Cataract is a common eye disease which basically means clouding of the natural lens of the eyes behind the pupil and the iris. It can either affect just one eye or may occur in both of them even though it commonly occurs due to aging but may also occur due to trauma or exposure to radiation may be present from birth or may follow after an eye surgery for other kinds of eye problems. This disease is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in the world, especially among those who are over the age of 40. The 3 main types of cataracts include suncapsular cataract, nuclear cataract and cortical cataract.
Symptoms and signs
• Blurred vision is a common sign of cataracts and may increase with time.
• Another symptom is that the light coming from the sun or any lamp may appear too bright or glaring.
• Colours may not appear as bright as they used to before and this is another symptom that one may have cataract of some kind.
• Trouble seeing at night is another sign of this condition.
• Trouble in reading, driving and recognizing faces.
Causes of cataracts:
• The lens inside our eyes works like a camera lens and is made of proteins and water. As we age, the proteins tend to stick together and this clouds the small area of the lens.
• Over a period of time, the clump of protein may grow and may make it hard to see.
Facts about cataracts
• Some of the risk factors of cataract include smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and previous eye surgery etc.
• Cataract surgery is the most common and effective way to treat this eye disease and about out of 10 people who have cataract surgery regain extremely good vision.
• To prevent cataract, it is a good idea to eat food sources high in vitamin E content and some of these include spinach, sunflower seeds and almonds. Some other foods that one must have for good vision and cataract prevention include green leafy vegetables, foods with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C, and good sources of lutein.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases which lead to damage in the optic nerve and even vision loss. Some of the common types of glaucoma include closed angle glaucoma, open angle glaucoma and normal tension glaucoma. Where on one hand, open angle glaucoma, which is the most common types of glaucoma develops over a period of time and causes no pain, closed angle glaucoma may either develop slowly or all of a sudden. If one experiences vision loss due to glaucoma, it may be permanent.
Symptoms and signs
• Open angle glaucoma does not have any acute attacks and is painless and therefore regular eye checkups and screening is important every once in a while for everyone. The gradually progressive signs in this case include optic nerve changes and visual field loss.
• Those with closed angle glaucoma may experience sudden ocular change, red eye, nausea, vomiting, halos around lights and high intraocular pressure. Others include decreased vision and mid dilated pupil.
Cause of glaucoma
• Ocular hypertension is the most common cause and a serious risk factor in glaucoma.
• Some of the other causes and risk factors may include diet, ethnicity and genetics.
Facts about glaucoma
• Some of the main forms of treatment of glaucoma include medication, Argon Laser Trabeculplasty, surgical methods such as canaloplasty, trabeculectomy, glaucoma drainage implants, laser assisted non penetrating deep sclerectomy and others.
• In the year 2010, about 44.7 million people in the world were affected with open angle glaucoma. It is estimated that by the year 2020, the number of cases of this disease are expected to increase to 58.6 million worldwide.
• Glaucoma occurs most commonly in older people and closed angle glaucoma is more common among women.
• Another name that has been given to this disease is ‘silent thief of sight’ since vision loss comes slowly over an extended period of time.
Another common eye disease which affects many people around the world is retinal detachment. This is a disorder in which the retina of the eye gets separated from the underneath layer. What happens is that there occurs a break in the retina which allows the fluid present to go behind the retina. Some reasons for the break in the retina include cataract surgery, inflammation of the eye, eye injury and posterior vitreous detachment.
Symptoms and Signs
• A sudden increase in the number of floaters
• Occurrence of flashes of light
• Presence of ring of hairs or floaters on the skull side of the central vision.
• Straight lines begin to appear slightly curved, central vision loss and an impression that there is a curtain or veil on the field of vision is also common.
• Another symptom includes the presence of a dense shadow which starts in the peripheral vision and slowly progresses towards the central vision.
Causes and risk factors
• Some of the common risk factors related to this disease include retinal tears, family history, myopia and even complications from cataract surgery.
• Some others include cataract surgery, AIDS, severe myopia, smoking and passive smoking, eclampsia, diabetic retinopathy and stickler syndrome.
Facts about retinal detachment
• There are many methods of treatment of retinal detachment and some of them include cryopexy and laser photocoagulation, scleral buckle surgery, pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy and others.
• The occurrence of retinal detachment in eyes that are otherwise normal is around 5 new cases in about 100000 persons per year.
• It is a fact that this disease generally occurs in just one eye but there is a chance of it developing in the other eye as well. moreover this risk tends to increase to about 25-30% in patients who have previously had a retinal detachment and cataracts extracted from both of the eyes.
Source: Public resources