Diagnosis of Retinal Disorders and Ways To Prevent Them

Our eyes are one of the most essential and delicate parts of our body. After all, we see this world through them. Therefore, it becomes essential to detect and treat eye diseases or retinal disorders at a very early stage as some eye diseases may result in eyesight loss if ignored for a long time. Keeping your eyes healthy is as important as keeping your body healthy. You should go for routine eye checkups on a regular basis or if you face any new vision issues.(1,2)

Tests to Diagnose Retinal Disorders

Tests to Diagnose Retinal Disorders

An ophthalmologist checks your eyes properly and tries to find out the abnormalities there if any to diagnose the issue. These tests are conducted to find out the location as well as the severity of the retinal disease. Below are given some tests that can be performed if you suffer from any retinal disorder:

  • OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography – It is considered a fabulous technique for getting the retina’s precise image to diagnose macular swelling, macular holes, and epiretinal membranes, to monitor treatment’s responses, and to monitor the severity of AMD or Age-related macular degeneration.(3,4)
  • Amsler Grid Test – In this test, an Amsler grid is used in order to check your central vision’s clarity. In order to clearly understand the severity of the retina damage, your doctor may ask you whether the grid lines seem distorted, faded, or broken to know where the abnormality takes place on the grid. In case of finding macular degeneration, your doctor may suggest using this test to monitor your condition on your own at home.(5)
  • Fluorescein Angiography – A dye is used in this test that leads to blood vessels in your retina being noticeable under a particular light. It assists in accurately finding out closed, abnormal or leaking blood vessels, as well as slight transformations at the backside of your eye.(6,7)
  • FAF or Fundus Autofluorescence – This test can be done to identify the severity of retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration. Fundus autofluorescence brings to light lipofuscin (retinal pigment) which spreads with retinal damage.(8)
  • Ultrasound – In order to see the retina as well as other structures in one’s eye, this test (ultrasound) makes use of high-frequency sound waves which is also known as ultrasonography. It may also determine specific tissue attributes that may assist to diagnose and treat tumours of the eye.(9)
  • Indocyanine Green Angiography – While conducting this test, a dye is used by the doctor that lights up if exposed to infrared radiation. The captured images display retinal blood vessels as well as the deeper, difficult to observe blood vessels that can be found in a tissue named the choroid behind your retina.(10, 11)
  • MRI or CT scan – These imaging techniques may be used in some cases, to assist evaluate eye tumours or injuries.(12)

Ways To Prevent Retinal Disorders

Ways To Prevent Retinal Disorders

Loss of vision from a retinal disease may make some tasks difficult for you such as driving, reading, recognizing faces, etc. But to prevent these disorders in the first place, You may improve your vision and prevent illness or injuries that can harm your eyes if you regularly get eye checkups.(13)

Here are given some ways that can help in improving your eyesight:

If you use glasses or contact lenses, always be sure that your prescription is the latest and has the maximum strength. Consult with a good eye doctor and ask him/her to check if you are using the right eyeglasses or contact lenses.(14)

Always use prescribed magnifiers. If you use the magnifying device suggested by your low-vision expert, it may assist you in close-up tasks like reading and sewing. These devices comprise magnifying lenses or hand-held lenses you wear just like glasses. A CCTV (closed-circuit television) system can also be used as it has a video camera that helps in magnifying reading material as well as casting it on the video screen. Without a prescription, magnifiers may prove useless for you.(15, 16)

Use special appliances designed for low vision. In some phones, radios, clocks, and other appliances, extra-large numbers are provided. Nowadays, TV with a high-definition big screen is easily available in the market.(16)

Use voice interface and electronic reading aids. Try to use talking calculators, clocks and watches, audiobooks, large-print books, and tablet computers. Nowadays smartphones and tablet apps have been designed to help low-vision people. And now, the feature of voice recognition is provided in such devices.(17)

Add audio systems to your computer and change its display. In the settings of your computer, modify the font size as well as monitor contrast. Try to add voice output software or other techniques to the computer system.(18)

Choose your transportation carefully. Consult with your doctor whether driving daily or for long hours is safe for you or not. Be extra careful in specific situations like driving in bad weather, in heavy traffic, or at night, etc. Ask any family member or friend to help or use public transport. Arrange for shuttle services, ride-shares, volunteer driving networks, or local vans.(19)

Select brighter lights for your home. Using brighter lights helps you in reading and other day-to-day activities. These may also escape you from falling.(20)

Suffering from retinal issues may change your life completely. When you adjust, you may undergo several emotions. To deal with this, connect to a support group or discuss with a counsellor. Be involved with supportive friends and family members.

Below are given some lifestyle changes you can do to prevent retinal disorders:

Avoid Unhealthy Food:

Dietary habits affect retinal health indirectly. Fast food, like deep-fried snacks, burgers, packaged meat, fried chicken etc. may cause high blood sugar levels and weight gain if consumed frequently. Caffeinated beverages loaded with sugar also raise blood sugar levels and harm the health of the retina.(21)

Have A Balanced Diet:

An inadequate diet can negatively affect the retina’s health. Having a balanced healthy diet is therefore very important. Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also include fresh meat, lean fish and eggs in the diet.(22)

Exercise Daily:

Daily exercise decreases the chances of eye disorders including diabetic retinopathy. This is because a sedentary lifestyle promotes weight gain, which may cause diabetes. A person’s excessive blood sugar levels might harm his or her eyes, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. Exercising regularly promotes the circulation of blood to every part of the body, along with the eyes, and helps you stay fit.(23)

Drink Lots Of Water:

It is recommended to stay hydrated in order to maintain excellent retinal health. Our tear glands are capable of creating enough tears that effectively cleanse the retina when the body is sufficiently hydrated. Staying hydrated also aids in blood purification and circulation.(24)

Use Sunglasses In The Sunlight:

The harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun might harm your eyes. It is therefore advised that you should wear sunglasses while having fun out in the sunlight. Purchase high-quality UV-protective sunglasses. Ensure to carry the sunglasses with you whenever you go out.(25)

Don’t Ignore Eye Protection:

Eye injuries can cause more than just pain; they might also cause infections, that can further cause severe eye problems. While having fun outside, in seminars, or while swimming, always remember to wear protective eyewear.(26)

Put An End To Smoking:

The habit of smoking can reduce blood flow to the retina and eyes, leading to the development of serious eye conditions like macular degeneration. Smoking is a difficult habit to overcome, but quitting it will be profitable in the long run.(27)

Eye Checkups On A Regular Basis:

Keeping a healthy retina and good eyesight requires regular eye tests. Regular eye tests can also assist the doctor in detecting any early signs of vision problems.(28)

Ways To Prevent Retinal Disorders

Conclusion:

Having a well-balanced, nutritious diet is beneficial both for your body and your vision as the danger of some vision problems grows as you get older. You need to think about what you’re consuming plus from where you might get extra nutrients. several kinds of food items can protect the eyes against different eye issues. However routine visits to an eye doctor are still required. Follow these tips as they are really helpful for maintaining your retinal health.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7084737/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1531864/
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5515996
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538141/
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003846.htm
  7. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/what-is-fluorescein-angiography
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437035/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796569/
  10. https://medicine.uiowa.edu/eye/patient-care/imaging-services/indocyanine-green-angiography
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131209/
  12. https://nyulangone.org/conditions/double-vision-in-adults/diagnosis
  13. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/low-vision-and-vision-rehab
  14. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1906924/
  16. https://visionaware.org/everyday-living/helpful-products/overview-of-low-vision-devices/low-vision-optical-devices/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999034/
  18. https://abilitynet.org.uk/factsheets/vision-impairment-and-computing
  19. https://www.aarp.org/auto/driver-safety/info-2013/vision-and-safe-driving-tips.html
  20. https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/pupil
  21. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/eating-fried-foods-tied-to-increased-risk-of-diabetes-and-heart-disease/
  22. https://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health/looking-after-your-eyes/nutrition-and-eye
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6085324/
  24. https://www.completeeyecare.net/featured-articles/how-does-hydration-affect-my-eyes/
  25. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30382242/
  26. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16988-eye-injuries
  27. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339935610
  28. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html