Red Eyes: Defining the condition and how to reduce or prevent it
Eye redness occurs when the vessels in your eye become swollen or irritated. Redness of the eye, also called bloodshot eyes, can indicate the presence of several different health problems. While some of these problems are quite innocent, others are serious and require proper medical attention.
Red eyes may be caused by anything from a poor night’s sleep to a more serious medical condition. But Mark Mifflin, M.D., an ophthalmologist with University of Utah Health Care’s Moran Eye Center, warns that attempts to whiten eyes often do more harm than good.
To safely reduce redness of the eye, the following courses of action should be followed:
A professional eye exam. Many factors, including dry eye, eyelid inflammation, allergy, skin type, smoking, and exposure to dust or chemicals can cause or contribute to eye redness. Preservative free artificial tears or prescription eye drops prescribed by your eye care provider can help. Also, getting enough sleep is important, as is eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, and protecting the eyes from UV rays and dry air.
Avoid any eye drops or other medications that promise to reduce redness. “Generally these medicines temporarily narrow blood vessels. The effect may last for several hours, but they are always followed by rebound dilation,” says Mifflin. He also says that nearly all of these eye drops contain medications or preservatives which can be toxic to the surface of the eye when used repeatedly.
Be aware: discoloration of the white of the eyes can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical condition. For example, a yellow tinge could signify liver disease, or a dramatic increase in red might be due to an abnormality of the blood vessels inside the head or neck. Once again, consulting your optometrist is a good place to start.
If you suspect that you suffer from excessive redness of the eyes, De Jongh Optometry will assist you with a state-of-the-art, professional eye exam. Make your appointment today at Moreleta Park (012 998 7592/3) or Lynnwood (012 807 6027).
When it comes to driving to your December holiday destination, you rely on your vision more than any other sense. Your eyes are constantly in motion, focusing and refocusing as objects approach and contending with distractions such as oncoming headlights or the glare of the setting sun.
All this activity can take a toll on your eyes. A long drive can cause them to become strained, which in turn can reduce your safety and alertness while driving. That is why keeping your eyes well rested and preventing them from becoming strained in the first place should always be a top priority.
Following the advice and tips below will help ensure that you are taking the appropriate vision-related precautions while behind the wheel on your journey:
- Always wear prescription eye-wear when driving and be sure that your glasses are clean.
- Even when you are behind the wheel or in a car as a passenger, you should still wear sunglasses that provide protection from harmful UV rays.
- Consider wearing no-glare or polarised lenses. They allow more light to enter the eye, minimising glare originating from the road or other objects.
- Take breaks when driving long distances to reduce eye strain and fatigue.
- Keep your vehicle’s headlights, taillights and windshield – inside and outside – clean.
- Receive regular eye exams to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that your prescription remains current.
- Use non-preserved artificial tear supplements to ensure air-conditioning doesn’t dry your eyes and result in blurry vision.
We would like to wish everyone a wonderful, joyous and peaceful holiday season – stay safe, more importantly drive safe and patiently & most importantly, take good care of your eyes! For any queries on the health of your eyes, or to book an eye exam to ensure that they are in the best condition before your well-deserved holiday, do not hesitate to contact us.