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General EYE ADVICE

Introduction

Part I Eye Problems, Possible Causes and Advice By AGE Grouping

Section (A) INFANTS and PRE-SCHOOLERS

Section (B) SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN and ADOLESCENTS

Section (C) YOUNGER ADULTS  (UP TO EARLY FORTIES)

Section (D) MIDDLE AGE (UP TO SIXTY YEARS)

Section (E) OLDER AGE (OVER SIXTY YEARS)

Part (II) Selected Eye problems of Importance to All Age Groups.

Section (A) ASTIGMATISM

Section (B) COMMON CHRONIC INFECTIVE CONJUNCTIVITIS

Section (C) Hints on Eye Usage with Computers

Section (D) Lifestyle and Glaucoma

CONCLUSION

Eye Irritation and Infections

Environmental irritants become important sources of external eye inflammation in this age group, whilst allergy affects fewer people than in the previous age group. Work-place fumes, dust, air-conditioning; vehicle-emitted air-pollution and home environmental air-pollution such as carpet dust and cigarette smoke (especially in the presence of ducted-heating), can all induce chronic eye irritation. These irritants can affect the eyes directly, but more importantly, can also affect the eyes indirectly, by causing infection in the nasal or sinus areas. Refer to appendix (II) below entitled NASAL RINSING, for information on nasal hygiene to alleviate the effects of polluted air environments.

Apart from nasal rinsing, which often is the long-term solution to chronic infective conjunctivitis, eye rinsing with saline is also of benefit by producing temporary relief of eye irritation, taking away the need to rub the eyes. Rubbing the eyes should be avoided as it can worsen an eye inflammation. Sterile preservative-free saline in 15ml ampoules is available at our clinics and at chemists. A box of 15 ampoules is worth little over the cost of a 15ml bottle of eye drops. However, the unopened ampoules can last over 2-3 years and everyone in the family can use them. One can spray the saline directly into the eye, ensuring that the tip of the bottle does not touch the eye. In this case, the ampoule can be used over the day or so, when it is stored in the refrigerator.

Inadequate tears or dry eye can also contribute to eye irritation. For a discussion on the causes and treatments available, see Part I (E) on dry eye.

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