The 2022 slogan for World Sight Day is “Love your Eyes”. Your eyes are a vital component of your health. Even if you take good care of your eyes, there are possibilities that you may encounter at least one common eye problem in your lifetime. While the majority of these problems cause very little harm to the eyes, few of them may lead to permanent blindness of the eyes.
7 most common eye problems faced in India.
1. Blurred vision. If you have blurred vision, the things you see will not be sharp or clear. This can be noted in simple activities like reading a book, seeing television, or reading road signs or posters. Common causes of blurred vision include refractive errors (near-sightedness or far-sightedness), astigmatism, presbyopia (noted mostly in people at 40 to 45 years of age), cataracts, and glaucoma. Rarely, blurred vision can be due to medical problems like diabetes, migraine, or stroke. The exact cause can only be ruled out after a complete evaluation by an ophthalmologist and treatment can be according to the cause.
2. Red eyes. Red inflamed eyes with or without a watering can occur due to conjunctivitis (viral eye infection), allergy, eye injury due to foreign body or glaucoma. In conjunctivitis, which is one of the commonest eye problems, there may be a sticky discharge that causes eyelashes to stick together.
3. Dry eye. The incidence of dry eyes has been increasing over the past few years. Dry eye happens when your eyes do not make enough tears to stay wet, or when your tears do not work correctly. This can lead to uncomfortable sensations with itching or burning in eyes, red eyes and in some cases, it can lead to vision problems. Digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome or mobile vision syndrome is one of the leading causes of dry eyes. The treatment can be as simple as lubricating eye drops called artificial tears. However, for all of us who wish to prevent digital eye strain, follow the famous 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Frequent blinking of our eyes is also an important preventive measure we should follow in our daily routine.
4. Cataract: Considered as one of the most common yet important causes of blindness, a cataract occurs when the natural transparent lens in your eyes becomes cloudy. Aging is the most significant factor, apart from diabetes, smoking or eye injury. The early signs of cataracts would be blurring or distortion of vision, frequent changing of glasses, developing extra sensitivity to light (especially night driving), and having trouble seeing at night. A comprehensive dilated eye examination is essential for the timely diagnosis of cataracts. The only treatment for cataracts is by surgery. During cataract surgery, the ophthalmologist will remove the cloudy lens by phacoemulsification (phaco) and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
5. Glaucoma. Glaucoma is another common eye disease that leads to irreversible blindness if left untreated. In glaucoma, damage to optic nerves can occur due to increased eye pressure or sometimes even with normal eye pressure. Primary open-angle glaucoma is more common and happens when eye fluid drainage is clogged. It can be painless and only cause vision problems & hence is called as the silent thief of sight. It can be diagnosed with regular eye check-up including vision charts & perimetry. The other type of glaucoma called angle closure glaucoma is an acute attack. It causes sudden vision problems with severe eye pain & headache and should be attended as an emergency.
6. Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetes is known to affect almost all body organs and when it affects the blood vessels in the retina, it can lead to vision loss and ultimately blindness if not recognized and treated in time. So, if you have diabetes, an annual dilated comprehensive eye examination is essential to detect this at an early stage when there may not be any noticeable symptoms apart from seeing a few floaters.
7. Eyelid problems. There are a number of disorders affecting the eyelids like tumors, swelling, trauma, deformity, or ptosis which can cause cosmetic and functional eye problems. The role of an eye plastic surgeon (oculoplasty surgeon) is valuable in treating these intricate eyelid difficulties.
Our department of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of vision problems. Our expertise in treating complex eye care conditions especially oculoplasty disorders has benefitted more than 1000 patients of Gujarat and neighboring states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.