The most common eye conditions/diseases
March 8, 2023
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Like any other organs in our body, our eyes are also prone to various diseases and infections due to genetic reasons, age, lifestyle, accidents, etc. While most eye problems can be cured if identified early and treated properly, some cannot be treated or cured. The best way to keep your eyes healthy is by getting them checked at a reputed eye clinic near you regularly.
Your vision starts deteriorating once you start aging. Other reasons contributing to eye diseases can be controlled by simple changes in lifestyle. Some of the most common eye problems and conditions are:
Refractive error is an eye condition that is seen even at a young age. The eye loses its ability to focus on an object, and clear vision is only attained with the help of a corrective glass prescribed by the doctor. Some of the most common refractive errors are myopia or near-sightedness, hyperopia or far-sightedness, astigmatism or distorted vision, and presbyopia.
Astigmatism is when the eyes are not completely round and you experience wavy or blurry vision. Some people are born with astigmatism and often with eye surgery and the use of corrective glasses and lenses, it can be treated.
Presbyopia occurs between 40-50 years of age when you start losing the ability to focus your eye and to read books or newspapers, you need to hold it far away to see clearly. Refractive errors can be corrected by the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and even surgery in some cases.
Corneal Abrasion occurs when dirt or sand gets stuck in the eyes, and in an effort to get rid of it, rubbing them can cause a tear or scratch in the eyes. When you rub them too hard or poke your nails into them, corneal abrasion can occur. Symptoms of corneal abrasion are pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, redness, burning or stinging sensation, etc.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that occurs due to aging, harming the central vision. In AMD, the macula which is the central area of the retina is damaged. To see objects with clarity, central vision is necessary without which driving, reading or such routine activity may become tedious.
AMD can be Wet or Dry. While Dry AMD is the initial stage of macular degeneration, Wet AMD is the advanced stage of the condition. Symptoms associated with AMD include seeing distorted images, losing visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity.
Treatments like laser therapy and the use of drugs will damage the abnormal blood vessels and prevent severe loss of vision and slow down the progress of the disease.
Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition in which the retina detaches from its tissue, the condition becomes serious when left untreated leading to complete blindness. You may not experience any pain or warning signs but symptoms include vision problems like seeing floaters, flashing lights, seeing wiggly lines or dark spots, poor side vision etc. Retinal detachment can be treated by laser therapy and other surgical treatments.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness across the world. In this condition, the eye lens becomes cloudy and milky white. Effective, quick, and advanced surgery is now available for cataracts with no or reduced risk and faster recovery time. Cataracts occur in people when they start to age usually, from the age of 40 and above. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy or blurry vision, seeing glare around lights at night, difficulty in seeing at night, sensitivity to bright light, unclear vision even with glasses and contact lenses, etc.
Diabetes is the main cause and the biggest risk factor of Diabetic Retinopathy and one of the leading causes of blindness. Increased blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina causing them to swell, leak or even stop the blood flow to the retina.
Though the initial symptoms may not be clearly visible in people having diabetic retinopathy some of them may experience seeing floaters, blurred or distorted vision, seeing faded colours, poor night vision, seeing dark spots, etc.
Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with surgery and also by changing your lifestyle and keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness damaging the eye’s optic nerve. In glaucoma, intraocular pressure, or the pressure inside the eyes increases causing obstruction in the transmission of images to the brain. Glaucoma if undetected and left untreated can cause blindness and vision loss. Glaucoma is of two types;
- Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly and changes in vision may not be easily visible.
- Closed-angle glaucoma develops fast and you will experience pain and lose vision quickly.
Symptoms experienced for glaucoma include eye pain or pressure, headache, red eyes, hazy eyes, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, blind spots, a halo around lights, low vision, tunnel vision etc.
Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition in which only one eye encounters reduced vision due to abnormal visual developments formed in an early stage of life. Usually develops when the brain and one eye are not working together and the brain favors the other eye which can be seen better. The stronger eye will work better and the other eye becomes lazy.
Though the eye may look normal, it is not being used normally. If not treated successfully, it can lead to one-eye vision impairment in children and adults. Unless it is successfully treated in children it can persist in adulthood too.
Strabismus or squint is a condition in which both eyes are not aligned in the same line and both of them are looking in opposite directions. Usually appearing in infants and young children from their time of birth, the crossed eye is seen in adults too.
Symptoms of Strabismus include eyes not looking in the same direction, eyes not moving together, squinting or closing one eye in bright light, light sensitivity, etc.
Eye exercises, medication, use of contact lenses and glasses, and surgery are some of the options to treat Strabismus. If not treated, Strabismus can result in lazy eyes, blurry vision, eye strain, fatigue, headache, etc.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the usual clear and dome-shaped cornea that helps focus light into our eyes becomes thin and bulges out in the shape of a cone.
The change in shape in the cornea makes it difficult for light to focus light into the eyes making driving and reading tough for vision to become blurry and distorted.
Keratoconus occurs genetically and also by other eye allergies, disorders, and diseases. If you ever experience distorted or blurry vision, eye redness, swelling, or sensitivity to light, get your eyes checked for Keratoconus. Using corrective eyeglasses or lenses, corneal transplant, surgery, etc.
While these are only some of the most common eye problems or conditions, there are many other conditions related to our eyes. With regular eye exams and diagnosis, an ophthalmologist can detect eye problems at an early stage, and correct and treat them.
These eye conditions can be cured by adopting lifestyle changes, taking proper eye care, eye exercises, and rest. Some eye conditions are asymptomatic; hence it is essential that you do not make any compromise on your eye doctor visits to protect your eyes. Let’s start taking care of our eyes!