Retinopathy and Other Eye Diseases

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Do you have problems with your eyes? Dry eyes? Glaucoma? Blurred vision? Central serous retinopathy or CSR is an eye condition. Usually, the disease is temporary. CSR causes fluid to leak under the retina and gather under the central macula. Researchers found that the accumulation of fluid occurs because of breaks in the retinal pigment epithelium. This is the reason for visual impairment. The detachment of the retina often results in blurred or distorted vision. Scientists do not know the cause of CSR. They believe it has a connection to increased levels of stress and corticosteroids, which are the hormones of immune and stress response. It would be incorrect to assume that people with highly stressful jobs, such as airline pilots, have higher risks of CSR. Some studies show that people with CSR also have increased levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone produced in the adrenal cortex. The human body releases cortisol as a response to stress. Cortisol increases blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. The disease usually happens in males aged 20 to 50. There are many treatments available, including oral medications, such as spironolactone, eplerenone, and low dosages of ibuprofen. Laser treatments, such as laser photocoagulation, may be appropriate if the disease lasts for several months without any significant improvements. The prognosis for the disease is usually very favorable and more than 90 percent of patients regain most of their vision within six months after they are cured of the disease. If the disease reoccurs, it may lead to progressive loss of vision. The condition also has a chronic form, known as type II CSR. Type II CSR occurs in about 5 percent of instances. The prognosis for type II CSR is less favorable compared to regular CSR, and frequent doctor visits are necessary.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a major reason for vision loss for people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes because diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Just like with central serous retinopathy, diabetic retinopathy results in leaking fluids in the eyes. Virtually every person who has to live with diabetes for three decades or longer develops some form of diabetic retinopathy. About 80 percent of diabetics develop diabetic retinopathy after a decade and a half.

Age-Related Eye Conditions

Most people do not have to deal with eye conditions that are somewhat rare or illness-related, but vision changes are inevitable with age. There is no cure for these changes and no way to prevent them. Some people retain great vision well into their 70s and 80s, while others may have a decrease in vision because of diabetes and other conditions. The number of people with vision issues in the United States will double by 2030, as the baby boomer generation continues to age. Presbyopia is vision loss that happens as a person ages. It occurs because the lens of the eye hardens with age, typically after the age of 40. Presbyopia is not a disease, but rather a natural condition that occurs with aging. An eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia during a routine eye exam. Usually, when a person has presbyopia, they are unable to focus their sight on nearby objects. This condition is different from hyperopia, also known as being farsighted, even though hyperopia manifests itself in the same way as presbyopia, which is when a person has difficulty seeing nearby objects. When you develop presbyopia, you may have a difficult time reading fonts of regular sizes, using the computer, or performing typical day-to-day tasks and chores. People with presbyopia often stretch out their arms and hold objects at arm’s length when trying to get printed words into focus. Presbyopia may also lead to headaches from straining while reading or working on the computer. If you’ve never had any eye issues and are developing presbyopia, reading glasses from a drug store may help you for a bit. The most typical solution for presbyopia is prescription glasses or contact lenses. Eventually, your condition may progress, and it is possible that you will need bifocals or trifocals.

Recognizing Eye Problems Early

While presbyopia is a naturally occurring condition, you should not assume that changes in vision are normal. If your vision starts to deteriorate, you need to see a doctor because there are certain diseases that have the same symptoms as presbyopia. Doctors can treat some of these diseases and stop the damage that is being done to your vision. The key to keeping your eyes as healthy as possible is to have checkups with an eye doctor on a regular basis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests visiting an eye doctor every 5 to 10 years if you are younger than 40, every 2 to 4 years between the ages of 40 and 65, and every year or two after the age of 65. If you have diabetes or other conditions that can result in eyesight changes, go to a doctor, and follow their advice. If you have diabetes, you need eye exams more often, usually annually. You also need to contact your doctor immediately if you have diabetes and notice any changes in your eyesight. No one wants to have their vision deteriorate. Have you been to the eye doctor recently? If not, why not call and make an appointment now?