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A person is said to have great vision more in the metaphorical way than in the literal sense. However, having both is just so important, especially as the ability to see reduces as a person gets older. Old age comes with its own set of problems, and vision loss is one of them. If kept in check from an early age, however, vision loss can be deferred indefinitely.
While a person's eyesight is likely to deteriorate over the course of his life, there is a lot which can be done in an effort to make sure that this is not the case. To start with, it makes good sense to be regular with eye check-ups. After a person attains the age of sixty, he or she should have a doctor take a look at his or her eyes on a yearly basis. There is no point trying to conserve eye sight if a person is too late in taking corrective action. By paying a visit to the ophthalmologist, a person will get to know the exact problem that he is suffering from.
- One of the main things which can be done in order to preserve the health of a person's eyes until he or she reaches an advanced age is to stop smoking in all forms. As a matter of fact, tobacco leads to cyanide entering the blood stream and this does a lot of damage to the eyes. In fact, quite a few irreversible conditions of the eye are caused due to this.
- Exercise is said to be good for a person at any age for a variety of reasons and it is really good for even the eyes, though the link may not be immediately so clear. It reduces the risk of age related degeneration by up to 70 per cent!
- What is really interesting about a person's eyes is that they can be signs of trouble in other parts of the body. For example, if a person has blurry vision, they should get checked for diabetes. Also, eyes which do not produce enough natural lubrication can show a risk of rheumatoid arthritis and perhaps even thyroid disease.
All in all, a person's eyesight is so crucial to his or her overall health and wellbeing. We have only one pair of eyes, so we might as well take care of them!
If you thought smoking was causing damage to only your lungs, thing again. Your eyesight, one of your most valuable possessions, is at high risk of damage because of your bad habit.
The damage done to your eyes by cigarettes happens from two sources; the toxic smoke that hangs in the air which surrounds you as you puff on the cigarettes and 4000 odd toxic substances that enter your bloodstream once you smoke. In extreme cases, smoking also causes loss in vision. Here is a list of eye disorders and diseases, which can be caused due to smoking-
The risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration is there for people above the age of fifty. In case of smokers, the chance of developing AMD is three times more than in nonsmokers. It has been proven that smokers develop the chance of AMD ten years prior to non smokers.
This process involves the clouding of the lens inside the eye. Cataract develops with old age, usually. The risk of developing early cataract is common among smokers, who are twice at risk of cataract than non smokers. The effect of the cataract in the case of smokers is more severe.
Glaucoma is the eye disorder where the death of nerve fiber layer behind our eyes takes place, and that results in loss of vision. The increase in pressure within the eyes leads to glaucoma. Smoking enhances the pressure in your eyes, and so smokers are at a potential risk of acquiring this disease.
Diabetic eye diseases
A number of eye diseases are accompanied with diabetes. This can result in blindness when left ignored or not paid attention to in severe cases. Diabetic patients who are smokers are three times more at a risk of eye diseases associated with diabetes.
This eye disease causes sudden loss of vision to the eyes without any pain. It happens due to the disrupted flow of blood in the arteries of the eyes. Smokers are 16 times more at a risk of developing optic neuropathy at an earlier age.
Thyroid associated eye diseases
Patients having thyroid issues or Grave's disease have disorders in their vision. Grave's disease patients who smoke tobacco are likely to develop severe eye diseases associated with the thyroid.
Smoking causes irritation to the eyes and affects the tear film of the eye. Smokers and passive smokers are likely to develop dry eye disorders. Smoking causes a lot of eye diseases and disorders, and smokers are at a higher risk of acquiring eye diseases than non smokers.
Your eyes are one of the most important sense organs, which help in perceiving up to 80 percent of all major impressions. All your important daily activity like reading, internet surfing, driving etc are done with the help of your eyes. You should never take your eyes for granted. There are many ways in which you can take care of your eyes to ensure that you see and experience the world at its very best.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking makes you vulnerable to a majority of health related problems. When it comes to the health of your eyes, smoking can place you at a risk of uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of your eye which includes ciliary body, iris and choroid) and cataracts (clouding of the lens in your eyes leading to a blurry vision).
- Wear sunglasses: Proper sunglasses can protect you from the harmful ultra violet (UV) rays of the sun. You should still use sunglasses even if your contact lenses offer UV protection. Too much of UV rays can cause pingeucula (yellow bump on the eyeball) and other serious eye problems. Polarized lenses can help to give your eyes proper protection while driving.
- Screen time: Minimize the amount of time staring at the computer screen as it can cause
- Anti- Glare: Use an anti-glare screen on your computer at work so that the strain and pressure on your eyes are less.
- Regular exercise: Exercise such as walking can prevent degeneration of the macula (present in the center of the retina in your eyes) which typically occurs by the time you reach the age of 60.
- Don't Ignore: You should look at changes in your vision as an early warning sign. The changes would include difficulty to see in low light, hazy and double vision, along with abnormal swelling and severe pain in your eyes.
You should visit your eye doctor for check ups at least once every two years. Eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy have no early warning symptoms and can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. You should also ensure that the prescription for your contact lenses and eye glasses are up to date.
Actually I travel by bike and sometimes the dust also goes into my eyes. So is there any eye drops which you recommend I can use on daily basis to take care of my eyes? I have spectacles of low power.
Contact lenses are one of the most convenient ways to correct vision related problems. It is easily disposable and requires the least maintenance. It might have minor side effects in the form of irritations and allergies but it requires the least time for adaptability. They help to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness along with astigmatism and age-related vision problems like presbyopia. Following are the benefits and harms of wearing contact lenses.
Positive effects of contact lenses
1. Better vision - Wearing contact lenses improves your vision to a great amount, especially peripheral vision. They are comfortable to wear and can correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness. They can cause discomfort initially but are more effective than glasses. Lenses are also available in bifocals and tints and can be worn for long periods of time.
2. Great for an active lifestyle - Glasses can be a hindrance to sports activities and can limit your peripheral vision. Lenses, on the other hand, are great for an active lifestyle as they require short adaptation period. They are easy to put and take care of and do not require a lot of maintenance on your part as it needs least cleaning.
Risks of wearing contact lenses
1. Dry eyes - Dry eyes are the most common side effects of wearing contact lenses
2. Infections - Contact lenses wearers are prone to infection of the cornea called keratitis. It can cause swelling, blurry vision and other problems due to lack of oxygen supply to the cornea. Infection can be prevented by maintaining the hygiene while wearing and taking off lenses.
3. Allergic reactions - Allergic reaction to the contact lens solution can affect your vision as it causes inflammation of the eyeballs and redness. It can also cause eyelid inflammation and limit your scope of vision.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cataract usually affects people who are above 40. It is a blurring of the eye’s lens, which lies at the back of pupil and iris. It is the most usual cause behind the loss of vision for people above 40. Research also states that it is a major cause of blindness in the world.
Types of cataracts:
- Subcapsular cataract: People who are diabetic and those are taking high steroids are more prone to subcapsular cataract. In this type, the cataract develops at the back of the lens.
- Nuclear cataract: A nuclear cataract is related to aging. It usually affects the central portion of the lens of the eye.
- Cortical cataract: It is a white opacity, which begins from the periphery of the lens and spreads up to the center of the lens in a spot-like manner. It usually affects the cortex of the lens.
- In the beginning, cataract affects a small portion of your eye and affects your vision.
- Your vision gradually gets blurred.
- Too much exposure to the light might cause glare.
- In nuclear cataract, you may notice a short-lived improvement of your near vision.
- In subcapsular cataract, you cannot notice any symptoms in the initial days.
Cause of cataract:
The lens inside our eyes acts like a camera and it is made of protein and water. The protein helps in keeping the lens clear. But with aging, the protein may start to form a lump, which causes cloudiness in the eye area. With time the cataract spreads all over the lens and creates more cloudiness, which ultimately leads to blindness. The factors which usually trigger cataract are
- Consumption of high dosage steroids medicines
- Statin medicines
- History of eye inflammation or any eye injury
- History of eye surgery
- Too much consumption of alcohol
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Family history of cataract
Prevention of cataract:
It cannot be guaranteed whether cataract can be prevented or not. A study shows that cataract is caused due to the oxidative changes in the lens of the eye. Nutrition studies have shown that consuming vegetables and fruits, which are high in antioxidants, may help in preventing cataract. Dietary intake of vitamin E, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin from supplements and food items can decrease the risk of developing a cataract. Sunflower seeds, spinach and almonds are good sources of vitamin E. Kale, spinach, other leafy green veggies are the good sources of zeaxanthin and lutein. Food items that contain Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C decrease the chances of cataract.
Last, but not the least, when you step out, always wear a sunglasses, which has the ability to block UV rays.