If you’re over 50 and your vision has gotten blurry or cloudy, you may have cataracts. It’s a common condition in older adults, and it can be treated by your eye doctor. Dr. Anand Kumar, Cataract Surgeon in Kharghar discusses the common question regarding Cataracts,
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. A cataract begins when proteins in the eye form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina. The retina works by converting the light that comes through the lens into signals. It sends the signals to the optic nerve, which carries them to the brain.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Common symptoms of cataracts include:
- blurry vision
- trouble seeing at night
- seeing colors as faded
- increased sensitivity to glare
- halos surrounding lights
- double vision in the affected eye
- a need for frequent changes in prescription glasses
What Causes Cataracts?
There are several underlying causes of cataracts. These include:
overproduction of oxidants, which are oxygen molecules that have been chemically altered due to normal daily life
- ultraviolet radiation
- the long-term use of steroids and other medications
- certain diseases, such as diabetes
- radiation therapy
Types of Cataracts
There are different types of cataracts. They’re classified based on where and how they develop in your eye.
- Nuclear cataracts form in the middle of the lens and cause the nucleus, or the center, to become yellow or brown.
- Cortical cataracts are wedge-shaped and form around the edges of the nucleus.
- Posterior capsular cataracts form faster than the other two types and affect the back of the lens.
- Congenital cataracts, which are present at birth or form during a baby’s first year, are less common than age-related cataracts.
- Secondary cataracts are caused by disease or medications. Diseases that are linked with the development of cataracts include glaucoma and diabetes. The use of the steroid prednisone and other medications can sometimes lead to cataracts.
- Traumatic cataracts develop after an injury to the eye, but it can take several years for this to happen.
- Radiation cataracts can form after a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer.
Risk Factors of Cataracts
Risk factors associated with cataracts include:
- older age
- heavy alcohol use
- high blood pressure
- previous eye injuries
- a family history of cataracts
- too much sun exposure
- exposure to radiation from X-rays and cancer treatments
Treatment of Cataracts
Surgery is the only way to get rid of a cataract, but you may not need to get surgery right away. Your doctor might suggest surgery if your cataracts start getting in the way of everyday activities like reading, driving, or watching TV. During cataract surgery, the doctor removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a new, artificial lens (also called an intraocular lens, or IOL).
If you’re unable or uninterested in surgery, your doctor may be able to help you manage your symptoms. They may suggest stronger eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, or sunglasses with an anti-glare coating.
Prevention of Cataracts
To reduce your risk of developing cataracts:
- protect your eyes from UVB rays by wearing sunglasses outside
- have regular eye exams
- stop smoking
- eat fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants
- maintain a healthy weight
keep diabetes and other medical conditions in check
Dr. Anand Kumar
Utsav Eye Clinic
Utsav Eye Clinic: Eye Clinic in Kharghar | Eye Specialist Doctor
Double vision occurs when a person sees a double image where there should only be one. The two images can be side by side, on top of one another, or both.
Fast facts on double vision
- Here are some key points about double vision. More detail is in the main article.
- Double vision, or diplopia, can result from a range of underlying conditions.
- Diplopia can affect just one eye or both.
- A childhood squint, or eye turn, can sometimes recur and cause double vision.
- Temporary double vision can be caused by alcohol or other recreational drugs.
- Treatments can include surgery, eye exercises, or corrective lenses.
Nerve or muscle damage in the eye might cause double vision.
Each eye creates its own image of the environment. The brain combines the representations from each eye and perceives them as one clear picture.
Damage to the muscles that move the eyes or the nerves that control eye movement can create a double image.
The eyes must work together to create depth of field.
Certain illnesses can weaken the muscles moving the eyes and produce double vision.
Causes of binocular double vision:-
A common cause of binocular double vision is a squint or strabismus.
- Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
- Convergence insufficiency
- Myasthenia gravis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Black eye
- Head injury
Causes of monocular double vision:-
- Dry eye
- Retinal abnormalities
Temporary double vision:-
Double vision can sometimes be temporary. Alcohol intoxication, benzodiazepines, opioids, or certain medications for seizures and epilepsy sometimes cause this. Head injuries, such as concussions, can also cause temporary double vision.
Diagnosing double vision can be challenging for an eye specialist because there are so many possible causes.The specialist will start by asking whether the double vision is monocular or binocular.
If the double vision is monocular, it means that the problem is more likely to be within the eye, rather than in the nerves. It is likely to be less serious.
Diagnosis in children
Children cannot always express what they see, and this can make diagnosis difficult.
Physical signs of double vision include:
- squinting or narrowing the eyes to see
- covering one eye with their hand
- turning their head in an unusual way
- looking at objects from the side rather than facing forward
- flicking eyes side to side, between images
This will depend on the underlying cause.
Visit your Doctor
Dr. Anand Kumar
Utsav Eye Clinic
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness.
The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or types 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.
You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include:
-Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
-Impaired color vision
-Dark or empty areas in your vision
-Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
When to see a doctor
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you’re pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy.
Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy
Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can leak easily.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:
(1)Early diabetic retinopathy.
(2)Advanced diabetic retinopathy
Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Risk of developing eye condition can increase as a result of:
Duration of diabetes — the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
-Poor control of your blood sugar level
-High blood pressure
Diabetic retinopathy involves the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. Complications can lead to serious vision problems:
You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention for vision problems can help prevent severe vision loss.
If you have diabetes, reduce your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy by doing the following:
-Manage your diabetes.
-Monitor your blood sugar level.
-Ask your doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test.
-Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
-If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit
-Pay attention to vision changes.
Remember, diabetes doesn’t necessarily lead to vision loss. Taking an active role in diabetes management can go a long way toward preventing complications.
Treatment: If you have retinopathy you’ll need prompt surgical treatment. Depending on the specific problems with your retina, options may include Photocoagulation.
or Visit Utsav Eye Clinic
Utsav Eye Clinic: Eye Clinic in Kharghar | Eye Specialist Doctor
Monsoon brings joy as you say goodbye to summer – and your sunglasses (remember, they also protect your eyes from infection). Monsoons bring with them an army of infections that cause eye pain and discomfort, so don’t ignore your eye health this monsoon. Viral infections are known to thrive and spread during rains due to increased moisture in the air.
Proper eye care should become a priority during monsoons to help protect from infections like conjunctivitis, stye, dry eyes and corneal ulcers which can lead to blindness.
By Dr. Anand Kumar the precautions, you can take during monsoons to maintain good eye health.
1)Precautions are usually based on hygiene. Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
2)Ask your children to not touch their eyes.
3)If you (or someone around you) suspect you’ve got or are getting conjunctivitis, wash your eyes gently and use a cold compress. The best thing would be to see a doctor.
4)If someone at home is down with conjunctivitis, wash your hands after administering drops.
5)Redness, irritation & itching are common monsoon-related problems, especially after too much reading, long hours at the computer or watching too much television, and most hospitals treat such problems with lubricating eye drops. However, if you have such a problem, don’t self-medicate – ask a doctor.
6)Avoid sharing your towel and similar personal items with others, because infections mostly spread through hands, clothes and other commonly touched items.
7)A stye is a common eye infection that occurs during monsoons and is caused due to bacteria. It manifests as a painful lump along the eyelid and is normally treated with the help of a warm compress, though a visit to the doctor is highly recommended.
8)In the case of red-eye, avoid over-the-counter eye drops as they may contain steroids which can be harmful, and seek expert advice. Also, avoid using a contact lens during this period.
9)Wearing glasses when traveling helps.
10)Avoid roadside food.
11)Always wash your hands after coming from outside.
12)Try to keep children away from puddles and waterlogged areas. Children often like to have fun in or around such places but they are high bacteria prone.
Utsav Eye Clinic
Dr. Anand Kumar
Getting the glasses to stay on
Many Eye specialist doctors will tell you that once your child realizes that they see better with their glasses, they’ll be much more likely to leave them on, and even ask for them first thing in the morning. And that’s true, but the trick is getting through that initial stage when they don’t want these funny things sitting on their face.
Every child is different, some will take to their glasses immediately, while others fight tooth and nail for months. A recent poll shows that about 65% children were wearing them well in a week or less, but more than 15% of the kids take longer than a month before they’ll wear them reliably. Odds are your child will surprise you and take to their glasses quickly, but if they don’t, know that you’r not alone in your struggles.
While there are a lot of strategies to get your child to leave their glasses on, the key seems to be to stay calm and positive (which is easier said than done) and consistent about keeping them on (ok, this is also easier said than done). When your child takes them off, put them back on with a smile, but don’t make a big deal about it. If they are really fighting or upset, set the glasses to the side for a few minutes until your child calms down and try again. You’ll also want to have activities on hand when you put those glasses on. Boredom and glasses do not mix!
The following strategies have been suggested by parents of our kid patients who needed to wear glasses. They may help you in your struggle to make your children keep on their glasses too.
- Talk about how nice he or she looks in the glasses.
- When putting glasses on your child, do it with a smile. “While we were trying glasses on Palak, she was crying and we were getting upset, too, and we kept apologizing to her. Dr. Kumar recommended that instead, we show her how happy we are when we put glasses on her (even when we aren’t). It didn’t completely stop her crying, but she definitely calmed down a notch once we started acting happier” says Mrs. Shah, the mother of a 7 year cheerful girl residing in Kharghar.
- Show them glasses-wearing characters (like Arthur, or Harry Potter for older kids). This helps them accept the glasses by making them less self-conscious.
- If your child keeps taking off their glasses, simply put them back on with a smile. If they don’t let you put them on, don’t make a big deal, simply set them aside and try again in a few minutes. “It took about 2 weeks for Zeeshan to get to a point where he leaves the glasses on most of the time” says Mrs. Chaudhary, a resident of Nerul, Navi Mumbai.
- Most kids, especially teenagers are conscious about their looks particularly in front of their school mates. Hence it may be a good idea to speak to the class teachers and close friends and ask them to appreciate the child’s new look.
- When she put on her pair of glasses, I rewarded her with her favorite cookies and explained that each times she wears her glasses we’ll show her how proud we are by giving her a cookie. She seems motivated by this and put them on 4 more times before dinner.
- Take off your child’s glasses when they’re in the car – at least at the beginning. It’s likely they’ll take off their glasses and throw them somewhere where they might fall out of the car or get smushed when you open the door.
- Mrs. Tawade of New Panvel thinks the reward system works best for most kids. She says “We bribed him with a new Thomas toy if he would put them on and leave them alone, so he did, and Daddy let him pick out the most expensive Thomas set that the store had.”
We wish you the best in your efforts to make your child keep their glasses on. If you have any strategy that has worked for you, kindly share it with us for the benefit of other parents.