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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.
- 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 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 anti oxidants 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 longer.
- 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 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 chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking also increases chances of optic nerve damage as it impairs blood circulation to the eyes.
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!
Visual disorders are seen to develop in school going children and should be taken care of with utmost care as neglecting such disorders may affect their learning ability. They might find it hard to adjust and cope in school. Some of the common visual disorders which children are affected with are mentioned below. Read more to find out about them:
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Amblyopia is a medical condition in which an eye has developed poor vision. It is also known as 'Lazy Eye'. It occurs when the vision in one eye is significantly better than the other. Amblyopia occurs due to strabismus or misaligned eyes.
- Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis or 'Pink Eye' occurs in children due to allergic reaction which is not contagious or due to bacterial or viral infections which are very contagious. If infected with conjunctivitis, it is advisable to stay at home to avoid spreading the infection.
- Myopia: Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. In this condition, the cornea is steep and the rays of light fall in front of the retina. This leads closer objects to look clear but far off objects to look blurred.
- Hyperopia: Hyperopia implies farsightedness. In this condition, the eye is shorter than normal hence the rays of light cannot focus clearly on the retina. This results in objects close at hand appear blurred. Reading a book or threading a needle becomes difficult.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a condition in which both near and far off images appear blurred. In this condition, the cornea which is naturally circular is stretched in either horizontal or vertical direction. Astigmatism can occur along with myopia or hyperopia.
- Blocked tear duct: When the tear ducts are partially or completely obstructed, it hampers the drainage of tears and results in a chronically, watery infected eye. You are advised to consult an ophthalmologist if such a condition occurs.
- Orbital Cellulitis: Cellulitis generally occurs due to an eyelid infection or an upper respiratory Infection. Cellulitis includes swelling of the eyelids and fever. It is a serious medical condition and it is recommended to consult a doctor for consultation.
If you are diabetic then it is important that you consult a ophthalmologist for regular check-ups. Diabetes is known to be one of main causes for blindness across all age groups. If you suffer from bouts of blurred vision then it is not likely due to a long term vision problem. It is temporary and usually occurs due to fluctuating blood sugar levels in the body.
How diabetes affects your eyes?
The lens of your eyes can swell if you are a diabetic, and this can impair your ability to see causing blurry vision. In order to rectify this problem, it is important for you to get your blood sugar levels under optimal levels. This entire procedure of reducing blood sugar levels may take three months or more.
Eye problems that are caused by diabetes
The major eye problems that can occur due to diabetes are
- Cataract: Cataract occurs when the lens of your eyes become foggy or cloudy. Although cataract mostly occurs to people who are middle aged or above sixty, you can get affected by this disorder at an earlier age if you are diabetic. Also, the deterioration or clouding of the lens progresses at a much faster rate than usual. Cataracts lead to an inability to focus as the retina is covered by cloudy layer.
- Glaucoma: This is another disorder that can occur due to diabetes. This is characterized by the buildup of pressure in the eye due to the fluids within it not draining properly. This intense pressure damages the nerves and blood vessels in the eyes, thus impairing your ability to see.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder characterized by damage to the vessels in the retina that carry blood. It can occur if you have either of the type 2 or type 1 diabetes. If not treated in time it can lead to blindness.
If you have a history of diabetes or even borderline diabetic tendencies, it is highly advisable to constantly check your blood sugar levels and also get your eye checked at regular intervals, especially if you feel even the minutest vision problems.
Sports injuries can occur in children if proper precautions are not taken. A proper warm up before exercise followed by stretching helps in easing muscular stress and thus preventing injuries. It is important to supervise children when they are engaging in physical exercise or sports.
The tips to prevent sports injuries in children are:
- Talk to them: A child may experience pain but may not show it, so it is important to encourage them to speak up when they experience pain. Most sports-related injuries in kids can be prevented by early intervention.
- Preseason physical: It is important to get a preseason physical to determine your child's fitness. This can help determine if the child is fit to play and thus consequently, minimizing the risk of injuries.
- A proper warm-up: You should emphasize on the importance of a proper warm-up to your child. Make sure your child performs a mix of dynamic and static stretches to warm up before playing. It will raise the heart rate and increase blood flow thus making him ready to play.
- Cross training: Children should cross train with multiple sports, as playing one sport for a long time may stress the joints. This is done to prevent overuse of muscles and prevent boredom.
- Well hydrated: Make sure your child is well hydrated as an excessive fluid loss may result in fatigue and vomiting. Playing sports in summer can result in fluid loss through sweating and therefore needs to be replenished in order to prevent further complications.
- Follow proper techniques: It is important to observe that your child is following proper techniques while playing a sport. Disregarding the guidelines can result in injury.
- Proper diet: A proper nutritious diet is recommended to make sure that your child is getting all his necessary minerals and vitamins. It allows the child to become fitter and less prone to injuries. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.