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Common Eye Problems

9 Common Eye Problems People Face Today

Our eyes are the windows to the world, allowing us to witness its beauty and navigate through life. However, like any intricate system, the eyes are susceptible to various issues that can affect vision.However, factors such as genetics, age, and lifestyle habits, people face common eye problems that affect their vision and quality of life.  Understanding common eyesight problems is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health. 

Here are some of the common eye problems people face in today’s modern and hectic lifestyle, dominated by digital screens. 

Eyesight problems and ways to prevent or treat them: 

1. Refractive Errors

These are the most common eye problems that people face today. These errors occur when the shape of the eye doesn't bend light correctly, and prevents it from focusing the light directly on the retina, resulting in blurry vision, which can make it difficult to read, drive, or do other activities.

The main types of refractive errors are:

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. As a result, light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Distant objects appear blurry, while close-up objects can be seen more clearly.

Concave lenses that help focus light directly on the retina are prescribed by eye specialists to help with these eyesight problems.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Hyperopia is the opposite of myopia. It occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, causing light to focus behind the retina. Close-up objects may appear blurry, while distant objects may be seen more clearly. Individuals with hyperopia often have more difficulty with near tasks.

Convex lenses that bring the image forward to focus on the retina are prescribed by eye specialists to help with these eyesight problems.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is caused by an uneven curvature of the cornea or lens, leading to distorted or blurred vision at any distance. Blurred or distorted vision, eye strain, and headaches.

Astigmatism is often corrected with cylindrical lenses in glasses or toric contact lenses. These lenses have different powers in different meridians to compensate for the uneven corneal curvature.

Presbyopia

Unlike the other refractive errors, presbyopia is related to age. It occurs as the natural ageing process causes the loss of flexibility in the eye's lens, making it harder to focus on close-up objects. Difficulty focusing on close-up tasks, such as reading or using a computer, especially in low light conditions.

Reading glasses, bifocals, or progressive lenses are commonly prescribed to correct  these eyesight problems by providing additional magnification for close-up work.

Refractive errors are the most common eyesight problems that can be diagnosed through an eye examination, and appropriate corrective measures can be prescribed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to improve vision and relieve associated symptoms.

2. Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, is one of the more recent eyesight problems caused by the increased dependency on digital screens. Digital eye strain refers to a group of common eye problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. Extended use of these devices, exposure to blue light and reduced blinking can cause discomfort and vision problems, such as  tired, sore, or fatigued eyes.

Continuous screen time may contribute to headaches, often located in the frontal region.

Vision may become temporarily blurred or fluctuate during and after prolonged screen use. Reduced blinking and increased screen glare can contribute to dry and irritated eyes.

Prevention and Management

  • Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away to reduce eye strain.
  • Blink Frequently: Be conscious of blinking to keep the eyes moist.
  • Correct Lighting: Ensure proper lighting to reduce glare and reflection on screens
  • Adjust Screen Settings: Modify screen brightness, text size, and contrast for optimal viewing comfort.
  • Use Blue Light Filters: Consider using blue light filters or glasses to reduce exposure.
  • Supplements: Using eye supplements which contain eye friendly carotenoid like lutein and zeaxanthin along with Vitamin A and E which help support your eyes and protect them from effects of blue light exposure.

3. Dry Eyes

Dry eyes occur when your eyes do not produce enough tears or when the quality of the tears is inadequate. Tears are essential for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eyes and for providing clear vision. Dry eyes can lead to discomfort, irritation, and may affect your vision. Dry eyes are more common in older adults and people who spend a lot of time on the computer. Using artificial tears or drops to keep your eyes lubricated, frequent blinking and keeping yourself hydrated are some ways to help reduce dryness. 

4. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a common eye disorder that affects older adults. It occurs when the part of the eye responsible for central vision begins to deteriorate. This can cause blurry or distorted vision, making it difficult to read or recognize faces.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, typically due to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). The optic nerve is crucial for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. 

Eye drops or oral medications can help reduce intraocular pressure and procedures like laser trabeculoplasty or in advanced cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to improve drainage.

6. Cataract

Cataract is a condition characterised by the clouding of the natural lens in the eye, which leads to blurry vision,increased sensitivity to glare, difficulty seeing at night, and seeing colours as faded. It often occurs due to ageing, but can also result from injury, certain medications, or medical conditions.

The only way to treat cataract is through surgical removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial lens, which is a very common and effective treatment.

7. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina. It can lead to vision impairment or blindness if left untreated. Initially, there may be no symptoms, but as the condition progresses, individuals experience blurred or fluctuating vision, dark spots, and even vision loss in some cases.

Individuals with high blood sugar levels must ensure taking proper measures to control blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and taking regular eye exams, after all prevention is better than cure. However in advanced cases individuals may require laser surgery or other corrective or reductive procedures.

8. Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is a condition described with reduced vision in one eye, which cannot be corrected by prescription glasses or contact lenses. It often develops in childhood and is related to visual development issues.The common symptoms include poor depth perception, eyes that do not appear to work together, and one eye that may turn inward or outward.

Common treatment includes patching the stronger eye to help the weaker eye to develop better vision, corrective lenses, or in some cases, surgery.

9. Strabismus

Strabismus is a condition where the eyes are misaligned and do not point in the same direction. One eye may turn in, out, up, or down, while the other remains focused straight ahead.

Misaligned eyes, double vision, and reduced depth perception.

Treatment may include corrective lenses, eye patches, vision therapy, or in some cases, surgery to align the eyes.

Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection and management of these eyesight problems. If you experience any changes in your vision or eye health, it's important to consult with an eye care professional for a proper evaluation.

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Common eye problems can affect people of all ages and can range from minor irritations to severe disorders. It is important to take care of your eyes by practising good eye hygiene, taking regular breaks from electronic devices and eating a good diet with eye health essential nutrients to avoid these eyesight problems. Seeking medical attention if you experience any eyesight problems is the most important. Remember, your eyes are precious, so make sure to take good care of them!

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