Eye Problems Suffered In The Third World

Many eye charities exist to help with eye problems in the Third World that sadly are largely preventable and treatable but often result in the sufferer becoming irreparably blind due to lack of early care and attention when most needed.

Worst Areas For Eye Disease

A very debilitating disease that is common in the Middle East and Africa is trachoma, which is a highly contagious bacterial infection which attacks the eyelids, the cornea and the conjunctiva of the eye. Untreated it causes scarring, ultimately of the cornea which can result in a great or total loss of vision. It is most common in areas of poverty where there is no proper hygiene and clean water. For those who cannot work, they can face destitution and starvation.

Trachoma can be spread by flies or insects carrying secretions of the infection on their legs or bodies, or by direct or indirect contact with fluids from the eye, nose or throat of an infected individual via polluted water or shared towels.

Can Trachoma Be Prevented?
The disease can be halted by prompt treatment and by hygiene lessons to parents and children to prevent further spread of the disease. For example, learning not to share towels if there is an infected sufferer within the family or for a village to build a covered latrine which prevents flies breeding.

Cataracts In The Third World
In other developing countries, many of the older population have severely impaired sight due to untreated cataracts and may be virtually blind as a result. The cataracts may be due to a previous injury to the eye, to diabetes, be an age-related deterioration of the eye or due to exposure to bright sunlight constantly without protective eyewear. (Something field workers may suffer.)
In developed countries, cataracts are routinely operated upon but in rural areas of India and Africa, the elderly often are resigned to losing their sight and an operation on cataracts carried out by a charity can seem to be like an unexpected miracle.

A Parasitic Infection Of The Eye
The Filarial worm is an opportunistic parasite which is very common and said to be one of the most common causes of blindness in the world – known as river blindness. The parasite is a leech which latches on to the eyeball and is transferred by mosquitoes who bite an infected host and then another, passing on the infection. There is a drug to treat the condition but the best prevention is avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes.
Fortunately today, modern medicine and medical research have shown how to prevent such damaging eye diseases and how to treat them if contracted.

Charlotte blogs about eyes, vision and health for prescription glasses online provider DirectSight.


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