Sun, Jan 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ophthalmologist lists risk factors for ocular strokes

By Lin Ching  /  Staff reporter

An ophthalmologist urged people with high blood pressure, high blood lipids and high blood sugar — commonly known as the “three highs” — to refrain from overindulging in TV or video games to reduce their risk of an ocular stroke amid seasonal weather changes.

Taoyuan General Hospital Department of Ophthalmology director Wang Cheung-kei (王璋驥) said that blood vessels in the eyes of people with the three highs are more likely to suddenly contract or dilate in response to abrupt temperature changes, causing the vessels to rupture or become blocked — eventually leading retinal necrosis.

“Elderly people and those with a sedentary lifestyle are also at higher risk for eye strokes, as traveling long distances and playing video games or mahjong for long hours could impede circulation in the lower body and cause small blood clots that might block vessels in the eyes and cause an eye stroke,” Wang said.

Very few people have fully recovered from an eye stroke, Wang said, adding that the rest have permanently impaired vision, Wang said.

Emphasizing the role of prevention, Wang said that people with the three highs are urged to improve their diets by avoiding fatty foods, to refrain from staying up late, to keep warm and to regularly have their retinal blood vessels examined.

“As eye stroke cannot be detected from the surface, people tend to confuse the condition with a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which is bleeding underneath the lining of the inside of the eyelids caused by rubbing, sleep deprivation or conjunctivitis,” Wang said.

Such hemorrhages — which are common — heal naturally, the specialist added.

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