Learn the Facts about These Common Eye Conditions
Have you ever suffered from the itchiness and pain of dry eyes and shrugged it off as a nuisance? Dry eyes are caused by your eyes’ inability to produce tears. If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to a host of other eye problems. Here are four common eye conditions you should know about.
Also called conjunctivitis, pink eye is a viral or bacterial infection that causes irritation and swelling of the membranes lining the eye surface and lids. The lining is usually clear but becomes red and inflamed when infected. The condition is contagious and is spread by improper hand washing. Viral conjunctivitis will usually resolve within seven to 10 days without treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis is often accompanied by pain, swelling, and a thick, yellow discharge. It can be successfully treated with antibiotic drops in two to four days.
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is reduced vision stemming from abnormal eye development during infancy or early childhood. The unaffected eye will “take over” for the weaker eye, leaving its vision to further deteriorate. If left untreated, lazy eye can cause permanent vision loss ranging from mild to severe.
Signs that your child may suffer from this condition include an eye that strays inward or outward, eyes that don’t track together or poor depth perception. An optometrist can treat amblyopia using eye drops, contact lenses or eye patches. Surgery might be necessary in severe cases.
Astigmatism is a common condition caused by eyes that are not completely round. This condition is present in almost everyone and poses little to no health risks. A normal eye should be spherical, but with astigmatism, the eye is shaped more like a football. Depending on its severity, an optometrist might treat the condition with glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery. In many cases, no treatment is necessary.
Color blindness is a genetic condition present at birth. Those who are colorblind have difficulty seeing red, green, blue or a combination of those colors. Cone cells let eyes distinguish between red, green and blue light. For a colorblind person, one or more of the cones is missing or defective. There is no treatment. People with the condition can’t pursue certain careers, but most see a wide variety of colors differently than others.