The Eyes and General Health
We are currently in the grip of a novel coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, and you may have read that it can cause ocular problems in some cases. This is true for many general health issues, including diabetes, which we explored in depth. You might be interested in learning about some other frequent health issues that may involve the eyes, in addition to Covid- 19:
• Covid-19/Coronavirus: This virus can cause viral conjunctivitis, which is characterized by red, irritated, and watery eyes. This is only one sign of Covid-19, and it would not be enough to diagnose it unless you also have a persistent cough, fever, or other respiratory symptoms. According to recent research, just one out of every hundred people infected by Covid-19 will get viral conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically treated with simple lubricating drops and therefore should heal up in a few weeks.
• Common Cold: As mentioned earlier, it can cause viral conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, and precautions should be taken to avoid spreading it.
• Anaemia (low iron): This can cause tiny blood vessels in the eye to break. These can be observed in the mirror on the white of the eye or by an optometrist when they inspect the back of the eye. These normally resolve on their own and do not require treatment.
• High blood pressure: Can cause difficulties with the fragile blood vessels inside the eyes and, in severe situations, can potentially impair the optic nerve. High blood pressure that is effectively controlled with medication does not normally impair eyesight. High blood pressure can occasionally cause little blood vessels on the white of the eye to burst, but they normally do not require treatment.
• Arthritis: This condition, which is linked to dry eyes and other tear film difficulties, can cause the eyes to appear red and/or feel itchy, gritty, sore, dry, light-sensitive, hazy, burning, or even wet. Please click here for additional information about painful, dry, or watery eyes.
• Eczema and other skin problems: Because the surface of the eye is a continuation of the skin surface, numerous skin disorders, including dry eyes and blepharitis, can cause eyelid skin and ocular surface difficulties. (inflammation/infection of the lash roots/edges of the eyelids)
• Asthma: People with asthma and eczema are more prone to allergens that might harm the eyes. If symptoms are severe, anti-allergy drops may be required.
• Strokes: Strokes can impair the eyes if they occur in areas of the brain where visual circuits are involved. As a result of a stroke, a region of vision in one or both eyes may be lost. This sometimes improves with time, and there is no specific medical treatment available other than that provided by the hospital or GP. In some circumstances, vision training or visual aids can be beneficial.
• High Cholesterol: This can result in a harmless pale ring visible across the outer edge of the iris (colored part of the eye). High cholesterol levels can develop blockages in the blood vessels of the eyes, causing blood flow to be disrupted, and these are occasionally detected during an eye examination.
• Cold sores: Because they might migrate to the eye, contact lenses must be avoided if you’ve any active cold sore blisters in your lips. If you suspect you have cold sores in your eyes, you should seek immediate medical attention.
If you have any questions concerning your eyes or your health, please contact us (or email us if your inquiry is during the current Covid lockdown).