Tag Archives: opthalmologist

Swollen Inflamed Eyelids

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Fatimah Hospital’s Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about swollen red eyelids.

Blepharitis is a condition that results in our eyelid margins becoming inflamed. It usually is chronic, causing irritation on and off and results in the eyelids becoming swollen, crusted and red.

It is similar in nature to chronic skin conditions like eczema except that blepharitis affects the eyelids and that too mainly the eyelid margins. Ladies especially find it a problem because it makes their eye makeup application difficult.

It is also annoying because it is often recurrent and chronic. When we describe an illness using the term ‘chronic’, it refers to the duration a person has been having the illness. It does not indicate how serious the condition is. Blepharitis is quite often chronic!

People with skin conditions such as rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis (like dandruff in the scalp) are more prone to blepharitis. The increased oil produced by the glands near the eyelid margins causes excess bacterial growth resulting in inflammation and redness. Another cause may be contact dermatitis due to allergies from a new makeup that you may have just started on.

Symptoms of blepharitis (inflamed eyelids) may include the following:

  • swollen and red eyelids
  • crusting on the eyelashes
  • gritty, burning or itching feeling in your eyes
  • eyelids sticking together
  • scaly or greasy eyelids
  • difficulty in wearing your contact lenses
  • blurred vision when the eyelid produces the oily secretions that get into the eye

How will it be treated?

If your practitioner has confirmed that you have blepharitis, then having good eyelid hygiene is even more important. Keep your eyelids clean and free from crusting of skin in order to reduce the risk of an infection.

Putting a warm moist compress by soaking a towel in hot water and then placing the warm towel over your eyelids for five to 10 minutes will often help. The water should not be scalding hot and the compress should feel comfortable on your skin. This often helps to loosen any crusting or flakes of skin. This can be done twice a day.

You can also clean your eyelids by using a small amount of baby shampoo diluted in warm water. Apply it with a cotton bud along the edge of your eyelid and rinse. Do not wear any eye makeup during this time as it could worsen your condition or slow down healing.

Depending on the cause, your practitioner may treat you with either antibiotic eye ointment or a mild steroid eye ointment to be used sparingly. This will need to be applied using a clean finger or a cotton bud taking care not to scratch your eye during application. If your symptoms are severe or other treatments don’t work, your practitioner may prescribe oral antibiotics.

Blepharitis may be mistaken for other eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis or a stye or chalazion (small bump in the eyelid caused by a blockage of a tiny oil gland). Only your medical practitioner can properly diagnose blepharitis. If you suspect you have blepharitis, seek prompt medical attention.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

When Something’s Stuck in Your Eye

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Help… Something’s Stuck In My Eye!

It’s not uncommon for the occasional eyelash or makeup to get in your eye. In these instances, the foreign body sits at the superficial layers of the eye and your eye’s natural tears will usually wash the object out.

However, sometimes objects may scratch the surface of the cornea or may become embedded in the eye. Small objects travelling at high speed can cause serious injury to the eyeball. These injuries may cause bleeding, a change in the size or shape of the pupil, or a serious damage to the inside of the eyeball with the foreign body being retained in the eyeball resulting in vision loss.

Symptoms for foreign bodies (medical term) in the eye may include the following: sharp pain followed by burning, irritation, tearing, and redness in your eye; feeling that something is in your eye when moving your eye around while it is closed; scratching sensation over your eye when blinking; blurred vision or vision loss in the affected eye after doing any form of mechanical work; bleeding in your eye.

Self-Care at Home

For minor foreign bodies, home care should be adequate. But if you have trouble removing something in your eye or if a larger or sharper object is involved, you should seek medical attention. If you are wearing a contact lens, it should be removed prior to trying to remove the foreign body. Do not wear the contact lens until your eye is completely healed.

To remove minor debris, try rinsing your eye with a saline solution (the same solution used to rinse contact lenses). Tap water or distilled water may be used if no saline solution is available immediately.

If washing out your eye is not successful, the object can usually be removed with the tip of a sterile cotton swab. Do not rub your eye or to apply any pressure to your eye.

Seek professional medical attention immediately when: You feel something going into your eye after hitting something, such as hammering a nail; You have removed the foreign body from your eye and continue to have a sensation that something is in your eye, or you continue to have pain and tearing after removal of the object; You are unable to remove the foreign body from your eye; Your vision is blurry or otherwise compromised (e.g., blind spots, seeing “stars”).

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Eye protection is the best prevention. Always wear safety goggles, or face shields when working in an environment where flying debris is likely, for instance working with power tools or chemicals. Eye protection should cover not only the front but also the side of your eyes. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient eye protection when working in a high-risk environment. You should wear goggles or safety glasses with side shields.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582,
email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Swollen Red Eyes – Conjunctivitis?

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Fatimah Hospital

In our series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about conjunctivitis.

You rub your eyes, but they won’t stop feeling uncomfortable and appear red as well as puffy. Your eyes don’t hurt, but the discomfort is annoying as it feels like you have an eyelash or a speck of sand in your eye.  Later on in the day you start developing yellow discharge. If you have these symptoms, it may likely be a common eye problem called conjunctivitis, better known as pinkeye.

What Is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin, clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. It is one of the most common eye infections and may start in one eye and then spread to the other eye.  It usually lasts only a short time, mostly for about a week or less with proper treatment. However, there are some varieties of conjunctivitis that may be prolonged and may need specialized treatment. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by irritants such as shampoos (causing chemical conjunctivitis), as well as pollen and dust (allergic conjunctivitis) or improper prolonged contact lens wear.

Types of Conjunctivitis

Pink eye is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. These types of conjunctivitis are contagious and you can get infected by contact – simply by touching the hand of a friend who has just touched his or her infected eyes. If you then touch your eyes, the infection can spread to you. The other way it can spread is by touching contaminated articles like door handles, arm-rests of chairs, and the sharing of towels with anyone who has conjunctivitis. And no, it does not spread by looking at a person with conjunctivitis.

The symptoms of pinkeye may include some or all of the following:

Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelids ; Increased amount of tears or discharge;thick discharge that has dried over the eyelashes, especially in the mornings after sleep; itchy and/or burning eyes; blurred vision; Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).

Treating Conjunctivitis

As there are various types of causes for conjunctivitis, you should visit your doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.  Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. If the cause is viral, you will need to be patient as it may take a few weeks to settle. There would be a need for your doctor to look out for any complications that may occur during this time.

Contact lens wearers may contract conjunctivitis if they have been careless in handling their contact lenses or are sensitive to the multipurpose solutions.  You may find the following tips useful should you ever suffer from conjunctivitis: Avoid the use of eye makeup and do not wear contact lenses; Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes; Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to avoid spreading it; Don’t share common items such as towels, blankets and sunglasses.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.