Don’t delay! – Go for an ophthalmological examination if you experience this!

October is the month of vision. Every year, we dedicate several weeks to drawing attention to the health of their eyes and vision, to preserving it. Unfortunately, most people only go to an ophthalmologist if they have a relatively sudden onset of a vision complaint.

Typically, patients view vision complaints as a spectacle problem and (partly because of easier access) ask an optician to replace glasses or contact lenses without a detailed ophthalmologic examination to reveal the actual condition or disease of the eye. The change and deterioration in vision goes far beyond ordering glasses. This is so even if the right glasses are essential for a good quality of life.

Many conditions and diseases are common and require regular eye examinations. Most of these are serious diseases that also compromise vision and do not or do not necessarily cause a vision complaint at an early stage, and even if vision deteriorates slightly in the early stages, it is not significant at this time. What disease or age do they need to have regular checkups for?

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Hypertension

High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most common pathological conditions in the adult population. The disease, called the silent killer, constantly damages blood vessels, so after a while it can easily lead to stroke, kidney failure, or heart attack. The condition of the blood vessels can only be determined by a detailed examination of the fundus. The reason for this is that the details of the blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries) running in the fundus, ie the retina, are visible during the examination., so their condition can be characterized according to a standard classification. The condition of the blood vessels in the fundus corresponds to the condition of the blood vessels in other tissues of the body (such as the heart, brain, kidneys). The abnormality of the condition confirms that hypertension is indeed present (fixed hypertension) and shows that a higher blood pressure is not a transient phenomenon due to anxiety from a medical examination (“white mantle hypertension”). The worsening of the condition of the blood vessels in the case of treated hypertension also indicates that the blood pressure adjustment is not successful, ie for 24-hour automatic blood pressure measurement, modification of treatment, enhancement of the patient’s treatment cooperation, etc. need. In the case of people without complaints, examination of the fundus can also reveal directly life-threatening forms of hypertension associated with extreme hypertension, which require immediate hospitalization. In this case, the fundus lesions are particularly severe (hypertensive retinopathy). Of course, in the course of a detailed and professional ophthalmological examination, other instrumental examinations (e.g. optical coherence tomography, OCT) are also performed depending on the condition. The main rule is that in case of high blood pressure disease, a detailed ophthalmological examination should take place annually.

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Diabetes

Like high blood pressure, persistently or fluctuatingly high blood sugar can cause serious damage to the blood vessels in the eyes and optic nerve. Visual impairment as a complication of diabetes is also one of the leading causes of blindness in Hungary. Assessing vascular damage caused by diabetes by fundus examination also provides important information for assessing vascular damage in other tissues of the body. The visual impairment caused by diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can be divided into several standardized severity categories. In some of these, in addition to the correct adjustment of carbohydrate metabolism, laser treatment of the fundus or retinal surgery (vitrectomy, injection of angiogenesis into the eye, etc.) is also required. It is important to be aware that ophthalmic lesions are determined by the duration and severity of poor carbohydrate metabolism. This means that the prolongation of diabetes and its deterioration are strongly related. Unfortunately, the more common form of diabetes, type 2 (i.e., non-pediatric / adolescent) diabetes, can be asymptomatic for many years by the time it is diagnosed. This means that the actual lifespan is much longer than the known lifespan of diabetes. Therefore, in the case of diabetes, a detailed ophthalmologic examination is required at the time of diagnosis and then annually (more frequently in the case of severe ophthalmic complications). Although this is part of the relevant professional rules, in practice in many cases ophthalmic care and the resulting information are not used in internal medicine. For this reason, ophthalmologically asymptomatic diabetics should initiate regular ophthalmologic examinations themselves if their doctor does not initiate it. In the late stages of diabetic retinopathy, vision deteriorates very significantly. At this stage, however, despite all ophthalmic efforts, not as good a vision result as would have been achieved with early treatment and an effective carbohydrate metabolism setting (even including insulin administration).

Cataracts in families

Glaucoma shows a strong family accumulation. If someone’s parents or grandparents have this disease, regular (annual) monitoring over the age of 40 is recommended even in the absence of complaints. Although glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, most forms of glaucoma do not initially cause disturbing visual symptoms, but during their existence they increasingly damage the optic nerve. The damage that is already developing is irreversible. Of the many factors in vision, glaucoma primarily impairs the field of vision in an unnoticed way, typically in about a decade. When central insight is also impaired (and the patient notices that his vision is impaired), the process is at the very end and has very little influence. Because treatment to stop the deterioration can only be started once the glaucoma has been discovered, it is good for the patient to have the diagnosis made early, even in the asymptomatic stage. This is when many optic nerve fibers and cells can be retained, and vision can be provided for other long years and decades of life.

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Green cataracts have many different forms, but most forms develop after the age of 40. Therefore, from this age, it is worth to everyone approx. Participate in a detailed ophthalmological examination every 3 years, including instrumental tests (where other eye diseases that have not yet caused a complaint can be detected). For those whose relatives have had glaucoma (and therefore a significantly increased risk of this disease), regular, targeted and detailed ophthalmological examination from the age of 40 is especially recommended.

Over 50 years of age

With aging, the incidence of many eye diseases increases significantly. Examples of such diseases are cataracts (cataracts), glaucoma, vitreous aging and detachment from the retina, dry eyes, connective tissue weakening of the eyelids, which manifests itself in eyelid disorders, and macular degeneration in old age. Although the diopter of the (close) glasses of the reader also varies between the ages of 40 and 65 (typically an extra half diopter stronger lens is needed every 5 years), this is not considered a disease as it causes normal aging of the lens and maintains visual acuity. However, everyone should understand that glasses and ordering / making them are not ophthalmic. In the absence of a meaningful and detailed ophthalmological examination, it can create the false illusion that what a health-conscious person can do to preserve his or her vision has been done by prescribing glasses. That is why, in order to prevent serious visual impairment, as described above, it is advisable to have a regular ophthalmological examination regularly, even for an ophthalmologically complained person. ” – says Prof. Dr. Gábor Holló, an ophthalmologist at the Ophthalmology Center, a specialist in glaucoma.

In case of any complaints, it is necessary to attend an ophthalmological examination as soon as possible?

  • Blurred vision
  • Visual impairment
  • Loss of field of vision
  • Rainbow vision around a light source
  • Floating spots, shapes
  • Unexplained headache, dizziness
  • Dual vision
  • Face recognition deteriorates
  • Impaired color vision
Blurred vision, impaired vision – May have high blood sugar

Source: Napidoktor by napidoktor.hu.

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