You’re probably aware of the importance of a balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain a healthy body and hopefully avoid chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, other parts of your body may be in danger of being neglected when the same care and attention should be taken in caring for them. For example, your eyes are massively important tools in living your day-to-day life, but have you ever considered that you might one day experience sight loss? To help you to avoid this trauma, here are three eye conditions that you should watch out for.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve connecting the eye to the brain. The eyeball produces a fluid called aqueous humor, with any excess drained away by tubes. If the fluid cannot drain properly, it causes a build-up of pressure in the eye, which can eventually damage the optic nerve and the nerve fibers from the retina, causing glaucoma. There are several risk factors for glaucoma, including a family history of the condition and being more severely affected by short-sightedness. The condition usually develops very slowly and painlessly, causing the edges of your vision to become damaged before working inwards. As such, it is important to attend regular eye tests to keep up to date with your eye health.
Cataracts are the main cause of vision impairment around the world and usually affect people aged 65 and over (although younger people can get them). They are caused by the lens in your eye becoming cloudy and preventing light from reaching the back of the eye, resulting in symptoms such as cloudy and blurred vision, seeing haloes around bright lights like streetlights, and finding it more difficult to see in dim and bright light. Though age is the main cause of cataracts, the risk is increased by factors such as having a vitamin-deficient diet and lifelong exposure to UV light. Cataracts usually develop slowly and painlessly; when they are ‘ripe,’ they can be removed by surgery involving removing the cloudy optical lens and replacing it with a synthetic replacement lens. Visit PanOptix faq for more information about cataracts surgery.
- Retinal detachment
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the blood supply providing essential nutrients and oxygen. It is usually caused by trauma to the eye resulting in damage to the retina or fluid build-up under the retina, with symptoms including sudden flashes of light and floaters in the eye.
Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition and, if left untreated, can lead to permanent sight loss in the affected eye. However, there is a greater chance of restoring good vision the earlier a retinal detachment is treated. If you experience any of the symptoms, you should immediately consult with an optician. If they suspect that you are suffering from a detached retina, they will refer you to an eye care specialist at the hospital, who will perform the reattachment procedure if appropriate.