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When talking about health, many Brazilians immediately think of attention and care measures for various parts of the body, such as the heart, liver and mouth — which is not wrong. After all, all these aspects are important for the well-being of any person. But what about when it comes to eye health? What is the importance you give to the topic?
It was from these questions that we prepared this post. In it, you will find out what are the most common problems involving eye health, what preventive measures can be adopted and when you need to look for an ophthalmologist. Check out!
What is the importance of taking care of eye health?
The reason is simple: to reduce the appearance of eye problems as much as possible – that is, those that affect the eye region. For example, conjunctivitis, styes, blepharitis, dry eye syndrome and so on. After all, they generate a lot of discomfort, irritation and even partial or total impairment of your ability to see.
As a result, this makes it difficult to perform tasks that require visual effort (such as reading and writing), performing physical activities, driving vehicles, staying in very bright and air-conditioned environments, etc. That is, it considerably damages your routine.
In addition to these problems, those who already have previous eye disorders (such as retinopathy, astigmatism and myopia) may end up more affected by the emergence of these new clinical conditions. Just remember that these conditions already demand other necessary care.
Why does winter bring more problems related to eye health?
Winter functions as a true testing period for the health of thousands of people. After all, the low temperatures, the incidence of rain and the drop in humidity — due to the low circulation of winds — lead many people to fall ill.
This happens because all these climate changes increase the presence of microorganisms in closed environments – where people end up spending most of their time – and increase their dehydration, which also affects eye lubrication. That is, eye health needs double attention at this time of year.
What diseases can affect eye health during the winter?
There are some recurring problems in the population during the winter. The first of these is dry eye syndrome. It happens precisely when eye lubrication is deregulated – which is much more evident in periods of dry weather. As a result, you feel the region resected, hypersensitive and with discomfort in the vision.
Eye allergy already happens by the body’s reaction to substances that come into contact with the eyes. The most common symptoms are excessive lacrimation, irritation and itching.
Finally, we have conjunctivitis, known for redness, swelling and secretion production in the eyes. The main causative agents are viruses and bacteria. However, it can also be the result of reactions to external substances.
How to minimize these problems?
When you have an eye problem, it is important to put in place some measures that help minimize and prevent the appearance of new symptoms.
The first of these is not to scratch your eyes, even more intensely, if they are already irritated. This only exacerbates the problem and can still generate serious injuries to your structure.
It’s also important that you don’t put third-party products or even eye drops in your eyes without a doctor’s prescription. Even if overdose does not occur, this can bring complications – such as aggravating the burning, causing swelling, generating more itching, causing redness and much more.
Finally, rest is essential. In addition to contributing to your body’s recovery, you are absent from activities (such as those in front of the computer) that only overload your vision, at a time when your eyes are already more fragile.
What preventive care should be taken?
Some prevention tips can be adopted to prevent the unwanted emergence of eye problems. The good thing is that this care is not only useful in winter, but throughout the year. So keep an eye out for them!
Pay attention to the bedding
Change bedding for clean ones at least twice a week. This is important to prevent sheets, pillowcases and other items from becoming the focus of microorganisms that can cause allergic reactions or infections in your eyes.
Do not share or use personal belongings of others
Personal objects – such as glasses, colored lenses and even makeup products for the eye area – should only be used by the owners. The reason is simple: to prevent possible contamination from occurring due to bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.
This is even more necessary when it is known that the other person has an infectious condition – as is the case with conjunctivitis, which is transmissible.
Don’t bring dirty hands to your eyes
Do not touch the eye area if your hands are dirty. The recommended thing is to always sanitize them beforehand with neutral soap. The reason for this is to reduce the risk of bringing not only germs but also a host of impurities to this sensitive area.
Keep the ambient humidity
Keeping the air in the room moist helps with the well-being of the eyes, as it prevents them from getting the unpleasant sensation of dryness and burning. Therefore, it is worth investing in humidifiers in your home and at work. After all, there are models that are portable and can be taken from one corner to another.
When to see a doctor for eye health care?
Even if there are no symptoms indicating a problem with your eyes or your vision, it is important to go to the ophthalmologist – the doctor responsible for evaluating and treating diseases, allergic reactions, disorders and eye injuries.
Consultations can take place, for example, annually. This is a simple but efficient way to ensure that everything is fine with the health of your eyes, as well as helping to identify future problems (such as tumors and chronic illnesses) early.
However, if you noticed that something is wrong and happening recurrently, such as itching, irritation, burning and excessive tearing, make an appointment immediately. Avoid letting the situation continue to evolve without any follow-up or treatment. In this way, the professional will analyze the situation and find its causes.
With this, the doctor will recommend care to be taken to protect your eyes, being able to prescribe eye drops for punctual use or in a controlled way and request ophthalmological exams – necessary, for example, to analyze the state of the retina, cornea, nerve optical etc.
As shown, eye health requires not only controlling and treating eye problems when they appear, but also preventing future conditions that negatively affect your well-being. Therefore, include visiting the ophthalmologist in your routine of consultations and check-up exams.
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Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).