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The Eye Facts

the eye with a focus to the balls
The eye is the organ for sight; a three layered roughly spherical structure specialized for receiving and responding to light. It contains some structures like; Sclera, Cornea, Iris, Ciliary body, Choroid, Retina and many others. The eye is one of the most important organs in the body which must be properly taken care of but we find out that most people ignore this important exercise.


Half of all blindness can be prevented, yet the number of people suffering vision loss continues to increase. Having an annual eye exam is crucial in protecting your eye sight and that of your family. These annual exams allow your doctor to detect changes in the front of your eye so that alterations can be made to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

However, your doctor also needs to look at the back of your eye, the retina, (in the retina, light sensitive cells called cones and rods or the photoreceptors send impulses to the brain via the optic nerve), to check that it is healthy and not damaged or showing signs of disease.

Many eye diseases, if detected early, can be treated successfully without total vision loss. Regular eye care, by means of annual eye exams can uncover both eye and systemic (entire body) problems. If these problems are left untreated, there is a risk of disability, suffering, and loss of productivity.

The goals of an eye exam are to void or minimize adverse effects on the eye and vision, as well as to identify potential problems early in order to prevent any problem from getting worse and potentially leading leading to vision loss. This leads us to ask this question, who can examine my eye?


WHO IS AN EYE DOCTOR

An eye doctor is a physician who provides comprehensive eye vision care, which includes medical care, refraction and dispensing, detecting/diagnosis and treatment of disease in the eye. There are two types of doctors that take care of the eye, an Ophthalmologist and Optometrist.


SOME OCULAR PROBLEMS

Ocular problems to discuss here include;

  • Refractive error
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Age related macular degeneration (ARMD)


1. REFRACTIVE ERROR

This is the most common eye condition. This has to do with the need to correct the vision of the eye with glasses. The four most common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness) which affects 25% of the population, hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (an uneven curvature of the cornea that causes a distortion in vision) which affects an estimated 53-63% of the population.

Also as one ages the lens losses its elasticity which reduces the ability of the lens to increase its curvature in order to focus on near object and this results to a condition called presbyopia.

Presbyopia is the difficulty in reading at the usual distance (about one foot from the eyes) and in performing other close work due to the decline with age in the ability of the eye to alter its focus to see close objects clearly or it can also be said to be the age related loss of accommodation which results in the need for bifocals. This condition starts between the ages off 38-45 years, and affects virtually 100% of the population by around 50 years.


2. EYE INJURY OR TRAUMA

Trauma is a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow. This can be in the eye or any part of the body. Blunt trauma in the eye can lead to opacity of media, hyphena and vision loss eventually if not handled properly.


3. CATARACT

This is an opacity in the lens of the eye which results in blurred vision. This is estimated to affect 42% of individuals between the ages of 52-64 years.

However, only about 5% of these people suffer significant loss of vision. Nearly everyone develops some degree of cataract by age 75-85. Cataract may be;

  • Congenital (by birth).
  • Metabolic disease like diabetes.
  • Direct or indirect injury to the lens i.e trauma.
  • Prolonged exposure of the eye to infrared rays or ionizing radiation.
  • The use of some medications (drugs).
  • As a result of age (senile cataract otherwise called nuclear sclerotic cataract. This is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age forty and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. Cataract if discovered early can be surgically removed.

4. GLAUCOMA

This is a condition in which loss of vision occurs because of an abnormally high pressure in the eye. It can also be said to be a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. Though if diagnosed earlier, can be managed.

The optic nerve I a bundle of more than one million nerve fibre. It connects the retina to the brain. The retina is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that contains the photoreceptors. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision.

Also to explain further, there is a fluid called the aqueous humor which supplies nutrients to the ocular media, the rate is removed and when is not done then it will raise the pressure. Glaucoma has no symptoms at early stage.



5. AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (ARMD)

This is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world; it is associated with drusen, without loss of vision at early stage and often progresses to retinal atrophy and central retinal degeneration with associated loss of central vision.

ARMD is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula of the eyes. The macula is a small area in the retina, the light sensitive tissue lining the back of the retina that is responsible for central vision allowing to see fine (tiny) details clearly.

In addition, there are various retinal diseases and conditions of the eye which result in loss of vision. There are also diseases such a diabetes and high blood pressure which can be discovered by examining the eyes. Side effects of drugs may also sometimes be observed during eye examination.


CAUSES OF EYE PROBLEMS OR EYE DISEASES

  • Lack of intake of food or fruits reach in nutrients and vitamins.
  • Systemic diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc.
  • Obesity
  • Smoking and significant alcohol consumption.
  • Constant exposure to sunlight ie. ultraviolet radiation.
  • Prolonged use of some medications.
  • Lack of personal hygiene (touching the eye with dirty fingers and materials)
  • Previous eye surgery, eye injury or inflammation.
  • Family history


REMEDY, MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT OF OCULAR PROBLEMS

1. Intake of food and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals.

2. Quit smoking. It makes you more likely to get cataracts damage to the optic nerve.

3. Look away from computer or phone screen for too long. It can cause blurry vision, trouble focusing at distance, headaches, eyestrain etc.

4. Use safety eye wear. For those refractive error ensure you get your medicated glasses and not to buy from the market or otherwise.

5. Family history - Know what problems (disease), both systemic and ocular disease that runs in your family. It can be diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma etc. Note; if you are over the age of 40 and have a family history of glaucoma, you should have a complete eye examination with an eye doctor every one or two years and always be on a medication.

6. Routine and regular eye check up with an eye doctor.

7. Take your medications seriously and as was prescribed by your doctor. (It is not advisable to buy from the market without a doctor's prescription).

8. Surgery - this is the last option to the treatment of any eye conditions. It comes last after all other resort has failed. When properly carried out, it heals.

According to Berthold Lowerfeld, a psychologist and researcher, he states that blindness imposes three basic limitations on a person, these limitations include;

  • Loss of range and variety of experience.
  • Los of the ability to get around.
  • Loss of the control of the environment and the self in relation to it.

Both children and and adults are supposed to have a check of their eye annually. This will help to detect the eye disease early especially the ones that presents no visual symptoms and effective treatment is carried out immediately. No one is exempted from this examination.

Again, early detection is the key factor in treatment and sight preservation. So, protect yours and your family's vision and health by having annual eye examinations. Heaven helps those help themselves. Therefore always remember to pray for your doctor and ask GOD for healing.




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