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Rheumatic and eye diseases: early recognition is essential

rheumatic eye diseases

From World Sight Day to a balanced diet to combat arthritis, prevention remains the key to resolving disease

Rheumatic and eye diseases are among the pathologies that increase their incidence with age and it is not always easy to recognize them.

In this study we will see that the early recognition of these diseases and prevention can be a concrete help for the resolution of the pathology.

Rheumatic diseases, in fact, are pathologies that concern the inflammation of the joints such as ligaments, tendons, bones or muscles and which, although in some cases, can also involve other organs.

In the case of rheumatic diseases it is important to diagnose them in the early stage, as, if not correctly diagnosed and consequently treated, they can lead to the loss of functionality of the inflamed structures and also to the involvement of organs. As the Umberto Veronesi Foundation states, it frequently happens that the symptoms are neglected and, therefore, not treated.

rheumatic eye diseases

Rheumatic diseases: a combination of genetic and environmental factors

The causes attributable to rheumatic diseases are to be found in a combination of genetic and environmental factors . You can be born with a genetic predisposition to develop the disease but then, but in most cases, an external stimulus is needed for the first symptoms to appear. In particular, by external stimulus we mean a virus.

One virus responsible for the onset of symptoms of rheumatic diseases is the Epstein-Barr virus. One of the typical symptoms of rheumatic disease is arthritis , i.e. pain, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints, but also symptoms that refer more to internal organs, such as for example difficulty breathing, the inability to digest some foods or kidney failure or fever and excessive tiredness.

It is natural to ask, therefore, whether it is possible to prevent rheumatic diseases . There is no real way to prevent a predisposition to the development of rheumatic diseases, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle , characterized by a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can help counteract and delay their appearance.

The important advice is to rely on a rheumatologist specialist to receive a safe diagnosis and a specific and efficient treatment path.

Just about the cure, the treatment is based on taking drugs that serve to improve the symptoms and keep the disease under control. The therapy therefore also includes regular physical activity, a balanced diet, a reduction of stress factors and, last but not least, sun protection also plays a fundamental role.

Sometimes, even surgery may be necessary when the disease seriously damages a joint, as in the case of isolated arthritis. In this case, only through surgery is it possible to contrast the effects and symptoms deriving from the rheumatic disease, which can become disabling for the person.

There are various diseases that can affect an elderly person , but eye diseases are particularly widespread. In fact, with advancing age, some visual defects may appear which must be treated immediately to avoid aggravation over time.

Eye diseases: presbyopia, cataracts and glaucoma

In particular, presbyopia can appear starting from the age of 40 and continue to progress and therefore worsen up to the age of 60. It is a visual disease that can in fact be solved very well through progressive lenses. To avoid a drastic progression of the disease, it is essential to rely on your ophthalmologist as soon as you notice the first signs of a possible presbyopia.

Cataract is another visual defect that can appear from the age of 60-65. It is characterized by the formation of a veil that prevents light from reaching the retina. In this sense, the colors can appear duller and the lights intense and sometimes dazzling. This type of eye disease can only be resolved surgically, by constructing an implant that replaces the crystalline lens and allows total recovery of normal vision.

To date, cataract correction surgery is one of the most performed in the world.

Glaucoma is another type of eye disease, much more serious than presbyopia and cataracts, as

causes the visual field to decrease. Its main feature, which is also the most serious because it does not allow the patient to promptly recognize the defect, is the fact that it develops very slowly with the gradual onset of the visual field restriction.

Initially it involves the loss of peripheral vision, and later also the central one. In the absence of specific treatments, this type of visual defect becomes permanent, causing the vision loss to become irreversible.

Initial therapy is medical: the attending physician usually prescribes one or more eye drops that reduce intraocular pressure; in this way the patient administers a drop of eye drops into the eye one or more times a day, depending on the doctor's prescription. It is important to maintain the right regularity for the treatment to be effective.

However, when medical therapy is not sufficient to reduce the progression of the damage, parasurgical laser treatments and/or surgery are used.

Regarding the causes, glaucoma can arise after the age of 40 and does not concern heredity, but rather direct familiarity; in fact, children of glaucoma parents are more likely to suffer from glaucoma in adulthood. In any case, it is essential to carry out periodic screening against the pathology.

However, it should be stated that the surgical approach represents only 4-5% of cases.

Eye diseases are extremely widespread, and prevention is important , as the Ministry of Health also states in order to recognize them early and treat them promptly. Prevention that also involves small daily measures that prevent the degeneration of the retina or the aging of the lens, such as wearing glasses with a blue light filter , which can have harmful effects on vision.

Talking about rheumatic and eye diseases is extremely important because, especially with age, they can cause discomfort and difficulties.

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