World Sight Day – Keep an eye for your eyes!

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment and is held on the second Thursday in October each year.  This year’s on 8 October 2020.

​Below is a list of some of the common eye problem symptoms and the possible associated conditions. Noting the kind of symptoms, you experience is important to help you find out if there is a problem.

Refractive errors

When light is not focused properly, it causes blurry vision. Glasses, contacts, or surgery can usually correct refractive errors, which include:

  • myopia (near-sightedness), which is when faraway objects look blurry
  • hyperopia (farsightedness), which is when close-up objects look blurry
  • astigmatism, which can result in blurry vision because the cornea is not perfectly shaped to direct light into the eye
  • presbyopia, which is farsightedness that is caused by the loss of elasticity of the eye’s lens due to aging

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is increased pressure of the fluid inside the eye. This can cause optic nerve damage. Glaucoma is a common cause of blindness. Age, race, and family history are important risk factors.

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, causing blurry or colour-tinted vision. People with cataracts often report “haloes” surrounding objects they are looking at, particularly at night. This condition is most common in older adults.

Cataracts can be removed by surgery that replaces the damaged lens with an artificial lens.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is commonly referred to as a “lazy eye.” It occurs when vision has not properly developed in the eyes, and the brain begins to favor the eye with better vision.

This happens if one of the eyes is blocked from producing clear images during the critical years from ages birth to 6. One eye may be inhibited by problems such as a lid droop, tumor, or misaligned eyes that are not corrected when a child is young.

It is crucial to have an eye doctor evaluate a young child whose eyes do not align or who has vision problems to ensure that the condition is diagnosed and treated.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels of the retina caused by diabetes. It causes blurred or dark spots in the field of vision and can eventually lead to blindness.

The best way to avoid these vision problems is to keep your blood sugars under control and see your eye doctor every year for a dilated eye exam. Proper care can lessen complications.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is a lack of tears. It is usually due to a problem with the tear formation, tear ducts, or eyelids, or it is a side effect of certain medications. This condition can cause pain and blurry vision.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is gradual damage to the cells of the macula. This condition is most common in people over 60 years of age. AMD causes blurry vision, especially in the center of the field of view.

Your eyes and vision are affected by many factors, including genetics and age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet that contains antioxidant-rich foods can contribute significantly to the health of your eyes.  

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