Vision is one of our most important senses. Our eyes allow us to see objects. Our eyes send messages to our brain with descriptions of objects like their size, shape, color and texture. Our eyes also tell us if the object is sitting still or moving. We can tell the speed at which the object is moving and whether it is coming to us or away from us. Our eyes are a very important tool in our everyday life. Our eyes are one of the smallest organs in our body but they are also very complex. Our eye health is very important to maintain good vision for our entire life time.
Who Should Be Concerned about Eye Health?
Everyone should be concerned about maintaining good eye health. Those who have a family history of eye problems should be more concerned and stay on top of their eye health to prevent vision loss or at least limit the amount of vision loss as much as possible. Certain health conditions also put your eyes at risk of vision impairment like diabetes.
Eye Health and Prevention
It is important to see an eye doctor once a year. An eye doctor also known as a Ophthalmologist is specialized to care for the eyes. The earlier a problem or disease is detected the better and quicker treatments can begin. The main diseases of the eye that cause blindness such as glaucoma and diabetes can be treated or at least slowed in progression the earlier they are detected.
To prevent damage to your eyes it is also important to protect them from harmful UV rays. Always wear sunglasses when you are outside. This is not only important during the summer months but possibly even more important during the winter months. Always wearing protective eye wear while enjoying the outdoors is important to prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Another way that the eyes can become endangered is through sports and other activities where the eye can become injured. It is important to wear protective eye wear like goggles and safety glasses when working with chemicals, power tools, and when playing sports like racket ball.
Diseases of the Eye
Astigmatism: This is when there is a curve to the cornea of the eye which causes vision to become blurry. This problem is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Myopia: This is also known as nearsightedness. This problem causes one to be able to see objects well up close but difficult to see items farther away. It can get progressively worse through childhood but by adulthood stabilizes. Adults can undergo Laser correction surgery to have the shape of the cornea changed to permanently correct their vision or they can simply wear glasses or contact lenses to correct this vision problem.
Hyperopia: Also known as Farsightedness. This is the opposite of nearsightedness. Instead of being able to see objects up close well they can see objects farther away and objects up close become blurry. This is also corrected in the same manner as nearsightedness.
Blindness: This is one of the most serious conditions of the eyes. Blindness is when total loss of vision occurs. This can be a temporary problem or lifelong. There is no corrective measure for this problem. Surgery may correct this condition. It can occur because of injury or damage to a portion of the eye, optic nerve or the area of the brain that controls vision.
Color Blindness: Color blindness is just as it says. The person is unable to distinguish colors. Often times it only effects certain colors which the person confuses with each other like red and green. This condition can be hereditary which mostly affects boys or a condition developed overtime. Color blindness cannot be corrected.
Conjunctivitis: This is simply an infection of the eye. Pain, redness and swelling are commonly symptoms of this condition. The most common form of conjunctivitis is pink eye which mostly effects children. This condition is generally treated with eye drops.
There are several eye conditions that can be treated through alternative methods. One of these conditions is known as a Lazy Eye. Through exercises and training the lazy eye can become strengthened to properly sit in the eye socket and look as normal as a non lazy eye.
Vision problems can also be corrected in some cases through exercises and training. While this is still a new technique it has been shown to be effective for some slight cases of vision impairment. This works best when an eye disorder or impairment is caught early and the exercises are started before the condition worsens.
When to Seek Medical Attention?
If the eye becomes infected or if you are experiencing blurred vision, redness, itching, eye pain, light flashes or vision impairment, or any irritation around the eye or eyelid you should seek medical attention.
If the eye becomes injured or an objected has entered the eye and any of the above symptoms occur then medical attention should be sought.
The most important eye health treatment is a regular eye exam. This can help catch a problem before it gets out of hand. Science has also come a long way. Glasses and contact lenses used to be the only way to correct vision impairments. Now surgery is commonly used not only to treat cataracts but also to simply correct impaired vision for near and farsightedness.