Long time ago, in the prehistoric era when the only screens in our lives were TV ones, the adult worried that long hours of watching TV would damage our eyesight. Oh, times of bliss! Today we have dozens more excuses to keep our eyes glued to a screen of some sort for hours on end: smartphones and desktops, large TV sets and electronic readers, smart watches and tablets. According to a survey conducted in the USA in 2017, the average adult spends 9 days and 22 minutes per day in front of some type of screen.
Of course, staring for long in screens doesn't cause blindness. Yet eyes get strained and the discomfort that comes with this is unpleasant enough. But while one type of modern technologies have a negative effect on the eye sight, another is created to help in treatment of diseases and conditions that until recently were for life.
Among them are refractive defects (shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism), cataract (dimming of the eye lens) and glaucoma (nerve damage due to high intraocular pressure), macular degeneration of the cornea and diabetic eye, retinal detachment. Some of these conditions are genetically predisposed and to a large degree materialise as a result of the increased lifespan in modern Western society.
In the past 20 years or so, contemporary ophthalmology is going through a remarkable development. It steps on the implementation of laser treatment and reconstruction, refined methods for early diagnosis and corneal transplantation.
For four years now in Eye Clinic Den (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.
Modern methods for ophthalmological treatment have many advantages. Laser treatment is effective and pain-free, and the patient goes back quickly to his usual everyday life. The new generation of excimer lasers, for example, provides good results in correction of high diopters, and femtosecond lasers are incredibly precise in treatment of refractive conditions and cataracts.
St Nikolay Eye Medical Center and its clinics in Varna and Burgas (Burgas, 2 Dame Gruev Blvd, phone: 056 711 112; Varna, 12 Nikulitsel St, phone: 052 630 670; www.eyecenterstnikolay.com) is among the places in Bulgaria that unleash the full potential of contemporary laser surgery for correction and treatment of ophthalmological conditions. Under the guidance of the experienced surgeon Dr Plamen Hubanov, the qualified specialists at St Nikolay use retinal laser for treatment of diabetes, macular degeneration, vascular diseases and peripheral retinal degenerations. The YAG laser is used for treatment of secondary cataract, while the SLT laser provides painless and quick treatment of open-angle glaucoma, which can be performed multiple times. The iLasik excimer laser for its part is applied in fast, pain-free and precise vision correction. Thanks to the latest generation of lasers, in the St Nikolay clinics are performed laser corrections of eyesight and surgical treatment of cataract and glaucoma. The clinics offer as well the whole range of ophthalmological examinations for adults and children.