Diabetic Retinopathy ?
Diabetic retinopathy (die-uh-BET-ik ret-ih-NOP-uh-thee) is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems.
Who's at the most risk for diabetic retinopathy ?
Fluctuating blood sugar levels increase risk for this disease, as does long-term diabetes.Most people don't develop diabetic retinopathy until they've had diabetes for at least 10 years. However, adult onset (type 2) diabetics should be evaluated at the time of diagnosis and every year thereafter, whereas juvenile onset (type 1) diabetics should be evaluated five years after diagnosis and every year thereafter, at a minimum.
Is there any way to prevent diabetic retinopathy?
Keeping your blood sugar at an even level can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. If you have high blood pressure, keeping that under control is helpful as well. Even controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, so you should have your eyes examined once a year; that way, your doctor can begin treating any retinal damage as soon as possible.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy ?
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might have no symptoms at all, or you might have blurred vision. In the later stages, you may develop cloudy vision, blind spots or floaters. But never assume that good vision means all is well in the retina! This can be a setup for disaster.
What are the different types of diabetic retinopathy ?
Diabetic retinopathy is classified as either nonproliferative (background) or proliferative. Nonproliferative retinopathy is the early stage, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak. In proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels grow abnormally within the retina. This new growth can cause scarring or a retinal detachment, which can lead to vision loss. The new blood vessels may also grow or bleed into the vitreous humor, the transparent gel filling the back of the eye in front of the retina. Proliferative retinopathy is much more serious than the nonproliferative form and can lead to total blindness.
Is Diabetic Retinopathy Curable ?
No. Early treatment can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but is not likely to reverse any vision loss.
What diabetic retinopathy treatments are currently available ?
The best treatment is to keep your diabetes under control; blood pressure control also helps.Your doctor may decide on laser photocoagulation to cause regression of leaking blood vessels and prevent new blood vessel growth. If blood gets into the vitreous humor, your doctor might want to perform a procedure called a vitrectomy.Also, there are a number of new diabetic retinopathy treatment options currently in clinical trials or other stages of development.
Age Related Macular
What is Age Related Macular ?
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging, characterized by damage to the central part of the retina called macula.
Dry AMD & Wet AMD ?
is the most common form found in 90% of patients. Dry AMD occurs when the macular tissues get thin and slowly lose function. The most common symptom of dry AMD is blurred vision which causes difficulty in recognizing faces, increases light requirement for reading and other tasks. Visual deterioration is slow but usually not profound. About 10-20% of people with dry AMD advance to the wet form.
is the less common but more aggressive form of AMD. If it is not treated it may get worse rapidly. Wet AMD is caused by proliferation of abnormal blood vessels under the retina which may exude or leak out fluid, or bleed and ultimately lead to the formation of a scar under the retina.
Symptoms of AMD ?
Diminution of vision in an important symptom of macular degeneration. This lack of ability to see objects clearly affects ones ability to read, drive and see details.Straight lines appear crooked or wavy , A dark area appears in the centre of vision e.g. words in the central part of the page look smudged. Having one or more of these symptoms may not necessarily mean that one has AMD and it warrants an immediate eye check up (early detection is important).
Risk Factors for AMD ?
Age - is the greatest risk factor. Although AMD can occur during middle age, studies show that people over 60 years of age are at great risk. The risk increases with increasing age. Family History of AMD increases the risk. Race - White populations are more predisposed to suffer vision loss from neovascular AMD than Asian or African populations. Smoking has a definite correlation. History of hypertension, heart disease, or lung infection adds to risk.
Detection of AMD ?
Early detection is important as smaller lesions have a better recovery and chance of maintaining reading vision than advanced cases with larger lesions and fibrotic changes. Your ophthalmologist may suspect AMD if you are over 60 years of age and have recent changes in central vision. To establish a diagnosis a comprehensive eye check up is done.
What is Macular Degeneration ?
Macular Degeneration is considered an incurable eye disease.Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.One can compare the human eye to a camera. The macula is the central and most sensitive area of the so-called film. When it is working properly, the macula collects highly detailed images at the center of the field of vision and sends them up the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as sight. When the cells of the macula deteriorate, images are not received correctly. In early stages, macular degeneration does not affect vision. Later, if the disease progresses, people experience wavy or blurred vision, and, if the condition continues to worsen, central vision may be completely lost. People with very advanced macular degeneration are considered legally blind. Even so, because the rest of the retina is still working, they retain their peripheral vision, which is not as clear as central vision.
Risk Factors ?
The biggest risk factor for Macular Degeneration is age. Your risk increases as you age, and the disease is most likely to occur in those 55 and older. Other risk factors include: Genetics – People with a family history of MD are at a higher risk. Smoking – Smoking doubles the risk of macular degeneration.
Are there any Treatment ?
There is currently no known cure for Macular Degeneration, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk and possibly slow the progression once you’ve been diagnosed. For example, one can pursue lifestyle changes like dieting, exercise, avoiding smoking, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light.
What is Dry Eyes ?
When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye, making the surface of the eye smooth and clear. Without this tear film, good vision would not be possible.Sometimes people don't produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye.
Causes of Dry Eye ?
Hormonal changes are a main cause of dry eye syndrome, causing changes in tear production. The hormonal changes associated with menopause are one of the main reasons why women are most often affected by dry eye.Conditions that affect the lacrimal gland or its ducts — including autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis — lead to decreased tear secretion and dry eye.
Tear secretion also may be reduced by certain conditions that decrease corneal sensation. Diseases such as diabetes and herpes zoster are associated with decreased corneal sensation. So is long-term contact lens wear and surgery that involves making incisions in or removing tissue from the cornea (such as LASIK).Another cause for dry eye is exposure to a dry, windy climate, as well as smoke and air conditioning, which can speed tear evaporation. Avoiding these irritants can offer dry eye relief.
Dry Eye Symptoms ?
While it may sound strange, people with dry eye may find their eyes water quite a bit. This is because the eye is responding to the irritation of this condition. Dry-eye sufferers may find that they feel like they cannot keep their eyes open for very long. They may also find their eyes feel more uncomfortable after reading or watching television.
Dry eye symptoms usually include:Stinging or burning eyes; Scratchiness; Stringy mucus in or around the eyes; Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind;Excess tearing; Discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
Dry Eye Treatments..
Preservative-free eyedrops are available for people who are sensitive to the preservatives in artificial tears. If you need to use artificial tears more than six times a day, preservative-free brands may be better for you.You can use the preservative-free artificial tears as often as necessary — once or twice a day or as often as several times an hour.Conserving your eyes' own tears is another approach to keeping the eyes moist. Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose (which is why your nose runs when you cry). Your ophthalmologist may close these channels either temporarily or permanently. This method conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.
Other methods : Tears evaporate like any other liquid. You can take steps to prevent evaporation. In winter, when indoor heating is in use, a humidifier or a pan of water on the radiator adds moisture to dry air. Wraparound glasses may reduce the drying effect of the wind.A person with dry eye should avoid anything that may cause dryness, such as an overly warm room, hair dryers or wind. Smoking is especially bothersome.Some people may find dry-eye relief by supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found naturally in foods like oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies) and flax seeds. Ask your Eye M.D. if you should take supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and, if so, in what form and dosage.
If you are bothered by dry eye, talk with your Eye M.D. for ways to find relief.
What Are Contact Lenses ?
A contact lens is a thin, curved lens placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of your eye. The lens itself is naturally clear, but is often given the slightest tinge of colour to make them easier for wearers to handle. Today’s contact lenses are either hard or soft. Most people wear the latter form now, but it wasn’t too long ago that contact lenses were even glass blown !
Types of contact lenses..
While contact lenses are still most commonly worn for vision correction, there are also contact lenses for purely cosmetic and novelty purposes. Coloured contact lenses can enhance or completely change the hue of your eyes, and costume contact lenses can help create some of the special effects you see on the big screen. All contact lenses, however, are medical devices, regulated by the U.S. FDA. Prescription contact lenses and cosmetic contact lenses all require a prescription. This is because even common complications such as infection and inflammation might lead to vision loss or blindness. The best ways to help prevent complications include : Talk to your eye doctor if you’re thinking about contacts ; Buy contact lenses from a legitimate source; Keep your contact lenses well cared for and clean; Follow all the instructions around your contact lenses and lens products.
Wear and replacement schedules..
In order to keep your eyes and vision in peak performance and health; each pair of contact lenses is manufactured and prescribed for a certain wear schedule; and to be replaced after a defined period. Whatever your lifestyle and preferences, your eye doctor can help you find the right contact lenses or eye care solutions for you. Remember to always consult a professional with questions about the health of your eyes and vision.
Contact Lenses, Eyeglasses... Or Both ?
Thanks to advances in contact lens technology, most people these days can wear contacts successfully, even if they prefer to wear glasses as their primary form of vision correction. So the decision to wear either contacts or glasses — and when to wear them — usually is a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind, though, that if you wear contact lenses full-time, you also should have an up-to-date pair of glasses — in case you need to stop wearing contacts due to an eye infection or irritation, or you simply want to give your eyes a break.