COVID-Related Conjunctivitis: What You Should Know

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19, and you’re experiencing red, itchy, and painful eyes, it’s possible you may have COVID-related conjunctivitis. A call to your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, may provide answers.

What Is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation in the conjunctiva of the eye. It’s contagious, so once you have it, you should refrain from touching your face as much as possible. You should also wash your hands frequently in the event you rubbed your eyes without realizing it. This will help prevent other people in your household from catching the infection.

How Does Conjunctivitus Affect the Eyes?

Your conjunctiva is the delicate, clear tissue that covers and protects the whites of your eyes and the insides of your eyelids. Its purpose is to protect your eye from dust and dirt and to keep the front of your eye and the back of your eyelid moist and lubricated. When your conjunctiva becomes inflamed due to a viral infection, your doctor may diagnose pink eye. Pink eye is a common form of conjunctivitis, and it causes the blood vessels in the eye to swell, turning the whites of your eyes pink. This condition is rarely severe and usually clears up on its own within a few days, but it can cause painful itching and sensitivity to light while it lasts.

What Should I Do About COVID-Related Conjunctivitis?

Applying a damp compress to the affected eye may help relieve irritation from conjunctivitis. You should also contact your medical doctor if you think your condition may be related to COVID-19. Your eye doctor may also want to perform a comprehensive eye exam in Champaign, IL, to rule out more serious issues. Call Champaign Eye Professionals to schedule an appointment today.

What Does It Mean to Be Colorblind?

Someone who is colorblind has difficulty seeing colors as they actually appear. There are different degrees of colorblindness, which means some people who are colorblind see colors better than others with the same disorder. This condition is usually present from birth and is very common. If you have difficulty viewing colors as others see them, your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, can test for and diagnose color blindness.

What Causes Colorblindness?

Colorblindness happens as a result of a deficiency in the ways cone cells in your retina function. Your retina contains both rod cells and cone cells. Rod cells distinguish between light and dark, while cone cells detect different colors. Both types of cells must work in unity for you to view the world realistically.

Colorblindness is almost always congenital, passed down from birth through the mother to the infant. This form of colorblindness results from missing cone cells. If one cone cell is missing, you may have trouble viewing the color red, blue, or green. If all cone cells are missing, the world may just exist for you in shades of gray. This condition is often diagnosed during the preschool years, when children are unable to grasp the names and appearance of colors.

Sometimes, this condition develops later in life as the result of drug use, disease, or injury. Usually, this happens because the retina or optic nerve has been damaged.

Is There Treatment for Colorblindness?

Currently, there is no existing treatment for colorblindness. But special eye glasses or contact lenses that replicate the work of cone cells can improve how someone who is colorblind sees different colors.

If you’re experiencing colorblindness in Champaign, IL, talk with your vision specialist today. There may be ways to improve the way you see colors. Champaign Eye Professionals may have solutions if you call to schedule your appointment today.

Common Eye Conditions: Cataracts

Many changes happen to our bodies as we grow older, and some affect our vision. One common condition that’s often brought about by normal aging is cataracts. If you’re experiencing sudden changes in your vision, a trip to your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, is recommended.

What Is a Cataract?

When a cloudy film forms over the lens of your eye, you may be diagnosed with a cataract. Cataracts affect your vision and make it difficult to perform routine tasks, such as driving, reading, or using your computer. If you have a cataract, you’ll want to have it removed so vision can be restored.

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

If you have cataracts, you may not understand why it’s becoming more and more difficult to see clearly, but you’ll definitely know something is changing with your vision. The symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Dim or blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing ‘halos’ around bright lights
  • Being bothered by glare

You may have one symptom, or many, depending on how far your cataract has advanced. The good news is that this is a fairly common condition your eye doctor can diagnose and treat.

Are Cataracts Easily Treated?

Usually, simple surgery is required to treat cataracts. Cataract surgery involves having the cloudy lens in your eye removed and replaced with a new artificial lens. This surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you won’t need a hospital stay. You will need to have someone drive you home after your surgery, however. You may also experience mild discomfort for a few days following your procedure, but afterward, you’ll be able to see much better.

To learn more about diagnosis and treatment of cataracts in Champaign, IL, contact Champaign Eye Professionals today.

Common Eye Conditions: Lazy Eye

Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is a condition usually diagnosed during the early childhood years. It often occurs in children up to the age of seven and is usually recognized by an eye that appears to ‘wander’ around the room, instead of being in sync with the other eye. If you suspect your child may struggle with lazy eye, your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, can help.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

A lazy eye happens when one eye becomes weaker than the other. The retina of that eye, for whatever reason, begins to receive fewer visual signals. Over time, the brain learns to ignore signals from the weaker eye altogether. Different factors may contribute to amblyopia, including:

  • Muscle imbalance between the eyes (strabismus)
  • Prescription differences between eyes (refractive amblyopia)
  • Astigmatism
  • Cataracts

These problems may develop as a result of premature birth, developmental disabilities, being underweight at birth, or a family history of lazy eye.

Is Lazy Eye Treatable?

Amblyopia is a fairly common condition that’s usually easy to treat when caught early. To encourage the weaker eye to focus, your child’s eye doctor may recommend wearing a patch over the stronger eye. Special eyeglasses may help, as well — ones that feature a blurred lens over the stronger eye and a clear lens over the weaker eye. These solutions force the affected eye to work harder, strengthening muscles and improving eye health. Regular prescription eyeglasses that correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism may also be the answer. Sometimes, medicated eyedrops that blur vision in the good eye may be prescribed, as well. In some instances, eye surgery may be required to correct amblyopia.

If you’ve noticed your child exhibiting symptoms such as a wandering eye, frequent head tilting, or squinting, contact Champaign Eye Professionals to learn more about eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other treatment options to help correct lazy eye.