The most common lesions on the lids are styes. Styes are caused from blocked oil glands on or around the edge of the eyelid that results in bumps that are red, tender to touch and painful. They can be triggered by many factors that include overproduction of oil, bacterial infections or lack of proper hygiene. Bacterial involvement can often lead to increased inflammation, pain and pus. Never pop a stye as its contents can spread infection. Without proper treatment and drainage, persistent styes can turn into chalazions. In contrast to styes, chalazions are often painless bumps that can persist for more than several weeks and become cosmetically unappealing. Larger chalazions can cause discomfort and pressure to the cornea, leading to blurry vision.
Many other types of eyelid lesions include papilloma, xanthelasma, nevus, cysts, verruca, seborrheic keratosis and many more. Although most lid lesions are benign, some are malignant and cancerous such as basal cell carcinoma. Eyelid lesions are detected and diagnosed during comprehensive eye exams.
If you have a lesion or stye, make an appointment with your eye doctor to have it diagnosed and a remedy prescribed.
Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes? Light sensitive? You may have allergic conjunctivitis — inflammation of tissue lining the eyelids. Exposure to allergens releases histamines and the conjunctiva (clear membrane covering the “white” of the eye) swell. Pollen, pet dander, and perfumes can all trigger allergies.
Wrap-around sunglasses can prevent allergens from entering the eyes. Artificial tears temporarily wash allergens out. Antihistamine drops alleviate itchy eyes. Oral antihistamines can reduce itchiness, but can dry out eyes. Decongestant drops, labeled as “red eye relief,” will initially decrease redness, but dry out eyes and increase redness long-term. If none of these works, ask your optometrist about mast cell stabilizer drops, or for chronic and severe cases, corticosteroids.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends all eye allergy sufferers visit their eye doctor. Eye allergies don’t usually harm your eyesight, but there are some rare conditions such as eczema that can. Since there are so many options to treat eye allergies, it is best to have your eye doctor diagnose the problem and discuss the right treatment for you.
Glaucoma is called “The Silent Thief of Sight” because in its early stages, there are no symptoms or pain. According to the National Eye Institute, 2.7 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma but only half of them know it.
In honor of World Glaucoma Week, here are some facts about glaucoma from the Optos website:
- Glaucoma tends to run in families
- A person can have glaucoma and not know it
- Vision lost from glaucoma can NOT be restored
- A complete glaucoma exam consists of more than only measuring eye pressure
- Glaucoma is not necessarily caused by an increase in eye pressure
3% of children in the U.S. have reduced vision due to amblyopia. Amblyopia is a developmental disorder where one eye sees worse than the other even with glasses.
In order to develop good vision both eyes must see clearly and point straight ahead. If a child has a high prescription or an eye that points either in or out there is a risk that the eye will not develop properly.
Risk factors for amblyopia can be easily detected during a comprehensive eye exam. It is important for children to have early exams because the fine tuned connections between your brain and eye develop the most before the age of 6. Amblyopia can cause permanently reduced vision but can be treated with early intervention.