Introduction to eye care
The eye is an important sense organ that initiates the line of communication to the world. Many people with perfect vision (20/20) fail to give importance to eye care. Only in cases of mild-to-severe eye problem, the very essence of eye care is realized. Eye problems leading to visual impairment or blindness are overly linked to low quality of life and occasionally to shortened-life span.1,2
There is lack of concern, among the general mass, regarding the need for appropriate eye care, which forms a major burden on healthcare professionals. Early detection and appropriate treatment is helpful in preventing visual impairment and progression of any disease conditions that is likely to lead to blindness.
Various eye problems are asymptomatic, that is symptoms may not be perceptible but regular eye assessment might be helpful in the delaying or limiting the succession of eye diseases or vision loss. Hence, from an eye care point of view, it is essential to have a detailed eye examination done annually, especially for people with diabetes and elderly people.4 Cost-effective treatment for certain eye diseases can be certainly ensured subsequent to active participation by patients themselves.3
Regular eye checkups are necessary for every one. Eye checkups are usually recommended to begin shortly after birth and continue before starting school and in the subsequent years to follow. Regular eye checkups helps in identifying the disease in early stages and thereby appropriate treatment can be advised.5
Do’s of eye care
- Elderly people should have their eyes examined annually and more frequent visits are recommended for persons with diabetes.
- Wear sun protective glass to protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays during the peak hours (10 am–4 pm).
- Eyes should be protected from dust, smoke and strong wind.
- As a part of the diet, consume adequate green vegetables, fish and fresh fruits rich in antioxidants (vitamin C and vitamin D)
- Exercise regularly to improve the blood circulation, as it consequently helps to maintain proper eyesight.
- Use safety spectacles as and when required.
Don’ts of eye care
- Do not smoke or avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking decreases the blood supply to the eyes by narrowing the blood vessels and thickening them.
- Avoid food rich in saturated fat. Saturated fat leads to the formation of plaque in the blood capillaries, which obstructs blood flow to the eyes.
- A diet lacking in antioxidants aggravates the formation of plaque in the blood vessels thereby damaging the vascular tissues.
- Do not splash water furiously into the eyes because presence of any allergen can damage the cornea.
- Avoid overnight/extended use of contact lens, as it might lead to eye complications.
- Avoid frequent rubbing of eyes, which might lead to corneal abrasion.
Orientation and mobility training programs are designed to cater the needs of people with low vision. These programs improve their quality of life by nurturing the skills to live with limited vision. Low vision aids like telescopic and magnifying lens, large screen computers and other devices are often useful for people with partial eyesight.
1.McCarty CA, Nanjan MB, Taylor HR. Vision impairment predicts 5 year mortality. Br J Ophthalmol. 2001; 85: 322–326.
2.Vu HT, Keeffe JE, McCarty CA, Taylor HR. Impact of unilateral and bilateral vision loss on quality of life. Br J Ophthalmol. 2005; 89: 360–363.
3.Busbee BG, Brown MM, Brown GC, Sharma S. Incremental cost-effectiveness of initial cataract surgery. Ophthalmology. 2002; 109: 606–612.
4.Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001; 119: 1417–1436.
5.Sloan FA, Picone G, Brown DS, Lee PP. Longitudinal analysis of the relationship between regular eye examinations and changes in visual and functional status. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005; 53: 1867–1874.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: January 19, 2015