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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.
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. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.
Amblyopia is decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal development of vision in infancy or childhood. It is commonly known as lazy eye, in which a child's vision does not develop properly, usually in one eye. If it is left untreated, a child's vision will never develop correctly in the affected eye.
What are the types of Amblyopia are there?
There are several different types and causes of Amblyopia, such as Strabismic Amblyopia, Deprivation Amblyopia and Refractive Amblyopia. The end result of all forms of Amblyopia is reduced vision in the affected eye(eyes).
How does Lazy Eye occurs?
Lazy eye occurs when your brain favors one eye, often due to poor vision in your other eye. Eventually, your brain might ignore signals from your weak or lazy eye. The condition can result in vision impairment and loss of depth perception.
What are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye may be hard to detect until it becomes severe. Early warning signs include:
- Tendency to bump into objects on one side
- An eye that wanders inward or outward
- Eyes that appear not to work together
- Poor depth perception
- Double vision
What Causes Lazy Eye?
A number of conditions and factors can lead you to rely on one eye more than the other. These include:
- Constant strabismus or turning of one eye
- Genetics or a family history of lazy eye
- Different levels of vision in each of your eyes
- Damage to one of your eyes from trauma
- Drooping eyelids
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Corneal ulcer or scar
- Eye surgery
- Vision impairment, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- Glaucoma, which is high pressure in your eye that can lead to vision problems and blindness
How is Amblyopia diagnosed?
When it first occurs, parents and children often don't notice the condition. It's important to get routine eye exams as an infant and child, even if you show no outward symptoms of eye problems.
Family history of amblyopia is a risk factor for the condition.
How Is Lazy Eye Treated?
- Glasses/Contact Lenses
- Eye Patch
- Eye Drops
- Other treatments include:
- Atropine penalization therapy (also used for maintenance)
- Optical blurring through contact lenses or elevated bifocal segments
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye's optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve.Glaucoma is the second largest cause of eye blindness in the world.
There are several types of Glaucoma:
- Open-angle Glaucoma
- Normal-tension Glaucoma
- Angle-closure Glaucoma
- Congenital Glaucoma
- Secondary Glaucoma
- Glaucoma suspect
How will you know that you are suffering from Glaucoma?
Only half the people with glaucoma are aware that they are suffering from this condition. When Glaucoma develops, there are usually no early symptoms. This is why glaucoma can 'steal' sight gradually.
- In its early stages, open-angle Glaucoma has no obvious symptoms. As the disease progresses more blind spots develop in the peripheral (side) view.
- An attack of angle-closure Glaucoma includes the following:
- Severe pain in the eye or forehead
- Redness of the eye
- Decreased vision or blurred vision
- Vision rainbows or halos
If you get any of the symptoms rush to your doctor and take an eye exam as soon as possible.
- Eye injury
- Inflammation of the eye
- Dilating eye drops
- Blocked or restricted drainage in your eye
- Use of steroid-containing medications (pills, eye drops, sprays)
- Poor or reduced blood flow to your optic nerve
- High or elevated blood pressure
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
People with more risk of developing Glaucoma include people who:
- Are over age 40
- Have family members with glaucoma
- Have high eye pressure
- Are farsighted or nearsighted
- Have had an eye injury
- Have diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body.