Taking care of your eyes is obviously very important, and the first thing to do in this regard is to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis. In most cases, a yearly exam is sufficient, while in others, it may be necessary to have your eye exam more often.
Dry eye disease is one of the most common conditions that can affect our eyes and is often discovered by the eye doctor on a routine visit. Things you might notice are watery eyes, tired eyes, dry eyes, grittiness, feeling like a piece of sand or dirt or an eyelash is in the eye, or your eyes might burn. These are all signs of dryness, and this can often be treated with the use of artificial tears or similar lubricants. Sometimes, you might not feel anything despite having dry eyes. Other treatments are often discussed during your eye exam if simple lubrication does not yield adequate results. At the Orange County Eye Institute, we see this problem very commonly, and we are considered experts on this topic. Dr. Salib frequently teaches other eye doctors about this condition and has published a lot of articles on this topic.
Diabetes and high blood pressure can also affect the eyes to a great degree, leading to blindness and even loss of the eye in severe cases. This is why it is so vital that anyone with these conditions has regular eye examinations with a dilated exam in order to check and see if these conditions have affected the eyes. If so, then we can recommend specific treatment plans and refer you to a retina specialist if necessary. It is, of course, very important to control your blood sugar and high blood pressure in order to prevent the complications of these diseases.
Blepharitis is another very common eye condition where the oil glands in our eyelids, called meibomian glands to get blocked. When this occurs, the natural oils that come from our eyelids do not lubricate our eyes, resulting in dry eyes. Also, the oils can accumulate around the eyelashes, irritating the eyelids, causing them to appear red and puffy. These can lead to infections and inflammations of the eye and also to the formation of styles, which are like pimples of the eyelids. While conservative measures are often effective in eliminating styles, surgery is sometimes necessary to remove them. Blepharitis is often a condition that goes undetected by the patient, and so it is very important to undergo routine eye exams where such diseases can be found.
There are also so many other conditions that may affect the eyes, such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, vitamin deficiencies, and strokes, to name a few. Often medications can affect the eyes, such as blood pressure medications, blood thinners, Plaquenil therapy, tamoxifen, and even birth control pills. We can also often detect diseases in the body by simply finding signs of them through the eye exam, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The importance of regular eye examinations cannot be overemphasized. Come by the Orange County Eye Institute, and we will perform a comprehensive eye exam and discuss the findings with you.