The eye is our window to the world.
They are very precious and must be
kept in perfect
condition all the time. We must look
after our eyes with great care and
caution. Our eyes suffer from various
diseases and conditions from time
With great advancements in technology,
there has been a revolution in eye
care procedures and eye disease treatments.
Here is an insight into various current
Eyeglasses and contact lenses
To begin with, we have our good old,
eye glasses or spectacles. They are
the most common and cheapest
means to correct focusing (refractive)
errors of the eye, such as presbyopia,
myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism
etc. Spectacles are made of lenses,
the type and power of which depends
the degree of focusing error of the
eye. Generally, there are two broad
categories of lenses; a 'plus' lens
is convex while a 'minus' lens
is concave in shape. The power of
a lens is measured in dioptres (D).
The higher the dioptre
count the stronger the lens, in either
a plus or a minus direction.
alternative to glasses, contact
lenses are now very popular. However,
as well as soft contact lenses for
shortsight, special types of contacts
can be used
in the treatment of other eye conditions
including many of those listed below.
Corneal reshaping, also known as
orthokeratology and corneal refractive
therapy, is a popular procedure in
temporarily correcting myopia by the
use of rigid contact lenses. Advancement
in corneal reshaping contact lens
designs and materials have made it
a more convenient choice over refractive
surgery and glasses. However,
this therapy must involve proper education
about its implementation for both
the practitioners and patients to
ensure optimum results and safety.
Modern orthokeratology involves the
overnight use of reverse-geometry
gas-permeable lenses and is often
referred to as OK, ortho-k, corneal
reshaping and more commonly rigid
Cataracst are the opacification (clouding)
of the lens and is one of the biggest
threats to functional vision, affecting
an estimated 16 million people worldwide.
Though, there has been no major breakthroughs
in prevention of cataracts, its cure
has seen advancement with improved
surgical removal procedures (including
surgery), use of viscoelastics and
the development of intraocular lenses
Bilateral congenital cataracts
are the commonest cause of curable
infant blindness. Treatment involves
immediate surgery in patients with
dense congenital cataracts within
2 months of birth; simultaneous optical
correction of the aphakia; and potent
occlusion therapy with regular reviews.
Intraocular lens can also be implanted
safely in children aged over 1 year.
Ocular allergy treatment
Contact lenses have also revolutionized
the treatment of anterior segment
eye disorders like dry eye, blepharitis
and ocular allergy. Prevention is
better than cure as far as eye allergies
The most common eye allergies are:
- Acute allergic conjunctivitis
- Atopic keratoconjunctivitis
syndrome (tear film dysfunction)
dermatitis of the eyelids
The first line of treatment in allergies
is to block the triggers. However,
if allergy does occur there are pharmacotherapies
with antihistamines, decongestants,
nasal corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers,
anticholinergics and immunotherapy
to fall back on.
The development of medical lasers
has opened yet new vistas in eye therapy.
following laser-assisted procedures:
- Keratoplasty that corrects corneal
curvature and hence is an effective
therapy for hyperopia and hyperopic
- Lasik (laser in situ
keratomileusis), Lasek (aser subepithelial
and Photorefractive Keratectomy
(PRK) are laser-assisted surface
surgeries for vision correction.
The eye condition of glaucoma is
a public health issue of global concern.
An estimated 6.7 million people are
blind from this disease worldwide.
Moreover, blindness caused by glaucoma
unlike cataracts. A lot more
research needs to done about the pathogenesis
of this ailment, but there has been
satisfactory progress in its therapeutic
The process of reducing intraocular
pressure (IOP) has proved to be most
effective mode of treatment.
INTACS are polymethylmethacrylate
segments that are surgically fitted
into the core corneal stroma to smoothen
the central cornea for the treatment
of various eye conditions like keratoconus, ‘‘forme
fruste’’ keratoconus with
mild myopia, post-LASIK ectasia, pellucid
marginal degeneration and cornea that
is too fragile for supplementary uplift
after undergoing a LASIK for myopia.
Diabetic retinopathy is a visual
threat among older people and individuals
with poor diabetic control, hypertension
and raised lipids. Loss of eyesight
can be avoided with peripheral retinal
laser photocoagulation, with preproliferative
retinopathy and maculopathy. Macular
laser photocoagulation helps in case
of macular oedema plus low-to-moderate
preproliferative and grid photocoagulation
in case of diffuse maculopathy.
Uveitis is a considerable cause of
blindness among young people. Treatment
regimes include sulphasalazine, systemic
corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressive
and infliximab in applicable cases.
Medical therapy tends to be more testing
in children with uveitis.
Choroidal neovascularization therapy
Choroidal neovascularization is an
abnormal growth of blood vessels related
to macular degeneration. It is associated
with several other conditions like
intraocular inflammation, angioid
streaks, choroidal rupture, pathological
myopia, chorioretinal scars, or chorioretinal
dystrophy. Effective therapy involves
action on the vessels with heat, light,
ionizing radiation and photodynamic
Cosmetic blepharoplasty is a surgical
procedure for enhancing the look of
the eye. Performed on the upper and
lower eyelid, it is a cosmetic correction
of the tired and ageing eyes.
These and several other eye care
diseases and their treatments are
described in more detail in the articles