Common Eye Ailments You Need to Be Aware Of

Eye ailments are cynical if you think about it. Problems in your eyes may not happen just with old age. Those can happen to you even if you are as fit as a fiddle. Either way, eyes are your greatest assets and so, it is important to celebrate them. The most important body feature apart from your teeth! Your eyes are the window to your soul but you also consume the world with your eyes. You eat with your eyes first, no? There is no point in taking your eyes for granted, for common eye ailments. Here is what you need to know so you can maintain your eye health to the T.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is contagious and one of the most common eye ailments. It comes in different forms. For instance, the infection can result from having a cold or other viral infection. Wearing infected lenses also are one of the leading causes of this disease. If you are allergic to animals or pollen, your eyes can get dry and itchy; this is the allergic form of conjunctivitis. Antibiotics are best to treat this common eye ailment.

Myopia

Did you ever have trouble looking at far away things? If you’ve been to an eye doctor’s office, this is a routine test given to patients. The test helps the optician to choose the best prescription glasses for you. Myopia can cause things at a distance to appear blurry. This is also known as a refraction error of the eye, so being near-sighted or far-sighted is a part of it. Age is also a factor and is a leading factor in developing myopia after the age of 40. Although wearing the right prescription glasses, taking vitamins may help prevent myopia, there is not enough evidence to prove this. Either way, wearing glasses or the right contact lenses can help cure the refraction errors.

Cataract

Ok so this one is more common with the aging population, but can happen at any age. Regardless, you need to know of this eye ailment. This way, you can prepare yourself and take better care of your eye health before it is too late. The cataract disease affects your lenses, clouding the eyes. It is the leading causes of blindness in most countries. There are many risk factors of cataract such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, just to name a few. You’ll be surprised to know that overexposure to the UV (ultra-violet) rays is one of the main reasons that cause cataract at any age. Untreated cataract causes severe damage to your lenses, causing vision loss. It’s not all that bad, though. The best way to cure yourself out of a cataract condition is a swift surgery – which is covered by most insurance policies too!

Glaucoma

This one is a silent killer – and it’s hereditary. In the sense, it may not show you any real symptoms or signs. This common ailment affects the nerves in your eyes. The prolonged pressure inside the eye can cause serious damage and even vision loss if left untreated. There is evidence that cancer can cause glaucoma. Although this eye ailment cannot be cured, regular visits to the doctor can help you get started on treatments to prevent further damage.

Keratoconus

Just as a robust steel skeleton holds a concrete building in place, so do collagen fibres in your eyes. These fibres keep the shape of your cornea. This is not a common eye ailment, but it isn’t rare either so that’s why we’re talking about it. You need to know of keratoconus because it can be cured with treatment. Otherwise, there is always a keratoconus transplant surgery for this eye ailment.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Yes, diabetes has serious repercussions and a common eye ailment as diabetic Diabetic Retinopathy is one of them. Diabetes gets extreme amounts of blood sugar in your blood. Prolonged high doses of sugar in your blood causes severe damage and rupture to your eyes. With the fast increasing numbers of diabetic patients in the world, keep your eye out for this common eye ailment. Although there is no cure for this (yet) laser treatments and surgical removal of the damage blood vessels in your eye help improve vision.

Macular Degeneration

This is another age-related common eye ailment. You will not believe it but this common ailment has a “Dry” and “wet” form. The dry form takes at least 10 years to complete vision loss. The wet form is more cynical. It’s bad enough that there is no cure AND factors such as smoking and family history increase the risk factors to Macular Degeneration. Then again, there are treatments available now to delay the speed at which this disease progresses. Make sure to see your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) who can help detect any early signs and help you prevent its progression.

Do you know what these common eye ailments have in common? These diseases can be prevented or even cured if detected early. Remember to keep your doctor’s appointments – especially if you wear glasses. See you doctor regularly to make sure you maintain your eye health regardless of your age.

Can Your Child Bid Goodbye To His Glasses?

Little Rahul was a naughty child but at the same time always stood among the top three rankers in his class. He also loved television and watching cartoons all day. When he turned four, he started complaining about frequent headaches and blurry vision while reading. On getting his eyesight tested, his parents realized that they need to get their son a pair of glasses. His parents were shocked that their child had been detected with a flaw at such a young age! Convincing him to wear his glasses at all times when all the other kids had clear visions was another difficult task that Rahul’s parents had to go through.

Rahul’s parents are not alone. Myopia and Hypermetropia are cases that a lot of kids these days are seen to be suffering from. A recent study published in the medical journal Paediatrics states that one out of every 20 pre-school aged children has a vision problem. Such incidences can be quite hard on the parents. They get overwhelmed and start stressing about the news. They also start worrying too much, worrying about buying new glasses, worrying that their child would have lifelong vision problems and that he would always be called the ‘boy with the glasses’. However, worrying does not solve any issues. More than taking stress about his current situation, as parents, you should focus on doing the right thing for your children and help them in developing a good vision.

While eyesight problem in children is not a disease that can be solved simply by taking a dose of medicines or performing a surgery, there are a lot of home remedies that can help your child to get rid of his spectacles. Their lifestyle and the food they consume play a major role in the healing process. Make sure that you give them food that has enough nutrients and vitamins to make their eyesight better. Green vegetables, fish like salmon and tuna, citrus fruit juices like orange and lemon, fruits like banana and nuts are very good for the eyes. Include more food that has vitamin E, C and A in their diets. Make sure that they drink a lot of water during the course of the day – water keeps the body hydrated and prevents dry eyes.

Simple exercises at home are safe for the children and are also designed to strengthen the eye over time, thus improving vision. Try the eye shift exercise using a pencil and a calendar. Place a calendar on the wall and have your child stand at least 10 feet away while holding a pencil in front of his/her face. Ask your child to focus on the pencil, and then to look at the numbers on the calendar. Then, have him look back at the pencil. Repeat this at least 10 times. You can also change the amount of distance between your child and the calendar.

Another great exercise is the tracking exercise. Kids who struggle with skipping over words, switching up the order of letters, and losing their spot while reading a text can benefit from this exercise. Hook a ball to some string or a shoe lace. Hang the ball so that it is in line with your child’s nose, and tell him to watch the ball as you swing it back and forth. Repeat this exercise as you swing it side to side. Your child should be following the movement of the ball with his/her eyes only – no head movements!

Restricting the TV watching and video games time also helps because these activities put additional strain on the eyes. Spend a “No TV” Sunday evening with your children, play

some games with them, cook dinner together, read stories to them – this will also help you strengthen your bond with them 🙂

Most importantly, make sure that your kids wash their eyes often and keep them clean so that it reduces chances of infection or any kind of dust particles settling on the surface of their eyes. As long as you make your child stick to a healthy diet and spare some time daily for these exercises, he is definitely on his way to a clearer vision and can get rid of his glasses sooner than you’ll know!

Do you need glasses? A really quick guide to tell how your eyes are doing

image courtesy: eduguide.org
image courtesy: eduguide.org

In this day and age, with so many screens to stare at, stress, falling diet quality, pollution and so many other similar factors  (including genetics), eyes are hit just as hard as other parts of the body. The problem is, we rarely recognise it and may put off going to an ophthalmologist till the problem has a reached a point of aggravation that could have been avoided with a little bit of foresight.

Here is a really quick guide that will help you figure out that the time has come to read those famous alphabets that you see in an eye specialist’s clinic: Continue reading Do you need glasses? A really quick guide to tell how your eyes are doing