Common Eye Disorders

Cataract


What is it?
It is the clouding of all or part of the normally clear lens within an eye. It can result to a distorted vision or even blindness. Cataracts most often occur to people around the age of 55 or above, however younger people may also occasionally be found with this disease.


Causes of this disorderíK
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation under sunlight is the most common cause for cataract. Aging, smoking or long term usages of certain medications (such as steroid) can also cause the development of cataract. Heredity may be the main factor amongst younger people.


SymptomsíK
There are no clear symptoms during the early stages of cataract, however it can be noted that blurred vision, appearance of yellowish spots in vision and a sudden increase of near-sightedness may be indications to cataract. During the late stages of cataract, a person may experience double-vision, feel uncomfortable with glare and find difficulty in differentiating between colors.


PreventioníK
If you are around the age of 55, it is essential to schedule a yearly eye-examination with your optometrist. When the early stage of cataract is being diagnosed, your optometrist can monitor its development and prescribe changes in eyeglasses to help maintain a good vision.


Currently available treatmentíK
Surgery to replace the eyeíŽs natural lens with artificial plastic lens is only recommended if your cataract develops to a point where it affects your daily activities.


Everyday protection against cataractíK
Making a habit to wear anti-UV glasses or sunglasses outdoors can help to reduce the chances of cataract.

 

Glaucoma


What is it?
It is the increase of internal pressure in the eyes, which leads to the damage of nerve fibers in the optic nerve. Glaucoma can result to the loss of vision and blindness.


CausesíK
When the passages, which normally allow fluid in the eyes to drain away, become clogged or blocked, the internal pressure in the eyes will increase. The reasons why these passages become blocked are not known. Nevertheless, Glaucoma most often occurs amongst people over the age of 40, people with a family history of glaucoma, those who are diabetic or those with myopia. People who are at their later stage of cataract or people who had serious eye injuries before, are also at a higher risk of developing the disease.


SymptomsíK
The most common type of glaucoma develops slowly, painlessly and without symptoms. There is another rare type which develops quickly and its symptoms may include hazy vision, pain or redness in the eyes, loss of side vision and seeing colored rings around lights.


PreventioníK
Since vision lost due to glaucoma can only be controlled but cannot be restored, it is highly recommended that we should go for annual eye examinations. A full eye examination package includes the tonometry test to measure eyes pressure, the optic nerves examination and the visual field test. These tests help to check on our risk in getting this eye disease.


Currently available treatmentíK
The prescription of eye drops or medicines helps to reduce eye pressure. In some cases, laser treatment or surgery may be effective in treating glaucoma.


CautioníK
As glaucoma is proven to be hereditary, it is advised that family members of people with glaucoma should also go for eye check-ups regularly.

 

Maculopathy


What is it?
Located at the back of an eye, the macular is the central point of the retina that is responsible for sharp vision and differentiation of colors. Maculopathy occurs when the macular degenerates and causes surrounding cells to cultivate abnormally. Maculopathy may eventually lead to blindness.


CausesíK
This disorder develops mostly due to aging or heredity. However, youngsters with hyperopia may also become victims of maculopathy under rare circumstances. People who are constant high on cholesterols, who are frequent smokers or who are under nourished tend to be easy victims of this disease.


SymptomsíK
Common symptoms include a dark or empty area appearing in the centre of vision, a gradual loss of ability to see clearly, a gradual loss of color vision and also distorted vision.


Prevention and protectioníK
The dry form of maculopathy usually affects the central vision which can lead to reading difficulties. Researches have indicated that vitamins such as A, C and E, and minerals such as Zinc, may help prevent or slow the process of maculopathy. It is equally important for us to protect our eyes with anti-UV lenses when going outdoors. Also, people around the age of 60, should visit your optometrist frequently for eye check-ups, so as to maintain eye health.


Currently available treatmentíK
When the dry form of maculopathy becomes severe and turns into the wet form, visual ability will decrease dramatically. It is then necessary for laser treatment or surgery.


Please noteíK
Some youth may experience macular oedema when they are stressed or depressed. Since macular oedema has similar symptoms to maculopathy, many may confuse between the two. Macularoedema can be cured within 2-3 months, so long as the person takes enough rest and improves on his lifestyle habits.?