The eyes are the window to the soul, but not if they are red and itchy. Most people will experience gritty and burning sensations in their eyes at some point in their lives. Some eye conditions are minor and will resolve on their own, while others can lead to blindness if left untreated.
However, without a licensed provider, you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the issue accurately. Fortunately, if you know the common eye conditions, you may be able to match them up with your symptoms. With that in mind, here is a list of eye conditions in humans and ways to treat them.
Dry eye conditions occur when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears. You may get a gritty sensation that something is in your eyes. Fortunately, there are several remedies, like:
- Lubricating eye drops
- Plugs to reduce drainage
- Eyelid cream with testosterone
- Supplements with fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids
If dry eyes persist for an extended period, you may have to see your doctor. Your treatment strategies depend on the types of dry eye you have. The most common solution is to encourage tear production; your provider may prescribe cyclosporine (Cequa, Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra) to help.
Anyone who spends hours reading, working on a computer, or driving long distances is familiar with this one. The eyes have muscles around them that also get fatigued from excessive eye usage.
The basic treatment is to allow your eyes to rest. Take your eyes off the computer and walk around the park. Put your book down and pursue other activities like exercising.
Why do your eyes look bloodshot? The eye’s surface is covered with blood vessels that dilate in response to irritation or infection. If you have unhealthy sleep habits or allergies, you may experience red eyes.
The best treatment is to grab a bag of ice, rub it for 10-15 minutes on your eyes, and relax. You can also get some eye drops to lubricate your eyes. If your eyes are still red despite these treatment strategies, then it’s time to see your doctor.
The Sluggish Eye
It’s vital for parents to notice certain eye conditions in children. For example, Amblyopia (lazy eye) occurs when one eye does not develop normally. This leads to vision impairment where one eye moves “lazily” while the other eye remains stationary.
If a lazy eye is diagnosed and corrected early, your child can develop a healthy normal vision. Treatment options include corrective glasses or contact lenses. Parents can also place a patch on the normal eye to stimulate more movement from the lazy eye.
This is a set of disorders that result in uveal inflammation. This is the eye’s central layer, which houses most of the blood vessels. These disorders may wreak havoc on eye tissue and potentially result in blindness.
Individuals with immune system disorders, such as AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis may be at an increased risk of developing uveitis. Symptoms may include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Eye ache
- Redness of the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
Consult your physician if these symptoms persist for more than a few days. Treatment options for uveitis vary according to the etiology.
This condition occurs with normal distant vision, but you lose the ability to see near objects. After the age of 40, you may need to hold your reading material farther away from your eyes. You can use reading glasses, contact lenses, or consider laser eye surgery to restore normal reading vision.
These are tiny dots or specks that float over the range of view. Most individuals detect them in well-lit rooms or on a sunny day. While floaters are mostly harmless, they may be an underlying symptom of something more sinister, like retinal detachment.
Retinal detachment is when the retina at the back of the eye separates from the layer underneath. When this occurs, you may see bright flashes or a black shadow across the border of your vision. If you detect several spots or flashes or a black “curtain” in your peripheral vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.
It is unrelated to your emotions. You may be sensitive to changes in light, wind, or temperature. Consider shielding or wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Tearing may also indicate a more severe issue, such as an eye infection or a clogged tear duct. Both of these disorders may be treated or corrected by your doctor.
These are hazy regions that form on the surface of the lens in your eyes. A healthy lens is clear and transparent. It transmits light to your retina, which is located in the back of your eye and is responsible for processing images.
When you have a cataract, light cannot pass through your eye. Your vision gets impaired, and you may see glare or a halo around nighttime. Cataracts occur gradually and require surgery to restore them.
Just like your car tires, your eyes require an adequate amount of pressure to operate efficiently. However, excessive pressure can damage the nerve in your eyes. Although it is uncommon, glaucoma may be caused by the following:
- Eye injury
- Blood vessel obstruction
- Ocular inflammatory disorders
Prescription eye drops or surgery can help treat these conditions. Since people don’t experience any symptoms early, it’s vital to get a yearly check-up to diagnose and treat it immediately.
Conjunctivitis is when the tissue that lines the back of your eyelids and covers your sclera becomes inflamed. It may manifest as redness, burning, itching, discharge, or the sensation of something in your eyes. The common etiologies are infection, chemical exposure, irritants, or allergies.
Treatment depends on the etiology. For example, viral infections usually go away on their own, but bacterial infection requires antibiotic eye drops from the doctor. If the cause of conjunctivitis results from allergies, then oral antihistamines can help.
Your eyelids perform several functions. They lubricate your eyes by spreading tears throughout their surface. It also protects the eyes from intense lights.
Eyelid disorders are often accompanied by pain, itching, tears, and sensitivity to light. You may also experience blinking spasms or irritated outer margins of your eyelashes. The best treatment option is keeping your eyes cleaned, lubricated, and well-rested.
Learn More About Common Eye Conditions
Now that you are aware of different eye conditions, you should still see your doctor. This is because symptoms alone do not give you the full picture. However, the proper eye exam can provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
Treating your eye conditions early can prevent potential complications. Being informed can also provide you with confidence and reassurance. If you want to be prepared for your next eye appointment, continue reading our blog posts to learn more about different eye conditions and ways to treat them.