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Eye Diseases - Know About Them!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Leena Doshi 90% (41 ratings)
MS - Ophthalmology, DNB Ophtalmology, Advanced Training Fellowship in Refractive Surgery & Cornea
Ophthalmologist, Mumbai  •  24 years experience
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Hello,

 I am Dr. Leena Doshi. Today we are going to talk about certain eye diseases which cause either partial or complete blindness and how you can take measures to prevent it also a few pointers on that. As all of you know eyes are very precious to us from the day we are born till the day we see the end of this world, we need to see the world very clearly and so we do need to take care of our eyes very well. A lot of factors which influence the eye health, for example there is weather, there's how you work, what do you eat, how you keep yourself fit, the diseases, the genetic makeup, there are a lot of things which do affect, certain factors are not in our hands but yes certain things we certainly can do for our eyes.

So I'm going to talk about or rather I'm going to categorize what are the different types of eye diseases which affect us, which cause partial or complete blindness into certain categories. You know most of them is usually what people do know is cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetes, these are the 4 which people mostly know, but then you do not know most of the others which also do cause blindness, so I'm going to categorize it according to age so that you can well relate to people in your house, people in your lives, your friends, family, relatives, you can relate that way.

So let us talk about beginning at infancy which I would say it starts at zero to one year, Now zero to one if you say that well I know it's a baby so what usually happens is what I would say here is, if your baby is born preterm and it in an incubator, yes this baby needs an eye check before the baby's out of the hospital because there's a certain condition called retinopathy of prematurity which affects and can cause blindness to the child so you do need a check-up at that point in time and if by chance you see that there's a white reflex in the eye, something is amiss with the eye, the eye is squinting, the baby is not following light, I mean light and not sound at all okay it's not that you clap your hands and then the baby's looking there no I'm not meaning that the baby is following you without sound if the baby is not following you then you need to go to the doctor and see the doctor. Feed the baby well as well, follow all the instructions of your doctor but if you see these things amiss yes you need to go and visit an eye doctor.

Next we'll come to preschool to the school-age group. Yes, they are too young to tell you anything at all but then yes there are a lot of things that can happen at this age which would be left as a permanent mark on their eyes because eye could be partially non-functioning, it is called as a lazy eye or amblyopia it is normally called but if you notice a squinting eye, if the child is sensitive to light, if the child is not focusing properly, if the child is not following what the teacher is doing in school, if the child is not taking notes in school properly and the child is continuously saying that I'm having headaches, I cannot read properly whenever I read I do get headaches, certain things which happen if there's photosensitivity or light sensitivity yes you need to go and see a doctor immediately. why so? yes because there could be a lot of refractive errors which are there. The errors would be in one eye, not in two eyes so that one eye might just go Lazy so that can be corrected only at this age so you need to take the baby or the child to the doctor.

Nutritional deficiencies do happen at this point in time, children at this age eat, start exploring new things, they're eating new things so in their doing that there's a lot of gastroenteritis or diarrhea which do happen then if the child is not eating really well, doesn't like certain things then they have only favored one particular kind of food like that does happen, the child will have nutritional deficiencies, vitamin A deficiency is very common, uncommon in the urban areas yes in the rural belt it is quite common you get malnourished children and yes vitamin A deficiencies lead to permanent blindness in children. Squints, yes again there could be squints at this age so the Squints also need to be taken care of plus if there is some developmental changes which do happen because of a genetic predisposition those things also could be affecting the vision of that particular child. So now we come next to the adult age group.

I am not going to categorize the adult age group. We could just take it as young, mid and senior citizens. We can just take all of it now there's a huge gamut out here now when I am talking of a huge gamut I mean your entire life is spread out here, so what I mean by that is yes you are growing, you're studying at this point in time, post studying you're taking up jobs, different kinds of jobs are there, your different types of professions are being taken up so all these things affect your eye. For example a child takes up professionally digital work so the continuous digital work is there that affects the child, they could be squints which is happening at this point in time, young children numbers keep going on increasing now the numbers especially the minus ones if they really go on too much there could be some degenerations happening in the retina, they could suddenly develop some holes out there or there would be retinal detachments out there.

Now these are going to cause blindness in that particular child so they would come up with that, then there are different psychological things which do happen so they are on medication, so all the medication, psychiatric medications also do affect thyroid and hormonal changes to affect the eye as well. As you grow older different professions come in place so they are also prone to injuries and injuries also can lead to partial blindness as you go ahead you could get some genetic disorders or diseases which you are prone to genetically like, for example there could be diabetes you can develop diabetes, it could be hypertension, there could be thyroid, there could be so many other diseases which would come up. Now if you also have a family history of glaucoma, the glaucoma could come up at that point in time now these are all blinding diseases or partially blinding diseases which need to be taken care of and you have to be aware that yes you need to go to a doctor and find them, not all of them have symptoms, not all of them can be diagnosed by you, not all of them could show up suddenly they could all gradually progress and ultimately lead to blindness, there could be systemic medications which you are on.

Now there are medications which continuously you are taking, you could be on steroids now long-term steroids do have a lot of effects on the eye, cataracts develop, there is glaucoma which comes up and over a period of time they get uncontrolled so it is very difficult that it can be managed. There is age-related macular degeneration I forgot about that yes that also comes up at a certain age, reading glasses do come up so it becomes really difficult that you cannot see, continuous work on the computers, if you are in a factory which is doing glass work there is a lot of heat out there now this continuous high heat, working in high heat causes a lot of problems, there could be sports-related injuries, so there are a lot of things which do happen in your life when you are an adult, so what is it that you as a person, I'm talking to you right now, giving you certain pointers that what is it that you can do so that you can prevent or sort of halt the progress or prevent the blindness from coming in? yes, the most important is diet, you need to have a completely balanced diet, adding fruits, nuts, fresh vegetables to it. A balanced diet takes care of the eye very well.

Secondly keep your diabetes and hypertension under control why so? because diabetes uncontrolled is gradually going to cause effects in your eye and the retina and you might have diabetic retinopathy and you might go blind because of that because of continuous treatments which keep happening. Now diabetes and blood pressure also have other effects on the body. Now you could land up having a stroke, a stroke is going to cause blindness, your eye may be completely normal but what the brain receives that area of your brain could be completely dead so you could stop seeing there. Now age-related macular degeneration will give a right central spot of blindness now that's why you need to have a good balanced diet, which is rich in antioxidants and vitamins so that's what you need to do, have a diet which is balanced. Exercise well so that you can keep yourself fit, your diabetes is taken care of, your blood pressure, your heart disease all these things are well under control. There could be psychiatric illnesses which are there.

Now these people are usually prone for glaucoma and you may not be aware of it. There is tuberculosis, tuberculosis medications can cause blindness so these are all reversible if diagnosed early and the medication stops so that further progression is stopped, so what you need to do is first a balanced diet, keep yourself fit, see that your systemic medications are well taken and your diabetes, blood pressure, your heart disease, thyroid all of them are well under control and last but not the least yes you need to go and have regular eye checks with your eye doctor, reason being that you are not going to be able to diagnose sitting at home that something is going wrong with you, certain diseases gradually gradually grow and cause blindness overnight nothing does happen but if an expert looks into your eye and see that there's something wrong, at least a diagnosis is made well in time so that we can prevent whatever blindness you are likely to get in the future if things are uncontrolled. As I always say, a stitch in time saves nine. If you want to know any more about this you can please connect with me at lybrate at lybrate,.com.

Thank you so much

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