Eyes are the most fascinating organs with so complex a function that is beyond comprehension during a busy day’s chores. Really they are a part of the brain projected on to the surface of the body and serve as windows to the brain in health, disease as well as an index of emotional feelings.
Emotionally eyes are the most beautiful parts of the face and from times immemorial they have been used to enhance the beauty and charm of women. They reflect the intense love of a mother for her baby’s dependence and intimacy with mother. Eyes indicate the wrath of the parent towards a misbehaving child and child’s regret and plea for pardon. Eyes betray the infidelity of a lover and adultery of a wife. Again eyes indicate the loss of trust in a friend and intensity of ill-feeling and hatred of an enemy. Eyes reflect the determination of an optimist and achiever and lack of will and procrastination of a pessimist and coward. In short eyes are the silent but loud and clear announcers of a person’s feelings, intentions, desires and hopes.
Physiologically eyes are the organs of sight. God made them primarily for us to search for food and look out for enemies and it is no mean compliment to their tenacity and faithfulness that we use them so strenuously for myriads of jobs in the technologically advanced world of today. Eyes enable us to see things clearly at distance as well as near, appreciate colors with all shades, tones and intensities, perceive size, shape and distance with ability of depth perception. Yet, it is not the eyes which actually interpret all the qualities of this beautiful world. They simply receive the light emanating from outside objects, both living and inanimate and then transmit this information to the brain in the occipital region which interprets and resolves the final picture.
During the first three months after birth the eyes are usually misaligned but they correct themselves by the end of this period. In case they remain misaligned after this period an ophthalmologist should be consulted. In fact eyes should be regularly examined after 30 days of birth to determine that both external and internal structures are normal. Eyes should again be examined at three years of age to assess visual acuity and stereopsis. Then again when the child goes to Primary School.
Normal eyes need no special care as they are adequately provided by nature with means to keep them healthy and bright. The natural tears provide lubrication and nourishment to the eyes and wash them clean.
Normally eyes should be bright and sparkling and any departure from that should be re-checked every 6 months and those above that age every 12 months. Adults with glasses should be examined every 2 years.
Some common ailments of the eyes.
Some infants start watering from one or both eyes after the first week of birth. This is usually due to partial block of tear-ducts. The baby should be taken to the ophthalmologist who would prescribe the correct treatment.
Some infants and children start showing ‘‘turning in or out” of one eye after the age of 3 months. This shows weakness of some muscle and child should again be examined by an ophthalmologist, it is called squint.
It is a serious affliction and no time should be wasted in expecting the eye to correct itself.
If a child holds a book or any reading material very close to the eyes and also/or sits very close to the television, the child most probably has shortsightedness and should be examined for glasses.
When a child comes back from school complaining of headache every day except weekends most probably he has some visual defect which needs correction. Some cases of Migraine (Half Headaches) can also be relieved with glasses to correct defective vision.
There are two serious diseases of the eyes in adults. Glaucoma and Cataract and both lead to blindness if untreated.
It is, in most cases, a silent disease and the patient does not know that he has this disease as his vision in not affected till very late. As a rule all ophthalmologists test every patient for glaucoma thus picking up those which have the disease but do not know this. Glaucoma is that state of the eye where there is increased pressure of fluid in the eye. Clear fluid in the eye is constantly filtered out of the blood, supplies nourishment to the inner eye and is drained out of the eye to join the blood stream once again. Thus there is a constant balance between production and drainage of this vital intraocular fluid and when for any reason, more fluid is retained in the eye either from overproduction or decreased drainage the pressure in the eye increases and this state of increased pressure is called glaucoma. This increased pressure presses on the delicate nerves of the eye which, if unreleased will cause blindness.
Every eye has a spherical lens to focus light to form the image of the outside world on the retina of the eye which could be compared to the photographic film in a camera. As long as lens in the eye remains transparent, it allows light to pass through. When, due to any reason, the lens turns Opaque, translucent or like frosted glass it does not allow light to pass through. This process is usually slow and there is gradual loss of vision.
This condition of opaque lens is called cataract. In contrast to glaucoma, cataract patient seeks help early due to diminishing vision. After successful operation the patient regains his lost vision. To get these diseases detected early, it is advisable to be examined by an ophthalmologist every 2 years, even if there is no problem. This will ensure early detection and
Effective treatment to prevent eventual blindness.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 26, 1985