There are a lot of diseases that affect our eyes without any warning. That is why it is imperative that we visit our eye doctor so he can determine the onset of an eye condition before it even progresses. He is more than capable of evaluating and assessing your visual status so that you have an idea of what needs to be maintained and what changes need to be done to avoid eye damage.
Below is a list of the most common eye diseases that a majority of eye specialists have confirmed. Whether we are 14 or 40, it would be wise to learn about these disorders so that we will be made aware of the signs and symptoms and contact our eye doctor if we begin to notice some of them in ourselves and our loved ones.
- This condition occurs when there is increased pressure within one’s eyeball, eventually causing visual loss. Glaucoma is more common in people 50 years old and above. Once the pressure increases, the optic nerve is impaired and the patient will notice a gradual loss of eyesight. Blurred vision, painful eyes, and red eyes are among the most obvious symptoms of this condition. In acute cases, glaucoma may be treated with eye drops and oral medications.
- Dry Eye. Commonly seen in older individuals, dry eye happens when there are not enough tears to lubricate the eyes due to the instability of the tear glands. Producing a normal amount of tears is necessary to maintain clear vision. When the tear glands are not functioning normally, the patient experiences pain, watery eyes, redness inside the eyes, and inconsistent vision. In chronic cases, minor surgery is required. Otherwise, dry eye can be alleviated by regular use of eye drops.
“If your eye doctor recommends that you use one or more brands or formulations of artificial tears, be sure to follow the directions he or she gives you concerning when and how often you use them,” says Richard Adler, MD. “Do not substitute other brands from those your eye doctor recommends,” he added.
- Macular Degeneration. Defined as the damage of the macula of the retina, macular degeneration is the primary cause of irreversible vision loss in individuals who are more than 60 years old. In this eye disorder, there is difficulty in identifying images appropriately due to the impaired retina, therefore causing a loss of clear connection between the eye and the brain. The patient usually presents with trouble driving, reading, and recognizing colors and faces. Sadly, not much can be done for people with macular degeneration, and those who have this condition are advised to protect their eyes from further damage through exercise, diet, and keeping themselves protected from the sun.
- When your mom or dad tells you that they feel like their vision is kind of ‘foggy,’ you can usually blame that on this eye condition. A cataract is a visual impairment wherein there is a clouding of the lens of the eyes usually due to old age. Evidence proves that at 80, over 50% of Americans will have experienced having cataracts. Fortunately, these can be removed through surgery and one’s vision can be restored to its normal state. Cataracts can occur in one or both of your eyes.
- Diabetic Retinopathy. Technically speaking, diabetic retinopathy is diabetes in the eye. Consequently, people who have diabetes and have high blood sugar levels will suffer from this eye disorder for the most part of their diabetic life. When blood circulation to the eye is not normal (due to too much sugar in the blood), the patient’s vision is diminished or ultimately lost. A thorough assessment of the eye must be done regularly. Laser treatment can also help improve or cure this eye disorder.
“The condition is often at an advanced stage when symptoms become noticeable,” says Daniel Murell, MD. He also said that “on occasion, the only detectable symptom is a sudden and complete loss of vision.”
- Ocular Allergy. Simply put, these are eye allergies that are caused by various factors, such as the environment. People with year-round or seasonal allergies often experience itching, redness, inflammation, and occasional pain. The symptoms can be reduced or alleviated through oral medications and eye drops.
According to Odalys Mendoza, MD, “people who have eye allergies commonly have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. It is usually a temporary condition associated with seasonal allergies.”
You will realize that these eye conditions are more common than you think. That is why it is imperative for us and for our loved ones to undergo regular eye checkup and evaluation. Vision is one of the most essential senses that one can have. Let us take care of our ‘windows’ and not lose sight of our overall healthy journey – including our eye health.