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Eye Disorders Tips

Eye Problem - How To Tackle It?

Eye Problem - How To Tackle It?

As you reach the age of 40, you will likely notice changes in your vision. Perhaps you have difficulty reading a book without glasses, or distinguishing between colours. These changes occur as an effect of ageing. However, nowadays people in their teens are also exposed to a host of eye disorders and vision problems, mostly resulting from eye injuries and visual stress.

The most common disorders of the eye, which affect the age group 19-40, are Refractive errors. The following signs and symptoms characterize such disorders-

• Haziness
• Double vision
• Halos or glares when you are surrounded by bright lights
Headaches
• Squinting
• Eye strain

What are the Refractive errors?

Refractive errors develop when light cannot focus on the retina (the light-sensitive tissue situated at the rear side of the eye) directly due to the shape of the eye. The change in the cornea’s shape, the ageing of the lens, or the length of your eyeball can lead to refractive errors. Most people suffer from one or more of the above conditions.

Type of Refractive Errors:

Following are the most common types of refractive errors-

Myopia or Nearsightedness - If you have this condition, you will see nearby objects clearly but distant objects will appear blurry. This happens because the light comes to focus right in front of the retina, instead of on the retina.

Hyperopia or Farsightedness - This condition is just the opposite of myopia. Distant objects are clearly visible but those located close to you appear blurry. However, some people may not observe any problem with their vision at a young age. If you have significant hyperopia, objects at any distance, far or near, can appear blurry.

Presbyopia - This age-related condition affects your ability to focus on things closely. This happens because as you age, the lens of the eye is unable to change shape to allow the eye to focus on nearby objects clearly.

Astigmatism - In this condition, the eye cannot focus light onto the retina evenly. As a result, images appear stretched out and blurry.

• Amblyopia or Lazy eye - This vision development disorder begins during early childhood and infancy. In this condition, the eye does not achieve normal visual acuity despite using contact lenses or prescribed glasses. Usually, amblyopia affects only one eye.

Can early diagnosis help treat the problem?

Yes, it can. Your eye care specialist can diagnose refractive errors and detect what exactly is impeding your vision with a comprehensive dilated eye examination. Upon encountering the symptoms mentioned above, one should consult an ophthalmologist at the earliest and get oneself checked.

If the condition is detected early, vision problems due to refractive errors can be treated. The common treatment options include the use of contact lenses, prescription glasses, and surgery (in severe cases).
People with vision problems should also adopt some lifestyle changes to correct their vision - eat more veggies, get adequate sleep and rest, abstain from smoking etc. Additionally, you should get periodic eye check-ups to monitor the condition.

Retinal Detachment - How To Resolve It?

Retinal Detachment - How To Resolve It?

While we usually consider the eye to be a single element, it does, in fact, have a number of smaller parts each which play a distinct role in helping us see. The retina covers more than half the interior surface of the eye and can be described as the light-sensitive layer that converts light into optic signals that are then carried to the brain. Retinal detachment is a serious condition that causes the retina to be separated from the supportive tissue. If not treated immediately, it could lead to permanent blindness.

Retinal detachment can be passed down from one generation of a family to another and hence if someone in your family has suffered from this condition, you have a high risk of suffering from it as well. People who are severely nearsighted or those who have suffered from an eye injury are also at a high risk of suffering from retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment is not a painful condition and may have no warning signs. Some of the symptoms of this condition include seeing flashes of light, floaters and darkening of the peripheral vision. An early diagnosis can help prevent blindness caused by retinal detachment. To diagnose this condition, the doctor will dilate the patient’s eyes and use a special tool to get a closer look at the retina.

The method best suited to treating retinal detachment depends on the condition of the retina and advancement of the detachment.

  1. Laser or cryotherapy: This may be used in the early stages of retinal detachment as an outpatient procedure. Laser therapy may also be used to treat retinal tears.
  2. Pneumatic retinopexy: This form of treatment can be used in cases where the retinal tear is small and can be closed easily. It involves injecting a small gas bubble into the eye. This gas then rises and presses itself against the retina thus closing the tear. Pneumatic retinopexy may be followed by laser therapy to seal the tear in place.
  3. Scleral buckle: This is a surgical procedure where the doctor will sew a sclera or silicone band around the white of the eye. This is invisible and gradually will push against the torn edges closer together till they heal. This may also be followed by laser therapy.
  4. Vitrectomy: Large tears may be treated with a surgical procedure known as a vitrectomy. This involves the removal of vitreous matter from the eye and its replacement with saline solution. This procedure may often be used in combination with any of the above forms of treatment.

Itchy Eyes - How To Administer Them?

Itchy Eyes - How To Administer Them?

Redness, itchiness and watery eyes are common symptoms of eye allergies. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are common allergens that trigger such allergies. Other triggers include adverse reactions to cosmetics and eye medication such as eye drops. Being allergic to certain food items rarely causes eye conditions such as itchiness or excessive tearing. When the surface of the eye is exposed to allergens, it releases histamines. This causes itchiness and makes the eye red and watery.

However, sometimes these can also be symptoms of a larger problem. Itchiness in the eyes and excessive tearing can also be a symptom of conjunctivitis or caused by eye disorders like dry eyes and blepharitis. Ironically,dry eyes is the most notorious factor amongst the above. Watery eyes could also be caused by clogged tear ducts or eyelids that turn inwards or outwards.

If your eye feels itchy or is persistently watery, you must consult an eye doctor. To correctly diagnose the condition and recognize the symptoms triggering it, he will conduct a thorough eye exam and discuss your medical history and lifestyle. If the condition is triggered by an allergy you might also require blood tests for allergies. This will decide your course of treatment. A few tips that could help are:

Avoid allergens
The best way to keep your eyes healthy is to limit their exposure to factors that could irritate it. Avoid going outdoors during the pollen season especially if it is windy. Wearing wraparound sunglasses can also help create a barrier between your eyes and the allergens. Within the house, ensure that your air filters in the air conditioner are cleaned regularly.

Avoid contacts
Switch to spectacles or consider lasik surgery, if you wear contacts regularly and often suffer from eye allergies. Alternatively, you could switch to daily disposable lenses to avoid the buildup of airborne allergens on the surface of the lenses.

Eye drops
Non prescriptions eye drops that help lubricate the eyes are easily available over the counter and can help relieve itchiness. This can also keep your eyes from drying out and thus prevent watery eyes.

Antihistamines
The histamines released by the body on contact with an allergen dilute blood vessels and make then abnormally permeable. Antihistamines reduce these reactions by not allowing the histamines to attach themselves to cells in the body. Antihistamines can take a while to react and can make you feel drowsy. Hence it is advisable not to take them when operating heavy machinery or driving.

Refraction - Know Utility Of It!

Refraction - Know Utility Of It!

Refraction is a test for an eye examination, which measures prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses for individuals. The test can be performed by either an ophthalmologist or optometrist or in layman terms, an eye doctor.

Procedure for the test
In this test, the individual sits on a chair, which has a special device attached to it, called the refractor or phoropter. The individual has to look through the device and properly focus on an eye chart which is exactly 6 meters or 20 feet away. This device has lenses of various strengths that can be moved into the individual’s view. The test is conducted on one eye at a time. The doctor will be asking the individual about the chart whether it appears clearer or less clear, thereby determining the refractory error of the eye.

No special preparation is required for this test and also this test does not cause any discomfort. The purpose of the test is to determine whether the individual has a need for glasses or contacts or not. In other words, it checks if the individual has a refractory error or not.

How can the results be inferred?
If the vision without glasses is normal, it means that the refractive index is zero and the vision should be 20/20. This means that one can read a one-centimeter letter at a distance of six meters.
If an individual has a refractive error, a combination of lenses will be required for a 20/20 vision. In case of a refractive error, there would be a prescription and that would have in it a series of numbers describing the power of the lens required to correct the vision.

Abnormal results can be due to the following reasons

  1. Myopia or near-sightedness (capability to see near objects clearly, but having difficulty in seeing objects far away)
  2. Hypermetropia or far-sightedness (capability to see far away objects clearly, but not the nearby objects)
  3. Astigmatism (blurred vision due to the abnormally curved cornea)
  4. Presbyopia (inability to see nearby objects clearly, which usually occurs due to age)

Other reasons that cause abnormal results can be

  1. Macular degeneration causing loss of sharp vision
  2. Corneal infections or corneal ulcers
  3. Retinal detachment, which means separation of the retina from its supporting layers
  4. Retinitis pigmentosa or damage of the retina
  5. Blockage of a small artery carrying blood to the retina or retinal vessel occlusion

One should have an eye examination conducted every three to five years even if they suffer from no serious eye problem. However, after the age of 40, one should schedule eye appointments every year and have a test for the refraction error of glaucoma conducted.

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Retinal Diseases - Know Forms Of Them!

Retinal Diseases - Know Forms Of Them!

The retina is the third and innermost layer of the eye that catches the 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 images formed 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.

1. Macular degeneration: This is a common eye disease that is usually associated with ageing and comes with symptoms like blurry vision and loss of central vision. This disease goes through a slow progression and can be of the dry or wet type. While it can cause significant loss of quality of vision, it never causes complete blindness

2. Diabetic retinopathy: This condition can leave one visually impaired in the long run with complete blindness. This complication usually arises when a person is suffering from uncontrolled diabetes. It can be proliferative or non-proliferative depending on the severity of blood and fluid leakage in the retina. Initial stages of retinopathy often have no symptoms-hence all diabetics should get a yearly retina check up

3. Retinal vein occlusion: This condition usually happens when the veins of the retina get obstructed. This can lead to reduced blood flow to the retinal area involved and significant vision impairment. Retinal vein occlusion usually affects the elderly and is often associated with raised blood pressure.

4. Retinal tears and detachments: Retinal tears and detachment occur when small holes or big tears develop in the retina causing fluid to leak behind the retina and causing it to detach from its normal position. Myopia(especially high myopia) and eye injuries are risk factors of it. If it is left untreated, it causes progressive loss of vision and blindness. Retinal detachment often needs urgent treatment to get the best visual recovery and the treatment is usually in the form of surgery. Small tears without detachment can be treated with laser.

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Glaucoma - A Silent Killer Of Eye Sight!

Glaucoma - A Silent Killer Of Eye Sight!

Glaucoma is a disorder of eye where there are almost no symptoms till a very advanced stage and the damage is irreversible. it is advised for patients to undergo regular screening of eyes for glaucoma.

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Crossed Eyes - Know Signs Of Them!

Crossed Eyes - Know Signs Of Them!

Vision is one of our most important senses. Reduced vision that triggers the need for corrective glasses is one of the most common disorders associated with the eyes. Crossed eyes are another such common disorder that affects the eyes. In medical terms, it is also known as Strabismus. This condition is a result of miscommunication between the brain and the eye muscles that result in misalignment of the eyes. It is largely a hereditary condition and should not be confused with a lazy eye syndrome.

Crossed eyes can cause double vision and disorientation. Your depth perception may also be affected. It also causes eye strains and headaches that affect the quality of your life. This condition is seen mostly in children. If not treated in time, it can continue into the adult years as well. The development of crossed eyes in adults who have not suffered from this condition as children is usually a sign of a serious condition such as a stroke.

Some symptoms characteristic of this condition are:

1. Independent movement of eyeballs
2. Tilting the head to a side
3. Squinting
4. Varied points of reflection in each eye
5. Frequently bumping into things as a result of impaired depth perception.

Treatment for this condition can be surgical as well as non-surgical. Non-surgical treatment aims at strengthening the eye muscles and treating the visual system as a whole. The aim is to not allow the eye to become lazy or amblyopic. Wearing an eye patch over the strong eye and forcing the weak eye to be used is one of the most common forms of this treatment. Corrective glasses can also be used to treat this condition in cases where it has been triggered by excessive farsightedness. In some cases, medication may also be injected into the eye to relax the eye muscles.

Surgery to correct this disorder involves correcting vision by strengthening or weakening the eye muscles. To do this, a surgeon must first make a small incision in the outer layer of the eyeball to reach the affected muscles. To strengthen the muscle a small section is removed from the muscle and the remaining part is then rejoined. This makes the muscle shorter and forces the eye to turn towards that side. Alternatively, the doctor may make a partial cut across the muscle to elongate it and let the eye turn further away from it.

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Seeing Eye Flashes - What Does It Mean?

Seeing Eye Flashes - What Does It Mean?

Eye flashes or photopsia can be caused by many conditions. Although flashes are harmless, they might indicate some serious eye issue which needs to be addressed immediately. Medical attention should be taken when flashes cause loss of vision and also small spots seem to float from one side to the other, thereby hindering the vision.

Migraines

Migraines and very severe recurrent form of headaches which last for few hours to many days can cause visual symptoms. The light flashes look like zigzag lines, geometric patterns and sparkles when they occur with a migraine. Flashes might affect one eye or both and occur in the peripheral area of the vision. Light flashes sometimes also occur due to ophthalmic migraine or migraine without a headache.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

The jelly like substance or the vitreous fluid fill the center of the eye and also gives it shape, is attached to the retina. With age and over time there is shrinking of the vitreous and it begins to detach from the retina. This is known as posterior vitreous detachment. In this, the vitreous tugs or pulls on the retina, while the retina gets detached and stimulates it thus causing flashes to occur.

There is no known treatment for posterior vitreous detachment, through regular monitoring of the eye through eye checkups are helpful. Symptoms of this are similar to those of retinal detachment (condition in which there is permanent vision loss).

Retinal Detachment or Tear

Retinal tear and detachment also cause light flashes in the eye. This needs to be treated promptly. In case of permanent vision loss, there is detachment of retina at the back of the eye, especially if the detachment takes place over the macula which is the main focus of the vision on retina. When the retina detaches from the eye, it loses the main source of nutrients. As there are photosensitive cells in the retina which are responsible for vision, the results of retina tear are severe.

Retinal damage occurs after trauma or as a complication from diabetes or posterior vitreous detachment. Vitreous gel tends to seep under the retina from the small crevices and holes formed by the retinal thinning. This in turn raises the sections and disconnects it from the eye. This can be corrected by laser treatment, cryopexy or an eye surgery.

Other Causes:

A trauma like a hard blow on the head can lead the person to experience flashes of light. Also some medications can lead to toxic levels, like Digitalis can cause flashes of light. The symptoms of eye flashes also occur with macular degeneration, which is an age-related disease and in this the vision reduces gradually.

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Vision Problem - How Early Detection Can Help?

Vision Problem - How Early Detection Can Help?

As you reach the age of 40, you will likely notice changes in your vision. Perhaps you have difficulty reading a book without glasses, or distinguishing between colours. These changes occur as an effect of ageing. However, nowadays people in their teens are also exposed to a host of eye disorders and vision problems, mostly resulting from eye injuries and visual stress.

The most common disorders of the eye, which affect the age group 19-40, are Refractive errors.

The following signs and symptoms characterize such disorders-

• Haziness
• Double vision
• Halos or glares when you are surrounded by bright lights
Headaches
• Squinting
• Eyestrain

What are the Refractive errors?

Refractive errors develop when the light cannot focus on the retina (the light-sensitive tissue situated at the rear side of the eye) directly due to the shape of the eye. The change in the cornea’s shape, the ageing of the lens, or the length of your eyeball can lead to refractive errors. Most people suffer from one or more of the above conditions.

Type of Refractive Errors:

Following are the most common types of refractive errors-

Myopia or Nearsightedness - If you have this condition, you will see nearby objects clearly but distant objects will appear blurry. This happens because the light comes to focus right in front of the retina, instead of on the retina.

Hyperopia or Farsightedness - This condition is just the opposite of myopia. Distant objects are clearly visible but those located close to you appear blurry. However, some people may not observe any problem with their vision at a young age. If you have significant hyperopia, objects at any distance, far or near, can appear blurry.

Presbyopia - This age-related condition affects your ability to focus on things closely. This happens because as you age, the lens of the eye is unable to change shape to allow the eye to focus on nearby objects clearly.

Astigmatism - In this condition, the eye cannot focus light onto the retina evenly. As a result, images appear stretched out and blurry.

• Amblyopia or Lazy eye - This vision development disorder begins during early childhood and infancy. In this condition, the eye does not achieve normal visual acuity despite using contact lenses or prescribed glasses. Usually, amblyopia affects only one eye.

Can early diagnosis help treat the problem?

Yes, it can. Your eye care specialist can diagnose refractive errors and detect what exactly is impeding your vision with a comprehensive dilated eye examination. Upon encountering the symptoms mentioned above, one should consult an ophthalmologist at the earliest and get oneself checked.

If the condition is detected early, vision problems due to refractive errors can be treated. The common treatment options include the use of contact lenses, prescription glasses, and surgery (in severe cases).
People with vision problems should also adopt some lifestyle changes to correct their vision - eat more veggies, get adequate sleep and rest, abstain from smoking etc. Additionally, you should get periodic eye check-ups to monitor the condition.

4163 people found this helpful

Diabetic Retinopathy - How To Identify It?

Diabetic Retinopathy - How To Identify It?

Also termed as diabetic eye disease, this is a disease in which the retina gets damaged due to diabetes. This usually leads to blindness. In most cases, as inferred from various studies, this affects people who have had diabetes for more than 20 years. Diabetic retinopathy can also be a problem for women during pregnancy. With proper monitoring and treatment, this disease can be cured. One major way to prevent this disease could be by regulating diabetes.

Signs and symptoms
Like many other eye disorders, this too has no warning signs. However, in general, people with macular edema are likely to have blurred vision, making it hard for individuals to carry out tasks like driving and reading. In most cases, if not treated, the situations may worsen with time.

Stages of disorder

  1. Initial stage: In the initial stage, it is called non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. There are generally no visible symptoms and patients may even have a normal 20/20 vision. The only way to detect non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is by fundus photography in which the microscopic bulges that are filled with blood can be detected in the artery walls. In case, the patient suffers from reduced vision, to see the back of the eye, fluorescein angiography is performed. This way the blocked and narrowed retinal blood vessels are visible. The lack of blood flow due to blocked blood vessels is called ischemia. Macular edema can occur at any stage of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, the contents of the blood vessels leak into the macula region, thereby causing blurred vision, distorted images, etc. In such cases, optical coherence tomography can be carried out to show the areas in which retinal thickening has occurred.
  2. Second stage: The second stage is termed as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, the occurrence of new abnormal blood vessels is seen. These form at the back of the eye. These blood vessels are fragile and hence can easily burst and bleed, thereby causing the vision to blur. If this occurs for the first time, it may not be severe. Only a few specs of blood or spots floating on the visual field of the patients can be noticed. Within a few days, these spots may enlarge and the leakage of blood may increase, which can impact vision. The blood might take a few days till a year to clear entirely. In some circumstances, the blood might not clear at all.
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