By Roselyn Dube
An eye disease is critical in one’s well-being. I never used to take the health of my eyes seriously until an optician prescribed spectacles for me. I react to jacaranda when it starts blooming and at high school l used to rub my eyes a lot that they would end up getting swollen. To me, that wasn’t a big deal because l knew that l would end up being sent back home to go and see an optician, then l would get the opportunity to be out of the school yards since it was a boarding school. However, this ended the day when the optician said that l had to start wearing spectacles because l had damaged the retina of my eyes by constantly rubbing them. Since then, l make sure that l get to know every trending issues on eye diseases.
People to think that colour blindness is something that one is born with, something with no medical effect on a person. However, it is until recently that l got to learn that colour blindness is a color vision deficiency. People who are affected by it simply do not agree with most other people about color matching. Color blindness is a genetic condition caused by a difference in how one or more of the light-sensitive cells found in the retina of the eye respond to certain colors. These cells which are called cones, sense wavelengths of light and enable the retina to distinguish between colors.
This difference in sensitivity in one or more cones can result in a person being color blind. There is no known treatment for color blindness, but fortunately the vision of most color-blind people is normal in all other respects and certain adaptation methods are all that is required. Symptoms include difficulty distinguishing between colors, inability to see shades or tones of the same color and rapid eye movement (in rare cases).
Eye floaters are tiny spots, specks, lines or shapes that enter into your field of vision appearing to float in front of the eye. They may seem like distant objects, but they are actually the shadows of cells and fibers inside the vitreous (gel-like portion of the eye). Floaters are most often isolated occurrences that are a perfectly normal part of vision. However, if they become more frequent and are accompanied by eye flashes, bursts or streaks of light similar to the “stars” you may see after taking a blow to the head, this may be a sign of an impending retinal detachment. It is serious and should be brought to the attention of an eye care professional.
Eye floaters and eye flashes are caused by the shrinking of vitreous gel which forms tiny clumps in the eye. These clumps cast shadows onto the retina and the resulting forms and shapes are referred to as eye floaters. Sometimes during the process of the vitreous shrinking, it remains partially attached to the retina, and tugs on it. The resulting movement of the retina’s nerve cells can cause eye flashes. Symptoms for eye floaters include visible appearance of black shapes and lines and usually wisp-like shapes that go away almost immediately, while those of eye flashes include visible bursts or streaks of light and one burst in one area, or several over a wide area.
When it comes to the treatment of eye floaters most of the time they are not a sign of anything harmful, and simply looking up or down can move them out of your field of vision. However, if they are accompanied by eye flashes, it may be a sign of retinal detachment and a serious condition that can lead to severe vision loss. For this reason, it’s recommended that anyone who experiences eye flashes schedule an exam with their eye care professional immediately.