Articles on red eye

Red Eyes: Prevention & Cool Tips on How to Take Care!

Y Siva Kumar, Ophthalmologist
A red eye is a very common condition, an eye that appears red due to illness or injury. Fortunately, many a time, the red eye is of short duration, not very troublesome, and resolves by itself.Simple red eyes usually clear by remedies such as washing with plain cold water, applying cold packs to closed eyes, taking a short period of rest, etc.Commonest cause is conjunctivitis, either due to allergy, or due to infection. Allergies can cause itchy, red eyes that appear swollen. Infection, on the other hand, can cause stickiness of the eye lids or eye lashes with some discharge in addition. While the very mild may clear by themselves, others will need specialist treatment.Other causes of red eye, which need proper treatment are, keratitis (injury/infection of cornea), scleritis & episcleritis (involvement of white layers of eye).Glaucoma or iritis can also cause redness of the eye, and these conditions would need immediate treatment. Acute glaucoma, if treatment is delayed, can lead to permanent loss of vision.To prevent delay in treatment, any one of the following feature indicates that an urgent consultation with an ophthalmologist is important:Along with redness of eyes, if there is: (1) pain in or around the eyes.(2) watering from the eyes.(3) photophobia, or inability/hypersensitivity to tolerate light.(4) diminution of ability to see clearly, which was good until the onset of red eye.Lubricating eye drops and general soothing eye drops usually give some relief in almost all the conditions. That could be a reason sometimes when we may delay seeking specialist consultation.One big danger is in using steroid eye drops, while very essential in treating some of the conditions mentioned above, has exactly the opposite and very harmful result in some other conditions. Hence, only a well trained ophthalmologist can identify these conditions quickly and advise accordingly.

Common Eye Investigations Explained!

Dr. Quresh Maskati, Ophthalmologist
Pachymetry: Measurement of the thickness of the cornea – a test done to determine if your cornea is suitable for LASIK or collagen cross linkage procedure in patients with keratoconus or conical corneaKeratometry: Measurement of corneal curvature, usually done in the centre of the cornea. This measurement is handy to add to other measurements to calculate amount of LASIK laser required to bring your spectacle number to zero; also one of the measurements required to calculate the Intra-ocular lens power suitable for your eye in case you have a cataract.AS-OCT: Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography. Something like a CT scan of the front portion of the eye. Comes in handy for a variety of diseases of the cornea and anterior segmentUBM – Ultra Biomicroscopy: This is an ophthalmic ultrasound using a special probe, to view in detail structures in the anterior segment, up to and including the crystalline lens of the eye and an inserted IOL. Also useful to examine the angle of the eye (UBM Gonioscopy) to find out if it is narrow, closed or open. This may influence decision making about glaucoma surgery in some cases.B-scan: An ultrasound test to examine structures in the back of the eye, especially if the view of the back of the eye is hampered due to opacities in the normally clear media, such as a cataract or haemorrhage in the posterior compartment(vitreous haemorrhage), so that ophthalmoscopy examination is not possible. Also useful in lesions of the extraocular muscles and any space occupying lesions in the orbit, outside the eye.A-scan: Also called A scan biometry. In this the examiner determines the front to back measurement of the eye using ultrasound. He then feeds in the keratometry reading obtained from the keratometer. An inbuilt computer in the A- scan biometry machine, using one of several complex formulae, then calculate the power of the intra-ocular lens implant required for your eyeOCT: Exactly like the AS-OCT talked about earlier; it gives you colour coded pictures of the back of the eye including individual layers of the retina. Therefore , if there is bleeding into the back of the eye or fluid collection in the retina, the OCT can tell you in which layer of the retina or whether it is just in front of or just behind the retina. It can also measure retinal thickness .This is helpful in planning treatment  in conditions like diabetic macular oedema or monitoring efficacy of intravitreal injections given for wet age related macular degeneration.Corneal Topography: This gives you several ‘maps’ of the cornea; an invaluable tool in assessing suitability of the cornea for LASIK and useful in detection of keratoconus and in fitting of contact lenses. It provides information on the curvature of the cornea at various points of the cornea, the ‘power’ of the cornea etc.Aberrometry: This is often used by the LASIK surgeon in patients unhappy after a successful LASIK – it detects minute flaws called “higher order aberrations” in your eye’s optical system which prevents you from enjoying ‘super’ vision after LASIK. Some LASIK machines which are “wave-front guided” routinely use data from aberrometers to fine tune the LASIK treatment to reduce these aberrations post LASIK surgery.Visual Field Analysis:  Mechanical devices that measured your field of vision were called perimeters. They have been largely replaced by Visual Field Analysers (VFA). These have inbuilt computers for storing and analysing your visual fields. They can compare fields done over a period and analyse whether the patient’s field is worsening or remaining the same. The routine test is a little cumbersome and requires your co-operation, lasting around 30-40 minutes, though for simple screening faster tests are available in the same machine. VFA is ordered in cases of glaucoma both for diagnosis and for judging efficacy of treatment. They are also invaluable in some neurological disorders causing drop in vision like in stroke etc.Fluorescein Fundus Angiography (FFA): In this test a dye, fluorescein Sodium is injected into the vein of your forearm. It takes around 10 seconds for the dye to spread into your retinal vasculature. This can be viewed by the observer using an ophthalmoscope, though more commonly, a digital camera called a fundus camera is used to take multiple photos of the retina shortly after dye injection.Depending on the areas of perfusion (dye seen) or non-perfusion (dye not seen) or leakage of dye from the vessels into the retina, decisions are made in cases of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration etc. about whether to do laser or give some injections or treat with medications .HRT/GDX : These are fancy names for computer software in which images of the optic disc and retina are analysed. Accurate measurements are made of optic  nerve size, cup/disc ratio, retinal nerve fibre thickness. This is a useful adjunct to diagnose glaucoma and monitor its progression.Electro-retinography (ERG):  This test is used to find out the function of the retina. This comes in useful when the retina appears normal on ophthalmoscopy but patient has poor vision and also when the retina is not clearly seen due to media opacities. If the ERG is poor or absent, the eye surgeon may decide that the visual prognosis is poor and further surgery to clear the media opacities like a corneal transplant for corneal opacities or a cataract extraction for a mature cataract is not warranted.M-ERG or Multifocal ERG. This is the newest version of the ERG. In this a colour map is generated with the area of maximum cone function (macula) showing a steep elevation while the area with no cones (optic nerve ) showing up as flat and blue in colour. In diseases like macular degeneration, the central hill is considerably flattened, making diagnosis a ‘no-brainer’.Visual Evoked Potential (VEP):  In this test, either a very bright light (Flash VEP) or a checker board pattern is shone into the patient’s eye. The time taken for this to be perceived by the visual area of the brain (situated at the back of the head) and the intensity of the signal is recorded by sensitive electrodes placed at the back of the scalp. This measures the integrity of the visual pathway from the eye right up to the brain. In conditions like optic neuritis, where the optic nerve which carries signals from the eye to the brain is inflamed, the VEP will be reduced. On the other hand, a patient who is feigning blindness will have a normal VEP.Can a person who has undergone one or more of these tests donate their eyes?None of these tests is life threatening. However, it is proved that every patient who undergoes any of these tests will die some day, maybe months, years or decades later! If a patient were to die due to natural or accidental causes years after any of these tests were performed, the author does recommend donation of the eyes!

10 Foods That Are Good for Your Eyes

Dr Shantanu Gupta
Raw Red PeppersBell peppers give you the most vitamin C per calorie. That's good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and science suggests it could lower your risk of getting cataracts. It's found in many vegetables and fruits, including bok choy, cauliflower, papayas, and strawberries.Sunflower Seeds and NutsAn ounce of these seeds or almonds has half the amount of vitamin E the USDA recommends for adults each day. A large study found that vitamin E, together with other nutrients, can help slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from getting worse. It may also help prevent cataracts.Dark, Leafy GreensKale, spinach, and collard greens, for example, are rich in both vitamins C and E. They also have the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These plant-based forms of vitamin A lower your risk of long-term eye diseases, including AMD and cataracts. Most people who eat Western diets don't get enough of them.SalmonYour retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids to work right: DHA and EPA. You can find both in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout, as well as other seafood.Sweet PotatoesOrange-colored fruits and vegetables -- like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangos, and apricots -- are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps with night visionLean Meat and PoultryZinc brings vitamin A from your liver to your retina, where it's used to make the protective pigment melanin. Beans and LegumesPrefer a vegetarian, low-fat, high-fiber option to help keep your vision sharp at night and slow AMD? Chickpeas are also high in zinc, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lentils. EggsIt's a great package deal: The zinc in an egg will help your body use the lutein and zeaxanthin from its yolk. The yellow-orange color of these compounds blocks harmful blue light from damaging your retina. They help boost the amount of protective pigment in the macula, the part of your eye that controls central vision.SquashYour body can't make lutein and zeaxanthin, but you can get them from squash all year long. Summer squash also has vitamin C and zinc. The winter kind will give you vitamins A and C as well as omega-3 fatty acids, too.Broccoli and Brussels SproutsThese related veggies come with another winning combination of nutrients: vitamin A (as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene), vitamin C, and vitamin E. They're all antioxidants that protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that breaks down healthy tissue. Your retinas are especially vulnerable.

Glaucoma - a Sight Stealer

Dr. Somdutt Prasad, Ophthalmologist
You may know someone who wears sunglasses even indoors. Don’t be quick to judge -- it’s likely they are suffering from a fairly common eye condition called Glaucoma. This disease affects the optic nerve, which sends information from the eyes to the brain. When damage to the optic nerve sets in, it causes extra sensitivity to light and a gradual loss of sight.How do you know if you have Glaucoma? Many doctors believe Glaucoma is a hereditary condition and can cause complete blindness if left untreated. If someone in your family is suffering from it, you may be at a higher risk of acquiring it. What’s more, Glaucoma can also be triggered by conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, hypertension, anxiety, depression, asthma, and medications related to sleep disorders.Types of GlaucomaPrimary Open Angle Glaucoma (Also called Chronic Glaucoma)This is the most common type of Glaucoma. Here, the eye maintains a normal appearance but there is an imbalance in production and drainage of aqueous humor (clear fluid that fills the eye). POAG sets in without any warning.Acute or Angle Closure GlaucomaThis is a less common form of Glaucoma. It is characterized by a sudden increase of pressure within the eye. Usual symptoms include sudden eye pain, red eye, and reduced vision.Congenital GlaucomaPrevalent only among children between the ages of 0 and 3. It is recognized by red and bloodshot eyes. Infants with this disease have poor vision and blink a lot more than usual.Telltale signs of GlaucomaLooking for signs to check if you have Glaucoma? The bad news is there aren’t many, because your cornea gradually swells up without pain. If you encounter redness in your eyes or any vision loss, you may need to get checked for Glaucoma.Treatment for GlaucomaUnfortunately, Glaucoma causes irreversible damage to your optic nerve and is incurable. However, you can minimize vision loss with surgery and medication. But as they say, prevention is always better than cure, so keep an eye out for glaucoma.

Eye Care in the Monsoon

Dr. Hasanain Shikari, Ophthalmologist
After the heat of the summer, the monsoon is a welcome relief. Yet, the rains bring with them a host of bacteria, viruses and allergens, many of which disturb our delicate eye equilibrium. Let us identify the main eye-related complaints and then establish some easy tips to maintain your eye health this monsoon.Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is the inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. This can be caused by irritants like dirt, bacterial or viral infections or may be allergic.Eye Allergies are also known as allergic conjunctivitis.  These are non-infectious and may be seasonal. It leads to red, watery or itchy eyes.Stye (Sty) is usually recognized as a “pimple” on the eyelid. Its an inflamed swelling on the edge of the eyelid and is usually due to bacterial infection.Personal hygiene is important. Prevention is better than cure!Some Eye Care Tips- Keep your eyes clean. Do not rub your eyes with dirty hands, or rather, do not rub your eyes at all.- Maintain hygiene. Wash your hands frequently. Wash your eyes with cold water 2-3 times a day.- Do not share personal items like towels with anyone.- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially while traveling.- Avoid getting wet in the rain or swimming in the monsoon. This can aggravate existing eye inflammation.- Eat healthy foods. This should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants will boost your immune system.- Do not self-medicate or use medications given by pharmacists.Go for an eye check-up to an eye specialist if you have symptoms.Healthy diet, healthy body

Glue-Coma or Glaw-Coma? What Is This Glaucoma?

Dr. Aravind P. M., Ophthalmologist
6-12 March is World Glaucoma Week and it is observed around the world to increase awareness about this silent disease of vision. Let us know a little more about this condition.How do I pronounce ‘Glaucoma’?The word is pronounced “glaw (rhymes with claw and flaw) – koma (as in coma)”Is it one disease? Actually Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which have one thing in common - increasing eye pressure and progressive damage to the optic nerve.What is this Eye pressure? Is it the same as Blood Pressure? The eye also maintains its pressure. It varies between 10 and 20 mmHg in most eyes. It is different from Blood Pressure.What is the Optic nerve? The optic nerve transmits images from the eye to the brain just like your TV cable. And we know how damage to your cable can result in poor picture quality.Can I get Glaucoma? Glaucoma can affect any person regardless of age, gender, economic status, and personal habits. Some risk factors increase the possibility of developing glaucoma. These are-People who wear high minus or plus spectacle power - High Myopia and HypermetropiaPeople who are on oral steroid medication or steroid dropsThose who have suffered an eye injury (especially with balls or shuttlecocks)Anybody with a close family member diagnosed with glaucomaHow is Glaucoma diagnosed?Glaucoma is detected by specific tests done by your eye doctor. The most common test is recording the eye pressure. It can be done painlessly with specific pressure recording devices.We usually record eye pressure for all patients who come for an eye examination(We may not do it for children who find it difficult to cooperate or if one has an eye infection)The other common test is a fundus exam. The eye doctor uses an ophthalmoscope to shine light inside your eye and examines the optic nerve.  Dilatation of the pupil with drops may be necessary to further examine the eye in detail.A more specific test is the computerised Visual Field test done to locate the areas of visual loss due to GlaucomaAn advanced test called OCT may also be needed to obtain more detailed information about the status of the optic nerve.I get my eye power checked regularly in an Optical shop. Will I be safe from Glaucoma?Optical shops check only your eye power and spectacles. They do not screen you for Glaucoma or any other eye disease. Only a qualified ophthalmologist should screen you for Glaucoma.What does Glaucoma cause? Why is it a silent thief?Imagine yourself driving your vehicle on the road looking straight ahead. If a big water tanker drives up by the side to overtake you and you don't notice it till it comes really close - wouldn't you be startled? Well, what saves your skin most times is your peripheral vision which lets you notice people, vehicles or obstacles even without turning your head. Glaucoma affects this peripheral vision and slowly destroys it without your knowledge. Glaucoma doesn't cause pain, redness, watering or blurring of your central vision until the very last stages of the disease. Treatment of the disease at its end stage is not only very difficult but also at times, futile.My relative suffered from Glaucoma once and she had pain, a red eye, and headache with nausea. How do you say it is without any symptom?As told previously, Glaucoma is a group of diseases. One form can manifest with intense pain and headache. Such symptoms force an individual to seek a doctor early. So the concern is for the painless form of Glaucoma which needs timely diagnosis and management.Is Glaucoma treatable? Will I lose my sight completely if I have it?Glaucoma is a treatable condition. Now a number of excellent pressure-controlling eye drops are available which can halt the progress of the disease. Some other forms of treatment like LASERs and surgery may also benefit certain individuals with Glaucoma. If diagnosed early and treated promptly Glaucoma can be treated effectively and vision preserved

How Do I Behave When I Am Undergoing Cataract Surgery?

Dr. Manoj Rai Mehta, Ophthalmologist
Cataract Surgery nowadays is usually performed under 'topical anaesthesia' that involves instillation of drops of the anaesthetic agent on the eye surface.  The patient retains the power to close the lids and move the eyeball during surgery, feel no pain but touch and pressure sensations are unaffected.  A peribulbar block anaesthesia may be used at times on surgeon's discretion that involves an injection of anaesthetic agent around the eyeball with a short needle.  This takes away lid and eye movements to a large extent but some control may remain with the patient.     Operating Surgeon expects the patient to follow the instructions for a smooth surgery.  It is important to have a surgical counselling session with the doctor to understand the procedure and expected sounds/conversation during the operative procedure.  The sequence of events should be understood and played in your mind while you move through the surgical suite.You should be wearing loose, comfortable hospital pyjama suit.  Do not hesitate to change it if it is tight around your neck.  Some hospitals have the policy to allow you to wear your own loose clothes and give you a hospital gown over them.  Please ensure you are not wearing tight fitting clothes and your neck is free.  Ladies to tie their hair in a ponytail with a band or a soft bun with no clips or claspsSit quietly in the pre-operative area and use the washrooms before going to the OR.  You may take sips of water if your mouth feels dry but do not hydrate yourself too much.You may be given a cap and eye marked for surgery.  The antiseptic solution will be painted around the eye.  Let the solution dry and do not touch your eye. OR assistant will help you lie down on the OT table with a rubber ring under the head to prevent rolling from side to side. You should be comfortable and be able to breathe rhythmically while lying down.  Ask for a head raise if neck extension is hurting you and get the ring adjusted to your comfort and if it is hard for you to ask for a softer ring.When you are comfortable allow the staff to put monitoring devices which could be a pulse oxygen meter alone or additional cardiac electrodes.  Breath rhythmically and try to relax.Sterile Drapes will be placed around your head and an adhesive eye drape on the eye to be operated upon.  Please maintain your head in a position as required and adjusted by the surgeon.  Do not move your head or lower your chin.  The surgeon works under a microscope and any movement shifts the focus and obstructs in smooth surgery.There will be several sounds in the OR that you should ignore-beep of monitors, hum of air circulation unit, trolley wheels, the doctor would be giving instructions to staff and asking for instruments etc.  Try to keep your attention focused towards surgery only.Coughing and snorting during surgery can create complications, always ask the surgeon to stop the surgery if you feel like doing so.  Do not try to suppress a cough or sneeze by holding breath.  Do not bear down or move.Follow instructions of a surgeon and do not start a conversation. Answer only when a question is directed towards you.  The surgeon may ask you to look in a particular direction.  You have to follow the command by moving your eyes and not head unless the specific instruction is made. The first touch of the instrument will increase your confidence.  Do not wince, squeeze your lids or make a jerky movement if you feel some pain.  Inform the doctor, who will reinforce anaesthesia.Cataract Surgery machines also produce different types of sounds during different phases of surgery and also have synthesised verbal outputs.  Do not get distracted by the same.You will see movements in front of the eye during surgery and also perceive vibrations.  Light intensity will increase towards the end of surgery.  A calm patient who is having a regular rhythmic breathing and a regular normal pulse rate makes a surgeon's job easy.(In case of specific problems additional monitoring and specialised anaesthetic cover may be required which the operating surgeon will discuss before hand).               

"Oh God! I Have Been Diagnosed with Cataract!"

Dr. Manoj Rai Mehta, Ophthalmologist
When a patient is diagnosed to have cataract the following questions pop up immediately:Is it unusual at this age?Can it be cured with medication of any sort?Is the surgery a must?  What if I do not get operated?How long can the surgery be avoided?  Cataract is the commonest cause of gradual, painless, progressive diminution of vision in middle-aged and old people.  The reaction of a patient varies from utter shock, disbelief to acceptance and discussion of further treatment.Why Me?     While cataract is known to occur at all ages and even congenitally, it is the senile, age-related, a cataract that is the commonest in prevalence.  People get cataract at different ages depending upon familial trends and associated systemic illnesses and exposure to certain light frequencies.  Diabetes (and other metabolic afflictions), steroid intake and exposure to Ultra Violet light cause early cataract formation.  Trauma to the eye also causes cataract formation. Why does vision decrease?The normally transparent crystalline lens of the eye becomes translucent and some areas turn opaque, thus causing scattering of light as well as a blockage.  Location of opaque areas also matters as central changes affect vision much earlier than those in the periphery.  Opaque areas close to the nodal point of the lens will affect vision profoundly even if small in size.Is there a medical cure available?In spite of tall claims no medical treatment has been established scientifically beyond doubt till now. Anecdotal claims do not satisfy scientific hypothesis.  Use of antioxidants may retard the progression of cataract as a general anti ageing effect.  Avoid using eye drops of unknown composition and dubious sources in the name of magical cures!  They may cause more harm than benefit.What is the "Right Time" for surgery?It depends on upon the lifestyle, profession and visual needs of a patient.  It is ordinarily an elective surgery and a patient should discuss all the elements of procedure and care with the surgeon and decide on the timing of surgery.  Surgery is aimed at improving "quality of life".  Glare, difficulty in driving and reading are some of the things that can affect the quality of life of a person and surgery is expected to alleviate them.  A driver, an IT professional, an avid golfer may choose to undergo surgery at an earlier stage than a person who does not drive and read much.Gone are the days when patients used to wait for the cataract to mature! Surgery time is decided after a mutual discussion on outcomes and QOL targets.  Surgery should not be postponed for long in case of advanced cataracts as they turn harder with time and surgery becomes more challenging. There are situations when surgery can not be postponed such as a swollen lens causing a rise in pressure or a leaky lens causing inflammation.Cataract surgery is one of the most gratifying surgical procedures and safest as well.  Do not get scared, discuss the goals of surgery and take a cool decision.   

5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Redness of the Eyes

Dr. Manoj Rai Mehta, Ophthalmologist
Redness of eyes is an important clinical sign of many underlying clinical problems that can be grouped under the following heads:InfectionsAllergiesImmunoinflammationsForeign Bodies on the surface of the eyeDry Eye Disease, Ocular fatigueThe increase in the pressure of the eyes etc.Needless to say that the Primary Cause of redness needs to be addressed in order to reduce the redness of the eyes.   However, there are a few tips that can give additional relief to a patient and also increase the effect of other medications and sometimes reduce the frequency as well.Clean eyes in running tap water or filtered water. It should be cool, not cold. Temperature around 20 degrees is most comforting.Use shades when going out in the open. Ultra Violet light absorbing glasses are most suitable.  Polarised lenses may be used to reduce glare in the case of glare intolerance.  Full face helmets while riding two wheeler vehicles is recommended.  Keep the air con going for a minute before you enter a car and pull up all the windows while riding.  Always wash air con condenser tubes under pressure every morning when a car is being cleaned.    Cold compresses help soothe eyes. The cool  patch may be put over the eyes after cleaning them in running water.  Cucumber slices may be placed over the eyes or ice cubes in small polythene bags may be used instead.  Avoid ice cubes wrapped in cloth as it increases swelling due to hypotonic water entering the eyelids.  Some people like to keep a moist tissue paper over the face with eyes closed and an even clean cloth soaked in water with a few drops of Eu de cologne for cooling.    Environmental Management. This accounts for half the part of managing a patient.  The ambient temperature of 24 to 26 D Celsius and a relative humidity of around 62% gives a comfortable environment and reduces redness. Avoid direct flow of air to the eyes as it increases evaporation losses. Avoid use of room fresheners sprays, mosquito repellent fumes and smoke, carpet cleaning shampoos etc in the presence of people having red eyes.  Vacuum cleaning along with air exchanges is important to reduce chemical and particle load.Lubricating Eye DropsOnly "Preservative Free" lubricating drops may be used and they are available OTC.  Astringent, blanching drops may not be used without doctor's approval as they can cause a rebound increase in redness of the eyes.  Keep the eye drops on the door side in a refrigerator.Always discuss the primary disease thoroughly with your doctor before taking any liberty of using any of these tips.

Eye Care Tips for Women

Dr. Charu Tyagi, Ophthalmologist
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) almost two thirds of blind people worldwide are women and girls. Women are also prone to develop dry eye problems more than men. There are several ways to keep the eyes healthy to prevent serious eye problems from developing.Hereditary eye problems An important thing to know is family history of any eye diseases. It is helpful to know which eye problems run in the family and whether these are hereditary. This will give a clear idea if one is at higher risk of developing a certain eye condition. Certain steps can then be taken to prevent its occurrence or minimize the complications that may be associated with it. To stay on the safe side, continue to consult your family ophthalmologist for regularly. Better safe than sorry, right?Eating RightEating right can help protect eyesight. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, peas, and broccoli are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that protects cells against damage. Lutein was found to be concentrated in the macula, a part of the retina of the eye responsible for central vision. Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness. Lutein acts as a natural eye shade that may protect the retina against sun damage.Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E can likewise help reduce the progression of age related macular degeneration. These antioxidants play a significant role in maintaining healthy cell membranes and other cell processes. A deficiency in Vitamin E has also been pointed to as one of the causes of dry eye syndrome, a condition that can lead to scarring of the cornea and vision loss.Eat protein rich food:When we’re discussing eating habits, we can’t rule meat proteins, can we? Research has also shown that eating fish high in omega 3 fatty acids can be beneficial to the eyes. Several studies suggest that omega 3 fatty acids may help protect the eyes from dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is a common complaint among middle aged women and this can cause severe eye irritation because of insufficient tear production. Dry eye in itself does not lead to blindness but it can increase the risk for eye infection. Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, and halibut. The retina has one of the highest concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids in the body and by simply increasing the dietary intake of omega 3, there is almost 50% decrease in the severity of retinopathy or damage to the retina. Vegetarians have an option of omega 3 fatty acid derived from algae.Across some regions, religions, socioeconomic strata, & level of education, girl child is neglected. Children are otherwise also prone to malnourishments because of their food preferences and frequent cough colds & post measles .Supplements of vitamin A & C is good when required.Contact lenses:Studies show that women wear contact lenses more, compared to men because of the fact that glasses tend to hide the natural (beautiful) look of the eye. Generally, more women than men wear contact lenses because of aesthetic reasons. Make sure that your contacts are appropriately fitting (on your corneal base curve) for your cornea, clean and disinfected so that no external body enters the eyes. When there is poor eye hygiene or extended wear of contact lenses, the eyes can become infected. The cornea is at risk of scarring and this can lead to blindness.  Clean the lens case & change lens solution every day, if you are not wearing daily disposable contact lenses. Do not over wear your contact lenses, have a smart well corrected glasses option always with you. Those using colored contacts lenses, kindly ensure that they are of good quality & fitting. A routine visit to your eye specialist to ensure the health of your eyes is a must for all contacts users to check for eye infections, allergies, contacts intolerance & cornea changes (Remove contacts at least 24 -48 hours before an eye checkup)Cosmetics:Don’t mess up with your eyes by applying expired make-up! When eye cosmetics are not properly removed, makeup and dirt can become trapped at the base of the eyelashes. This is another cause of eye infection among women. Proper application and complete removal of eye makeup at the end of the day can help prevent the eye infections and eye damage. Some area have deep seated misbelieve that application of kajal, surma, kohl enhances eye beauty & enlarges the eye. This often leads to frequent chronic eye infections, scaring leading to lid deformities. Your eyes if properly taken care of can greatly enhance your overall beauty and can enable you to see the world in the clearest way possible.Sunglasses:When going outdoors, one must wear protective sunglasses. Constant and excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can damage the eyes. Common eye diseases like pterygium,macular degeneration have been linked to too much sun exposure. Choose sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. Women and girls who are active in sports should also consider wearing protective eyewear, which can be easily bought at sporting goods stores. Post refractive surgery (post Lasik/PRK)Glasses removal by surgery is far more common in females than males. Glasses removal surgery does not change the configuration of your eye, so regular checkup of eye and retina once a year with your eye specialist is a must. Post surgery problems like dryness, decreased sensitivity and glare is commonly experienced for which you can consult your eye specialist. Be on look out, if you observe some floaters or increase in there number. Computer use and office eye syndrome -dry eye disease is found in higher prevalence among women office workers working on visual display terminal(VDT) users.PregnancyPregnancy is associated with lots of hormonal changes. This leads to water retention & some experience it as change in refractive error (glasses). Many patients become intolerant to contacts. Some pregnancies are associated with raised blood pressure & blood sugar levels; they too may affect pregnant lady’s vision. A good eye checkup with proper glasses correction during the second or third trimester is advised.Computer usersProper correction, posture, lubrication, lighting should be taken care...…Helpful eye care tips for computer users.Systemic Diseases (Diabetes/Thyroid/Hypertension/Arthritis/Autoimmune diseases/obesity)Women are prone to become overweight, especially with advancing age. This increases the risk for developing diseases such as diabetes. High blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell, impairing normal vision. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing other eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Maintain a healthy weight and have regular blood tests if diabetes runs in the family. Thyroid & arthritis too affect women more commonly, presenting with dryness, grittiness, foregn body sensation. Thyroid may be associated with raised intraocular pressure, or limitation of eye movements. Women are eight times more prone to suffer from various auto immune diseases and they too have associated eye symptoms.Oral contraceptives also are associated with increased incidence of dry eye symptoms:SmokingSmoking has been linked to an increased risk of developing dryness,cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage. Girls should never start smoking and women who smoke should quit right away decreasing the risk of developing these eye conditions.MenopausalWomen entering menopause too suffer from various hormonal changes/imbalances .This can affect eye by presenting as dryness, foreign body sensation, redness, heaviness.Age associated diseasesCataract, Age related macular degeneration (ARMD), glaucoma prevalence of many diseases increases with age. Women over age of sixty should go for a comprehensive eye check up at least once a year. Early detection leads to better management.Suffering from eye problem? Book an appointment today!