Vision is our primary contact with the outside world and needs frequent care. This week highlighting World Eye Health Day, we call attention to some of the care that needs to be taken to protect our eyes.
Check out our infographic and the tips and information of the Ophthalmologist Dr. Leonardo Gontijo on this important subject.
There is much talk about the role of antioxidants in preventing cell aging and the body as a whole. Antioxidants decrease the accumulation of metabolites, which are debris or byproducts of cellular respiration and are cumulative, causing injuries to appear after years that can affect vision. Thus, a healthy and antioxidant-rich diet can prevent or delay the onset of such lesions, as it occurs in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which causes major disorders to its carriers. Vitamin deficiencies are nowadays rarer due to the evolution in agricultural production, with the population having better access to a wide variety of foods. However Omega 3 (which is not a vitamin but an essential fatty acid – it is not produced by our body and needs to be ingested) plays an important role in maintaining the mechanisms of lubrication of the eyes, in addition to other organs of the body.
Protecting the eyes with sunglasses that filter the ultraviolet rays is in fact a preventive measure to the aging of the eyes. The UV radiation also damages cumulatively the structures affected by it, and it is known that even on cloudy days it is present. Fluorescent lamps also release such rays, as you can see how dimmed devices are continually exposed to such lamps. Inside the eyes, there is a pigmented layer like a dark carpet that wears with the continuous supply of radiation, which can lead to diseases usually in old age. Such diseases could perhaps be avoided with decreased exposure through the use of dark lenses. Naturally, the lenses of the glasses need to be of good quality so that they can filter the rays and the use of filters is already also widely used in good quality contact lenses and even in the intraocular lenses implanted in cataract surgery.
Two aspects are important when we refer to the inconveniences generated by the use of such machines. The first one stems from the excessive number of hours in which today is observed with fixed glances on the screens of the monitors. These days more seductive, beautiful, colorful and defined, associated with a multitude of links, do not allow the user to rest their eyes, overloading them. There is little rest, so even in the leisure hours the eyes turn to the cell phone or at home after work, again to the computers running social networks. It has never been used so much vision as now, so small refractive errors (small degrees) can already bring great discomfort. For example, even healthy feet hurt if we stand for several hours! The other aspect is what happens on the surface of the eyes because of the low flashing frequency. Studies show that there is a decrease in blinking with symptoms such as burning, itching, and a “ringing” sensation. These eyes tend to turn light red at the end of the day and require support from the ophthalmologist for good guidance.
Today contact lenses are cheaper, therefore more accessible, but unfortunately a large number of users do not have the exact notion of their correct adaptation using curious or technical professionals from other areas for guidance, and only the ophthalmologist is qualified for such practice. There are societies, courses, congresses and symposiums specifically for the learning of contact lenses, and therefore they can not give credibility to the “pseudospecialists” who are multiplying. There are several precautions to be taken, such as the correct disposal time, the way of cleaning, the level of transmission of air to the eyeball, the correct choice of curvature, the conditions of the eyes that will receive them, etc. Diseases and infections caused by the use of contact lenses can be avoided under supervision of an ophthalmologist.
Ophthalmologic examination can reveal silent diseases such as glaucoma (elevated eye pressure) and many others such as peripheral degenerations that could progress to a retinal detachment that is a treatable but serious condition. In addition, headaches, uncomfortable as burning, secretions, redness, among others, need to be checked to eliminate the possibility of serious problems before they become more difficult to treat. On this day of eye health it is good to point out that a visit to the ophthalmologist is very important whenever there are any symptoms and mandatory after age 40 when other diseases become more incidents.
Dr. Leonardo Gontijo is one of the pioneers in the accomplishment of the treatments for control of keratoconus and has in this pathology his main focus nowadays. He was responsible for introducing in the country in 2009, the new scleral lenses, and has since been a reference in the subject. He currently directs the IOMG, Institute of Eyes Minas Gerais, and is a professor of ophthalmology at the Santa Casa Hospital in Belo Horizonte, São José Hospital (Faculdade Ciências Médicas) and Hospital Evangelico de Belo Horizonte.