Patient Instructions

1. Cataract – surgery

You have a thick cataract in one (or both) of your eyes.  This means that the lens inside  your eye became cloudy. This usually happens from age. The only way to improve your eyesight will be with an operation. Glasses, eye drops or drugs are not going to help. We can remove the cataract and place a new clear plastic lens in one of your eyes.  If you would like for us to do this we can schedule the operation. It is very likely that your vision is going to improve following the operation but there is a small chance it will not. Please think about this and let us know if you would like to have the operation. Also let us know if you have any questions.

 

2. Cataract – but no surgery yet

You have a cataract in one (or both) of your eyes. Someday one of the cataracts may need to be removed with an operation but not now. The cataracts are not thick enough. You should come back to the clinic when the eye team is here next year for another evaluation. Cataracts can only be removed with an operation so eye drops and drugs will not help. Thank you for understanding that we cannot do the operation this year.

 

3. Glaucoma – no treatment possible

You have a disease called glaucoma. This occurs when the pressure inside the eye becomes very high. It causes the blood vessels in the back of the eye to become closed so the blood cannot get to the optic nerve. The damage that has occurred to your eyes cannot be repaired. There is no operation that will help. Eye drops and drugs will not help your particular kind of glaucoma. I am sorry that is nothing we can do because we came here to be of service. But nothing will improve your eyesight. Please, have your children checked out for glaucoma by Dr Kofi, as they might also have it. If it is treated early, vision loss can be prevented.

 

4. Glaucoma – surgery

You have a disease called glaucoma. This occurs when the pressure inside the eye becomes very high. It causes the small blood vessels in the back of the eye to become closed so the blood cannot get to the optic nerve. The damage that has occurred to your eyes cannot be reversed and it will worsen until you go blind unless we can lower your eye-pressure. There is an operation which can be done in an effort to reduce the pressure in one of your eyes. This is the best possibility for stopping or slowing down the loss of your eyesight. Without the surgery you are going to go completely blind soon. The surgery is NOT going to make to see better, it will only prevent you from going blind. Sometimes the surgery may make your vision worse at the beginning, but it is better than doing nothing in your case.

 

5. Injury

An injury happened to one of your eyes which has caused great damage. There is no treatment possible for this eye. An operation will not help. Eye drops and drugs will not help. I am very sorry that there is nothing we can do. Your bad eye is not going to damage your good eye in any way. You should take very good care of your good eye. It should serve you well.

 

6. Scars in the back of the eye

The reason you are having trouble seeing is the presence of scars in the back of the eye. The eyesight is not good because the scars are getting in the way. The scars came because of trouble in the blood vessels. We cannot make the scars go away. This means we cannot make you see better. An operation will not help. Eye drops and drugs will not help. I am very sorry that there is nothing we can do. Your bad eye is not going to damage your good eye in any way.

 

7. Basic infection

There is an infection in your eyes. Special eye drops will be given to you which you should use as explained. Just put one drop in each time. Use the drops until the bottle is empty. Please wash your hands very often to prevent spread of the infection.

 

8. Irritation and burning of the eyes

Many people have irritation of the eyes. This can be caused by dust, sunshine, smoke, dryness, rubbing the eyes with fingers that are not clean, and many other things. The irritation in your case is very likely from the dusty environment you live in. The best way to care for this problem is to boil some water, allowing it to cool, and dropping the water into your eyes. You should also wet a clean cloth with this water and drape it over your eyes for a few minutes while you are lying down. You can do all this several times a day, using that same water which was boiled earlier.

 

9. Pterygium – no surgery

You have a growth on the front surface of the eye which is very common. This comes from exposure to sunlight. If this growth becomes very large it can be removed. There is no need to remove yours this year because it is small and does not interfere with your vision. Please wear sunglasses if it is sunny outside to prevent the growth of the pterygium.

 

10. Pterygium – surgery

You have a growth on the front surface of the eye which comes from exposure to sunlight. This has become very close to the center of the eye and needs to be removed. We can scrape this growth away. Sometimes the growth will come back and have to be removed again in a year or so, but in most cases this will not happen.

You should wear sunglasses when outside to prevent recurrence of the pterygium.

 

11. Eye fatigue

Because you are using 8 muscles in each eye all day long, it is possible for your eyes to feel tired or strained. This is especially likely to happen if you do a lot of close work or if you are outside in the sunshine. Students are very likely to have this problem. You should know that this is not serious and it will not cause you to lose vision. There are no magical eye drops which will cure this problem because you will continue to need to use your eye muscles and the fatigue will come and go no matter what medicine you put into your eyes. For this reason we do not recommend any treatment. You just need to know you are fine and you do not need to worry.

 

12. Spots before the eyes

You are seeing spots before your eyes. These spots are coming from small membranes floating in the fluid inside the eye. This is very common and in your case it is not serious. There is no treatment necessary and eye drops and drugs will not help. In time many of the spots may go away.

 

13. Corneal scars

The reason for your poor eyesight is scar formation on your cornea. The cornea is the clear part of your eye through which light must enter in order for you to see. In your case the cornea is cloudy and light enters poorly. Many diseases can cause scars to form in the cornea. The problem is that we cannot make the scars go away. There is no drop or medicine which will clear the cloudiness and we cannot do surgery on your corneas. Your bad eye is not going to damage your good eye in any way.

 

14. Reading problem

Because of your age you have trouble seeing close. This is a normal part of the aging of the eyes and is very common with people who are above 40 years old. You need reading glasses to perform near tasks like reading, sawing, etc. These glasses are not supposed to be worn for distance, as it makes distance vision blurry. Please, try to read with one of the glasses the staff gives you for 10 minutes. If you get a headache, ask for a weaker one. The glasses are supposed to be cleaned daily by wiping it with a clean cloth.

 

15. Headache

Your headache is not coming from your eyes. It can come from many different reasons, like smoke inside your house, not getting enough sleep, having anemia from not eating healthy, having high blood pressure or other diseases.

You can take a pill for headache which will help temporarily but after a few hours the headache might return.

 

16. Trachoma

The examination has determined that you have trachoma, which is an infection caused by a germ. This can cause scars to form on your eyelids and eyeballs, and it must be killed. We will give you medications to kill the germs now, and you should keep your eyelids clean. This is best done with face and hand cleansing using soap and water. Wash your face twice a day and your hands even more frequently. Never rub your eyes with dirty hands and do not let flies get close to your eyes or the eyes of children.

 

17. Trachoma – surgery

An infection has caused your eyelids to turn under so the eyelashes are rubbing on your eyeball. This is causing scars to form on your eye which is hurting your eyesight and could make you go blind. We can do an operation to straighten the lids and get the eyelashes away from your eyes. This will not make your vision perfect but will stop the rubbing, helping you to feel better and preventing blindness at this time. You will also need to use medicine to stop the infection and you will need to always keep your hands and face as clean as possible.

 

For the interpreters

Many patients ask for eye drops or drugs. Please know that if these things might help we will use them. But many problems will NOT be helped by drops or medicines, and we would be DECEIVING the patients if we gave them something which will not help. Please explain to the patients that we are telling them the truth and we are not deceiving them. If medicines or drops will not help then we will not use them. It is best to know the truth even if it is with some sadness.