“Pterygium” is to the sport of wave surfing as tennis elbow is to tennis. If you surf, you are at risk. If you are a surfer who experiences frequent eye discomfort (as most do), and who uses no eye protection, you are at extreme risk. While pterygium is curable only by surgery, it is easily preventable and arrested.
“Conjunctival pterygium” refers to a wing-like membrane that begins growing near the “conjunctiva” (the corner of the eye near the nose) and gradually works its way towards the cornea (the eye’s clear portion). Once the membrane reaches the cornea, vision can be impaired. Although not life or health threatening, the condition can cause extreme eye discomfort and is very unsightly.
Pterygium is believed caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, intensified by reflection off the water. UV exposure is worsened by simultaneous exposure to wind, perspiration and salt water, all of which can cause the eye’s protective “tear film” to lose moisture. This leads to a condition called “dry eye syndrome.”
The same measures that prevent or alleviate dry eye will also prevent or arrest pterygium. If you are a surfer, you should pay extra attention to tear film health, not only when surfing but always.
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. LASIK is performed by ophthalmologists using a laser.
(Following LASIK surgery), patients are usually given a course of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Patients are told to sleep much more and are also given a darkened pair of shields to protect their eyes from bright lights, and protective goggles to prevent rubbing of the eyes when asleep and to reduce dry eye. They also are required to moisturize the eyes with preservative-free tears and follow directions for prescription drops. Continue reading
Hikers have enough to worry about without making a big issue about their eyes. They worry about hydration, nutrition, fatigue, heat, cold and getting lost. Yes, many hikers wear sunglasses to reduce glare and keep their eyes from getting quite so tired. And yes, they wear sweat bands to keep the perspiration out of their eyes. And yes, both these precautions are well advised. But still, vision is usually not their highest priority. Continue reading
It happens to all “computer dependent” people (which is getting to be just about everybody). You’ve been working at your computer for hours and your eyes gradually begin bothering you. The distraction could cost you money, productivity and, eventually, your visual health. Ophthalmologists are encountering this problem more and more. They have named it “Computer Eye Irritation” or “C.E.I.”, also called “Computer Vision Syndrome” or “C.V.S.”. Continue reading