If you’re tempted to try non-prescription contact lenses to make your Halloween costume look extra cool or creepy, you might want to think again. Any of those contact lenses that promise to make your eyes vampire red or zombie white and any color in between may seem like the final touch for your perfect costume, but wearing them for a night of dress-up isn’t worth the risk.
For that matter, wearing non-prescription contacts to enhance or alter your eye color any time of the year is too much of a risk to take for the health of your eyes. The American Association of Ophthalmology reports, “Wearing contacts without an exam and prescription from a doctor can blind you. Packaging that claims ‘one size fits all’ or ‘no need to see an eye doctor’ is wrong.”
Millions of people wear contact lenses every day, but too many of them aren’t aware that contact lenses pose a risk of developing an eye infection if not used properly. Eye infections can be quite painful and potentially damaging to your eyes, so they’re not to be taken lightly with a wait-and-see approach. Some untreated eye infections can even cause permanent vision loss or blindness.
A stye, also called a hordeolum, is a small, red, painful lump that grows from the base of your eyelash or under your eyelid. Most styes are caused by a bacterial infection. Styes are common in children, people with chronic lid infections, and those with diabetes. You can also get a stye if you have blepharitis, which can make the base of your eyelashes red and swollen. Styes can be quite painful and unsightly, with prominent swelling and redness.
There are two kinds of styes, or hordeolums: (more…)
The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window on the front of your eye that covers the iris and pupil. Its main purpose is to refract light. It also contributes approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total focusing power, even though its focus is fixed. The cornea consists of three layers:
- The stroma, which makes up most of the cornea.
- The epithelium, consisting of several layers of cells covering the exterior of the stroma.
- The endothelium, which is a single layer of cells lining the interior of the stroma.
Cataracts are usually the condition that’s familiar to most people when they think of eye problems. However, cataracts technically affect not the cornea but the eye’s crystalline lens, which is just behind the pupil and works with the cornea to focus light on the retina. Regardless, the cornea is susceptible to a number of other conditions, including: (more…)
Detecting eye diseases as early as possible gives you the best chance of saving your sight. Some of the most common eye diseases can blind you before you ever notice the first symptoms.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you get a comprehensive eye examination at age 40, which is when changes in your vision or early signs of disease typically begin. A comprehensive screening, which includes dilating the eyes, can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage. Continue to have a comprehensive eye exam at least every two years after age 40, and at least once a year after age 50. (more…)
When it comes to preserving your eyesight, being proactive rather than reactive makes all the difference. Regular eye examinations are often put off until our vision becomes blurry or our eyes hurt or we have some other issue with our eyesight. But even if your vision seems perfectly fine, routine eye examinations are vitally important because they are often the only way to detect many of the worst eye diseases before they have robbed you of your sight.
Dr. Marc Bodenheimer says, “A lot of times, people will come in when they’re having problems and find out that if they’d come in two or three years sooner we could have kept them from having these problems. It makes it much more difficult to treat those problems at that point.” (more…)
Your eyelids have the important job of keeping your eyes protected and lubricated. However, eyelids are fairly thin-skinned and are full of nerves and blood vessels, so the slightest irritation can cause extreme itching. If your eyes become infected or inflamed, your eyelids will itch even more. So how do you determine if your itchy eyelid is due to an eye infection, allergies, or something else?
Many eye diseases have no early warning signs or symptoms, but a comprehensive eye exam can detect eye diseases in their early stages, before vision loss occurs. Early detection and treatment of any eye disease is the key to preventing vision loss, and ophthalmologists are trained to evaluate your eyes to degrees that go well beyond whether or not you need glasses. (more…)
You’ve heard it said that the eyes are the window to your soul, but it also turns out they can be telling us a lot about our physical health. So, take some time to gaze lovingly into your own eyes in the mirror this Valentine’s day, and see if they’re trying to tell you something about your health.