Caring for your eyes

A few tips to better eye care

Does every headache have to be related to some eye problem? My daughter is in Class XII and of late has been complaining of a headache. She has her Board exams coming up and I feel she’s stressed and anxious. Could that be the reason? Do I need to get her eyes examined immediately or can it wait for a few more months?

It is possible the stress associated with a very demanding examination system is the cause of such ‘stress’-related headaches, not uncommon in this age group. Rarely does intense reading and work strain the ocular accommodation tissues, aggravating or manifesting a latent refractive error, causing a headache. Migraine, or vascular headache is also common in girls of this age. The lack of proper rest, an imbalanced diet, the poor intake of fluids, can all exaggerate the headache.

Though very uncommon, some brain-related conditions can be a cause. Although your daughter is unlikely to have any serious eye disease, we recommend seeing an eye doctor, who will be able to exclude these possibilities and suggest simple remedies. Since it does not take long for a complete eye examination, do prioritise an immediate visit to the eye doctor, so that the entire family is stress-free to face the examination.

Please discourage analgesic tablets and caffeine-containing beverages, which is treatment worse than the disease itself.

Does the prolonged use of eye drops for tired or dry eyes cause any side effects I should know of?

Most mild to moderate dry eyes are treated by tear substitutes. When these drugs are used without preservatives even for prolonged periods, they do not cause adverse effects. Your eye doctor may prescribe cyclosporine or mild topical steroids if dry eyes are associated with inflammation. These drugs need to be discontinued once inflammation subsides and are not to be used for a long period of time without medical supervision.

I had a baby two months ago. My husband works abroad and has not visited us yet. I live with my in-laws, am stressed out and have been terribly sleep deprived. I experience pain on my upper eyelids a lot. Does it indicate bad health of the eye?

Sleep deprivation and stress are probably contributing factors and upper lid pain need not necessarily indicate bad health. However, sleep deprivation can contribute to dryness or eye surface abnormalities due to the lack of lubricating function of the eye lids. This causes roughness of the eyes and pain or discomfort.

You could undergo a routine eye evaluation by an eye doctor when time permits and have him prescribe preservative-free tear substitutes for relief. Until then, gentle massaging over closed lids or cold compresses over closed eye lids can provide comfort. Though rare inflammation of the lids, styes, could also be a cause of upper lid pain.

Dr R Krishnadas is Senior Medical Consultant, Glaucoma Services, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai

Nothing in this column is intended to be, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek independent advice from a licensed practitioner if you have questions regarding a medical condition. Email at

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:27:41 PM |

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