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DR CUSMA ANSWERS:QUESTIONS ABOUT EYES

QUESTIONS ABOUT EYES

1) What exactly are cataracts, and what are the symptoms if cataracts are developing in my eyes?

ANSWER:When the normally clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy or opaque, it is called a cataract.IT IS NOT A FILM THAT GROWS OVER THE SURFACE OF THE EYE, as some people mistakingly think.

Cataracts most often develop in persons over the age of 55, but they are occasionally found in younger people, including newborns. A cataract in a newborn is called a congenital cataract. Besides the normal aging of the lens inside the eye, cataracts may develop from certain medications, some systemic diseases, or from eye trauma or injury. Excessive exposure to UV radiation present in sunlight, cigarette smoking, and a poor diet can all contribute to cataract development.

Some common symptoms that people may experience are: Increased haziness causing blurred or distorted vision…Increased sensitivity to glare from lights,especially when driving at night…An increased need for more light to see clearly…A gradual loss of intensity of color vision

2)What exactly is dry eye, and what are the symptoms of dry eye? How is dry eye treated?

ANSWER: Dry eye is the term used to describe eyes that either do not produce enough tears for proper eye lubrication, or the tears that are produced are deficient in their chemical composition, so as to not provide adequate protection to sensitive eye tissue.

Some of the chief causes of dry are: THE NORMAL AGING PROCESS…PROBLEMS WITH NORMAL BLINKING…CERTAIN MEDICATIONS LIKE ANTIHISTAMINES, ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES, AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS…ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS SUCH AS DRY CLIMATE OR EXPOSURE TO WIND…GENERAL HEALTH PROBLEMS LIKE ARTHRITIS OR SJOGREN’S SYNDROME…CHEMICAL OR THERMAL BURNS TO THE EYE.

The symptoms of dry eye include: Irritated. scratchy, uncomfortable eyes…eye redness…a burning sensation…a feeling of a foreign body in the eye…excessive watering as the eye tries to produce more tears. Treatments include:

CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS LIKE AVOIDING WIND AND DUST AND INCREASING THE LEVEL OF HUMIDITY, USING OVER THE COUNTER ARTIFICIAL TEAR SOLUTIONS AS RECOMMENDED BY YOUR OPTOMETRIST, USING MOISTURIZING OINTMENT AT BEDTIME, USING R.X. EYEDROPS PRESCRIBED BY YOUR OPTOMETRIST IN MORE SEVERE CASES, INSERTION OF SMALL PLUGS (PUNCTAL PLUGS) IN THE TEAR DUCTS.

Don’t hesitate to discuss concerns about any of these conditions with your optometrist. It pays to be pro-active in all areas of your health.