The earlier an eye condition is detected, the greater chance of successful treatment. So to help you spot any potential problems quickly, this section explains the most common eyesight problems and the symptoms to look out for.
Many people will encounter problems with their eyesight at some stage in their lives. It’s also quite normal for your eyesight to change as you get older.
Blurred vision, or the inability to bring objects into sharp focus, can be caused by a number of conditions:
These common vision problems can be corrected with ACUVUE® Contact Lenses. Find out more.
Myopia (short sightedness)
If you are short sighted you will have trouble seeing objects at a distance. Your vision is clear up close, sometimes up to just inches or feet away. But beyond that, objects become fuzzy or out of focus.
Hyperopia (long sightedness)
If you are long sighted you can see objects clearly at a distance, but find it hard or impossible to focus up close. In severe cases, it takes constant effort to focus on objects at all distances.
Astigmatism is a common condition that affects many people – children as well as adults. If you have astigmatism you will have blurry or distorted vision at all distances, varying with the strength of the astigmatism. You may also be short or long sighted.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition that affects almost everyone. As you reach your 40s or 50s, you may find it harder to focus on nearby objects like book or magazine print, especially in low light. Uncorrected, presbyopia can lead to headaches and eye fatigue when doing close work.
Almost everyone gets red eyes occasionally. It’s usually temporary and nothing to worry about. It could be caused by:
• Wearing contact lenses longer than recommended
• Poor lens care
• Poor lens fit
• Sensitivity to lens materials or solutions
If your eyes are red, it can also mean they’re not getting enough oxygen. All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses allow high levels of oxygen transmission.
To keep your eyes looking and feeling fresh:
• Wear your lenses only as long as your optometrist recommends
• Follow recommended cleaning routines
• Wash your hands before you handle your lenses
• Protect your lenses from damage and extreme heat or cold
If your eyes are red and you’re experiencing pain or impaired vision, you should contact your optometrist immediately.
Your eyes naturally maintain a healthy, comfortable layer of moisture. But overheated or air-conditioned rooms, prolonged computer use, smoke, dust or wind can throw them out of balance, leading to dehydrated contact lenses and eyes that feel dry or irritated.
While your eyes will recover on their own, there are some things you can do to help:
• Try using rewetting drops recommended by your optometrist
• Wear your lenses only as long as your optometrist recommends
• Clean your lenses properly to reduce surface deposits and other build up
• Blink more often to maintain a comfortable layer of moisture
• If you regularly suffer from dryness during contact lens wear, consider a silicone hydrogel lens designed to maintain moisture, such as the daily disposable lenses 1•DAY ACUVUE® TruEye® or the reusable lenses ACUVUE® OASYS® with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS
Your eyes are an easy target for allergens and irritants because, like your skin, they are exposed and sensitive.
Eye allergies are also known as ‘allergic conjunctivitis’ and are a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens such as pollen, mould, dust mites or pet fur and skin. These get into your eyes and cause inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the inside of your eyelid and helps keep your eyelid and eyeball moist. Eye allergies are not contagious.
Other irritants such as dirt and smoke, chlorine, etc. and even viruses and bacteria, can compound the effect of eye allergies, or cause irritation symptoms similar to eye allergies for people who aren’t allergic. Certain medications and cosmetics can also cause eye allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of eye allergies
If your eye senses an allergen or irritant, your body will release chemicals called histamines, which in turn produce inflammation. The common symptoms of eye allergies are the result of this inflammation.
These are red, itchy, burning, tearing, swollen eyes with a gritty sensation. These symptoms may be accompanied by a runny or itchy nose, sneezing, coughing, or a sinus headache. You may also find that your vision is temporarily blurred, or that you feel distracted, unproductive, or tired.
To avoid any discomfort or itching associated with allergies, try 1•DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® – with a fresh new pair every day, you will avoid some of the dust, pollen and other irritants that can build up when you wear lenses over and over.
Caught early, many common eye diseases can be treated, including:
Like a car tyre, the eye has an internal pressure. Glaucoma is a result of an inability to regulate this pressure correctly. Where the pressure inside the eye is too high it can cause damage to the delicate nerves at the back of the eye. Untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness.
If you have glaucoma, it is quite common that you will not experience any symptoms and your sight may seem perfectly normal. Which is why it is important to have regular eye tests to check for glaucoma, especially as you get older. An annual eye exam at your optometrists will help catch glaucoma early and keep your eyes healthy. As there is an inherited aspect to many cases of glaucoma, it is particularly important to attend for regular examinations if there is a member of your family who has the condition.
In the early stages, glaucoma can be easily treated with eye drops. In more severe cases, treatment can involve laser treatment or surgery. Nerves that are already damaged cannot be restored, however healthy nerves can be protected.
Make sure you have an annual eye exam. Book an appointment with your optometrist.
If you have cataracts, the natural lens of your eye will become cloudy or milky. Cataracts usually develop with age, however in some cases genetic predisposition can cause cataracts in young people.
If you develop a cataract you will start to notice that your vision is becoming hazy, glare increases and night driving is uncomfortable. When this occurs, your natural lens needs to be removed and replaced by a synthetic one made of plastic. This operation is one of the most common surgeries around the world.
UV exposure speeds up the progress of cataracts, so it is important to protect your eyes with glasses and contact lenses that offer UV protection. All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have UV-protection* embedded into the lens to protect your eyes throughout the year.
If you have noticed your vision becoming cloudy, ask your optometrist for an eye exam.
*UV-absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for UV-blocking sunglasses as they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area.