There are three types of conjunctivitis:
This occurs when insufficient tears are produced or tears evaporate too quickly. Symptoms include dry, gritty, red and sore eyes; eyelids stuck together on waking; and temporary blurred vision.
Lubricant drops help by replacing water in the tear film and oily tear drops replenish the oily part of the tear film. These are available in spray format, too. Eye ointments are best for overnight use.
This causes the edges of the eyelids to become inflamed. Symptoms include itchy and sore eyelids, eyelids stuck together on waking, crusty eyelashes, a gritty feeling and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
Blepharitis can be controlled with daily eye hygiene, including:
Oily tear drops or liposomal sprays can offer some relief. If blepharitis doesn’t improve with daily cleaning, antibiotic drops or ointment may be necessary.
Usually caused by a bacterial infection, these are small, painful abscesses on the eyelid that may cause the eye to be red and watery. Styes usually heal by themselves in three to four days, but a warm compress held against the eye will encourage pus to release and the area should heal more quickly.
This is caused by a breakdown of the light-sensitive cells in the macula – a spot in the centre of the retina – which occurs with age. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects central vision only. There are two types of AMD:
There is no proven treatment for dry AMD, although there is evidence to suggest that certain dietary nutrients may slow its progression; customers should be advised to speak to their optician. For wet AMD, patients can be treated with anti-VEGF medication, which prevents the growth of new blood vessels in the eye.
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve and can lead to sight loss if not detected and treated quickly. It doesn’t usually have noticeable symptoms to begin with, but in time, it starts to cause loss of peripheral vision. Very occasionally, glaucoma can develop suddenly and cause:
Eye drops, laser treatment and surgery are all treatment options and the one prescribed will depend on individual circumstances. Eye drops are the main treatment and work by reducing pressure in the eye.
Originally Published by Training Matters