While our eyes are the most important sensory organs in our body, diseases related to our eyes are very common and widespread amongst individuals. Listed below are some of the key eye ailments which can be easily treated with the right care.
Conjunctivitis, also recognized as pinkeye, is swelling of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye or the sclera.
Causes: Conjunctivitis may occur owing to various factors such as: viruses, bacteria, irritants like shampoos, dirt, smoke, and pool chlorine. Allergies such as dust, pollen, or a special type of allergy that affects some people who wear contact lenses can also cause this condition.
Conjunctivitis caused by various bacteria and viruses can multiply easily from person to person but is not a severe health risk if diagnosed swiftly. Conjunctivitis in newborn babies should be reported to a doctor right away, as it could be a vision-threatening disease.
Cure: Conjunctivitis caused by any bacteria, counting those associated with STDs, is treated with antibiotics, in the form of eye drops, ointments, or pills. In case of Conjunctivitis caused by viruses avoid contact with other people. Hands should be frequently washed in this condition. Contact lenses and eye make-up should be strictly avoided. For conjunctivitis caused by an irritating substance, one should use cold water to wash the substance from the eye for five minutes.
Allergy related conjunctivitis should gradually improve once the allergy is treated and the allergen is removed.
Glaucoma is a disease that injures the eye’s optic nerve and gradually gets worse over time. It is often related to a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to be innate and may not show up until later in life.
Causes: Glaucoma can occur due to the increased pressure in the eye, known as intraocular pressure. This can usually damage the optic nerve, which basically transmits images into the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure keeps on continuing, glaucoma will cause permanent loss of eyesight. Without any treatment, glaucoma will lead to permanent blindness within a few years. Glaucoma mostly occurs in adults over the age of 40, but it can also occur in young adults, children, and even in infants.
Cure: Glaucoma can be cured by various approaches such as eye drops, laser surgery, and microsurgery.
An ocular migraine is a kind of disease that causes vision loss or blindness in one eye which lasts less than an hour. Affected individuals can gradually have them all along with or after a migraine headache. Experts at times call them visual, retinal, ophthalmic, or monocular migraines. This problem is very rare. It affects only about 1 out of every 200 people who have migraines.
Causes: Various researches suggest that in many cases, the symptoms are caused due to other health-related issues rather than any condition directly related to the eyes. Regular migraines can also lead to vision problems, called an ‘aura’, which involves flashing lights and blind spots in vision. But, these types of symptoms mostly appear in both eyes. Experts aren’t very sure about what causes ocular migraines. Some feel that the problem is related to spasms in blood vessels in the retina, the lining in the back of the eye and changes that spread across the nerve cells in the retina.
Cure: Aspirin, drugs that help in treating epilepsy, tricyclic antidepressants, and blood pressure medicines called beta-blockers can help in curing ocular migraine.
Ophthalmoplegia is a kind of paralysis or weakness of the eye muscles. It can basically affect one or more of the six muscles which hold the eye in place and control its movement.
The two types of ophthalmoplegia are chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia and internuclear ophthalmoplegia.
This condition can be inherited, or be present at birth, or can develop later in life.
Causes: It is generally caused by the interruption of the messages sent from the brain to the eyes. Internuclear ophthalmoplegia is caused by multiple sclerosis, trauma, or infarction. External ophthalmoplegia is caused by muscle disorders or mitochondrial diseases. Other ordinary causes of ophthalmoplegia include migraines, thyroid disease, stroke, brain injury, brain tumour, and infection.
Cure: Treatment of ophthalmoplegia depends on the type, the symptoms, and the fundamental causes of the disease and varies from person to person. Children, who are born with ophthalmoplegia usually learn to adapt to the condition and may not be aware of their vision problems. Adults with sudden onset of ophthalmoplegia can be fitted for special glasses, or wear an eye patch to relieve double vision and help achieve normal vision.
Retinal Vascular Occlusion affects the retina of the eyes. Retina being the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of our eyes is vital for vision. Retina requires a constant supply of blood which makes sure that our cells get enough blood nutrients and oxygen. The two types of Retinal Vascular Occlusion are Retinal Artery Occlusion and Retinal Vein Occlusion.
Causes: The reason behind the vascular blockage in the retina still remains unknown. Other factors like atherosclerosis, blood clots, blockage in the carotid arteries of the neck, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, glaucoma, old age, smoking, rare blood disorders, and macular edema affects blood flow which can put you at a higher risk of having retinal vascular occlusion.
Cure: To treat Retinal Vascular Occlusion doctor might advise medication such as blood thinners or injection to the eye. Medications also include ant vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs and corticosteroid drugs which are injected to the eye.
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