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Are you losing your sight day by day? Does it make difficult to see you at night? Is this the onset of Blindness? Get to know about Retinitis Pigmentosa with these tips.
What actually is Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of diseases, which causes a slow, but progressive vision loss. It is a genetic disorder that affects the ability to respond to light.This inherited disease causes a slow loss of vision, beginning with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral (side) vision and eventually results in blindness.
Causes: Retinitis pigmentosa is often hereditary (runs in families). If you or your partner has retinitis pigmentosa, there may be up to a 50 percent chance that you will pass it on to your children. Ask your ophthalmologist about genetic counseling if you are planning to have children.
- Slow loss of vision
- Beginning of decreased night vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Difficulty in identifying colours
Diagnosis: If you have poor night vision or a loss of side vision or if there is a history of retinitis pigmentosa in your family, your ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you have retinitis pigmentosa. Your ophthalmologist will dilate your eyes to look at the back of them for signs of disease.
Treatment: Currently there is no known cure for retinitis pigmentosa. However, research has shown that vitamin A palmitate may slow the progression of certain forms of RP. Your ophthalmologist can advise you about the risks and benefits of vitamin A palmitate and how much you can safely take. Taking too much vitamin A palmitate can be toxic, and evidence of vitamin A palmitate effect on RP progression is not substantial.
Another recommendation for slowing vision loss from RP is to wear sunglasses to protect your retina from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light.
Retinal prosthesis is also an important area of exploration because the prosthesis, a man-made device intended to replace a damaged body part, can be designed to take over the function of the lost photoreceptors by electrically stimulating the remaining healthy cells of the retina.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Night blindness is also called nyctalopia.It's a type of vision impairment. People with night blindness experience poor vision at night or in dimly lit environments. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem, usually a retina problem.
What Causes Night Blindness?
A number of eye conditions can cause night blindness, including:
- Nearsightedness or blurred vision when looking at faraway objects.
- Cataracts or clouding of the eye's lens.
- Retinitis pigmentosa, which occurs when dark pigment collects in your retina and creates tunnel vision.
- Vitamin A Deficiency
- Zinc Deficiency
- Dry Eyes
Are the Symptoms of Night Blindness?
The sole symptom of night blindness is difficulty seeing in the dark. You're more likely to experience night blindness when your eyes transition from a bright environment to an area of low light, such as when you leave a sunny sidewalk to enter a dimly lit restaurant. You're likely to experience poor vision when driving due to the intermittent brightness of headlights and streetlights on the road.
How can I Prevent Night Blindness?
You can't prevent night blindness that's the result of birth defects or genetic conditions, such as Usher syndrome. You can, however, properly monitor your blood sugar level and eat a balanced diet to make night blindness less likely.
Orange colored foods are excellent sources of vitamin A, including:
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
What are the Treatment Options for Night Blindness?
The treatment will depend on its causes.
- Nutrient deficiency (Vitamin A and Zinc) is the easiest to treat.
- If the cause is cataract, you can go for cataract surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with artificial intraocular lens. Vision is usually dramatically improved after surgery.
- For dry eye syndrome, lubricate your eyes with artificial tear drops as they provide instant relief. Just make sure that they are without preservatives.
- Diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with tight control over blood sugar, active lifestyle and good dietary habits.
- As for retinitis pigmentosa, unfortunately there are no treatments available. Thankfully, new research is showing that vitamin A might have a slowing effect on the progression of this eye disease. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!
Variety of contact lenses is used to correct refractive errors. Soft Contact (hydrogel) Lenses are most often used in various types of refractive errors but they have certain disadvantages. These lenses do not permit adequate Oxygen to pass through which is essential for health of cornea and hence they can be worn for limited hours, i.e 6 to 8 hours maximum and never while sleeping. The tear proteins get deposited on these lenses which limit their life to about a year. If worn for prolonged period or proper measures not taken to clean the lenses, cornea can get an ULCER which at times can result in permanent loss of vision. Disposable daily wear lenses provide safer alternative but the cost increases significantly. Since soft contact lenses are applied after cleaning with a solution which can be the cause of mild to severe allergic conjunctivitis which can become intolerable. Soft contact lenses are not ideal in eyes with high corneal astigmatism.
Merits of soft contact lenses are that they can be dispensed over the counter or purchased on line though it is not ideal. A correct curvature and power of a contact lens is determined by a contact lens specialist/ Ophthalmologist after measuring exact corneal curvature and using trial contact lens. Another merit is that these lenses can be accepted very easily since even on the first day they do not produce much of discomfort. These lenses can be worn off and on without any inconvenience. Recent introduction of Toric Contact Lenses have made them more acceptable in cases of moderate corneal astigmatism.
Breathing Contact Lenses:
These lenses are the one which permit significant amount of oxygen to pass through and hence can be worn for prolonged interval without any adverse effect on the cornea. These are of two types
- Semisoft or Extended Wear RGP Contact Lenses: These lenses are made up of FP 92 which is a semi rigid soft plastic and is highly permeable to oxygen. These lenses are excellent for high refractive errors, especially in patients who have high corneal astigmatism. Even cases with irregular cornea or Keratoconus, these lenses can be accepted with rewarding results. These lenses can only be fitted by an expert Ophthalmologist since precise measurement has to be carried out and various trial lenses have to be tried to evaluate the optimum fit. The lenses are made to measurement and the patient has to be precisely trained to fit the lenses and maintain them. As stated, the lenses can be safely worn while sleeping and there is practically no danger of corneal toxicity or infection. These lenses may last for 4-5 years. One of the demerits of these lenses is that they take 5-6 days to adopt and the patient is advised to use them regularly. They are excellent alternative to LASIK surgery.
- Silicon Hydrogel Contact Lenses: These are recent introduction of extended wear contact lenses with capacity to 'breathe' better than soft or hrdrogel contact lenses. Some of the recent Silicon Hydrogel Contact lenses introduced by Alcon and Bausch and Lomb can be worn for a week or so.
Silicon hydrogel lenses though indicated for prolonged wear but can cause mild keratitis and sometimes allergic keratitis if worn overnight. These lenses still needs lot of improvement to be free of complications
Advise: It is ideal to consult an Ophthalmologist specialized in contact lenses for fitting of a proper contact lenses. Advertised lenses some time misguide and can be damaging to the eye.
It is true that the foods you eat cannot get back your eyesight. It is also true that the foods that you eat can never increase your vision powers. Then you might ask why go through all the trouble of writing articles which state the foods that are beneficial for vision.
A well-made point! But the real truth is while the foods cannot affect the performance of your vision; there are many foods that are needed to maintain a healthy vision. These foods are beneficial and are necessary to preserve the line of sight and are also valuable in sustaining them further damage. Let us give them a thought in detail
Vitamins A, C, and E form the main components when it comes to vision. Always choose a food that has ample doses of these substances and makes it a regular habit. Some of the foods that are high in them are:
- Bell Peppers: Not many people know that the brightly coloured bell peppers are a nutritional powerhouse that could help reduce the risk of poor vision. They have ample quantities of Vitamin A and C and in addition to that bell peppers are fat-free, low-calorie, and contain fiber. Give them a shot and see the benefits in the long run.
- Carrots: There cannot be an article written about eye sight without the mention of carrots. They have rich traces of Vitamin A and they help to reduce the impact of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Try having them in its raw format rather than a cooked format to get hold of all the vitamins.
- Greens (Spinach, Kale, Leafy Vegetables): There is an age-old saying that the colour green is good for the eyes. This holds true even in the case of green vegetables. Green vegetables like spinach and kale are rich sources of vitamin C and are loaded with antioxidants. They also protect your eyes from UV rays and the direct damage to your eyes from the sun’s rays. Use it as per your imagination and you can have them in salads, soups or as a dip.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are also packed with antioxidants and they are beneficial for the overall health and wellness of your eyes health and wellness. They are also high in the soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. You can simply wash them and pop those in your mouth or you can add it as a delicacy to your cereal and porridge.
- Sweet Potatoes: Just like carrots, sweet potatoes too have high carotene levels and they are effective in reducing the stress of your eyes. They also soothe your eyes to a great extent and can be beneficial in maintaining the robustness of your eyes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.