Most Common Eye Diseases

Common Eye Diseases

Most common eye diseases can treated when detected in the early stages. Below, a list of the most common eye diseases as well as the signs and symptoms, risks and how the condition can be treated.

Blepharitis:

It is a common inflammatory condition that affects the eyelids. It usually causes burning, itching and irritation of the lids. Blepharitis is usually a chronic problem that can be controlled with extra attention to lid hygiene, hot compress on closed eyelids and eye drops or ointments.

Cataracts:

It is an opacity in the lens of the eye that interferes with vision.

At risk:

  • Elderly
  • Diabetes
  • High near-sightedness
  • Long-term exposure to UV radiation / sun
  • Long-term steroid / cortisone medication use

Early stages of cataract growth can still be treated with glasses or contact lenses. Later on cataract removal and intra ocular lens implants surgery might be necessary.

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, but the disease’s effects on the retina is the main threat to vision. The effect of diabetes on the eye is called diabetic retinopathy. The arteries in the retina become weakened and leak. These leaking vessels often lead to swelling, spots or floaters, along with decreased vision. Diabetic patients require routine eye examinations so related eye problems can be detected and treated as early as possible.

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Dry Eye Syndrome:

This is one of the most common problems treated by eye care practitioners. It is usually caused by a problem with the Quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes. Dry Eye Syndrome has many causes – the most common reason for dryness is simply the normal aging process. As we grow older, our bodies produce less oil this is more pronounced in woman. Many other factors, such as hot, dry or windy climates, air-conditioning, menopause hormonal changes and certain medications also cause dry eye.

Symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision that improves with blinking
  • Excessive tearing
  • Overall discomfort

Treatment options varies from preservative free artificial tears, hot compress on closed lids, glasses and sunglasses to protect from environmental factors and drinking enough water and taking supplements.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a disease caused by increased intraocular pressure resulting either from a malformation or malfunction of the eye’s drainage structures. Left untreated, the elevated pressure causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve, resulting in a progressive, permanent loss of vision. However, early detection and treatment can slow or even halt the progression of the disease.

Macular Degeneration:

It is a degenerative condition of the macula (the central retina). It is one of the most common causes of vision loss in the age over 50’s. Macular Degeneration is caused by hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina. As a result the central vision deteriorates. This condition varies widely in severity, in the worst cases, it causes a complete loss of central vision, making reading or driving impossible. For others, it may only cause slight distortion. Fortunately, it does not cause total blindness since it does not affect the peripheral vision.

Retinal Detachment:

Retinal attachment occurs when the retina’s sensory and pigment layers separate. Because it can cause devastating damage to the vision if left untreated, retinal detachment is considered an Ocular Emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Occurs most frequently in the middle-aged and elderly.

Signs and Symptoms: (Usually only one eye)

  • Light flashes
  • Visual obstruction (veil, shadow, curtain)
  • Floaters, spots, spider webs
  • Sudden decrease in vision