Ocular Myths and Facts Cont'd

Greetings to all and sundry,

It is the start of a new month, the start of an interesting weekend and definitely, the start of celebrations for this month is a month of giving and blessing and many good tidings. And so I feel privileged to have this opportunity to once again come your way with my writing.

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I was glad when our previous discussion on myths and facts revolving around our spectacle usage sparked a good deal of interest among my readers and just as promised, I am delivering a continuation of that so together we can learn and be in the know. For those who have yet to read part one, you may find it here.


Introduction


One may think that modern society has less to deal with when it comes to myths and hearsay, people taking what others say about things so seriously without trying to know things for themselves however I am sorry to inform you that things seem to be even worse now.

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In an era where technology has made information seeking so much easier, it has also made it quite easy for information to be misrepresented and lies to be spread all around. People tend to believe these easily and can have such strong convictions about them that it becomes almost impossible to dissuade them or let them in on the truth or fact as it ought to be.

Today I am hoping that with my background as an optometrist and my knowledge of eyecare I would be able to throw more light on some hearsays about the eye and bring out the truth around them so that we may all be guided to make the right decisions and choices when it comes to our ocular health. I do hope you enjoy the read.


Cataract Surgery Will Blind You


One of the most difficult situations I find myself in as an optometrist caring for the geriatric is convincing one with a fully grown cataract to get an extraction surgery to improve their vision and make life easier and better for them. For many, they have heard of how a friend of a friend who went in for surgery didn't get to see again after surgery.

Because of this, it is an inevitability for them that if they should get the extraction surgery done, they would certainly lose their vision. Some can eventually heed the advice and take up the surgery and later come to thank you for encouraging them and improving their vision through the process whereas others would never yield and would rather stick with a vision of counting fingers than have those cataractous lenses removed.

Now what you need to know is that cataract is an inevitability for a lot of us because aside from the fact that it may come about due to pathologies or trauma and other factors, it is a senile condition which means that if you grow old enough you are bound to develop cataract this is due to the process by which the lens goes about oxidation and produce energy for its function.

Now cataract surgery is not a dangerous procedure and with newer and more advanced ways of going about the surgery it takes but a few hours, and could even be minutes, it is a simple walk-in procedure and the opaque lens is taken out, replaced with what we call intraocular lens which serves the same purpose and enables you to now see as the media is cleared.

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Hardly do cataract complications come about however just as with any other surgical procedure bacteria and other microbes could find their way into the body or eye to cause infection which is why you are given antibiotic drops as prophylaxis, something for the inflammation and pain of the procedure and if only you would abide by the pre-op and post-op instructions you should have to worry about your eyes or your vision or anything going wrong.

It is always good to get this done earlier than to wait to get very very old, this is because our system gets weaker as we age which could be a little bit of a problem however because it is not a major surgical procedure it shouldn't be much of a problem. Now if you know or have heard of someone who went in for cataract extraction surgery and didn't see then there is a high chance the person wasn't already seeing or was at the edge of losing their vision due to an underlying complication.

The opacity of the lens makes it difficult to fully evaluate the health of the retina and so sometimes we only come to realize that the retina is not healthy and that the person wouldn't get an improvement in vision after the surgery. Some lose their vision due to glaucoma which could not be detected and treated because of the opacity. for some other retina conditions and macular conditions may have already existed or came in during the opacity which becomes apparent after the surgery.

And so do not hold back if your Optometrist is recommending cataract extraction surgery for you. If anything the earlier the better as clear media would enable us to assess you better and be able to treat any underlying conditions. Remember we are here for your good and never to harm you.


Glaucoma Diagnosis is a Blind Sentence


At this point in time, I can vehemently say that many have heard of the condition Glaucoma due to the worldwide publicity and awareness creation, however, if you have yet to don't worry I would be talking about glaucoma again shortly, and hopefully you will learn a whole lot.

Now Glaucoma is a blinding condition as we know it, it is called the silent thief of sight for that very reason however panicking and crying yourself into depression because your Optometrist says you may have glaucoma is not the way to go. Yes, Glaucoma causes blindness however it is not a death sentence.

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I have seen many patients who have enjoyed the entirety of their lives with Glaucoma without losing their sight entirely. You having glaucoma does not mean you go blind, which is why I keep emphasizing how early detection of ocular conditions especially the likes of Glaucoma saves sight.

Whiles Glaucoma is still under serious research at various institutions as to how we can combat it even better in the days ahead, glaucoma has management or treatment drugs that when diagnosed early enough can be used to drastically reduce the damaging effect that may be going on at the optic nerve head. The only issue is that you have to be on medication for the entirety of your life, however, if you are fervent with your medication we can very well preserve your vision.

Don't treat and stop and come back and stop, that would only make things worse and like a wounded animal, the apoptosis would progress quicker than it may have initially been projected and you could set yourself up for some very bad prognosis. But basically, I am here to let you know that having glaucoma doesn't necessarily mean you will go blind and so do not panic or cause any harm to yourself. Listen to your doctor, take your medications fervently and go about life and everything should be found.


Conclusion


Many things bother us and scare us about the eye and as a healthcare practitioner, I am here to alleviate those fears and help us understand things better so that together we can be the very best we can be and also have the best of health.

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Do not believe everything you read or hear people say, when I doubt talk to a professional, visit the hospital and get yourself checked, knowledge is power indeed, and as I always say early detection saves sight as well as life. Take charge of your health, love your eyes and ensure that you have frequent checkups. Stay safe and do have a wonderful weekend.

I would be looking forward to your questions if any and I would like to also use the opportunity to say hello to my friend @agmoore and my friend from Nigeria @gentleshaid, its been a while, and I hope all is well, and to a great inspiration within the science community, prof @lemouth, I do hope all is well at your end too. Thank you once again for reading and all the best.


Further Reading

Nayak, B., & Chakraborty, K. (2022). Commentary: Conventional phacoemulsification is going to stay for a long time. Indian journal of ophthalmology, 70(12), 4306. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijo.IJO_2067_22.

Du, K., Guan, H., Zhang, Y., Ding, Y., & Wang, D. (2022). Knowledge of cataracts and eye care utilization among adults aged 50 and above in rural Western China. Frontiers in public health, 10, 1034314. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.1034314.

Quaranta, L., Riva, I., Gerardi, C., Oddone, F., Floriani, I., & Konstas, A. G. (2016). Quality of Life in Glaucoma: A Review of the Literature. Advances in therapy, 33(6), 959–981. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-016-0333-6

Mohan, N., Chakrabarti, A., Nazm, N., Mehta, R., & Edward, D. P. (2022). Newer advances in medical management of glaucoma. Indian journal of ophthalmology, 70(6), 1920–1930. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijo.IJO_2239_21



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There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about eyes and vision.I recently came to the terms that:

Myth: Wearing glasses will make your eyes weaker.

Fact: Wearing glasses will not make your eyes weaker. In fact, glasses or contact lenses can actually help to improve your vision. If you have a refractive error, glasses or contacts can correct the problem and help you see more clearly.

Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.

Fact: carrots are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that are good for your eyes, but they won't actually improve your vision. Eating carrots will help to keep your eyes healthy, but it won't improve your vision if you have a refractive error.

Thank you so much for the infomation you shared here!

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Thank you so much for reading and for throwing more light on ocular myths and facts, I’m glad you liked it and I look forward to giving my best always for the science community

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I know so many people (my husband, for example) who have had cataract surgery and their eyesight improved dramatically. Is it not true that exposure to sunlight increases the chance of cataract development? I'm rarely in the sun so I hope I won't develop one, but if I do I will make myself get the surgery.

Thanks for another article that contains wise advice.

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Greetings @agmoore,

It is such a great pleasure to hear from you, I’m happy to know your husband benefited immensely from cataract extraction surgery, hopefully it would motivation enough for my readers.

UV is known to be harmful to the eye and its Adnexa and does contribute to the development of cataract which is why the condition has a higher prevalence in Africa and the hotter zones. It is very much possible to go through life without experiencing matured cataract, since you don’t get to spend a lot of time in the sun just eat healthy, have regular eye checkups, protect your eyes if you spend a lot of time behind tech screens and you should be fine.

Ps: don’t not avoid the sun completely because you also need it to produce vitamin D which also has a lot of benefit to your eyes as well as your entire system.

Cheers

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My grandmother had cataract surgery, everything went perfectly, and now she can see better.
She was a little scared before the surgery, but afterwards she was relieved.
First one eye, and then the other, when the first one was better.
In general, it is something that we should know to be able to know when our sight can be affected, and act better in our favor.
thank you for this information.

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Thank you too @apineda, i am glad to know your Grandmother is a beneficiary of this surgical process and thank you for adding confidence to my readers. It is a pleasure

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There are so many myths that even science can't explain and I begin to wonder why so many

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Our fears cause us to make up a lot of things and this same fear cause us to imbibe the myths turning them into our own truth. It is just as someone once said, if you tell the lies long enough people take it as the truth

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