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Allergies of the Eye
Fall allergy season is not quite over, and the spring allergic season will be here before you know it here in Colorado. Eye doctors in Colorado find that most patients with eye irritations will have one of three major conditions.
Blephritis: This is an inflammation of the eyelids, particularly at the lid margins, typically associated with a low-grade bacterial infection or a generalized skin condition.
Blepharitis occurs in two forms: anterior and posterior eyelid inflammations.
Seventy percent of dry eye patients also have blepharitis.
Dry Eye: This is caused by decreased production of fluids from tear glands, which destabilizes the natural tear film, allowing it to break down rapidly and create dry spots on the eye surface, according to www.mayoclinic.com. An imbalance in the substances that make up the tear film also causes dry eyes. Treatment of dry eyes aims to restore a more normal tear film to minimize dryness, blurred vision, and discomfort.
Conjunctivitis: Otherwise referred to as allergic disease or "pink eye", this ailment is characterized by redness and inflammation of the membranes (conjunctiva) covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes of the inner part of the eyelids. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents, as well as to underlying diseases within the body. Viral conjunctivitis and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood, but they can occur in people of any age.
Optometrists are specialized to diagnose these problems with the use of a slit lamp which is an ophthalmic microscope. These eye doctors are dedicated to the specialty of eye care and continually update their education on the latest pharmaceutical developments in the treatment of eye diseases.
Author: Dr. William Breen
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8586 East Arapahoe Road, Englewood CO