Medical experts have said that more Nigerians are having eye related problems due to neglect of the small but most vital part of the body, especially to frequent exposure to laptops, phones and television screens.
They also stressed that scheduled visits to an eye doctor, adequate precautions to avoid damaging the eye and taking the right supplements is key to lasting eyesight.
This was the thrust in a live talk show organized by Naturefield, makers of quality natural care products on the management of eye disorder occasioned by lifestyle, age and work type.
Speaking at the session, a medical doctor, Dr. Ronald Ikpe noted that it is important we take care of the eye because it is one of the most neglected parts of the body. “It is not enough to say you are seeing, having scheduled visits to the optician is important.”
While addressing major eye problems, Dr. Ikpe said, “There is Glaucoma which is popularly called the silent thief of sight because it keeps drying the eyes until the eye is almost irredeemable.
“There is also cataract, which can even affect both eyes, it is common in diabetes and hypertensive patients. There is hypertensive retinopathy, which is as a result of poorly controlled hypertension and then diabetes retinopathy, caused by poorly controlled diabetes and most times are almost irreversible and then there is total blindness, these are the major common eye problem in Nigeria”.
On computer digital syndrome, he noted that we live in an age where everyone is constantly on their laptop, phones or computers, this causes eyestrain.
“So, we advise you take occasional breaks from your system, also dim the resolution of your screen, or install an anti-glare screen to reduce the amount of light getting into the eyes. I also encourage people not to patronise roadside medication sellers because you might end up worsening the situation and then spend more money in the hospital.”
For Resident doctor at eye foundation hospital, Dr. Ogunbekun Oladapo, some eye conditions are inherited and runs in the family, “that is why when people come for diagnosis, you hear, do you have someone in the family who has same condition?
Conditions including Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, refractive error (short and long sightedness) are some that can be inherited.”
Speaking on steps to take when an elderly person finds out he has Cataract, Dr. Oladapo said, “he should visits the hospital, we will check the visual acuity and see if glasses can help him with the cataract, if glasses cannot improve his vision, then the best thing is surgery to take out the cataract and give him artificial lenses.”
According to the Head of Marketing, Naturesfield, Pharm. Abayomi Onasanya, “we can sacrifice a kidney to a loved one, but not a lot of people will consider it with their eyes. So at Natures’ Field, we are bringing the awareness that there is need to take care of the eyes; from childhood down to when we advance to adulthood because the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness in Nigeria is on the increase.”
He noted that having visited welding sites, they found out that the welders use methylated Balm and Paracetamol to take care of their eyes, hence they are determined to go the grassroots to ensure that the message of taking care of the eyesight is adhered to more seriously.
Project specialist at Xcene Research, Dr. Tolulope Akinnimi while commenting on children’s exposure to television screen, she noted that allowing children watch TV so closely causes dryness of the eye, hence it is important to educate them on the dangers of staying too close.
“People should watch what they put into their eyes. Using eye drops indiscriminately is not good. And maintaining proper diet with fruits and vegetables is healthy for the eyesight.”
On the use of contact lenses, Dr. Oladapo noted that it can affect the eye and lead to blindness if it is not well treated, “it causes redness of the eyes, the person will complain about pain, teary, or difficultly to see light. The eye has different sensitive tissues with its distinct functions.
“When the Cornea, which is the part where the contact lens covers, needs oxygen to survive and so using contact lens stops or reduces the amount of oxygen it needs. This can lead to melting of the cornea, as light cannot pass through into the eye. Hence if you must use contact lenses, it must be properly taken care of,” he said.
While Product manager, Naturesfield, Oladije Asaolu said the brand is constantly in tune and comes up with products that will consistently take care of our eyes as we grow older especially for managing Glaucoma and Cataracts, Onasanya added that the EyeCap supplement is good in the management of AMC and good to maintain and manage the eye.