Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the fluid pressure inside the eye. The front half of the eye is filled with a clear fluid known as the “aqueous humor”. This fluid is continuously produced and constantly flows in and within the eye, maintaining normal pressure inside the eye. If there is either reduced drainage or excessive production of this fluid, the pressure in the eye will increase. This increased eye pressure if left untreated can damage the eye (optic) nerve leading to glaucoma and can cause irreversible vision loss.
General pre-operative Instructions
- You will be informed about your pre-operative laboratory examinations and cardiopulmonary clearance schedule. The preoperative investigation includes some blood tests and examination by the physician to determine your fitness for surgery. It also includes specialized eye tests to find out the IOL which is most suitable for your eye. It takes between 1-2 hours for the entire testing.
- If you wish to have the examination performed elsewhere, kindly bring all the results with you on the day of your cardiopulmonary clearance with the physician.
- If you are diabetic, please discuss with the physician about the medication you should take before surgery.
- Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to be with you in the hospital on the day of the surgery.
What to expect after surgery
- Patient will bedischarged on the day of surgery and no admission is required
- On discharge from the hospital, patients will be given the next review date.
- Also depending on the type of anesthesia and surgeon preference, some patients will be asked to wear a shield over the eye
Immediately after surgery
- Use protective glasses when driving a two wheeler
- You can brush your teeth
- Activities such as reading, watching television, and light work will not
hurt the operated eye.
- The great majority of patients may resume light activities on
the day after surgery.
Contact lenses are thin, transparent, lightweight medical devices that are placed directly on the surface of the eye to correct visual defects from refractive errors. They are very similar in their function to those of spectacles. Contact lenses are curved and fit directly on the central, black part of your eye (the cornea) and are either hard or soft.
Contact lenses can be worn to correct vision, or for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. People who choose to wear contact lenses for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons do so to avoid wearing glasses or to change the appearance of their eyes. Some people wear contact lenses for functional or optical reasons. For example, keratoconus and aniseikonia are some conditions that are corrected better with contact lenses than with glasses.
While contact lenses are used to correct the same conditions that eyeglasses correct, such as myopia (near-sightedness) and hyperopia (far-sightedness), they provide better peripheral vision than spectacles. Unlike spectacles, contact lenses do not collect moisture from rain, snow, condensation, or perspiration, making them more preferable for sports and other outdoor activities. Sunglasses, goggles, or other eyewear can also be worn by contact lens wearers without having to fit them with prescription lenses.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CONTACT LENSES??
|Gas permeable lenses (RGP)||· Corrects astigmatism as they offer a more rigid fitted lens.|
· Used in irregular corneas
· Used by soft lens wearers who don’t find their vision is sharp enough
|Soft contact lenses||Used to correct refractive errors such as myopia and astigmatism||· Extended wear CL|
· Daily disposable lenses
· Toric contact lenses
· Multifocal contact lenses
· Cosmetic contact lenses
|Scleral/ mini scleral contact lenses||Used to correct vision in a number of conditions such as|
post-refractive surgery corneal issues, ocular surface disease,
dry eye, and even normal refractive errors.
|Therapeutic contact lenses||· Help treat or manage diseases of the cornea|
· Used to patch one eye (to treat double vision)
Recommendations for contact lens users:
- Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses.
- Contact lenses should be cleaned carefully and regularly as instructed by your eye doctor.
- Rub the contact lenses with your fingers and rinse them thoroughly before soaking them overnight in a multipurpose solution that should cover each lens completely.
- Use a lens storage case to store lenses, and replace your case every three months or sooner. After each use, clean the case and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
- To clean and disinfect your lenses, use products that are recommended by your eye doctor. Do not use tap water, saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect lenses.
- Use the fresh solution to clean and store contact lenses. Never reuse old solution. Even if you don’t use the lenses on a daily basis, change your contact lens solution according to the recommendations by the manufacturer.
- Contact lens should be replaced according to the replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor.
Some tips for first-time users of contact lenses
- Have patience and motivation when wearing contact lens for the first time as your eyes will need a little time to adapt to the foreign body sensation.
- Your eyes may water a lot initially until they get used to the sensation of the contact lens.
- Start with the same eye when you put in and take out your lenses, to avoid getting them mixed up.
- Do not rub your eyes as dirt or oil from your fingers can enter your eyes, or your lens can get dislodged.
- You may experience dryness in the eyes after using contact lens, especially around air-conditioning, smoke, and dust, or if you spend long hours in front of the computer. You can use rewetting drops recommended by your eye doctor to keep your eyes hydrated.
- If you experience any burning or irritation when wearing contact lenses, it could be due to the presence of dirt or fiber that has been caught between your eye and the lens. Remove the contact lens, rinse it in the solution and insert it again.
- Follow the contact lens guidelines for wear, especially when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning them.
- Do not use the contact lens for more than the specified disposal schedule.
- Take special care while working in a dusty environment if you are wearing contact lenses.
- In case of recurrent dryness, itching or redness, seek medical help.
SHORT SIGHT: How can you help your child
Short sight or myopia is a condition of eyes in which one has defective vision for distance. This happens because the rays of light which should focus on retina focus in front of it, leading to blurring of vision.
What causes myopia?
The onset and progression of myopia can be attributed to both environmental and genetic factors. However, environmental factors seem to play a larger role in the rapid increase in the prevalence of myopia. A heavily indoor and near-activity based lifestyle, with less time outdoors, combined with the intense education commencing at very young ages, as occurring in many East Asian countries, are major contributing factors.
How can you prevent rapid progression of myopia?
- Studies have shown that children with low outdoor time and high near work were two to three times more likely to be myopic compared to those performing low near work and high outdoor activities. Two hours of outdoor activity in daylight is recommended by ophthalmologists for prevention of rapid progression of myopia.
- In this era of smart phones and tabs it is very important to understand that these devices can harm the vision of our children. Ophthalmologists recommend no screen time for very young children, and screen time less than half an hour per day for older children. We recommend parents to place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviours essential to good health.
- Myopic children should be under regular follow up with ophthalmologists. If required the doctor can advise them low concentration atropine eye drops (0.01%) which are proven to reduce the rate of progression of myopia. Moreover, regular retinal check-up is required for myopic children as they can be predisposed to certain sight threatening retinal problems.
Treatment of Myopia
Spectacles: though they do not eliminate the disease, spectacles are very important to help the child see clearly. As the eye-brain connections are still developing in young children, it is very important for them to have clear vision.
Contact lenses: Can be a substitute for spectacles in older children who can take the required precautions for their use.
Refractive surgeries: Once the refractive error stabilizes i.e. usually after 18 years of age, one can undergo refractive surgery and stop using glasses.
Eye Care Tips for Teachers
Teaching is a demanding profession which involves intense close work such as reading, writing, correcting papers, preparing lessons, or working in front of a computer screen for long periods of time. The pressures of teaching can take a toll on the physical and mental health of teachers and put a tremendous strain on the eyes. This strain can manifest as symptoms of eye fatigue which include eye irritation, blurred or double vision, dryness or excessive tears, headache, difficulty focusing, light sensitivity, or pain in the neck, shoulders, or back.
As teachers, it is important for you to look after your health so that you can face classroom challenges head-on. The following tips can help reduce the chance of developing eye problems and disorders and keep your eyes and vision healthy in the years to come.
- Make your working environment comfortable – Ensure there is adequate lighting to support classroom activities such as reading, writing on blackboard, presentations, coaching on the computer, tests, project work, etc.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule to avoid eye strain when you are working on a computer. Every 20 minutes, look at an object that is 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
- Blink frequently (14 to 16 times a minute) to keep the front surface of the eye moist and minimize your chance of developing dry eye when using a computer.
- Special spectacles or contact lens designs with tints or coatings that reduce the effects of extended computer viewing may help to maximize visual abilities and comfort.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly to help protect sight. If you are over the age of 40, dilated eye exams every couple of years can help detect diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration in their early stages.
- Eat right for good eye health – A diet rich in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zinc, can help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Ensure that you rest your eyes properly by getting a good night’s sleep. Inadequate sleep may contribute to eye fatigue, puffy and dry eyes, eye spasms, popped eye vessels and dark circles. Good sleep (7-8 hours) rests the eye muscles and provides the necessary fluid circulation.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight – Regular exercise stimulates the entire body, lowers your odds of obesity, and can reduce your chances of developing serious eye diseases such as diabetes (which can lead to diabetes-related eye disorders and blindness), glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
- Wear sunglasses when out doors to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV light. Too much UV exposure increases your chance of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Make sure you drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration – which can lead to reduced tear production, dry eye, eye strain, blurred vision and headaches.
- Be aware of your family’s eye health history – as some eye disorders are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing a hereditary eye disease or condition.
What is the lens?
The human lens is a clear structure that is located behind the iris & pupil and has an important function in vision. It works much like a camera lens. In a normal eye, it focuses rays of
light into the retina to allow image formation. The retina is the sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The lens is able to change its shape, and hence it can focus objects at different
distances, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away. Loss of transparency of the lens and resultant opacity leads to blurring of vision.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which can affect vision. Cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.
What are the types of Cataract in children?
1. Childhood Cataract. Some babies are born with cataracts (called as congenital cataract) or develop them in childhood (developmental cataract), often in both eyes. These cataracts may be so
small that they do not affect vision. If they do, they may need to be removed.
2. Secondary Cataract. Cataracts also can develop in children who have other health problems, such as rubella, diabetes, etc. It could also occur with ocular problems like microphthalmos (small eye), etc.
3. Traumatic Cataract. Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
What causes Cataracts in children?
Any disruption of the normal structure of the lens can result in clouding. This could be either caused by:
a) Accumulation of abnormal breakdown products (metabolites) with retention of water within the lens or
b) Interruption of normal development of the lens by a genetic error or following infection with viruses, radiation and drugs.
In our country infection of pregnant ladies with Rubella virus & consanguineous marriages (marriages within relatives) are the most common causes. The chances of having congenital cataract are particularly high if there is a family history of cataract.
How can Cataracts affect my child’s vision?
In the case of a newborn infant, a cataract causes the immature visual system to be deprived of the stimulation needed for normal development of vision. If left untreated,
permanent visual loss (lazy eye) may occur.
What are the effects of Cataract?
If the cataract is small, there may be only slight blurring of vision with near normal visual development. Frequently, though, the impairment is more severe and can lead to permanent amblyopia (lazy eye). Without adequate stimulation central vision can be permanently impaired. Some peripheral vision usually remains and the eye does not usually lose the ability to distinguish light and dark. Congenital cataracts can affect one eye only or both eyes. In bilateral cases the cataract can be denser in one eye than other.
How do I know that my child has Cataract?
As cataract is an opacification of the lens, there is a white reflex seen in the centre that is in the pupillary region. This could be either seen by the pediatrician or child’s parents.
Infact this reflex may also be picked up in photographs. The absence of an eye contact is an important sign that should alarm the parents. If the child does not respond to visual stimuli like picking up objects, or recognizing faces or has constantly wandering or moving eyeballs after first 2-3 months, the parents should immediately consult a pediatric ophthalmologist.
What is the treatment?
The aim of the surgery is to remove the cloudy lens and clear the visual axis (the central part of the eye) so that the light rays can easily enter the eye and produce a crisp image on the retina. Intraocular lenses are becoming more common in children. Putting an intraocular or artificial lens will depend on the age of the child, status of the eye, presence of any ocular problem. However, they cannot be implanted in very young children, as the eyeball is small in size and still growing. Even if the lens is not put at the time of the cataract surgery, it can definitely be considered as an option when the child grows older. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. To serve the purpose of improving vision of the child optical correction with a contact lens and/or glasses is necessary. Cataract surgery in a child is technically more difficult than in an adult & should be performed only by a surgeon with adequate experience in pediatric cataract surgeries. If surgery to only one eye is required, the issue of amblyopia therapy becomes very important for the final visual outcome.
What is the ideal time for performing cataract surgery?
Because a clear visual axis is essential for early visual development, a diagnosis within the first few weeks of life is important. Surgery has to be done as early as possible to improve the chances of maximum visual recovery. It can be done as early as 2 days after birth provided there is no risk for general anesthesia due to systemic problems.
Is surgery the end of all the problems?
No. Though surgery does clear the visual axis, the child may develop lazy eye, misalignment of eyes, shaking of eyes (nystagmus), development of refractive errors, and late complications of surgery. However, with newer surgical techniques, the incidence of these complications has significantly dropped. Lazy eye (amblyopia) may be seen in one or both eyes and would require treatment for the same depending on the case like patching, eye drop instillation and even vision stimulation exercises. Misalignment of eyes may require surgical intervention later in life. Late
complications of surgery that can occur include membrane formation in pupillary axis, increase in intraocular pressures (glaucoma) with subsequent optic nerve damage and retinal detachment. Hence, following surgery, monitoring of the vision, refractive error, development of complications etc. is mandatory and repeated follow-ups are warranted in an attempt to achieve good visual rehabilitation. In short, it is not the end but the beginning, requiring a long association between the pediatric ophthalmologist and the child along with the parents.
What is the final prognosis?
The eventual outcome is very much dependent on the type of cataract, age of the child & the timing of surgery. Since timely management results in significant visual improvement and hence a near normal child, it is important that the parents should be highly motivated and act fast. The important point to remember is that early diagnosis & treatment is the key to successful visual rehabilitation in childhood cataracts.
It was with a great sense of satisfaction that the NN Foundation was recently able to assist a young couple with the surgical intervention for their 3 month old baby who was diagnosed with Congenital Glaucoma in the Right Eye.The baby underwent External Trabeculotomy with trabeculectomy.
The early surgical intervention was needed to reduce Intra ocular pressure, failing which the baby would have had permanent vision loss.
Also called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus
Myth: Papaya isn’t nutritious.
Fact: Papaya contains three times more vitamin C than the daily recommendation. It’s a good source of vitamin A, folate, potassium, magnesium and fiber as well as rich in antioxidants and B vitamins. It’s also low in fat and calories. As it ripens, the carbohydrate content is lower, providing even fewer calories per serving.
Myth: It’s recommended to eat only the pulp.
Fact: The pulp and the seed are both good sources of nutrients, while the ripe pulp is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The seeds have a spicy taste and can be easily substituted for black pepper. The seeds contain compounds that have been shown to prevent and inhibit cancer development, destroy viruses and
bacteria as well as reduce inflammation.
Myth: Papaya can cause allergic reactions.
Fact: If a person is allergic to latex, avocados or bananas, it’s possible to have a cross reaction with ripe papaya. In this case, it’s recommended to consume well-cooked papaya. Candied papayas are good alternatives to cooked papaya and they are safe for people with these types of allergies.
Myth: Papaya is only good for healthy vision.
Fact: Papaya provides overall health benefits. Scientific investigations have shown that papaya provides benefits against cardiovascular diseases due to its healthy-fat content, its LDL cholesterol-lowering effects and acts as a vasodilator and antioxidant. Also, it has antimicrobial and antibacterial effects. It has been used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, papaya has been used in home remedies as an antimicrobial for reduction of inflammation in sports injuries and prevention of staph infections. In some regions, papaya has been used to treat parasitic infections. The fiber and oil content of papaya can also alleviate constipation.
March is the month of exams for most students. We find children putting in about 6 -10 hours of intense study per day during this time. Due to the pressure of the exams, there is bound to be physical and pyschological stress.
Children are usually advised to take nutritious food and adequate sleep. Eye care and health is usually neglected.
Here are a few tips for eye care during exams.
1. It is advisable to wear the glasses prescribed when studying, even if you can see clearly for near without glasses.
2. If you are using contact lenses, do not use them for more than 12 – 14 hours/day.
3. Follow the 20-20-20 rule during prolonged hours of study. If you study for 20 minutes, look out of the window for about 20 secs, at an object which is about 20 feet away. This helps to relax your eyes and relieve eyestrain.
4. Since you have to do a lot of near work during your study, avoid watching TV and playing games on your mobile or i pad. Instead you could go for a walk to feel refreshed and relaxed.
5. It is advisable to keep the reading material at a distance of 1 foot and that the light fall on the print and there are no shadows on it. You should not slouch over the table/ or read in awkward positions. This might lead to neck pain and headache.
6. Lubricant eye drops can be used during the exams after consultation with your eye doctor.
7. Prolonged near work with an overlay of mental stress can sometimes cause a condition called spasm of accommodation in some children. This causes blurred vision, eyestrain and pain around the eyes. This condition can be prevented by following the above tips.
8. At least 6 hours of sleep and a healthy diet with adequate water intake are also equally important .
Good luck for your exams!
NN’s outreach department in Jan 2015 conducted 16 eye screening programs, wherein over 10700 people were screened, 1000+ prescribed new glasses and 83 underwent free surgery for cataract. We are proud of our dedicated teams for their diligence, enthusiasm and commitment to the community.
Eye and Dry – Read the article about Eye and Dry written by Dr. Rohit Shetty from Narayana Nethralaya.
Meditation is one of the simplest techniques to reduce stress and strain, both physical and mental. Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite ways that stress does, restoring the body to a calm state, helping the body to repair itself, and preventing new damage due to the physical effects of stress. An audio visual training was conducted by Mr HN Shankara Narayana, for the staff of Narayana Nethralaya, Rajajinagar on 5th & 6th of February 2015 on stress management through meditation.
- Have your eyes checked regularly. If you need a new or changed prescription, attend to it immediately.
- Re-position the computer. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of the face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its center is four to eight inches below the eyes, which allows the neck to relax while we read and type.
- Follow guidelines for good posture. It will reduce strain on the back, neck, and shoulders.
- Ensure proper lighting. Try the visor test to determine if current lighting is a problem: Look at the monitor and cup the hands over the eyes. If the eyes immediately feel better, then the lighting should be changed. Experiment with brighter and dimmer lighting, as well as the angle of the lights, to find what’s most comfortable for the eyes.
- Reduce glare. Installing anti-glare filters on the monitor, adjusting window shades, and changing the screen’s contrast and brightness can help reduce glare and reflections.
- Blink frequently. It should prevent dry eyes. If that doesn’t work, consider lubricating eye drops . Also make sure air vents aren’t blowing on the face (this can dry out the eyes), and use a humidifier if the room is super dry.
- Take regular work breaks. Stand, stretch, or just look off into the distance, away from the computer, every 15 minutes or so to give the eyes a break.
- Clean the monitor regularly. Dust can decrease screen sharpness, making the eyes work harder.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin are useful for maintaining retinal health. These xanthophylls are found to be rich in Avocados, Eggs, Spinach, Corn and Tomatoes
- Vitamin A is most useful for normal physiology of the eye. Deficiency of vitamin A in childhood can lead to night blindness. Carrots, Mangoes, Papaya, Spinach, and Eggs are rich sources of Vitamin A
- Vitamin C and E are antioxidants which prevent retinal degeneration, delays cataracts, and are helpful in the healing and strengthening of the eye. Citrus fruits, Berries, Bell pepper, Potatoes and green leafy vegetables have high Vitamin C content.
- Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are needed for development of vision in infancy and childhood. Chronic deficiencies can lead to retinal and macular problems. Fish and vegetable oils are the richest source of Omega fatty acids.
- Minerals such as Zinc and Selenium are useful for the normal functioning of the eye and also prevention of macular degenerations. Wheat, nuts and garlic have a high concentration of zinc and selenium.
1. Did you know your eye color is controlled by the level of melanin in your Iris?
Brown eyes have more melanin (the dark brown pigment) in their iris. Blue eyes have less melanin, which allows collagen (which is blue), to show through.
2. If you have blue eyes, then you share a common ancestor with every other blue-eyed person in the world.
The first person ever to have blue eyes lived sometime between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, Before then, all people had brown eyes.
3. Your eye contains 107 million cells which are sensitive to light.
7 million “cones” help you to see color and details. 100 million cells called ‘rods” help you to see better in the dark.
4. Did you know that 20/20 vision just means your vision is “normal”?
Eye doctors have determined what people should ‘normally’ be able to read on a chart from 20 feet away.
5. If you wore glasses which flipped images upside down, your brain would correct your vision.
Although you’d see things upside down for a few days, your brain would eventually adapt, and make sure that you see everything the right way up.
6. On average, you blink 17 times per minute, 14280 times in 314 hour day and 5.2 million times a year.
You blink less when you’re reading, which is why your eyes get tired quickly. You blink more when you’re talking.
7. They say “in the blink of an eye” because it’s the fastest muscle in your body.
A blink typically lasts 100 – 150 milliseconds. It’s possible to blink 5 times in a single second.
Eye allergies, also called ocular allergy or allergic conjunctivitis occurs when certain substances or allergens irritate the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is a delicate membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelid.
As in all allergies, eye allergy starts when your immune system identifies a substance as an allergen. The immune system thus overreacts and produces antibodies known as Immunoglobulin (Ige). The antibodies travel to cells of the eye causing the cells to release chemicals which cause an allergic reaction with symptoms.
The symptoms of Eye Allergies are:
1. Watery eyes
3. Red eyes
4. Swollen eyes
5. Sensitivity to light
6. Eye fatigue
Treatment options include:
This is the key to treating eye allergy. For example if pollen is the allergen, avoid going out in summer and spring when pollen counts are high.
Use of artificial tears
Artificial tears help to temporarily relieve eye allergies. They work by washing away allergens from the eye. Artificial tears also help relieve dry, irritated eyed by adding some moisture to them. They are available over the counter.
Use of antihistamine eye drops
Antihistamine eye drops treat eye allergies. They work by neutralizing the effect of immunoglobulin. And thereby reduce the symptoms.
Lastly, it is best to visit a doctor in case you have any of the above eye allergy symptoms so that the doctor will determine the best treatment and the right dose to administer.
Refractive errors are very common in children. Children may be unaware that they do not see as much as other children. These children usually struggle in school to see the blackboard and hence may not be able to keep up with the school work. If parents or teachers do not notice this problem, it can leave the child helplessly struggling with low vision.
Look for these signs which indicate that the child needs an eye examination.
Squinting the eyes or looking at something with the eyes partly closed to see more clearly. This helps enhance vision and it could be an indication that your child is trying to compensate for vision problems.
2. Rubbing the eyes
Rubbing the eyes is particularly common among young kids who might not be aware that they are suffering from poor vision and is a very common sign that you need to pay attention to and schedule an eye check up.
3. Frequent blinking
Blinking might mean that your child has a refractive problem that is preventing their eyes from producing a clear image. These refractive problems may include myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).
4. Head Tilting
Do you see your child tilting his head while watching the television? Well, this could be your child’s unconscious attempt to find a better picture of the images, which usually occurs when one eye has poorer vision than the other. You child may also try to cover or close one eye.
If you child complains of constant headaches that normally occurs at the end of the day, then it could be because of tired and strained eyes. Eyeglasses could solve the problem and also eradicate the headaches at the same time.
If you notice any of the above signs of poor vision, then it is important for your child to undergo a vision test and complete ophthalmic assessment – which can help determine whether or not your child needs eyeglasses.
Red eye is a very common condition, where the surface of the eye appears red. There are several fine blood vessels on the surface of the eye, which become prominent and inflamed giving a reddish hue to the eye in conditions which include fatigue, illness, eye injury, allergies or eye infections
Causes of Red Eye
- Environmental Pollution: One of the most common causes of red eyes is allergens and irritants present in the environment such as pollen, dust, wind, dry air etc.
- Lack of Sleep: People who do not get enough sleep will also experience red eyes.
- Eye infections: Eye infections and inflammations can cause red eyes, as well as other symptoms such as itching, discharge, pain, and blurred vision.
- Lack of clean contact lens: Improper care or use of contact lenses can cause redness in eyes.
- Symptom of some disease: Red eyes can be like a symptom which indicates a more serious problem such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, scleritis, or acute glaucoma. If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as discharge or pain associated with the redness, you should schedule an appointment with your eye-care professional or primary care doctor right away to see if one of these conditions is present.
Treatment for Red eye
It is good to take some precautionary measures if you are experiencing red eyes and irritation, so that the condition doesn’t get worse.
- Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
- If the environmental factors are bothering you, change your location or minimize your time there, if at all possible.
- You could also try putting an ice pack on your eyes to relieve symptoms like swelling and pain, and may alleviate the redness.
- You might also consider rinsing your eyes with cool water. This can work to irrigate and cleanse your eyes without harming them.
- Getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet keeps your eyes and other important organs healthy and resistant to infection.
If you suspect that your red eyes are caused by a more serious condition or if the red eyes are persistent, call your doctor and make an appointment. Your doctor will examine and prescribe medications as per the diagnosis and this can relieve your symptoms.
Tears bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris and keeping the eye moist. They also contain enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health.
Dry Eye Syndrome
In dry eye syndrome, the eye doesn’t produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. Dry eye syndrome is caused by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from subtle and constant irritation to inflammation of the eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome has several causes.
- It occurs as a part of the natural aging process, especially during menopause; as a side effect of many medications, or because a dry, dusty or windy climate. Home or office air conditioning or a dry heating system can dry out your eyes. Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when staring at a computer screen or TV monitor all day.
- Dry eyes are also a symptom of systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome (a triad of dry eyes, dry mouth, and rheumatoid arthritis).
- Long-term contact lens wear is another cause; in fact, dry eyes are the most common complaint among long term contact lens wearers. Recent research indicates that contact lens wear and dry eyes can be a vicious cycle. Dry eye syndrome makes contact lenses feel uncomfortable, and the rubbing of the lenses against the conjunctiva seems to be a cause of dry eyes.
- Incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that may not be completely and permanently cured (depends on the cause), but the accompanying dryness, scratchiness and burning can be managed.
- Lubricants: Your eye care practitioner may prescribe artificial tears, which are lubricating eye drops that may alleviate the dry, scratching feeling.
- Contact lens: If you wear contact lenses, be aware that many eye drops, cannot be used while your contacts are in your eyes. Your doctor can prescribe eye drops which are safe and effective over contact lenses.
- Blocked meibomian glands: Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is now recognized as a primary cause and contributor to most cases of dry eye.
- Environment. If the problem is environmental, wear sunglasses when outdoors to reduce exposure to sun, wind and dust.
- Nutrition and hydration. Doctors sometimes recommend special nutritional supplements for dry eyes. Studies have found that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can decrease dry eye symptoms.
- In case of persistent dry eyes, your doctor will recommend specialized tests and treatment for relief of symptoms.
Most people are not aware of the fact that high blood glucose levels is one of the most common reasons for vision loss among adults in the whole world. Diabetic patients have an increased risk of developing eye complications which, if left untreated, can lead to poor eyesight and blindness.
However, with frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels and with regular eye examinations and early treatment, it is possible to prevent 98% of serious vision loss due to diabetes.
How can diabetes affect the eyes?
High blood glucose levels can cause changes in the shape of the lens which can temporarily cause blurring of your vision. This commonly occurs before being diagnosed with diabetes or when diabetes is out of control. When blood glucose levels are reduced through appropriate treatment, the blurriness usually disappears. Therefore getting new glasses should be delayed until blood glucose levels are under better control.
The blood vessels of the retina may swell and leak fluid leading to changes in the retinal layers and causing visual blurriness. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy and is commonly found among Type I and Type II diabetic patients.
Persistently high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of more serious eye problems in people with diabetes, including:
- Macular degeneration
Caring for your Eyes
Taking proper care of your eyes is very essential for maintaining good vision, diabetic patients having higher risk of losing vision, need special and extra efforts to protect their eyes.
- Have a through eye examination by an expert eye care professional when you are first diagnosed with diabetes.
- Only an expert eye specialist can conduct through examination of your eyes by dilating your eyes, to have a clear picture of your retina.
- If retinopathy is detected, you will need to have your eyes examined more often.
- Notify your eye care professional immediately if you notice any changes in your vision.
- Keep your blood glucose levels, HbA 1 c, blood pressure and cholesterol at recommended levels. High blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure increase the risk of eye damage and affect its severity.
- Have regular health checks including blood pressure readings, cholesterol measurements and kidney function tests as recommended by your health care team.
- Quit the habit of smoking as soon as possible.
- Maintain a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and healthy eating to better manage your blood glucose levels.
- Always take your medications as instructed by your doctor.
Eyes are one of the most important sensory organs in the human body because it renders vision and the power to see. Visually impaired people feel that their life is incomplete as they can just touch, feel and smell things but can’t see it.
Statistics show that there are 15 million blind people in India and out of this, 6.8 million people are suffering from corneal blindness.
The Cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. It is a focusing element of the eye. The vision is dramatically reduced or lost if the cornea becomes cloudy. This loss of the vision is referred to as corneal blindness. Several corneal diseases affect children and adults and can affect both eyes making them blind.
When the eye is affected only by corneal diseases, replacing this part will restore the vision in such people. Corneal replacement is an easy and simple surgery and is performed at several eye hospitals in the country.
Significance of Eye donation
Donated eyes can be used to restore vision in people who are suffering from corneal blindness. The front, clear and transparent tissue of the eye called as cornea can be used to restore vision in a corneal blind person. The other portions of the eye are also used for research and training purposes to develop cures for some of the common eye diseases.
From each pair of donated eyes, two blind people will get vision and light in to their life, thus making it more divine.
Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her death. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of the society and is totally voluntary. The eye donation of the deceased can be authorized by the next of kith & kin even if the deceased did not pledge to donate his / her eyes before death. Age or systemic illness such as diabetes or hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease is not barriers for eye donations. The corneas of a person are unaffected even if they have undergone any eye surgeries in the past and hence will be useful can be transplanted in others.
There are wide spread social awareness programs and activities conducted across the country to impart the significance of eye donation and its usefulness to the visually impaired people. Till date, medical researchers and scientists are working on developing artificial cornea, but till that time, donating the eyes would be the best gift ever for a blind person suffering from corneal blindness.
View Dr.K.Bhujang Shetty’s talk about Eye Care in the Hello Health Programme telecasted on UDAYA NEWS channel, on 8th Nov 2014.
Most people go to a doctor only when they experience some kind of problems or difficulties with concerned organs or general health. It’s better to take proactive steps in eye care to have prolonged good vision and better eye health rather than waiting for some symptoms to come up which may even aggravate the situation.
Eye examinations and tests aren’t only for people with poor vision. They’re an important way of detecting eye problems before you have symptoms. Eye specialists and doctors can also detect other health problems like diabetes, blood pressure etc at an early stage. Choose experienced and expert eye care professionals who can help you in a better manner.
Warning Signals to visit your eye doctor
- Red eye: Redness in the eye is one of the first symptoms of infection, allergy, inflammation or other serious eye conditions. It must never be ignored. It can often present with pain.
- Irritations and Allergies: Sometimes, dust and environmental pollutants may cause frequent allergies and irritations leading to itchy and teary eyes. It is better to consult your doctor who can prescribe medications to relieve you of such problems.
- Blurring of Vision: Blurred vision can be due to longsightedness, shortsightedness, cataract, retinal diseases, glaucoma where detection in the initial stages can easily restore your vision.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels cause changes in the retina , termed as diabetic retinopathy and if undetected or untreated can affect the vision . So it is very necessary for a diabetic patient to have a regular eye check up.
- High Blood Pressure: In Hypertension the retinal blood vessels may get hardened and calcific which may lead to leakage of blood in the retina and gradually lead to loss of vision.
It is better to have regular yearly visits to your eye care specialist rather than wait for the warning signals to appear!
Dr K Bhujang Shetty, founder of Narayana Nethralaya with Swami Japanandaji, inaugurated a new surgical microscope at the Sharada Devi Eye Hospital and Research Centre on Sunday, 2nd Nov 2014. Narayana Nethralaya is privileged to be associated with this pioneering endeavor to eradicate preventable blindness in Pavagada, which is one of most backward and under-served areas in Karnataka.
Narayana Nethralaya’s outreach department conducted an eye screening program for members of the Punjabi Welfare Association on Saturday, 1st Nov 2014 at Patel’s Inn, R T Nagar.
Under the aegis of Narayana Nethralaya Super Speciality Eye Hospital & Dr.Rajakumar Eye Bank, Rajajinagar (WOC Road, Bangalore) – World Sight Day
Special Event – Corporate Training to Combat Corneal Blindness was held at Auditorium of Narayana Nethralaya from 10am to 1pm
THEME: “Educate-Empower-Enhance-Executive- Effectiveness”
Our Country – Has Eye Pledges & Eye Donors Exceeding the Population
WSD Focus – Conversion is More Important than Pledges was Emphasized by CMD – Dr.Bhujanga Shetty.N
Dr.Bhujang Shetty.K – Chairman & Managing Director of Narayana Nethralaya flagged off the Event along with CEOs, Corporate Heads & Leaders of NGOs. Excellent Invocation & Diya with Sound of Music rendered by Poorvi Sangeeth Academy.
Chief Guest – None Other than 18 Months Old Infant who was beneficiary of Corneal Grafting from Narayana Nethralaya – Lit the JYOTHI of the W.S.D.
Executives from Bosch, ISRO, STC, CGHS, HDFC, UTIITSL, MAXBUPA, IBM, BHEL, BEL, IFFCO, MEDICARE, BAJAJALLIANZ, BIAL, ECHS, STATEBANK GROUP, SBIFMPL, SBM, USIRU Foundation, Red Cross, Chamundi Scouts, APPOLO, ISAC, BBMP, CANBANK. TPV, Dr.MC.Modi Eye Hospital, MUTHOOT, wholeheartedly attended & participated in the Event.
Mr.Vijayakumar – Visually Impaired (With 100% R.P) & an Executive of SBM was the Cynosure of the Crowd to Motivate the rest. Right now he is on Aquatics Learning from Coach Mr.Mohan Rao.
En Mass Pledge Ceremony by all who attended was carried out to mark the occassion.
90 Minutes Session on Eye Donation & Eye Banking was delivered by Campaigner-cum-Representative of EBAI, Sri.M.K.KRISHNA… Finally the F.A.Q Session was handled by the Experts of N.N & Corneal Surgeon Dr.Yathish & his Team responded to the audience.
On behalf of Narayana Nethralaya & EBAI, Wish to convey our thanks to all the participants who attended on 9th October 2014, despite MID WEEK WORKING DAY.
Dr Anjani Khanna, retina fellow, Narayana Nethralaya, has won the Dr. Prem Chandra Gold Medal for best paper presentation in the 28th Annual Conference of North Zone Ophthalmic Society, Ludhiana for the paper titled “Use of MAIA to quantify macular senstivity and fixation stability in patients with Stargardt’s disease” and the best E-Poster award for paper titled “SD-OCT features of myopia”.
Narayana Nethralaya recently created history at the reputed 32nd Congress of European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons held at London by winning 3 best video awards from a single institute in the same congress.
Eyes, being one of the most important sense organs of our body, too require a certain amount of attention and care like any other body parts. With increased use of technology in workplaces and daily life, most people suffer from eye problems, big or small. It is possible to maintain and improve your eyesight by following some simple and easy eye exercises daily. These exercises for eye are so effective that you can practice these even if you are not wearing glasses or even if you suffer from eye problems.
Following are some simple eye exercises which provide you relaxation and will help you improve your eye sight in the long run:
- Palming: This is the most common but effective exercise which you can do even while at workplace. Just close your eyes. Rest your elbows on the table top and cover your eyes with your palm. Keep breathing calmly and get the feeling of relaxation pass over your eyes. With more practice, palming deliver better results.
- Sunning: Another natural relaxation technique for your eyes is sunning. This simply means facing sunlight but with your eyes closed.
- Shifting: Shifting is moving or rotating your eyeballs from one direction to another. You can practice this, either with your eyes closed or open. Just look to your rightward corner, and then shift your gaze to the opposite direction. The tiny eye muscles get a spurt of blood pumped in to, which makes them more active and healthy.
- Focus on near and far objects: Eye exercises are ought to provide adequate movement for your eye muscles. In this exercise, spot a near object and also a far object from where you sit/stand. Keep your head even or level. Then, first focus on the near object. After a minute or so, shift your focus to the far object, thus flexing your eye muscles to a maximum.
- Zooming: Another effective exercise is zooming. Just as the name implies, you are making an object zoom for your eyes. For this, sit on a chair with your arm outstretched .Keep your thumb finger up. Now, bend your arm near to your eyes, thus making the thumb appear in a zoomed fashion.
- Blinking: Closing and opening your eyelids in fast action is also another eye exercise which flexes your eye muscles.
- Take a quick nap: Taking a quick and short nap is said to boost your eyes and vision, as your eyes get little rest.
In today’s hectic and fast paced lifestyle, stress is an inevitable partner for most of us, along with a lot of other pressures and tensions. All these factors adversely affect your body and also your eyes and eyesight too. Taking special care of eyes is very significant during these changing times, so that healthy and powerful eyes can guide you even during old age. For protecting your eyes in the best form, natural eye care is the best solution.
Try out these effortless but effective techniques which provide natural care for your eyes, thus boosting eyesight and protecting eyes from frequent infections.
- Make your diet colorful: Eyes require a multitude of Vitamins and minerals to be in its best shape. Including more green vegetables, citrus fruits, carrots, beetroots and bell peppers in your daily diet, will surely create a visible different for your eyes.
- Drink plenty of water: Make sure to drink plenty of water, even during winter season. As the water content in your body gets low, your eyes feel the pressure and gets more prone to allergies like dry eye syndrome.
- Visit your eye specialist regularly: A routine visit to your eye specialist will help you know your eyes in a better manner. It is also possible to diagnose any eye problems in the initial stage itself, with the help of an expert doctor.
- Adequate sleep: Sleep is an important factor which is vital for healthy eyes. Giving a break to your eyes during your working hours, will also help the eyes to get some rest.
- Wash eyes with fresh water: Wash your eyes with fresh cold water, if you feel some irritation or itching. Do not rub your eyes constantly if there is any irritation.
- Include almonds in your diet: Almonds and other nuts are rich source of fatty oils and essential vitamins needed to protect eyes and improve eyesight.
- Cool your eyes with cucumber: Placing thin slices of cucumber over your eyes will help to revive your eyes from dullness and tiredness.
Vision is one of the most treasured senses of humans. Everyone is aware of the importance of eyes and how precious our eyesight is. And therefore, we all take conscious efforts for protecting our eyes. But are you going in the right direction?
Sometimes, what you think is best for your eyes might not be the same.
Here are nine worst eye care mistakes that can ruin the health of your eyes.
- 1. Sleeping in contact lens: A huge majority of youngster and working population now depend on contact lens for correcting their eye problems. But it is not a good idea to sleep with your contact lens on, how much tired or busy you are. While sleeping on your lens, you are suffocating your corneal areas, thus leading to infection and bacteria growth. So, always remember to remove your lens off before going to bed.
- 2. Playing sports without protective eyewear: Mishaps can occur within a matter of moments. Make sure that you take preventive measures while indulging in dangerous sports or while undertaking risky work, like wearing protective eye wear to protect your eyes from harmful rays and particles.
- 3. Touching and rubbing your eyes: It is very habitual for certain people to touch their eyes or rub it unnecessarily or at a simple hint of irritation, which surely is not a good thing.
- 4. Delaying your regular eye checkups: Majority of people don’t take the pain of going to an eye specialist, unless there is serious or grave issue with their eyes. Instead, regular eye care could nip the problem at its initial stage itself.
- 5. Too much of electronic screens, computer, mobile, TV: Statistics show that , on an average, majority of people are glued to different types of electronic screens like computer, TV or mobile phones, for nearly 12-15 hours of a day. And there is no rest for eyes too, which is really very bad. Eyes need sufficient rest for functioning in the most efficient manner.
- 6. Sleeping in makeup: Eyes look perfect with a little make-up but one has to remove all the makeup from eyes before sleeping. Also, women must avoid using eye cosmetics within the waterline of eyes.
- 7. Over-the-countertop medication: It is not advisable to rely on over-the-counter eye drops or eye medications for instant relief from eye infections or allergies. These small irritations in eyes might be symptoms of a big infection, which only the doctors can detect.
- 8. Using expired medicines: Many people do have the tendency of using the eye drops without checking the expiry date, which may cause the irritation to persist or get bigger.
- 9. Wearing wrong eye glasses: It is not a simple affair when you take your mother’s glasses for reading newspapers because different people will be having different eye powers. Always wear glasses with proper advice from eye specialists.
Eyes and eyesight are really God-gifted. Try closing your eyes for half an hour or at least 10 minutes and you will realize the significance of eyes and vision. Like any other part of your body, eyes too require conscious efforts to protect them, which also help in improving your vision.
Taking proactive and conscious efforts to take care of your eyes will surely benefit you in the long run. Here are some simple tips which you can follow, ensuring maximum protection and care for your eyes.
- Include more green veggies and fruits in diet: Following a healthy diet, rich with fresh fruits, raw green vegetables, will benefit your body to be fit as well as your eyes to be strong and sharp.
- Adequate sleep: Night owls might not agree, but sure, they are risking their eye health while sitting late night. Like your body, eyes too require adequate sleep and rest at night, so that it can function properly without being puffy, red and tired.
- Maintain proper hygiene: Wash your hands properly before rubbing your eyes or even touching your eyes. Those who wear contact lens should strictly follow the hygiene instructions to avoid allergies and infections in eyes.
- Regular eye check-up: It is highly recommended that you visit your eye specialist, at least in a six months interval to make sure that your eyes are fit and perfect, just like nay other part of your body. Visiting your eye specialist at regular intervals also help you to diagnose any problem related to your eyes, at the initial phase itself, like myopia or cataract.
- Quit smoking and liquor: Research show that smoking leads to damage of eye muscles and tiny blood vessels, thus increasing the risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye syndrome, and other conditions.
- Wear sun glasses while in the sun: Sunlight is essential but not too much of it. During dry hot days, avoid going out in the sun or look directly to strong sunrays. Good quality sun shades and protective eye war can help to protect your eyes from external agents like strong light, UV rays, flashes etc.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise not only keeps your body fit but also makes your eyes healthy by pumping more blood and oxygen to your eyes.
- Rest your eyes while at work: Majority of office jobs require constant and direct glaring at the computer screen, making it difficult for your eyes. Make sure to take a break, every twenty minutes. Just close your eyes or get some fresh air.
- Avoid over-the-countertop medicines for eye infections: Most people resort to instantly available over-the-top medications like eye drops or ointments for small eye infections or allergies, which may later become fatal. Wash your eyes with fresh water and even if the pain or irritation persists, consult your eye specialist.
- Keep a safe distance from electronic screens: Adults are exposed to computer screens at work place while kids are glued to TV screen at home, leading to eye problems. Make sure that your TV is kept at a maximum distance while viewing.
Staying fit and healthy is the most popular buzzword of the current times but it’s basically meant for muscles, heart, bones etc. Taking good care of your eyes, so as to protect and maintain your eyesight, is also very vital for leading healthy lifestyle. It is an undeniable fact that your eyesight is closely dependent on your food preferences. Different types of nutrients in food help to prevent a wide range of eye diseases and also protect your eyes from age-related muscular degeneration.
Let’s explore some natural foods which make your eyesight sharp and bright.
- Carrots: Sure, you guessed it right! Fresh juicy Carrots tops the list because it is loaded with beta-carotene which is very essential for preventing degeneration of eye muscles, which gets more chronic as you get older. Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits are also rich in Vitamin B-12 and beta-carotene, thus helping you to maintain your eyesight.
- Spinach: All green and leafy vegetables are good for your eyes. Spinach contains high volume of Lutein, which prevents cell damage. Eye muscles and cells are very sensitive and fragile. Lutein makes your eye muscles stronger and helps to prevent infections.
- Broccoli: The presence of Antioxidants in Broccoli makes it a rich source of Vitamin A, which is very inevitable for healthy eyes. You can use the green Broccoli, just sautéed, steamed or just raw in salads, thus retaining their vitamin content intact for your eyes to absorb.
- Fresh Salmon, tuna: Fleshy fish is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acid, which makes the tiny blood vessels of eyes stronger and healthier. Essential fatty acids from fleshy fish assist in proper flow of intraocular fluid in eyes and prevent dry eye syndrome and glaucoma.
- Sweet potatoes: Many don’t know that sweet potatoes, with their mild sweetness, are storehouses of many vitamins essential for eyes like vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium, Vitamin C and fiber etc, which prevents eye damage and restores damaged eye cells, back in to good shape.
- Turkey: Chicken and pork lovers can opt for a tasty turkey treat as it is full of proteins, calcium, zinc and Vitamin B, essential for keeping your vision sharp. It also acts as a slowing agent for cataract and muscular degeneration of eye muscles.
- Nuts and Dry Fruits: Snacking on nuts like almonds, apricots, cashew nuts etc helps in reducing help risk related to your eyes and vision as they are rich in Vitamin E, which help in preventing cataract and eye muscle degeneration.
Including these wonder foods in your diet, at least once in every week, will give you clear results for your eyes. For more information on diet for healthy eyes, you can contact your eye specialist.
As part of the 29th National Eye Donation fortnight, being celebrated from 25th August to 8th September, a felicitation function was successfully organised today by Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank & Narayana Nethralaya to recognize the services of those who have made significant contribution in the field of eye donation.
It was attended by representatives of Eye collection units, hospitals and various youth and social welfare associations.
An estimated 3 million blind people in India are waiting for a corneal transplantation with over a hundred registrations waiting in just our hospital. Narayana Nethralaya has been a forerunner in making efforts to eradicate corneal blindness through its two eye banks, the Dr. Rajkumar Eye Bank and Shankar Anand Singh Eye Bank. Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman of the hospital has always endeavored to create awareness for eye pledging and donation to help as many patients as possible.
Don’t let glaucoma darken your life!
New theme World Glaucoma Week: March 11-17, 2012 “Don’t let glaucoma darken your life!”
The new theme, with its various possible interpretations, lends itself admirably to the development of screening and prevention activities, but equally well to solidarity and support campaigns. Think about it: Glaucoma can darken the patient’s vision through developing and expanding scotomas; it can darken the patient’s psychology through anguish about the future; it can also darken the lives of the patient’s family through fear about their beloved person’s sight; finally – and maybe most important – it can create a strong guilt to a glaucoma patient who has kept the disease secret for whatever reason and learns that a beloved relative, sibling or child, has lost vision because of late diagnosis – a strong incentive to push one’s relatives to get screened!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of glaucoma progress (without warning nor obvious symptoms to the patient) towards gradually worsening visual damage and may lead to blindness. Once incurred, visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this has led to glaucoma being described as the “silent blinding disease” or the “sneak thief of sight”.
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 4.5 million persons globally are blind due to glaucoma1 and that this number will rise to 11.2 million by 20202. It is noteworthy that due to the silent progression of the disease – at least in its early stages – up to 50% of affected persons in the developed countries are not even aware of having glaucoma3. This number may rise to 90% in underdeveloped parts of the world.
There are several types of glaucoma. Some may occur as a complication of other visual disorders (the so-called “secondary” glaucomas) but the vast majority is “primary”, i.e. they occur without a known cause. It was once believed that the cause of most or all glaucomas was high pressure within the eye (known as intraocular pressure – sometimes abbreviated as IOP). It is now established however, that even people without an abnormally high IOP may suffer from glaucoma. Intraocular pressure is considered therefore today as a “Risk Factor” for glaucoma, together with other factors such as racial ancestry, family history, high myopia and age.
Risk factors for Glaucoma
- Family history of Glaucoma
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disease
Some forms of glaucoma may occur at birth (“congenital”) or during infancy and childhood (“juvenile”); in most cases however, glaucoma appears after the 4th decade of life, and its frequency increases with age. There is no clearly established difference in glaucoma incidence between men and women.
The most common types of adult-onset glaucoma are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) – and Angle-Closure Glaucoma (ACG). Angle-Closure Glaucoma is often chronic, like POAG, but can sometimes be acute, in which case it usually presents as a very painful ocular condition leading to rapid vision loss.
There is no cure for glaucoma as yet, and vision loss is irreversible. However medication or surgery (traditional or laser) can halt or slow-down any further vision loss. Therefore early detection is essential to limiting visual impairment and preventing the progression towards severe visual handicap or blindness. Your eye-care professional can detect glaucoma in its early stages and advise you on the best course of action.
Live Surgi Wire – The Hottest Eye Surgeries brought to you live
Narayana Nethralaya, in association with Post Graduate Institute of Opthalmology, Bangalore (under the aegis of Karnataka Opthalmic Society and Bangalore Opthalmic Society) is going to organise a live surgery seminar on 20th May 2012 at Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway.
Avenues to be explored
- Where are we stand on the road to optical perfection?
- Innovation in IOLs and Phakic lens
- Tips and Perils of successful outcomes
- What did i do wrong? What do i do now?
- Managing Astigmatism with Toric IOLs
- Decoding Keratoconus management