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Pharmacist Answers

Have a question for the pharmacist? Get your answers here! Clear explanations about complicated medical topics that anyone can understand. Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog and related podcast are not to be taken as medical advice, they are for informational and educational purposes only. If you resemble anything that is mentioned in this blog or related podcast, contact your doctor. The information contained in this blog and related podcasts is the opinion of the author and does not relfect the views of her employer, Walgreens. If you want to know what Walgreens thinks, ask Walgreens!
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Mar 20, 2017

Your eyes work together so that the line of focus for each eye cross, and that is your most in focus image.  So as your eyes make tiny adjustments, you can focus on things close up or far away.

If you have a lazy eye, the muscles don't allow the eye to focus and coordinate with the strong eye.  This can lead to double vision or blurry vision.
Abmlyopia - I remember it because it sounds like "ambling" which can mean to meander or wander around.  Versions of this can be caused by torticollis, where a baby's head is tilted or twisted due to positioning in the womb.  The eye can either compensate for the difference or it'll just give up and let the dominant eye do all the work.  Correction of this issue usually involves patching the strong eye and making the weak eye do all the work.  The blurry or double vision can lead to headaches.  Overuse and fatigue (like long days at work) can make it worse.

Astigmatism = irregularly-shaped cornea  (not a stigmatism).  I think baseball vs football. A circular lens (baseball) focuses light to a single point. A football-shaped lens focuses light to a line, so that makes the vision blurry.  This is why people with astigmatism will squint.  Squinting is a way for your eyes to manipulate the amount of light coming in and alter the shape of the eye to clear up the image of what they're looking at.

Lasix procedures can correct astigmatism - the laser does micro-damage to the eye and it heals more circular in the eye.

Blepharitis - inflammation of eye lids.  Can result in dry eye.
It can affect the outside (eye lashes side) or the inside (lubrication gland size).  This is NOT a stye.  Caused by a chronic build-up of bacteria, skin flakes, dried eye lubrication.
Some skin conditions can make a person more susceptible to blepharitis - Rosacea (overgrowth of skin bacteria), severe dermatitis, including psoriasis.  It's recommended to use really good eye hygiene before having a doctor intervene.  Using warm compresses to keep dried skin and "eye crusties" soft and glands open so they don't get clogged.  Using clean cotton swabs or clothes instead of your hands to touch or wipe things out of your eyes, so you don't transfer bacteria.  Doctor's can insert a catheter into the tear ducts to keep it open and less likely to keep it clogged.  There's not a cure to make it go away for good.

Cataracts - the lens of the eye gets cloudy due to proteins clumping up.  People have described trying to see with cataracts like trying to look through wax paper.  Risk of cataracts normally increases with age.  The risk for cataracts can be increased even more by chronic diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure), poor health habits (obesity, smoking, alcohol use), long-term use of certain medications (steroids, hormone replacement therapy).  The current treatment for cataracts is lens replacement.  The old treatment would be just removing the proteins, but depending on a person's longevity, they may get cataracts again in their lifetime.

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"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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