Eye care should be an integral part of our health regime. We need to do periodic eye checks and vision examinations. Many of the eye and vision problems occur without any obvious symptoms. While treating vision problems it is important to know the medical history of the patient including the general health conditions, environmental and work related problems affecting the vision, and any medications taken for prior eye diseases or other illnesses.
Vision problems occur by the refractive errors; abnormality in the light falling directly on the retina. The change in the shape of cornea of the eye, length of the eye balls and the aging of the eye lens are the reasons for refractive errors. Most of the people suffer from one or the other vision problems of the eye. The common eye vision disorders are nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and glaucoma.
Eye Vision Problems
Myopia or Nearsightedness
This is a vision problem in which the person can see the near objects but cannot see the faraway objects. Myopia occurs because the images fall in the front of the retina of the eye rather than on the retina. In a myopic person, the eye ball is too long so the images cannot focus on the retina of the eye. Myopia can affect both the young and the old.
In case of children it can occur in the ages between 6 and 12 and it progresses gradually during the teen age. Old age worsens the effects of near sightedness. Myopia is often found to be hereditary as people with near sighted parents are more likely to get it.
Spectacles and contact lens are commonly used to correct near sightedness. But if the conditions progress contact lens use needs to be suspended. Refractive surgery to correct the eye balls can be opted in progressive myopic patients. This can either eliminate the need for eye glasses or decrease the power of the lens.
Hyperopia or Farsightedness
Hyperopia occurs because the eye ball is too short and the image falls behind the retina of the eye. This condition may also occur in the child hood like myopia. One is more prone to get hyperopia if the parents suffer from this eye condition. Headache, blurry vision, strain to the eye, watery eyes and squinting are some of the symptoms of hypreropia.
Eye glasses and contact lenses correct the eye defect and focus the image on the retina as they become the first refractive surface on which the image falls. Surgery can correct the errors and provide better vision without the help of spectacles and contact lenses.
In this refractive error the light falls unevenly on the retina and the image becomes blurred. The cornea of the normal eye usually has an even surface, but in the case of an astigmatic eye, the cornea is uneven and has bumps and curves in it. This results in stretched and blurred images.
Astigmatism is corrected by the use of appropriate eye glasses and contact lenses. Refractive eye surgery is another corrective measure for progressive astigmatism.
Presbyopia is an age related disorder. As we age our eye muscles age and make it harder for the eye to focus on images. The eye lens also hardens making it hard for the light to fall on the retina. Difficulty in reading small print, headaches, squinting of the eye, eye strain and having to hold objects like reading articles at a distance are the symptoms of the disease.
Spectacles are usually used to correct this disorder. Eye lenses that use a higher power on the lower portion of the lenses are preferred for presbyopia. This portion can be used for reading purposes and the above portion can be used to see objects.
Glaucoma involves a series of vision disorders that affect the optic nerve and result in the loss nerve tissue. This causes progressive degeneration of the eye vision. Primary open eye glaucoma is the common form of this vision disorder and it results from the increase in eye pressure.
The eye drainage mechanism gets affected and the fluid build up starts within the eye which results in the increase in eye pressure. Many people do not suffer any external symptoms of primary open eye glaucoma and realize the occurrence of glaucoma only after significant vision loss has happened. . The peripheral vision of the eye is affected and it gradually progresses to the central vision. If not diagnosed in time and treated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
Angle closure glaucoma occurs due to the rapid increase of eye pressure due to sudden blockage of the eye drains. This condition is an ocular emergency and has to be treated immediately to avoid loss of vision. Reddishness, acute pain and blurred vision accompany this form of glaucoma. Medication like eye drops, external ointments and surgical procedures are used to treat and curb glaucoma.