Cataract: The most common cause of vision loss in Bangladesh, cataract is characterized by cloudy lenses behind the iris and pupil and affects mostly men and women above 40 years of age. Although it is unclear what exactly causes cataracts, the following are some of the identified factors contributing to the development of the disease:
- Ultraviolet rays from sunlight
- High Myopia
- Family history
Refractive Error and Low Vision: Common eye disease characterized by blurred vision. Refractive errors are not preventable but may be corrected through glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.
Corneal disease and ocular trauma: The cornea is the shiny, outermost layer that protects the eyes and controls how light enter into the eyes. There are many types of corneal diseases and most common are infections due to bacteria and fungi, corneal injuries (which usually happen during harvest season), allergies and dry eyes.
Glaucoma: This disease happens when fluid in the eye called aqueous humor does not circulate and flow out normally. The build-up of fluid causes intraocular pressure that, untreated, could damage optic nerves and cause permanent vision loss. Because glaucoma demonstrates no symptoms in the early stages, it is important to have regular eye check-ups by an ophthalmologist. This is especially recommended to those with family history of glaucoma.
Diabetic retinopathy: This is a diabetes-related eye disease that happens when high blood sugar levels damage nerves that supply blood to the retina. Some patients may not have symptoms in the early stages of the disease but as it progresses, patients may experience blurred vision, dark spots or floaters in vision, impaired color vision, empty areas in their vision or complete vision loss.
Increasing vitamin A in our diet or taking supplements can reduce the incidence of eye problems particularly among children. Delay in seeking medical help for any eye problem could also lead to blindness. To help prevent permanent vision loss, make an appointment with your doctor and seek early diagnosis and treatment.