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Understanding and Caring for Your Eye Health: Common Conditions and Practical Tips

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Eye health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, yet it's often overlooked until a problem arises. Whether you're concerned about age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, or simply seeking ways to enhance your eye care regimen, this guide has you covered.

With a particular emphasis on eye infections, we'll look at various conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and styes. Shedding light on their causes, symptoms, and effective management strategies. So, let's embark on a journey to safeguard your sight and nurture your eyes with the attention they deserve.

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a common condition that affects the middle part of your vision, making everyday activities such as reading difficult.

Symptoms can include:

  • Blurred area within your vision, that may eventually lead to difficulty seeing anything in the middle of your vision.
  • Straight lines appear wavy.
  • Colours are less bright.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Objects appearing smaller than usual.

AMD occurs when there’s deterioration of light-sensitive cells in the macula area of the retina. This is the part of the eye responsible for:

  • Recording what we see and sending the information to our brains.
  • Seeing fine detail.
  • Focusing.

Although the exact cause is unknown, AMD has been linked to the following:

  • Smoking.
  • Being overweight.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Family history.

Without treatment, vision may get worse so it’s important to book an appointment with an optometrist as soon as possible.


Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids. It appears in a variety of forms and causes. Infectious conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria or viruses. Non-infectious conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies or irritation. It usually goes away on its own after 5 to 14 days, depending on the cause.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis usually include:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased tear production
  • Discharge from your eyes (which can be watery or thick and yellowish)
  • Itching or burning sensation in the eye
  • Blurred vision.

Depending on the cause, pink eye can be contagious, especially in cases caused by viruses or bacteria. Treatment often involves addressing the underlying cause:

  • Viral conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own within a few days
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis may require antibiotic eye drops or ointment
  • Allergic conjunctivitis can be managed with antihistamine eye drops or oral medications to relieve symptoms.

It's important to avoid touching or rubbing the eyes and to practice good hygiene to prevent spreading the infection, especially if it's contagious. If you suspect you have conjunctivitis, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.



Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It usually affects both eyes along the edges of the eyelids. It can be caused from tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes becoming clogged, causing irritation and redness. 

Symptoms may include:

  • Sore eyelids.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Flakes or crusts around your eyelashes.
  • Sticky eyelids in the morning.
  • A gritty feeling in your eyes.

It can be caused by:

  • Bacteria that lives on the skin.
  • Certain skin condition e.g. seborrhoeic dermatitis.
  • The glands inside your eyelid is not producing enough oil.

We recommend avoiding wearing contact lenses and eye makeup, while treating it in the following way:

  • Hold a clean, warm flannel on your closed eyelid for up to 10 minutes.
  • Massage your eyelids for up to 30 seconds.
  • Using cotton wool, gently wipe your eyelids (in the direction from the nose to the cheekbone) to remove any flakes.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused by the decreased production of tears or excessive tear evaporation, causing discomfort and soreness.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Itchy.
  • Sore.
  • Gritty.
  • Red.
  • Blurry.
  • Sensitive to light.
  • More watery than normal.
  • Patients may also complain about a sensation of feeling grit in their eye.

Underlying causes of dry eye include:

  • Sjögren’s syndrome, blepharitis or lupus.
  • Over the age of 50.
  • Staring at a screen for too long.
  • You wear contact lens.
  • Blinking problems.
  • Humidifiers, air conditioning and heated environments.
  • Environmental factors such as dust, wind and cold or dry conditions.
  • Smoking or alcohol.
  • Medications as oral contraceptives, antihistamines, and beta-blockers may cause dry eyes.

Visit your local LloydsPharmacy for advice on how to treat it. They can also recommend suitable gels, allergy medicines, eye drops or ointments, or if you need to visit your GP.



Floaters appear as dots, lines, rings or cobwebs in your vision. They are quite common and not typically serious. However, you should arrange an urgent optician’s appointment if any the following symptoms occur:

  • Floaters appear in your vision for the first time.
  • Sudden floaters in your vision.
  • Number of floaters suddenly increases.
  • Shadow moving across your vision.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Eye pain.
  • Floaters start after eye surgery or an eye injury.

Red Eye

There are a variety of reasons the white of your eye may be appearing red. In most cases it’s nothing to be concerned about. However, in some cases the eye problem can be:

  • Burst blood vessel within the white of your eye.
  • Types of Conjunctivitis.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Itchy, sore or red eyelids.
  • Ingrown eyelashes.
  • Swollen, drooping or twitching eyelid.
  • Lump on your eyelid.

We would advice to refrain from rubbing or touching your eyes and not to wear contact lenses until your eye is better.

Visit your local LloydsPharmacy for advice on how to treat it and recommend any cleaning solutions or eyedrops. Or if you need to visit your GP for antibiotic eye drops.


A stye appears as a small lump on or inside the eyelid or around your eye. It will be painful, and the skin may be red, swollen and filled with pus.

They are quite common and will clear up on their own. We recommend avoiding wearing contact lenses and eye makeup, while treating it in the following way:

  • Hold a clean, warm flannel against the eye for up to 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this 3 to 4 times throughout the day.
  • If the eye is painful, paracetamol or ibuprofen may help relieve that pain.

Watery Eyes

Watery eyes are quite common and may be a result of something as simple as cold or the wind. They can also be caused by:

  • Allergic Reaction.
  • Infections, for example conjunctivitis.
  • Dry eye syndrome.
  • Blocked tear ducts.
  • Eyelid drooping away from the eye.
  • Eyelid turning inwards.
  • Dirt or foreign object in the eye.

Visit your local LloydsPharmacy for advice on how to treat it, if they can recommend any cleaning solutions or eyedrops, or if you need to visit your GP.

What Vitamins and Nutrients may help Eye Health?

Several vitamins and nutrients are particularly beneficial for eye health. These include:

  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin C

How can you help take care of your eyes?

Taking care of your eyes involves a combination of good habits, regular check-ups, and a healthy lifestyle. Here are some key practices to maintain optimal eye health:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Always wash your hands before touching your eyes.
  • Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears. There are a wide range of lubricants for the eyes available in our pharmacies.
  • If you live or work in a building with air conditioning, the filter should be changed as required.
  • Avoid environments with dusty or dirty air.
  • Use cold compresses, cucumbers, or dampened and cooled green or black tea bags on your eyes.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels in the eyes and can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other sight problems.
  • Protect your eyes from UV light. Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors and avoid staring directly into bright lights.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and an active lifestyle.
  • After age 60, get a dilated eye exam each year.
  • Make sure your diet contains plenty of green leafy vegetables, spinach, corn, oranges, eggs, yellow carrots.

Caring for your eye health is a vital aspect of overall well-being. Knowing about the most common eye conditions is the first step to taking charge of your eye health. This guide is here to give you the lowdown on spotting symptoms and getting the right treatment on time to keep your vision in top shape. Adding important vitamins and nutrients to your diet, like those found in leafy greens and oranges, and making sure you drink plenty of water can help keep your eyes healthy.

Don't forget to protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses and visit your eye doctor regularly, especially once you hit 60, to keep your vision in tip-top shape for life. By prioritising these practices, you empower yourself to enjoy clear vision and a brighter outlook on life. Remember, your eyes are precious—nurture them with care and attention they deserve.