Eye health is something that cannot be neglected as your overall physical well-being depends on your eyesight. Especially in this era where numerous eye disorders have emerged, proper eye care has become a necessity for all of us. Hence, to assure the health of your eyes, getting a detailed eye examination done at least after every two years is a must. Below we have listed some of the most common eye disorders and how you can treat or prevent them.
Refractive errors are the most common type of eye disorder and can occur in anyone regardless of age and gender. The person suffering from refractive errors cannot focus on an object. Refractive error is a term that refers to a group of eye conditions, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Let's look at them deeply.
Myopia is also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. In this disorder, affected individuals face no issues in looking at close objects, but distant objects are a problem for them, as they appear blurry.
The reason for myopia is that the shape of your eyes gets a little longer. This causes light rays to refract in the wrong direction, and the images are focused in front of the retina instead of focusing directly on your retina.
Myopia is common in young children that are of school-going age. According to research, chances of myopia are increased in those who have a family history of myopia or mostly spend their time staying indoors or those of East-Asian origin.
Individuals having high-grade myopia are also at risk of developing other conditions like glaucoma, myopic retinal degeneration, or retinal detachments.
But the good news is if you don't prefer going for surgeries, myopia can be treated by wearing contact lenses to make vision clearer than before.
Hyperopia is the opposite of myopia. It is also known as long-sightedness or farsightedness.
In hyperopia, you may see far objects clearly, but you will face difficulty in seeing nearer objects as they may appear blurry to you (like problems when working on screen or reading a book).
Hyperopia is the result of eyes getting too short that causes light to focus behind your retina rather than directly on your retina.
Usually, hyperopia can occur at any age. But when this condition is in children, it is known as "squint". It causes their eyes to go inward towards their nose.
However, similar to myopia, this problem can also be corrected in hyperopia through lenses and eyeglasses.
You can consider presbyopia as a natural aging process that affects your eyes. It commonly starts showing symptoms when you enter your 40s. In presbyopia, a person gradually loses their ability to focus on near objects, and the condition is not dependent on having any previous eye disorders.
It occurs mainly because as you age, the lens in your eyes becomes harder and starts losing its elasticity.
But no need to worry; this disorder is easily treatable by wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Plus, if an elderly faces visual difficulties in both near objects as well as far objects, they can go for bifocal lens glasses that have suitable focal lengths. With these types of glasses, the upper part helps you see distant objects clearly while the lower part helps in correcting nearer vision. However, with contact lenses, presbyopia is challenging to correct because the contact lens moves with your eyeball. But still, it's effective for some people.es and eyeglasses.
A cataract is also an eye lens disorder and occurs as the person's age declines. It is common at the age of 60s but can occur at a young age too.
In cataract, the lens in your eyes becomes less transparent and starts deteriorating as time progresses. If the condition is mild, you may not feel any problem in your eyes, but in severe cases, your lens has to be replaced with artificial lenses through surgical procedures.
Success rates of replacing lenses in such patients are relatively high, so this condition is also treatable.
In young individuals, the possibility of cataracts is high if they previously had an eye injury, are suffering from diseases like diabetes, or using certain medications like steroids. Moreover, you may have cataracts if you are experiencing symptoms like unclear vision, feeling colors as faded, visual difficulty when moving from a dark environment to a lightened area, or getting disturbed by car headlights or street lights. So getting an eye checkup is essential if you face such symptoms.
Chronic glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It does not present any symptoms at the early stages, but as it progresses, you may experience blurred vision.
The risk factors of chronic glaucoma include being short-sighted, individuals above 40 years of age, patients suffering from hypertension or diabetes, or people of African or Caribbean origin. So, it is essential to get an eye examination done, especially if you fall under the risk categories.
Treatment for this type includes eye drops that work by reducing the pressure in your eyes.
2) Acute Glaucoma
Unlike chronic glaucoma, acute glaucoma rapidly develops in an individual, and pressure buildup in the eyes is also relatively faster in this type. Symptoms of acute glaucoma include eye discomfort, red eyes, eye aches, and slowly arising pain bursts followed by blurred vision.
When you enter a dark room, you may notice the symptoms of acute glaucoma arise because as your pupils widen, symptoms may show up more clearly.
Treatment of acute glaucoma includes using eye drops to reduce eye pressure accompanied by laser treatment or surgery to eliminate the blockage in your eye drainage system.
Acute glaucoma risk factors include being long-sighted, having a family history of glaucoma, age factor, and belonging to East or South African origin.
The disease occurs in the 50s and commonly affects a person's central vision, making objects blurry.
AMD mainly develops when aging destroys your macula. The macula is the back part of your eye that is responsible for controlling the vision of sharp and straight objects.
Symptoms include central blurring vision, hallucinations, straight objects appearing wavy, and bright colors appearing dull.
There are two types of Age-related macular degeneration:
If left untreated, macular degeneration can worsen (gradual vision damage) and develop into dry AMD, or it can worsen even within a few weeks (sudden vision changes), known as wet AMD.
Dry AMD has no specific treatment, but wet AMD can be treated through photodynamic therapy or regular injections.
People with diabetes are at high risk of developing poor vision and eye disorders like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract.
Diabetes retinopathy is the most common among all. In this disorder, the blood vessels near your retina may weaken, leak, and destroy if left untreated. After that, new blood vessels can grow on your retina, damaging your entire vision.
As this disease occurs because of your blood vessels being affected, managing blood pressure and cholesterol along with having normal blood glucose levels can prevent or control this condition to a great extent.
At the back of your eyes, there is a thin layer known as the retina. It is responsible for transferring messages to your brain through the optic nerve. In retinal detachments, your retina loosens.
The disorder is also known as "detached retina," and it requires immediate treatment without which you may suffer permanent eye damage.
A condition known as retinal tear also falls under this category which is the initial stage of retinal detachment where your retina has just started to tear away.
The condition is also a result of the age factor which cannot be prevented. You may need surgery to bring your vision back to normal.
Dyslexia is a condition when a person has difficulty in reading, writing, and spelling words correctly. They face confusion in recognizing letters, can't process information sequentially, especially when they are told verbally, and have spelling inconsistency. (For example, confusing and not being able to recognize difference between the letters 'd' and 'b')
Dyslexia doesn't have a permanent cure or treatment but can be minimized by personal attention, learning activity in small groups, or speech recognition by using certain software’s.