Common Eye Problems

 A photo of one of our dear patients! The eye is an important organ and it is important to ensure they are healthy and seeing well!

A photo of one of our dear patients! The eye is an important organ and it is important to ensure they are healthy and seeing well!

Most people experience some sort of problem with their eyes at some point in their life. Though some may not seem like a big deal, it is a good idea to get checked by an optometrist to ensure your eyes are in good health. Here are some of the common eye problems that people experience at least once in their lifetime. If these sound familiar and have persisted for more than a few days (or the symptoms seem rather severe), come see us and make sure there isn't anything serious going on.

Dry Eyes

The Alberta environment is extremely dry, which can make those with dry eyes suffer!

Dry eyes occur for a variety of reasons. For example, it could be because you don't produce enough tears or it could be because the quality of the tears is poor. The best way to find out the reason for your dry eyes is to come in for a dry eye assessment!  Though it may just be an annoyance to you, dry eye can actually result in damage to the front surface of the eye and impair your ability to see. Dry eye assessments are covered by Alberta Health Care. 

Some simple things you can do to help your dry eyes include ensuring you are well hydrated, taking omega 3 supplements, or using a humidifier.

Excess Tearing

Do people always ask you why you are always crying? It's not that you are emotional (or maybe you are, who are we to judge), but ironically, excess tearing can be a sign of dry eye!

The poor quality of the tears results in evaporation of the tears in certain circumstances such as when it is windy, dry, cold, or in environments where there is a lot of air flow like with fans, air conditioners or heaters. When the tears evaporate, it sends a signal to the tear glands to begin producing more tears to compensate, however these tears are still of poor quality so it does not fix the problem!

Excess tearing can also be caused by allergies, eye infections or blocked tear ducts. It is important to see an optometrist to make this distinction and find the cause of your excess tearing!

 
 Photo of Tony Phung, Managing Partner. Being on the computer for long periods of time can cause eyestrain!

Photo of Tony Phung, Managing Partner. Being on the computer for long periods of time can cause eyestrain!

Eye Strain

Did you know that you can overwork your eyes? Just like your body, your eyes get tired and need some beauty rest. 

Eye strain can happen from staring and working at a computer for long periods of time, reading a book for hours on end, and even long distance driving!

Using a computer or phone for an extended period of time is the most common cause of eye strain. It is important to take breaks from these devices! It is recommended to follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, look at something 20 feet away.

Having an uncorrected prescription, deficits in eye coordination, and age changes can lead to increased eyestrain if you are using any electronic devices for long periods of time. While eyestrain can usually be relieved by taking breaks, sometimes the eyestrain can last for a long time even after you're done on the computer. If the cause of the eyestrain is not addressed, the problems will continue to occur and may even worsen with continued computer use. Come see us if you are noticing any eyestrain!

Red Eyes/Pink Eyes

There are many tiny blood vessels in and on the surface of your eye. The blood vessels expand when they are irritated or infected to bring more blood to the area. 

There are many causes for a red/pink eye! Allergies, inflammation of the eyelids, eye injuries, eye infections and the list goes on!

Did you know it is much faster to see an optometrist for any eye issues than to go to a walk in? This medically necessary appointment is covered by Alberta Health Care. It is always a good idea to come see us so we can determine the cause of your red/pink eye and administer treatment. 

Pro-tip: WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY (it's always a good idea to wash your hands before and after touching your eyes if you are concerned you may have an eye infection).