Boris Johnson suggests coronavirus affected his eyesight
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All of the signs and symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa affect the eyes.
They include, according to Cedars Sinai (a non-profit academic healthcare organisation):
• Hard time seeing in poor lighting or in the dark
• A reduced ability to see either central or peripheral vision
• Hard time reading print
• Hard time figuring out detailed images
• Hard time with stumbling or tripping over objects not seen
Cedars Sinai warned: “The symptoms of the condition may look like other eye diseases.”
The disease is caused by the cells in the retina breaking down and dying over time.
Problems with the retina can occur in rod cells, cone cells and the link between the cells making up the retina.
Treatment for the condition depends on the symptoms, the patient’s age, and their general health as well as how severe the retinitis pigmentosa is.
Unfortunately there is no treatment for the condition; however Cedars Sinai said: “[P]rotecting your retina by using UV sunglasses may help delay the start of symptoms. An artificial retina has been developed for people with very advanced disease and severe vision loss.”
Meanwhile, Moorfields Eye Hospital has 10 steps it recommends to maintain healthy eyes.
This includes eating a healthy diet.
The NHS trust said: “Eye-friendly nutrients found in many fruits and vegetables including spinach, red peppers, kale, leeks, avocado, peaches, and blueberries can help to protect against age-related macular degeneration.
“Cold water fish such as sardines, mackerel, and tuna are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide structural support to cell membranes in the eye and are recommended for dry eye, the treatment for macular degeneration, and general sight preservation.”
Moorfields Eye Hospital also suggests regular exercise as studies suggest this can “increase crucial oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lower pressure in the eye”.
The experts continued: “Reducing intraocular ‘eye’ pressure can help control conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
“Aerobic exercise can also prevent the progression of diabetes, which in severe cases can lead to diabetic retinopathy.”
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that can cause blindness if it is left undiagnosed and untreated.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy that can arise are:
• Gradually worsening vision
• Sudden vision loss
• Shapes floating in your field of vision
• Blurred or patchy vision
• Eye pain or redness
• Difficulty seeing in the dark.
For more information about your eye health, book an appointment with an optometrist.
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