For your eyes only
Behind every symptom
there is a cause, more or less serious, that should motivate you to see an
ophthalmologist - and in rare cases send you to the emergency room.
SYMPTOM: Severe itching, redness of the eyes and tearing
It is often an allergic reaction to common suspects, such as pollen, dust mites or pet hair. Also, cosmetics and make-up applied near the eyelids or lashes (shadows, eye-liner, mascara) can cause allergic reactions. Your ophthalmologist or pharmacist will suggest a special antihistamine or cortisone eye drops, or even an oral antihistamine. In particular, they will advise you not to succumb to the need to rub your eyes, as bacteria and viruses, which infect your eyes, are transmitted through the hands.
SYMPTOM: Tingling, accompanied by intense redness of the eyes and conjunctiva (inner eyelid) and a feeling of "foreign body" in the eye.
You may have conjunctivitis, a condition that needs to be examined by a specialist. Conjunctivitis ("pink eye") is caused by a virus or a bacterium; however, conjunctivitis can sometimes be caused by an allergy.
Viral conjunctivitis goes through a cycle that usually lasts no more than 1 to 2 weeks. It is highly contagious, as it is caused by the virus that causes the common cold, which is transmitted not only through direct physical contact, but also through contaminated surfaces and objects. Bacterial conjunctivitis requires topical antibiotic treatment with eye drops or ointments. The use of synthetic tears can relieve the symptoms of viral and bacterial conjunctivitis until you visit the ophthalmologist and start treatment.
SYMPTOM: Painful lump on the upper or lower eyelid, inside or outside. The question is common: is it barley or hail?
Barley is an inflammation caused by infection by a bacterium, usually Staphylococcus aureus. It is an inflammation of the glands, which are located on the eyelids and produce a lubricant - a basic component of the tear layer - that covers and moisturizes the eye. It usually resolves on its own or with the use of topical antibiotics recommended by your doctor. Warm compresses with water or chamomile, which can be applied several times a day, are effective. Usually the barley "deflates" within 3-4 days or bursts on its own, immediately relieving the patient of symptoms. If it bursts, the patient should carefully clean his eye with a clean cloth or gauze to remove the discharge.
Hail is found in the same glands as barley, meibomian, but the difference is that the former is a reaction to trapped fatty secretions, not the result of a bacterial infection. But that does not mean it cannot be infected. In fact, the whole area of the eyelid can often be red and swollen, as is the case of barley.
Treatment usually begins conservatively, with warm compresses, synthetic tears and topical treatment with antibiotics and cortisone. If the swelling does not go away after the inflammation has subsided, surgery is recommended.
SYMPTOM: No more tears
If your eyes feel dry, you often feel burning or "sandy" and your vision is blurred, coming back as soon as you close and open your eyes, then you have dry eyes, a symptom that depends on many pathological or non-pathological conditions. Long hours of computer use, lack of humidity in the atmosphere of the house (e.g. in winter because of the use of heating), the use of certain drugs, such as antidepressants, hormonal disorders, insomnia, old age, but also underlying diseases and syndromes, such as Sjögren's syndrome, affect the function of the lacrimal glands. Only an ophthalmologist, through a special examination, can assess the symptoms of dry eye and suggest the use of synthetic tears or recommend further examinations and consideration by doctors of other specialties.
SYMPTOM: Blurred vision
When not due to dry eye, diagnosed myopia or other refractive error (hyperopia, presbyopia, etc.), and especially when it occurs suddenly, blurred vision is a symptom that should lead you urgently to your ophthalmologist.
SYMPTOM: Severe pain
In addition to eye injury, which requires immediate treatment and emergency transport to the nearest hospital on duty, a sudden, unfamiliar eye pain should take you to the ophthalmologist, as it may involve eye or non-ophthalmic diseases: from glaucoma to optic sinusitis and multiple sclerosis. The most common cause of severe eye pain, however, is not related to eye disease, but to migraine, as it is one of the symptoms reported by patients with migraine attacks.
SYMPTOM: "Lightning" and flash
Abrupt short flashes reminiscent of the camera flash, when followed by the sudden appearance of shadows or dark spots in the field of vision, should lead the patient immediately to the ophthalmologist, as it may be due to retinal detachment, an emergency condition that requires immediate treatment.
Foods that are good for the eyes
Dark leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain essential nutrients such as carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in high concentrations in the macula, in the center of the retina. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is necessary to fight dry eyes and maintain good eyesight, while preventing cataracts. Green peppers (just one cup provides 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and C) prevent age-related macular degeneration. Finally, at the pharmacy, with the help of the pharmacist, you will find a wide variety of nutritional supplements for healthy eyes!
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