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Eye Health and Diseases

Our eyes are the most important sensory organs that allow us to see and perceive the external world. Various diseases can cause disorders in different parts of the eye, reducing visual quality and even leading to blindness. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of diseases are crucial.

The devices used in eye examinations facilitate the easy recognition of many diseases. Therefore, eye examinations at Biruni University Hospital are meticulously performed by experienced specialist staff using state-of-the-art diagnostic devices.

Eye Diseases

MACULAR DEGENERATION

The part of the eye responsible for clear vision is called the “macula lutea” or “yellow spot”. This part of the retina is called the “yellow spot” because of the yellow pigments it contains. With age, some individuals begin to experience damage to the cells in the macula (yellow spot) region. This damage is called age-related macular degeneration. In colloquial terms, it is referred to as age-related macular degeneration or simply macular degeneration. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry type and wet type. Wet type macular degeneration is the rapidly progressive form of the disease, characterized by retinal hemorrhages and accumulation of fluid under and within the retina.

Macular degeneration affects individuals over the age of 55. The incidence of macular degeneration increases with age.

What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration does not show symptoms in the early stages. In the advanced stages, symptoms such as distorted vision, wavy vision, difficulty reading, central vision loss, and seeing dark spots may develop. If left untreated, the disease can lead to vision loss below the legal blindness limit.

The initial step in the diagnosis of the disease involves fundoscopic examination with drops and optical coherence tomography, also known as OCT.

In addition, patients under follow-up are given “Amsler Grid” papers for self-monitoring at home.

How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

There is no definitive treatment for dry-type macular degeneration. However, various vitamins are used to slow down the progression of the disease. For wet-type macular degeneration, intraocular injections are administered. Intraocular injections are continuous treatments. The disease does not disappear with one or two injections. Patients should come for follow-up appointments for this disease throughout their lives and intraocular injections should be repeated as deemed appropriate. The response to these treatments is not the same for every patient. Biruni University Hospital offers personalized intraocular injection treatment for wet-type macular degeneration. In personalized treatment for macular degeneration, the patient’s response to the first 3 injections performed monthly is determined. Based on this response, the intervals are gradually extended, and the most suitable treatment interval for that patient is determined. Thus, the progression of the disease can be prevented with the least number of injections. In addition, knowing the date of the injection in advance increases the response to treatment.

RETINAL DISORDERS DUE TO DIABETES

It is very important for all diabetic patients to have retinal screening annually. It ranks high among the causes of preventable blindness with early diagnosis and correct treatment. Treatment may require laser, intraocular drug injection, or surgery if necessary.

RETINAL ARTERY OCCLUSION

It is seen especially in patients with hypertension and diabetes. If it affects the central vision, it causes a complaint of decreased vision. Laser treatment and intraocular injections are performed in treatment.

RETINAL DETACHMENT AND TEARS

The patient presents with complaints of seeing flashes of light, decreased vision, or shadows and floaters in vision. If there is a tear in the retina and it is detected early, laser treatment may be sufficient. If there is separation (detachment) of retinal layers, surgery may be necessary. In addition to these common diseases, congenital anomalies, tumors, macular holes, and traumas are other diseases that can damage the retina.

GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is the increase in intraocular pressure due to poor drainage of the intraocular fluid and damage to the optic nerve. It can occur at any age, but its frequency increases after the age of 40. It is a slowly progressive disease. It often does not show any symptoms. It may not be noticed until it progresses and affects central vision. Glaucoma-related vision loss is irreversible. Therefore, regular eye pressure checks should be performed. If diagnosed in the early stages, vision loss can be slowed down or even prevented. It is recommended that individuals with a family history of glaucoma have their eye pressure measured every 2 years from the age of 40 to 50, and annually after the age of 50.

In addition to a family history of glaucoma, individuals at risk for eye pressure are those who have used steroids for a long time, those with high hyperopia or myopia, diabetes patients, and those with retinal disease. In treatment, eye drops are usually sufficient. These drops need to be used for a long time, often for life. Other treatment options are laser and surgery.

CORNEAL DISEASES

The cornea is the transparent layer located at the front of the eye, which focuses the image on the retina and protects the eye. If the transparency of the cornea is impaired due to diseases that affect this layer, vision decreases. The most common corneal diseases are as follows:

Keratitis: It is the general term for inflammation of the cornea due to infection or other factors. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. Keratoconus: It is the progressive thinning and steepening of the cornea. The disease usually starts in adolescence and progresses until about the age of 40. Treatment may require cross-linking, rigid contact lenses, placement of rings in the cornea, or corneal transplantation.

Dry eye: Patients present with complaints of burning, stinging, redness, intermittent blurred vision, feeling of fatigue in the eyes, or difficulty in using contact lenses. Due to insufficient or poor quality tear film or excessive evaporation, dry areas develop on the corneal surface. In this disease, which reduces the quality of life, treatment with eye drops generally relieves the patient.

UVEITIS

The uvea, one of the layers surrounding the eyeball, is located between the outermost sclera (white wall of the eye) and the retina (neural layer), and most of the eye’s blood vessels are in this layer. Uveitis is inflammation occurring in this layer due to various reasons. There are many reasons. It can occur due to infections or during the course of rheumatic diseases. It can affect one or both eyes. It can proceed with multiple attacks. The symptoms are as follows:

Blurred vision Seeing floaters, dots Eye pain Redness Sensitivity to light Early diagnosis of the disease is important to avoid secondary problems associated with uveitis. Treatment involves the use of eye drops. Individuals who experience prolonged and numerous uveitis attacks may develop cataracts, glaucoma, retinal, and corneal problems, requiring additional treatments and surgeries.

CATARACT

Cataract is an eye disease commonly seen in middle age and older individuals, which causes blurred vision by gradually losing the transparency of the lens located behind the pupil of the eye.

Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting in a decrease in vision. As a result of this clouding, visual acuity decreases, colors fade, and sensitivity

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