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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

Appendix (II): NASAL RINSING

NASAL RINSING AS AN AID TO ALLEVIATING EYE IRRITATION

There are many causes of eye irritation but often there is an underlying factor of infection spreading from the nasal/sinus areas. The infection in these areas is usually worsened by pollutants in the air such as exhaust fumes, dust, pollen, etc. and by common colds, extreme air temperatures and dry air such as in air-conditioned environments. This condition usually causes more persistent eye symptoms than direct irritation by pollutants to the eyes. The reason for this is that there is a greater potential for germs to grow and be harbored in the nasal passages and thus act as a source of infection for the eyes and even for the ears and throat etc.

It is of benefit to rinse out the nasal passages with saline, as the vast majority of us are not living in clean air environments. Saline is naturally found in our eyes, blood etc and it is the best solution to use when cleaning any part of our body that has a mucous membrane such as eyes, nasal passages, throat etc. It would be ideal to use filtered water to make it; however, tap water is usually clean enough if it is first allowed to run for a few seconds. One would need to add no more than half a teaspoon of salt to one glass of water, stir, and let the water boil for atleast five minutes and allow to cool. It is preferable to use pure salt. (If too much salt is added, this would tend to dry the membrane and cause irritation afterwards. Too little salt will cause immediate stinging and irritation. Approximately 2ml of salt to 300ml of water is adequate.)

First, clean your hands thoroughly and when the saline is luke-warm, sniff the saline into one nostril from the palm of your hand and blow out. Repeat this twice. Then follow the same procedure for your other nostril. Avoid blowing your nose excessively hard and always use freshly made saline.

In order to clean deep in the nasal passages, you may also wish to sniff saline in through both nostrils and spit it out of your mouth. Repeat this once or twice and then you must gargle with the saline in order to clean out any contaminants coming down from the nasal passages.

This procedure may be carried out early in the evening on a daily basis. If possible, have someone at home boil the water for you so that it is luke-warm and ready for use when you get home after work. Avoid going out immediately afterwards, especially in cold weather.

One should not carry out nasal rinsing immediately before retiring to bed. Allow at least two to three hours so that there is plenty of time for the saline to drip and be blown out of the nose before retiring to bed. To ensure that all the saline comes out of the nasal passages, you must bend forward in a stooped position a few times over the next couple of hours, to empty out any residual saline. If this is not done, saline may remain in the sinus areas and may become infected, causing sinusitis. You may also wish to lie on your back with your face up for a few moments to empty any remaining saline into the back of the mouth from where it can be spat out.

Encourage children into proper nasal hygiene every day by teaching them nasal rinsing, just as we encourage them to clean their teeth. Remember that prevention is better than cure and nasal rinsing should be part of everyone's proper hygiene. Try it daily for at least one month and if you find it beneficial, make it part of your daily routine.

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