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Recognizing and addressing eye health problems are extremely important. As with any other health issues, eye diseases should be treated timely and with extra care. Some conditions are easily noticed. On the other hand, some conditions are hard to recognize, and it takes time to detect symptoms. This is why it is important to have regular check ups with your eye doctor. Eye disease can cause a great deal of stress and discomfort for patients. Educating and following doctors’ instructions can help protect healthy eyes.
When talking about vision problems most people will think about conjunctivitis or poor vision. However, some diseases can develop with age, and genetics plays a role with some. What are the 10 most common eye diseases and how do you recognize them?
- Eye allergies
The same symptoms will occur with eye allergy as with any other allergies. This includes red-eye, itching, a burning sensation, and sensitivity to light. Usually this is caused by the most common allergens like pollen, dust or smoke. Make-up products can cause allergic reactions, as well. It is important to isolate the allergen and remove it as the first step in treatment. Eye drops can bring relief. For more serious reactions, a doctor may recommend antihistamines.
- Pink eye-conjunctivitis
Pink eye-conjunctivitis causes redness and swelling. It affects the mucous membrane, which is lining on the eyeball. A healthy eye will have a clear lining. The irritated and infected eye will become red and swollen. It is important to recognize the symptoms and keep a close look. There are no specific treatments since it will heal on its own in about ten days. Hand hygiene and not touching the eyes are important because pink eye can spread like a virus. Poor hygiene, bacteria, chemicals and allergies can cause pink eye-conjunctivitis.
Uveitis can start out as a minor problem with eye swelling but can lead to vision loss in severe cases. The uvea is the part of the eye affected by the disease. It is an inflammatory disease that can cause swelling and eye tissue damage. And not just uvea can be affected. The retina, lens or optic nerves can also suffer damage. Uveitis can affect anyone between 20 and 60 years old. Viruses, eye injury, fungus, or parasites can cause uveitis.
Glaucoma is the most common eye disease we see. It is a condition through which the optical nerve is damaged, and it can lead to vision loss. One of the most important things to realize about glaucoma is that it cannot be treated or cured. Surgery can slow down the progress and protect vision, but once vision is lost it can’t be restored. High blood pressure can causeincreased eye pressure and those with glaucoma in the family are at risk. Glaucoma has no symptoms. The first clue, though, is a loss of side vision (peripheral). Also, tunnel vision and decreased central vision can indicate glaucoma.
Cataracts are also known as clouding because it looks like there is a cloud over the eye lens.
They are the most common reason for vision loss. The affected area is between the iris and pupil of the eye. The first symptom is blurred vision. Also, at night a patient may find he is more sensitive to light and brightness loss can be detected. Proteins in the lens cause cataracts. Some of the proteins create a cloud to form. Diabetes, smoking, obesity, ultraviolet radiation, alcohol, and some medications are thought to cause cataracts. The best treatment is surgery. However, prevention and vitamin E can help.
- Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common disease in people over 50. The macula makes vision clear and sharp. Over the time macula can get damaged and how quickly this occurs depends on of the patient’s health and life conditions. In both cases, the first symptoms areblurry vision. Objects will not be as sharp or centered as before. With time small spots develop and become larger eventually developing into blank spots. There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration so regular check ups are important.
- Optic neuropathy
Optic neuropathy, also known as damaged myelin layer,describes any optic nerve damage caused by any number of things. In optic neuropathy, the nerve cells are damaged or dead, and cannot be restored. The first sign is a loss of color brightness. In most of the cases only one eye is affected. There can also be pain with eye movement. Poor blood pressure in the eye, infections, neurological disorders or toxins can all cause optic neuropathy.
- Retinal detachment
The retina is a light-sensitive layer in the eye that sends impulses through the nerves to the brain and creates the image you see. Retinal detachment is a serious condition and has to be treated immediately. Doctors can diagnose retina detachment during a regular eyeexam. However, most people with a detached retina notice small spots floating in the field of vision. Also, flashes in the eye or an impression of clouds in your vision field can be symptoms. Over 90 percent of cases are treated successfully, usually with laser surgery or a treatment called cryopexy.
With strabismus a patient’s eyes cannot stay in alignment. It is also known as cross-eyed, wall-eyed, hypertropia or hypotropia. One eye will face an object while other is concentrated elsewhere. This eye disease does not cause headache or other pains. But it can cause stress and psychological damage, in particular with young children. Strabismus resultsbecause the eye muscles malfunction. Regular check ups at an early age can help to detect it. It can be treatedin the young.
- Low vision
Low vision, as the name implies, is a disease in which a person is losing the ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading, driving or recognizing distant objects or faces. In this case, glasses, lenses or medications cannot help. A person with low vision needs to learn how to live and cope with gradual vision loss. Another eye disease, an accident or other health related issues could cause low vision at any age.