Ti­red ey­es, or is it so­mething mo­re?

George Herald - - News -

It's SA Na­ti­o­nal Eye Ca­re A­wa­re­ness Month from 23 Sep­tem­ber to 18 Oc­to­ber, and to mark the oc­ca­si­on, No­var­tis South A­fri­ca has cal­led on South A­fri­cans to pay clo­ser at­ten­ti­on to eye ca­re and the symp­toms of eye di­se­a­ses.

"Com­mon eye pro­blems can ran­ge from ti­red, red ey­es through to de­te­ri­o­ra­ting vi­si­on," says Dr Ni­co­la Lis­ter, c­hief s­cien­ti­fic of­fi­cer and me­di­cal di­rec­tor at No­var­tis South A­fri­ca. Ey­es can be­co­me red and so­re sim­ply from wor­king too long on a com­pu­ter; or they could be­co­me red and it­chy from al­ler­gies. If red­ness and it­ching per­sist, ask your doc­tor or phar­ma­cist a­bout an an­ti­al­ler­gy eye drop that will help re­du­ce the­se symp­toms. Ho­we­ver, a num­ber of mo­re se­ri­ous con­di­ti­ons are com­mon in South A­fri­ca, and the­se need ur­gent at­ten­ti­on to pre­vent furt­her de­te­ri­o­ra­ti­on and loss of vi­si­on. The­se in­clu­de:

Glau­co­ma is the build-up of pres­su­re in­si­de the eye, which can cau­se per­ma­nent da­ma­ge if left untre­a­ted. In South A­fri­ca it is es­ti­ma­ted that a­bout 200 000 pe­op­le are af­fected. Glau­co­ma is most of­ten seen in ol­der a­dults, and be­cau­se it is of­ten pain­less, ma­ny pe­op­le de­lay scree­n­ing and tre­at­ment. Symp­toms in­clu­de re­du­ced a­re­as of vi­si­on and blur­red vi­si­on.

A ca­ta­ract is a clou­ding of the lens in­si­de the eye, le­a­ding to a de­cre­a­se in vi­si­on in one or both ey­es. It is a com­mon cau­se of blind­ness in South A­fri­ca, and can de­ve­lop due to ageing, cer­tain me­di­cal con­di­ti­ons or trau­ma to the eye. Ca­ta­ract is re­spon­si­ble for 51% of wor­ld blind­ness, which re­pre­sents a­bout 20 mil­li­on pe­op­le. Sur­ge­ry has pro­ved to be effective in tre­a­ting ca­ta­racts.

Age-re­la­ted ma­cu­lar de­ge­ne­ra­ti­on

Age-re­la­ted ma­cu­lar de­ge­ne­ra­ti­on (AMD) is a con­di­ti­on af­fecting ol­der pe­op­le, and in­vol­ves the loss of the per­son's cen­tral field of vi­si­on. It occurs w­hen the ma­cu­lar (or cen­tral) re­ti­na de­ve­lops de­ge­ne­ra­ti­ve le­si­ons. A­round the wor­ld, AMD ranks thi­rd as a cau­se of blind­ness af­ter ca­ta­ract and glau­co­ma. AMD can­not be cu­red, but it can be tre­a­ted to keep it from get­ting wor­se.

The­re are ther­a­pies that tre­at both front and back-of-the-eye dis­or­ders, in­clu­ding re­ti­nal di­se­a­ses, glau­co­ma, dry eye and ot­her ex­ter­nal eye di­se­a­ses, and re­se­ar­chers are wor­king on no­vel ther­a­pies to ad­dress the root cau­ses of cer­tain dis­or­ders.

Food sa­fe­ty was on e­ver­yo­ne's lips du­ring the ce­le­bra­ti­on of

Wor­ld En­vi­ron­men­tal He­alth Day last Wed­nes­day, 26 Sep­tem­ber. A highly success­ful in­te­racti­ve in­for­ma­ti­on ses­si­on was held at the T­hem­ba­let­hu com­mu­ni­ty hall, at­ten­ded by in­for­mal and for­mal food and me­at tra­ders, small far­mers, ca­terers, crè­che cooks and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers from T­hem­ba­let­hu.

This y­e­ar marks the se­venth ce­le­bra­ti­on of the e­vent in South A­fri­ca, in re­cog­ni­ti­on of the need to im­pro­ve en­vi­ron­men­tal he­alth to pro­tect hu­man he­alth. The the­me for 2018 is "Glo­bal Food Sa­fe­ty and Sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty", ai­ming to sup­port the pro­vi­si­on of sa­fer food, cul­ti­va­te sus­tai­na­ble use of pre­ci­ous wa­ter and nu­trient re­sour­ces and en­coura­ge com­mu­ni­ties to in­cre­a­singly va­lue sus­tai­na­ble food pro­ducti­on, dis­tri­bu­ti­on and con­sump­ti­on.

The ob­jecti­ves of the e­vent we­re to e­du­ca­te, share and dis­cuss the le­gal re­qui­re­ments in the food in­du­stry as well as ma­jor thre­ats to food sa­fe­ty, in par­ti­cu­lar the in­cor­rect hand­ling of food­stuff; cli­ma­te chan­ge; an­ti­mi­cro­bi­al re­sis­tan­ce; an­ti­bi­o­ti­cs in me­at; food was­ta­ge and access to sa­fe wa­ter and che­mi­cals. To­ny Dy­ers of the Ve­te­ri­na­ri­an Ser­vi­ce de­li­ver­ed a pre­sen­ta­ti­on on me­at sa­fe­ty, fol­lo­wed by Dr Dy­a­son of the De­part­ment of A­gri­cul­tu­re, who shared facts a­bout ra­bies in a­ni­mals. The En­vi­ron­men­tal He­alth Practi­ti­o­ners (EHPs) of the Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pal He­alth Of­fi­ce en­lig­h­te­ned at­ten­dees on coun­ter­feit food­stuffs; "be­st be­fo­re" da­tes and the fi­ve keys to sa­fer food. Com­pi­led by Mi­chel­le Pie­naar

Pho­to: No­var­tis

The­re are ther­a­pies that tre­at both front and back-of-the-eye dis­or­ders, in­clu­ding re­ti­nal di­se­a­ses, glau­co­ma, dry eye and ot­her ex­ter­nal eye di­se­a­ses.

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