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While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they can carry a significant risk of eye infection. The most common infection related to contact lens use is infective keratitis. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of infective keratitis is necessary to avoid permanent visual loss from complications such as corneal scarring. Treatment, depending on the offending organism involved, involves the use of antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral eye drops, or in some cases, oral or intravenous medications.

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Corneal & External Diseases of the Eye

Although the cornea is clear and seems to lack substance, it is actually a highly organized group of cells and proteins. Unlike most tissues in the body, the cornea contains no blood vessels to nourish or protect it against infection. Instead, the cornea receives its nourishment from the tears and aqueous humor (a fluid in the anterior portion of the eye) that fills the chamber behind it. The cornea must remain transparent to refract light properly, and the presence of even the tiniest blood vessels can interfere with this process. To see well, all layers of the cornea must be free of any cloudy or opaque areas.

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The retina is a layer of nerve lines at the back of the eye. A network of tiny blood vessels supplies blood to the retina. The retina becomes damaged when blood vessels leaks, become blocked or grow haphazardly due to persistent high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of insufficient diabetic control. It affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.

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Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

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Glaucoma is an eye condition resulting in irreversible optic nerve damage. The condition can affect your vision so gradually that you may not notice any loss of vision until the disease is at an advanced stage. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are key in minimising or preventing optic nerve damage and limiting related vision loss.Glaucoma damage may be caused by raised eye pressure, a weakness in the optic nerve or a combination of both. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the tissue pressure within the eye that allows the eyeball to maintain its shape.

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Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.
Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane.

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Childhood myopia is a form of near-sightedness (myopia) that begins and progresses during childhood. Myopic children may complain of problems seeing distant objects such as oncoming bus-numbers, the white-board in class or television. Sometimes they may tilt or turn their head, or narrow their eyes to see better. The condition is easily corrected with spectacles. However, as myopia often increases by 1.00D every year till the children reach their teenage years, their vision needs to be checked at least once every year, as their spectacles may need to be changed.

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A cataract occurs when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurred and decreased field of vision. Contrast and color perception may also be affected in the early stages. The function of the lens inside the eye is to focus light onto the retina, providing clear vision and adjustment for objects far away and up close. The lens is made up of mainly water and protein. As we age, protein in the lens can often clump together and then begin to cloud a small area of the lens. Over time, this clouding grows and gradually worsens the vision of the patient. Researchers have yet to identify exactly why this happens as we get older.

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Refractive Errors are common visual problems that result in blurred vision. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia are the different types of refractive error.Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one object to another. Vision occurs when light rays are bent (refracted) as they pass through the cornea and the lens. The light is then focused onto the retina. The retina converts light-rays into messages that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain interprets these messages into the images we see.

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