Creative Commons License photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML

Most of us will experience temporary eye problems from time to time, including itching, blurriness or fatigue. Most of these eye problems are short-lived and will probably go away on their own with no complications. However, sudden eye problems and those that last for more than a couple of days should be checked by an eye doctor.

Eye twitching, eyelid ticks and spasms are pretty common. Most eye twitches come and go, although they can last for weeks or even months. Although sudden-onset eyelid twitching is benign, it can also be difficult to treat. The only option for making it stop is finding the cause and removing it. Some of the triggers for eye twitching include stress, tiredness, eye strain, caffeine, alcohol, dry eyes, nutritional imbalances and allergies.

Itchy eyes are often a symptom of allergies that are either seasonal or perennial. Itchy eyes will be triggered by exposure to things like grass, pollen, trees and weeds or to household allergens like mould, dust, pet dander and pet hair. The best treatment is to keep your hands away from your eyes so you don’t damage them from rubbing or scratching and to visit your eye doctor to discuss the best decongestant or oral antihistamines.

When the eyes feel achy, weak or heavy due to intense or overuse then you probably have tired eyes or eye strain. Eyes can be strained by working on the computer for too long, doing near work with poor lighting conditions or prolonging any activity that requires intense focus. To avoid tired eyes you should make sure your room is evenly lit, take short breaks from near work and ensure that your glasses or contact lenses are up to date.

Eye floaters are those tiny spots, specks, flecks and “cobwebs” that drift aimlessly around in your field of vision. They typically appear when tiny pieces of the eye’s gel-like vitreous break loose in the back portion of the eye. While annoying, ordinary eye floaters and spots are common eye problems, but not usually cause for alarm. However, if you experience a sudden appearance of lots of floaters, especially accompanied by flashes of light, then you should seek medical attention immediately as this could indicate a detached retina.