View Full Version : Ocular health

14th July 2010, 07:47 AM
It is said that the eye is the window to your soul. Have you for once sat down to think how important your eye is to your general well-being? Most often we take for granted our visual health, it is important to know that visual loss is nearly impossible to regain, it is also very difficult to manage. Regular checkup is also important to detect visual anomalies early enough to cure or manage before they actually get out of hand. Most often than not, some visual problems we have are congenital, meaning we were born with them. these range from minor refractive disorders (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism), while others constitute extreme disorders like colobomatous irides, retinitis pigmentosa, retinoblastoma among many others. Some of these will be discussed in subsequent posts. However, my main concern here are those ocular diseases that come about as a result of bad habits and poor personal hygiene. Ever recall some bad habits of yours that can cause any form of injury to your eye? Here i will discuss a few in the ensuing paragraphs.
The most common habit we have is rigorously rubbing our eye when it itches. whereas this may cause a bit of relief, it also causes a far greater damage. In most cases, it may result in what we term induced astigmatism. Astigmatism is a refractive error that is caused my the unequal curvatures on the surface of either one or both of the 2 major refractive components of the eye, the cornea and the lens. The cornea is a transparent tissue, and is made up of dense connective tissue made of Type I collagen fibers. Though its tough, continual stress on it causes it to have an irregular surface, which causes the unequal curvatures on the eye. People with this sort of disorder usually have blurry vision, recurring headaches and squinting. Astigmatism is usually corrected with lens prescriptions, but it is important to know which type of astigmatism you may have, whether simple, compound or mixed astigmatism. Aside inducing astigmatism, another effect of rigorous eye rubbing is conjunctival injection. This simply refers to the reddening of the eye due to the flushing of blood in the blood vessels of the conjunctiva. Sometimes this may be temporary and may last from a few minutes to days. It is not to be confused with a 'pink eye' or what is more technically known as conjunctivitis. Under extreme stress, blood flow to the eye is increased, and this is what gives the reddening. In extreme cases, what we call iritis may result and subsequently but rarely, an anterior uveaitis. Treatment of these is mostly with steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs mostly 1% PRED Forte is administered together with ointments. Also, the pupil is usually dilated using cycloplegics to ease the inflammation of the iris. The mode of administration however may be influenced by whether it is an advanced systemic infection which will have need of oral drugs or injections or a a topically treatable infection using eye drops. But most importantly, the cause of the inflammation which may be caused by an allergy must be first and foremost investigated and removed before treatment may be effective.
In the next discussion, we will look ocular hygiene and the common problems and infections that come with contact lens wear, care and maintainance. I hope you find this bit of information helpful. And if you have frequent eye itching, i will suggest you consult your doctor to investigate your allergies and better treat them. Feel free to ask questions. Thank you for reading!!

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
14th July 2010, 04:37 PM
Doc, I am guilty as charged in respect to vigorously rubbing my itchy eyes. A practice i would say is due to my allergies. During the allergy season, my eyes tend to itch so much so that, i sometimes have to place damp towels on them for relief. Eye ointments and drops prescribed by my doctor only help temporarily. I was was told the condition was due to the lack of tear production, what would you say is or will be a lasting solution to this problem ?

14th July 2010, 08:05 PM
Well, there may be multiple causes to your problem. But i would better understand it if i had a complete case history. First of all you made mention that your allergies were seasonal, which is an important clue. Am sure your doctor has done a thorough investigation as to why you have inadequate tear production seasonally. There are basically 3 compositions to tear fluids, the first is the 'oily' part which keeps your tears from drying up, and the next being the watery part which contains the essential vitamins to aid in the nutrition of your eye tissues and also its immunity, and last but not least is the mucus layer which prevents friction when you blink. These function together to keep your eyes from drying up and feeling irritated, and to know which one is disrupted is essential to an effective treatment. But generally, i'd recommend you take Vitamin supplements in your diet, specifically Vitamins A,C,D,E and B6. Other supplements like magnesium, gamma linolenc acid (GLA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as mucopolysaccharides are also important.Am sure your doctor has prescribed artificial tears for you, but it if it doesnt work for you, then i would suggest a systemic treatment which includes those i have already mentioned. As I said earlier, these are all to help you produce 'QUALITY' tears. If you still dont produce enough tears to keep your eyes from drying, then you will have to stick to your artificial tear treatment. But do give it a try, and remember to drink lots of water!!!

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
14th July 2010, 09:50 PM
Thanks doc. I am currently using ALCON SYSTANE which is just like other artificial tears eye drops i have used in the past.As for the vitamin supplements I have been on B complex and Omega 3 for for over 6 months now. May be cutting down on my RedBull intake and drinking more water like you mentioned might help.

Thanks a lot.