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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

Introduction

When considering the overriding factors that affect the general health, some important factors we would consider are: psychological/nervous stress, diet, exercise, the effect of physical agents such as solar radiation, pollutants etc, and of course genetic factors, over which we have had very limited influence up until now. The underlying factors that lead to eye problems are much the same. Only their specific details are different.

Genetic factors underlie many conditions presenting to an eyecare clinic. However, in most cases, I believe it is the effect of the environment nowadays which plays a greater role on whether or not a person will present to an eyecare practitioner with an eye or sight problem. In other words, judging from my own experience, most cases of eye disease or sight problems presenting to the clinic could have been partly or fully prevented in the presence of different or modified environmental factors.

Just as nervous stress can affect the general health, it can also affect the health of the visual system. However, the effects of nervous stress on the eyes are not well understood, especially in children, as its presence is not obvious and often relies on feedback from the patient. Diet, proper use of the eyes (including visual experience), physical trauma from radiative, mechanical and chemical agents, and infective and allergenic agents are all examples of fundamental environmental factors which can significantly impact on the health of the eyes.

These elemental causes affect the eyes in different ways. The means can be very direct, e.g. when the eye suffers mechanical injury with a sharp object. Importantly, the means can be indirect by affecting the general health. A good example of this is when poor diet leads to diabetes, which can severely affect eye health. Generally speaking, having an awareness of the above fundamental causes of disease and taking appropriate preventive measures are of immense importance to long-term general and thus eye health.

The relative importance of the underlying eye health factors discussed above varies for different age groups. Part I below outlines some relatively common eye health problems according to age. Possible causes and appropriate preventive measures are discussed. Some selected issues pertaining to more than one age group are discussed in Part II. References are usually made to available literature in other links when the information that I wish to convey is no different from that in those links. The conclusion summarises the most important public eye health issues.

 

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