13 Eye Health Related FAQs

13 Eye Health Related FAQs

Have doubts about eye health? Check out the FAQs below:

1) How do cataracts develop and what are the treatment options?

There are two risk factors for the development of cataracts; age and exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Age-related cataracts occur when proteins in the eyes form clumps and restrict the amount of light that enters the retina. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays is another cause of cataracts. Other causes of cataracts include eye diseases and eye injuries.

Cataracts can be treated with an eye surgery in which the surgeon replaces the cloudy lens with a clear, artificial lens. But the surgery should be done from the best eye hospital in West Bengal.

2) How is cataract diagnosed?

Cataract can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, including dilated eye exam and visual acuity test.

In a dilated eye exam, the doctor dilates the pupils using eye drops. By doing this, the doctor can determine cataracts’ opacity and impact on vision. The doctor is able to determine the extent of vision impairment through the visual acuity test.

3) Can I get a cataract surgery done during summers?

Yes. You can undergo a cataract surgery during summers. In fact, you can undergo a cataract surgery during any time of the year. Cataract surgery not being feasible during summers is just a myth.

4) What is diabetic retinopathy and what are its symptoms?

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes; the eye condition is one of the leading causes of blindness. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina.

The early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy go almost undetected, but can gradually worsen over time, leading to vision loss. Some of the common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include eye pain, double vision, eye floaters and spots, and blurred vision.

5) Who are at the risk of diabetic retinopathy?

People suffering from diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, stand at the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Pregnant women with diabetes are at the equal risk. Disha Eye Care Hospital is the best among the top ten hospitals for retina treatment in Kolkata.

6) Can diabetic retinopathy be prevented? If yes, how?

There are several steps to lowering the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Managing diabetes is the first step to minimising the risk of onset of the eye condition. Other steps involve regularly checking blood sugar levels, testing urine for ketone levels, and undergoing an annual comprehensive eye exam.

7) Can eye injuries affect vision?

Yes, but it totally depends upon the severity of the eye injuries. Minor injuries can cause eye pain and temporary blurred vision while major injuries can have serious implications such as eye infection and vision impairment.

8) How to protect the eyes from diseases?

There are several ways how you can lower the risk of development of eye diseases. First off, maintain a healthy diet by choosing fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, and fish over unhealthy food items such as deep-fried snacks and frozen meat items.

Exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and get your eyes checked every year. These steps help you maintain an overall good health and keep the risks of eye diseases at bay.

9) What is glaucoma and what are its symptoms?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can cause vision loss by damaging the eyes’ optic nerve. The eye disease is linked to the build-up of pressure (intraocular pressure) inside the eyes

Some of the common symptoms of glaucoma include eye pain, narrowed vision, nausea, vomiting, eye redness, vision loss, and seeing halos around the light.

10) What are the treatment options for glaucoma?

Your doctor may plan the treatment depending upon the severity of the condition. Eye drops for Glaucoma can either increase fluid flow or reduce its formation in the eyes.

Laser surgery is another treatment option for glaucoma. This procedure can help increase fluid flow in the eye. A surgery known as Trabeculoplasty involves opening a new channel to drain the fluid and lower eye pressure.

11) Why is it not safe to wear contact lenses past expiry/recommended date?

Contact lenses (as the name suggest) get into direct contact with the eyes when worn. Therefore, it’s crucial that you follow safety precautions to avoid serious implications. Wearing contact lenses past their expiry date can increase the risk of eye infections, which, in turn, can worsen and cause vision impairment.

The same applies to the cleaning solution. Make sure that you replace it after reaching the expiry date.

12) Will reading in dim light damage my eyes?

Reading is a precision activity, and when you do it under dim lighting, you increase strain to your eyes. As a result, you can suffer from symptoms such as eye redness, itchiness, pain, and dryness. The best practice is to read under bright lighting.

13) How to avoid eye injuries?

Eye injuries cannot be completely avoided. However, you can take steps to drastically lower the risks. For example, wear a protective eyewear when working at the workshop or travelling outdoors.

Choose quality eye treatment at Disha Eye Hospital – one of the best eye hospitals in Kolkata.

Our specialised team of eye experts at Disha Eye Hospital can help you maintain a good eye health through comprehensive eye check-up and quality treatment. For more information, visit us.

10 Questions that Diabetic Patients Should Ask Their Eye Doctors

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Diabetic patients are at greater risk of developing other diseases; especially eye-related conditions. We know that a visit to the doctor can be intimidating for some of you; however, being informed and aware of your condition is the best way to prevent it from progressing further.

How diabetes affects your vision?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease where either your body is unable to produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin produced. Your body cells derive energy from the sugar and insulin helps your body in breaking down the glucose and delivers it to cells throughout your body.

When your body cannot use the insulin, sugar levels keep increasing in your blood. This condition is known as hyperglycemia and it affects each and every part of your body including the eyes.

Diabetes makes your vision blurry.

Blurry vision is the first sign that your blood glucose levels are high. Your vision gets blurry as fluid starts leaking through the lens of your eyes. As a result, the eye lenses swell and changes shape. This makes it tough for your eyes to focus and as a result, your vision gets distorted. To correct this condition, you have to bring down your blood sugar levels to normal.

Diabetes causes Cataract

Yes. Diabetes is one of the reasons behind cataract. This is a condition where your clear eye lenses become cloudy. While anyone can develop cataract, diabetic people get them earlier than non-diabetic people.

As your lens gets cloudy, your eyes cannot focus on objects properly and this affects your vision. You have to undergo a surgery for cataract removal. The doctor replaces cloudy lens with another artificial lens.

Diabetes can result in Glaucoma

Glaucoma is when the eye pressure increases to an unprecedented level. This happens when the eye fluid cannot drain properly. This damages the blood vessels in your eyes and can also damage the nerves. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of the condition. Doctors mostly prescribe medicines for treating Open Angle Glaucoma. The medicines help lower eye pressure, speed up the fluid drainage process, and also reduce the amount of liquid (aqueous humour) produced by your eyes.

This type of glaucoma often doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has progressed to an advanced level and you start losing your vision. Usually, it’s not possible to tell from the symptoms whether you have glaucoma or not. The initial symptoms are often misunderstood as being a minor issue. Primary symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye aches or pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision

While it’s difficult for you to identify vision issues, an ophthalmologist can diagnose it in its early stage. And that’s why undergoing a thorough eye check-up is essential, especially if you have diabetes.

Treatment options can include medicine and eye drops. The eye care specialist may also prescribe laser treatment and surgery for improving drainage of fluid. If you have diabetes, you’re also at risk of developing a rare condition known as Neovascular Glaucoma.

In this condition, the blood vessels in the eye grow on the iris – the coloured part of your eye. This growth blocks the drainage of fluid and increases eye pressure. This condition is tough to treat; however, the doctor may try laser surgery to cut the additional growth. The doctor might also use implants for improving the fluid drainage.

Diabetic Retinopathy

As the name suggests, this eye condition is caused by diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, causing diabetic retinopathy.

The retina is a crucial part of your vision that takes in light, turns it into an image and then sends it to the brain through the optic nerve. This eye condition requires early treatment and failing to do so can cause permanent blindness. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy. The risk of eye condition can be lowered if you keep your blood sugar levels under control.

There are several other types of this condition:

Background retinopathy: In this condition, the blood vessels are damaged; however, your vision isn’t lost. This might get worse if you do not control diabetes.

Maculopathy: In this condition, the macula, an important part of the retina is damaged, affecting your vision.

Proliferative retinopathy: This condition develops when the cells at the back of your eye don’t get enough oxygen, causing growth of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels are so fragile that they bleed and lead to a clot.

This may cause scars, pulling your retina away. The detachment of retina cause vision loss and this cannot be treated. However, sometimes this condition can be treated. A laser procedure is used for burning the blood vessels. Surgery is also an option. This can prevent blindness in people with early retinopathy.

If you have diabetes and are concerned about your eyes, here are a few questions that you may find helpful:

1. What are the ways to test eyes for diabetic eye disease?

You will never know that diabetes is slowly deteriorating up your vision until it’s too bad. It’s possible for your doctor to identify it during the early stages if you go for regular eye examinations. The optometrist will conduct the following tests to detect diabetic eye disease:

  • Dilated Retinal Exam

The doctor will use a Snellen Chart (a chart with random letters of different size) for checking your vision. After that, he/she will apply eye drops to dilate the pupils of the eye. In this way, he/she can examine the back of your eye using a special magnifying glass.

The doctor mainly examines the back of the eye, the optic nerve, and the blood vessels in the front and middle of the eye. The doctor may also use a slit lamp to examine the cornea of the eye. The doctor might even take photographs of the back of your eyes for detailed examination.

  • The Tonometry Test

This test is for measuring the fluid pressure in your eye. This test is performed to check whether any eye disease (such as Glaucoma) is damaging the nerves in the back of your eye or not.

2. What are the ways of treating diabetic retinopathy?

Medication

One type of medication is called “anti-VEGF” medication. This helps in reducing the swelling of the macula and slows the process of vision impairment. This may also help improve your vision. This drug is given through injections in the eye.

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery might be used to help seal off leaking blood vessels. This can reduce swelling of the retina. Laser surgery also helps in shrinking blood vessels and prevents their recurrence. Sometimes, the doctor may carry out multiple treatments for curing the condition.

Vitrectomy

The ophthalmologist may also suggest vitrectomy. In this surgery, the ophthalmologist removes the vitreous gel and blood that’s leaking from the blood vessels in the back of your eye. This helps light rays to focus properly on the retina. During the surgery, the doctor also removes scar tissues.

3. What kind of diet should one follow?

A good and well-balanced diet not only helps in controlling your blood sugar levels but also keeps your eyes healthy. Eat food items rich in Vitamin A, zeaxanthin, lutein, and Omega-3 fatty acid. You may include food items in your diet such as-

  • Fish:

These are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid and are critical for maintaining the health of your retina. It also helps prevent dry eyes. Incorporate fish into your daily meal at least once a week.

  • Eggs:

This is a great food for your eye. It contains lutein, vitamin A, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients safeguard the eye from serious eye conditions and also, protect the retina.

  • Dairy Products:

Milk and yoghurt are good for your eye health. These contain zinc and vitamin A. Zinc is mainly found in the retina and the choroids. This essential mineral keeps your eyes healthy.

  • Citrus Fruit:

Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C which is vital for your eye health.

Follow a healthy meal plan comprising of fresh vegetables, lean meat, and wholegrain for keeping blood glucose levels in control and for maintaining eye health.

4. Foods that are to be avoided

Food items containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and linoleic acid can put you at high risk for eye disease. Processed food, chocolate, margarine, french fries, chips, baked goodies such as cookies and cakes can increase your risk of eye disease.

Also, avoid aerated drinks. Junk food not only affects your cardiovascular health but also increase the blood glucose levels, exposing you to risk of developing eye conditions.

5. Who are at the risk of developing diabetic eye disease?

Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease; however, you are at greater risk if your blood glucose levels are extremely high and if you have high blood pressure. High cholesterol levels and smoking also increase your risk of developing diabetic eye condition. Diabetes during pregnanancy also increases your chances of developing eye issues. And in case you are at the initial phase of diabetic retinopathy, it can get worse during pregnancy.

6. What are the symptoms of diabetic eye disease?

The early symptoms of the diabetic eye disease are barely noticeable. You may not experience pain and even won’t experience any changes in your vision: meanwhile, your vision gets affected. This is especially true for diabetic retinopathy. Some of the initial symptoms that might occur include:

  • blurry, distorted or wavy vision
  • flashes of light
  • poor colour vision
  • dark areas in your visual field
  • frequently changing vision (sometimes vision may change from day-to-day)
  • spots or floaters in your visual field

Talk to your eye doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

7. Can diabetes cause cataract?

Yes. If you have Diabetes Mellitus then you are at greater risk of developing a cataract. The lens of your eyes derives its nutrients from aqueous humour, a fluid that fills the front part of the eye.

Aqueous humour provides glucose and oxygen. When you don’t have control over the blood glucose levels, the sugar levels increase in the aqueous humour. This causes the lens to swell, affecting your vision.

Moreover, the eye lens also contains an enzyme that converts glucose to sorbitol. When sorbitol accumulates in the lens, it affects the cells and the naturally-occurring proteins. This causes the lens to become less clear.

8. Can diabetes cause Retinal Detachment?

This condition is rare and is age-related. Retinal detachment occurs when the blood vessels responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the layer of cells located in the back portion of the eye starts pulling away. Prolonged levels of high blood sugar are one of the main reasons for retinal detachment. This damage results in the formation of scar tissue that can pull the retina out of position.

9. Who are at risk of retinal detachment?

You are at greater risk of developing retinal detachment if you are:

  • between the ages of 50 and 75 years
  • extremely short-sighted
  • have diabetic retinopathy

Those who are short-sighted are more likely to develop retinal detachment as they are usually born with a thinner retina.

10. What to do to prevent diabetes-related blindness?

Early detection and timely treatment are the only ways of lowering the risks of diabetes-related blindness. More than anything else, you have to control your blood sugar levels. This slows down the onset of diabetic retinopathy and also reduces the chances of undergoing sight-correcting surgery.

Glaucoma and other eye conditions treatment in Kolkata

Looking for a good eye hospital in Kolkata for glaucoma treatment? Do not waste time and visit Disha Eye Hospital today. For more details, get in touch with us at http://www.dishaeye.org/contact-us.

Facts on Diabetic Eye Diseases

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Do you have diabetes? If yes, then take care of your eyes. It’s because vision problems are one of the most significant complications caused by diabetes and is a common cause of blindness.

Poorly managed diabetes can affect the lens, macula, retina, and optic nerve in your eyes and may cause permanent blindness. This is why it’s important to understand how this condition may affect your eyes.
The most common and serious eye condition caused by diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetes causes a number of other eye conditions as well.

How diabetes affects your vision?

Diabetes may affect your vision (in severe cases) and may not, but in any case, it will affect your eyes and the way it functions. This is especially when your blood sugar levels are uncontrollably high. Here’s how it affect your eyes:

  1. Any changes in your blood sugar levels have an impact on your lens. This may blur your vision and as such, you may face difficulty in your day-to-day activities, depending on the blood sugar levels. It’s not necessary that people with diabetes will develop an eye condition. It all depends on your sugar level.
  2. Diabetes also makes your eye lens cloudy. This condition is called cataract. This happens when your eye lens swells due to high levels of blood glucose in the fluid around your eye lens. As a result, the area around the lens has more water than usual and it cannot focus the light properly on the retina. People with diabetes stand at a higher risk of developing cataract at an earlier age than non-diabetic people.
  3. Diabetic people may also develop glaucoma, an eye condition that damages the optic nerve. Elevated blood sugar levels may raise the ocular pressure (pressure inside your eyes) and result in glaucoma.
  4. Diabetes can also affect the flow of blood in your eyes. It may cause blockage in the vessels obstructing the flow of blood to your retina. This blockage can also cause leakage or cause unnatural growth in the vessels. All these conditions cause different types of retinopathy. This condition can turn worse, depending on the severity of the changes in the eye blood vessels.

Eye condition caused by diabetes

The World Health Organisation identifies diabetes as a major cause of blindness all over the globe. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of people suffering from diabetic retinopathy (DR) will rise to 191.0 million and the number of people suffering from vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy including Proliferative and Non-proliferative DR, and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) may rise to 56.3 million.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ceo.12696/pdf

Here’s a brief overview of eye conditions caused by diabetes:

5. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is of several types, depending on the level at which the blood vessels in your eyes are affected. This includes:

  • Background Diabetic Retinopathy

This type of retinopathy does not usually affect your eyesight. Your eyes develop this condition when there is a blockage in your capillaries in the retina. This causes the capillaries to swell which is known as microaneurisms.

A microaneurism may also leak blood or a fluid known as exudate. These changes in the eyes don’t affect the vision immediately but the eye doctor needs to monitor it regularly so that the condition doesn’t get worse.

  • Proliferative diabetic retinopathy

The blood vessels in the retina help in delivering oxygen to your retina for its proper functioning. If background retinopathy gets worse, these blood vessels may get completely damaged. As a result, a large section of your retina is affected and the blood supply to the retina is reduced.

This condition is known as ischaemia where particular areas in your retina are deprived of the oxygen they require. Your body then tries to fix this issue by growing new blood vessels on the surface of the retina or the vitreous gel. However, these blood vessels are extremely weak and as such, they bleed causing haemorrhages.

Such haemorrhages can completely block your vision as your retinopathy enters a proliferative stage. In many cases, with time, the blood might get reabsorbed into your body and there is a chance for your vision to improve. But chances are high that these haemorrhages will keep resurfacing and the blood may not be absorbed completely.

This may lead to permanent vision loss. If the haemorrhages are large, it can also scar the tissue. As the retina shrinks, the scar tissues may distort the retina or pull it on. As a result, the retina may get detached and cause serious vision loss.

  • Diabetic maculopathy and diabetic macular edema

When the retinopathy affects your macula, it causes Diabetic Maculopathy. This condition affects your central vision which is important for seeing colours and other fine detail.

As a result,  it becomes difficult for you to carry on precision tasks such as writing, reading and seeing other detail. If the fluid leakage is near the macula, the accumulation of fluid can result in macular swelling. This condition is known as diabetic macular edema. This makes your eyesight blurred and distorted. Even the colours may appear washed out.

6. Cataract

It’s through the lens that your eyes focus on an image and see. This lens is usually clear and free of any debris. Now, when you have a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy. Anyone can develop this condition but diabetic people tend to get them earlier compared to non-diabetic.

Also, cataract in a diabetic eye worsens faster. If your eye lens is cloudy, it cannot focus on images as it should. Common symptoms of cataract include blurry vision and light sensitivity. Cataract can be removed by surgery. The doctor will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens.

If you are diabetic the odds of developing the eye condition depends completely on your blood glucose levels.  The lens of your eyes derives nutrients from the aqueous humour. This is the front part of your eye which is filled with fluid. Aqueous humour supplies oxygen and glucose to your eyes. Glucose is essential for proper functioning of the cells.

However, if the glucose levels are uncontrolled, the sugar content in your aqueous humour also increases causing it to swell and affects the clarity of your vision. The lens also has an enzyme that helps in converting glucose into sorbitol. When sorbitol accumulates in the lens, it affects the lens cells and other naturally-occurring proteins. As a result, the lens becomes more opaque. This condition eventually results in cataract formation.

7. Glaucoma

The relationship between diabetes and open-angle glaucoma is subject to research. Diabetic people are more likely to develop glaucoma compared to non-diabetics. Diabetes is also associated with a rare type of glaucoma known as neovascular glaucoma.

In some cases of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in the retina are destroyed and as a result, the retina develops abnormal blood vessels. Neovascular glaucoma develops when new blood vessels grow on your iris. This obstructs the flow of fluid in your eyes, raising the eye pressure. This condition is difficult to treat; however, laser surgery can help in reducing the proliferation of abnormal blood vessels on the iris and your retina.

The doctor may prescribe medication for treating open-angle glaucoma. This is the most common form of glaucoma. Medicines can be used to lower eye pressure, reduce the amount of fluid in your eyes, and speed up the drainage process. Open-angle glaucoma usually doesn’t cause any symptom unless it has progressed to an advanced stage. A comprehensive eye examination is the only way to determine whether you have open-angle glaucoma or not.

You may notice these symptoms:

•    Headaches
•    Halos around lights
•    Blurred vision
•    Eye aches or pain
•    Vision loss
•    Watery eyes

How to prevent diabetic eye condition?

If your blood sugar levels are under control, you won’t have any problems in your vision. Even if you have, they won’t be severe. And that is why visiting an eye specialist from time to time is essential. This is the only way to find out whether your eyes are affected or not. The doctor may do the following tests and screening:

8. Diabetic Eye Screening

With early intervention, most of the diabetes-related eye conditions can be treated. And a thorough eye screening is the best way to detect any abnormality caused by diabetes. A comprehensive screening is essential during early stages of diabetic eye conditions as they don’t have any primary symptoms (except cataract). By the time the symptoms become noticeable, the condition becomes worse and difficult to treat.

During diabetic eye screening, the doctor will put an eye drop for enlarging the pupils. It takes 15-20 minutes and during that time, your vision is temporarily blurred. After that, the doctor takes photographs of your retina. The camera won’t touch your eyes and there will be several flashes each time a photograph is taken.

The light is pretty bright and the eye drops may make your eyes a bit stingy. Depending on the type of eye drops used, the haziness of your vision may last from two to six hours. After the screening procedure, everything around you may feel a bit bright. Do not worry, your vision will get normal soon after some time.

9. Photocoagulation (Scatter and Focal) and Vitrectomy

Scatter and Focal photocoagulation and vitrectomy help in preventing blindness in most of the cases. The sooner your condition is diagnosed, higher the chances that the treatment will be successful. In photocoagulation, the eye doctor will use a laser beam for making small burns on your retina. These burns seal the blood vessels, preventing further growth and leakage.

In scatter photocoagulation, which is also known as pan-retinal photocoagulation, the eye specialist will make hundreds of such burns in dotted patterns. This procedure reduces your chances and risk of blindness caused by vitreous haemorrhage or retinal detachment. However, this procedure will only work if the detachment hasn’t progressed much and before bleeding has occurred. Scatter Photocoagulation is also used for treating certain kinds of glaucoma.

Focal photocoagulation is where the eye care specialist aims the laser exactly on the leaking blood vessels in the macula.  This procedure won’t cure blurry vision caused by macular oedema but it can prevent the condition from getting worse.

In case the retina has already detached or excessive amount of blood has leaked into the eye, this procedure is of no help.  The next option that you have is vitrectomy. This is a surgery for removing scar tissue and cloudy fluid from your eyes. In this case too, the earlier you opt for the operation, the more likely it is to be successful.

For treating macular edema, the doctor either goes for Focal Laser Therapy or using medications. Focal laser therapy slows the leakage of fluid whereas medications can be injected into the eye to slow the growth of new blood vessels and for reducing the leakage of fluid into the macula.

Who are at the risk of developing diabetic eye disease?

Your chances of retinopathy are high if you have diabetes for a longer period. This means, almost everyone with type 1 diabetes may eventually suffer from non-proliferative retinopathy.

And most of the people with type 2 diabetes are also at the risk of developing it. If you are diabetic and you have good control over your blood sugar levels and if they are close to normal then you are less likely to develop retinopathy.

Most people with non-proliferative retinopathy usually do not show any symptoms. And that’s the reason why you should have your eyes examined regularly by an eye care expert.

Get your eye health diagnosed at a leading eye hospital in Kolkata

Get in touch with experts for thorough eye check-up or for glaucoma treatment in Kolkata. Visit http://www.dishaeye.org appointment to book an appointment.

How to Take Care of your Eyes When you Have Diabetes

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Poor eye health and vision impairment is one of the biggest risks associated with diabetes. High blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels in the eyes and can lead to an eye condition known as Diabetic retinopathy.

Although Diabetic Retinopathy cannot be cured, it can be prevented by managing blood sugar. Here’s a quick glance at how you can take care of your eyes when you have diabetes:

1) Understanding the risk factors

Understanding the risk factors associated with diabetic eye complication is a preliminary step in taking care of your eyes if you have diabetes. The risk factors for the onset and worsening of Diabetic Retinopathy include:

  • High cholesterol
  • Poor blood sugar control
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating unhealthy foods
  • Sedentary lifestyle

2) Control blood pressure and sugar

High blood pressure, which is common for people with diabetes, combined with high blood sugar, can cause damage to the eye blood vessels which eventually impairs vision. To lower the risks of the onset of Diabetic Retinopathy and vision impairment, keep your blood pressure at around 140/80 or below.

Normal blood pressure is as important as controlled blood sugar in order to prevent diabetes-related eye complications.

Make sure that you keep your A1C level under 7% to minimize the damage to the blood vessels in the eye caused by high blood sugar. A1C is a test for determining a person’s average blood glucose level.

3) Keep the cholesterol levels in check

LDL or bad cholesterol causes damage to the blood vessels, and therefore, you should keep your LDL in check. You can keep track of the cholesterol levels in your body through a blood test.

There are many ways how you can lower the cholesterol levels in your body. The most effective ways are to exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy foods – all of which have been discussed in the points following below.

4) Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is the best way to control blood sugar and pressure. When you exercise regularly, the oxygen content in the blood increases. This way, the blood vessels (including in the eyes) become healthy.
Exercising regularly doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym and lift weights. Simple cardio such as running, jogging, brisk walking, swimming, dancing, and cycling for at least half an hour every day is sufficient for staying healthy.

5) Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water every day is another great way to manage diabetes and lower the risk of eye complications associated with the disease. Just like regular exercise, drinking water every day keeps the nerves and blood vessels healthy.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, people with diabetes stand at a greater risk of dehydration due to high blood glucose levels in the body. The kidneys attempt to remove the excess glucose and excrete as urine. During this process, the water content in the blood decreases. Failure to replenishing for a prolonged period of time can cause dehydration which eventually impairs the blood vessels.

6) Eat only healthy foods

Eating healthy foods is the single best way to maintain a good eye health. People with diabetes, in specific, should stick to a healthy and balanced diet to control cholesterol, blood sugar and pressure.

Healthy and organic foods such as fresh vegetables, colourful fruits, and lean fish and meat contain all the essential nutrients which keep the body organs healthy, including the eyes. If you have diabetes, then you shouldn’t eat unhealthy foods such as packaged foods, processed meats, carbonated drinks, and deep fried snacks.

The best way to maintain a healthy and balanced diet is to consult with your doctor or nutritionist.

7) Quit smoking and alcohol consumption

Smoking and alcohol consumption is dreadful for anyone, but especially for people with diabetes as they have high blood glucose levels than that of a non-smoking person with diabetes.

This makes it more difficult for them to control their disease which puts them at a greater risk of diabetic eye complications and other diseases. If you have diabetes and you smoke/ drink alcohol, you should quit them as soon as possible.

8) Have an eye exam once a year

Diabetic eye complications such as Diabetic Retinopathy goes undetected, and the worst part is it cannot be treated. However, the eye complication can be prevented and regular eye check-up is the best and the only way to diagnose the symptoms.

Have a complete eye exam every year. This way, you will be able to track the changes in the eyes/vision, and the symptoms associated with Diabetic Retinopathy. If you have diabetes and don’t get your eye checked regularly, the odds are great that you’ll be diagnosed with the eye complication after it has already worsened.

The most common type of eye exam is dilated eye exam. During the exam, the doctor dilates the pupil(s) using special eye drops to check the early signs of damage to the blood vessels.

9) Monitor changes in the vision and similar symptoms

If you are new to diabetes, then you may experience slight changes in vision. Although this is common for most people who are diagnosed with diabetes, you shouldn’t take it for granted.

Instead, monitor the changes in your vision – whether it worsens or stays the same. Stay alert of symptoms associated with diabetic eye complications such as deteriorating blurry vision, partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes, flashes of light appearing in normal vision, and seeing black spots.

If you experience any of these symptoms, then you should see a doctor immediately as worsening of Diabetic Retinopathy can cause permanent blindness.

Get your eyes checked today

If you have diabetes and want to take care of your eye health, then get you eye assessed at Disha Eye Hospital – a leading eye hospital in Kolkata. At Disha Eye Hospital, you can get the best Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataract, and Glaucoma treatment in Kolkata.

16 Common Eye Disorders

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Eye is one of the most complex organs of the human body and eyesight is among the most valuable assets that we have. It’s because of the eye that we could see and experience the world around us. However, common eye disorders can cause great inconvenience and in severe cases, cause vision loss. And that is why it’s so important to take care of our eyes.

Many of the eye disorders have early symptoms, and many don’t. People often fail to identify these symptoms and tend to ignore them initially. But an early diagnosis can help you save the most precious gift of vision that you have.

Here we have discussed 16 common eye disorders and their symptoms to help you in early detection:

1. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused when the pressure inside your eyes increase, thus damaging your optic nerves. People often inherit this eye condition, and it usually affects them later in their life.

The pressure inside your eye is known as intraocular pressure. An increased intraocular pressure damages the optic nerve that transmits images to your brain. If not detected early, Glaucoma causes permanent vision loss. If you go without treatment, you will lose your vision within a year or two.

You do not experience pain, and it’s very difficult to detect the early symptoms of Glaucoma. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, consult an eye specialist immediately:

  • Redness of eye
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vision loss
  • Eye that looks hazy (especially in infants)
  • Pain in the Eye
  • Tunnel vision

Detecting glaucoma early is one of the reasons why you should have a complete eye check-up every 1-2 years. If you want to undergo Glaucoma Treatment in Kolkata, then book an appointment with our eye specialist today. Disha Eye Hospital is one of the leading eye hospitals in Kolkata. Visit http://www.dishaeye.org/contact-us today.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/glaucoma-eyes#1-2

2. Astigmatism

In simple words, Astigmatism is the condition when your eyes are not completely round. All of us have this condition up to a certain degree, but that doesn’t interfere with our vision. However, in some people, this condition is a bit severe. In such cases, the light that falls on the eye doesn’t bend properly causing blurry or wavy vision. This condition can be easily treated with a simple eye surgery or by using glasses and contact lenses.

People are mostly born with this condition; however, eye injury, disease, or any eye surgery can also cause Astigmatism. Look for these common symptoms to detect Astigmatism:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue or eye strain

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/astigmatism-eyes

3. Cataract

It’s the condition when the natural lens of your eyes, located behind the Iris and the Pupil, becomes cloudy. People over 40 are susceptible to this condition. And this is also one of the most common causes of blindness in the world. The types of Cataract include:

  • Subcapsular cataract: it occurs at the back of the eye lens. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing it.
  • Nuclear cataract: it affects the nucleus of the lens. This type of cataract is associated with ageing.
  • Cortical cataract: this is characterised by white, wedge-like opacities starting in the periphery of the eye lens and move towards the centre. It mainly occurs in the lens cortex surrounding the central nucleus.

Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm

Check for these early signs of Cataract:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Double vision
  • Problem with glare at night (glare from light sources) and daytime.
  • Unclear vision with glasses and contact lenses

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/what-are-cataracts#1-3

4. Corneal Abrasion

It happens quite often when dirt or sand gets trapped in your eye. As you rub your eyes to get rid of it, the dust particle causes a scratch on your eye. This condition is called Corneal Abrasion. You experience pain in your eye and a burning or stinging sensation.
The symptoms are:

  • you feel like you have sand or dirt stuck in your eye
  • Pain in eye, especially when you open or close it
  • Redness of eyes and teary eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision

Rubbing your eyes too hard, poking it with nails or other objects, wearing dirty contact lenses can cause Corneal Abrasion.

5. Dry Eyes

This is a very common condition and occurs when the tears cannot lubricate your eyes properly. There are a number of reasons for inadequate production of tears. For instance, dry eyes may occur if the tear production is not enough.

This condition is very uncomfortable. You will experience stinging or burning sensation in eyes.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • A stinging or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Scratchiness in your eyes
  • A sensation that there is something in your eyes
  • Difficulty in wearing contact lenses
  • Mucus formation in or around the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness on eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty in night-time vision especially while driving
  • Watery eyes, (body’s response to the irritation of your eyes)

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/basics/definition/con-20024129

6. Subconjunctival Haemorrhage

This condition occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just below the conjunctiva of your eye. The conjunctiva cannot absorb blood. This causes the blood to be trapped underneath it.

A subconjunctival haemorrhage often occurs without causing any serious harm to your eyes. A strong sneeze or a bout of a cough can even cause haemorrhage of blood vessels in your eyes. The initial symptoms might worry you, but this condition is usually harmless condition and disappears within a week or two.

  • The most obvious sign of a subconjunctival haemorrhage is a red patch on the white part of your eyes.
  • It doesn’t hamper your vision and causes no pain or discharge. However, you might experience a slight discomfort or a scratchy feeling on the surface of your eye.
  • If you experience recurrent subconjunctival haemorrhages, then talk to the doctor immediately.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/subconjunctival-hemorrhage/home/ovc-20231436

7. Retinal Detachment

This is a serious eye condition. It occurs when your retina located at the back of your eye detaches from the tissue around it. The Retina processes light and a damaged Retina may cause permanent vision loss if it isn’t treated right away.

You are at risk if you are severely nearsighted or have a family history of retinal detachment.

A detached retina doesn’t hurt and often has no warning symptoms. However, you might notice the following changes:

  • Seeing lots of floaters (small floating thread-like structures in front of your eyes)
  • Flashes of light
  • A poor peripheral or side vision
  • The doctor may suggest Laser, Cryopexy or Pneumatic Retinopexy for treating the damaged Retina.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-retinal-detachment#1-2

8. Diabetic Retinopathy

The high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels present in the retina. These blood vessels swell or leak and stop blood from passing through. This can cause vision loss.

There are two stages of Diabetic Retinopathy:

  • NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy)
  • Here, the tiny blood vessels leak causing swelling of Retina.
  • PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy)

This is a more advanced stage and happens when the new blood vessels grow in the retina. This is called neovascularization. These new vessels often bleed and block your vision.

The symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include

  • seeing too many floaters
  • a blurred vision
  • washed out colours
  • poor night vision
  • changes in vision from blurry to clear
  • seeing dark areas in the field of vision

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-diabetic-retinopathy

9. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

This is the deterioration of the macula, the central area of the retina that controls visual acuity.

Symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration include:

  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Loss of contrast sensitivity
  • Seeing images distorted in the centre

AMD is of two types, Dry AMD and Wet AMD. Dry AMD is more common and is the initial stage of the condition while Wet AMD is typically worse and is a much-advanced stage of the condition.

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Macular-degeneration/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

10. Uveitis

Uveitis is a broad term and covers a number of eye problems. The condition mainly affects the Uvea, a part of your eye. It encompasses eye inflammation and swelling that destroys the tissues in your eye causing poor vision or blindness.

Types of Uveitis include:

  • Anterior uveitis: this affects the front part of your eye.
  • Intermediate uveitis: this affects the ciliary body.
  • Posterior uveitis: this affects the back of your eye.

The warning signs include:

  • Redness of eye
  • Pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seeing floaters in your vision

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/uveitis-inflammation-eye#1-5

11. Hyphema

Hyphema is the condition when blood gets accumulated in the front part of your eye. The blood mainly collects between the Cornea and the Iris. This condition occurs when an injury (such as a sharp blow) tears the blood vessels. The less harmful case of the broken blood vessel is called subconjunctival haemorrhage while Hyphema is very painful and can also cause serious vision and eye problems such as Glaucoma or Corneal damage.
Symptoms of Hyphema include:

  • bleeding in the front of the eye
  • sensitivity to light
  • pain in the eye
  • blurry or blocked vision

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-hyphema

12. Central Retinal Vascular Occlusion (CRVO)

The retina of your eye contains one main artery and one main vein. When the vein of the retina is blocked, the condition is called Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO).

With a blocked vein, the blood and fluid spill out into the retina causing swelling of the macula, thus affecting your central vision.

Symptoms of CRVO include:

  • Vision loss or blurry vision (in one part or all of the eye)
  • Gradual worsening of vision (over several hours or days)
  • Complete loss of vision
  • Seeing floaters, dark spots or lines in your vision.
  • Pain and pressure in the affected eye

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-central-retinal-vein-occlusion

13. Scleritis

This is a painful condition where the white part of the eye (called Sclera) swells. The tissues of the sclera constitute the protective outer layer of your eye. It makes up 83% of your eye’s surface.

In most of all cases, scleritis is associated with other autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis. The two types of scleritis are Anterior and Posterior Scleritis.

The symptoms include:

Severe pain and tenderness in the eye.
This pain often extends to other regions of the face such as the jaw, face, or part of head at the affected side.
Blurred vision and tearing
Extreme sensitivity to light
Partial or complete loss of vision (in some cases)

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-scleritis

14. Hypertensive Retinopathy

This condition is caused by extremely high blood pressure levels. High blood pressure results in swelling of the blood vessels in the Retina, causing them to narrow down, thus blocking blood flow to the retina.
You won’t experience any major symptoms until the condition has aggravated. Possible symptoms include:

Swelling of the eye
reduced vision
bursting of a blood vessel
double vision along with headaches

Source: http://www.healthline.com/health/hypertensive-retinopathy#overview1

15. Strabismus

If your eyes are not aligned properly, and both the eyes look at different direction, this condition is called Strabismus or crossed eyes. Some are born with it (Congenital Strabismus); however, adults may also develop this due to the problem in the nervous that controls your eyes.
This condition leads to double vision, problems in peripheral vision. Surgery is an option for correcting this condition.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/strabismus

16. Corneal Ulcer

This is an open sore in the Cornea and is mainly caused by viral, fungal or bacterial infection, dryness of eye, scratches or tear in the Cornea. People who wear contact lenses are at greater risk of developing Corneal Ulcer.

Symptoms of Corneal Ulcer include:

  • Redness of eye and pain
  • Pus or thick discharge from eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen eyelids
  • White round spot on the cornea

Source: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/corneal-ulcer

How we May Help You?

From two decades, Dish Eye Hospital has been a leading name in providing quality treatment at affordable prices. Our experienced and qualified team of Eye specialists are among the best teams in Kolkata and have been relentlessly serving the people. Reach to our specialist for any eye-related issue.

Patients’ Guide to Living with Glaucoma

Patients' Guide to Living with Glaucoma

Glaucoma

The ability to see the beautiful world around you is one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer. However, many unfortunate people lose this gift when affected by Glaucoma, an eye disease that gradually takes away the vision.

Glaucoma does not show any symptoms during the preliminary stages. It affects the optic nerves located at the back of your eye and gradually destroys it. The damage is caused due to an increase in the pressure inside the eyes as the flow and drainage of aqueous humour are blocked. In other cases, Glaucoma is also caused by the poor supply of blood to the optic nerve fibers in the eyes;  which could be due to defect or problem in the structure of the nerve itself.

How Lifestyle Affects Glaucoma?
glucoma vision
Eye health and lifestyle choices share a deep relationship. Patients suffering from Glaucoma should know this connection. Certain changes in  lifestyle can dramatically improve your ocular health. Apart from taking medications and undergoing treatment, these lifestyle changes can help you to combat this deadly disease often known as the silent thief of sight:

  • Exercise for lowering eye pressure
  • There are certain exercises that help in reducing the Intraocular Pressure or IOP (the pressure inside the eye). The eye pressure increases during the first 5 minutes of exercising, but after that it decreases. Aerobics are considered good for decreasing eye pressure, thus keeping your eyes healthy. Exercises such as brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, jogging and gym conditioning three times a week drops the IOP substantially. Regular exercise improves the blood flow to the retina and the optic nerve.

  • Obesity and Glaucoma
  • According to research, obesity is also closely linked to Glaucoma. A study conducted by Professor Michael Belkin and Dr Zohar Habot-Wilner, Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Centre, found that excess weight creates pulmonary problems and as a result, the blood vessels in the eyes are affected which leads to loss of vision. They reviewed more than 20 studies involving thousands of patients all over the world and came to this conclusion.

  • Alcohol Consumption and Eye pressure
  • Alcohol consumption can lower eye pressure for a short period, but experts suggest that daily alcohol consumption can cause higher eye pressure. Therefore, it is important to let your ophthalmologist know whether you are consuming alcohol or not because it will affect your readings during check-ups.

  • Caffeine increases eye pressure
  • Drinking coffee increases eye pressure. Moderate amount of coffee is fine, but excessive caffeine intake should be avoided by Glaucoma patients. According to the data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, patients with open-angle Glaucoma who regularly drank coffee had significantly higher mean IOP than those who didn’t drink coffee.

    Source:

    http://glaucomatoday.com/pdfs/0904_01.pdf
    https://www.glaucomafoundation.org/news_detail.php?id=154
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-372725/Obesity-lead-blindness.html
    https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/alcohol-eye-pressure
    http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/do-lifestyle-choices-affect-glaucoma.php

Impact of Diet on Glaucoma

Everything you eat affects your overall health. A study by Spanish Society of Ophthalmology in 2014 found that eating the right food can help reduce the risk of Glaucoma. It also helps in preventing the disease and maintains healthy eyesight for long run.
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/10/foods-to-help-reduce-glaucoma-risk.html

The Spanish study examined the diets of people as noted in two American Ophthalmological studies, and in one study from Rotterdam. As per this study, the food rich in Retinol (a type of vitamin A) such as cheese, milk, liver and butter helps to eliminate the risk of Glaucoma.
The researchers also found that higher consumption of  green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, fruits and fruit juices help in reducing the risk of Glaucoma. Orange-coloured fruits such as apricots and peaches are also quite beneficial in preventing the  disease.

The study also   recommends foods rich in antioxidants such as green tea, dark chocolate and black tea for patients having Glaucoma. However, they also maintained that Glaucoma patients should also consume little or no caffeine, as that increase intraocular pressure and thus, worsen the disease.

Here are a few super foods that are beneficial for lowering the risk of Glaucoma and maintaining overall eye health:

  1. Spinach
  2. Spinach is excellent for the eye as it’s rich in lutein, carotenoid, a compound that is found in colourful fruits and vegetables. It protects cells from damage.

  3. Walnuts
  4. Among nuts, this is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. In small amounts, these fatty acids can be converted to EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid. This is an important omega-3 fatty acid which is very useful for the eyes, apart from DHA. These are full of antioxidants and vitamin E that help in preventing inflammation and maintaining cardiovascular health. Walnuts also help in lowering C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation in the body. Consuming walnuts can cut your risk of cardiac problems to 50%.

  5. Salmon
  6. Cold-water fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring and albacore tuna are best for the back of the eyes. These fishes contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an important omega-3 fatty acid that concentrates in the retina and may prevent plaque.

  7. Berries
  8. Berries, especially blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, mulberries and even grapes are excellent foods for protecting cardiovascular health, which makes them equally beneficial for the health of the eyes too. Berries are great for lowering high blood pressure which increases the risk for Glaucoma and other eye diseases. Blueberries and blackberries also contain anthocyanins, containing dark purple pigments, which helps in fighting inflammation and improves blood flow.  These pigments also help in preventing artery blockages and thus, maintain a supply of oxygen to the retina.

  9. Orange Bell Peppers
  10. Orange bell peppers are the best dietary source of zeaxanthin, a type of carotenoid that accumulates in the back of the eye. The higher the level of lutein and zeaxanthin, the lower the risk for eye diseases. Orange bell peppers also contain vitamin C. Other orange coloured foods such as goji berries, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots are also beneficial for eye health.

  11. Avocados
  12. Avocados are the best food for the eyes. This is one of the most nutrient-rich fruits. This fruit is rich in lutein which  helps in prevention of eye diseases such as Glaucoma and macular degeneration. Avocados are also a great source of important eye nutrients such as Vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

    Source:
    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/10/foods-to-help-reduce-glaucoma-risk.html
    http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-01-2011/10_foods_to_help_prevent_eye_disease.html

Living With Glaucoma

Do not let Glaucoma stop you from enjoying life. Even if you are diagnosed with Glaucoma, continue with what you were doing before the disease affected you.

  • What to do when your vision begins to change?
  • People with Glaucoma have low vision. In other words, you might have problems doing routine things even if you are using glasses. Glaucoma can cause loss of contrast sensitivity, which leads to problems with glare, and reduce visual acuity. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.

  • Cooperate with your doctor
  • If you have been newly diagnosed with Glaucoma, have your eye pressure checked frequently until it is under control. Even if your eye pressure is at a safe level, see your doctor several times a year for frequent checkups.

    Source: https://www.glaucoma.org/GRF_Understanding_Glaucoma_EN.pdf

Other Health-related Issues Increasing the Risk of Glaucoma

Antihypertensive drugs at bedtime

There are a number of elderly patients who consume antihypertensive drugs. However, lowering blood pressure at night can lead to a hypotensive crisis. In other words, the blood pressure can dip too low to support ocular perfusion.

Sleep apnea

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea can increase the risk of glaucoma development and increase the chances of its progression. Patients address sleep apnea by using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine at night. Although, CPAP is an effective non-surgical treatment for sleep apnea, yet a few studies have shown that CPAP therapy can increase IOP, especially at night. So it’s important to consult your doctor before going for CPAP therapy.

Migraines

Migraines can increase the risk of Glaucoma progression in patients who are suffering from normal-tension glaucoma. So, it’s essential to consult both a neurosurgeon and an eye specialist for effectively treating this condition.

Marijuana

Accrding to research, it has been found that smoking marijuana  lowers IOP in both normal people and people suffering from Glaucoma.  However,  it should be kept in mind that it  lasts for only 3 or 4 hours. So, it is not advisable for Glaucoma patients to try Marijuana. Apart from that,  since marijuana lowers the blood pressure, it can be harmful to the optic nerves (in glaucoma patients) by affecting the blood flow. The American Glaucoma Society, in a position statement on Glaucoma mentioned that, “Although marijuana can lower the intraocular pressure, its side effects and short duration of action, coupled with a lack of evidence that its use alters the course of Glaucoma, preclude recommending this drug in any form for the treatment of Glaucoma at present.”

Source:
https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/taking-control-lifestyle-choices-and-glaucoma
http://www.americanglaucomasociety.net/professionals/policy_statements/marijuana_glaucoma

How to Manage Glaucoma

Here is how you can manage Glaucoma and lead a healthy lifestyle:

  • Do not forget to take your medications regularly. Make them a part of your daily routine. If you keep on forgetting, use an alarm clock or a smartphone to remind you about your medicine timings.
  • Research and find out the possible side effects of the medicines. If your side effects are severe, then the medicines may not be right for you. In such cases, inform your doctor at the earliest.
  • If you are not getting any results after using the medicine, let your doctor know. The doctor can help you to find out the reason behind your medications not working for you (may be due to change in daily routine or dietary routine). The doctor is the right person to solve such problems by changing the type or timing of your medications.
  • Keep a thorough record of each medicine that you are taking. Note down the name and the dosage. Write down the number of times it should be taken every day. Carry it in your purse or wallet, or keep it in places where you can see it every day.
  • Before you leave the doctor’s office, always schedule your next check-up. Put it on your calendar so that you do not forget.
  • Keep your eyes clean and free of irritants. If you are a woman, be careful about eye cosmetics. Try using non-allergenic brands.
  • Never rub your eyes. Few Glaucoma medications might make them feel itchy or blurry but avoid rubbing them.
  • If you have had eye surgery, wear goggles when going out. Wear protective glasses when playing sports or doing some yard work.
  • Take care of your body. A good general health is as important as taking care of your eyes.
  • Eat healthy foods, exercise, quit smoking, avoid caffeine, and maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to check with your doctor before you start any strenuous exercise program.

Living with Glaucoma has an emotional and psychological aspect as well. Living with a chronic, vision-threatening health condition is not easy. You might feel worried, depressed, and anxious when you are first diagnosed with Glaucoma. Research and learn more about the disease, and you’ll find that there are a number of ways that can help you to manage Glaucoma. Even if you lose a part of your vision, you still can enjoy and continue to lead an active and healthy life.

Source: https://www.glaucoma.org/GRF_Understanding_Glaucoma_EN.pdf

What’s Glaucoma & Different Types of Glaucoma

Glucoma treatment in Kolkata

Mrs Ghosh, a 40 year old housewife in Kolkata, complained regularly of seeing things blurry. Later the blurred vision was accompanied with frequent headaches. She realised it was serious when she started seeing halos around light. She thought she had a cataract. But when she went to an ophthalmologist she was in for a shock. After a couple of tests, he told her she was suffering from Glaucoma. She’d not even heard of the disease. Mrs Ghosh isn’t alone. There are many who don’t know about this silent blinding disease.

Over here we give you a brief overview of Glaucoma, different types of the disease and the signs (though there aren’t many).

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to an eye condition that damages the optic nerves. The optic nerve sends images to the brain, thus helping you see everything properly. This condition develops as a result of fluid or pressure build-up just behind your eyes. This pressure, called Intraocular pressure, increases with time and eventually damages your optic nerves. If not treated in a timely manner, Glaucoma can also result in permanent loss of vision.

According to the statistics released by the National Rural Health Mission under their programme called National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) launched in 1976, Glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness in India. According to their statistics, there are at least 12 million people in India who suffer from Glaucoma and about 1.5 million people who have turned blind due to this condition.

Glucoma can be controlled

According to the World Health Organisation, Glaucoma is the reason behind 15% of the total blindness all across the globe. This means, on an average, about 5.2 million people all over the world turned blind due to Glaucoma.

Glaucoma mostly affects people who are above 40 years of age. However, children, even infants can also suffer from this condition.

These factors can increase your chances of developing Glaucoma:

Race

People of African-American descent are likely to suffer from Glaucoma more than any other race, and their degree of vision loss is also greater compared to others. People of Asian and Alaskan descent are at an increased risk of developing Angle-closure Glaucoma. On the other hand, Japanese people are vulnerable to Low-tension Glaucoma.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions can also make you vulnerable to the risks of developing Glaucoma.

Family History

If you have a family history of Glaucoma, then you are most likely to develop this condition.

Eye Injury

Extreme trauma in the eye, such as a blow in your eye, instantly increased the eye pressure. Any kind of internal damage can also cause pressure build-up, thus exposing you to the risk of developing Glaucoma.

Use of Corticosteroid

Prolonged exposure to corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone, cortisone, and prednisone also leads to developing symptoms of Glaucoma.

Other eye-related factors

There are many factors such as optic nerve sensitivity, thinner corneas, to name a few, that increase your risk of developing Glaucoma. Conditions such as eye tumours, retinal detachment, and eye inflammation can also trigger Glaucoma.

What are different types of Glaucoma?
There are mainly four types of Glaucoma:

Primary Open- Angle Glaucoma

This is the most prevalent form of Glaucoma. Doctors often refer to it as Wide-Angle Glaucoma. This is mainly caused when the drainage system of your eye known as Trabecular Meshwork stops working. Apparently, it might look normal, but the fluid that flows through it stops. This ultimately causes fluid build-up inside the eye, increasing the eye pressure. Another theory suggests that Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma is caused by poor blood flow to the optic nerve.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This type of Glaucoma is also known as Closed-angle or Narrow-Angle Glaucoma. This is not a very common form of Glaucoma. In this condition, the fluid (called aqueous humour) is blocked and can’t drain in the right way due to a narrow-angle between the Iris and the Cornea. In other words, the drainage angle in your eye formed by the Iris and the Cornea is blocked, thus, increasing fluid build-up and eye pressure. As you age, the lens of your eyes become large, thus pushing the Iris forward and eventually narrowing down the space between the Iris and the Cornea. With the narrow-angle, the fluid inside your eyes cannot find a way to pass, thus increasing the eye pressure.

Secondary Glaucoma

Any external injury or eye disease can cause secondary Glaucoma. Many medical conditions, physical injuries, eye abnormalities, and medication can result in secondary Glaucoma. Frequent eye surgeries can also cause this condition.

Low-Tension Glaucoma

Also known as Normal-Tension Glaucoma, this is a form of Glaucoma where the eye pressure is normal, but your optic nerve is damaged. The reason behind this particular condition is still unknown. Many theories suggest that people having an overtly sensitive optical nerve can develop this condition. Due to a reduced blood supply to the optic nerve as a result of a condition called Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), even a normal pressure on the optic nerve can cause severe damage to it.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

The primary sign of Glaucoma is peripheral vision loss. This often goes unnoticed until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Often people suffering from the eye disease don’t notice any symptoms; which is Glaucoma is often referred as “sneak thief of vision.”

As you age, get your eyes checked every 1 or 2 years. Occasionally the pressure inside your eyes can increase to a significant level resulting in headache, eye pain, and blurry vision.

Visit an eye specialist immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

– Loss of vision
– Seeing halos around light
– Nausea or vomiting
– Narrowed vision or tunnel vision
– Hazy looking eyes (especially in infants)
– Redness of the eye
– Eye pain

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

The eye specialist usually reviews your medical history and conducts a couple of eye examinations.

The tests for Glaucoma include:

Visual Acuity Measurement

This test is conducted to measure whether the vision of the patient is affected or not.

Tonometry

This test is for measuring the eye pressure to determine the risk of developing Glaucoma.

Pachymetry

This test measures the corneal thickness. People who have a thin Cornea are at a greater risk of developing Glaucoma.

Visual Field Testing or Perimetry

This test is for checking whether the field of vision has been affected by Glaucoma or not. With Visual Field Testing, the eye specialist measures your peripheral vision and the central vision by either determining the faintest amount of light that can be detected in various locations of the vision or by determining the sensitivity to targets.

Evaluating the Retina

The eye specialist might take photographs or scans of your optic nerves in order to monitor any changes over the time.

Other tests

Doctors also conduct Serial Tonometry. Under this, several pressure measurements are taken to look for any changes in the eye pressure throughout the day. Apart from that, a number of devices can also be used to measure the thickness of the nerve fibre. This is done to look for tissue loss on specific areas of the layers of the nerve fibre.

Treatment of Glaucoma

The damage caused by Glaucoma cannot be reversed; however, with proper treatment and regular checkups, the condition can be kept under control, preventing vision loss. The goal of treatment for Glaucoma is to lower the eye pressure or Intraocular Pressure. Depending on the severity of your condition, the eye specialist can undertake several treatment options which include:

1.Using Eye drops

The treatment of Glaucoma often starts with prescribing eye drops. These drops help in decreasing the eye pressure by improving the fluid drainage in your eye. Prescription eye drops include:

Prostaglandins: This helps in increasing the outflow of fluid in your eye, thus reducing eye pressure. However, this drop might result in side effects such as redness of eye, stinging sensation and changes in the pigments of the eyelids.

Beta Blockers: This helps in reducing the production of eye fluid, thus lowering the eye pressure.

Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists: This drop reduces the production of aqueous humour and improves the fluid drainage. This drop also has a few side effects such as fatigue, swollen eyes, high blood pressure, and redness of eyes.

Miotic or Cholinergic Agents: This eye drop increases the fluid drainage from the eye. The side effects include dim vision, smaller pupils, and nearsightedness.

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors: This drop is seldom used for Glaucoma but this medication reduces the fluid production in the eye. The possible side effects of the drop include frequent urination, metallic taste, tingling sensation in fingers and toes.

2.Oral Medications

The doctor might also prescribe oral medication if eye drops do not work. They often prescribe carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Possible side effects include tingling in the fingers and toes, frequent urination, kidney stones depression, and stomach upset.

3.Surgery and other therapies

Other treatment options for Glaucoma include laser therapy and various surgical procedures. However, these treatment options can result in complications such as pain, infection, inflammation, redness, bleeding, loss of vision, and abnormally high or low eye pressure. The doctor might also suggest eye surgery and therapies. The following procedures are followed to treat Glaucoma:

Laser therapy: Laser trabeculoplasty is for people suffering from open-angle glaucoma. The doctor uses a laser beam to open the blocked channels in the trabecular meshwork. It takes several weeks before the full effect of this therapy becomes apparent.

Drainage tubes: In this process, the eye surgeon inserts a small tube in your eye.

Filtering surgery: In this procedure, the surgeon does a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy. He or she creates an opening in the white area of the eye or sclera and then removes some part of the trabecular meshwork.

Electrocautery: The eye doctor may suggest a minimally invasive process for removing tissues from the trabecular meshwork. The doctor uses a small electrocautery device called a Trabecutome to perform this procedure.

4.Treatment for acute angle-closure glaucoma

This condition is a medical emergency, and if you have been diagnosed with this condition, urgent treatment is required for reducing the eye pressure. This requires both medication and laser or other surgical processes.
The doctor can also perform a procedure called laser peripheral iridotomy in which the doctor makes a small hole in the iris with a laser. This allows the flow of aqueous humour, thus decreasing eye pressure.

5.Other emerging therapies

Researchers across the globe are also evaluating the effectiveness of new drugs, surgical processes and devices (such as iStent, others) for treating Glaucoma.
Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but an early diagnosis can help you in controlling the disease.

We hope that this article has helped you gain some useful insights on Glaucoma and its treatment.