It is estimated that 93 million adult Americans are at risk for vision loss, but only half have visited an eye care professional in the past year.
Taking control of your health is often a challenge, and this is even more true when it comes to your eyes. If you think they are working just fine right now, you’re less likely to take preventive measures, especially if you aren’t aware of the most common eye conditions.
While you may not think it can happen to you, it is much more likely than you think. Be prepared, and learn what you can before it happens.
To start, read our guide below on the most common eye conditions.
Glaucoma is often thought of as one disease, but in reality, it is a group of diseases that cause damage to the eye’s optic nerve. This can result in vision loss or blindness, but with early treatment, vision loss is often preventable.
Glaucoma usually occurs due to a build-up of fluid pressure in the eye, but it can also happen with normal fluid pressure. The symptoms can start slowly, which means you may not notice them as they happen.
The only way to diagnose Glaucoma is by undergoing a comprehensive dilated eye exam. While there is currently no cure, there are many treatment options that can help reduce symptoms.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. A cataract refers to the clouding of the eye lens, and it can occur at any age due to a variety of causes. However, they are most often seen in people over the age of 80.
If you develop cataracts, you may not notice them at first. As they get worse, you may find your vision becoming blurred, less colorful, or hazy.
While this condition is concerning, you can get cataract surgery to have them removed. It is a safe and effective surgery that can significantly improve your vision.
Dry eye is a less severe eye disorder but one that can still greatly impact your daily life.
Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay consistently moist or when your tear ducts don’t work correctly.
Your eyes can feel extremely uncomfortable, and other symptoms include blurry vision, red eyes, and sensitivity to light. Dry eye can occur at any age but is more common if you wear contact lenses.
Many people experience dry eyes in the morning, with symptoms lightening up as the day goes on. If this is the case for you, click here for tips for morning dry eye.
Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is a common complication that occurs from diabetes. It is a result of progressive damage to the retina’s blood vessels.
It most often damages both eyes and goes through four stages:
- Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Proliferative Retinopathy
To reduce your risk of developing DR, maintaining your health and wellbeing is critical. This includes managing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid abnormalities.
Refractive errors refer to the most common eye problems, including myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia. All of these conditions can also be easily corrected.
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, makes faraway objects appear blurry. This occurs when the shape of your eye forces light to focus in front of your retina instead of on it.
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, makes close objects appear blurry. This occurs when the shape of your eye forces light to focus behind your retina instead of on it.
Presbyopia is a refractive error that occurs in middle-aged adults, making it difficult for them to see things up close. This happens when your eye lens stops focusing on light correctly. It is considered a normal part of aging, usually occurring after the age of 45.
Eyeglass lenses can be prescribed to help correct all of these conditions, which is essential to maintaining healthy eyes. Eye strain can easily occur if you cannot see correctly, leading to migraines and other health issues.
Astigmatism causes your vision to be distorted or blurry and is a result of your cornea or eye lens having an abnormal shape.
Astigmatism can make it very difficult to see at night and may cause frequent headaches. You may not notice the symptoms of astigmatism at first, which is why getting consistent eye exams is crucial to maintaining optimal health.
Eyeglass lenses can help correct the issue, and if you’re eligible, you may be able to get astigmatism surgery.
Ambylopia, also known as lazy eye, is an eye condition that only occurs in one eye. This happens due to a miscommunication between the brain and the eye.
The brain cannot recognize one eye, so it relies more on the other eye. While this one eye gets stronger, the other gets much weaker, and the vision in that eye becomes worse.
Ambylopia starts in childhood, but the best ophthalmologist can create a treatment plan early on to avoid having long-term vision loss.
Know the Most Common Eye Conditions
Getting to know the most common eye conditions can help you be better prepared if you were to develop them. Having any eye condition can be stressful, but knowing your treatment options can allow you to make a plan and take control of your eye health.
If you have any concerns about your eyes, consider setting up an appointment with your eye care center professional today.
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