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How to prevent eye problems



Photo credit: Hindustan Times

The humany eye is an important sensory organ that reacts to light, allowing people to see. Many eye conditions can lead to vision complications. Some eye problems are minor and may go away on their own or are easily treatable. However, some eye disorders and diseases are more serious and can lead to blindness.

Many parts of your eyes and brain work together to get vision. Some parts of the eye that enables vision are: cornea, pupil, retina, irris, lens and optic nerve.

The front layer of your eye is known as conea. It is dome-shaped and works by bending the light that enters your eye.

The pupil is the black dot in the center of your eye that acts as a gateway for light. It expands in dim light and shrinks in bright light. It’s controlled by the iris.

Irris is your eye color. It is a muscle that controls the size of your pupil and the amount of light that enters your eye.

The lens is behind the iris and pupil. It works with your cornea to focus the light that enters your eye. it allows you to zoom in and see the details clearly.

• Retina: Located at the back of the eye, the retina is a layer of tissue that transforms the light coming into your eye into electrical signals. These signals are sent to the brain where they are recognized as images.

• Optic nerve: This part of your vision works as the connecting element between the retina and the brain. Your optic nerve transmits the electrical signals formed in the retina to the brain.

Any part of these process that brings vision can be altered by eye disorders and diseases thereby causing vision concerns. Some diseases can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Symptoms of eye disorders and diseases

The following are common symptoms of eye disorders and diseases. Some might emerge in childhood and others in later life. These symptoms can worsen over time and may require medical treatment.

*Blurred or cloudy vision
*Double vision
*Seeing ring around lights
*Seeing floating spots
*Sensitivity to light
*Sore or tired eyes
*Difficulty focusing on a book or computer.

Common eye problems

• Nearsightedness or myopia: This is where distant objects look blurry.

• Farsightedness or hyperopia: This causes close objects to look blurry.

• Astigmatism :Due to an abnormal curvature of the cornea, distant and near objects may look blurry.

• Presbyopia: This is a natural and gradual loss of the ability to focus on nearby objects, typically after 40 years old.

.Age-related macular degeneration: It refers to a loss of central vision that occurs with age. The problem occurs when the macula, which is the central area of the retina, is damaged. AMD only affects central vision without affecting the peripheral areas.
The condition can be wet or dry. Wet AMD happens when the growth of blood vessels under the macular area causes rapid loss of central vision, and dry AMD occurs when the macular thins due to aging and causes gradual loss of central vision.

According  MedicalNewsToday, there is Presently, there is no cure for dry age-related macular degeneration.

.Cataract: Cataracts cause a cloudy area in the lens that can blur vision. They worsen with age and can eventually lead to vision loss without treatment.

Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes can damage blood vessels around the eye over time, including in the retina. The damage can cause blood and other fluids to leak, leading to swelling in the retina. The condition may cause no symptoms at first. However, it can progress to cause dark, floating spots or streaks and distort vision. It can also lead to more serious complications, such as the retina becoming detached from the back of the eye.

Glaucoma: It refers to a group eye disease that damage the optic nerve and cause vision problems and blindness.
It involves fluid building up in the eye and putting pressure on the optic nerve.

Open-angle glaucoma is where the fluid fails to drain properly from the eye. It may cause no symptoms at first, but it can lead to vision loss over time. This will often start with the peripheral vision and close in.
Amblyopia: It is also known as lazy eye, mostly affects infants and children. The condition causes vision problems in one eye when the brain cannot properly process vision from it. If caught early, a person can receive treatment to prevent amblyopia.

Strabismus where there is no coordination between the eyes can cause them to become unbalanced, typically in infants. The condition can lead to amblyopia without treatment.

How to prevent vision loss

The National Health Institute suggests some tips to protect the eyes and prevent or reduce vision loss that include:
• getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam to check for any problems
• being aware of risk factors, such as obesity or a family history of eye disease
• following a healthy diet that is rich in dark, leafy green vegetables
• quitting smoking
• exercising regularly
• wearing sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun
• wearing safety goggles and glasses when there is a risk of eye damage, such as playing sport or construction work
• taking breaks from focusing on something nearby every 20 minutes by staring at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds
• following basic hygiene steps to avoid eye infections, such as washing hands

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