ES Logo
Blog page hero

Request a call back

Get a callback

10 Most Common Questions People Have About Their Eyes

Category : 
Author : Dr Deepak Garg
Women asking doubts about eyehealth.

1. Does excessive screen time harm my child’s eyes?

Yes, too much screen time can damage your child’s eyes. It’s not really the screen that is harming the eyes. It’s the amount of time that children spend these days looking at near things. Normally, when we have to look at nearby things, the body has to work harder to see things nearby clearly. The eyes do something like what a camera does when it autofocuses.

When a child spends most of the time looking at nearby things, the eyes adapt so that the child does not have to work as hard anymore to see nearby objects clearly. However, in the process of this adaptation, the distant objects become blurry and the child may need to start wearing glasses for far. This is known as myopia and is one of the types of refractive errors. It is corrected by minus-numbered lenses.

The different types of refractive errors are:

  1. Myopia (nearsightedness)
  2. Hypermetropia (farsightedness) 
  3. Astigmatism

2. How can I improve my eyesight naturally? 

While natural remedies cannot cure refractive eye conditions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and reducing eye strain from excessive screen time can support overall eye health. However, corrective measures such as glasses, contact lenses, or surgery may be necessary for significant improvement in vision. For example, a cataract will blur vision, and vision will only become clear after cataract surgery.

3. Why do my eyes feel dry and itchy?

Dry and itchy eyes can be caused by various factors, including environmental conditions, prolonged screen use, insufficient blinking, ageing, certain medications, or underlying conditions like dry eye syndrome. Using artificial tears, practising good eye hygiene, and reducing irritant exposure can help relieve symptoms.

Here are some things you can do to feel better:

  • Reduce or control screen usage.
  • Blink often.
  • Hydrate well.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes when on the screen, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Reduce the screen brightness.
  • Don’t sit in the draft of an air conditioner or fan.

4. How long can I use an eye dropper bottle?

Once an eye drop bottle is opened, there is a possibility of infectious organisms entering the bottle. The eye drops do have preservatives to prevent contamination, but not indefinitely.

It is thus recommended that once an eye drop bottle is opened, it should be used only for a month. After that, you should not use the drops. If you want to continue using the drops, it would be much safer to buy another bottle.

5. Why do I have to get reading glasses? I hate them

Presbyopia is the condition of needing reading glasses at around 42 years of age. It is part of the natural ageing process, and most people will start experiencing difficulty reading small print or seeing nearby objects clearly around that age.

One can tell if they are developing presbyopia if they start having to hold their phone, menu cards, or newspapers further from them to read the small font. Or they may need more light to see things clearly. People may also experience eye strain or fatigue after reading for a longer period of time.

Some people try to postpone wearing reading glasses, but this is not harmful to the eyes. However, it is only a matter of time before you will need to wear glasses to see small fonts close by clearly.

6. What is a cylindrical number?

A cylindrical number is a type of refractive error that is present due to the shape of the cornea, the front part of the eye. In people with astigmatism, the cornea is not a regular sphere, but is more like the surface of a rugby football.

Cylindrical errors can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses (toric), or refractive surgeries such as LASIK or PRK, which reshape the cornea to improve visual clarity. Those who undergo clear lens extraction or cataract surgery also lose the cylindrical number by choosing a toric lens for their eyes.

7. How often should I get an eye test?

Regular eye exams are important for maintaining eye health. Adults should have a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years, or as your eye care professional recommends.

Individuals with specific eye conditions or risk factors may require more frequent visits. For example, after the age of 40, there is an increased risk of glaucoma, a disease in which the pressure of the eye increases and can damage the optic nerve. This is a silent disease, meaning that there are often no symptoms in the early stages, so it is important to have regular eye exams to detect it early.

People with other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), may also need more frequent eye examinations.

Here are some of the factors that can affect how often you need an eye exam:

  • Your age
  • Your family history of eye disease
  • Your overall health
  • Any eye conditions you have
  • The type of work you do
  • Your lifestyle habits

If you have any concerns about your eye health, be sure to talk to your eye care professional. They can help you determine how often you need an eye exam and recommend the best course of care for you.

8. Are contact lenses safe for children?

Yes, contact lenses can be safe for children. However, whether a child should wear contact lenses is a decision that should be made by the parents and child together. This is because wearing contact lenses comes with a lot of responsibilities, such as:

  • Wash your hands before putting them in or taking them out.
  • Not sleeping in them.
  • Not swimming in them.
  • Wash your hands again before taking them out.
  • Removing the lenses if you experience any irritation or redness.

Parents know their children best, so they should decide whether their child is responsible enough to follow these guidelines. If the child is responsible, then contact lenses can be a safe way to correct vision problems in children.

In fact, when we operate on 6-week-old children for congenital cataracts, we do not implant an IOL (intraocular lens) in their eyes as we do for adults or older children. Instead, we give them contact lenses. The mother is taught how to insert and remove the lenses.

If you are considering contact lenses for your child, it is important to talk to your eye doctor about the risks and benefits. They can help you decide if contact lenses are the right choice for your child.

9. How do you know if you have got cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy and starts turning opaque, leading to:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Halos around oncoming headlights at night
  • Faded colours
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions

It is an age-related change in the eye and not really a disease.

People often worry that they have a cataract, and even before examining them, I always ask them if they have any of the above-mentioned complaints. If they say no, I tell them:

“Even before examining you, I can tell you that while you may have a cataract, the chances of you needing surgery are almost nil.”

Cataract surgery is performed to improve vision. If a patient does not have any visual complaints, then purely from a medical perspective, one can postpone the surgery for a bit.

10. Will my child’s eye number go away?

Unfortunately, no. There are three types of eye numbers:

  • Myopia: This is when the eye is too long, so light focuses in front of the retina instead of on it. Myopia can increase up to 15-16 years of age.
  • Hyperopia: This is when the eye is too short, so light focuses behind the retina instead of on it. Hyperopia usually reduces in the early years of life by a small margin.
  • Astigmatism: This is when the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) is not perfectly round, so light is not focused properly. Astigmatism usually remains the same, except in certain abnormal conditions like keratoconus where the number increases.

These number changes are independent of whether children wear glasses or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *