Some parts of our body like our eyelids are ignored until we face a problem related to it. One such ailment that affects our eyelids is the swelling of the eyelid. This can affect both the upper and lower eyelid and may or may not be painful. This is triggered by the inflammation of fluid in the connective tissues around the eye as a result of eye infections, injuries and allergies. It could also be a sign of a more serious health condition such as Graves disease, orbital cellulitis or ocular herpes.
Some of the symptoms you may notice with swollen eyelids are:
As mentioned above, these symptoms can be triggered by a number of factors. Allergic reactions to pollen, dust, dander, makeup and certain eye drops are the most common causes of swollen eyelids. The swelling of blood vessels in and around eyes is a common effect of histamines. Conjunctivitis or the inflammation of the inner lining of the eye can also result in swollen eyelids along with making the eyes water and itch. Bacterial infection or the inflammation of the meibomian gland in the form of styes can also make the entire eyelid swell. In such cases, the eyelid is also very tender to the touch. A blocked meibomian gland can also trigger the formation of a chalazion. This later develops into a hard sebaceous cyst which makes the eyelid swell.
An injury to the eye can also trigger inflammation and make the eye look swollen. Another common cause of eye infections is improper use of contact lenses such as not keeping them clean or swimming with lenses on.
The form of treatment best suited to you will depend on the underlying factors triggering the condition. In cases of allergic reactions being the trigger, antihistamine drops or lubricating ‘artificial tears’ could help relieve the symptoms. In more serious cases, your doctor may also prescribe mild steroid drops. Infections caused by conjunctivitis or ocular herpes usually respond well to antiviral and anti-inflammatory medication in the form of eye drops or ointments.
To prevent further aggravation of the condition, avoid rubbing your eyes and minimize touch to the area. Applying a cool compress over the eyes can also help relieve the itchiness and swelling. In addition to this, splash your face with cold water as many times a day as possible. Lastly, avoid wearing contact lenses for the duration of the infection.
Infection of the soft tissues in the eye socket is known as orbital cellulitis. It is a serious infection that can cause permanent vision damage and fatal complications. Such an infection can occur at any age, although it commonly affects children. It is known as orbital cellulitis since it develops behind the eyeball, i.e. in the orbit of the eye.
One may also suffer from Periorbital Cellulitis when the infection occurs in front of the eyeball. Such an infection can spread to the skin around the eye but is less serious compared to orbital cellulitis. Nevertheless, both kinds of cellulitis require immediate attention.
Orbital cellulitis is a kind of infection that involves the muscle and fat tissues in the orbit of eyes. The infection precipitates an inflammation of the soft tissues which, in effect, can push out the eye of the orbit. This leads to swelling, pain, and protrusion of the eye.
However, there may also be other symptoms like:
Limited movement of eyeballs or pain while moving the eyeballs
Sudden loss of vision
Swollen and red eyelid
Difficult opening of eyes
Discharge from eye
Since the infection can spread rapidly, it needs to be treated early. Treatment may include the application of antibiotics, surgical intervention, etc.
Using Antibiotics: Immediate application of antibiotics is the primary recommendation of any doctor when you are diagnosed with orbital cellulitis. The antibiotic has to be administered intravenously.
Surgical Intervention: It includes draining the accumulated fluid from the infected eye, removing foreign objects, if any, getting a culture sample for analysis, and application of precise antibiotics.
Despite these treatments being available, it must be said that treating orbital cellulitis is a difficult task. Ayurveda can be a potent remedy against this dreaded disease.
Ayurveda For Orbital Cellulitis
Studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of herbs in treating orbital cellulitis. For one such study, researchers adopted the Bidalaka procedure as laid down in ancient Ayurvedic text. The procedure entails the application of a paste of selected herbs on the eyelid. It is a concoction of herbs having analgesics, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory as well as soothing property. This line of treatment is also similar to a conventional line of treatment. Owing to the unique mode of application, the bioavailability of all the herbs in the paste is more. This leads to a high rate of absorption of the beneficial elements which in turn can offer quick relief from symptoms. In the study, the bidalaka procedure has led to significant improvement in symptoms of the patient.
Infection is the Orbital Cellulitis can be cured with proper care and Ayurvedic treatment. However, it is always advisable to consult an ayurvedic specialist before going for any of Ayurvedic herbs and treatment.
Uveitis is a set of inflammatory diseases that results in the swelling and damaging of the eye tissue. It can lead to temporary or permanent loss of vision. This disease often affects a part of the eye called the uvea, from which it has derived its name. It can affect people of all ages and can last from a short to long period of time. Ophthalmologists categorize uveitis into four major parts posterior uveitis, anterior uveitis, panuveitis uveitis and intermediate uveitis. This disease can be infectious or noninfectious, depending on the nature of the infection.
What causes uveitis and what are the major risk factors?
This disease is caused by the eye's inflammatory response and is caused by a series of potential factors such as the following:
What are the diseases associated with uveitis?
Uveitis is associated with a range of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Behcet's syndrome, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada's (VKH) disease, psoriasis, herpes zoster infection, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis.
What are the typical symptoms of uveitis?
One or both eyes can be affected by uveitis. Some of the common symptoms include pain in the eye, light sensitivity and blurred and dark spots in vision. Moreover, the symptoms might vary from person to person and greatly depends on the type of inflammation. The symptoms also vary according to the type of uveitis.
What is the detection process?
The process of detection starts with a patient's medical history followed by several medical tests to rule out autoimmune disorders. This is followed by an evaluation of the central nervous system to rule out multiple sclerosis. Some of the other tests conducted by ophthalmologists include measuring the ocular pressure, slit lamp exam, funduscopic exam and visual acuity test.
The primary aim of the treatment is to eradicate inflammation, restore vision, prevent tissue damage and reduce pain. The treatment plan depends on the type of uveitis a patient displays. Doctors often suggest a dose of corticosteroid eye drops to arrest the infection in and around the eye. Other treatment methods include the prescription of immunosuppressive agents.
Furthermore, a doctor may suggest steroidal medication in the form of an eye drop, pill or injection. It can also be surgically infused into the eye. Some other agents used for treatment are azathioprine, methotrexate and mycophenolate. Medications such as these require regular monitoring of the blood to check for any side effects. Doctors also suggest biologics such as infliximab, rituximab, and adalimumab. Most of these drugs have a specific target in the immune system.
Red or bloodshot eyes occur when there is a dilation of the blood vessels on the white part of the eye, also called as sclera. One or both the eyes can experience redness which can be accompanied by itching, pain in the yes, eye-discharge, swelling in the eye and other symptoms.
Red-eye is related to
Red-eye appears because of several reasons such as;
What causes red-eye
A red eye is one of the first and most common symptoms of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inner side of the eyelid. It is usually the result of a viral infection and can easily spread from one person to another. Conjunctivitis can also be a symptom of STDs like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In newborns, conjunctivitis can be vision threatening while in grownups it is not considered a serious health risk.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis differ according to the cause of the infection. Some common symptoms of conjunctivitis are:
* Green or white discharge from the eye
* Redness of the white part of the eye
* Inflammation of the eyelid
* Waking up to crusted yellow discharge
* Itchiness and burning in the eyes
* Increased sensitivity to light
* Blurred vision
An eye examination and testing a sample of the fluid secreted by the eye can be used to diagnose conjunctivitis. It can easily be treated at home and does not require hospitalization. Antibiotics are often given in the form of eye drops and ointments to treat conjunctivitis. These usually need to be applied 3-4 times a day for a period of 5-6 days. Wash your eyes before putting the eye drops. Once applied, close your eyes and roll the eyeball around to distribute the medicine and keep it from overflowing out of the eye. Wash your hands immediately after applying the eye drops.
Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious. If you are suffering from it, you should take a few days off work and restrict your social interactions. Wash your hands frequently as you may unconsciously rub your eyes. This is especially important with regards to meals and finger foods. Also, avoid sharing towels, pillow cases etc to minimize the transmission of the disease from one person to another.
Avoid using makeup while being treated for conjunctivitis. With conjunctivitis, the eye is more sensitive to irritants and thus a speck of makeup can worsen the situation. Also, avoid contacts. If you wear contacts regularly, dispose the current set and start using a fresh pair after your doctor gives you a clean chit.
Artificial tears or non prescription eye drops can also be used to relieve the itchiness and burning in the infected eye. If only one eye had been affected by conjunctivitis, do not use the same eye drop bottle for both eyes.
In order to see clearly, the eyes need to be constantly lubricated. This function is performed by small glands located in the eyelids known as meibomian glands. These glands secrete oil onto the surface of the cornea through tiny openings on them. Malfunctioning of this gland can create an excessive amount of oil.
When oil accumulates on the eyelids, it encourages the bacteria present in the eye and the skin around it to multiply leading to inflammation. This condition is known as meibomianitis. Adults are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition as compared to children.
Some of the factors that could trigger meibomianitis are:
Some of the characteristic symptoms of this disease are:
Regular cleaning of the eyes with warm water and abstaining from the use of contact lenses and eye makeup can help reduce irritation and manage the inflammation. Additionally, the doctor may also prescribe antibiotics or steroids in the form of pills, eye creams or drops. Artificial tears may also be recommended to patients exhibiting dry eye symptoms.
Ebooks are a lot easier to carry, and with the emerging trend of Kindles, it may appear to be more convenient than paperbacks, but the smell of new books, the texture of its pristine pages, is unparalleled to the inanimateness of ebooks. But that is not just why you must choose paperbacks over ebooks. Read on to find out why paperbacks work well over ebooks for better eye health.
The cornea is a highly organized and advanced tissue present in the eye. It is one of the few tissues in the body that doesn't contain any blood vessels. It nourishes itself from the aqueous humor (or tears). The cornea has three different layers with two membranes embedded in it. Every membrane has its own set of functions.
Here is a list of 10 important facts about the cornea and corneal diseases:
Common conditions affecting the cornea: Some of the common conditions that affect the cornea are:
Injuries: In case of a minor injury and scratch the cornea has the capability to heal on its own. But in case of deeper injuries, there might be corneal scarring, leading to a haze in the cornea along with impaired vision. In case of deep injury, you could experience pain in the eye, sensitivity, reduced vision, inflammation of the eye, headache, vomiting and nausea.
Allergies: The common allergies that affect the eye are related to pollen, especially in the warm and dry weather. Symptoms are burning sensation, redness of the eye, itching, and watery discharge. These symptoms can be reduced by antihistamine decongestant eye drops. Rain and cold weather also improve the symptoms.
Keratitis: This is the inflammation of the cornea. Though infection is a common cause of keratitis, non-infectious keratitis is due to minor injuries and wearing the contact lenses for too long. Infectious keratitis is mainly due to parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria. These can be treated with antibacterial eye drops.
Dry Eye: This is a condition where the eye produces less tears and is unable to keep the surface of the eye lubricated. The symptoms of this are scratchy feeling due to the dryness of the eye, along with a burning and stinging sensation of the eye.
Common diseases affecting the cornea: Some common diseases affecting the cornea are:
Herpes Zoster: This is basically the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. This virus also causes chickenpox and if you have had chicken pox then the virus can live in the nerve cells and become activated later in life. The virus might travel through the nerves to the cornea, affecting the cornea.
Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome: This is more common in women aged 30-50 years. It has three features: glaucoma, swelling of the cornea, and changes of the iris.
Pterygium: This is the pinkish, triangular tissue growth, which occurs on the cornea. This might grow slowly throughout life. This is commonly seen in sunny weather in adults aged between 20-40 years.
Treatment of corneal disorders:
Anterior lamellar keratoplasty and endothelial lamellar keratoplasty: This procedure removes the damaged or diseased endothelial tissue which is then replaced by the healthy tissue from a donor.
Corneal Transplant Surgery: This removes the damaged part of the cornea and then it is replaced by the healthy tissue through a donor.
Artificial Cornea: Keratoprosthesis is usually known as artificial cornea. This is an option for people who have not had a successful tissue implant.
While red bloodshot eyes may look worrisome at first sight, it is not a cause for concern all the time. There are benign, short-lasting bouts that will disappear on their own to serious medical reasons that could require intervention.
Listed below are some common causes and ways to manage red eyes.
Conjunctivitis- The most common cause of red or pink eye is conjunctivitis- infection of the membrane covering the sclera. The blood vessels are irritated and give the eye a red hue. This is contagious and very common in children, needs to be treated with antibiotic drops based on the cause.
Allergy- Be it pollen, dust, dander, or some chemicals, the eyes could be sensitive to it and get inflamed and take on a red colour. This can be treated with a combination of prevention by avoiding exposure to the allergen (which causes the allergy) and some antihistamine drops if required.
Contact lenses- Extended or improper use of contact lenses is the main reason for red eyes in contact lens users. There is reduced lubrication, increased accumulation of dust and microbes if the lens are not removed at frequent intervals. Removal of the lens and visit to the doctor are important for managing this.
Computer Vision Syndrome- With people spending a large amount of time staring at computer screens and tablets and phone screens, the dryness in the eyes increases, thereby leading to red eyes. The reduced blinking when working on computers also affects the condition. It is therefore very important to take conscious breaks to stare away from the monitors and use special glasses if required. In some cases, eye drops may also be required.
Occupational Hazard- For people working outdoors, conditions such as dust, heat, smoke, and dry air increase the chances of red eyes. Reducing exposure as much as possible and use of protective eyewear is extremely essential.
Dry Eye Syndrome- The tear glands produce a constant source of lubrication for the eyes and also cleanse the eyes from the minute dust particles and other irritants. For various reasons, the tears produced may not be sufficient and can lead to red eyes. Artificial tear substitute could be used for managing this.
If it persists for more than 2 days, is painful, associated with discharge or sensitivity to light, it is important to seek medical help, especially if associated with injury or trauma.