When was the last time you visited an ophthalmologist? Chances are that unless you faced a problem in your eyes recently, it must have been months or even years. Most people only visit an eye specialist’s clinic when they experience some eye problem.
This is not a good practice since the best way to avoid severe eye complications is to detect them in their early stages. Since some eye conditions are asymptomatic in their early stages, these conditions cannot be detected without a comprehensive eye exam. Either you must be aware of warning signs or visit an ophthalmologist once a year to avoid eye problems getting severe.
Warning signs that need immediate attention:
Prevention is always better than cure and eyes are one part of your body that you most likely ignore unless the problems start looming large. When the warning signs are felt, it is better to seek medical attention to rule out any sort of complication.
A condition in which an individual’s eyes look in different directions is referred to as Strabismus in medical terminology, or ‘Squint’ in general language. A Squint prevents the eyes from focusing on a particular object and it can happen to people of any age group. Generally, this condition is observed in around four to five percent of the total population.
There is a common belief that squint is a cosmetic condition which is factually, scientifically, and medically false. Hence, people do not pay much attention to it which later intensifies the consequences of Squint and makes the treatment lengthy and difficult due to unnecessary delay in the diagnosis. In adults, Squint might manifest into double vision or diplopia (seeing ghost images of the object), which is a kind of disability and immensely affects the daily life of the individual.
Based on the turning of the other eye while looking at a specific direction, the condition can be classified into the following types:
When the other eye turns inward, it is called Esotropia.
When the other eye turns outward, it is called Exotropia.
When the other eye turns upward, it is called Hypertropia.
When the other eye turns downward, it is called Hypotropia.
Many studies and reports have shown that added visual stress affects visual stability in adults. The stress affects the focusing ability of both eyes on a single point, which is also known as the fixation disparity (FD). This condition often results in a decreased ability of stereoacuity; the ability to identify the smallest depth difference between two or more objects.
Moreover, it has been observed that visual stress also hinders the ability of binocular vision acuity (the ability to determine the depth). Apart from this, visual stress also affects the binocular contrast sensitivity function, which determines the contrast between the background and the object.
Early diagnosis of the condition makes the treatment easier. There are three major approaches to manage and treat the Squint:
Glasses are prescribed along with amblyopia therapy (Lazy eye therapy) for correcting Squint.
Squint can be corrected by surgical intervention. Botulinum toxin is often considered for Cosmesis treatment of the Squinty eye.
Squint can be corrected by eye exercises for restoring the binocular vision. One may also need to wear eye patches during exercise for correcting the vision of the affected eye.
In younger patients, exercises for the eyes are prescribed to strengthen the muscles.
In adults, surgical treatment for one or both eyes might be prescribed depending upon the severity of the condition. Sometimes, multiple surgeries might be prescribed to achieve the desired cosmetic and functional results.
Astigmatism is an eye condition where there is an imperfection in the cornea's curvature. The cornea and lens are smooth and equally curved in all directions, which helps to focus the light rays to the retina. But if there is an imperfection in the curvature, then you will suffer from a refractive error. Astigmatism is not an eye disease. It is simply a condition where the eye is not able to focus the light.
Irregular shape of the cornea is the main cause for astigmatism. It might also be caused because of the imperfect shape of the lens. Suffering from astigmatism is very common. You are either born with the condition or you might have developed it after eye surgery. It is an incorrect concept that watching too much television or reading without enough light causes astigmatism.
There are three different types of astigmatism:
1. Myopic astigmatism: When the principal meridians of the cornea are nearsighted.
2. Hyperopic astigmatism: When the principal meridians of the cornea are farsighted.
3. Mixed astigmatism: When one of the principal meridians is nearsighted and the other is farsighted.
It can also be classified into two other types:
1. Regular astigmatism: when the principal meridians are perpendicular to each other.
2. Irregular astigmatism: When the principal meridians are not perpendicular to each other.
Blurry or distorted vision, strain in the eye, eye discomfort, squinting and headaches are a few symptoms of astigmatism
If you notice the symptoms stated above, make sure you pay a visit to your ophthalmologist. If you are suffering from astigmatism, your doctor will do an eye test to check how much your eye is able to focus on light. After conducting his tests, he will determine how much power you have and you will have to wear glasses of that power. Apart from the option of wearing glasses or artificial lenses, you can also go for surgery to correct the condition. LASIK is an option among the many other options of surgeries available.