Know the danger signs of future blindness

Here are the hidden signs of eye diseases

Posted on
July 31, 2015
in
Ophthalmology

AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) is one of the severe eye diseases, which afflicts 30-50 million people around the world. Too many people have symptoms, but ignore them as they don’t know what the symptoms mean and that most conditions can benefit from being treated early.

AMD is one of the less devious eye diseases, since symptoms exist early in the process and warns the affected person that something is wrong. Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy are different as the disease’s symptoms creep slowly into effect. This can make it hard to know that something is wrong.

It is a serious problem because early diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent an impaired vision or even complete loss of sight. If it is a case of diabetic retinopathy, the first damaging changes occur in the outer area (periphery) of the retina. This area is normally not used very often and therefore it can take a while for a person to notice that something is wrong. When the patient finally realizes it, there can already be irreparable damage to the retina.

When a diabetes patient visits his doctor or goes to the hospital for his/her yearly checkup, his/her eyes are screened to find any signs of diabetic retinopathy. The patients with glaucoma are less lucky, as not much can be done to prevent the symptoms. The disease could end up in so-called tunnel vision, which corresponds to having to look through a cardboard tube.

The patient begins to topple stuff on the tables, bang their head into the kitchen cabinets, walk into furniture and fall over chairs. Glaucoma can affect the quality of life.

Check your eyes every week

You can make it a weekly habit to cover one eye with your hand and check whether there is a difference in the number of persons and item as well as any difference in the subtitles when watching TV. If you experience any difference, you should visit an ophthalmologist immediately. If there is a long waiting list, an optician can be a good alternative.

AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration)

Symptoms

Blurred central vision, e.g. a blurred spot in the center of the visual field or letters ‘fading out’ when reading.Distorted vision, e.g. Flagpoles and doorframes can be seen as curved and crooked.Impaired vision, when glasses do not help. Experienced most when performing near-field tasks e.g. hand or kitchen work.Photophobia (abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light), decreased color sensation or difficulty to recognize people on the street. Most often there will only be symptoms in one eye.

Treatment

Wet AMD is treated with medication which is injected into the eye. Dry AMD is treated with vitamins and minerals, which can reduce the risk of further deterioration.

Glaucoma

Symptoms

Often none. The brain will attempt to automatically compensate for the lack of vision, and therefore the condition is often only discovered after irreparable damage to the eye has occurred.Light-sensitivity and headache may be a sign of glaucoma.

Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important that you remember to take the prescribed eye drops, which is the typical treatment for the disease. There may occur further damaging changes in the eyes, if you forget them.  The treatment does not cure, but only slows down the advancement.Age, heredity, high blood pressure, diabetes and myopia (near-sightedness) are some of the factors that may increase the risk of glaucoma.

Cataract

Symptoms

Gradually increasing blurring of vision that can not be corrected with glasses. You are often blinded by sunshine and car lights at night.Double vision when reading a book or watching TV.

Treatment

Surgery. Unlike other eye diseases, cataract does not worsen by postponing treatment.The disease primarily affects people over 70 years, but can also occur due to diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy

Symptoms

The diabetic eye disease (also known as diabetic retinopathy) does not have any symptoms for a long period. You may experience gradual loss of vision later in the process.The disease attacks the retina of the eye, and may also lead to glaucoma. It typically occurs in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Can lead to complete blindness if treatment is not received.The cause of diabetic retinopathy is not known. It is however known, that the risk of getting the disease increases with the number of years one has had diabetes.After 20 years with diabetes, almost everyone with type 1 diabetes and 60 percent of all type 2 diabetics will have some level of the disease.

Treatment

Regular monitoring until the symptoms are worse enough to perform surgery or fundus laser treatment.

Ganesh Ram

CCO and Co-founder of @RetinaLyze.
Productivity and UX-geek.
Passionate about making an impact.