What's Going Around: Eye Surface Disease

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

November 05, 2012

From the flu to eye problems, we're taking a look at what's going around in central Virginia. Dr. Bryce Kellems of Forest Lakes Family Medicine says folks should be on the lookout for the seasonal flu.

There are sporadic reports in others states, but not in Virginia yet. Symptoms include fever, generalized body aches, sore throat, runny nose and a cough.

Dr. Kellems recommends an anti-viral medicine for treatment of severe symptoms and says people should try to prevent seasonal flu by getting a flu shot and remembering to wash their hands frequently.

Over at Blue Ridge Internal Medicine in Charlottesville, Dr. William Tompkins tells us eye surface disease is going around.

Symptoms include dry, tired, itchy and gritty eyes. Also eyes flood with tears on cold windy days and after reading for a while, vision is not as sharp.

Dr. Tompkins says tiny glands at the base of the eyelashes secrete a fine oil that covers the eye's tear layer preventing it from drying out. The ducts of these glands often get blocked.

He says treatment is easy. Just apply a hot wash rag to the eyes daily for five minutes. It will melt the wax allowing the protecting oil to flow again.

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