Thursday, May 6, 2010

Take good care of your eyes...

With the advancement in science and technology, and the breakthroughs in medicine and in related fields, we still wonder, why are there so many sicknesses and illnesses that don't have cure, some ancient, and some, just discovered too?

It's the paradox of our times.

Read on...

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When eye drops won't help
By Tan Hui Leng, TODAY


SINGAPORE: You may suffer from inflamed, irritated eyes and be prescribed eye drops to sooth your woes. Such a condition used to be diagnosed as iritis. And while some are acute, erupting suddenly, many patients would have chronic inflammation of the eye for years.

A Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) study has discovered that a common virus may be causing the condition.

The centre's head of Ocular Inflammation and Immunology Service, Associate Professor Chee Soon Phaik, found that 41.7 per cent of patients who suffer from iritis are infected with the cytomegalovirus, which — up till recently — had been associated with HIV-patients who are prone to retinal infections.

"We used to just see infections in the retina until we saw a chronic infection in the cornea," said Assoc Prof Chee.

Many such patients also have iritis. But it was only in 2003 when the first iritis patient tested positive for cytomegalovirus that a worrying trend started to emerge.

The Eye Care Revolution: Prevent and Reverse Common Vision ProblemsSince then, Assoc Prof Chee has seen 70 cases of iritis patients testing positive for cytomegalovirus. Of these, 40 per cent — who are usually in their 20s and 30s — have acute iritis, which may develop into glaucoma. The rest — typically males over 57 years old — have chronic iritis.

While not debilitating, patients with the infection are normally prescribed steroid eye drops, which have been found to aggravate the situation, requiring a transplant later.

Treatment for ctomegalovirus is expensive, with non-subsidised antiviral drugs costing some S$200 per tablet. In three months, a patient can spend as much as S$11,000.

Still, the rate of relapse is 75 per cent.

SNEC's 70 patients are still undergoing treatment, and the centre is pioneering research on such infections and its treatment.

Alcon ICaps Multivitamin Eye Vitamin & Mineral Support, Coated Tablets , 100 tabletsCurrently, there have been a few case studies of cytomegalovirus of the eye worldwide and data suggests that Asians are more prone it. - TODAY/fa

Taken from ChannelNewsAsia.com, Health - Sunday, 14-March-2010
When eye drops won't help
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