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6 Common Eye Problems or Infections and Their Treatment

The eyes act as the gateway between imaginations and reality. They serve as the organs that sense and judge everything happening around us. The functions of  the eyes are not just limited to sight alone. The eyes also help us to maintain body balance or posture. This is appreciated more when we try to make some moves with our eyes closed, or when there's a problem with one or both eyes. The common eye defects or diseases include:

Cataract

As we age, some illnesses invade our body due to the way the entire body processes reduce their efficiency, one one such complication from reduction in visual acuity is cataract.

Cataract is a disease commonly caused by old age, mostly from age 65 above. If you have cataracts,  your eye lenses become cloudy, vision becomes blurry and worsen as time goes on. 

Sometimes cataracts may be caused by injury from an accident,  resulting in distortion of the eye lens. A defect might occur at a small portion of the eye and later spread all over to become noticeable.  Studies have shown also that long term use of steroid medications also results in cataract. 

Other causes of the infection include repeated eye surgical operations and disease conditions like diabetes mellitus

Symptoms of cataract include double vision in a single eye, dim vision,  difficulty to see especially at night. People with cataracts need a brighter light source to be able to use small objects like words from a textbook. 

There are basically two types of cataract, depending on the level at which the infection has spread. Cataract affecting the centre of the eyes is called nuclear cataract.  

Cataract affecting only the edge of an eye is called cortical cataract. It develops as a wedge shaped opacity that spreads to the centre of the eyes.

Cataract generally affects reduces the amount of lights rays entering the eyes from the lens, the same way when we try to light a touch light through smoke, or a foggy weather. 

Other types of Cataract include those affecting the back of the eye lens, and congenital cataract (occurs during birth)

Treatment/management of cataract 

  • Visit your doctor frequently for medical check up 
  • Quit smoking or alcohol intake 
  • Use of medicated glasses recommended by your doctor. 

Night blindness 

Night blindness is medically called Nyctalopia. It's a complication from retina defect caused by deficiency of vitamin A. People with Night blindness have difficulty in seeing at night or through poor light sources. 

The black spot in the middle of the eyes ( the pupil) controls the amount of light reaching the retina by adjusting its size according to the quantity of light coming into the eyes; this enables us to see in dim light and in broad daylight.  Anything that affects the pupils will affect accommodation, night blindness is caused by 

Pupil damage, cataract, myopia, or sometimes by the prolonged use of certain medications for eye treatment.

Treatment for night blindness

Treatments for night blindness depend on what causes the infection. If your retina is damaged by some other diseases,  your doctor will treat the disease causing night blindness. 

You can also talk to your doctor to switch your medication if they are causing night blindness as a side effect. 

Night blindness caused by cataract can be treated by medical operation. It is also recommended you eat foods rich in vitamin A to prevent night blindness. 

Lazy eye

This eye defect is also called amblyopia. It is characterized by reduced visual acuity in one two the two eyes. Visual signals from the weaker or affected eye may not be interpreted by the brain. 

Amblyopia occurs mostly at the tender ages of childhood. If left untreated, it can result to a permanent eye defect.

There is no clear knowledge of what causes lazy eye, although people at risk of suffering it include infants born prematurely, heredity, or diseases occurring during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Amblyopia 

  • Difficulty differentiating whether an object is held left or right. 
  • Difficulty in differentiating nearby and distant objects. 
  • Head tilting and shutting one of the eyes are also likely symptoms of amblyopia. 

Treatment for lazy eye defect 

It is important to treat this defect during childhood at the time it started. Surgical procedures can also serve as alternatives for amblyopia caused by cataract. 

Your doctor may suggest treating the disease causing the eye defect.

You can also wear an eye patch on the strong eye so that the brain will be forced to use the weak eye for vision. After some time, the brain adapts to using both eyes. 

Colour blindness 

There are cells in the retina called cones responsible for colour detection, anything that affects these cells or receptors will result in colour blindness. It doesn't change the way you see, but there's difficulty in  seeing and distinguishing colours.

Colour blindness is hereditary and mostly common among boys. It may also occur as a complication from other diseases like glaucoma or cataract. 

Currently there's no perfect cure for colour blindness, if it's caused by the use of a certain medication, your doctor will advise you to quit such medication in order to current the defect

Conjunctivitis 

Also called pink eye, it is an inflammation of the tissue found between the white part of the eyes and the eyelids-the conjunctival. Conjunctivitis is mostly common among children and rarely dangerous. The disease is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viral infections,  and by different substances that irritates the eyes.

Though on rare occasions, gonorrhoea can also cause conjunctivitis. 

Treatment for conjunctivitis 

Treatment strictly depends on the cause. Antibiotics will be prescribed by your doctor after diagnosis. 

Farsightedness and Nearsightedness 

Short sightedness is your ability to see only nearby objects; far sighted people only see far objects but find it difficult to see nearby ones. Short sightedness can be caused by addiction to use of mobile phones and electronic readers.

Farsightedness is sometimes inherited, or may result from a preceding disease. Both eye defects can be corrected by the use of convex and concave lenses for each defect. 

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