Five most commonly diagnosed eye conditions
People often ignore early signs of vision problems, hoping their eyesight will clear up. That’s not very likely. Early diagnosis of eye problems followed by professional treatment can help preserve or even improve your vision.
Here are five of the most commonly diagnosed eye conditions:
Clouding of the lens can eventually make seeing nearly impossible. Cataracts will not go away on their own, they will continually get worse. The only treatment option is surgery. Laser surgery generally improves recovery time, with patients reporting improved vision before even leaving the recovery room.
2. Diabetic Retinopathy
The most common diabetic eye disease, retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina. In early stages, the blood vessels leak fluid within the eye. Later, growth of abnormal blood vessels on the retina cause swelling and scar tissue that may cause the retina to detach, resulting in severe, irreversible vision loss. People with diabetes should have annual eye exams including retinopathy screenings.
3. Macular Degeneration
The part of the retina that allows you to see fine details is called the macula. It can degrade with age, causing everything from hazy vision to complete loss of central vision. Little can be done to improve vision once someone has age-related macular degeneration, but catching it early can slow its progress. Get regular eye exams as you age.
4. Refractive Errors
When light passes through the cornea and the lens, it is bent – or refracted – to form the images we see. If that refraction is skewed, vision suffers. The most common reasons people wear glasses or contacts, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, are caused by refractive errors. Getting the ideal prescription lenses for your eyewear requires guidance from an expert, licensed optician.
Within the eye is liquid called aqueous humor that must be maintained at an appropriate pressure. Too much pressure due to glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma rarely shows symptoms early. By the time you notice symptoms – usually blind spots in peripheral vision – optic nerve damage is severe. The most common treatment is medicated prescription eye drops.
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