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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

Blocked Tear Duct

The eye normally has a mechanism available to it, which allows any excess tears to be drained into the adjacent nostril. This occurs via a tear duct which in older age, may become blocked in some individuals who are genetically predisposed, or who suffer from chronic nasal/sinus infection. A blocked tear duct can lead to an overflow of tears onto the skin surrounding the eyes. This is more likely to occur when there is added irritation to the eye causing it to water, especially in a cold, wet environment.

If there are associated nasal/sinus symptoms, especially affecting the same side as the blocked tear duct, and there is no family history of the condition, the cause may be a spread of infection from the nasal/sinus areas. If the blockage is only mild and at its early stages, the eyecare practitioner can help to temporarily relieve the blockage by rinsing the tear duct, in a process called "lacrimal lavage". If this is preformed on several occasions, and the patient is instructed on massaging the tear duct and rinsing the eye immediately afterwards on a regular basis, the blockage may be reversed to some extent and the symptoms of watering may be alleviated.

However, attention needs to be paid to the primary cause of the condition, which as previously mentioned, is often related to spread of infection from the adjacent nasal/sinus areas. Nasal hygiene and one's resistance to infection need to be improved. (See discussion in Part II B for causes of chronic infective conjunctivitis.)  Nasal rinsing can be performed on a regular basis, to limit infection. If no such measures are taken, the lacrimal lavage procedures often need to be repeated every six to twelve months.

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