Keep your eyes healthy.jpg

Keep your eyes healthy

By: DR THOMAS KAISER

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Dr Thomas Kaiser is the Medical Director of the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre and is a specialist in good traditional General Practice for the whole family, state of the art aesthetic and cosmetic medicine.

DEAR READER,

Our two eyes are very precious organs. A lot of emphasis is put on fashion these days when it comes to eye care. I feel that the motto “form follows function” is particularly important when it comes to our sight.

What follows are essential tips to maintain good eyesight and still look good.

1. In depth eye tests are best done by an ophthalmologist, especially when you suspect a problem. After that medical assessment of the situation you can go to a recommended optician. Have your eyes tested every year. Small changes to your eyesight could be important but may  not be obvious to you.

2. Wear  sun glasses. A definite must in the Algarve. Eyes can also suffer sunburns. You will get wrinkly sooner if you have to squeeze your eyelids together all the time.

3. Headaches can be caused by vision problems. If you have unexplained and frequent migraines an appointment with the eye specialist could show the cause.

4. I have often seen giddiness caused by varifocal glasses, especially in the first week of wearing them. This is mostly a temporary effect.

5. Underperformance in school could be due to not seeing the teacher or her writings on the board. Children’s eyes should also be checked regularly.

6. Contact lenses are wonderful things. However, conjunctivitis with contacts often takes a serious course. If you suspect infection take the contacts out and see a specialist asap.

7. Shortsightedness can be a cause of strong and unsightly facial wrinkles like angerlines. This occurs because patients have to strain their eyes all day.

8. Botox was first used in the treatment of squinting and is still used a lot for this problem. The dosages are much higher than in cosmetic treatments and safe, also in children.

9. Every patient with high blood pressure and diabetes should see the ophthalmologist once a year. Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries.

10. Shortsightedness can be corrected by LASIK, LASEK and other techniques. Miracle cure in the right patient. Make sure you go to a specialist with great experience.

11. Cataract surgery is these days mostly done on an outpatient basis under local anaesthetic. Small procedure, big effect.

12. Blepharoplasties (an eye job in cosmetic surgery terms) can give a good  functional improvement to your sight. Sometimes eyelids obstruct the view or even touch the glasses. Also a procedure that can be done under “a local”.

13. Visual disturbances can be due to a stroke. Never assume, always check with an expert.

14.Floaters are generally harmless degenerations of the vitreous. They can be confused with retinal detachments in an initial stage. Only the eye surgeon can tell the difference. Treatment is available and works best early on in the course of the illness.

15. New treatment for macular degeneration, a common form of later in life onset of impaired sight, is available. This treatment is in injection form. One of the few centres for this treatment is the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre.

16.Glaucoma, high pressure in the eye,  is a silent threat to your sight. It can only be detected if the pressure is measured with a special gadget.

17.Conjunctivitis can be viral, bacterial or irritative. Particularly dangerous is herpes conjunctivitis. Effective treatment is available through your GP or eye specialist.

Dear Reader, the bad news are that ophthalmologists is a rare species in the UK and more so in Portugal. The good news though is that with Dr. Alen Sulzbacher, we are lucky to have a new very valued team member at the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre. Dr. Alen trained at prestigious hospitals like the University Hospital Tübingen and at the Moorfields Hospital in London.

Best health wishes, Your Doctor Thomas Kaiser.

For more information, please call Dr Kaiser on 289 398 009.