Refractive Error

How to Spot Eye Problems

How to Spot Eye Problems – Some Eye Conditions That Everyone Should Know

Dr Srinivas Marmamula, is senior optometrist, researcher and public eye health specialist at L V Prasad Eye Institute.

Vision is the important of all senses and eye is considered as a window to the outside world. Taking care of our Eye health by early detection of eye conditions and seeking care as soon you notice any symptoms in the eye can prevent more serious damage. Here are few eye conditions that everyone should know and should visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist if you suspect any of these conditions

  • Cataract: It is most common cause of loss of vision in people aged over 50 years. Typically, one will experience a gradual loss of vision both for distance and near, glare from light in the evenings which may make driving in the evenings difficult. These symptoms are usually seen in both eyes but may be more in one eye.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition that may result in irreversible vision loss due to increased pressure in the eye and optic nerve damage. While some types of glaucoma may have symptoms such as intermittent attacks of redness, eye pain, colored halos around the light and discomfort in bright light, few glaucomas may not have any symptoms. If you are above the age of 40, then it is the time to have a comprehensive eye examination including measurements of intraocular pressures and optic nerve examination. Glaucoma may run in families. If any of your family members have glaucoma, then all other family members should get themselves examined to ‘rule out’ glaucoma.
  • Refractive errors: These are very common and people with this condition experience blurred vision. Most refractive errors can be corrected with spectacles though newer technologies such as contact lenses and refractive surgeries are available now. If you find your children going close to the television while watching a movie or a cartoon, then they may be having a refractive error that need to be corrected. Very frequent use of gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, video games etc may predispose the children for refractive errors.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent these days. People with diabetes have the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy which may have serious consequences on vision. Having a regular eye examination including examination of the retina, at least annually will help in early detection of diabetic retinopathy and prevent the occurrence of vision loss.
  • White spot in the eye in newborns / young children: White spot in the eye in newborns or young children may be a serious underlying eye condition that needs immediate attention and a comprehensive eye examination by an eye specialist. Any delay may lead to irreversible vision loss or even fatality in rare cases such as eye cancers.
  • Conjunctivitis: Redness, stickiness of eyes, irritation and discharge are common symptoms seen in people who get conjunctivitis. It typically affects both eyes though severity may vary between the eyes. Usually vision is not affected. Cleaning the eye frequently and avoiding sharing of towels and other personal belonging may prevent the spread of this condition to others in the family. Though this may be self- limiting which may resolve in 3-4 days, if it persists for more than this period or if it starts affecting vision than please consult your eye doctor immediately.
  • Routine eye examination: Prevention is many times better than cure. Never underestimate the importance of comprehensive and complete eye examination annually. Always demand for complete eye exam that includes examination of retina, optic nerve and measurement of intraocular pressure. Beware, mere testing of power for change of spectacles is not a complete eye examination and may not detect potentially blinding conditions. Let’s resolve to have a complete examination now!

The author can be contacted at: srioptom@lvpei.org

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