Eye Injuries in Sports: Treatment and Prevention

Eye Injuries in Sports: Treatment and Prevention

Tens of thousands of sports-related eye injuries happen every year, with most of them occurring in children. Basketball and baseball are responsible for most of these injuries, with water sports and racquet sports coming in not far behind. About 90% of these injuries are preventable, and those that do occur can be treated. Types of Eye Injuries There are three types of eye injuries that can occur in sports. The first is an impact injury, which is when someone is hit in or around their eye. These can cause bruising and swelling and often look worse than they are, but detached retinas and broken orbital bones can happen. The second type of eye injury that can happen when playing a sport is a penetrating injury. This is caused when something actually cuts the eye, such as a piece of a broken pair of glasses or a finger that goes into the eye. Penetrating injuries are significantly more severe than impact injuries and often require immediate medical attention. The third type of eye injury often seen in sports is a radiation injury. This is caused by exposure to the sun and is common in outdoor sports such as bicycling, swimming, or skiing. In the case of water or winter sports, sunlight can reflect off of water or snow and cause damage even if the person isn’t looking near the sun. Preventing and Treating Eye Injuries The good news about eye injuries is that almost all of them are preventable. Impact and penetrating injuries can be prevented with the proper safety equipment such as goggles and face masks, and radiation injuries...
The Most Common Eye Diseases

The Most Common Eye Diseases

It is imperative to have regular eye exams depending on one’s age, the risk of eye disease, and overall health. Early diagnosis of eye problems can help avoid blindness as rarely do the signs clear up on their own. The following are the most common eye diseases. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) It is the gradual damage to the macula cells which may lead to loss of central vision. Macula allows a person to see the fine details. Wet AMD is when abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina causing blood and fluid to leak in the eye. Dry AMD involves the gradual breaking down of the light-sensitive cells in the macula leading to diminished central vision. Cataracts It is a painless eye disease that causes blurry vision due to clouding of the lens. It can be caused by excessive UV light exposure, trauma, age, medication, and diabetes among others. It continually gets worse if it is not treated. Cataracts treatments include laser surgery. Refractive Errors There are different refractive errors that are corrected by lenses, surgery, and glasses. Astigmatism is an error caused by an irregular-shaped cornea. An affected person sees blurry images. Nearsightedness (Myopia) occurs when the cornea has too much curvature. A patient can only focus on what is near. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is caused by a flat cornea that distracts light from focusing on the retina. Diabetic Retinopathy It is a disease that affects those with diabetes and it damages the retina due to higher than usual blood sugar levels. The nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is leaking of blood in the retina. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy...
How to Avoid Infections from Contact Lenses

How to Avoid Infections from Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses can be a better alternative for those who don’t really like the way they look in glasses. They can also be more convenient for people who live an active lifestyle. However, the one drawback to contact lenses is that it’s more important to keep them properly cleaned. What Happens to Your Eyes When You Wear Dirty Contact Lenses? When you wear dirty glasses, the worst thing that’s going to happen is that your vision will be obstructed. That in itself won’t pose a danger to your health. Dirty or improperly cleaned contact lenses, however, can cause your eyes to become infected. One such condition is keratitis, which involves an infected cornea. This can also be called a corneal ulcer. The cornea is the outer film that protects the eye. An infection affecting this film can grow into a very serious condition, risking the overall health of the eye. Anything breeding on the contact lens, such as a fungus, bacteria, or virus, can cause a corneal ulcer. In rare cases, a parasite can attack the eye and cause keratitis. It may be possible to identify an eye infection, before it gets too serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop wearing your contact lenses immediately and contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. Early detection may help you get the condition treated before it becomes too serious. Warning signs of an eye infection include: Swelling or redness around the eyes Blurry vision Unexplained tears, or a sticky, gooey secretion from the eye Eye pain Sensitivity to light Itching or burning, or the sensation that...

Common Vision Problems for Seniors

Vision disorders can affect anyone, but the risk of developing certain eye problems increases with age. Below are some common vision problems experienced by seniors: Dry Eyes and Tearing Regardless of age, “low-quality tears” are always present in healthy eyes. However, as people get older, tear glands sometimes fail to make enough low-quality tears, which can lead to symptoms such as redness, burning and itching. If dry eyes become a chronic condition, vision problems may eventually occur. For this reason, it is always in one’s best interest to consult with an eye doctor if constant dryness is a problem. Tearing is also not uncommon, particularly in seniors who are sensitive to temperature changes, wind or light. Wearing sunglasses and shielding eyes from wind may clear up the problem. If it continues, however, the advice of an eye doctor should be sought. Floaters Floaters are common in people of all ages, particularly nearsighted individuals. They may also become more noticeable as a person ages. They are typically harmless; however, if the number suddenly increases or they are accompanied by flashes of light, one should immediately consult an ophthalmologist. Presbyopia Presbyopia is simply a term for the inability to clearly read small print or see close objects. Most people over 40 develop some degree of presbyopia, which is easily remedied with suitable corrective lenses. Cataracts Cataracts are cloudy areas that cover part or all of the eye’s lens, making it difficult to see. They typically form slowly after age 50 and do not cause pain. Some remain small and don’t interfere with vision, while others grow large and eventually cause blindness...

Busting Contact Lens Myths

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses, but many people hesitate to try them out because of common myths and misinformation. Here are six myths about contact lenses that don’t hold up to reality. Contact lenses aren’t for everyone. You may have heard that some people can’t wear contact lenses because they have a challenging prescription or a specific vision problem. However, because of new contact lens technology, almost everyone can wear contacts. You can get bifocal contact lenses, lenses for astigmatism, and custom made lenses for almost all other issues. Contact lenses can get stuck or lost behind your eye. A contact lens can stick to the surface of your eye if it gets too dry, but it can’t get permanently stuck. Contact lenses also can’t get lost behind your eye. The inner surface of your eye is lined with the conjunctiva, which turns into the covering of the eyeball. This means that it’s impossible for your contacts to reach the back of your eye. They may get stuck under your eyelid, but it’s easy to retrieve them. Contact lenses are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Contact lenses might feel strange for the first few days you wear them, but almost everyone adjusts quickly. Most people can’t feel their contacts in their eyes at all. Contacts are also very easy to take care of once you get used to the cleansing process. Contact lenses cost too much. Contact lenses are usually about the same price or only slightly more expensive than glasses. In some cases, they can be even cheaper than glasses. For many people, the benefits of contacts...

Taking a Look at Cataracts

Among conditions that affect the eyes, few have been as pervasive as cataracts. Cataracts, defined as opacities of the lens that can ultimately lead to partial or complete blindness, impact millions of people across the world: According to some studies, up to 15 million people have blindness that is linked to cataract formation. What are some of the details related to cataracts’ causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment? While the exact pathogenic process causing cataracts remains a subject for research, there is quite a bit of literature available that discusses pertinent risk factors. One theory states a photo-oxidative process leads to the damage and subsequent opacity development. Commonly cited risk factors include old age, cigarette use, exposure to sunlight, diabetes, and alcohol consumption, among others. The effects of certain medications (e.g. Statins) is a subject for discussion. The condition presents as a painless, gradual loss of vision. A patient may note that they can’t see in the dark as well as they used to. Additionally, they could be faced with challenges when focusing on fine print or attempts to read signs while driving. Color can appear faded, with a lack of richness that may have been perceived in the past. Of note, cataracts often affect both eyes, but the problems may start asymmetrically. This means that one eye (either the right or the left) may begin to experience symptoms prior to the other. An ophthalmologist who suspects cataracts based on a patient’s presenting symptoms can confirm the diagnosis with a fundoscopic exam. Treatment is essential to prevent the onset of full-blown blindness. Generally speaking, the decision to pursue treatment (which...