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There exists medical proof that cataract affects almost every individual irrespective of race or gender. The severity of cataract determines the damage to the eye and the necessary treatment that is needed for it. Let us have a summary of one of the most common ailments that affects our eyes and its treatment.
Cataract is a dense, cloudy formation that occurs in the lens of the eye. A cataract begins when the proteins in the eye form clots that restrict the lens from sending clear signals to the retina. As a result of this, the retina loses focus, and the eyesight fades gradually. The chances are that a cataract can develop in both the eyes, and it affects a person mostly as he/she gets old.
Symptoms of Cataract:
Common symptoms can include: blurred vision, seeing faded colors, loss of night vision, increased sensitivity to glare and halos when seeing the light. In some extreme cases, double vision can also be seen by the affected person. There are some fundamental causes of cataract. These can include lifestyle activities like smoking, excess drinking, exposure to UV radiation, radiation therapy and certain diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Different types of Cataract:
Cataracts can be broadly classified based on where and how they develop in the eye. Nuclear cataracts occur in the middle of the lens and cause the center part of the eye to become yellow or brown.
Cortical cataracts occur around the edges of the eyes/nucleus. Posterior capsular cataracts occur at the back portion of the lens. Congenital cataracts occur at infant stages. They are rare and affect a minuscule population. Traumatic cataract, as the name suggests occurs after an injury or an accident to the eye.
Treatment and Prevention:
The best method for treating a cataract is by surgical procedures. However, it is no guarantee that the condition would not return after a few years. Nonsurgical methods include eyeglasses with more power and sunglasses with UV coating. However, they do not make the condition go away. Surgical methods include phacoemulsification, where ultrasound waves are used to break the lens apart and remove the lumps. Extracapsular surgery is the common type and involves removing the cloudy part of the lens through an incision. An artificial lens is put in the place where the natural lens was. Cataract surgery has advanced over the years, and they are considered extremely safe.
Cataract can be prevented /minimized to an extent by having a healthy diet. Remember to take fruits and vegetables as a part of the diet. Also, ensure to have a healthy weight. Avoid the exposure to the sun by wearing sunglasses and reduce smoking. Early detection is always beneficial. Have an eye check up with the specialist regularly to prevent cataracts from forming.
While an eye exam should be conducted for anybody at least every six months, many people do not believe it to be so important. However, there are benefits to having a comprehensive eye exam. But, what exactly are these benefits?
Eye Check-ups are Indicative
To start with, when one goes for an eye exam, problems relating not just to the eyes can be discovered. As a matter of fact, an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist is quite often the first person to detect problems with the entire body. These problems include diabetes and hypertension. It can be said that a person who has healthy eyes is more likely than not to be in the pink of health! When a person has a health issue detected early by an eye doctor, it can result in easier treatment - easier on the person as well as on the pocket! After all, why go through the pain of more pain and expense before getting it addressed?
Catch your ailments early
It can be said that eye exams are very important for children as having bad eyesight which goes uncorrected can have some really serious consequences. The strain on the child’s eyes due to school work like staring at the board with weak eyes can cause very bad headaches and the situation gets worse. Children usually do not have a proper idea of what normal vision is like so they are more likely to not notice a decrease in the quality of vision. This really does increase the need of eye exams for them.
Eye exams are different from vision tests
Many people are of the opinion that getting their eyes checked is the same as having an eye exam. However, it is to be noted that this is not the same. A person who does not have advanced medical qualifications when it comes to the eyes usually conducts a vision test. This could be a nurse or an optometrist. They actually do not dig much further beneath the surface, so they miss out the critical bits!
Eye alignment matters
The truth is that only an eye doctor knows what exactly to look for when an eye exam is conducted. So what exactly does an eye doctor look for? Apart from early signs of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, the eye doctor would look for strabismus. This refers to the alignment of the eyes. When the eyes are not properly aligned, depth perception suffers and this can cause serious damage, especially if a person drives.
Apart from these, the doctor would also look at how well one’s eyes work together and whether there are any age-related diseases.
Cranial nerve palsy is one of the common culprits of causing double vision. This is all the more true for people above the age of 60. A person is more prone to cranial nerve palsy if he is suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. This is the reason why this disease is more commonly known as diabetes palsy. Eventually, though they get better and the problem of double vision disappears.
One weak cranial nerve leads to the weakness of other cranial nerves as well. In case the eyes fail to move together, chances are that the patient will have double or blurred vision. In case the sixth nerve gets affected, side to side double vision is encountered. For the 3rd and 4th nerve disturbance, there could be a vertical double vision. The lack of blood flow causes pain to the eye.
Possible Causes of Cranial Nerve Palsy?
Cranial nerve palsy can result from traumatic or congenital factors. They can also result from vascular diseases such as strokes, hypertension, diabetes, and aneurysms. It can also arise out of infections, increased intracranial pressure, migraines, and tumours. A patient's age and clinical findings help a doctor decide the right course of treatment.
There are no particular treatments which can speed up the recovery of cranial nerve palsy. In a case of pupil pain, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil. They key to natural recovery is to ensure that the blood sugar and the blood pressure is diligently controlled. By patching the eyes, the problem of double vision can be resolved. They are typically worn over both the eyes. They are however known to slow down the process of recovery and strain the eye. There is no known exercise to fix this condition. Botulinum injections are sometimes used by doctors to straighten the eyes but the result of such a treatment greatly varies from person to person. Doctors mostly rely on watchful waiting until the phase passes within 6-8 weeks. Pain medications are recommended on a case to case basis.
Managing cranial nerve palsy can be difficult for a working person. It involves many lifestyle changes till the condition fully cares. Some of the suggestions given by an ophthalmologist include resting the eye as long as one can. Reading or working on a computer should be eschewed since it puts great pressure on the eyes. The eye should not be contacted with forehands in case there is too much pain. Other basic hygiene issues include taking the medicine time to time, cleaning the eye with fresh water two to three times a day, putting the eye drops on time as prescribed by the doctor.
I am working on computer regularly I got some problem eye itching dryness headache what should I do.
People may have weak eyes due to a variety of reasons. Astigmatism happens to be one of those reasons. When one is affected by astigmatism, it results in blurry vision. The eye has a part called the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye and is responsible for allowing light to enter. When the cornea is not shaped as it should be, it leads to astigmatism.
However, this is not the only condition under which it can occur. In fact, there are two different types of astigmatism. One is corneal astigmatism which is the result of an odd-shaped cornea. The other is lenticular astigmatism, which occurs when the lens has an incorrect shape. More often than not, people are born with astigmatism. However, there are chances of developing this eye disorder after an eye injury or after an eye disease.
How to diagnose?
There are a few ways in which astigmatism can be diagnosed.
- One of the most popular methods is the visual acuity test. This measures the distance at which a letter is read clearly, as compared to what it should be.
- Another way is by refraction. By placing lenses in front of the eyes, the way they focus light is measured.
- The third way by which astigmatism can be detected is by keratometry, also known as topography. Light is focused on the cornea and the reflection is measured to find the curvature of that area.
The easiest way to go about treating astigmatism is by using corrective lenses. This is usually the method of treatment for people whose astigmatism is not that bad. The lenses could either be a part of spectacles or used as contact lenses. The good part about contact lenses is that the field of view is wider.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) works to improve astigmatism by using lenses as well. However, the lenses are of the hard variety. These lenses are useful for corneal astigmatism patients as they reshape the eye. Usually, they are worn while sleeping and most people can have normal vision the next day. However, if one stops using them, the eye goes back to its original state. So, they are not a permanent solution.
Surgery, however, can be a permanent solution to astigmatism. LASIK and PRK are two of the most popular types. RK is also popular, but to a lesser extent. It is good to remember that the risks of surgery should be discussed with a doctor prior to undergoing one. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Eyes are very important organs of your body as they provide you with the ability to process visual detail and detect light. However, because your eyes are exposed to harsh climate and pollutants, they can get spoilt. Here are a few basic tips you can follow to take care of your eyes:
- Eye yoga: Eye Yoga is an ancient method of relaxing your eyes and is also known as “palming”. All you need to do is cup your palms and place them over closed eyes in a way wherein your fingertips are touching your forehead. This helps in blocking out light completely. While cupping your eyes, take long, deep breaths which can help relax your eyes and mind.
- Eat healthy: It is important to eat healthy in order to maintain healthy eyes. Medical practitioners believe that vitamins have antioxidants which slow down age related problems in the eye. You should be eating foods rich in Vitamin A, C and E, Zinc rich foods and foods with folic acid. Food items such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and kale can help in keeping your eyes healthy for a longer period of time.
- Wear dark sunglasses: Every time your eyes are exposed to the sun, they have to tolerate the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. The ultraviolet rays can prove to be very damaging for your eyes as they affect the optic nerve. Hence, you should always wear dark coloured sunglasses in the sun to protect your eyes.
- Take breaks: Staring at a computer screen or a mobile screen all day can prove to be very harmful to your eyes. According to a study, when you stare at a screen for too long, you blink lesser. This can lead to dry eyes.
- Get required rest: It is important to rest your eyes and free them of the strain they endure daily. Hence, you should aim to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep time daily to give them the required rest time.
- Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes can be harmful for your eyes as it increases the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking also increases the chances of optic nerve damage as it impairs blood circulation to the eyes.
The above discussed methods can help you have a great vision for a longer period of time. Hence, try implementing these easy steps in your daily life today and enjoy the lasting benefits.
The term red eye, medically referring to subconjunctival hemorrhage, means different things to different people. For people who travel a lot, it is likely to mean a flight on which sleep is impossible and thus, resulting in them having red eyes. But what can the other causes of red eyes be?
Believe it or not, there can be up to 35 possible reasons for it! Also, it is not really true that all these reasons are related to each other. The causes may range from allergies to cluster headaches to an eyelid which has turned inward or even glaucoma, which has led to a poor flow of blood to the eyes.
Common causes of a red eye
The conditions which lead to red eyes can affect a person at various stages of life. So, this provides everyone with a need to know and be aware of what can cause trouble when it comes to one’s eyes. The severity of the causes can vary quite widely. For instance, a minor worry such as a dry eye syndrome (which does not cause a permanent loss of vision in almost all cases) or common eye infections such as conjunctivitis have also immense potential to result in red eyes. In fact, this is known to be a medical emergency and a patient should be rushed to a doctor!
- Sometimes a regular cold and flu leads to sinus infection, which eventually causes red eyes.
- When it comes to the allergic causes of red eyes, some people do react negatively to certain drugs such as penicillin and codeine, which in turn might result in red eyes. In a case like this, it is important to call the doctor and ask not only what is to be done, but also what alternatives to be used.
- We would not be able to see if it were not for the cornea, which allows light to enter our eyes. Sometimes, there are ulcers which form on it. This mostly happens due to an infection, possibly as a result of wearing one’s contact lenses for too long at a stretch or due to an injury.
- Viral infections are also a possibility. Treatment requires the timely use of eye drops and some medicines. One of the more common causes today is often referred to as the computer vision syndrome, where a person stares at a computer screen for long and uninterrupted hours.
- Something which has gained notoriety recently is Ebola, which is another cause. While it is rare, it is fatal, in most cases. So, quite expectedly, it is an emergency and red eyes are a symptom, which should help early detection.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Any patient who needs to undergo cataract surgery must be evaluated in a thorough manner so as to establish the requirement, appropriateness, expected surgical problems, expected benefits and co-morbid conditions having an influence on cataract surgery.
The preoperative assessment consists of -
A test for your existing glasses prescription:
It is useful for your cataract surgeon to know your existing glasses prescription in cases where there is a high refractive error (people who are very short or long sighted), in order to plan to correct this error after cataract surgery.
A full ocular examination: this includes looking at:
- The eyelid anatomy and inflammation.
- The state of the tear film, dry eye changes could make surgery difficult
- The presence of abnormalities in the cornea that could make visualisation of the cataract difficult during surgery.
- The amount of dilation the iris undergoes with dilating drops.
The type of cataract. Soft cataracts can be aspirated. Hard cataracts need more ultra-sound energy and surgical time to break up and remove. White cataracts may need trypan blue staining to visualize the capsule
The measurement of intra-ocular pressure. With this test, we aim to exclude glaucoma and ensure optimal control of immediate pre-operative and intra-operative eye pressures often with extra eye drops that temporarily lower eye pressure.
- Biometry tests: this is a simple pre-operative measurement. It calculates the correct power of artificial intra-ocular lens. They will be implanted into your eye once your cataract is removed.
- Corneal topography: this is a test to map out the corneal curvature in greater detail. It is used prior to premium iol implantation like toric iols either monofocal or multifocal, to ensure avoid postoperative refractive errors. This extra test is only required if the biometry readings show larger than normal differences in keratometry readings.
- Optical coherence tomography (oct): this test allows detailed visualisation of the macula (the central sensitive part of the retina used for fine vision). If the ophthalmologistsuspects any macula changes that may prevent a patient from visual improvement after cataract surgery, he always suggest optical coherence tomography.
- Blood pressure measurements: it is very important to know your blood pressure measurements before your cataract operation. The risk of having a bleed at the back of your eye during cataract surgery (supra-choroidal haemorrhage) is very small (1 in 10000). But is higher if you have uncontrolled blood pressure.
- Blood sugar measurements in diabetic patients: cataract surgery itself does not affect your blood sugar measurements if you are diabetic. A routine checkup of blood sugars in diabetics before cataract surgery is done and the surgery if often delayed if the levels were greater than 20mmol/l as the risk of post-operative infection is higher.