Common Eye Diseases
Cataract is the dullness of the natural lens behind the pupil, which loses its transparency. In other words, the vision is distorted as if looking through a fogged glass.
Gradual decrease in vision, sensitivity to light (glare), double vision, difficulty in reading, deterioration in night vision, pale or yellowing colors, frequent changes in the number of glasses are signs of cataracts. Cataract is not a condition that can be treated with medication or glasses. There is no effective method that can stop the progression of cataracts, and the only treatment for a cataract is surgery.
With the “Phaco” technique used in cataract treatment, a 2.2 mm incision is inserted into the eye. During cataract surgery, a special liquid ensures that the natural lens is separated from the other layers of the eye without damaging it. It is special for each patient, but for single use. The operation takes about half an hour, and then it is recommended to use eye drops for 3 to 4 weeks. There is no need for hospitalization after cataract surgery.
Vascular damage caused by diabetes in the eye in the long term is called diabetic retinopathy.
It has two stages, nonproliferative and proliferative. In the nonproliferative (initial) phase, small bleeding and leakage spots appear in the eye. If left untreated, it goes into the proliferative (advanced) stage and new and abnormal vessels develop in the eye. They bleed easily, causing edema and severe vision loss by oozing. As a result of these situations, complications that require intraocular injection and surgery may occur. The biggest symptom of this disease, which affects the retina, where our visual function takes place, is the decrease in vision. Other symptoms are the inability to read and select objects well.
It is done according to the treatment stage. In the nonproliferative stage, our main gold standard treatment is laser application. If edema has started in the macular area, we treat it by combining intraocular injection with plus laser. If the disease has reached the proliferative stage, we apply the surgical treatment option if there is bleeding in the eye, membranes are formed, and the retina is dislocated.
Diabetic retinopathy is treated with argon laser as needed. This method is called scatter laser treatment. The aim of laser therapy is to help cover abnormal blood vessels. Treatment is usually completed in a few sessions.
Eye pressure (glaucoma) can be seen at any age. However, since it is more common in patients over the age of 40, these patients should undergo eye pressure control once a year. Those who have eye pressure in their family should be checked more frequently. Most of the patients do not have any symptoms. In the early period, some patients have headaches that become evident in the morning, blurred vision from time to time, light rings around lights at night, pain around the eyes while watching television, etc. symptoms may occur.
Open angle glaucoma is primarily treated with a variety of drugs that lower intraocular pressure. Surgical treatments can be applied in resistant cases or according to the glaucoma type. Some patients may require more than one surgical intervention.
In the narrow angle type that occurs with the crisis, the treatment is very urgent. Laser treatments can be used in uncontrolled glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma.
Amblyopia, also called “lazy eye”, is the most common cause of visual impairment in children. Amblyopia is the medical term used when one of the eyes has decreased vision because the eye and the brain do not work together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not used normally because the brain supports the other eye. Conditions that lead to amblyopia include strabismus, an imbalance in the position of both eyes; other eye conditions such as more near-sighted, farsighted or astigmatic in one eye than the other, and rarely cataracts.
If not treated successfully in early childhood, amblyopia usually continues into adulthood and is the most common cause of permanent single eye vision impairment among children and young and middle-aged adults. An estimated 2-3% of the population suffers from amblyopia.
Strabismus is when both eyes lose their parallelism with each other. There are 6 extraocular muscles in each eye. Lack of strength or excess in one or more of these causes strabismus. While one eye is looking straight, the other may slide in, out, up or down. In some cases, crossing is present in both eyes. Strabismus may occur permanently or temporarily depending on the cause of the strabismus.
Orthoptic treatments are physical therapy of the eye muscles. It is applied to strengthen some muscles and the ability to see with both eyes. Strengthening the ability to see with both eyes fixes or gains the sense of depth. This function of our eyes allows our eyes to stay parallel and is also very important in our daily life.
Congenital shifts are generally shifts that do not require glasses and must be operated in the early period (6 months – 1 year). The vast majority of cross-eyes occur around the age of 2-3 and can usually be completely corrected with glasses. Surgical treatment is required for slips that do not improve despite wearing glasses. Strabismus surgeries are mostly performed under general anesthesia. Anesthesia is performed by physicians specialized in pediatric anesthesia. With early diagnosis and treatment in strabismus, amblyopia can be prevented and 3-dimensional vision can be achieved. For this reason, every child with a suspicion of strabismus should be taken to a strabismus ophthalmologist without waiting for a certain age.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) can also be applied in some strabismus treatments. Botox is effective in paralysis-related strabismus, in patients who have undergone surgery but did not recover completely, and in patients with misalignment due to goiter disease. There is usually double vision in sudden shifts due to strokes and it is a very difficult situation for the patient. The general tendency in such strabismus is to wait 6-8 months, but botox can be applied to reduce double vision during the waiting period. Complete recovery is possible by starting treatment immediately after the appearance of strabismus.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Examination
Eye examinations of premature babies are the most effective way to prevent some unwanted negative situations that may occur on time and without delay. Retinopathy of prematurity, which is the most common eye disease in preterm babies, can cause diseases that lead to blindness or vision loss if it is not timely and appropriately identified and treated.
For the first ROP examination, the baby must be 28 days old. Oral feeding of babies before the examination should be stopped a while ago. Eye drops that dilate the pupils are applied to the baby’s eye. After this application, after waiting at least 30-40 minutes, the pupils enlarge and the examination begins.
Babies diagnosed with the disease should be treated immediately and their condition should be constantly monitored. While it is sufficient to observe babies in the first two stages of this disease, which has 5 stages, it is necessary to start laser and cryotherapy treatments, especially from the third stage. It is possible to eliminate abnormal vessels without retinal detachment in third stage babies with laser treatment. In the fourth and fifth stages, treatment is only possible with surgical intervention.