Currently, about 4.2 million Americans above 40 years are visually impaired. While some vision problems are minor, others are complex and require surgery. If you currently have a visual problem, you need to visit an optician for a proper diagnosis. If the condition cannot be treated using corrective eyewear or other medication, you may be referred to an eye surgeon. Most likely, the ophthalmologist will recommend laser eye surgery since it is less painful and non-invasive.
Here are four conditions that require urgent eye surgery:
1. Near Sightedness
If you have this problem, you can't see distant objects clearly. However, you can comfortably see things near you. The problem develops gradually and worsens during adolescence and childhood years. The common symptoms of nearsightedness include:
- Distant objects appear blurry.
- Partially closing eyelids to see clearly.
- Eyestrain that leads to regular headaches.
- Inability to see at night, especially when driving.
In most cases, the problem is corrected through eyeglasses and contact lenses. In severe cases, you need to see an eye surgeon for refractive surgery.
2. Diabetic Retinopathy
Currently, diabetic retinopathy affects approximately 7.7 million Americans above 40 years. The problem is common in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The condition is attributed to damaged blood vessels in the retina.
Initially, diabetic retinopathy causes mild vision problems. However, if this problem is left untreated, it can cause blindness. The condition can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating, and regular monitoring of diabetes.
If the problem is mild or moderate, no treatment is recommended. However, your eyes need to be closely monitored. In advanced retinopathy, laser eye surgery is performed to repair damaged blood vessels and stop blood and fluid leakage in the eye.
A cataract is a condition that involves the clouding of the lens of the eye, making it difficult to see things clearly. If you have this vision problem, you will have trouble driving at night or reading. Initially, cataracts don't interfere with normal vision. However, as the cataract grows larger, the light passing through the lens becomes increasingly distorted.
If cataracts interfere with your ability to perform daily routines, you need to see an eye surgeon. Currently, the only efficacious treatment for cataracts is surgery.
When there is an extreme buildup of pressure inside the eye, the optic nerve is damaged, causing glaucoma. Currently, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, especially among persons above 60 years.
In most cases, the condition is symptomless and is only detected when one loses vision. However, you can get your sight back when the pressure inside the eye is lowered through laser eye surgery. Other treatment options for mild glaucoma include oral medication and eye drops.
Some eye problems are minor and can be corrected through contact lenses, eyeglasses, oral medications, and eye drops. However, others are severe and require an urgent examination by an optician. You may be referred to eye surgeons for laser eye surgery.