There is a saying that the eyes are the "windows of the soul." Basically speaking, our eyes are the windows through which we view the world around us. Our eyes and our vision are highly essential to living a happy and fulfilling life.
Given its important function, it is imperative we'd give our eyes the best care possible to keep them healthy. Taking care of your eyes and protecting them against injury or infection is important to keeping your vision perfect.
One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to have them checked by your doctor whenever you have a physical examination. If you're having trouble seeing or you've been getting frequent headaches at the end of the day, have your eyes examined by an eye specialist. It's a good idea to have your eyes checked at least every 2 years or even more frequently if you have a family history of eye problems such as glaucoma or early cataracts.
What are some of the most common vision problems?
Myopia or nearsightedness is one of the most common problems a person can have with their eyes. When a person has myopia, he or she is unable to focus properly on things that are far away. People with myopia have eyes that are a little longer than normal, measuring from the front of the eyeball to the back. This extra length means that light focuses in front of the retina (the part of the eye that receives images and sends them to the brain) instead of on it, and that affects vision. Glasses or contacts can easily correct this problem.
Hyperopia or farsightedness is another problem. People with hyperopia have trouble focusing on things close up because their eyes are too "short" from front to back. In people with hyperopia, light focuses behind the retina instead of on it, causing blurry vision. Someone with significant farsightedness will need glasses to correct his or her vision.
Another condition where the eye is differently shaped is astigmatism. Here, the cornea isn't perfectly round. To be able to see well — either close up or far away — the person needs contact lenses or glasses.
Once people reach 18 and their eyes are fully grown and less likely to change, some people choose to have refractive surgery to correct myopia so they don't have to wear contacts or glasses anymore. Refractive surgery is a procedure — usually done with a laser — that reshapes the eye to change the way light enters it and forms an image, allowing a person to see better. Refractive surgery can sometimes also be done on people with farsightedness or astigmatism once their eyes have matured and stopped growing.
Dealing With Common Eye Problems and Injuries
The best rule of thumb for when to see an eye specialist if you injure your eyes is "when in doubt, check it out!"
If you have a red eye, pain in an eye that doesn't go away within a short period of time, or at any time have had changes in your vision, then it's time to have your eyes checked. If you get any small foreign objects in your eye, such as sand or sawdust or metal shavings, don't rub it. Flush your eye for several minutes with lukewarm water (it may be easiest to do this in the shower). If it still feels as though there is something in your eye, then be sure to see an eye specialist. If you've been hit in the eye and it looks strange or appears to be bleeding, or if you have changes in or lose your vision, go to a hospital emergency department right away to be checked out.
One of the most common eye injuries is a scratched cornea, which is often related to wearing contact lenses or playing sports. With a scratched cornea, it may feel like something is in your eye when there's really nothing there. Your eye may get red and irritated, produce lots of tears, and be overly sensitive to light.
If you think you have any kind of eye injury and you wear contact lenses, stop wearing your contacts until you see an eye specialist. Wearing contact lenses if you have an eye injury