Do you have eye pain? Don’t just look the other way

The eyes are complex organs, and we ask a lot of them every day. If you have eye pain, there may be a simple explanation; but if doesn’t go away the eye pain may be an indication of a more serious problem that should be seen to by an optometrist. A person’s vision changes over time, and with the constant demands we place on the eyes, it’s a good idea anyway to have an eye exam on a regular basis. It’s a healthy habit that also ensures the healthy eyes of children—because they grow so visibly!
What causes eye pain?

Eye pain can be caused by several factors. An appointment with the optometrist will set the record straight about what’s going on, but in the meantime, see if any of these things could be causing your discomfort.

  1. An infection—conjunctivitis, blepharitis, or shingles
  2. An irritant—bright light, sun light, heat, drought, computer screens, fatigue, makeup, dust, or chemicals
  3. An abrasion—an injury to the eye or a scratch on the sclera
  4. A disease or health condition—glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, or retinal detachment

Your eyes are valuable

The optometrist can detect serious eye conditions, such as cataracts, conjunctivitis, corneal infections, and other eye infections or problems. He or she can also detect some chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, which can also affect the eyes. The optometrist can also examine the inner eye and administer some prescription drugs.

A sight for sore eyes

Here are some of the things optometrists do for patients.

  • They collaborate with other health care professionals to monitor patients who have undergone surgery or who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.
  • They advise on the prevention of visual disorders and the treatment of eye pain problems.
  • They conduct thorough eye examinations to assess accuracy of sight and the health of the eyes. They suggest treatments that can include ophthalmic drops, corrective lenses, or eye surgery.

Some ways to prevent eye pain

  • stop smoking
  • don’t look directly at bright lights or at the sun; avoid exposing the eyes to light that is too bright
  • avoid very dry or overheated areas and use a humidifier when necessary
  • book a visit to your optometrist every year
  • wear sunglasses that protect against those nasty UVA and UVB rays in both summer and winter
  • wear a visor or hat when out in the sun
  • when using a computer, take regular breaks and look away from the screen every couple of minutes
  • ensure there is adequate lighting in your home or office
  • rest your eyes and get a good night’s sleep
  • remove eye makeup at the end of every day
  • use medicated eye drops to lubricate dry or itchy eyes

When it comes to eye pain, get the odds on your side and see your optometrist regularly. And you can also do your part by eating a diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes—these foods contain vitamins that are good for the eyes and for your eyesight. Remember what Grandma always said about eating your carrots!

Do you have eye pain? Don’t just look the other way
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