Blindness can also be called as anopsiastar, purblindnessstar, typhlosisstar, presbyopia et cetera in medical terms.
Blindness is the state of visual impairment with complete loss of vision. The person becomes sightless and hence is unable to see. A blind person is unable to distinguish between darkness and light as both his eyes have lost the power of minimal vision.
There can be many causes of blindness which differ on the basis of the socioeconomic condition of the nation. One of the leading causes of blindness include ocular complications of diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and traumatic injuries. Trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness), and leprosy constitute infectious causes of blindness. Several other causes of blindness are vitamin A deficiency, retinopathy of prematurity, blood vessel diseases which also involve the retina or optic nerve including stroke, ocular inflammatory disease, infectious diseases of the cornea or retina, primary or secondary malignancies of the eye, retinitis pigmentosa, congenital abnormalities, chemical poisoning from toxic agents such as methanol. Blindness sometimes can be caused as the hereditary diseases of the eye.
The most obvious symptom of blindness is visual impairment or permanent loss of vision. Other associated symptoms may be present, such as, discomfort in the eyes, awareness of the eyes, foreign body sensation, and pain in the eyes or discharge from the eyes. These occurrences depend on the underlying cause of the blindness.
The treatment of visual impairment or blindness depends on the underlying cause of it. People who have poor vision as a result of a refractive error, can be given glasses which will alleviate the problem. Nutritional causes which result into blindness can be addressed by dietary changes. There are millions of people in the world who go blind due to cataracts in the eyes. In these patients, cataract surgery can help in restoring their sight. Inflammatory and infectious causes of blindness can be treated with medication in the form of drops or pills. People who lost vision as a result of corneal scarring can be cured by a corneal transplantation.
Diagnosis of blindness includes testing each eye individually and by measuring the visual acuity and the visual field, or peripheral vision by ophthalmologists. Patients may have blindness either in one eye (unilateral blindness) or both eyes (bilateral blindness). In case of hereditary blindness, historical information regarding the blindness can be helpful in diagnosing the cause of blindness. Temporary blindness differs in cause from permanent blindness. Visual field testing involves the patient to look straight ahead at a device while lights in peripheral vision are flashed on and off. The patients are asked to respond by pressing a button every time they see a light. This helps to show any gaps in their field of vision. Visual acuity test requires a person to be able to read letters on the Snellen chart.
Treatment of blindness depends on the underlying cause of the problem. People who go blind due to glaucoma should be treated with eye drops and tablets to clear the eyes and provide vision again. Surgical operations may also be done to cure this. Another method of treatment is to do laser treatment. For corneal ulcers which make people blind, patients should use eye drops and dark goggles to keep the eyes clean and free from dust, and foreign particles. Eyes should be given complete rest by mydriatics. Local steroid eye drops and ointments, cycloplegics, systemic steroids, ocular anti–hypertensive drugs are used to treat blindness of the iritis. Eye ointments like Tetracycline or Erythromycin can be used to treat blindness caused by trachoma. Retinopathy involves the treatment of complication, control of diabetes & hypertension. Night blindness can be treated with increases consumption of vitamin A. Corneal Opacity can be treated with surgery which is known as keratoplasty.
People should immediately consult a doctor when they face problems with vision. Any symptoms of visual impairment such as blurring of sight, inability to see far or near et cetera should be attended by a doctor at the earliest. Blindness or complete absence of vision can affect people to a great extent and hamper their daily lives. They should consult a doctor to seek medical help and care for a cure to this disease.
People with normal eye sight do not need to visit doctors for any medical treatment. People with proper vision, of both and far, within optical reach can lead a normal life without the need for glasses. If there are no issues with the eyes and no symptoms of going blind, people can refrain from any medical help.
There are no known side effects of the treatment of blindness. If the surgical operations and treatments are carried out carefully, with harming any part of the eye, then people can be cured from blindness. People may face watery eyes for some days post treatment, but this goes away soon.
After treatment, people may take some time to adjust to light and visuals. They should first be exposed to low light and then slowly to higher amounts of light. This is done to prevent the retina from damage due to sudden exposure to a huge amount of light after a period of complete darkness. Post treatment, patients should completely follow doctor’s prescription and advices. They should use sun glasses to protect their eyes from the harmful rays and dust particles. Keeping eyes cleaned and seeing green color for a stretch can help in getting better visual capability soon. Also if blindness was caused as a result of any other associated disease, then special care must be taken to prevent recurrence of the disease again.
Blindness from birth can be difficult to cure. But people who go blind due to some other causes or at a later stages of life can be treated and sight can be brought back. Surgical operations and other treatments can cure blindness in less time. Post surgery, people may take around two or three days after which they can start seeing objects with full vision. Their vision improves given time and proper care. Complete recovery may take around a month time.
Treatment of blindness and other eye related problems involve one of the most expensive treatments in the world. A recent breakthrough which is known as genetic treatment to cure blindness will cost a huge amount per patient. In general, surgical operations and treatments cost around Rs 50,000- Rs. 10,00,000.
Mostly, the treatment of blindness is usually permanent. Blindness is now a curable disease if there are no severe complications. People can enhance their vision with improved diet, exercises and care.
Rs 50,000- Rs 10,00,000/-
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:
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
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. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.
Age-related macular degeneration, also known in brief as AMD or ARMD is one of the most common age-related causes for vision loss. It causes “blind spots” in vision, causing difficulty in activities requiring central vision like reading, sewing, driving, watching TV, computer usage, etc.
How it happens?
The centre portion of the eye is known as retina which has a screen in the posterior portion. For proper vision, light falls on this screen and is then processed to enable ‘vision.’ When this screen is not clear, blurred vision results. It may not cause total blindness but impairs vision including double vision and loss of central vision.
Types: There are two types of AMD, wet and dry.
Risk factors: Though age related, there are definitely some factors which put one at a higher risk for AMD
There is no cure, but progress can be delayed
Usher syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by complications in vision and hearing; the most common of them being partial/complete loss of hearing and retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa is characterized by progressive deterioration of the retina, resulting in deprivation of peripheral vision and subsequent night blindness.
The symptoms and its rate of progression usually vary among people. Usher syndrome is classified into three types:
Hearing loss in Usher syndrome occurs when the nerve cells that are present in the cochlear (inner ear’s spiral cavity) are affected by genetic mutation. A similar problem occurs in the cells of the retina leading to loss of vision. These cells allow conversion of light into electrical signals for the brain to interpret them. Both the parents need to pass the mutated gene to the child for it to be affected. If the child has only one gene, then he/she rarely develops the symptoms.
This disorder does not have any prescribed course of treatments. The vision loss that occurs in this disorder can be slowed down by nutritional therapy. This therapy involves providing the body with essential amounts of vitamin A which can help in reducing vision loss. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.
The retina is the third and innermost layer of the eye that catches light and helps us focus on things so that we can see clearly. This is one of the most important parts of the eye. The retina is made up of a number of light sensitive cells that are connected to nerve fibres. These nerve fibres help in transmitting the light into imagery through neuro impulses that reach the brain. There are many conditions and diseases that can affect this part of the eye.
Read on to know more.
Bloodshot eyes indicate the reddening of the eye vessels. They can cause irritation and make the eye swollen. The condition may arise due to allergies, eye infections, allergies, fatigue and other illness of the eye. It does not signify a disease but indicates an eye condition which might have caused the eye to redden. Bloodshot eyes can be encountered in one or both the eyes.
Causes of Bloodshot Eyes:
One of the frequent causes of bloodshot eyes is irritants such as dry air, pollen, pet dander, dust and UV rays of the sun. Shortage of sleep also tends to make the eyes red. Inflammations of the eye can also make them red giving a bloodshot appearance. It can even happen with people who wear contact lens for more than 16 hours without soaking it in the disinfectant. At times excessive dryness can make the eyes red. Some other reasons for the eye to become red include conjunctivitis, blepharitis, glaucoma and corneal ulcer. Another concerning reason of bloodshot eyes is a subconjunctival haemorrhage. While the latter is not dangerous in nature, it can cause significant trouble if proper care is not taken on time.
Symptoms of Red Eyes:
Some of the common signs of bloodshot eyes include watery eyes, foreign sensation, burning feeling, dermatitis, falling of eye lashes, light sensitivity, swollen eyelid, itching of the eye and feeling of irritation of the eye.
The Complications Involved:
In most of the cases, bloodshot eyes do not imply serious complications. In case it happens from conjunctivitis, a person may not be able to go to work, wear cosmetics and come in public places since it is a communicable disease. If bloodshot eyes arise from a serious condition such as glaucoma and trauma, some of the possible complications may involve the following:
Vision loss due to complete blindness
Spreading of the existing condition to other persons
Eye loss in severe cases
Bloodshot eyes might arise from an array of reasons. While it cannot be totally dodged, some general preventive measures can ensure that such a condition does not arise:
Keeping hands clean by thoroughly washing them with liquid soap
Not sharing personal belongings such as washcloths, linen, and cosmetics
Get immediate medical attention in case of any eye injuries
Stay away from an environment that is full of allergens
Staying away from people who are suffering from infectious eye diseases such as conjunctivitis
Taking a shower immediately after getting in touch with an infected person suffering from conjunctivitis
Wearing eye glasses in a dusty environment
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.