The macula is a very small spot at the back of the eye responsible for light sensing tissue called retina. The macula is the reason that one can see clearly. Macular Holes can occur on the surface of the macula which results in distorted vision. Macular Holes develop with age, so people around the age of 60 might face Macular Holes in the eye, causing visual disability.
Macular Holes should be treated within time. If left untreated, it can create conditions for blindness. The stages of Macular Hole progression are:
Partial thickness holes
Symptoms of Macular Holes:
Macular Holes cause problems with the central vision. So, the side vision will be unaffected by this condition. Macular Holes generally occur in one eye. But, the other eye remains intact if the condition persists. Some of the symptoms of Macular Holes are:
Difficulty in recognizing colors
Black and white spots in the center of the eye
Causes of Macular Holes:
Vitreous gel shrinkage or pulling away is one of the main reasons that Macular Holes occur. If the vitreous gel is firmly attached to the retina, it causes a tear in the macula when pulled away from the surface, making a small hole. The gap which is created by the gel is sometimes filled with the seepage formed by the hole. This causes a problem of visual disability. However, the location and size of the hole determine the condition of the patient’s problem.
Macular Holes are not the development of cysts or tear. They are different from Macular Degeneration. Generally, Macular Holes occur due to:
Treatment of Macular holes:
In many cases, Macular Holes heal themselves. But if left untreated, it may lead to full blindness. Vitrectomy surgery has been suggested by doctors to treat Macular Holes. In this surgery, surgeons remove the vitreous gel from the eye which are causing tension on the surface of the retina. Space is then filled with gas and bubbles. With the pressure of the gas, the macula region remains sealed and heals itself.
After surgery, the doctor may ask a person to lie down straight with their face upwards so that the bubble in the eye remains in place. Doctors may suggest this for a full 24 hours.
Face down or upward position after surgery is absolutely necessary for the patient as the bubble may cause a problem for the eyes. It is advisable for the patient to talk about the doctor for the same. If one cannot stay his/her face downwards for that long, he/she must discuss the same with a doctor before surgery. Also, if a person has had surgery with a gas bubble, he/she may not travel in the air for several months as gas may expand and cause damage to the eyes.
Patients with a Macular Hole in one eye have the chance to develop it in another eye. It is recommended by doctors to get a regular eye and routine follow up. Thus, one should take his/her eyes seriously and get them checked up regularly.
Meibomianitis is a disease that occurs when the lubrication glands of the eyes called Meibomian glands malfunction. The function of these glands is to produce oil that keeps our eyes lubricated and moisturised. Due to some reasons that we shall be looking at later, these small glands flip their switch and start producing excessive oil or just get inflamed causing Meibomianitis.
Bacteria also collect and prosper on the eyelids in the extra oil adding to the malaise.
So, how do you confirm that you have Meibomianitis?
Look out for these symptoms:
Like with all diseases, the severity of symptoms varies from patient to patient. A few may experience only mild symptoms, while others have to grapple with severe irritation and burning.
We suggest that you don’t wait for your symptoms to become extreme before you visit your doctor.
Root Causes of Meibomianitis:
We already know that Meibomianitis occurs when the meibomian glands in the eyelids don’t function properly.
But why does this happen?
The answer is that Meibomianitis is caused by any condition that increases oil production in oil glands. Like:
Meibomianitis, however, is not contagious.
Diagnosis and Cure:
When you go to a doctor with symptoms of meibomianitis, he will examine your eyes, focusing on eyelids and the front surface of your eyeball. By doing this, he will be able to identify whether you have blocked meibomian glands.
Next, he will use a swab to collect a sample of the crust or oil from your eyes and send this sample to a lab to be tested for bacteria.
If the test is positive, your doctor will recommend a thorough cleaning of your eyelids with warm water. He may also prescribe antibiotics or steroids to treat your eye condition in form of eye drops or creams applied directly to your eyelids, or in pill form.
Apart from this, you may have to forego wearing of contact lenses and treatment for your acne and rosacea. We also recommend that you go make-up free as this causes a buildup of bacteria and always maintain proper eye hygiene so that your oil glands remain infection - free always.
While an eye exam should be conducted for anybody at least every six months, many people do not believe it to be so important. However, there are benefits to having a comprehensive eye exam. But, what exactly are these benefits?
Eye Check-ups are Indicative
To start with, when one goes for an eye exam, problems relating not just to the eyes can be discovered. As a matter of fact, an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist is quite often the first person to detect problems with the entire body. These problems include diabetes and hypertension. It can be said that a person who has healthy eyes is more likely than not to be in the pink of health! When a person has a health issue detected early by an eye doctor, it can result in easier treatment - easier on the person as well as on the pocket! After all, why go through the pain of more pain and expense before getting it addressed?
Catch your ailments early
It can be said that eye exams are very important for children as having bad eyesight which goes uncorrected can have some really serious consequences. The strain on the child’s eyes due to school work like staring at the board with weak eyes can cause very bad headaches and the situation gets worse. Children usually do not have a proper idea of what normal vision is like so they are more likely to not notice a decrease in the quality of vision. This really does increase the need for eye exams for them.
Eye exams are different from vision tests
Many people are of the opinion that getting their eyes checked is the same as having an eye exam. However, it is to be noted that this is not the same. A person who does not have advanced medical qualifications when it comes to the eyes usually conducts a vision test. This could be a nurse or an optometrist. They actually do not dig much further beneath the surface, so they miss out the critical bits!
Eye alignment matters
The truth is that only an eye doctor knows what exactly to look for when an eye exam is conducted. So what exactly does an eye doctor look for? Apart from early signs of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, the eye doctor would look for strabismus. This refers to the alignment of the eyes. When the eyes are not properly aligned, depth perception suffers and this can cause serious damage, especially if a person drives.
Apart from these, the doctor would also look at how well one’s eyes work together and whether there are any age-related diseases.
Sight is one of our most important senses. Visual system develops in a mother’s womb and continues to develop after birth. Various milestones are achieved rapidly in early childhood eg depth perception; ability to judge the distance, hand-eye coordination, accommodation and vergence. To ensure that your vision is not compromised, regular eye examinations are essential.
Children may not realize that they have a visual problem, more so if only one eye is affected. This is regardless of age and overall health because the only way to diagnose conditions in the eye in the early stages is with a comprehensive eye exam. By arresting them in the early stages, many eye disorders can be easily controlled and children can reach their highest visual potential.
During a routine eye examination, the doctor will look into a number of aspects of your eye's health. An eye examination can also indicate serious health issues like diabetes, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Some of the conditions an eye doctor looks for during an eye exam are:
If you already have a prescription this will be checked. In other cases, eyes are checked for nearsightedness (Myopia), farsightedness (Hypermetropia) and astigmatism which can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses and LASIK surgery. The earlier a refractive error is corrected, the lower are its chances of increasing. When it comes to children, they often do not realize signs of vision deterioration and hence, an eye examination becomes essential.
Amblyopia/Lazy eye -
This is a condition where one eye has a much higher refractive error than the other or where the eyes are misaligned. The affected eye fails to achieve its normal visual potential. If this is not treated in time, amblyopia can stunt vision in the affected eye for life.
Crossed or turned eyes are termed as cases of strabismus. This is caused by the misalignment of the eyes and can cause problems with depth perception. Even refractive error which is not corrected and used as spectacles at the right time can cause strabismus. This can lead to Lazy eye if not treated in time.
Focusing and communicative problems between the eyes -
An eye examination can also determine problems by focusing on objects. With children, this can be a sign of underdeveloped focusing skills while in adults it can be a symptom of presbyopia or age-related diminished focusing ability. Your doctor will also check how well your eyes work together. If they do not work in tandem, it can cause headaches, eye strains and problems with reading. Various eye exercises are taught to children for the same after reaching a diagnosis.
Corneal Ectasia -
Disorders like Keratoconus which present with irregular astigmatism and blurred vision can be detected and well managed if picked up early.
Some diseases which affect the mother during pregnancy can result in eye problems in a newborn like TORCH infections. These become evident at birth eg congenital cataract or more slowly as the child grows. Some serious conditions like Retinoblastoma/cancer of the eye go unnoticed due to no eye checkup in early age. It is life-saving if treated at the appropriate time.
By looking at the blood vessels and retina of the eyes, doctors can detect signs of high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Leaks in the blood vessels or bleeding in the eyes can also be a sign of diabetes or swelling of the macula.
Age-related conditions -
As with the rest of the body, the eye tissues and muscles also degenerate with time. Cataract is one of the most common age-related issues that affect the eyes. But it doesn’t happen to old people only. We encounter cataract in one or both eyes even of the newborns or small children. This may require surgical intervention.
Glaucoma is another entity which is seen more often in the elderly but not uncommon in children. Juvenile glaucoma must be detected and managed well otherwise it can cause blindness!!
Hence, regular eye check-up is essential for ensuring good eye health of our children.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses are both used for vision correction. Both of the options have their advantages and disadvantages but a number of factors like lifestyle, comfort and age etc. are important while deciding which one to choose. Here is a list of the fundamental differences between using spectacles and using contact lenses:
1. Distance from the cornea
Lenses are worn directly on the eye and are in constant physical contact with the cornea while glasses are worn over the eyes. Contact lenses may cause infections in the eye because the user has to touch the eye in order to wear them and to take them off.
2.Difference in vision
Since the lenses of the spectacles are a little distance away from the eye, vision can be slightly distorted but contact lenses can provide natural and accurate vision. Also, side vision is not improved by glasses as you have to turn your head to see what is beside you. The contacts move around with your eyeballs and the peripheral vision is in focus.
3.Ease of use
Some people find eyeglasses difficult to use because of the constant weight on the face and the obstruction caused by the frames of the glasses. There may also be a constant need to adjust the frames. Often eyeglasses slip down the nose when you sweat or engage in rigorous physical activity. Contacts are free from all these hassles- they not distracting or obstructive and so they are extensively used by dancers and athletes. Spectacles are very uncomfortable to wear during the rains or in humid weather because they fog up.
4.Infections and complications
Contact lenses can get displaced inside the eye and they can be difficult to reposition. They also cause the eyes to itch and water if you wear them for a very long time at a stretch or if tiny dust particles enter your eyes. The use of eyeglasses is far more flexible in this respect- they can be removed in case your eye itches or burns, but regular use of glasses causes dark circles and bags under the eyes.
People often prefer contact lenses as they do not change the physical appearance- they help you to look natural and you can also use coloured lenses to change the colour of your eyes. Glasses may look slightly unnatural but some people also prefer them for the fashion quotient.