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3 Eye Defects that can lead to blindness

Medically, a person is declared blind when he becomes sightless in both of his eyes. And he is totally blind when he has lost his ability to see at all. Blindness is usually preceded by visual impairment or low vision which means that even with the help of visual aids (Like eye glasses, pills, contact lenses), Medicine or even surgery, the person still does not see well. Depending on the cause, visual impairment may be mild or severe. Going by the legal definition of blindness, in the United states alone, approximately 1.3 million people are legally blind. ‘Legal blindness’ in a person does not mean he cannot see at all, it just means his vison is impaired and he needs a lot of help in perceiving and focusing images. When you compare that to the statistics of folks from the sub-Sahara Africa where blindness is a source of major concern especially Cataract which is the leading cause of visual impairment. In the United states, the inability to see at least 20/200 in either eye with best optical correction is regarded as blindness. Normal vision is 20/20 Worldwide statistics shows that about 50 million people are totally blind and between 300 million to 400 million people have a visual impairment of some kind. 80% of visual impairment cases occurs in people over 50 years.

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1. Diabetic rhetinopathy

Increase in the number of diabetic patients have also increased the number of cases of diabetic rhetinopathy. Diabetics after a prolonged time often bring about changes in the tiny blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels become filled with blood and/or the retina may break loose from the back of the eye because of the disease.

More than half of diabetic patients are affected by diabetic rhetinopathy. The best way to control the disease is to treat diabetic and ensure it doesn’t advance. And in advance stages of the disease, patients may need to undergo eye surgery.

2. Keratoconus:

It is a disease of the eye that causes a gradual thinning of the cornea. This occurs when the collagen fiber in the cornea becomes weakened and as a result may leads to a failure in its structure. At this point the dome shape of the cornea bulges out like a cone since it is now weak. It can lead to vision loss if not treated early.

At the early stages, it can be corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. But when the cornea becomes scarred because of the bulging, a cornea transplant may be required.

3. Refractive errors

The disease is also known as refraction error. Refraction has to do with bending of light as it passes through one object to the other. In the refraction occurs as light passes between the cornea and the lens. There several factors that can cause error as light passes between the cornea and the lens:

•The length of the eye

•When there is a change in the shape of the cornea

•Natural ageing of the lens

4. Dangerous Eye Defects

The truth is that at some point in life, almost everybody will experience vision loss. It is just a matter of whether it is early or later. Most of the causes of blindness are due to diseases and less than 4% are caused by injury, trauma or old age.

I studied a lot of Medical journals and researches on blindness in preparing this article, and here are 6 of the eye defects that can lead to blindness.

5. Cataract

This is the number one cause of blindness in the world. Just like the lens of a camera, the lens of the human eye is usually clear, free of flaws and transparent to allow light to come in.

When a person is however infected with cataracts, the usually transparent eye becomes opaque and the lens becomes clouded making it difficult for light to enter the eye. Cataracts is usually not painful. Symptoms like dimmed, blurred, and double vision. The person may also experience start to notice that colors are becoming faded. And such a person may need to frequently change glasses.

The chances of being affected with the disease becomes higher as a person grows older. By the age 80, most people are either with the disease or have undergone surgery.

The good news is that cataract are curable through surgery. And the process is called phacoemulsification which includes the removal of the opaque or blurry lens and replace it with an artificial one.

6. Glaucoma

This is another major cause of blindness. Statistics from WHO reveals that glaucoma is responsible for 12.3% of blindness cases in the world. In the United states alone, it accounts for one out of every seven cases of blindness.

This occurs when the transparent fluid in the eye begins to increase causing excess pressure to be built in the eye. If the pressure continues to increase, the delicate part of the eye, the retina, optic nerves becomes damaged resulting in gradual blurring of the eye and eventually blindness.

In advance stage of glaucoma, it could be painful and may result in discomfort as the pressure in the eyes continue to rise at a fast rate.

At early stages, medication pills may be effective but sometimes surgery is necessary.

7. Malecular degeneration

The malecula is the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp imaging. The malecula is the proverbial apple of the eye. Malecular degeneration involves the gradual breakdown of the malecula. The affected person may still be able to see well at the edges of his eyes but his central vision may be damaged or blurred. And the disease is common in aged people, known as ‘Age related molecular degeneration’ (AMD).

There is generally no cure for molecular degeneration, although there are treatments that can slow it down.

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