Health

‘Is there any home remedy for dry eyes?’

Is combined glaucoma-cataract surgery recommended for somebody above 65 years of age?

Combined glaucoma and cataract surgery is indicated in any person with significant visual disability from both cataract and glaucoma and is beneficial in limiting the progressive loss of vision due to glaucoma. The procedure also reduces the need for medications to reduce eye pressures, a significant risk factor in glaucoma.

However, the indications for combined glaucoma and cataract surgery could be diverse and complex and one needs to discuss with an ophthalmologist experienced in the management of both cataract and glaucoma and the decision can be highly individualized. Apart from age, the level of eye pressures, number of medications used for treatment of glaucoma, systemic health of the concerned individual, extent of damage caused by glaucoma are some of the issues that need to be factored in. An informed decision making in consultation with your eye doctor is necessary.

Is there any home remedy for dry eyes. Or any particular diet?

There is some anecdotal evidence that deficiency of Vitamins A and D can cause or worsen dry eye symptoms. A diet rich in vitamin A or supplements of these vital nutrients can be useful in relief of symptoms of dry eye. Omega-3 fatty acids are often considered useful in the management of dry eye. Good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, herring and cod. Fish oils from these sources are excellent sources of omega-3. Flax seed oil is a good vegetarian source. Since dehydration can also worsen symptoms of dry eyes, intake of sufficient amounts of water every day can also improve dry eye symptoms.

Frequent blinking, limiting use of air conditioners, television, computers and mobile phones and using good quality sunglasses are often sufficient home remedies that can supplement medical treatment of dry eyes. Occasionally certain medications, like blood pressure drugs, anti-depressants, anti-histamines and oral contraceptives can worsen dry eye symptoms. These medications may be altered or modified or dosage adjusted after obtaining the physician’s opinion and advice.

My father is steadily losing his eyesight. He suffers with headaches but refuses to visit a doctor. Could you please guide me?

It is possible that both declining vision and headache are unrelated symptoms, but he needs to see an eye doctor immediately. It is possible he may have early cataracts or other potentially blinding diseases like glaucoma, age related retinal degeneration or other degenerative conditions causing permanent loss of vision. Most eye diseases, if detected early on have excellent treatment options to prevent progressive vision loss. Rarely, some forms of glaucoma, ocular inflammation, sinusitis affecting the eye may have vision loss associated with headache. Sometimes, it may only be a simple refractive error requiring spectacle correction that may reverse his symptoms. Counselling your father to undergo simple eye tests by a qualified eye doctor is crucial. He can be reassured that a two-hour wait and simple eye examination will save him his sight, forever.

Dr R Krishnadas is Senior Medical Consultant in Glaucoma Services, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai

Nothing in this column is intended to be, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek independent advice from a licensed practitioner if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Email us with your questions at mp_health@thehindu.co.in

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 8:54:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/eye-health-ask-r-krishnadas/article32003470.ece

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