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Vision Test: The Important Role Of Optometrists In Our Lives

2 Eye Problems Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by on 10:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Eye Problems Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis

As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, it can trigger an inflammatory reaction in other parts of the body aside from the joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re at an increased risk of developing the following two eye problems: Cataracts Damage to the protein cells in the lens of your eye can cause them to cluster together and create an opaque coating that impedes your vision by preventing light reaching the retina. A cataract will continue to get worse without treatment until you experience complete loss of vision in the affected eye. Subcapsular cataracts are the most common type found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. They occur when common anti-inflammatory medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis damage the cells of the lens. The clustering of protein occurs at the back of your lens when you have this type of cataract, and sufferers experience sensitivity to light and blurred vision. The only treatment currently available for a cataract is surgical removal of the damaged lens. The procedure is carried out as a day case and involves the use of a laser to break down the damaged lens before an artificial lens is inserted into the eye. Glaucoma Glaucoma occurs when inflammation in the eye causes a build-up of pressure at the back of the eye, and this damages the optic nerve, which forms a key part of the pathway used to transport images to your brain for processing.  This damage cannot be repaired, and glaucoma can cause permanent loss of sight, so treatment needs to be undertaken immediately with the aim of preventing further damage. There are no early symptoms of glaucoma, so those with rheumatoid arthritis should have regular eye tests to help ensure the condition is diagnosed early. As the condition develops, headache, nausea and blurred vision are common signs. Sufferers may also notice red patches developing on the whites of the eyes. The aim of treatment is to provide relief from the pressure in your eye, and eye drops can be used to reduce inflammation. Laser therapy can be an effective way of reducing pressure by encouraging fluid in your eyes, which builds up as a by-product of inflammation, to drain. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis should protect their eye health by scheduling regular eye tests into their care plan. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or if you’re overdue an eye test, schedule an urgent appointment with your optometrist so you can determine if cataract surgery or glaucoma treatment is...

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Hay Fever Sufferers Who Wear Contacts Should Follow These Tips

Posted by on 9:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hay Fever Sufferers Who Wear Contacts Should Follow These Tips

People who suffer from hay fever can have a really bad time at the start of each summer, and they need to be especially careful if they wear contact lenses. If you often find yourself itching your eyes and blowing your nose when the flowers are coming out each year, make sure you follow the tips below. Avoid Wearing Your Lenses When the Pollen Count is High One of the dangers that comes along with wearing your contact lenses when you have hay fever is that you’ll risk getting a particle of pollen stuck beneath a lens. When this happens, the eye in question will be irritated more than ever, often resulting in noticeable swelling as well as general discomfort. For this reason, make sure you wear glasses instead of contacts when the pollen count is high. You might still feel itchy, but pollen won’t be able to get stuck next to your eye. You should also be careful when cutting the grass or doing other work in the garden, even when the pollen count is low. Take Your Contacts Out if Your Eyes Get Sore If you do decide to wear your lenses, make sure you take them out if your eyes begin to get sore and red. When this happens, your contacts can become less fitted to your eye, particularly if even a little bit of swelling begins to occur. You’ll also be more likely to start rubbing your eyes. This is problematic for all sufferers since it simply moves pollen around the eyes and makes the situation worse. It can be even worse if you’re wearing contacts because the constant rubbing might cause one of them to tear apart while on the eye. Be Extra Careful When Putting Them In It’s always important to wash your hands before putting in your contacts to avoid putting contaminants next to your eye. However, it’s even more important when you have hay fever. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before you handle the contacts, especially if you’ve just been outside. You might also want to avoid keeping your boxes of contact lenses anywhere near open windows. It will be no use washing your hands if you then immediately handle a box that is covered in pollen. Take Preventative Medication When it comes to hay fever, it’s best to take medication as soon as the season hits and continue to do so until the pollen count has dropped right down. Sometimes people find that contact lenses block pollen from their eyes, making it easier to cope with the condition, but that’s not something to rely upon. Remember, any problems with your eyes can potentially turn into problems with your contact lenses, so take medication sensibly throughout the day to make sure you enjoy complete...

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Working with Your Optometrist to Combat Hayfever

Posted by on 9:06 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Working with Your Optometrist to Combat Hayfever

From the itching eyes to the uncontrollable sneezing, hay fever has the power to turn a perfectly pleasant summer into an allergen nightmare. While many associate hay fever with immunology alone, it’s also of great interest to optometrists. In many cases, mast cells in the eyes release lots of histamines, causing irritating itching sensations. Fortunately, there are ways patients and their optometrists can work together to resolve the issue. Understand allergens and when they’re likely to trigger itching Weeds, grasses, and exotic trees that aren’t native to Australia are the worst culprits. Becuase they rely on the wind to spread their pollen, they can affect those who are living far away from the source. It’s also worth noting that pollen coming into contact with water exacerbates symptoms, as it creates starch granules small enough to enter the airways and trigger allergic reactions. While this means it’s difficult to avoid hay fever symptoms, staying indoors after midday and avoiding going outside immediately after thunderstorms is helpful. Planting a low allergen garden, avoiding mowing the grass during peak season and keeping windows closed are other effective ways to avoid allergens. Talk to an optometrist about prevention and treatment methods Optometrists recommend using eye drops before symptoms appear. As many eye drops aim to stabilize the mast cells that cause allergic reactions, it can prevent them happening in the first place. It can take up to 14 days for the drops to become effective, which means using them well in advance of an allergy kicking in is advisable. If eyes become dry, optometrists can prescribe drops that lubricate them. For those who are used to wearing contact lenses, eye drops are still an option. However, it’s a good idea to switch to wearing glasses during peak pollen season. This is particularly important when the weather is very hot and dry, as a lack of lubrication causes pollen to become trapped behind the lenses, leading to further irritation. For those who want an extra layer of protection, wrap around glasses and sunglasses reduce the amount of pollen entering the eyes. Finally, it’s worth developing an awareness of the self-help measures available. Rinsing eyes with clean water after going outside removes any pollen present. Taking over the counter antihistamines limits the body’s itchy reactions to allergens. If an allergen suddenly causes worse reactions one year, visiting an optometrist to discuss a change of treatment is worthwhile. The way eyes respond to pollen-related allergens can fluctuate, making clear communication with an optometrist...

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Dry Eyes During Menopause: Tips For Making Contact Lens Wearing More Comfortable

Posted by on 3:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dry Eyes During Menopause: Tips For Making Contact Lens Wearing More Comfortable

There is a whole host of symptoms that are widely associated with menopause. From hot flushes to mood swings, this change in a woman’s life can be a bit of a wild ride. However, some women also experience dry eyes during menopause that makes wearing your contact lenses irritable and annoying. If you want to be able to continue wearing your contact lenses each day without irritation, try putting some of these dry eye tips to the test. Why Are Your Eyes Dry? Your fluctuating hormone levels are the reason why your eyes are feeling dry and gritty right now. As your hormone levels plummet, the meibomian glands in your eyes slow down in their production of the oil that stops tears from evaporating from your eyes. Without this oil, your tears evaporate and you experience eye dryness. When you try to wear contact lenses while experiencing dry eyes, it is going to feel like a gritty piece of sandpaper is trapped beneath your lens. Since this is such an uncomfortable feeling to experience, you need to combat the problem before you can comfortably wear your lenses every day again. What Can You Do About Dry Eyes During Menopause? The first step you must take when you realize you are experiencing frequent eye issues is to visit your optometrist to see if there is any link between your dry eyes and a medical condition. For example, if you have recently started taking medication to treat a health issue, your dry eyes could be a side effect of taking the medication. Once your optometrist has checked your eyes and given you the all-clear, consider making a couple of changes to your life. Start adding a couple of portions of fish to your diet each week. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help reduce dry eye problems when taken regularly. Head down to your local chemist to choose eye drops that can be used several times a day to keep your eyes moist. Get advice from the chemist if you are not sure which ones work best for contact lens wearers. Give your eyes a bigger break from contact lenses during the day—this is particularly useful if you work with computers. Staring at technology for long period can cause your body to forget to blink, which dries the eyes out even more. Take your contacts out when you get home and put your glasses on to help reduce the gritty feeling. The side effects of menopause will not last forever, and working with an optometrist can help to reduce the discomfort you feel while you wear your contacts during this time of change. Don’t put up with the dry, gritty feeling any longer than necessary when a few minor changes to your life can help to reduce it...

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