Variations of Eye Problems and Their Solutions

16 Aug 2012

Eye problems are some of the most overlooked health concerns in people today, so much that glasses today have become something of a fashion statement. While not everyone who wears glasses do so because of troubles with their eyesight, those who do often wish there were better and more permanent ways to treat their vision problem. Diseases like myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism are some of the more common reasons for wearing corrective glasses. Fortunately, breakthroughs in medicine and surgery have produced several alternative treatments designed to permanently correct such problems.

Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is an eye problem where the patient with the condition sees faraway objects as blurred, indistinct shapes (objects located nearby are perceived normally, however). This is caused by improper focusing of light on the retina, the light's focus is in front of it instead. The opposite of myopia, hyperopia, on the other hand, is a condition of the eye that occurs when the eyeballs themselves prove too short to properly focus on nearby objects. This can also happen if the lens of the eye is not convex enough. In extreme cases, there is difficulty for the patient to focus objects from any distance at all.

Both conditions can manifest themselves in persons with astigmatism, which is another common eye problem. An astigmatic person is characterised by blurred vision because of the inability of the eye to place a viewed object into sharp focus. Abnormalities of the lens or cornea are the usual culprits of astigmatism. Severe cases are often accompanied by frequent headaches, especially the migraine kind.

People with myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism are traditionally treated via the use of specialised glasses designed to address the particular condition present. Some cases of astigmatism can be addressed by contact lens instead of regular spectacles, even so, the idea of having to wear corrective equipment can be very inconvenient. Some people feel that wearing glasses carry with it a certain stigma, especially young children and adolescents, as popular beliefs stereotype people who wear glasses as being nerds or geeks, or otherwise weird. This can have serious effects on the self-esteem of the individual.

Glasses can also prove unwieldy because of the risk of misplacement or loss, which can be disastrous if it happens during inopportune times. Glasses are susceptible to breakage as well, which is what inadvertently happens when somebody accidentally drops, sits or steps on a pair. Contact lenses require maintenance and cleaning, and are likewise prone to the same problem of being misplaced. However with contact lens being smaller and transparent, losing your contacts can prove to be a far greater headache than the bulkier spectacles. Moreover, some patients complain of irritation while wearing their contact lenses. This can be discomfiting for patients who need to wear such lenses for extensive treatment periods.

For those afflicted with such eye problems, an alternative lies in the revolutionary treatment procedure centred on laser technology. Called LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, this so-called eye surgery technique can effectively restore normal vision, with short recovery times (two days maximum), and is virtually painless even post-op. Other treatments include PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), WaveFront Eye Surgery, and a more advanced form of LASIK called IntraLase.

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