Eye Conditions that Can Result in Blindness
By Jeffrey Schultz on July 10, 2014
At Lifetime Eye Care here in Independence, OH, we believe in comprehensive eye care that stresses total wellness and prevention of vision loss. One of the best ways that we can achieve this is by educating patients about various vision health issues. We want to use this blog post to consider some of the most common causes of blindness, how they can be treated, and offer a few simple tips for prevention/eye protection.
Cataracts refers to the clouding of the naturally clear lenses of the eyes. This is caused by the aging process and is common in many older individuals, though cataracts can also occur as a result of eye injury.
Treating cataracts will often involve the surgical removal of the clouded lens of the eye and the replacement of the clouded lens with a clear artificial lens. If the cataracts have not progressed a great deal, the use of glasses may be an ideal treatment.
Glaucoma refers to an increase of pressure within the eye itself, leading to damage of the optic nerve. Symptoms of glaucoma can be hard to notice, which is why millions of Americans may suffer from glaucoma without even realizing it.
Glaucoma is incurable, but there are numerous ways of managing the pressure within the eyes. This includes medicated eye drops and more invasive surgical treatments that help reduce intraocular pressure.
The retina is the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eyes upon which light focuses. The retina then relays these light images to the brain through the optic nerve. Retinal detachment refers to cases in which the retina comes loose from the back of the eye, which is often the result of injury or advanced age.
In general the best treatment option for retinal detachment is some form of surgery that can reattach the retina or patch any holes in the tissue. It should be noted that successful reattachment of the retina does not guarantee unaffected vision.
Related to the retina, diabetic retinopathy is a vision problem that is experienced by people who suffer from diabetes. It involves changes to the blood vessels of the retina, leading to loss of vision. The risks of vision loss increase as a diabetic gets older.
If caught early, treatment of diabetic retinopathy will usually involve managing a patient's blood sugar and general wellness to mitigate symptoms. For advanced cases of diabetic retinopathy, surgical care may be needed.
Serious Eye Injuries
Major trauma to the eyes or injuries to the eyes obviously increase chances of patients losing their vision. As we noted above, trauma to the eyes can lead to retinal detachment or cataracts, though other structures of the eye can be affected as well.
Treatments for eye injuries vary depending on the nature and severity of the eye injury. In the case of life-threatening injuries, saving a patient's vision may be a secondary concern to saving the patient's life.
Tips for Prevention of Serious Eye Health Problems
In order to ensure great eye health for years and years to come, we recommend the following:
- Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim when you are outdoors
- Wear eye protection at work and when playing sports
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Quit smoking (or just don't start in the first place)
- Avoid eyestrain by looking away from monitors every 20 minutes
- Visit with your eye care specialist for regular vision exams
Learn More About Vision Correction and Eye Care
If you would like to learn more about preventing and treating serious eye conditions, be sure to contact our eye care center today. We at Lifetime Eye Care look forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve excellent vision.
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