Color Blindness, Cataracts, and Lazy Eye Surgery
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Not all eye problems can be cured by your optometrist. For example, the degree of blindness caused from optic nerve damage due to glaucoma cannot be reversed or repaired, and the patient’s lost vision cannot be restored. However, there are other vision problems that can be managed to a significant extent (some can even be completely corrected) if the problem is detected early through eye exams. Here are three such ailments.
The inability to distinguish between certain colors is a huge handicap for children, since it impairs their learning process. There are very few people who are completely color blind, but the number of people who cannot distinguish between red and green or blue and yellow is surprisingly high. Studies have consistently shown that children with partial color blindness are more likely to develop learning disorders.
Early detection helps in treating color blindness quickly, and providing the child with alternatives like color lens that overcome this inability. The most common color vision test is the Ishihara test. Your optometrist will recommend this test for your children if you suspect they have trouble telling colors apart.
Cataracts are a common eye ailment especially for older people. They can result from injuries or environmental factors as well. Regular check- ups with your optometrist help in early detection of cataracts. Typically, when detected early, the symptoms of cataract may be improved by increasing the lighting in your work or home area, changing your eyeglasses, or by using magnifying lenses. UV radiation can also lead to the formation of cataracts, so your optometrist may recommend sunglasses with UV protection. This can slow down the progression of cataract formation and let you enjoy good vision for years to come.
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
Amblyopia or lazy eye, is a condition that normally affects children. Vision does not develop properly in one eye, so the brain starts to rely on visual information from the other eye. Overtime, the ‘unseeing’ or lazy eye starts to become obsolete.
In young children, early detection can bring about a complete reversal of the problem, allowing them to enjoy good vision with both eyes. The typical treatment involves blocking the favored eye and forcing the unused one to work so that it regains its peak efficiency. While this is possible for adults as well, the sooner you detect the problem, the easier it is to retrain the brain to ‘see’ through both eyes. In fact, early detection can eliminate the need for lazy eye surgery and give positive outcomes without invasive treatment methods.