Weak Eyes - Procedures, Side effects, Recovery time, Costs and alternatives
What is Weak Eyes?
Weak eyesight is a very common problem associated with nearly 1 out of every 4 people. If a person is experiencing blurred vision while looking at things or people then he/she might be suffering from conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. People suffering from myopia have difficulty in distinguishing objects that are distant. In hyperopia, people have a problem in seeing objects that are closer to them. In people with astigmatism objects, both distant and near are difficult to distinguish. Presbyopia is a condition wherein people are not able to focus on closer objects. All these conditions can be cured by the treatments which are available in the current scenario.
The treatment given to a patient suffering from weak eyesight includes medications, glasses, and laser surgery. A patient who is suffering from a very minor weak eye is prescribed to use medications which include Vitamin A, and Lutein. Also there some eye drops which reduce the strain on the eyes and improve the eyesight. Apart from these, there are some natural remedies which can help in improving the vision of the patient. Besides the medication, weak eyes can be treated by wearing glasses and contact lenses. A patient has to undergo some eye tests to determine which glass would correct the problem of a weak eye. In today’s modern world there are several eye surgeries available to help the patient in attaining relief from weak eyesight. The most general eye surgical procedure is Lasik which is preferred initially for improving the vision of the eyes. There are some other eye surgeries like photorefractive keratectomy, Lasek, automated lamellar keratoplasty, refractive lens exchange, and EpiLasik which can be performed depending upon the severity of the weakness of the eyes. The treatment that would suit better for the patient would be decided by the doctor.
How is the treatment done?
The treatment for the weak eyesight’s may vary from person condition to condition. The doctor shall first examine the patient eyesight through reading of the alphabets and may also carry out eye testing test. Based on the patient condition and the test outcome following treatment options are carried out:
- Medication: In people suffering from minor vision weakness the doctors prescribe the patients to take a diet rich in Vitamin A for improving the vision. Vitamin A fulfills the deficiency of rhodopsin which is a pigment that helps in seeing at night or in very low light. A doctor may also prescribe the patient to take Lutein. Lutein is available both in the vegetables like spinach and in the form of tablets. Lutein protects the eyes from excess light thereby improving the vision.
- Glasses and Contact lenses: Mostly the doctors prescribe glasses and contact lenses to correct the vision of the weak eyes. To determine what power of the glasses would suit the patient the doctor runs some test given below:
- First a special eye drops would be placed in both the eyes and the patient would be asked to close their eyes for 15 minutes. This is done to dilate the pupils. After 15 minutes the doctor will check for any problems with the structure of the eyes.
- In the next step, the doctor would ask the patient to stare at the chart and cover each eye one after another with a saddle to determine how the eyes are working together.
- The doctor will then conduct a refraction test. This test would be done by a computerized phoropter which aids the doctor in flipping the lens in front eyes. This is done to determine which lens suit the vision better.
- After taking these tests into consideration the doctor prescribes the glasses or contact lenses which correct the problem of weak eyesight.
- Surgery: Today an eye surgery is very common for correcting the vision in people suffering from weak eyesight. Lasik is a very common eye surgery prescribed by the doctor. In this treatment, a thin flap is created in the cornea using a femtosecond laser. The underlying the tissues of the cornea are reshaped after peeling back the cornea flap. After the reshaping is done to correct the vision then cornea flap is placed back. This surgery is performed using local anesthesia. This process takes around only 10 minutes.
Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?)
People that are suffering from the problem of weak eyesight can undergo the above treatment for the correction in their vision. However, mostly the people suffering from near-sightedness, far- sightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia are eligible for this treatment. For a Lasik surgery, the following eligibility criteria must be met before starting the treatment :
- The patient must be of 18 years of age.
- The patient must be having a stable vision with eyeglass or contact lenses for more than 2 years.
- The patient must not have any significant eye disorders like macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, and diabetic retinopathy.
- The patient must not have any history of active cornea disease.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
A patient suffering from poor vision due to myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia are eligible for these treatments. A patient is ineligible for the surgical treatment if he/she fulfills the criteria given below :
- If the patient is pregnant then she can opt for eyeglasses but Lasik surgery in such patients is dangerous.
- A patient is suffering from any eye disease.
- A patient having a pre-existing medical condition of Herpes simplex.
- A patient suffering from keratoconus.
- If the patient is below the age of 18 years.
- In patients suffering from diabetes, the surgery must be done with caution.
Are there any Side Effects?
Every treatment carries some minor or major side effects. When treating the problem of weak eyes with medication there are rarely any side effects associated with it. If a patient mistakenly consumes large quantities of Vitamin A then he/she might feel nauseous and experience vomiting with a headache. Excess of Lutein can lead to increased urination and staining of the tooth. Wearing eyeglasses, on the other hand, do not have any side effects associated with them. However, making use of contact lenses can have side effects like abrasion of cornea, ptosis, along with irritation in eyes and blocked oxygen supply to the eyes. Lasik surgery has the following side effects associated with it
- Double vision
- Dry eyes
In case any of these side effects persists or there any other health issues arising during or after treatment, it is advised to kindly consult the health specialist immediately.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
Vitamin A and lutein prescribed by the doctor must be taken as advised. Excess of both vitamin A and lutein can have a menacing effect. In patients who are prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses, they are required to follow a few treatment guidelines
- Making eye hygiene a top priority.
- The lenses must be cleaned and stored as directed by the doctor.
- A patient must not sleep wearing contact lenses as it can lead to bacterial infection in the eyes. In patients who have either opted for or prescribed Lasik surgery the following post-treatment guideline must be followed
- A patient is required to close their eyes for nearly 4 hours so that adequate rest can be given to the eyes.
- The prescribed eye drops must be used as directed by the doctor.
- A patient should not drive if he/she is experiencing blurred vision.
- Swimming must be avoided for a minimum of 3 weeks.
- Rubbing of eyes is strictly prohibited.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from bright light even inside the house.
How long doesit take to recover?
After the patient has been prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses the patient attains the corrected vision immediately when he/she makes use of them. The recovery period in this treatment is nil. However, if a patient opts of eye surgery like Lasik then some recovery period is involved before the patient attains the desired eyesight.
The recovery of the patient starts immediately after the surgery. In some cases, the recovery period is of 6 to 12 hours. The recovery period varies for each patient. In the majority of the cases, the vision correction is achieved within 24 hours while in some cases it might take 2 to 5 days for recovery.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
The treatment with eyeglasses in India costs around 3 to 5 thousand rupees including the fees of the doctor, the price of the contact lenses, and the tests which are required to be conducted before deciding the power of the contact lenses. The Lasik surgery in India costs around 20,000 to 30,000 rupees. This cost of the surgery is inclusive of the fees of the eye surgeon and the expenses of the hospital where the surgery would be conducted.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
The results of the treatment for weak eyesight cannot be considered to be permanent. The treatment which is given is based on the current condition of the eyesight. With the progression of age the eyesight of the patient may get weaker then the patient would again be required to undergo these procedures of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Surgical treatment also does not provide a permanent result. However, by taking good care of the eyes the progression of further weakening of eyesight can be restrained by following proper eye hygiene and vitamin A rich diet.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
The treatments for weak eyesight which have been described above are preferred by the majority of the doctors in the world. Besides the eyeglasses and Lasik surgery, there are some other surgical alternatives also available. These surgical alternatives are photorefractive keratectomy, LASEK, and refractive lens exchange. In patients with nearsightedness, topical atropine can be used for slowing down the progression of the condition. Besides these, there are no other alternatives available to treat the problem of weak eyes in the patient.