Itchy, irritated eyes are a nagging problem with most Gen Y folks. Not only does extensive screen time drain our eyes of all moisture but the prolonged periods of exposure to outer environs leave them susceptible to allergens such as pollen. These allergens get in and cause reactions. Common eye ailments and complaints such as irritation, itchiness, puffiness, and twitching are all responses to irritants such as dust or improper cosmetics. If these are recurring problems and persist for more than a couple of days, seeking the advice of an ophthalmologist is a wise course of action.
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Here are some of the most common eye ailments and issues faced in day-to-day life and their solutions:
1. If you have a dry, scratchy feeling in your eyes
You could be suffering from DES or Dry Eye Syndrome.
Over ten million Indians suffer from dry eye. It is usually caused by a problem with the tear film that lubricates the eye. Symptoms include redness, itching or burning, blurred vision or sensitivity to light and a constant feeling that there’s something wrong with your eye. Prolonged computer use, contact lenses and certain medications are also possible causes. A windy, dusty climate, air-conditioning or cigarette smoke can also cause dryness.
You could keep your eyes moist with medication or over-the-counter artificial tears. Using preservative free tears and keeping your body well hydrated by drinking about ten to twelve glasses of water each day can make for a good start to alleviating the problem. The same shall help you blink frequently, washing out the eyes and flushing out impurities. Alternatively, you could wash out your eyes with water 2-3 times a day and use protective eyewear to avoid pollution, allergens or even prolonged screen time exposure.
2. If your eyes twitch constantly
You may have myokymia.
Harmless as it may be, it is an annoying condition and contrary to popular superstition, is no sign of luck. It is caused by the spasm of the eyelid muscles usually due to continuous irritation of the muscles. Too much work and tiredness can be a reason alongside of stress, conjunctivitis, panic disorder and excess caffeine in your diet.
Applying warm compresses and gently massaging the eyelid with your fingers can go a long way in rectifying the situation. However, if the condition still persists, over-the-counter oral or topical eye drops or antihistamines may offer relief. Severe twitching cases should be reported to an ophthalmologist.
3. If your eyes are puffy
You may have eye fatigue.
Computer vision syndrome, refractive eye errors such as farsightedness and astigmatism, driving for long hours and too much reading can cause eye strain. It can also be accompanied by a headache or sore throat and under eye bags. Fluid retention owing to excess sodium intake in diet, stress, excessive drinking, lack of sleep, allergies and hormonal changes can all cause puffy eyes.
Getting enough rest is the right start. Tiredness caused due to computer vision syndrome or video display units are best dealt with by cold compresses and lubricating drops. Laying off alcohol and checking with the doctor about fluid retention shall help as well. Cool water compresses, chilled cucumber slices , cool gel mask or chilled damp tea bags can all freshen the eyes. Use of over-the-counter medications is not advisable.
4. If you have dandruff on your lashes
You may have blepharitis.
This condition is also characterized by red, inflamed eyelids, crusty eyelashes when you wake up and a feeling of something stuck in your eye. It is caused by bacterial infection which causes the formation of scales at the base of your eyelashes. When they form crusts, they cause the eyelids to stick together when you wake up. The crusts can also enter your eye, causing irritation.
Because blepharitis is an infection, antibiotics are needed to treat it and help in the reduction of swelling. Warm, moist compresses and regular eyelid cleansing will also help.
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5. If there’s a painful lump on the edge or inside of your eye
You may have a stye.
If your eye hurts and you are not able to open it fully or see clearly, it is possible that you may have a sty. Most sties are gone in a couple of days but they can be painful, itchy and cause swelling and redness.
Do not try to squeeze the sty. Warm compresses can help. Topical antibiotic creams are the right way to go- but make sure you wash your hands to prevent recurrent infections and do not use old eye makeup or share your makeup with anyone. If you use contact lenses, it is advisable that you wash your hands before putting them on or taking them off.
Your eyes are your window to the world. Keep them safe!
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