Do you know that with age comes Presbyopia?

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What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs naturally where near vision becomes blurred, making it hard to focus while doing things like reading, using a cell phone or working on the computer. It is not a disease or illness. Like wrinkles, it comes with age.

What are the symptoms of presbyopia?

  • Need to hold reading material at arm’s length in order to read properly.
  • Experiencing blurred vision while reading at the normal reading distance.
  • Experiencing headaches or fatigue when doing near work activities, such as embroidery.

What causes presbyopia?

The lens of the eyes in young people is soft and flexible, readily changing shape to see images from different distances. As you age, your eye lens hardens and loses elasticity. With this loss of flexibility, your eyes’ ability to adjust properly to focus on near objects decreases.

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How is presbyopia diagnosed?

An eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia by performing a thorough eye exam, hence why it is advisable to have your eyes examined at least once a year.

How is presbyopia managed?

Presbyopia cannot be cured. Instead, reading glasses, bifocal or progressive addition lenses, can help correct the effects of presbyopia.

Bifocals are eyeglasses that have two different prescriptions in one spectacle lens. The top part of the lens corrects for distance vision and the lower portion of the lens is designed to help a person see objects up close.

Progressive addition lenses are similar to bifocals but they are made to have a gradual or blended transition between the two prescriptions thus work well for people who use computers.

Frequently Asked Questions on presbyopia

  1. Is presbyopia the same as farsightedness? The two are often confused, but they are different. Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens in the eye loses flexibility. Farsightedness is due to the natural shape of the eyeball causing light rays to bend incorrectly once they have entered the eye.
  2. Who is at risk of getting presbyopia? Anyone over the age of 35 is at risk for developing presbyopia. Everyone experiences some loss of focusing power for near objects as they age, but some will notice this more than others.

Do you have any queries regarding presbyopia or any other eye condition? If you do, please send your queries to info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention due to presbyopia or any other eye condition, feel free to contact us on +254 (0) 707 777 707.

What is keratoconus?

Definition
keratoconus2Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that makes the normally round cornea to thin and begin to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.

The cornea is the transparent front surface of the eye.

Causes

The cause of keratoconus is still unknown, but the following patterns are often observed in patients:

  1. Eye rubbing: Vigorous rubbing has been a common clinical observation among patients with keratoconus.
  2. Allergic disorder: People suffering from hay fever, eczema, asthma, and food allergies show a higher percentage of keratoconus than the general population.
  3. Down syndrome: This can also be shown to be correlated with keratoconus.
  4. Genes: It is common to find several patients with keratoconus within the same extended family.
Symptoms

In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to light. These symptoms usually appear in the late teens or early twenties.

Keratoconus may progress for 10 to 20 years and then slow in its progression. It has been associated with severe eye rubbing from allergic eye diseases.

Other symptoms include:

  1. Nearsightedness
  2. Astigmatism
  3. Blurred vision, even when wearing contact lenses or glasses
  4. Experiencing glares at night
  5. Eye rubbing
  6. Light sensitivity
  7. Frequent changing of glasses and contact lenses
Treatment

Initially, spectacles may improve one’s vision. However, they become less useful as the condition worsens, thus one has to shift to contact lenses.

In severe keratoconus, neither glasses nor contact lenses are of any help. Therefore, one may have to undergo one of the two procedures below:

  1. Corneal transplant. This is often performed under general anesthesia. The damaged cornea is removed and a donor cornea is stitched back in its place.
  2. Cross linking. This is a relatively new treatment, which stops the progression of the disease. It does not reverse the damage already present, though.

To Note: Routine checks by an ophthalmologist are very important because they ensure early diagnosis of keratoconus. If diagnosed early (when there is still good vision), there is now a surgical treatment called “cross-linking”, which stops or significantly slows down the progression of the disease. A prolonged period of care after surgery is required to ensure the graft remains healthy.

FAQs keratoconus
  1. I have keratoconus; will I go blind? No. Keratoconus is not a blinding condition, although vision is likely to progressively worsen. However, with the use of contact lenses, most keratoconus patients can maintain good functional vision and a normal lifestyle.
  2. Is it possible for keratoconus to simply get better and heal on its own, or is it a permanent condition that can only degenerate? Keratoconus either progresses or remains stable; it does not get better.
  3. Will certain activities, such as sports or long hours in front of the computer, hasten the progression of keratoconus? There is no evidence that any physical or visual activity has any effect on the progression of keratoconus. The exception is eye rubbing, where the trauma caused by rubbing the eye can damage the cornea, which may cause the condition to advance more rapidly.
  4. Can I have LASIK (laser eye surgery) if I suffer from keratoconus? No. In patients with keratoconus the center of the cornea is usually very thin. Therefore, the risk of perforation during LASIK is very high and thus LASIK surgeons will advise against it. You can however have LASIK after a corneal graft is done.

If you have any further queries on keratoconus, you can contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention due to keratoconus or any other eye condition, feel free to contact us on +254 (0) 707 777 707.

5 fun eye facts

abstract-19141_19201) Fastest muscle

The muscle that allows you to blink is the fastest muscle in your body.

2) Eye weight

The human eye weighs about 28 grams.

3) Unique iris

A fingerprint has 40 characteristics that are unique to you. An Iris has over 200 such characteristics, hence the increase use of iris scans for security purposes.

4) Average blinks

On average, you blink every 2-10 seconds.

5) Length of eye shut per blink

Your eyes close for about 0.3 seconds when you blink.

If you have any queries regarding the eye, please contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention, contact us via +254 (0) 707 777 707 or visit us at City Eye Hospital, Ngong Rd, Opposite Traffic Police Station, Nairobi, Kenya.

Understanding retinal detachment

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Definition

A retinal detachment is a serious eye condition in which the retina separates from the inner lining within the eye, often associated with holes or tears. It is a problem that affects mostly the middle-aged and elderly people and can lead to rapid and permanent blindness, if not treated early.

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain.

When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position and vision becomes blurry. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

Causes

The most common cause of retinal detachments is a tear in the retina.

Retinal detachment is more common among patients with myopia (nearsightedness), diabetic patients and those with a family history of retinal detachment.

Symptoms
  1. Light flashes
  2. Wavy or watery vision
  3. Obstructing vision (the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision)
  4. Floaters (little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision), though many people have had them for many years and it’s not a cause for concern
  5. Sudden decrease of vision

To Note: A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of the ailment must see an eye doctor immediately.

Prevention

There is no known measure that prevents retinal detachment. Therefore, having routine eye check up by an ophthalmologist is advised.

Treatment

Retinal detachments are treated through surgery.

Benefits of treatment

The most obvious benefit is preventing you from going blind in the affected eye. You may have lost vision already from the retinal detachment and even with successful surgery, your vision may not return to normal.

FAQ(s)
  1. Who is at risk of retinal detachment? It can occur at any age.
  2. Can retinal detachment reoccur? Yes, it can.

If you have any further queries on retinal detachment, you can contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention due to retinal detachment or any other eye condition, feel free to contact us on +254 (0) 707 777 707.

5 common eye myths

You most probably have heard that eating carrots improves your eyesight or how sitting close to the television worsens one’s vision. Both statements are not quite true. In this piece, we separate the facts from fiction, as having the correct information is vital to your eye health.

  1. Myth: Eating carrots improves one’s vision.
    Fact: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is essential for sight. However, only a small amount of Vitamin A is needed for good vision. Also, many other foods are rich in Vitamin A, including sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens like kale and tropical fruits like mangoes. Therefore, a well-balanced diet is enough to provide the vitamin A needed for good eyesight.
  1. Myth: Sitting too close to the television damages one’s eyes.
    Fact: There is no evidence to show that sitting too close to the television can damage your eyes. However, if this is a habit, particularly in older children, it may be a sign of nearsightedness. Therefore, it would be advisable to visit your eye doctor.
  1. Myth: An eye exam is only necessary if you’re having eye problems.
    Fact: Everyone should have regular eye exams—at least once every year—whether or not they are having any eye problems.
  2. Myth: Computer use can damage the eyes.
    Fact: This is not true. However, your eyes blink less than normal when using computers (or any other visual intensive task like reading fine print, trying to see in the dark, etc.). This makes the eyes dry, which may lead to a feeling of eyestrain or fatigue. Eye strains are usually not to serious and go away once you rest your eyes. It is therefore advisable that one takes frequent breaks from the screen to prevent eyestrain. However, if the strain is persistent/doesn’t go away even after taking breaks/resting, you may need to check with your eye doctor to confirm that the strain is not due to underlying eye condition that needs medical attention.
  3. Myth: Wearing glasses make the eyes worse.
    Fact:  It is not true that wearing glasses makes one’s eyes worse than they already are. There are conditions that can be improved or corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses, but it is vital that one wears the right glasses for their condition. Therefore, talk to your eye doctor to ensure you get properly-prescribed glasses.
    If you have a query on eye health or need medical assistance in regard to eye problems, please contact us on +254 (0) 707 777 707.

Squints


Squint3You most probably have heard of the eye condition known as squints, as it is a pretty common eye condition. So what exactly is a squint?

Definition

Squint is a condition where the eyes do not look in the same direction. Whilst one eye looks forwards to focus on an object, the other eye turns either inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards.

Typically, with normal eyes, both eyes look and focus on the same spot. The brain combines the signals from the two eyes to form a three-dimensional image. If you have a squint, the two eyes focus on different spots. In children with squint, this does not usually cause double vision, as their brain quickly learns to ignore the signals and images coming from the turned (squinting) eye.

Therefore, the child sees with only one eye. This means the child does not have a good sense of depth when looking at objects, thus he or she cannot see properly in three dimensions. (Adults who develop a squint often have double vision, as their developed brain cannot ignore the images from one eye.)

To Note: Most squints occur in young children. A child with a squint may stop using the affected eye, leading to a condition known as amblyopia. Sometimes called ‘lazy’ eye, amblyopia is a condition where the vision in an eye is poor due to the lack of use of the eye in early childhood. 

Causes

  1. Hereditary: Squints may occur in families and may arise in the first few months of life. However, they may also appear in older children. Some children have a weak ability to use the eyes together, and a squint can develop.
  2. Presence of eye defect: Occasionally, a child may develop a squint because there is a problem with the eye.

Symptoms

  1. Development of a lazy eye (amblyopia), which if not treated will lead to long-term poor sight in that eye
  2. Loss of binocular vision
  3. Unbalanced appearance
  4. Double vision

Prevention

Routine checks by an ophthalmologist.

Treatment

Vision loss from amblyopia cannot be corrected by wearing glasses and if not treated before the age of about 7-8 years, the visual impairment usually remains permanent.

Treatment of amblyopia usually involves patching the good eye to force the use of the affected eye. Wearing glasses to correct any refractive error, if this is present.

Surgery is often needed to correct the appearance of the squint itself and may help to restore binocular vision in some cases.

Benefits of treatment

  1. Improved appearance
  2. Increased peripheral (side) vision
  3. Improved depth perception

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is there a pain relief given after squint surgery?
    For children younger than one year, often no pain relief is needed after leaving hospital. It should be given if a younger child will not settle with soothing and feeding or if an older child complains of pain.
  2. What will the vision be like after the surgery?
    Usually, there is some blurring of vision for a few days after surgery. Light sensitivity (photophobia) is also common after squint surgery. Older children should use sunglasses if this seems to be a problem and younger children may be kept out of direct sunlight for a few days after surgery.

Do you have further queries on squints? Contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

Do you need medical attention due to squints or any other eye condition? Contact us on +254 (0) 707 777 707.

 

Fun eye facts (Part 1)

  1. With over two million parts, eyes are one of the complex organs in the human body.

    abstract-19141_1920
  2. The cornea is the only part of the human body that does not have any blood vessels.

    Cornea
  3. Eyes work by detecting light bouncing off objectives.

    Light2
  4. You can always see your nose but your brain ignores it.

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5. The thinnest skin in the human body is the one covering the eyelids. (This skin is so thin that it tends to lose elasticity more quickly as we age hence why eyelids develop wrinkles before the rest of the body.)

Closed female eye lashes closeup

If you have any queries regarding the eye, please contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention, contact us via +254 (0) 707 777 707 or visit us at City Eye Hospital, Ngong Rd, Opposite Traffic Police Station, Nairobi, Kenya.

Glaucoma

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Did you know that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide? So what is glaucoma?

 

Definition

Glaucoma is an eye ailment that occurs when the pressure within the eye—intraocluar pressure (IOP)—is high for prolonged periods, resulting in permanent and irreversible vision loss.

Risk factors

  1. Pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure): The principal cause of glaucoma is high pressure in the eye. Pressure increases when there is an imbalance between the production and drainage of the fluid naturally produced by the eye.
  2. Structure and blood supply of the optic disc:  In some patients, the eye pressure is within the normal range but they still develop damage due to variations in the structure and blood supply of the optic nerve.
  3. Family history of glaucoma: Having an immediate relative with the disease significantly increases the risk. Anyone with a family history should have regular eye checkups upon reaching the age of 35.
  4. Age: The incidence of glaucoma increases with age.
  5. Other associated conditions: Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and shortsightedness may increase the risk of glaucoma.

Symptoms

There are usually no symptoms, until it is too late. Therefore, early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the key to preventing glaucoma-related blindness.

Prevention

There is no known prevention for glaucoma, thus it is vital to catch the disease early so as to prevent glaucoma-related blindness.

Treatment

The aim of treatment is to decrease the pressure inside the eye so as to reduce stress on the optic nerve, which in turn slows down or stops any further nerve damage. It entails:

  1. Use of eye drops: Eye drops are usually the first line of treatment for glaucoma. There are various types of eye drops that can be used.
  2. Surgery: This can be used to control pressure inside the eye but is generally used only when eye drops have proven unsatisfactory. In this procedure known as trabeculectomy, an alternative drainage pathway is created.

To note: Once glaucoma is diagnosed, ongoing management and treatment is required throughout life because fluctuations in eye pressure are damaging. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that eye drops are taken regularly, as missed doses can be harmful. Remember, prevention of damage is the only way to avoid vision loss; once damage has occurred, it is permanent and irreversible.

Frequently asked question(s)

  1. Do I have to get up at night to take my glaucoma eye drops? No. Having an undisturbed night is more important. If you have to take drops more than twice a day, put the drops in when you get up and when you go to bed and then space the other drops in between during the day. Always wait for 5–10 minutes if putting more than one drop.

For more information on glaucoma, you can contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need medical attention due to glaucoma or any other eye condition, talk to us via +254 (0) 707 777 707 or visit us at City Eye Hospital, Ngong Rd, Opposite Traffic Police Station, Nairobi, Kenya. 

 

FAQs on contact lenses (part 2)

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(1) Are contact lenses better than glasses?

Both lenses and glasses have their pros and cons in terms of vision, ease of use and eye health. Eyeglasses, for example, require little cleaning and maintenance plus you don’t need to touch your eyes to wear them, thus decreasing risk of eye infections. Glasses are also cheaper in the long run since they don’t need to be replaced as often.

Contact lenses have advantages over glasses too. For starters, they sit directly on your eye, so vision, particularly peripheral vision, is unobstructed. They also enable one to participate in sports and other outdoor activities. All in all, it is advisable to have this discussion with your ophthalmologist before choosing one over the other.

(2) Aren’t contact lenses uncomfortable? 

Contact lenses are generally comfortable if the necessary guidelines on how to clean, wear and replace them are adhered to.

(3) Are contact lenses difficult to use?

Contact lenses are easy to use. It is advisable, though, that a trained professional shows you how to wear them. In a nutshell, to put on your contact lens: (i) pull down your lower eyelid with the middle finger of the same hand; (ii) pull the top lid up with the index finger of the other hand while looking up; (iii) gently place the lens on the lower white of the eye; and (iv) lastly, remove your index finger and release your eyelid.

(4) Can contact lenses get lost in the eye?

No. However, if you rub your eyes or get bumped in the eye when wearing a contact lens, the lens might fold in half and dislodge from the cornea. The folded lens might get stuck under your upper eyelid so that it seems to have disappeared.

If this occurs, you will feel like something is in your eye. To retrieve the lens, add a few lens rewetting drops to your eye and then gently massage your eyelid while your eye is closed. Usually, the folded lens will move to a position on your eye where you can see and remove it. If the lens remains folded in half, soak it in contact lens solution for a few seconds then gently rub the lens to return it to its original shape.

(5) I’m I too old to wear lenses?

In general, the only restriction regarding your age is whether or not you are old enough. Nowadays, there are various contact lenses designed to suit older persons whose eyes tend to dry more. If you are interested in trying contact lenses, contact your ophthalmologist to establish the lens most suitable for your age and visual needs.

Missed Part 1? You can read it here: FAQs on Contact Lenses (Part 1).

For more information on contact lenses, you can contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need contact lenses, talk to us via +254 (0) 707 777 707 or visit us at City Eye Hospital, Ngong Rd, Opposite Traffic Police Station, Nairobi, Kenya. 

FAQs on contact lenses (part 1)

visualization-32988_1280(1) How often should I change contact lenses?

Contact lenses must be used as directed for maximum comfort. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and your doctor’s instructions for wearing and replacement of the lenses (for example, do not wear the lenses overnight unless they are specifically designed for it). Also, do not try to extend the life of your contact lenses—this can lead to inadequate oxygen supply and swelling of your cornea.

(2) How should I wash my contact lenses?

You should wash your lenses every night to remove lipid and protein deposits, which accumulate naturally from your tears.

Remember to only use an appropriate, fresh contact lens solution to clean your lenses and never use tap water with soft contact lenses because contaminants from tap water can be deposited into your soft contact lens.

Also, wash your hands before handling your contact lenses, and keep your fingernails short so that you do not damage your lenses or eyes during insertion and removal. If you will be using aerosol products, such as hairspray during your morning routine, do so before inserting your lenses whenever possible.

(3) Can I still use makeup if I wear contact lenses?

If you wear contact lenses, then makeup can be a frienemy. One must learn to be careful with certain makeup application processes and stay away from glittery eye shadow. Also, ensure you put your contact lenses in before putting your makeup on and take them out before taking your makeup off.

(4) Do contact lenses cause eye infections?

While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they do carry a risk of eye infection.

The most common infection related to use of contact lens is keratitis: an infection of the cornea (the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil). In severe cases, keratitis can cause corneal scarring that impairs vision and may lead to the need for a cornea transplant. Safe handling, storage and cleaning of your lenses are key steps to reducing the risk of eye infections.

Part 2 on Contact Lenses is up. You can take a look at it here: FAQs on Contact Lenses (Part 2).

For more information on contact lenses, you can contact us via: info@cityeyehospital.or.ke.

If you need contact lenses, talk to us via +254 (0) 707 777 707 or visit us at City Eye Hospital, Ngong Rd, Opposite Traffic Police Station, Nairobi, Kenya.