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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > November 2019 > I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW


Too little sleep, long hours in front of a screen, allergies and infections – no wonder complaints such as puffy eyes, dark circles and red eyes are so common. Leah Hardy asks an ophthalmologist how to turn off the irritation

How to solve EIGHT common eye problems

OUR EYES tell us a lot about what’s going on in our body, according to Sheraz Daya, ophthalmologist and medical director of Centre for Sight clinics around the UK ( They can tell us when we’re tired, of course, but also if we’re stressed or suffering from an allergy. More rarely, they can offer an early warning of more serious conditions. Some complaints clear up on their own, while others need a little help. Here’s the inside track on how to prevent and treat problems at home, plus when to seek medical help.


Tired? Too long staring at a screen? Been in a smoky atmosphere? Got hay fever? It’s likely your eyes will be a little bloodshot. Red eyes look that way because tiny blood vessels in the white of the eye dilate or burst. You might see squiggly red lines on your eyes, or the whole white may appear pink or red.


‘Redness in both eyes is often caused by something irritating them, such as pollen,’ says Sheraz. It can also be caused by bacterial conjunctivitis, which can lead to a green or yellow discharge, or highly infectious viral conjunctivitis. ‘In older people, sudden onset redness in one eye can be a little haemorrhage, caused by high blood pressure, which makes tiny blood vessels more likely to burst,’ he says. Redness can also be the result of dry eyes. ‘If it comes on suddenly, with pain, this may be caused by inflammation and requires immediate medical attention,’ cautions Sheraz.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Expert advice on how to stop life’s stressful situations becoming fat traps. Plus, why fatty liver disease is affecting non-drinkers and our no-nonsense guide to plant-based proteins. Sensational soups, risottos and jacket potato toppings and, in our special section, how to sleep better.