We are often encouraged to go for health checks to screen for various diseases. Do we need to do the same for our eyes? There are actually 3 important eye diseases that we need to look out for. Late diagnosis of these eye problems can lead to blindness. As all 3 eye diseases do not cause pain or redness to your eyes, you may not notice them until it is too late!
Glaucoma causes loss of vision due to high pressure in the eye. This high pressure will damage the optic nerve at the back of your eye and cause loss of your side vision. As the damage worsens, the central part of your vision will become affected and you may notice a blind spot in your vision. By the time you notice this, the damage to your vision may be severe and irreversible. Glaucoma can be detected early on with regular eye pressure checks at optometrists or eye doctors. As there is often no pain or redness with glaucoma, we may not be aware of it. Glaucoma is more common in people who are myopic, above the age of 40 years, and who have a family history of glaucoma. Eye drops, laser, or surgery are treatment options for glaucoma and early treatment can prevent blindness.
I have written extensively about diabetic retinopathy. It is the most common eye disease that retinal specialists treat. Patients with diabetic retinopathy may require laser, eye injections or vitrectomy surgery to prevent blindness. A regular annual retinal check is essential for all diabetic patients. This can be done by a simple digital photograph of the retina in the clinic or a full eye check with the eye doctor. The digital photo will then be graded and the patient asked to come back for a more thorough check if there are signs of diabetic retinopathy seen.
AMD is the most common cause of permanent blindness in people above the age of 50 years. More details can be found here and I have written a book about prevention of AMD through diet. You can check for signs of AMD by looking at a special grid chart like the one above. The most important thing to remember is to cover one eye at a time so that you are testing only one eye each time! Many patients are unaware they have problems in one eye because they are relying on their other good eye. If the straight lines appear wavy or the centre black spot appears blurred, you should have an eye check up.
If you want more information about what I have discussed here, you can check out my latest radio interview where I talked about these 3 eye diseases as well as answered live calls from the public about their eye problems.
Have a great day ahead!
A cataract is clouding of the lens in your eye. This is usually due to old age but can also occur due to trauma, diabetes, or due to medications.
Cataract surgery is done when the lens in your eye has become cloudy making it difficult for you to see well enough to carry out your usual daily activities. If the cataract is not removed, your vision may stay the same, but it will probably gradually get worse. Waiting for a longer period of time may make the operation more difficult. If you are considering surgery, please let the doctor know if you are taking the following medications: Flomax (Tamsulosin), Doxazosin, Asprin, or any blood thinning drugs like Warfarin, Plavix or Ticlid (Dipyradimole). These medications may need to be stopped before surgery.
You can listen to Dr Fong talking about cataract surgery.
The purpose of the operation is to replace the cataract with a plastic lens (implant) inside your eye. This usually done under local anesthesia. With a local anaesthetic you will be awake during the operation. You will not be able to see what is happening, but you will be aware of a bright light...Read More
aims to educate the public about the prevention of AMD through diet.Read More
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Since 2006, eye doctors have been recommending a high dose of antioxidants and zinc for AMD patients to reduce their risk of getting advanced AMD (bleeding at the macula). The doses of Vitamin C, E, b...
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