Common Eye Problems

12 Oct 2013

Good eye health goes a long way but there here are some eye complaints that are worth knowing about:


Often referred to as ‘pink eye’, conjunctivitis is caused by an inflammation of the thin layer of cells that line the inside of the eyelids and the sclera at the front of the eye.


Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and is spread through direct contact with other people. Usually, it can be treated with eye drops but if it is a recurrent condition, you should get it checked out.


Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchy sensation
  • Swollen eyelid
  • Discharge from the eye (usually thick)
  • Crust forming overnight
  • Feeling of sand in the eye

Amblyopia (lazy eye)

A lazy eye usually presents during childhood when the visual cortex of the brain that receives messages from the optic nerve cannot process double images. It responds by shutting down vision in the weaker, non-dominant eye.


If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to ptosis (drooping of the eyelid) or a refractive error in the other eye.


Symptoms of Amblyopia

  • Poor vision in one eye
  • Tilting the head
  • Squinting
  • Closing one eye to see clearly
  • Poor depth perception
  • Headaches
  • One eye wanders and doesn’t seem to focus

Dry eyes

The eye needs to be permanently moist to avoid becoming dry and irritated. Tears are the natural lubricant produced in the tear ducts that clean the eye of any dirt or dust and are vital for good eye health.


A Schrimer test can be carried out to measure the level of tear production in your eyes, by placing a thin strip of filter paper under the lower eyelid. If you don’t produce enough tears, you suffer from Keratitis Sicca.


Dry eyes can be mild or severe and cause irritation or inflammation in the anterior (front) chamber of the eye.


Treatment of usually involves eye drops to help maintain moisture in the eyes. It is best to avoid air conditioning where possible and to wear sunglasses when outside to minimize your eyes drying out.


Symptoms of Dry Eyes

  • Persistent drying
  • Scratchiness
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation

See your Optilase Optometrist to find out if you are a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery, and if any of these conditions are a sign of an underlying problem. Just call +353 1 223 8821 or see

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