they are common only in adults. However, children too can suffer from retinal disorders. It is important to note here that retinal diseases in children are different from those in adults. Early diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases may help slow or stop the progression of retinal diseases that affect children. Our retina specialists in Kolkata and other branches are experts at identifying retinal diseases and they work closely with paediatric ophthalmologists to help children get the best medical and surgical care when needed. 

Retinal diseases in children

As one of the leading hospitals in Kolkata, we share with you some important things that you should know about retinal diseases: 

1. Retinopathy of prematurity: This retinal disorder primarily affects premature infants. The smaller the baby at the time of the birth, the more likely that infant is likely to develop the condition. In premature babies, the normal growth of blood vessels is disrupted because of early birth. 

Note: Any child who has retinopathy of prematurity and has undergone treatment should have regular annual eye exams even during adulthood. 

 

2. Retinal detachment: Though rare in children, retinal detachment requires immediate medical care. It usually happens when there’s a tear in the retina. The most common cause of retinal detachment is an eye or head injury.

3. Juvenile macular degeneration: Juvenile macular degeneration causes central vision loss in children and young adults. As of now, there is no treatment for juvenile macular degeneration. 

4. Retinoblastoma: Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that starts in the retina. In rare cases, it can affect adults. 

5. Uveitis: Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation. It affects the middle layer of tissue in the eyewall. The warning signs often show up suddenly and get worse quickly. 

How are retinal diseases diagnosed in children? 

Advances in imaging technology have made it possible for children with retinal diseases to be diagnosed early. This ensures that children receive immediate and proper treatment. There are different kinds of diagnostic tests that are recommended for young children. For some tests, children may be sedated so that diagnoses can be made

Common tests that we conduct at our hospital to diagnose retinal diseases in children:  

  • Fluorescein angiography: In this procedure, a dye is injected into the bloodstream. The dye causes the blood vessels in the back of the eye to shine while a camera-like device takes images. 
  • Electroretinography: Electroretinography is a test to measure the electrical response of the eye’s light-sensitive cells. This is mostly used to check the macula which is responsible for the central vision. 
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): This is a noninvasive imaging technology used to obtain 3D images of the retina. It gives retinal specialists a detailed 3D view of the inside of the eye. 
  • Visual field testing: A visual field test measures how much the eyes can see out of the corners. Basically, it checks for blind spots and other vision defects caused by retinal diseases.

Looking for a retina specialist in Kolkata?

We have a dedicated paediatric ophthalmology unit. To book an appointment, contact us

8 Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss

Peripheral vision loss is the loss of side vision. Peripheral vision helps you see the surrounding objects without turning your head or moving your eyes. It also helps you sense motion and lets you carry various activities such as running, walking, and driving without crashing into anything. To understand more about peripheral vision, let us first give you a brief insight on the retina. 

8 Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss

2 types of cells in the retina 

There are 2 types of light-sensitive cells in the retina: rods and cones. The cones help us see colour and are concentrated in a small central area of the retina called the macula. Rods are responsible for peripheral and night vision. Loss of peripheral vision or tunnel vision typically results from eye conditions that inhibit the normal functioning of the rods. 

Symptoms of peripheral vision loss – when to see an eye specialist? 

When people suffer from moderate to severe peripheral vision loss, they feel as if they are looking down a narrow tube. Some of the other symptoms of peripheral vision loss include: 

  1. Poor night vision
  2. Blind spots
  3. Eye pain
  4. Headaches 
  5. Nausea
  6. Increased or decreased light sensitivity
  7. Change in the size of the pupils 
  8. Seeing glare around lights

If you are noticing any of these symptoms, book an appointment with an eye doctor in Kolkata

What causes peripheral vision loss?

Loss of peripheral vision may be the result of:

  1. Glaucoma: It is one of the most common causes of peripheral vision loss. Glaucoma causes elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Extremely high IOP results in optic nerve damage, which leads to a loss of side vision. People suffering from diabetes are at an increased risk of suffering from Glaucoma. Hence, it is important for Diabetics to visit their eye doctors regularly. If you are a diabetic and searching for the best eye doctor in Kolkata,  check our list of eye doctors – they are some of the best names in Kolkata. From reputed eye surgeons to the best retina specialist doctors in Kolkata, we have some of the leading names in our team. 
  2. Eye Stroke or Retinal Artery Occlusion: Eye strokes are caused by clots or narrowing of your retina’s blood vessels. When the blood flow to the retina is interrupted, it can result in various vision problems, including peripheral vision loss and even total vision loss. 
  3. Retinitis pigmentosa: It refers to a group of rare eye conditions caused by genetic mutations. These conditions are inherited genetically and affect the retina, resulting in night blindness, tunnel vision, and other vision problems.
  4. Cataracts:  It is a buildup of proteins in the lens, forming protein clumps. In many cases, cataract starts damaging the lens from the edges leading to peripheral vision loss. 
  5. Optic Nerve Atrophy: When the optic nerve is damaged it can affect your central vision, peripheral vision, and color vision. 
  6. Retinal Detachment: It is a painless yet serious condition that occurs when the retina separates from the back of your eye. It can be caused by tears or holes in the retina, an inflammatory disorder, Coats’ disease, or the contraction of scar tissue on the retina’s surface. Over time a detached retina can cause loss of peripheral vision. 
  7. Ocular Migraine: They happen when the blood flow to the eye is restricted. Someone who is suffering from ocular migraines can experience peripheral vision loss and other visual disturbances for a short period of time. 
  8. Papilledema: Swelling of the optic disc, called papilledema, can lead to vision problems including loss of side vision. 

How to test peripheral vision? 

Your eye doctor will perform a visual field test to check how much you can see out of the corners of your eyes. This is a simple, painless, and non-invasive procedure. 

Everyday Habits That Are Hurting Your Vision

The eyes are major organs and they need proper care and attention. However, often people take their vision for granted – they do things that might be damaging their vision. As one of the top eye hospitals in Kolkata, we discuss with you a few everyday habits that can hurt your vision and cause eye discomfort, pain, and even eye infection. 

Everyday Habits That Are Hurting Your Vision

Habit 1: Rubbing your eyes: 

  • This may seem like a harmless thing to do, but rubbing your eyes vigorously can actually affect your eye health.
  • When you rub your eyes, there is a chance of keratoconus – which can weaken the structure of the cornea. 
  • Every day your hands come in contact with many bacteria and germs. When you rub your hands with dirty hands, you increase the risk of transferring the germs into your eyes, thus increasing the risk of eye infection.

Habit 2: Too much screen time:

  • Staring at digital screens all day can cause eye discomfort.
  • During the  Covid-19 pandemic, the digital screen timings have increased as education, work and entertainment have moved online.
  • According to a study, nearly 23% of the Indian population saw their eyesight weakening due to the increased screen time during the pandemic. The study found that in 2020, the average Indian spent around 6 hours 36 minutes staring at a digital screen. 
  • When you are spending too much time on TV, browsing the internet, or staring at your phone, you’re less likely to blink, which means your eyes can get dry, red and itchy. 
  • To avoid dry and itchy eyes, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

Habit 3: Not wearing sunglasses outside

  • Extensive exposure to UV rays damages the retina, putting the eyes at the risk for eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium, and photokeratitis. 
  • Always buy sunglasses with UV protection.

Habit 4: Wearing old contact lenses or not storing them properly 

  • Wearing old contact lenses increases one’s risk of suffering from eye infections. 
  • Other reasons for eye infections include sharing contacts with others, sleeping in your contacts, and wearing ill-fitting contact lenses.
  • Store and keep your contact lenses in a hygienic way. Keep the case clean and replace the case every 3 months. 
  • Wearing contact lenses while showering or swimming can cause eye infections.

Habit 5: Using expired eye makeup

  • Discard expired eye makeup. Using expired or old eye makeup can lead to eye irritation and infection. 
  • Before applying an eye makeup product, always check its expiry date.

Habit 6: Skipping regular eye exams

  • Regular eye checkups can help in the early detection of eye conditions. Some eye conditions do not show any early signs and they can be detected only through comprehensive eye exams.

Note: If you are looking for a top eye hospital in Kolkata for an eye check-up, visit or book an online appointment with Disha Eye Hospitals.

Habit 7: Uncontrolled smoking

  • Smoking is injurious to health. It can cause health problems such as cancer or lung disease and can also harm your eye health. 
  • A few of the eye conditions related to smoking are glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, and macular degeneration. Gradually quitting smoking can help save your vision as well as your overall physical health.

A useful guide on LASIK

A type of refractive eye surgery, LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. The procedure can correct refractive errors — nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. As the surgery has a good track record, it is often chosen by many patients. The procedure is safe and quickly restores the vision.

A useful guide on LASIK

Requirements for a good LASIK surgery candidate:

1. Candidate’s eyes should be healthy: The eyes should be healthy. If there’s any active eye infection or abrasions, they must be treated before the surgery.

2. The eye condition is within range: LASIK eye procedures treat a wide range of eye conditions, including hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism. An eye doctor is the best person to tell whether LASIK is the best treatment for a particular eye condition or not.

3. The vision should be stable: Stable vision reduces the risk of regression and the need for a touch-up procedure. 

4. The candidate should be an adult: The patient has to be at least 18 years old to undergo LASIK surgery.

What is the procedure for LASIK?

Before a LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon will/may:

  • Assess the overall health of the eye. 
  • Prescribe mild medication a few days before the procedure. 
  • Put numbing drops in the eyes before the operation starts.

LASIK treatment:

LASIK surgery can be performed with Excimer Laser as well as Femtosecond laser. While the former uses a blade during the procedure, the latter is a bladeless procedure.

The laser physically corrects the glass prescription by reshaping the cornea during the surgery. Thus, correcting myopia, hypermetropia or astigmatism using this technology.

The LASIK surgery usually requires less than 30 minutes of operating room time. The laser is for less than a minute on each eye. However,  preoperative preparation and post-operative observation may take hours.

LASIK with Excimer Laser

The procedure involves two steps:

  • Creation of thin-film or flap on the surface of the cornea by a precision flap-making instrument
  • Reshaping the cornea with excimer laser by removing tissue from the middle layer of the cornea

The procedure in detail:

  • After numbing the eyes, the patient is asked to relax on the treatment bed. The eyelids of the patient are held open with a precision flap making instrument, microkeratome. It is an extremely fine instrument with precise delicate gears.
  • The patient is then asked to focus on a special fixation light. The eye surgeon uses a precision instrument. The instrument folds away a corneal flap within seconds, revealing the middle layer of the cornea.
  • During the creation of the flap, the pressure in the patient’s eye rises and their vision may grey out.
  • The cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser. 
  • After this, the flap is returned to cover the exposed area. And the treatment is completed.
  • Eye drops are put in the eye and a shield will be placed to keep the eye protected.

LASIK with Femtosecond Laser

The following steps are followed on the day of surgery: 

  • The patient is brought to a procedure room and is asked to lie on their back under the laser system and a computer screen.
  • Numbing drops are put into the patient’s eyes. 
  • The patient’s eyelids are kept open during the procedure using a machine called eye speculum.
  • A suction ring is centered over the pupil and suction is applied. A glass lens holds the globe of the eye steady and flattens the cornea.
  • The laser is used to create a flap in the surface of the cornea and suction is released.
  • The cornea is reshaped as required.
  • The flap is replaced once reshaping is complete. 
  • The flap will heal without stitches.

Note: If you are looking for the best eye hospital in Kolkata for bladeless, femtosecond LASIK surgery, you can visit us. We, at Disha Eye Hospitals, are committed to providing our patients with the highest possible standard of ophthalmic care in an affordable manner. Along with LASIK surgery, a few of our other services include cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, diagnostic and imaging services.

Although each of the LASIK procedures has its own features and benefits, there are a few advantages of femtosecond laser LASIK:

  • Puts patients at greater ease as no blade is used during the process
  • The decreased potential risk of corneal abrasion
  • Helps surgeons to customize LASIK procedure
  • Creates corneal flap with edges, enabling it to fit securely in place after the LASIK procedure, decreasing the risk of dislocation of flap post-surgery

What to do after LASIK surgery?

After LASIK surgery:

  • The patient should avoid rubbing or squeezing their eyes for the first week. 
  • They should take care of the eye to ensure that they do not displace the flap.

 

Why are dry eyes an increasing problem?

If you’ve ever experienced irritation, itching, or scratching sensation in your eyes,  you are not alone. These are the symptoms of dry eyes. Dry eyes is an eye syndrome that occurs when tears fail to provide adequate lubrication to the eyes. 

Why are dry eyes an increasing problem

Dry eyes may sting or burn. In some cases, dry eyes are uncomfortable, disrupting day-to-day activities. Dry eye syndrome is on the rise, affecting around 344 million people across the globe

Note: We, at Disha Eye Hospitals, are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to help diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome. We have some of the best doctors, ophthalmologists, and eye surgeons in Kolkata on board .

Causes of dry eye: 

  • Weather conditions: Different weather conditions, such as cold climate and exposure to winds can result in tears evaporating too quickly, further leading to dryness in the eyes. Dry air can also lead to dry eyes. 

 

  • Air conditioning: Today, air conditioners have become a part of homes and offices, especially in areas with high humidity. While air-conditioned homes and offices make your indoor environment more pleasant, it also drains the humidity from the air, resulting in loss of moisture in the eyes. This can result in dry eyes. 

 

 

Extended screen time: One of the noticeable and recent effects on eye health is extended screen time. Blinking helps in keeping the eyes lubricated. When people look at a screen for extended periods, they tend to blink less. This causes faster evaporation of the film of tears that protects the surface of the eye, leading to dry eyes. 

 

Wearing contact lenses: Contact lenses can also put one at risk of dry eyes. Wearing contact lenses for more than the recommended hours per day can increase the risk of developing dry eyes.   Not handling contact lenses properly can result in dry eye issues and can also exacerbate dry eye symptoms for those who are already suffering from the condition. 

Things to know about an eye strain headache

People often experience eye strain. The term is often used by people to describe symptoms such as mild pain or discomfort in the eye. Usually, eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired due to overuse, such as driving for a long period of time or staring at the computer or mobile screen for too long. This can cause discomfort.  Eye strain is also known as asthenopia or ocular fatigue. Eye strain can sometimes also trigger headaches, the severity of which depends on the cause. They are known as eyestrain headaches. 

 eye strain headache

Eye strain headaches are basically the pain behind one’s eyes. Below we share a few signs of eye strain headache:

What are the signs of eye strain headache?

  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Sour eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain

What causes eye strain?

  • Continuous use of the digital screen: Staring at a digital screen for a long period of time is the most common cause of eye strain. 

When you focus on the screen, you blink less often, which can lead to dry eyes and cause irritation  

  • Prolonged focus on a single task: Your eyes get tired when you continually focus on a single activity for a long time, for instance, driving, reading a book or even drawing.

 

  • Vision problems:  You may experience eye strain if you have vision problems. When you have problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, your eyes work harder to see things, making the eyes tired and leading to an eyestrain headache. 

 

 

  • Bright or dim lights: If the light is too bright or too dim, it is difficult to see clearly. Trying to focus in such situations is tough, making your eyes tired and strained.  

How to prevent eye strain?

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule:  Try to take frequent breaks when using digital screens. According to this rule, look at something at least 20 feet away for around 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Avoid using digital screens in the dark: Your eyes need to do extra work when you stare at a digital screen in the dark, making your eyes tired sooner than they should. Therefore, avoid using a digital screen in the dark.
  • Blink often: Blink more than you do now.  Blinking moisten your eyes, keeping the risk of dry eyes away.
  • Keep your screen at a distance: Always  your screen at least 25 inches away from your eyes and position it slightly below eye level.
  • Do not wear eye contact lenses for a longer period of time: Wearing contact lenses for a long time can cause eye irritation and strain your eyes. 
  • Adjust the brightness of your digital screen: Make sure that your screen is bright enough to not have shadows, and also not too bright that it’s hard to discern contrast.
  • Keep your surroundings clean: Keep your surroundings free from dust, which can disturb your tear ducts and lead to dry eyes.
  • Get enough sleep: Try to get around 6-8  hours of sleep. Stay hydrated and drink up liquids to avoid dry eye discomfort.
  • Wear anti-reflective lenses: The best way to save your sensitive eyes from eye strain from digital screens is to wear anti-reflective glasses. 
  • Get regular eye checkups: Weak vision can cause headaches, eye strain and blurred vision. So, even if you don’t have any eye problems, you should visit an eye specialist and have your eyes examined at least once a year.

Looking for an experienced eye specialist? 

Getting your eyes checked by an eye specialist regularly can help stop vision problems from getting worse. As one of the reputed eye hospitals in West Bengal, we have some of the best eye specialists on board.  Our eye specialists are highly experienced and well-versed with the latest medical procedures. You can consult our eye specialist either in person or opt for online consultation.