Sudden Blindness (A New Strain of Maladies)
One day, your vision suddenly falls to nearly zero sight. What happened? You may have a "Retinal Disease". Millions of people around the world especially those who are over 50 years old are affected from this dreadful eye disease.
In the case of Mr. Machida, 45 years old, he noticed that he suddenly had hard time reading newspapers. All the characters are blurred with his eyes. He visited his family physician, but was told that he just needs some rest. He rested for three days but noticed no improvement with his eyesight, so he decided to visit an ophthalmologist. There he was told that he would be blind if he leaves it the way it is for another week or so. So he was treated with "laser photocoagulation".
We think that loss of vision usually gets worse gradually. But there are cases where sudden loss of vision occurs within a few weeks to a month. It is recommended that you take an eye exam at least once a year.
What are the causes of vision loss?
- Lens – light-focusing part of the eye
- Retina – receives the image from the lens
- Optic nerves – sends the image to the brain
The most common causes of vision loss among the elderly are cataract and glaucoma. While cataract is caused by the cloudy lens of the eye, loss of vision in glaucoma is caused by optic nerve problems due to abnormally high pressure within the eyeball.
However, in the case of Mr. Machida, it was neither cataract nor glaucoma but a retinal disease.
Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy
At the center of the retina is a small depression from 2.5 to 3 mm in diameter. This is known as the yellow spot, or "macula", one of the most vital parts of the eye. Progressive destruction of the macula will result to "Macular Degeneration" that impairs central vision, which can make reading and driving impossible.
Why do we need immediate clinical diagnosis? Because it might lead to total blindness caused by retinal bleeding.
In the case of Mr. Machida, he also had diabetes complications. Here, we do like to let you know that the majority of eye patients are diabetic and we notice that they are heavy cigarette smokers. Damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes is called "Diabetic Retinopathy".
Eye laser treatment like the laser photocoagulation is usually performed for diabetic retinopathy. The laser seals or destroys the abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the retina. One of its drawbacks is that the laser damages some of the light-sensitive nerve cells in the retina and macula that often results in some permanent vision loss. However, the vision loss caused by the laser treatment is mild compared with the vision loss that may be caused if left untreated.
There may be some pain during the laser treatment, but for mild case of symptoms, there may be no pain at all.
Why do you need this kind of treatment? It is the safest and fastest treatment today.
How to know the symptoms?
Some people experience strange eyesight such as difficulties to see one particular direction, difficulties to see someone's face or look as if the person you are talking is faceless, and difficulties to see the center of a particular sight.
It is dangerous to think that these are all caused by stress, tiredness, or lack of sleep.
If you experience such strange phenomena with your eyesight, we recommend you to consult an ophthalmologist immediately.
The Amsler Grid Test
One of the simplest methods to monitor the health of your macula that you can do by yourself is the "Amsler Grid Test". The Amsler Grid is a pattern (either white grid lines on a black background or black grid lines on a white background) consisting of intersecting lines (similar to graph paper) with a black or white dot in the middle.
How to use an Amsler Grid (repeat for each eye):
Note: If you wear reading glasses, be sure to have them on.
- Focus at the center dot on the grid with one eye at a time, covering the other eye with your hand.
- As you continue to look at the center dot, check to see that all the surrounding lines are straight and all the squares are evenly spaced with no missing areas.
- If any area on the grid appears bent, distorted, blurred, discolored, or missing, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.
We recommend that you print this Amsler Grid for your eye checkup.
To prevent this kind of retina problem, PYRO-ENERGEN treatment is recommended. However, once you are afflicted from this disease, PYRO-ENERGEN can do nothing. You should consult your eye specialists.