Eyes – Diseases and Problems

When you go to the eye care professional for an exam or to get glasses they say that you are near sighted or maybe you have astigmatism. You always wondered what they meant. For the patients who are forty or above the doctor recommends bifocals and the doctor say you are an emerging presbyope. And then the evergreen questions about cataract and glaucoma, what are they?

                                                           Myopia

                                                        Astigmatism

                                                          Hyperopia

                                                          Presbyopia

                                                            Cataract

                                                           Glaucoma

Myopia:

Almost one third of the total population of the world experiences a vision disorder known as myopia or Near Sightedness. People who are near sighted have problem in seeing things in distance like road signs, television, or the board in class, but have no problem seeing things up close like reading a book.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Nearsightedness maybe corrected with glasses or contacts or refractive surgery. You may need to wear glasses or contacts all the time depending on your vision problem. When you are nearsighted you have a minus number. The higher the number the stronger your lenses will be. It is highly recommended for patients with above 3.00 to use polycarbonate lenses. While all kids must use polycarbonate no matter what the vision correction would be.

Astigmatism:

"Oh! My God I have Astigmatism!!" is a normal reaction when people hear the word "Astigmatism" from their eye care professional. Astigmatism is a very common vision problem, but most people don’t know what it is.

An irregularly shaped cornea causes Astigmatism. It may accompany near sightedness or far sightedness. Most of the times an irregularly shaped lens causes it, which is located behind the cornea. Glasses, contacts or even refractive surgery can correct astigmatism.

Common symptoms of Myopia are headaches or eyestrain, and they might feel tired after driving or playing sports. If you are having the same symptoms while you have your glasses or contacts on then maybe its time for a new eye exam.

Nearsightedness is usually hereditary and is common among kids whose parents are also myopic. This condition usually worsens with age; it is called a myopic creep.

If you have only a small amount of astigmatism, you may not detect it or have just slightly blurred vision. But sometimes-uncorrected astigmatism can cause headaches or eyestrain, and distort or blur your vision at all distances.

According to a study more and more children and being found to have astigmatism. Usually they don’t complain even if they are having blurred vision or distorted images. That is why it is important to have an annual eye exam for your children.

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football than a spherical soccer ball, which is the normal shape. In most astigmatic eyes, the oblong (or oval) shape causes light rays to focus on two points in the back of your eye, rather than on just one. This is because, like a football, an astigmatic cornea has a steeper curve and a flatter one.

Generally astigmatism is hereditary: many people are born with an oblong cornea, and the resulting vision problem may get poorer over time. But astigmatism may also result from a damaged eye that has caused scarring on the cornea, from certain types of eye surgery, or from keratoconus, a disease that causes a steady thinning of the cornea.

Hyperopia:

Hyperopia or Farsightedness is a common vision problem affecting a quarter of the population. People who suffer with hyperopia do not have any problem seeing distance but have difficulty in focusing on things up close. This may result in eyestrain or fatigue when working with things at close range. If you are farsighted and still have these symptoms while wearing your glasses it maybe time for a new eye exam. This vision problem occurs when light rays entering the eye focus behind the retina, rather than directly on it. The eyeball of a farsighted person is shorter than normal.

Many children are born with hyperopia, but most of them out grow it as the shape of their eyeball changes with normal growth. Usually hyperopia is written in plus powers. You may not need your glasses all the time except when on the computer, reading or doing some work at a table distance. The lenses used in glasses for hyperopic patients are convex, which is thinner on the edges and thicker in the middle.

Presbyopia:

When was the last time you were at a restaurant or tried to read a book while wearing your glasses and had to move it to arms length to see clearly? This is a normal phenomenon known as presbyopia. If you are performing near work such as embroidery or handwriting you may feel fatigue or headaches.

An age-related process causes presbyopia. It is generally believed to stem from a gradual loss of flexibility in the natural lens inside your eye. As we grow old the eye loses its power to focus near known as accommodation power.

Eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are the most common correction for presbyopia. Bifocal means two points of focus: the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness, while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work.

Progressive lenses are comparable to bifocal lenses, but they offer a more steady visual transition between the two prescriptions, with no visible lines between them. Some people don’t prefer bifocals or progressives. So instead they get only readers. Only difference is that it will only work when focusing close up.

Another choice is using contact lenses. Either you can use Multi-focal lenses or mono vision lenses. In mono vision lenses one eye uses a distance lens and the other uses a near lens resulting in clear vision both near and far.

Cataract:

The clouding of the eye’s natural lens which is located behind the iris and the pupil is known as cataract. The lens inside our eye works like a camera lens, it helps to focus light at the back of the eye on the retina. It is also used to focus to clear up things when we are looking at them. The lens is usually made of water and protein. The way our eye is, the protein is arranged in such a way that it keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it. But as we grow old some of the protein may form clusters and clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens.This is what forms a cataract over time, it may cloud a larger area of the lens, making it harder to see.

When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision for a while using new glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids.Think about surgery when your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is same as ocular hypertension but with accompanying optic nerve damage and vision loss. It affects around 3 million Americans a year, and 120, 000 become blind because of the condition. In other places in the world treatment is less available and is the leading cause of blindness. There are two major types of glaucoma, chronic or primary open-angle glaucoma and acute closed-angle glaucoma.

Mostly the chronic glaucoma has no warning signs. About half of Americans don’t even know that they have chronic glaucoma. Glaucoma damages your peripheral vision but by the time you notice it, permanent damage has been occurred. Other signs include headaches, blurred vision, difficulty adapting to darkness, or haloes around lights. Chronic glaucoma normally develops after age 35.

Chronic narrow-angle glaucoma, like open-angle glaucoma, can be symptom less until vision loss occurs. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. If the high pressure is not reduced within hours, it can permanently damage vision. Anyone who experiences its symptoms should immediately contact an ophthalmologist or go to a hospital emergency room. It's difficult to spot signs for congenital glaucoma because the children are too young to understand. If you notice a cloudy, white, hazy, enlarged or protruding eye, consult your eye doctor. Congenital glaucoma occurs more in boys than girls.

That is why it is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year.