Eye Health

29 June 2012

Eye health FAQs

Eyes may or may not be the windows to the soul, but even a small irritation is impossible to ignore. Here are some eye-related questions answered by CyberDoc.


Eyes may or may not be the windows to the soul, but even a small irritation, such as a trapped eyelash or sand grain, is impossible to ignore.  Here are some eye-related questions answered by CyberDoc.   

Q:  Blood from eye with nose bleed

My 13-year-old daughter had a nose bleed this morning and there was blood in her tears (only the right eye). 
What could be the cause of this, and is it something to worry about?

A:  It is not something to worry about. The inner part of the eye is connected to the nasal cavity via a small tube. It is possible that blood moved along this tube, presenting as blood in her tears.

Q:  Left eye problem

For over a month now I have had a problem with my left eye. The outside corner of my left eye jumps (like something is pulling together) almost 50% of the day, every day. I don't feel any pain when it happens, but I am so uncomfortable when it happens and I have to close my eye so tight for it to go away. Please advise me what to do!

A:  You are suffering with Blepharospasm. The cause is mostly unknown, but has been associated with hormone replacement in menopausal women, as well benzodiazepine dependence or withdrawal from benzodiazepine dependence. Dryness of the eyes and light sensitivity can also cause eye twitching.

You can use magnesium chloride supplementations, as this has been found effective. Tears Naturale eye drops will alleviate dryness, and wear sunglasses to prevent light sensitivity. Botox injections have also been found to alleviate symptoms.  In severe cases, there is an operation that can be done to remove the muscles that cause excessive spasms.

Q:  Temporary darker vision in one eye

I have experienced temporary darker vision in one eye (left) on a number of occasions now. It always happens once I have turned out the light or if I wake up in the dark. My left eye vision is sometimes darker than the right. I have also been experiencing dizzy spells on and off. Could they be related and is it something I should be concerned about?

A:  I suggest that you consult an opthalmologist as soon as possible. There are conditions like retinal detachment that can cause visual disturbances and these possibilities have to be investigated. The dizziness can be a related symptom.

Q:  Blinking eye

My 2-yr-old child blinks his eyes rapidly and often.Why?

A:  It might be due to irritation caused by an allergy or there can be a slight infection of the eyes. These conditions can be treated and I therefore, suggest that you consult a clinic sister or doctor to determine the cause.

Q:  Red eyes

Please help me as I have a problem with my eyes - they are not sore at all but always red.  Please advise what should I use to keep them white.  I'm using Spersallerg eye drops every morning and it helps, but I need something that will sort out the problem permanently.

A:  The redness of your eyes could be due to environmental conditions that causes sensitivity and redness. I suggest that you consult your doctor for an examination and blood tests to determine if there is in fact an allergic cause for the redness of the eyes. You should also have an eye test done. You can continue using Spersallerg and add Tears Naturale to lubricate the eyes.

Q:  styes

Can styes develop below your eye?

A:  Yes, they can. Refer to the following link for detailed information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styes

Consult your doctor for medical intervention if the stye does not resolve spontaneously within ten days.

Q: Swollen eye

Last night my left eye was sore. I took painkillers and went to bed, but this morning my left eyelid was swollen. It's the size of a pigeon egg! I bathed it with equal amounts of bi-carb and table salt - it seemed to ease off, but still feels a little uncomfortable because of the swelling. What can be wrong and what else should I do? I also suffer from high blood pressure and am on chronic medication.

A:  A painful, swollen eye has to be examined by a doctor. Please consult your GP as soon as possible for an examination, as you might have an infection that is affecting the soft tissue surrounding the eye. If there is infection, it should be treated with a course of antibiotics as soon as possible.

Send any questions you have to CyberDoc

Visit the Eye Centre for more info

(Joanne Hart, Health24, August 2011)


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Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg and is currently practising at Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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