The eye is a complex organ, it captures light and transports the information to the brain by sending signals through the optic nerve. The eye is the only organ for sight. There are various occurrences that can damage the human eye. Some include macular degeneration, low vision, foreign objects that cause eye injuries, etc.
In this article, we will explore a range of factors that give rise to eye problems and how to treat them.
But first, let’s understand how the eye works.
How The Eye Works?
Light passes into the eye through the pupil to the retina. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eyeball. The Iris controls how much light enters the eye, it is a ring of tissue located around the pupil.
The cornea’s function is to focus the incoming light on the retina. It is assisted by the lens which is located in the inner eye.
The light that enters the eye is converted into electrical signals. It is converted by the light-sensitive receptor cells in the retina. The electric signals are transported to the brain by the optic nerves. They are a thick network of nerve fibers behind the eyes. The brain then converts these signals to visual images.
So what causes the eye to lose its ability to function?
Causes Of Eye Problems And Their Treatments
1. Macular Degeneration
This is very often termed age-old macular degeneration (AMD). Although recently more younger persons experienced this. This disorder affects central vision. It affects the macula, which is part of the retina. The human central vision helps us cover essential daily tasks like reading, cleaning, walking, etc. With the macular deteriorating, we are less productive daily.
There are two types of AMD. They include:-
- Dry AMD (atrophic AMD): this occurs when the macular degenerates with age causing progressive loss of central vision)
- Wet AMD (advanced neovascular AMD): this condition materializes when blood vessels under the macular region grow causing rapid loss in central vision.
There is currently no treatment for Dry AMD. But Wet AMD can be managed with injections or laser surgery or sometimes both.
2. Refractive Errors
These refer to a class of disorders that crippled vision because the cornea can no longer focus light or images onto the retina at the back of the eye correctly. Naturally, these are dominant in the older generation, but youngsters are not out of the woods either.
Below are the common refractive errors of the human eye:
- Myopia: also known as nearsightedness. This condition makes faraway objects look blurry. Some symptoms include blurry vision, eye strain, squinting, and headaches.
- Hyperopia: aka farsightedness. This condition makes distant objects may look clear, but close ones very blurred. Unfortunately with this condition, vision is blurry far or near.
- Presbyopia: this refers to the gradual loss of seeing things up close clearly. Unfortunately, this is another condition characterized by aging. The moment one starts holding the object they are reading further away, presbyopia has set in.
- Astigmatism: This condition causes near and far objects to look distorted and blurry. This is caused by the irregular shape of the curvature of the cornea. The human eye is round, but one with astigmatism is cone-shaped like an American football.
Treatment of refractive errors is done by medical professionals. Medicated glasses, eye drops, and if the case is extreme surgery are administered.
This condition is linked to eye pressure. If the patient manages their eye pressure, glaucoma can be kept at bay. And to make it worse, glaucoma has no early signs. This disease causes vision loss and blindness by destroying a nerve located in the back of the eye- the optic nerve. Anyone can develop it at any age. The symptoms can start slowly, and the only way to confirm is to conduct a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
There is no cure for glaucoma, but when caught early can be managed to hinder it affecting the patient’s vision. Some treatment options include laser surgery, eye drops, and surgery.
The lens is the clear part of the eye that helps focus light into the eye. A cataract is simply a cloudy zone in the lens of the eye. This cloudiness limits vision. There are no early symptoms. But here are some to watch out for blurry vision, oversensitive to light sources, inability to process colors, inability to see at night, and frequent changes in lens prescription.
The best way to remove cataracts and restore vision is through surgery. The ophthalmologist removes the clouded natural lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens. It is as clear as the human natural lens and helps the patient rely less on glasses or contact after surgery.