HandyRemedies
Health care advice and cures
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Eye problems
Submitted by Peter

Sties
A sore lump on the edge of your eyelid is a sty. Apply a hot, wet compress several times a day to bring it to a head, then allow it to burst. Avoid squeezing. If it remains for several weeks, see a doctor.

Red eye
A bright red blotch in the white of your eye is usually a harmless haemorrhage caused by coughing, choking or rubbing the eye. It should disappear by itself in about a week; if it occurs again soon or if you are bruising easily or experiencing headaches, see a doctor.

Pinkeye
If one (or both) of your eyes is red, weepy and sticky, you may have pinkeye, or conjunctivitis. Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic eye ointment to the eye, or see your doctor who can prescribe an antibiotic ointment or drops. The disease is contagious. Wash your hands before and after touching your eyes and keep your towels and flannels separate from those of the rest of the family. Women should throw out all their old eye makeup. (Replace with new products once the infection is over.) See a doctor if pain is severe. If your eyes are red, itchy, weepy and feel sandy but are not sticky, you may have noncontagious pinkeye. This condition may be due to an allergy; use cold compresses to relieve the itching and avoid the allergen if possible. The condition may also be the result of chemical irritation; if so, use eye drops (available without prescription from a chemist), avoid chemicals and make sure you wear goggles while swimming in a chlorinated pool.

Burned eyes if you burn your eyes, wash them out with copious amounts of tap water or eye wash immediately. Then ask someone to put moist and preferably sterile pads over your eyes and secure with a bandage (at a pinch, you can use a wad of toilet roll, a hand-kerchief or any other clean soft cloth in place of a sterile pad). Then seek medical help right away.

Foreign bodies in eyes
Even an infinitesimal foreign object -a speck of soot or a grain of sand - can irritate your eye. If you refrain from rubbing it, your tears may wash the object away.

If an object is on the white of the eye or under the lower lid, irrigate your eye gently with sterile water, if available; otherwise, use tap water. Tilt your head and pour from the inner corner of the eye so that the water drains down towards the outer corner and out. A small, irritating scratch may remain after the object has been removed.

If the object doesn't washout, it maybe stuck to or embedded in the eye. Don't try to remove it; seek medical help.

If the object is under the upper eyelid, grasp the lashes with your thumb and forefinger and fold them up over the tip of a cotton bud. If you can see the object, remove it with a moist, sterile cotton bud. Or you can try pulling the upper eyelid down over the lower one - the lower lid lashes should brush the foreign body off.

Change in vision If all or part of what you see suddenly appears hazy, blurry, wavy or distorted; if you see sudden flashes of light; if you experience a sudden partial or complete loss of vision, however brief, see your doctor or optician without delay. You may require urgent treatment.