The most common problems and how to protect yourself
Summer has arrived, and with it high temperatures, high indices of UV radiation, indispensable air conditioners, going to the sea. It is extremely important to take care of the health of our eyes even in the summer.
Dry eye is one of the most common problems. Even people who normally do not have problems related to “dry eye”, due to the air conditioners that dry the air, feel some of the symptoms – dryness, burning sensation, occasionally increased secretion of tears, redness of the eye, discomfort when blinking. Chlorinated water in swimming pools also dries out eye. Increased sweating and contact of sweat with the eyes leads to irritation. It is important to recognize these symptoms in time and start using adequate artificial tears that do not contain preservatives, several times a day. It is also recommended to use special wipes for wiping the eyelids, which clean and degrease the edges and thus reduce the chance of blepharitis. If not treated in time, an eye infection may develop. Dry eye is more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, conjunctivitis and keratitis, which are especially common in people who wear contact lenses. It is an important rule to maintain hand hygiene, not to touch or rub the eyes. People who wear contact lenses are advised to be especially careful. It is necessary to change contact lenses regularly, wash them and store them adequately, use sterile solutions provided for this, do not wear lenses when entering water and do not sleep with lenses. Before inserting the lenses, it is advisable to instill a drop of artificial tears. When entering water, special attention should be paid to ensure that water does not enter the eye, whether it is sea or river water. Sea water contains salt that binds to the surface of soft lenses, stays in the eye and further irritates it, while river water often contains impurities that can lead to more severe inflammation. GP lenses are more mobile, they fall out of the eye more easily, and wearing them requires extra caution. Do not dive with the GP lens, especially without goggles. If you feel burning and discomfort after putting on or taking off the lenses, you should not use them but, if possible, wear glasses. It is desirable to wash the eye with a 3% solution of boric acid, which has a mild disinfecting effect, and to drip artificial tears without preservatives frequently.
Irritated dry eye
If conjunctivitis develops, the symptoms become more pronounced, as well as the presence of secretions, it is necessary to contact an ophthalmologist, in order to take a swab, examine and prescribe therapy. Enhanced hygiene, frequent hand washing, having a personal towel, changing pillowcases are also recommended.
Foreign bodies in the eye are a very common problem during the summer period, as well as various eye injuries. Good weather and spending time in nature increase the chance of finding a grain of sand, the wings of an insect, particles of dust and earth in the eye. The eye should be washed with saline solution or a 3% solution of boric acid, and if the complaints continue (scratching sensation, increased secretion of tears , pain, loss of vision, redness) it is necessary to contact an ophthalmologist. It is important that a professional person properly removes the foreign body so that there are no other complications such as corneal inflammation, etc.
Insect wings under the upper eyelid
UV radiation leads to damage to the front surface of the eye. UVA and UVB rays are harmful to the eye. In addition to damaging the skin of the eyelids, which is thin and delicate, they lead to burns of the iris and cornea, which are painful and unpleasant. The sun can damage the epithelial cells creating superficial sores (solar keratitis-ophthalmiaelectrica s actinica) in extreme conditions. This can be especially forced by being near water surfaces, where we additionally have an increased reflection of light and UV waves. Ophthalmia is a very painful condition, a person often cannot open his eye several hours after staying out of the sun, the eye tears, it is red, and blinking is particularly painful. Relief after the introduction of therapy is not immediate, several hours are needed until epithelization occurs. We advise patients to squint as much as possible and stay in a darkened room.
Solar keratopathy – is represented by punctate “sores” on the cornea that stain with fluorescein
UV rays can, in prolonged exposure, lead to thickening of the cornea in the area of the interlid opening – pingvecula or even pterygium (duplication of the cornea that grows over the cornea).
Pterygium – a duplication of the testicle that grows into the cornea
Allergic conjunctivitis is another problem. Itchy eyes, redness and tearing associated with sneezing and increased secretion from the nose occur as a result of exposure to one of the inhalant allergens. ). Sometimes, in addition to local antiallergic therapy in the form of drops, systemic therapy must be introduced. Consultation with an ophthalmologist is definitely recommended. Contact dermatitis of the eyelids is also common. The sun in contact with certain face creams or anti-wrinkles leads to a chemical reaction accompanied by redness, swelling of the eyelids, and itching.
Contact dermatitis of the eyelid
Prolonged exposure to UV radiation during life can lead to the appearance of cataracts – clouding of the lens significantly earlier, then the appearance of malignant melanoma of the skin of the eyelids, iris, ciliary body and choroid, of course in predisposed individuals. Macular degeneration, which is one of the most common causes of central vision loss, occurs much more often and earlier in people who are exposed to the sun (working in the fields, near water bodies). Directly looking at the sun can cause solar retinopathy, due to the harmful effect in this case of infrared rays (eg when viewing a solar eclipse).
That is why it is very important to wear appropriate safety glasses. The right choice of glass is of great importance. You should choose glasses in a yellowish-brown color, which block the blue spectrum of light (which is considered to be the most phototoxic) and with as much UV protection as possible. Hats and caps are recommended for complete protection.
Damage to the yellow spot – the macula caused by looking directly at the sun
Because of all that we have mentioned, it is necessary to take care of the health of the eyes and to prevent the appearance of the most common problems in time during the summer vacation. Our professional staff is always at your disposal for advice and a detailed ophthalmological examination. See you!