February 6, 2017

Macular degeneration, also known as AMD, is a disease that affects the retina. If left untreated, is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in Americans over 50. More than eight million people have earlier stages of AMD. This disease of the macula, the central and most sensitive part of the retina, can rob people of central vision. Left with only peripheral vision, they may struggle to identify faces, read books and watch TV, because they can see the side or peripheral vision, but not straight ahead.

The Eye

The retina is made up of two main layers. There is an inner layer of ‘seeing cells’ called rods and cones. These cells react to light and send electrical signals down tiny nerve fibres (which collect into the optic nerve) to the brain. The outer layer – the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) – is a layer of cells behind the rods and cones. The RPE is an insulating layer between the retina and the choroid. These cells help to nourish and support the rods and cones. They pass nutrients from the blood vessels in the choroid to the rods and cones. They also take waste materials from the rods and cones to the blood vessels in the choroid. The RPE can be thought of as a filter, determining what substances reach the retina. Many components of blood are harmful to the retina and are kept away from it by a normally functioning RPE. The rods and cones are responsible for vision in different conditions. There are many more rods than cones, and rods are smaller cells than cones –

  • The cone cells (‘cones’) help us to see in the daylight, providing the basis for colour vision.
  • The rod cells (‘rods’) help us to see in the dark – ‘night vision’.

The macula is a small but vital area of the retina at the back of your eye. It is about 5 mm in diameter. The macula is the part of the retina that is the most densely packed with rods and cones. The macula is essential for central vision. In the middle of the macula is an area called the fovea, which only contains cones.

The choroid is a layer of tissue behind the retina which contains many tiny blood vessels. These help to take oxygen and nutrients to the retina.

Bruch’s membrane is a thin membrane which helps to form a barrier between the choroid and the delicate retina.

The sclera is the outer thick white layer of the eye.

When a person looks at an object, light from the object passes through the cornea, then the lens, and then hits the retina at the back of the eye. The light from the object focuses on the macula. A person needs a healthy macula for detailed central vision.

AMD is a condition that occurs when cells in the macula degenerate. This occurs with partial breakdown of the RPE and the cells become damaged and die. Damage to the macula affects your central vision which is needed for reading, writing, driving, recognising people’s faces and doing other fine tasks. The rest of the retina is used for peripheral vision – the ‘side’ vision which is not focused. Therefore, without a macula you can still see enough to get about, be aware of objects and people, and be independent. However, the loss of central vision will severely affect normal sight. There are two types – ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ AMD – described below.

People with macular degeneration gradually find it much harder to read, write, recognize faces and drive. The macula, or macula lutea (Latin: macula = spot + lutea = yellow) is an oval shaped yellow spot near the center of the retina of the eye.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two basic types of Macular Degeneration: “dry” and “wet.” Approximately 85% to 90% of the cases of Macular Degeneration are the “dry” (atrophic) type, while 10-15% are the “wet” (exudative) type.

Stargardt disease is a form of macular degeneration found in young people, caused by a recessive gene.


The specific factors that cause macular degeneration are not conclusively known, and research into this little understood disease is limited by insufficient funding. At this point, what is known about age-related Macular Degeneration is that the causes are complex, but include both heredity and environment. Scientists are working to understand what causes the cells of the macula to deteriorate, seeking a macular degeneration treatment breakthrough. They know the causes are not the same for Age-related Macular Degeneration as they are for Stargardt disease. Stargardt disease has a specific genetic cause in most cases, whereas AMD involves both genetic and environmental factors.

Risk Factors

Age is a major risk factor for AMD. The disease is most likely to occur after age 60, but it can occur earlier. Other risk factors for AMD include –

  • Smoking – Research shows that smoking doubles the risk of AMD.
  • Race – AMD is more common among Caucasians than among African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos.
  • Family history and Genetics – People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk. At last count, researchers had identified nearly 20 genes that can affect the risk of developing AMD. Many more genetic risk factors are suspected.
  • Foods that contain free radicals – Trans fats, hydrogenated fats and grilled foods contain free radicals that can cause damage to the vision.
    • Caffeine -Has been shown to reduce blood flow to the eye.
    • Alcohol – Liver toxicity can lead to eye problems, therefore it is best to avoid alcohol.
    • Sugar – Speeds the aging process and causes cellular oxidation leaing to macular degeneration.


The symptoms can be so gradual and subtle that many people do not know they have it for quite a long time. The main symptom is blurring of the person’s central vision. Peripheral vision (outer vision) is not affected. The blurred central vision is still there, even when the person wears glasses.

Dry Macular Symptoms

  • The patient may not notice anything unusual for up to ten years after onset
  • If just one eye is affected, it may take even longer before somebody knows he/she has it
  • People with dry AMD tend to need a brighter light when reading
  • Written or printed texts seem blurry
  • Slow recovery of visual function after exposure to bright light
  • Colors do not appear as vibrant as they used to
  • It becomes more difficult to instantly recognize people’s faces
  • The sufferer’s vision is less defined, hazier.

Wet Macular Symptoms –

The patient may experience all the symptoms mentioned above, plus –

  • Symptoms appear faster
  • Metamorphopsia – straight lines may seem crooked or wavy
  • Central vision blind spot (central scotoma) – the middle of the person’s visual field is a total blind spot. If left untreated, this blind spot will get bigger.\


Severe AMD can cause legal blindness. Low vision aids may help if you have partial blindness. Sometimes blood vessels build up underneath the retina, causing the retina to become detached or scarred. If this happens, the chances of preserving your central vision are poor. This condition, called subretinal neovascularization, happens in about 20% of cases of AMD. It often comes back even after laser treatment.


Laser Surgery – Laser surgery uses a laser to destroy the fragile, leaky blood vessels. Only a small percentage of people with wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery. Laser surgery is performed in a doctor’s office or eye clinic.

Photodynamic Therapy – With photodynamic therapy, a drug called verteporfin is injected into your arm. It travels throughout the body, including the new blood vessels in the eye. The drug tends to stick to the surface of new blood vessels.

Drug Treatment for Wet AMD – Wet AMD can now be treated with new drugs that are injected into the eye (anti-VEGF therapy). Abnormally high levels of a specific growth factor occur in eyes with wet AMD and promote the growth of abnormal new blood vessels. This drug treatment blocks the effects of the growth factor. Two such drugs are approved to treat AMD:

  • Pegaptanib (Macugen)
  • Ranibizumab (Lucentis)

Complementary and Alternative Treatment

AREDS formula (vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc, plus copper) – The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that a combination of antioxidant vitamins plus zinc helped slow the progression of intermediate macular degeneration to an advanced stage.

Lutein and zeaxanthin – High levels of these two antioxidants that give plants orange, red, or yellow color may help protect against AMD, either by acting as antioxidants or by protecting the macula from damage from light.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) – Studies show that eating fatty fish at least once a week cuts the risk of AMD in half. Another larger study found that consuming docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, 4 or more times per week may reduce the risk of developing AMD.

Ginkgo – Ginkgo contains flavonoids, which researchers think may also help AMD.

Bilberry – These are also high in flavonoids, so researchers think that they may help prevent and treat AMD.

Milk thistle – Silymarin, from milk thistle, is a major supporter of liver function. The liver is a key organ for maintenance of eye health because the fat soluble vitamins and the B vitamins are stored there.

Frankincense oil has been demonstrated to improve eyesight, helichrysum oil improves vision and supports nerve tissue and cypress essential oil improve circulation which can improve macular degeneration.


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Posted in EYE
February 6, 2017

Keratitis is inflammation of cornea, the transparent domelike portion of the eyeball in front of the iris and pupil. There are several varieties of keratitis, which can be caused by either infectious or noninfectious processes. In many cases, however, changes in the cornea induced by noninfectious keratitis predispose it to secondary infections. Often there is inflammation of both the cornea and the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white of the eye (the sclera). In this case, the condition is called keratoconjunctivitis.

There are various types of keratitis, but most commonly it occurs after an injury to the cornea, dryness or inflammation of the ocular surface or contact lens wear. The most common infectious cause is herpes simplex virus type 1, but it can also be due to varicella zoster, which is the reactivation of chicken pox virus; and the adenoviruses that cause upper respiratory infections. Less commonly, bacteria, parasites, fungi and vitamin A deficiency can cause keratitis. Keratitis can lead to vision loss from corneal scarring.


Causes of keratitis include –

  • Injury – If an object scratches the surface of one of the corneas or penetrates a cornea, keratitis without an infection may result. In addition, an injury may allow bacteria or fungi to gain access to the cornea through the damaged surface, causing infectious keratitis.
  • Contaminated contact lenses – Bacteria, fungi or parasites — particularly the microscopic parasite acanthamoeba — may inhabit the surface of a contact lens or contact lens carrying case. The cornea may become contaminated when the lens is in the eye, resulting in infectious keratitis.
  • Viruses – Viruses such as the herpes viruses (herpes simplex and herpes zoster) and the virus that causes chlamydia may cause keratitis.
  • Contaminated water – Chemicals in water such as those used in swimming pools may irritate the cornea and weaken the delicate surface tissue of the cornea (corneal epithelium), resulting in a chemical keratitis. This is usually short-lived and may last only minutes to hours.

Bacteria, fungi and parasites in water — particularly in oceans, rivers, lakes and hot tubs — can enter the eyes when people are swimming or bathing and result in keratitis. If people are exposed to these microorganisms, a healthy cornea is unlikely to become infected. But if people have experienced some previous breakdown of the corneal epithelium, such as from wearing a contact lens too long, the cornea may be vulnerable to infection.

Risk Factors

  • Use of tap water in cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses—including the lens case.
  • Swimming with contact lenses in the eyes, especially in fresh water lakes and rivers. Acanthamoeba keratitis has also been isolated from virtually all water sources—from pools to hot tubs to showers.
  • Failure to follow lens care instructions /poor compliance.

Reduced immunity – If the immune system is weakened due to disease or medications, people are at a higher risk of developing keratitis.

Warm climate – If people live in a warm, humid climate, they risk of keratitis is increased, particularly if plant material gets into the eyes. Plant material can scratch the corneal epithelium and chemicals from the plant can cause an inflammation, which may then lead to an infection.

Corticosteroids. Use of corticosteroid eyedrops to treat an eye disorder can increase your risk of developing infectious keratitis or worsen existing keratitis.


With its ability for quick repair, the cornea usually heals after most injuries or disease. However, during the healing process a variety of symptoms may be experienced, including –

  • Pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Tearing
  • Redness
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Foreign body sensation, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.

Although these symptoms may occur with many other types of eye problems, they may indicate a more serious problem or require special treatment. Therefore, if some experience any of these symptoms, they should seek medical advice.


Potential complications of keratitis include –

  • Chronic corneal inflammation
  • Chronic or recurrent viral infections of your cornea
  • Open sores on your cornea (corneal ulcers)
  • Corneal swelling and scarring
  • Temporary or permanent reduction in your vision
  • Blindness


Treatment of keratitis depends upon the cause. If there is mild injury to the cornea, such as a scratched cornea, no specific treatment is necessary. An antibiotic ointment might be prescribed. This is done mostly for comfort.

If the keratitis is caused by herpes simplex or the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles, your doctor will prescribe antiviral eye drops or an antiviral oral medication or both. Bacterial keratitis needs to be treated with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed along with an antibiotic ointment or eye drops.

Artificial tears for lubrication usually are effective for keratitis related to ocular dryness. Keratitis caused by an autoimmune disease is often treated with topical corticosteroid eye drops. Also treating the underlying disease helps the keratitis heal with less chance of recurrence.

Alternative Treatment

Licorice Root – Extract from the root of the licorice plant may have properties that would benefit symptoms of conjunctivitis and keratitis. Licorice has anti-inflammatory components that could reduce swelling and associated discomfort on the surface of the eyes.

Elderberry extract comes from the fruit of the elder tree. This extract has properties that help reduce inflammation. In theory, this could have some benefits to inflammation associated with conjunctivitis and keratitis.

Lysine is an amino acid that supports antibody, hormone and enzyme production. It also supports collagen formation and tissue repair. Lysine is thought to suppress blood arginine levels, thereby inhibiting herpes virus replication.

Vitamins A, C and E have antioxidant properties which fight free radicals that can damage the lens of the eye.

Astragalus is considered by many to be the most powerful immunity-boosting herb.

Bilberry extract (Vacciuium myritllus) derived from a fruit similar to the blueberry, contains active ingredients for eye health and proper vision. The berries are rich in the antioxidant anthocyanosides — the red pigments that are beneficial in ophthalmology and vascular diseases. Nicknamed “the vision herb” bilberry has a substantial body of research that confirms its benefits for human eyes.

Zinc is a mineral linked to good vision and may protect eye tissue from damaging light and inflammation. Zinc is found in healthy retinal tissue.

Lutein, a carotenoid found in dark, leafy greens, is also found in the retina of healthy eyes where it acts as a shield against harmful light and may help protect the eyes against damage from ultraviolet radiation.

Quercetin is a natural antioxidant bioflavonoid that protects cells from damage by free radicals.

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Posted in EYE
February 6, 2017

Iritis also known as Uveitis, is the inflammation of the iris, the coloured portion of the eye. It has been known cause extreme pain, light sensitivity and sight loss, which is often the result of a disease in another part of the body. Most cases of iritis are recurring, in what are small attacks. Once treated the attack will usually respond to various medications. However, the condition may become sight threatening when left untreated. Medication for iritis varies, treatment that works for one will not always work with another.

The uvea, also known as uveal layer, uveal coat, uveal tract, or vascular tunic, consists collectively of the iris, the choroid of the eye, and the ciliary body. Inflammation of the iris (iritis) is the most common type of uveitis.

  • The iris – the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil.
  • The choroid of the eye – the part of the eye between the white of the eye (sclera) and the retina (the light sensing part at the back of the eye). The choroid of the eye is a thin vascular middle layer.
  • The ciliary body – a ring of muscle behind the iris; this body of tissue connects the iris with the choroid.

Inflammation of the uvea may be painful. It usually causes a red eye, sometimes with cloudy vision.

An injury to the eye, a viral or bacterial infection, as well as some underlying diseases may cause uveitis. If left untreated the patient may suffer vision loss.

Types of uvetitis / iritis

  • Anterior uveitis – frequently termed iritis. This type affects the front of the eye.
  • Intermediate uveitis – consists of vitritis, inflammation of the jelly-like part of the eye (vitreous cavity). When there is inflammatory material on the pars plana, the condition is called pars planitis
  • Posterior uveitis – inflammation of the retina and choroid. Posterior refers to the back of the eye.
  • Pan-uveitis – is when inflammation exists in all layers of the uvea.


Although eye specialists do not usually know specifically why uveitis occurs, we do know about some situations and circumstances that make its likelihood greater. The following factors may increase the risk of developing uveitis –

  • Injury to the eye – Blunt force trauma, a penetrating injury, or a burn from a chemical or fire can cause acute iritis.
  • Infections – Shingles (herpes zoster) on your face can cause iritis. Other infectious diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, tuberculosis and syphilis, may be linked to other types of uveitis.
  • Genetic predisposition – People who develop certain autoimmune diseases because of a gene alteration that affects their immune systems might also develop acute iritis. Diseases include ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter’s syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Behcet’s disease – An uncommon cause of acute iritis in Western countries, this condition is also characterized by joint problems, mouth sores and genital sores.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis – Chronic iritis can develop in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Sarcoidosis – This autoimmune disease involves the growth of collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in areas of your body, including your eyes.
  • Certain medications – Some drugs, such as the antibiotic rifabutin (Mycobutin) and the antiviral medication cidofovir (Vistide) that are used to treat HIV infections, might cause iritis. Stopping these medications usually stops the iritis symptoms.

Risk Factors

People with the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for uveitis:

  • Develop a sexually transmitted infection. Certain infections, such as syphilis or HIV/AIDs, are linked with a significant risk of iritis.
  • Having infections, such as syphilis, tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus, and Lyme disease
  • Having other eye diseases
  • Cat owners are at increased risk of toxoplasmosis because cat litter contains spores of the parasite. Pregnant women should not change cat litter.
  • People who take certain medications, such as rifabutin (Mycobutin), a type of antibiotic
  • Live in certain geographic locations where infectious causes are more prevalent, for instance, in the U.S. in the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys where histoplasmosis — a fungal infection — occurs more frequently.
  • Have a compromised immune system or autoimmune disorder.


A symptom is something the patient feels or reports, while a sign is something other people, including a doctor, may detect. For example, a pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign.

The signs, symptoms of iritis may include –

  • Blurred vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Floaters – debris in the eye make you see tiny rods, chains of transparent bubbles floating around in your field of vision
  • General vision problems
  • Eye pain
  • Eye redness
  • Photophobia – abnormal sensitivity to light
  • Headaches
  • A small pupil
  • Alteration of the color of the iris

Symptoms can come on gradually or rapidly.


  • Cataracts – Development of a clouding of the lens of your eye (cataract) is a possible complication, especially if people experienced a long period of inflammation.
  • An irregular pupil – Scar tissue can cause the iris to stick to the underlying lens or the peripheral cornea, making the pupil irregular in shape and the iris sluggish in its reaction to light.
  • Glaucoma – Recurrent iritis can result in glaucoma, a serious eye condition characterized by increased pressure inside the eye (intraocular) and possible vision loss.
  • Calcium deposits on the cornea (band keratopathy) – This condition results in degeneration of the cornea and could decrease the vision.
  • Swelling within the retina (cystoid macular edema) – Swelling and fluid-filled cysts that develop in the retina at the back of the eye (macular retina) can blur or decrease the central vision.



  • Corticosteroids, to reduce swelling and pain. The doctor may prescribe either eyedrops or pills.
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications, depending on what is causing uveitis
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to reduce inflammation
  • Medications to suppress the immune system, in cases where corticosteroids do not help

Alternative Treatment

Multivitamins – A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. These vitamins and minerals are good for eye health and overall health. One small study suggested that vitamin C and E may help reduce symptoms of anterior uveitis.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help lower inflammation and boost the immune system. Cold-water fish, such as salmon or halibut, are good sources. Avoid taking omega-3 fatty acids before surgery for uveitis as they may increase the risk of bleeding.

Lutein is an antioxidant that is important for eye health.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Has antioxidant properties and may help boost the immune system.


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Posted in EYE
February 6, 2017

Horner’s syndrome is a nerve disorder that affects a person’s eye. It causes the eye to droop, constricts the pupil, and reduces sweating in the affected area. Horner’s syndrome can occur on its own or as a consequence of other diseases or conditions, including birth injuries caused by trauma during delivery.

Horner’s syndrome is a disorder that affects the sympathetic nervous system. It is a combination of indications and symptoms linked to damage to the nerves that connect the brain to the eyes. Also known as oculosympathetic palsy, Horner syndrome, or Claude Bernard-Horner syndrome, it may occur independently or as a result of another condition, such as a tumor, middle ear infection, a stroke, or syringomyelia (a cavity or cyst in the spinal column).

Horner’s syndrome can also be caused by trauma to the neck. It can develop in adults and children. In neonatal cases, Horner’s syndrome may sometimes be a result of something congenital. However, a birth injury to the sympathetic nervous system during delivery can result in an occurrence of Horner’s syndrome in a newborn infant, and accounts for hundreds of Horner’s Sydrome cases each year in the United States.


Horner’s syndrome may really be a congenital (present at birth) genetic condition. The condition may be accompanied by a lack of pigmentation of the Iris (colored region of the eye). This is especially true for sufferers of Neurofibratosis, a genetic condition that gives rise to the development of small tumors or lesions on diverse parts of the spine. When these affect the cervical spine, Horner’s Syndrome can arise as a consequence.

Although Horner’s syndrome may occur on its own, it usually is a result of other medical conditions affecting the sympathetic nervous system. The most common triggers of Hunter’s syndrome include –

  • Cluster headaches
  • Damage to the carotid artery
  • Damage to the aorta
  • Damage to the jugular vein
  • Migraines
  • Schwannoma (tumor in the myelin sheath)
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Lung cancer
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Goiter
  • Neck trauma
  • Myelin loss caused by various diseases
  • Tumors

In children, Horner’s syndrome can be caused by –

  • Injury to the neck and/or shoulders during delivery
  • Congenital defect of the aorta
  • Neuroblastoma (tumor of the hormonal and nervous system)

In some instances, it is not possible to trace Horner’s syndrome to a specific cause.


Symptoms of Horner’s syndrome include –

  • A pupil that is smaller than the pupil of the other eye and does not dilate (enlarge) in dim light
  • Ptosis of the eyelid on the affected side of the face
  • Inverse ptosis (i.e., a raised lower eyelid)
  • Sunken appearance of affected eye
  • A large area of skin that does not perspire on the affected side of the face (anhydrosis)

In small children, Horner’s syndrome can sometimes present additional symptoms –

  • The skin on the affected side of the face may not flush (redden) under conditions that would normally cause flushing (e.g., physical exertion, heat, or emotional stress). In some cases the reverse may occur—the affected side of the face will have a perpetually flushed appearance.
  • The iris of the affected eye may have a lighter color than the unaffected eye (especially in cases of congenital Horner’s syndrome).


Horner’s syndrome does not cause any complications of its own. However, when it is triggered by another disease, such as brachial plexus, there will be complications from either the underlying cause or its treatment. In addition, although there are no treatment options specifically for Horner’s Syndrome, treatment for the underlying cause of the condition usually helps to clear it up. In instances in which no underlying issue is found, Horner’s Syndrome almost always clears up without much incidence.


The condition is often short-lived and does not necessarily need cure. Horner’s Syndrome itself does not have any cure. Treatment of Horner’s Syndrome depends on the cause of the disease. Fortunately, the resolution of the condition is often possible when the underlying cause is cured.

If the difference in size of pupil in each eye becomes a cause of concern, eye drops can be used. Inserting tubes in the ears and using antibiotics can help cure problems like chronic ear infections. In some cases, underlying causes such as multiple sclerosis reject treatment and lead to a permanent or semi- permanent of Horner’s syndrome. However, presence of any incurable condition or potentially recurring disorders like Neurofibratosis may lead to persisting cases of Horner’s Syndrome.

Posted in EYE
February 6, 2017

Fuchs’ (fooks) dystrophy is a progressive hereditary disease affecting the part of the eye called the cornea, the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil, with symptoms that often become noticeable after the age of 50.

The cornea is the clear window on the front of the eye and is comprised of three main layers—the epithelium, stroma and endothelium. The purpose of the epithelium is to act as a barrier to protect the cornea from dust, debris and bacteria. The stroma is the middle layer and makes up 90% of cornea thickness, mostly of collagen and other structural materials. Its purpose is to give the cornea its strength and dome-like shape. The endothelium is just one layer of cells located on the Descemet membrane (blue line in illustration above) and its job is to provide the appropriate balance of fluid in the cornea, keeping it thin and crystal clear.

Fuchs’ dystrophy (named after Dr. Fuchs) is an inherited condition that affects the delicate inner layer (endothelium) of the cornea. Patients with Fuchs’ dystrophy have endothelial cells that –

  • Do not function as efficiently as normally
  • Age and deteriorate more rapidly than normal cells

Fuchs’ dystrophy affects both eyes and is slightly more common in women than men. On average, half of the family members of an affected person may carry or suffer from the condition. The exact cause of Fuchs’ dystrophy is unknown. Hereditary, hormonal and inflammatory factors probably all play a role.


Fuchs’ dystrophy affects the thin layer of cells that line the back part of the cornea. These cells help pump excess fluid out of the cornea. As more and more cells are lost, fluid begins to build up in the cornea, causing swelling and a cloudy cornea.

At first, fluid may build up only during sleep, when the eye is closed. As the disease gets worse, small blisters may form. The blisters get bigger and may eventually break, causing eye pain. Fuchs’ dystrophy can also cause the shape of the cornea to change, causing further vision problems.

Free radicals can damage the eyes – They are formed when the ultraviolet and blue light of sunlight passes through the crystalline lens. Free radicals are also natural byproducts of metabolism. These highly reactive chemicals cause oxidation, and can destabilize healthy cells in the back of the eyes. Free radical damage is accelerated by smoking, chronic fatigue, and having a compromised immune system.

Nutritional Deficiencies and poor digestion – Often sufferers of macular degeneration are deficient in a number of the nutrients that are essential to eye health: essential fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, taurine, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B-complex.

Heredity – The genetic basis of the disease is complex — family members can be affected to very variable degrees, and sometimes not at all.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of developing Fuchs’ dystrophy include –

  • Being female, as Fuchs’ dystrophy is slightly more common in women than in men
  • Having a family history of Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Being over 50


Because Fuchs’ dystrophy is related to a build-up in fluid in corneal tissue, symptoms can be worse on humid or rainy days and better on dry days or in dryer climates, such as an airplane or desert.

Generally, symptoms may include –

  • Hazy or cloudy vision;
  • Glare around certain objects (especially light sources);
  • Halos around certain objects;
  • Reduced visual acuity;
  • Reduced ability to discern contrasts;
  • Difficult driving at night;
  • Fluctuations in vision, especially in the early morning. As the condition advances, however, these fluctuations become more persistent throughout the day;
  • Pain in the eye, if the condition is more advanced and blisters have formed.

Fuchs’ dystrophy usually develops over two stages –

Stage 1 may produce no symptoms or only mild symptoms. In this early stage, the swelling of the corneal cells usually occurs in the morning then tends to clear as the day progresses. Vision is worse in the morning because closing your eyes during sleep keeps moisture from evaporating out of the cornea.

Once the disease has progressed to Stage 2, vision no longer gets better later in the day. People with Stage 2 Fuchs’ dystrophy may have pain and be sensitive to light. Extreme climate conditions, such as high humidity, can worsen the condition.


  • Eye pain
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • The feeling that something is in your eye when there is nothing there
  • Vision problems such as seeing halos or cloudy vision
  • Worsening vision


Use of eye medication – Eyedrops or ointments can reduce the amount of fluid in the cornea.

Drying eyes – Use a hair dryer and hold it at arm’s length. Direct warm — not hot — air across your face two or three times a day to evaporate excess fluid in the cornea and dry out blisters.

Wearing soft contact lenses – Soft contact lenses can improve vision and reduce discomfort.

Corneal transplant – This surgical procedure, also known as keratoplasty, replaces damaged cornea tissue with healthy tissue from a donor. There are many types of corneal procedures. Some procedures replace only a few thin layers of the cornea, while others replace the entire cornea. For Fuchs’ dystrophy, an increasingly common procedure replaces only the deep layers of the cornea, including the endothelium. This is sometimes referred to as endothelial keratoplasty or posterior lamellar endothelial keratoplasty.

Alternative Treatment

Potassium – One of the many nutrients that is essential for human life is potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte which means it is a mineral with an electric charge that is present in blood and other fluids in the body. This mineral is necessary for growth, muscle function, electrical activity of the heart, nerve impulse transmission and acid-base balance. Potassium is one of the important components that comprise tear film.

Natural foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and many other phytonutrients, such as inositol, are vital in the diet for good vision and to keep the eye healthy. This will fight infections, help to recover from illnesses or surgery on the eyes and protect against many diseases that happen due to aging.

Foods rich in rutin can prevent and treat glaucoma and cataracts as this flavonoid acts on the circulatory system to strengthen blood vessels, especially the tiny capillaries in the eyes. Foods rich in rutin should be consumed along with foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and hesperidin.

Maqui berry is a ‘super berry’ from the Chile and Argentinean regions of South America which contains the highest amount of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural food. Regular consumption can protect against age related macular degeneration and improve the health of the eyes.

Pumpkin seeds – a handful a day will nourish the eyes.

Raw Juice Therapy can successfully treat many eye conditions and help to relieve and prevent others.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are very important because they help protect the retina from damage caused by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and high-energy visible (HEV) light. Prolonged exposure to UV and HEV rays may damage the retina and increase the risk of developing macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin also may reduce the risk of cataracts later in life.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus, blueberry) Contains nutrients that protect eyes from eyestrain or fatigue and can improve circulation to the eyes.


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Posted in EYE
February 6, 2017

Conversion disorder is defined as a rare mental disorder in which person experiences very specific and genuine physical symptoms for which no physiological basis can be found.

It is a psychological condition in which a person loses abilities such as seeing, hearing, or speaking or becomes paralyzed, but no medical explanation can be found to explain the symptoms. Symptoms of conversion disorder often begin after some stressful experience, and they have traditionally been thought of as an expression of emotional conflict or need.

Historically, this disorder was termed “hysteria” by Freud after observing similar symptoms in his patients. For example, a woman might present with a paralyzed right arm for no apparent reason. Freud suggested that these symptoms were expressions, or “conversions,” of unconscious cognitive or emotional material that were unacceptable to the conscious mind or contained conflict.

Today, while the medical model has crossed oceans in attempts to abandon Freudian thought, this is one of the topics that still holds mystery and lies in the wake of our repressed Freudian shores. While medical doctors do not understand Conversion Disorder in terms of unconscious material, most professionals would agree that there is a considerable psychological and emotional component. Stress and trauma are ghosts that mysteriously elicit these physical symptoms.

The term “conversion” comes from the idea that psychological distress is being converted into a physical symptom. A long-standing theory has been that a person with conversion disorder must block out the source of the distress — be it a conflict or stress — because it is too unacceptable for the person to remain aware of it. There is, however, little formal evidence to support this theory.

Conversion disorder is more common in women than in men. It occurs most frequently between adolescence and middle age. Although relatively rare in the general population, conversion symptoms may be found in up to 14% of patients in general hospitals. In some reviews, they accounted for about 30% of symptoms among neurology outpatients. A significant percentage of people with conversion disorder have another psychiatric problem, such as generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or some form of depression. There may have been a recent stress or trauma. People with the disorder also report a higher than average frequency of emotional or physical abuse during childhood.


Conversion disorder symptoms may occur because of a psychological conflict.

Symptoms usually begin suddenly after a stressful experience. People are at risk of conversion disorder if they also have a medical illness, or the other mental health problem of dissociative disorder (escape from reality that is not on purpose) or a personality disorder (inability to manage feelings and behaviors that are expected in certain social situations).

Persons who have conversion disorder are not making up their symptoms (malingering). Some doctors falsely believe that this disorder is not a real condition and may tell patients the problem is all in their head. But this condition is real. It causes distress and cannot be turned on and off at will.

Risk Factors

  • Recent significant stress or emotional trauma
  • Being female — women are much more likely to develop conversion disorder
  • Having a mental health condition, such as mood or anxiety disorders, dissociative disorder or certain personality disorders
  • Having a neurological disease that causes similar symptoms, such as epilepsy
  • Having a family member with conversion disorder
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse and neglect in childhood


Conversion Disorder is also referred to as “Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder,” referring to the “functional” impairments in behavior, rather than neurological abnormalities, per se. Some examples of “functional” impairments associated with Conversion Disorder are described below.

Possible Motor Symptoms –

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Abnormal movements
  • Tremors or dystonia (abnormal muscle contractions/movements)
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Abnormal posture
  • Limb shaking resembling seizures
  • Reduced or absent speech or articulation
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat

Possible Sensory Symptoms –

  • Abnormal, reduced, or absent:
  • Skin sensation
  • Vision (e.g., blurred vision, seeing double)
  • Hearing
  • Unresponsiveness resembling fainting or coma


Counseling (psychotherapy) – Seeing a psychologist or professional counselor can help treat symptoms of conversion disorder and prevent it from coming back. This can be especially helpful if you also have anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.

Physical therapy – Working with a physical therapist may prevent complications of certain symptoms of conversion disorder. For example, regular movement of arms or legs may ward off muscle tightness and weakness if you have paralysis or loss of mobility.

Treating related stress and other conditions – Conversion disorder may improve when you get treatment for stress, anxiety or another underlying problem. Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants or other drugs as part of your treatment plan, depending on your individual health profile.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation – Some reports show that people with conversion disorder may benefit from this type of treatment, which involves exciting brain activity by using weak electrical currents that are said to alter the brain’s biochemistry. However, this approach is still in an early stage regarding its use in the management of conversion disorder

Alternative Treatment

Nutritional Supplements – Adrenal extracts; carbohydrate-rich diet; garum armoricum (great bluefish); ginger; l-theanine (green tea); macrobiotic diet; milk peptides (New life Tryptozen); oats; perilla oil (perilla frutescens); vitamins B3, B6, B12, and C. Studies summarizes the evidence supporting the effectiveness and safety of inositol in managing anxiety disorders.

Amino acids (l-phenylalanine/phenylalanine [norepinephrine precursor], l -arginine, l-lysine, l-glutamine, l-leucine); melatonin; pregnenolone;phytoestrogens (soy or Mexican yam); tyrosine (norepinephrine precursor); SAMe (S-adenosyl-l-methionine)

Herbs – Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera); Bach flower essences; bacopa; berocca; borage juice (starflower); bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus); catnip; chamomile; damiana; fennel; feverfew; ginkgo; ginseng; golden root (Rhodiola rosea); gotu kola; hops; kanna; lemon balm; lemongrass leaves; licorice; meadowsweet; motherwort; mullein (Verbascum sinuatum); mulungu; noni (Morinda citrifolia); peppermint; pine bark extract; reishi (Ganoderma lucidum); Relora (magnolia/phellodendron); schisandra; scullcup (skullcap); verbena (blue vervain)


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Posted in EYE