Tag Archives: Eye disease

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)


Definition:
The brain and the eye work together to produce vision. Light enters the eye and is changed into nerve signals that travel along the optic nerve to the brain. Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye.

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amblyopia

amblyopia (Photo credit: ebmorse)

It is a disorder of the visual system that is characterized by poor or indistinct vision in an eye that is otherwise physically normal, or out of proportion to associated structural abnormalities. It has been estimated to affect 1–5% of the population

Amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood. The condition affects approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 children. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood, amblyopia usually persists into adulthood, and is the most common cause of monocular (one eye) visual impairment among children and young and middle-aged adults.

Symptoms:
Many people with amblyopia, especially those who are only mildly so, are not even aware they have the condition until tested at older ages, since the vision in their stronger eye is normal. However, people who have severe amblyopia may experience associated visual disorders, most notably poor depth perception. Amblyopes suffer from poor spatial acuity, low sensitivity to contrast and some “higher-level” deficits to vision such as reduced sensitivity to motion.These deficits are usually specific to the amblyopic eye, not the unaffected “fellow” eye. Amblyopes also suffer from problems of binocular vision such as limited stereoscopic depth perception and usually have difficulty seeing the three-dimensional images in hidden stereoscopic displays such as autostereograms. However perception of depth from monocular cues such as size, perspective, and motion parallax is normal.
Causes:
The problem is caused by either no transmission or poor transmission of the visual image to the brain for a sustained period of dysfunction or during early childhood. Amblyopia normally only affects one eye, but it is possible to be amblyopic in both eyes if both are similarly deprived of a good, clear visual image. Detecting the condition in early childhood increases the chance of successful treatment.

Amblyopia may be caused by any condition that affects normal visual development or use of the eyes. Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus, an imbalance in the positioning of the two eyes. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia). Sometimes amblyopia is caused when one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other eye conditions such as cataract.

While the colloquialism “lazy eye” is frequently used to refer to amblyopia, the term is inaccurate because there is no “laziness” of either the eye or the amblyope involved in the condition. Therefore, some consider the term “lazy eye” to be pejorative.

Types:
Amblyopia can be caused by deprivation of vision early in life, by strabismus (misaligned eyes), by vision-obstructing disorders, or by anisometropia (different degrees of myopia or hyperopia in each eye).

Strabismus:
Strabismus, sometimes erroneously also called lazy eye, is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned in a variety of different ways. Strabismus usually results in normal vision in the preferred sighting eye, but may cause abnormal vision in the deviating or strabismic eye due to the discrepancy between the images projecting to the brain from the two eyes. Adult-onset strabismus usually causes double vision (diplopia), since the two eyes are not fixated on the same object. Children’s brains, however, are more neuroplastic, and therefore can more easily adapt by suppressing images from one of the eyes, eliminating the double vision. This plastic response of the brain, however, interrupts the brain’s normal development, resulting in the amblyopia.

Strabismic amblyopia is treated by clarifying the visual image with glasses, and/or encouraging use of the amblyopic eye with a eyepatch over the dominant eye or pharmacologic penalization of it (usually by applying atropine drops to temporarily paralyze the muscles and weaken vision in the good eye—this helps to prevent the bullying and teasing associated with wearing a patch). The ocular alignment itself may be treated with surgical or non-surgical methods, depending on the type and severity of the strabismus.

Refractive or anisometropic amblyopia
Refractive amblyopia may result from anisometropia (unequal refractive errors between the two eyes). Anisometropia exists when there is a difference in the refraction between the two eyes. The eye with less far-sighted (hyperopic) refractive error provides the brain with a clearer image, and is favored by the brain. Refractive amblyopia is usually less severe than strabismic amblyopia and is commonly missed by primary care physicians because of its less dramatic appearance and lack of obvious physical manifestation, such as with strabismus.[9] Frequently, amblyopia is associated with a combination of anisometropia and strabismus.

Pure refractive amblyopia is treated by correcting the refractive error early with prescription lenses. Vision therapy and/or eye patching can also be used to develop and/or improve visual abilities, binocular vision, depth perception, etc.

Meridional amblyopia is a mild condition in which lines are seen less clearly at some orientations than others after full refractive correction. An individual who had an astigmatism at a young age that was not corrected by glasses will later have astigmatism that cannot be optically corrected.

Form-deprivation and occlusion amblyopia
Form-deprivation amblyopia (Amblyopia ex anopsia) results when the ocular media become opaque, such as is the case with cataracts or corneal scarring from forceps injuries during birth.These opacities prevent adequate sensory input from reaching the eye, and therefore disrupt visual development. If not treated in a timely fashion, amblyopia may persist even after the cause of the opacity is removed. Sometimes, drooping of the eyelid (ptosis) or some other problem causes the upper eyelid to physically occlude a child’s vision, which may cause amblyopia quickly. Occlusion amblyopia may be a complication of a hemangioma that blocks some or all of the eye.

Diagnosis:
An eye exam by a pediatrician or the 20/20 eye chart screening is not adequate for the detection of amblyopia (and other visual conditions). The most important diagnostic tools are the special visual acuity tests other than the 20/20 letter charts currently used by schools, pediatricians and eye doctors. Examination with cycloplegic drops can be necessary to detect this condition in the young.

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Since amblyopia usually occurs in one eye only, many parents and children are unaware of the condition. Many children go undiagnosed until they have their eyes examined at the eye doctor’s office at a later age. Comprehensive vision evaluations are highly recommended for infants and pre-school children.

A March 2002 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all babies have vision screening (including screening for strabismus and amblyopia) at the earliest possible age, and at regular intervals throughout childhood. Rather than relying on informal or subjective assessments of vision, the policy discusses photoscreening, a new test that can make checking vision easier and more accurate for even very young babies. A specially equipped camera takes their picture and a computer or a person analyzes the eye data obtained. Ask your pediatrician about having your baby screened.

Treatment :
Treatment of strabismic or anisometropic amblyopia consists of correcting the optical deficit and forcing use of the amblyopic eye, either by patching the good eye, or by instilling topical atropine in the eye with better vision. One should also be wary of over-patching or over-penalizing the good eye when treating for amblyopia, as this can create so-called “reverse amblyopia” in the other eye.

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Form deprivation amblyopia is treated by removing the opacity as soon as possible followed by patching or penalizing the good eye to encourage use of the amblyopic eye.

Prognosis:
Although the best outcome is achieved if treatment is started before age 5, research has shown that children older than age 10 and some adults can show improvement in the affected eye. Children from 7 to 12 who wore an eye patch and performed near point activities (vision therapy) were four times as likely to show a two line improvement on a standard 11 line eye chart than amblyopic children who did not receive treatment. Children 13 to 17 showed improvement as well, albeit in smaller amounts than younger children. (NEI-funded Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, 2005)

Some claim the controversial Bates Method can reverse amblyopia. In his book Perfect Sight without Glasses, ophthalmologist William Bates advocated relaxation and thinking relaxing thoughts as a way to correct amblyopia: “When the disturbing thought is replaced by one that relaxes, the squint disappears, the double vision and the errors of refraction are corrected; and this is as true of abnormalities of long standing as of those produced voluntarily.” Bates was of the opinion that the cause of “squint, or of any other functional disturbance of the eye” was simply “wrong thoughts” and these “wrong thoughts” (and therefore the resulting pathology of the visual system) could be cured by relaxing thoughts. “In a fraction of a second the highest degrees of refractive error may be corrected, a squint may disappear, or the blindness of amblyopia may be relieved. If the relaxation is only momentary, the correction is momentary. When it becomes permanent, the correction is permanent.” Some critics contend that this proposed “cure” blames the victim, by implying that amblyopes are in some way responsible for their visual problems.

Can amblyopia be treated in adults?
Studies are very limited at this time and scientists don’t know what the success rate might be for treating amblyopia in adults. During the first six to nine years of life, the visual system develops very rapidly. Complicated connections between the eye and the brain are created during that period of growth and development. Scientists are exploring whether treatment for amblyopia in adults can improve vision.

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Click for more knowledge on Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)………..(1)....(2)

Important Points to be noted:
*If not detected and treated early in life, amblyopia can cause loss of vision and depth perception.

*Improvements are possible at any age with proper treatment, but early detection and treatment offer the best outcome.

*Comprehensive vision screenings are needed for infants and pre-school children. An eye exam by a pediatrician or the 20/20 eye chart screening is not adequate for the detection of amblyopia (and other visual conditions).

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amblyopia
http://www.medic8.com/eye-disorders/amblyopia.htm
http://www.lazyeye.org/
http://www.drgreene.com/21_1024.html

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Glaucoma

normal tension glaucom is a serious eye condition that involves an elevation in pressure inside the eye. Increased pressure results from a buildup of excess fluid in the eye. Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition because it frequently progresses without obvious symptoms. This is why it is frequently referred to as “the sneak thief of sight.”

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Types of Glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma, for example, congenital, primary, secondary, and normal tension glaucoma. Congenital glaucoma appears in young people; secondary glaucoma is the result of injury or trauma. There are two types of primary glaucoma most frequently associated with aging: acute or closed angle glaucoma, and chronic or open angle glaucoma. The Reference Section at the end of this Fact Sheet provides resources for learning more about each of the types of glaucoma.

Regardless of the type, glaucoma can impair vision by creating pressure that damages the optic nerve, The “cable” of nerve fibers that transmits messages about what we see from the eye to the brain.

It is important to recall the structure of the eye and how it works to understand the dangers posed by glaucoma. Glaucoma can cause damage when the aqueous humor, a fluid that inflates the front of the eye and circulates in a chamber called the anterior chamber, enters the eye but cannot drain properly from the eye. Elevated pressure inside the eye, in turn, can cause damage to the optic nerve or the blood vessels in the eye that nourish the optic nerve. The Human Eye, Its Functions, and Visual Impairment explains how the eye works. When glaucoma begins to affect a person’s vision, the first problems are with peripheral vision, or what can be seen at the sides of the visual field, rather than in the center. If glaucoma progresses, it can destroy all peripheral vision, then impair central vision, and lead to total blindness. Treatments for glaucoma are aimed at bringing down the pressure in the eye to a level that is low enough to prevent harm to the optic nerve. Once the optic nerve is damaged from glaucoma, lowering the pressure in the eye only prevents further damage to the nerve. Damage already done to the optic nerve cannot be reversed.

Diagnosing Glaucoma
When a person receives a diagnosis of glaucoma, it means a diagnosis of a life-long condition. However, early detection of glaucoma, appropriate and ongoing treatment, and the availability of specialized low vision and vision rehabilitation services if vision should become impaired, means that people who have glaucoma can live productive and satisfying lives.

A pressure check for glaucoma should be a routine part of every eye examination at least by the age of 35. A visual field test can also detect glaucoma by indicating the loss of peripheral vision.

How Common Is Glaucoma?
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation glaucoma affects more than 3 million Americans. It is also reported that glaucoma is the third leading cause of legal blindness in Caucasians, and the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk. Those at risk include:

1.People over the age of 60.

2.African Americans over the age of 40.

3.People with a family history of glaucoma.

Treatment:
Untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness. Eye drops or tablets may be prescribed to reduce fluid production and consequently reduce pressure in the eye.

Laser or surgical treatment may be used when medical treatment isn’t sufficiently effective.

Screening:
People over the age of 40 are advised to have their eyes tested every two years to check for signs of glaucoma. If glaucoma is identified early enough, treatment can be given to prevent further damage and reduce the risk of blindness.

These tests are available at your local optician and should include:

•examination of the optic disc
•measurement of the pressure in the eye
•checking of peripheral vision (by looking for a sequence of spots of light on a screen).
Retaining Independence
People who have experienced vision loss from glaucoma can retain their independence, productivity, and quality of life by learning to use specialized devices and techniques to carry out their daily activities. These may include using special lenses that can help those who have remaining sight make the best use of available vision, and using specialized techniques that enable people to manage home and work responsibilities, travel using mass transportation, and carry out a host of other activities.

Click to learn more about Acute Glaucoma  and its Ayurvedic Remedy

Click to see->:6 Sure-Fire Tips to Prevent Glaucoma Naturally

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/glaucoma1.shtml

:www.afb.org

http://www.dwueye.com/glaucoma-eye-care.html

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Eye Infections

Reflexively reaching for over-the-counter eyedrops when your eyes become watery, itchy, red, or inflamed may actually make matters worse. Instead, give one of nature’s gentle remedies a try — it may be just what the doctor ordered.

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PICTURES

Symptoms
Pinkness or redness in the whites of the eyes.
Thick, oozing greenish yellow or white discharge from the eye.
Excessive tearing.
Dried crusts on the eyelid and eyelashes that form during sleep.
Sensation of sand or grit in the eye when blinking.
Swollen or flaking eyelids.
A small, painful red bump at the base of an eyelash (sty).

When to Call Your Doctor
If the eye is red or swollen, with a thick discharge-you may need antibiotics for a bacterial infection. If you wear contact lenses, remove them.
If the eye is painful or sensitive to sunlight, or you have blurring or loss of vision.
If the pupils are different sizes or an object is lodged in an eye.
If mild symptoms don’t begin to wane in four days of self-care.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Eye infections are usually related to pinkeye (conjunctivitis), an inflammation of the sensitive mucous membranes that line the eyelids. Other causes of redness and irritation are a persistent scaliness on the eyelid edges (called blepharitis) and inflamed, painful bumps at the base of the eyelashes (known as styes). A doctor should evaluate eyes that are red and painful to determine the proper course of treatment and rule out more serious ailments, such as glaucoma.

What Causes It
Viruses and bacteria cause eye infections. Inflammation and redness may also occur as a result of injuries to the eye, allergies, or irritants (such as smoke, makeup, or chlorine in a swimming pool).

How Supplements Can Help
Any serious eye infection or injury requires immediate medical care. Mild eye infections can be treated at home with natural remedies, but see your doctor if the symptoms don’t begin to clear up within three or four days.

What Else You Can Do
Wash your hands often with an antiseptic soap, and don’t touch or rub your eyes. Change pillowcases and towels frequently; don’t share them with others. Most eye infections are highly contagious.
Avoid wearing eye makeup or contact lenses during an eye infection.
Wipe the discharge from the infected eye with a tissue and dispose of it immediately to prevent the infection from spreading.
For styes, apply a warm, moist compress for 10 minutes three or four times a day until the sty comes to a head and drains.
For blepharitis, try a warm, moist compress; apply for 15 minutes to loosen the infected scaliness on the eyelids. Then scrub the eyelid gently with water and baking soda, or with diluted baby shampoo.
Use a separate compress or eyecup for each eye to prevent inadvertently spreading any infection.
Make sure herbal teas are sterile when you use them as eyewashes. Otherwise, you could cause further infection. To avoid contamination, strain the cooled teas through a sterile gauze pad or cheesecloth and store them in sealed containers. Prepare a fresh batch of tea daily.
In addition to their use as eyewashes, herbal teas made from eyebright, chamomile, or fennel are good to drink and will help relieve your symptoms. Have two or three cups a day.
Try to avoid using nonprescription eyedrops meant to relieve red, tired eyes. They have been shown to cause some forms of conjunctivitis, according to a recent report in the Archives of Ophthalmology. And overuse of eyedrops that reduce redness by narrowing blood vessels may be problematic for some people.

Supplement Recommendations

Eyebright
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Zinc
Chamomile
Goldenseal


Eyebright

Dosage: 1 tsp. dried herb per pint of hot water; cool and strain.
Comments: Store in sealed container. Prepare fresh daily. Use an eyecup to wash affected eye 3 times a day.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 50,000 IU twice a day for 7 days, then 25,000 IU daily for 3 weeks.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.

Vitamin C

Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day for 1 month.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Zinc
Dosage: 30 mg a day for 1 month.
Comments: Do not exceed 150 mg zinc a day from all sources.

Chamomile

Dosage: 2 or 3 tsp. dried herb per cup hot water; cool and strain.
Comments: Store in sealed container. Prepare fresh daily. Use an eyecup to wash affected eye 3 times a day.

Goldenseal

Dosage: 1 tsp. dried herb per pint of hot water; cool and strain.
Comments: Store in sealed container. Prepare fresh daily. Use an eyecup to wash affected eye 3 times a day.

You may click to see :
*Conjunctivitis/Eye Infection  ….
*Eye Problems – Eye Infections…
*How to Prevent This Eye Infection….
*A Quick Peek on Eye Infections Associated With Contact Lenses…

Resources:-

Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/kriegerbody.cfm?id=4233

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Cataracts

Although half the people over age 50 and three-quarters of those over age 75 develop cataracts, the condition isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Recent studies show that certain lifestyle strategies can lessen your chance of developing this serious but treatable vision disorder….

Symptoms
Gradual and painless blurring or dimming of vision.
Increased sensitivity to sun glare or car headlights at night
Seeing halos around lights
Changes in color perception………..CLICK & SEE

When to Call Your Doctor
If you begin to develop cataract symptoms.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
The eye‘s lens is normally transparent; it refracts and focuses light on the retina, which allows a clear image to form. When the proteins in the lens break down, they clump together and form opaque spots called cataracts. These spots hinder light from being transmitted properly to the retina, and vision becomes cloudy or blurry. The degree of impaired vision depends on the cataract’s size, density, and location on the lens.

What Causes It
Cataracts may develop as a result of age-related body changes; but some experts now think that the majority of cases can be attributed to smoking or to lifetime exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. A low level of antioxidants (vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium) may also be a factor. These compounds can squelch free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules — that can damage the lens. (Normally, the lens has a high concentration of glutathione, an antioxidant produced by the body.) In addition, having diabetes or being overweight increases the risk of cataracts, probably because high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood contribute to the destruction of lens proteins. Injury to the eye can cause cataracts too.

How Supplements Can Help
Taking supplements before a cataract appears may postpone its development or prevent it altogether. In the early stages of a cataract, supplements may slow its growth. Only surgery will remove a cataract, however.

What Else You Can Do

Quit smoking.
Protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; they’re good sources of antioxidants.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Selenium
Bilberry
Ginkgo Biloba
Alpha-lipoic Acid
Grape Seed Extract
Flaxseed Oil

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg twice a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin E

Dosage: 400 IU a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Selenium
Dosage: 400 mcg a day.
Comments: Don’t exceed 600 mcg daily; higher doses may be toxic.

Bilberry
Dosage: 80 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain 25% anthocyanosides. May be included in nutritional supplement eye formulas.

Ginkgo Biloba

Dosage: 40 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to have at least 24% flavone glycosides.

Alpha-lipoic Acid

Dosage: 150 mg a day.
Comments: Take in the morning with or without food.

Grape Seed Extract
Dosage: 100 mg twice a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain 92%-95% proanthocyanidins.

Flaxseed Oil

Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

Heart stem cells identified

A master heart stem cell gives rise to the different tissues in the mammalian heart, a discovery that could be great news for future heart repair……..CLICK & SEE

In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Cell, three teams of researchers in the US identified the embryonic stem cells in mice and say the cells could be cloned for use in developing new drug therapies. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to develop into any type of cell.

One team led by Kenneth Chien of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and another led by Gordon Keller of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said the cells gave rise to three types of cells in the mammalian heart.

The three types are: cardiac muscle cells, smooth muscle lining the aorta, and endothelial cells that form coronary blood vessels.

Source:The Times Of India