Eye Health

Trouble reading? Try these workarounds

Trouble reading may stem from physical challenges, difficulty concentrating, traumatic brain injury, or mild cognitive impairment. After an evaluation, try these workaround strategies.

Can an eye exam reveal Alzheimer’s risk?

New research considers whether certain eye conditions may help predict Alzheimer’s disease. The common link? Cardiovascular disease, which is partly preventable.

Herpes infection of the cornea

Emma Davies, MD

Contributor

Different forms of the herpes virus can cause infection of the cornea that can result in pain, redness, and blurred vision. If not treated, permanent vision loss may result.

Will blue light from electronic devices increase my risk of macular degeneration and blindness?

Many people have expressed concern about potential harm to the eyes from blue light emitted by the screens of our electronic devices. Risks to the eyes from exposure to this light are negligible, but blue light may have other effects on our health.

Can dark chocolate improve vision?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Research supports the cardiovascular benefits of moderate consumption of dark chocolate; now a study suggests that it may also help support and improve visual perception.

Can we zap eye floaters away?

Floaters in the eyes are annoying but generally not harmful. An experimental treatment can remove a certain type of floater with a laser, but without further study it’s too soon to recommend it.

Most cases of pink eye (conjunctivitis) don’t require antibiotics

Mallika Marshall, MD

Contributing Editor

While bacterial conjunctivitis responds to antibiotic treatment, many people with the more common viral type are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily, which contributes to increased resistance to these medications.

The fix for dry eyes

As we age our eyes become susceptible to dryness due to decreased tear production or slowing glands. Other conditions can contribute to dry eye syndrome as well, including looking at the screen of a computer, phone, or tablet for too long. There are a number of simple treatments that can bring relief and prevent infection and other problems.

The times, they are a-changin’ (and bringing new syndromes)

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you spend lots of time looking at a screen, you may be at risk for “computer vision syndrome,” a cluster of eye-related symptoms that tend to afflict computer users. But is this really a new “syndrome,” or just a fancy name for eye strain? Here, we explore exactly what a syndrome is — and give you some tips to combat this newest addition to the list of technology-related “syndromes.”

Use sunglasses for vision protection starting at an early age

When kids pack for summer camp, sunglasses may not always top the supply list. But I made them a priority for my 12-year-old son Carson, who just started rowing camp in Florida, because eyes are vulnerable to damaging ultraviolet rays, which are especially intense near reflective surfaces. Ultraviolet rays can damage the eyes several way, ultimately leading to cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other thieves of vision. You don’t have to spend a bundle to get a good pair of sunglasses. Just make sure to pick ones that block close to 100% of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays.