One thing college students need and use more often than anything else is our eyesight. That’s why vision problems can be a great hindrance when they occur. The following is a short guide to common eye concerns that we see in the student population and what’s important to know about them.
Symptoms of Pink Eye
- Redness/swelling of the eye/eyelids
- Increased tears
- Eye discharge (white, yellow, green)
- Itchy, irritated, and/or burning eyes
- Increased light sensitivity
- Feeling of “grit” in the eye
- Crusty eyelids or lashes
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is common and contagious. It is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva (thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and white part of the eyeball). This inflammation leads to a pink color. Pink eye is caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the exact cause as the symptoms are similar in each case.
Many times, pink eye will go away on its own without treatment. However, in the following cases it is important to seek out medical care:
- When there is pain in your eye(s)
- When there is sensitivity to light or blurred vision
- When there is intense redness in the eye(s)
- When one has a weakened immune system
- When symptoms worsen or don’t improve
- When there is a pre-existing condition that contribute to a risk for severe infection
Pink eye that is caused by a virus or bacteria is highly contagious, so it’s important to practice good hygiene by washing hands, avoiding touching/rubbing your eyes, and avoiding sharing eye/face makeup, brushes, contact lenses, eyeglasses, etc.
The nature of life for college students makes several eye problems more prevalent. Situations such as extended computer time, poor lighting, computer screen glare, poor posture, and lack of sleep contribute to several eye issues.
Eye Strain: Eye strain is important to address, as it can cause an eye muscle imbalance. Symptoms include, burning, itching, dry, watery eyes; neck, back, and shoulder pain; blurry or double vision, or sensitivity to light. If unaddressed, eye strain can lead to discomfort, headaches, or noticeable changes in vision. Computer Vision Syndrome: This is caused by prolonged hours in front of a computer screen and can lead to eye redness, blurred/double vision, headaches, fatigue, eye dryness, or head/shoulder/neck pain.
In both of these cases, it’s important to take proper care of your eyes. It will probably involve tearing away from the many “screens” for a bit, as computers, phones, smartboards in the classroom, and/or television are more a part of a student’s life than ever. In addition, regular eye exams, adjusting the brightness of the monitor, using artificial tears to lubricate eyes, and adjusting lighting can help.
DMV Eye Exams
We are able to perform these at the health center if needed. Just call for an appointment and bring the paperwork required.
If experiencing these or ANY eye/vision problems, please call us at the health center for an appointment.