Doctor, doctor: On night owls and a fear of detached retina | Dr Tom Smith

A relative recently underwent emergency surgery for a detached retina. Now I have developed similar, early symptoms – specifically, flashing lights at the corner of both eyes – which were also the early signs for him. I'm told I have slight shrinkage of the vitreous element (the fluid in the chamber behind the lens), but that my retinas are intact. How can I prevent further deterioration of the eyeball, so preventing or reducing the risk of a detached retina in the future?
If you are looking for any dietary or physical action that you can initiate to prevent retinal detachment, then I'm afraid I haven't an answer for you. It's important to see an optometrist regularly, and to take advice from an ophthalmologist. You need to discuss your particular risk with the specialist, who should then be able to guide you on what you can do and what you should avoid. If you continue to have flashing lights, or showers of black "floaters", you need urgent attention. Presumably you don't smoke (smoking harms the circulation in the eyes) and you have normal blood pressure. If this is not the case, you must stop smoking and take steps to ensure that your blood pressure is brought under good control.

Is it true that the time of day you are born is linked later to the time you are at your most lively, thereby dividing us into night-time people and morning people?  
According to the old wives' tale, we are at our brightest in the evenings if we were born then and in the mornings if we emerged in the early hours. However, it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Some years ago, thousands of New Zealanders were asked whether they worked or felt best in the mornings or evenings, dividing them into "larks" and "owls". Then they were asked about their birth time, their social habits, their work and their ethnic backgrounds. None of these aspects of their lives was particularly linked to their "lark" or "owl" preferences. Naturally, people on night shifts were thought of as "owls", but that was usually because of necessity and not initial choice.

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus