Advanced Eye Care Guide: If you have normal vision, your eyes will ordinarily take care of themselves – thanks to the tear-washing process described above. But if you begin to have any of the following problems, it is sensible to visit your doctor for advice without delay.
- Deterioration of vision, involving a generalized blur or a centralized blur, loss of side vision, double vision, flashing lights and spots before your eyes, or general eye strain.
- Swollen lids or reddened white of the eye.
Your doctor will either prescribe treatment (possibly drops or ointment), refer you to an optician, or, if he detects a more serious condition, refer you to an ophthalmologist (a medically qualified doctor with specialist interest in the eyes). To check initially, your doctor may:
- Test the eye muscles to detect a squint or any tendency to squint.
- Examine the lids for styes, the whites of the eyes for conjunctivitis, and the cornea for abrasions.
Examination of the eyes can also reveal whether you have:
- An illness such as diabetes.
Don’t be nervous if an adjustable light or pen torch is shone into your eyes. It is rather disturbing if you are already in an anxious state, but no pain is involved and you can console yourself with the thought that if something is wrong, such a thorough search will detect it so that it can be treated before it worsens. If your doctor detects a medical problem he or she will decide on the correct course of action; if the problem is one of long or short sight you will then be advised to visit an optician.
Advanced Eye Care: Eyes and their care:
If you have ever had an eye infection or an injury that has necessitated wearing an eye-patch for a brief period, you will appreciate the importance and desirability of having both eyes in good working order, to maintain a balanced perspective of the world around you. To help you to treat your eyes with due respect, here is basic information on the structure of the eyes, how they work, and how best to care for them.
Advanced Eye Care: How to prevent eye injury:
Many eye injuries could be avoided if only sensible precautions were taken when participating in certain sports, engaging in certain types of work, or carrying out DIY tasks around the home. It is always sensible to wear protective goggles:
- When using chemicals, painting or spraying with creosote, hammering, drilling, swaying or sanding, or hedge-clipping with a power-driven cutter.
- When engaged in sports during which you may be hit in the face – squash, cricket, badminton, and fencing in particular.
- When protective goggles are a standard issue in your line of work. They would not be provided if there was no likely danger. Furthermore, if you do not wear them and then suffer injury, you are unlikely to receive any compensation.
Advanced Eye Care: Emergency eye treatment:
Removing a foreign body from the eye. First try blinking rapidly once or twice to encourage an increased tear-flow, which may well dislodge the foreign body. If not gently grasp the eyelashes of the upper lid between thumb and forefinger and pull the upper lid down over the lower one; hold for a few seconds, then release.
If this fails, waste no more time. Put a protective pad over the eye and go to see your doctor without further delay. Do not rub the eye if you can resist; you will simply aggravate the problem and possibly scratch the conjunctiva.
Advanced Eye Care: Eye Treatment for accidents with chemicals:
Bate the eye immediately under fresh, cold, running water. Take care to tilt your head so that water trickling from the damaged eye cannot enter the other one and cause further problems. Hold your eyelids open with one hand so that the water can really do its work.
Keep up the bathing treatment for at least 10 minutes, even if the burning sensation eases. Then cover the eye with a sterile pad and go to see your doctor, even if you feel better.
Sight is a precious gift and it is sensible, therefore, to always check up on any problem with your doctor. For this reason, no specific information about treating general eye problems is given here, other than suggestions on dealing with emergencies.
Advanced Eye Care: How the eye works:
The structure of the eye: each eye is spheroid and about 2.5cm (1in) in diameter. The eyelid covers about two-thirds of the front of each eyeball and, at the inner corner, each eye has a small, fleshy pad.
A tear gland in the upper lid produces a film of tears with every blink to clean and sterilize the eye. The ‘tears’ then drain away through tear ducts, into the back of the nose. Main structures of the eye.
Sclera: protective tissue.
Chorold: a pigmented membrane.
Comea: window of the eyelets in light.
Pupll: ‘black hole’ – light passes through.
Lens: focuses received light on to the retina.
Aqueous humor: nourishes the lens.
Iris: regulates light through the cornea.
Vitreous humor preserves the shape of eyeball.
Retina: receives image from lens.
Optic nerve: transmits ‘coded’ image to the brain.
Convex lens: Far-sightedness (or hypermetropia) occurs because the eyeball is slightly more curved than is ‘normal’, thus causing the lens to focus behind the retina. Only distant objects can be seen clearly. The problem can be corrected by using spectacles with convex-shaped lenses.
Concave Lens: Near-sightedness (or myopia) occurs when the eyeball is slightly less curve than ‘normal’. In this case, the lens of the eye will focus in front of the retina, blurring all objects except those close by. The refractive error can be corrected by spectacles with concave lenses.
The eye is like a camera, with the lens sited towards the front of the eye and held in position by the ciliary muscle, which helps it to focus near or distant objects.
Light enters the eye through the cornea and is then controlled by the iris, where tiny muscles constrict or dilate the size of the pupil – the black hole’ through which the light reaches the lens.
In turn, the lens focuses the light on to the retina lying at the back of the eye. The retina transforms the light into coded impulses, passed on to the brain via the optic nerve.
The brain then decodes the impulses in such a way that you see things the right way up and the right way round. (They reach the back of the brain transposed left to right – and upside down.)
Advanced Eye Care: Going to an optician:
An optician tests your eyes for focusing errors, for which he or she can then prescribe glasses and/or contact lenses. An optician is also trained to recognize eye diseases but cannot treat them.
If he or she suspects an eye complaint you will be referred to an eye specialist – an ophthalmologist – who will repeat the same tests but in even greater detail, and will also carry out other more specific tests.
Advanced Eye Care: Eyes Testing for distance vision:
Each eye is covered in turn while you read letters of gradually decreasing size on a wall-chart at a distance of 6m (18ft) from you, to see how many lines you can read without strain.
Advanced Eye Care: Eyes Testing for near vision:
You will be asked to read from print in various type-sizes, held at a normal reading distance from you.