What Diseases Lead To Blindness, And Do They Always Begin With The Eyes

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What Diseases Lead To Blindness, And Do They Always Begin With The Eyes
What Diseases Lead To Blindness, And Do They Always Begin With The Eyes

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What diseases lead to blindness, and do they always begin with the eyes

November 13 was celebrated as the International Day of the Blind, established by WHO in honor of Valentin Gayuy, a French teacher who opened a school for blind children at his own expense. Although blindness has largely receded from modern medicine, some of the diseases that cause blindness are still dangerous. Ophthalmic surgeon, founder of the Yasny Vzor children's eye clinics Igor Aznauryan recalls this.

What diseases lead to blindness, and do they always begin with the eyes
What diseases lead to blindness, and do they always begin with the eyes

The Healing of Tobit, c. 1635, St. Petersburg, State. Hermitage. Photo: CC0 1.0 /

On November 13, the International Day of the Blind was celebrated, established by the World Health Organization in honor of Valentin Gayuy, the great French teacher who opened a school for blind children at his own expense. Although blindness has largely receded from modern medicine, some of the diseases that cause blindness are still dangerous. Ophthalmic surgeon, founder of the Yasny Vzor children's eye clinics, Professor Igor Aznauryan, recalls this.

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Diabetic retinopathy

You can lose sight not only due to specific ophthalmic problems. In the first place among the causes of blindness is diabetic retinopathy, which is one of the complications of diabetes. It affects the retinal vessels and is observed in almost 90% of patients. Due to the increase in vascular permeability, everything that is normally inside them goes into the perivascular space. As a result, retinal edema and hemorrhage develop, which leads to decreased visual acuity and blindness.

Treatment requires the combined efforts of an endocrinologist and an ophthalmologist. An endocrinologist should normalize blood sugar levels, an ophthalmologist should provide prevention, timely detection of complications and conservative or surgical treatment.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that still cannot be completely cured. It progresses for a long time unnoticed by a person, and he often turns to a doctor already at advanced stages, when tubular vision has already developed - that is, when peripheral vision has disappeared. Glaucoma is characterized by increased intraocular pressure and cell death of the optic nerve.

Regular examinations by an ophthalmologist with the measurement of eye pressure will help to preserve eyesight, and after 35 years this is a mandatory annual procedure. When the pressure rises, eye drops should be dripped - as prescribed by the doctor and daily. In extreme cases, surgery or laser treatment will be required.

However, if this is not done, then the loss of vision will be irreversible. For example, this is how Ray Charles, the legendary American singer and pianist, lost his sight. In 1937, due to extreme poverty, even those methods of treatment were not available to him. But the lead singer of the U2 group Bono has been successfully fighting glaucoma for 20 years already - today doctors can, if not cure it, then prolong a person's life with vision for many years.

Optic nerve atrophy

Atrophy of the optic nerve - the death of the nerve fibers of the optic nerve - is a complex eye disease that for a very long time led to complete blindness due to the inability to treat it. But today ophthalmology has stepped forward, and if the atrophy is partial, and the remaining fibers remain, then the rest of the vision can still be saved. True, it is no longer possible to improve it. The main thing is to see a doctor in time.

Ophthalmologists prescribe vasodilating, stimulating, blood clotting drugs. Sometimes they use ultrasound, electro and magnetostimulating procedures, massage, meso and ozone therapy. Surgical treatment consists in the implantation of a drug that replaces the patient's nerve tissue, or the installation of an electrostimulator into the orbit of the eye. You can live with such a stimulant for several years.

Retinoblastoma

The cause of blindness can be cancer. Retinoblastoma is one of the most dangerous eye cancers. It occurs in the first months or years of a child's life, but almost does not manifest itself in any way. Only in the photo can you see the greenish glow of the pupil in the affected eye. Noticing this, you must immediately consult a doctor. The earlier retinoblastoma is detected, the more effective the treatment will be, today there is even a chance to save the eye. If untreated, tumor metastases to the brain and lungs can lead to death.

With the loss of one eye due to retinoblastoma, Peter Falk, beloved by millions of viewers, Lieutenant Columbo faced. At the age of three, he had to remove his right eye, and since then he has worn a glass prosthesis. Fortunately, a lot has changed for the better since 1930, when he underwent surgery. If the tumor is detected at an early stage, then there is a chance to save the eye.

Melanoma

Another oncological disease is melanoma. The worst thing about this type of tumor is that it can reoccur after removal. Melanoma usually occurs on the skin, but it can develop from pigment cells of melanocytes that produce melanin, which is abundant in the iris.

The tumor affects the pupil, iris or sclera - the white membrane of the eyeball. It is extremely difficult to notice it, unless it is possible to distinguish a pigmented spot or a dot on the eye. In this case, it is also necessary to immediately contact an ophthalmologist - the tumor progresses rapidly and leads not only to blindness, but also to death. There are no preventive measures for melanoma, only the fastest possible removal.

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