EXCLUSIVE: World Sight Day 2021: Expert reveals symptoms and importance of early detection of eye disease

When was the last time we decided to have a regular eye exam? Many will say a few years ago, while others will not even remember if they have had one for many years. Why, because everything is fine until you can see properly, right? And who cares even if we see a few blurry lines here and there, and floaters when we close our eyes, because after all, a cup of tea will be the perfect remedy for that.

However, on World Sight Day, Dr Sameer Kaushal, Senior Consultant and Chief (Ophthalmology), Artemis Hospitals Gurugram, tells you that it is imperative to look for signs that may signal an eye problem. Symptoms of the eye that should always be examined include – any blurring of vision, floaters (small dots, dots, lines or webs floating in the visual field) or spontaneous flashes (sparks of light typically seen in the eye). ‘darkness), intolerance to light and glare, eye redness that persists for more than a few hours, and rainbow halos around the light, ”Kaushal lists.

These symptoms, he says, can be an indicator of underlying eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disease, and uveitis. These diseases must be detected and treated early to avoid severe visual loss.

He adds that unfortunately most people think of an eye exam as a full eye exam. This exam usually performed by an optometrist is an important but minor part of a complete eye exam. “All children should have a regular, age-appropriate eye assessment starting at school age. All adults over 40, especially those with diabetes and a family history of glaucoma, should be screened annually for common eye disorders. Adults under the age of 40 are not subject to any regular eye exam requirements, unless there are predisposing conditions such as diabetes, a family history of glaucoma or high myopia, ”Kaushal believes. .

eye problems

In adults, retinal damage induced by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy) and glaucoma are frequently overlooked because they tend to cause late symptoms. “The main culprit is the lack of awareness of the need for regular eye exams for the early detection of these diseases. In children, amblyopia is the disorder most often overlooked. It can be easily treated with the use of appropriate glasses, but only if it is detected at an early age, ”says Kaushal.

The importance of early detection is all the greater since most eye diseases require early detection to avoid severe permanent visual loss. “Contrary to popular belief, eye transplantation does not result in the replacement of the entire eye. Most parts of the eye, especially the retina and optic nerve, cannot be replaced. The only parts that can be replaced once damaged are the lens (in cataract surgery) and the cornea in front (in corneal transplantation). The damaged retina and optic nerve cannot be replaced. Therefore, diseases of the retina, especially diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, require early detection and treatment to prevent vision loss, ”says Kaushal.

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