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-
• Double vision
• Halos or glares when you are surrounded by bright lights
• 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.
LASIK or laser in situ keratomileusis, is a form of corrective surgery that help patients who are suffering from nearsightedness (Myopia), farsightedness (Hypermetropia) and even astigmatism (cylindrical power in glasses). This procedure aims at correcting the shape of the cornea, which is the transparent layer that lines the front of the eye. Through this procedure, the cornea is reshaped so that the retina receives a focused light.
So what are the health tips for people going through a LASIK procedure? Here is our take:
The biggest advantage of LASIK is that it helps people to get rid of Glasses and contact lenses, which sometimes are cosmetically unacceptable and in some cases are visually disabling.
Best part of LASIK is that it is:
Minor side effects like dryness, glare and halos, if appear, subside with time.
Any person 18 yrs or older who fulfils the following criteria can undergo Lasik surgery
1. Stable refraction
2. Corneal thickness and topography should be in a normal range
3. Dilated retinal examination should be normal
4. Adequately wet eyes
Note: One should abstain from wearing contact lens at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
Precaution after the Procedure:
Patient is likely to have some inflammation after the procedure and temporary dryness.
Use medicines as prescribed by the doctor
1. Avoid any type of eye makeup for at least 1 month after surgery
2. Avoid swimming or water sports for at least 2- 3 weeks after surgery
Going through a LASIK procedure is a matter of finding the right specialist and ensuring that you take all the precautions before the procedure. Also, it is important to look into your medical history and eyes in particular so as to avoid complications
Now, this problem is being noticed to a great extent among children. On one hand, where the cost of eye exams on an annual basis along with new glasses can be a financial constraint for certain families, the long-term risks that are associated with myopia progression can be far greater.
Before going ahead to look at some of the steps which children must take, in order to prevent the occurrence of Myopia, let us see what are signs and symptoms which lead to Myopia:
Signs and Symptoms:
When any child is nearsighted, then he or she will face problems like:
Steps Which Children Must Take
There are certain steps, which should be followed by children and though would be helping in preventing the progression of myopia:
Some of the healthy habits include:
Even if a child gets screened for myopia in his or her school, it is still a good idea to take them for a check-up in case they complain of headaches, squint or blurred vision.
One thing which everyone must ensure is to always go ahead to show problems related to the eye, like myopia, to an eye doctor, who is better known as an Ophthalmologist rather than going for any Optician. An Optometrist is perfectly trained to provide eye as well as vision care. He or she is able to perform eye examinations like evaluating the eye muscle balance to detect problems related to double vision and hence prescribe corrective lenses to correct those problems.
One should also make their children undergo a retina examination, which allows an eye doctor to evaluate the back of their eyes, including the retina, the optic disc and the underlying layer of blood vessels, which provide nourishment to the retina. This is especially important in myopes who have higher incidence of vitreous jelly degeneration and predisposed to peripheral retinal degeneration and breaks which lead to retinal detachments and potential loss of vision.
Interventions to Reduce Rapid Progression of Myopia in Children
To some extent, Bifocal or progressive glasses or Soft Contact Lenses have also been proved to be effective in reducing the progression of myopia, hence they could be tried out by children, who are suffering from the same.