Eye Conditions and Diseases

Eye problems can be minor while some can cause loss of vision. Your perfect defense is to get regular eye checkups done because certain eye diseases can be asymptomatic. There are several eye diseases and at Doctor Birring Eyecare we have various tests that can detect these diseases.

Dry Eye and Therapy

Dry eyes is a syndrome that affects a large number of people. Research shows that allergies are associated with dry eye. Dry eye symptoms are more pronounced and frequent during allergy season.

Some of the common symptoms of dry eye experienced by patients are:

· Sensitivity to bright light
· Red eyes
· Feeling of some substance in the eye
· Itchy and scratchy eye
· Stinging sensation around the eye
· Eye fatigue
· Blurred vision

Diagnosing dry eye

The initial step towards diagnosing dry eye is by getting a comprehensive eye exam. The exam would test you for dry eye and the screenings will allow to determine if dry eye or some other condition is present. Once the dry eye is detected, we will recommend a course of treatment.

Computer Vision Syndrome

With so many of us spending time in front of digital devices every day, it’s no surprise that research is showing a rise in the detection of visual problems. Having uncorrected hyperopia or myopia, astigmatism or presbyopia can all make computer use less comfortable and efficient. Depending on your condition, your eyes could be exerting extra effort of be forced to work harder to maintain a clear image when viewing the screen. Even people with perfect vision may experience symptoms such as blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches with prolonged computer use.

To ensure comfortable and efficient computer usage visit Dr. Birring Eyecare for a thorough eye health exam. To help improve your computing experience, we evaluate:

• The number of hours spent using computer
• The distance from your eyes to your screen
• The overall set up of your workstation, your main work tasks and if you have multiple screens
• The type and location of lighting in your computer area

This will help the Optometrist discover if you suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome, or if your ocular discomfort is the result of a more serious vision or health problem.To help reduce the risk of digital eyestrain, Dr. Birring and his team will recommend :

• Position of your computer screen
• Antireflection coating and specialty lenses to reduce focusing effort while looking at the computer screen
• Glare reduction tips
• Colour and contrast tones to suit your eyes
• Blinking techniques
• Eye drops

While symptoms like headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, eye irritation, double vision, excessive tearing or dry eyes, eye pain or excessive blinking are all common effects of Computer Vision Syndrome, any time you experience these symptoms, you should visit Dr. Birring Eyecare for a comprehensive eye examination.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis – commonly known as Pink Eye – is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent layer that covers the inner eyelid and the white portion at the front of the eye (the sclera). An irritation will cause the blood vessels contained in the conjunctiva to dilate, which is what causes red or bloodshot eyes. It is often associated with either watery discharge or sticky, mucous discharge). Although conjunctivitis is common among children and may be caused by a minor infection, all ages may be affected. It is important to note that some forms of conjunctivitis may develop into a more serious problem if not diagnosed and treated properly.

Symptoms of Pink Eye
Those who have contracted conjunctivitis may experience some of the following symptoms:

· Pink discolouration to the whites of the eye(s)
· Itching or burning sensation
· Swollen eyelid(s)
· Sensitivity to light
· Excessive tearing
· Sticky yellow discharge from the eye(s) or watery discharge, or stringy discharge

Treatment of Pink Eye
The treatment for pink eye depends on the type that you have contracted:

1. Infectious Conjunctivitis:

Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments prescribed by your eye doctor.Viral conjunctivitis, unlike bacterial infections, cannot be treated with antibiotics. This form of conjunctivitis is self-limited, which means that the infection will go away on its own anywhere between 7 days to several weeks duration.

Some doctors of optometry use off-label treatment for viral conjunctivitis to clear away as much virus as possible in the eye while the immune system has a chance to kick in and help stop the spread of the virus (see Betadine treatment for info).

Sometimes (steroid) eye drops are used to prevent scarring of cornea.Artificial tears can be used frequently, and applying a wet, cold washcloth to the infected eye to relieve discomfort from the symptoms. (NOTE: Due to the highly contagious nature of this type of pink eye, be very careful not to share used cloths!) – frequent handwashing, avoid touching eyes, sharing towels, etc. are important. Patients are also advised to stay away from school/work for a full 2 weeks from onset of viral conjunctivitis as it is contagious during this period (10-12 days).

2. Allergic Conjunctivitis:

Allergy medications (antihistamine) can help provide relief, shorten the length, and sometimes even prevent the onset of allergic conjunctivitis. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, speak with your doctor about beginning these medications early in order to get ahead of the symptoms.

3. Chemical Conjunctivitis

The treatment of chemical conjunctivitis depends on the degree of exposure. For minor irritation such as chlorine from swimming in a pool, carefully rinse the eyes and consider purchasing a good pair of goggle for future activities. More acute chemical exposure may be a medical emergency and call for immediate medical attention.

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Amblyopia is described as weak vision or vision loss in one eye as a result of an uncorrected prescription during the early stages of development. If detected and treated before age six, it will often resolve completely. It is important to treat amblyopia early – with vision therapy, eyeglasses, contact lenses, or patching – as treatment becomes very difficult later on. Untreated amblyopia can lead to blindness in the affected eye. It is estimated that two to four per cent of children under the age of six have amblyopia.
Amblyopia may result from a large difference in the prescription between the two eyes, resulting in two different image sizes, or it can occur when strabismus (crossed eyes) is present. Because the image that is sent to the brain from the affected eye is poor, the brain will ignore this eye. Over time, very few connections are made between the brain and the eye. It is this lack of connections that causes the eye to become amblyopic. This is why glasses alone cannot correct the problem. To strengthen the amblyopic eye, it is essential to use it. This can be achieved by patching the good eye and forcing he brain to use the lazy eye.

Symptoms of Lazy Eye:

Most of the time, there are no symptoms of amblyopia. Since only one eye is affected, the other eye usually has reasonably good vision and tends to take over all visual tasks. Unless the good eye is covered, the person will rarely notice the poor vision in the amblyopic eye. That is why a child with amblyopia may not realize they cannot see properly out of both eyes. Sometimes amblyopia is associated with strabismus (crossed eyes), which has its own signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis of Lazy Eye:

A comprehensive optometric examination can determine the presence of amblyopia. The earlier it is diagnosed, the greater the chance for a complete recovery. That is why it is important to have your child’s vision examined at six months of age, again at age three and then regularly thereafter.

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