LIGHT IN THE EYES

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Sight is the most developed human sense – according to research, about 2/3 of cerebral cortex are engaged in processing visual information. Sadly, we usually forget how important healthy eyes are, until the moment when the first problems appear.

Constant staring at the screens of smartphones, computers and TV, polluted air, driving, age, tobacco smoke, air conditioning: modern life abounds with factors provoking the appearance of the "dry eye" syndrome. The artificial tear eye-drops are the most common way for treatment of the condition, but by far not all drops are created equal. In some the effect diminishes after a long period of treatment or leaves you with the feeling that your eyes are drier than before the product's use.

The artificial tear Thealoz® Duo (www.synapsis.bg) stands out in the crowd. It is a combination of two natural ingredients (trehalose 3% and hyaluronic acid 0.15%) with repeated action for any kind of "dry eye." Hyaluronic acid preserves the water and sticks to the eye surface, thus hydrating and "lubricating" it. Trehalose improves the extended effect of the acid, reduces the applications with 50% and penetrates the epithelium cells, resulting in preservation of the cell membrane from dehydration and the proteins from denaturation. All of these make Thealoz® Duo a solution suitable for patients after ophthalmological surgery, wearers of contact lenses and everyone suffering from moderate to severe form of "dry eye."

Ophthalmological problems, however, can be much more serious. The most known are refractive errors (hypermetropia, myopia and astigmatism), and cataract. This disease is a clouding of the eye lens and it usually appears in elderly people. Cataract has been with humanity for so long, that developed ancient civilisations like the Indian and Chinese ones have made successful attempts at surgical treatment. Diseases of optic nerve are another large group, which includes glaucoma, which is the nerve's damage due to high intraocular pressure. This disease is a main cause for blindness. The complications affecting the retina include diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic eye, retinal detachment. The reasons for all these eye conditions are complex and can include genetic predisposition, other diseases, and the prolonged span of life, allowing their manifestation with time.

Happily, modern medicine offers increasingly reliable and high-technology opportunities for treatment. Laser treatment is not exotic anymore and is widely used by specialists in the world and Bulgaria, due to the improved safety of the surgery and its results, and the faster recovery of the patient. The new generation of excimer lasers gives good results in correction of high diopters, and femtosecond lasers are very efficient and precise in treatment of refractive conditions and cataracts.

Early diagnosis of glaucoma, while it is still at an early stage, is crucial for its successful treatment (if possible). Modern medicine applies for it technologies like computer perimetry for identification and follow-up of functional damages caused by glaucoma, and optical coherence tomography for precise analysis of the damaged tissues. The treatment can include drops, laser or surgery.

Unlike most other body tissues, the cornea (the transparent layer in front of the eye) doesn't contain blood vessels, but is nourished by tears and the aqueous humor. It can be affected by allergies, inflammations or "dry eye," but can also suffer dystrophies like keratoconus (progressive thinning of the cornea). The modern treatment of the cornea include laser surgery, transplantation, lamellar corneal graft, implantation of artificial cornea.

For three years now in Den Eye Clinic (Sofia, 21 Rositsa St, phone: +359 2 983 2028, www.eyeclinic-den.com) is performed something revolutionary new for Bulgaria – lamellar transplantation of cornea. This is something radically different from the existing perforative corneal graft. With the new method, the damaged layer of the cornea is removed and replaced with cornea from a donor material. This is the most precise transplantation possible at the moment, meaning that in some cases a lamella only 20-25 microns thin is being replaced. Thus, the integrity of the eye is preserved, the morphological and optical properties of the cornea are incomparably better, the post-surgery period is several times shorter, and the patient can quickly go back to his normal way of life. At the moment this is the most innovative method for cornea transplantation, gaining a worldwide recognition and popularity among ophthalmologists. In Bulgaria, it is performed only in Den Eye Clinic.

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