Eye Disorders

Eye diseases are very common. They can be a result of some serious and degenerative diseases. Some of the eye diseases that can harm your vision include myopia, farsightedness, cataracts, glaucoma, etc. Some can be extremely serious and can cause blindness. These diseases can affect your central and peripheral vision or both. 

It is vital to have regular eye examinations with an optometrist to detect the eye diseases and get the appropriate treatment in time to keep your eyes healthy.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors occur when the shape of your eyes do not bend light properly, resulting in a blurred image. The various types of refractive errors include: 

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

A person with myopia is not able to see distant objects; they appear blurry for the person suffering with the condition. Myopia occurs in different degrees from minimal to extreme. Objects will have to be closer for a person with myopia to see them clearly. 

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

If you have hyperopia, then you won’t be able to see close objects clearly and they appear blurry. This happens when the eyeball is too small for the light to focus clearly on the retina. 

Astigmatism 

Astigmatism is when the surface of the eye (cornea) is not perfectly round; it rather is more oval and does not allow the eye to focus clearly. The cornea is very important in helping the eye focus light rays on the retina. This disorder never appears alone and it is accompanied by either myopia or hyperopia. 

Presbyopia 

In presbyopia, you face the loss of ability to focus up close. This usually is due to ageing.  Most people are between 40 and 50 years when they realize for the first time that they can’t read objects. 

Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a disease affecting the eye in which the fluid pressure within your eye rises and if it is left untreated then there are chances of losing vision and worse, become blind. The disease has been found to affect both eyes in general. 

Cataract 

Cataract is a medical condition of the eye, usually observed in old people, wherein old cells clog to the centre of the lens as a result of the formation of new cells on the outside. For a person who has cataracts, seeing at things is just like looking outside a fogged-up window. The clouded vision that is caused by cataracts may make it more difficult for a person to read, see the expression on a friend’s face or drive a car, especially at night. Most of the cataracts that people have develop slowly and do not really disturb the eyesight early on. With time, however, cataracts end up disturbing the vision. 

Age-related Macular Degeneration 

Macular degeneration refers to a chronic disease of the eye that leads to vision loss. This disease of the eye is characterised by the deterioration of the macula, the centre of the retina.

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration, namely, dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition in which either of the eyes does not acknowledge the images it sees. During the condition, the brain does not receive images as it should be resulting in vision impairment and loss of depth perception. The affected may wander in different directions but may not look any different from the normal eye. Lazy eye mainly affects only one but in certain situations, it can affect both eyes. The condition is more common in children but it can happen to anyone. 

Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy takes place as a result of diabetes. It occurs due to damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue placed at the back of the eye (retina). Initially, diabetic retinopathy causes show no symptoms or may cause a mild vision trouble. However, this grows with time and can cause permanent blindness.

Retinal Detachment 

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. 

In some cases, there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks can lead to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which blood vessels that provides it with oxygen and nourishment comes off. This leaves the retinal cells lacking oxygen. If it goes untreated and ignored, there is a greater risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye.

Dry Eye Syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye problems, and it becomes more common as people age because tear production can diminish as part of the ageing process. 

When the tear system is off the track and doesn't produce the required components to keep your eyes moisturized and lubricated, it results in a condition called dry eyes. Dry eyes may feel uncomfortable with several other symptoms including pain, itching, redness, blurred vision, the sensation of sand in the eyes and over-sensitivity to light.

Refractive Errors 

The most common symptoms of refractive errors are blurred vision. Some of the other symptoms of refractive errors include:

  • Eye Strain 
  • Glare or halos around bright light 
  • Haziness 
  • Double vision 
  • Squinting 
  • Headaches 

Glaucoma 

Chronic glaucoma usually causes no noticeable symptoms till late in the course of the disease as the condition develops very slowly. Most people with this type of glaucoma are not aware that their sight is being damaged.

Symptoms of Closed-angle Glaucoma (CAG)

Closed-angle glaucoma develops quickly and the symptoms are often severe. Some signs and symptoms of CAG include: 

  • A headache 
  • Redness of the eye 
  • Pain while touching the area around the eye 
  • Intense pain in the eye 
  • Seeing halos around lights 
  • Nausea and vomiting (often)
  • The sudden or severe blurring of the vision 

Symptoms of Developmental Glaucoma 

Developmental or congenital glaucoma usually affects infants more than it affects young children or adults. It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of the disease due to the age of a baby or a young child. Some signs and symptoms which your child may display include: 

  • Watery eyes 
  • Big eyes – when the pressure in the eyes causes them to expand 
  • Cloudy appearance 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Jerky movements of the eyes 
  • Squint

Glaucoma can be perilous as the patient can lose his or eye sight and therefore it is very important for you to get diagnosed as early as possible.

Cataract 

Common symptoms of cataracts include: 

  • Increased sensitivity to glare 
  • Double vision (in the affected area)
  • Seeing faded colours
  • Experiencing blurry vision 
  • Not being able to see at night 
  • A frequent change in the prescribed glasses 

Age-related Macular Degeneration 

  • Change in the perception of colour
  • Dark, blurry or whiteout in the centre of the eyes

Amblyopia 

The condition may be hard to detect until it becomes severe. Some common early signs of amblyopia include:

  • A tendency to bump into objects on one side 
  • An eye that wanders (inward or outward)
  • Double vision 
  • The eye that appears to work together 
  • Squinting
  • Poor depth perception 

Diabetic Retinopathy 

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy do not appear until any major damage is done to the eyes. But when these symptoms show, they show up in both the eyes: 

  • Blurred vision 
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty to differentiate between colours
  • Not being able to see at night 
  • Seeing dark spots 

Retinal Detachment 

The warning signs of retinal degeneration that appear before it occurs or has advanced are as follows: 

  • Seeing flashes of light in the affected eye 
  • A shadow or curtain over a portion of your visual field 
  • Objects seeming to float before your eyes 
  • Bit of debris in your field of vision that look like sports, hair or strings 

Dry Eye Syndrome 

One of the most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome includes burning, pain, and redness in the eye. Other common symptoms include: 

  • Watery tearing 
  • Stringy mucus 
  • Eyes get tied quickly 
  • Difficulty in reading, or sitting on the computer for long hours 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Feeling that you have dust in your eyes (frequently) 

It is important to contact your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms or in fact, any symptom related to a problem in the eyes or vision. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent further damage to the vision.

Refractive Errors 

Myopia 

Myopia is usually hereditary and can be diagnosed in childhood. The disorder usually rectifies with time but, there are also chances that it can worsen with age.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

A flat cornea is the major cause of farsightedness. A small eyeball is shorter than normal can also lead to the problem.

Presbyopia 

Presbyopia is an age-related problem, which leads to the loss of flexibility in the eyes’ lens. 

Astigmatism 

Genetics is a big factor in the development of astigmatism. It can also occur after an eye surgery. 

Glaucoma 

It is not always known why is it that the pressure in the eyes increases but experts believe one or more of the following reasons can cause it: 

  • Certain medications 
  • Poor blood flow to your optic nerve 
  • Dilating eye drops 
  • Blocked drainage in the eye 
  • High blood pressure

Cataract 

These can be the possible causes of cataracts: 

  • Ultraviolet radiation 
  • Trauma 
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Smoking
  • Certain medication or steroids 
  • Diabetes
  • An overproduction of oxidants 

Macular Degeneration

Some of the causes of macular degeneration: 

  • Being overweight or obese 
  • A family history of macular degeneration 
  • Age (65 or older)
  • Tobacco consumption 
  • Having heart disease

Amblyopia 

This condition affects the nerve pathways in the brain hindering the sight. You may have to rely disproportionally on one eye as the result of one of the following factors: 

  • Constant turning of one eye 
  • Drooping in one eyelid 
  • Deficiency of vitamin A
  • Genetics 
  • Vision Impairment 
  • A corneal ulcer or scar 
  • Eye surgery 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Different levels of vision in each eye 

Diabetic Retinopathy 

  • High levels of sugar in the blood
  • High blood pressure 
  • Abnormal blood vessels 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Duration of diabetes 
  • Retinal Detachment 
  • This condition can occur as a result of:
  • Advanced diabetes 
  • A sagging vitreous 
  • Severe eye injury 

Some other factors that can increase the risk of retinal detachment include: 

  • A family history 
  • Extreme nearsightedness 
  • Eye inflammation or eye diseases 
  • Ageing 

Dry Eye Syndrome 

The most common cause of the dry eyes condition is the imbalance of the tear flow system or the lack of lubricating components in tears. Other causes of dry eyes include: 

  • Menopause
  • Environmental conditions such as conditioned air and
  • Natural ageing process 
  • Certain drugs that can cause dry eyes 
  • Sjogren’s syndrome 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Collagen vascular diseases may also cause dry eyes 

The diagnosis of eye disorders involves a standard vision test. Your doctor will probably use a phoropter (an instrument to measure the amount of refractive error that you have) and it will help determine the proper prescription to correct it. 

  • An eye doctor can detect eye diseases during a basic eye examination
  • They will check your vision at different distances with an eye chart 
  • According to the results, the doctor may recommend a dilated eye exam 
  • The results will show which lenses in order to correct your vision or what treatment you require as per the disease

Refractive Error

There are multiple ways in which you can treat the refractive error. If a surgery is not what you would prefer, you can resort to glasses or contact lenses to correct the problem of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Treatment for refractive errors includes prescription glasses, contact lenses or with refractive surgery, such as LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). 

Glaucoma 

Glaucoma treatment aims to reduce intraocular pressure by improving aqueous outflow by reducing the production of aqueous humour to prevent damage to vision. Some treatment options for glaucoma include eye drops, oral medications and surgery. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor will recommend treatment. Appropriate treatment and early detection can help prevent vision loss. 

Cataract 

The only effective way to treat a cataract is surgery. Your doctor will guide you if surgery is right for you and it is mostly considered when the condition starts affecting your quality of life or interfere with your ability to perform daily chores such and reading or driving at night. 

Macular Degeneration

Once you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, no form of treatment can restore it, but future damage can be prevented. Macular degeneration usually progresses slowly and a lot of people with the condition can live a normal, productive life with the help of treatment. Some treatments that help to soothe condition including increasing the intake of vitamins in your diet or this procedure is one to implant telescopic lens in one eye and is done in selected people who are suffering from macular degeneration in both the eyes. 

Amblyopia 

For the treatment, the doctor might ask you to use the weaker eye (one with reduced vision). There are two ways used to do this include atropine and patching. 

Diabetic Retinopathy 

During the first three stages of diabetic retinopathy, no particular treatment is given to the patient unless you are suffering from macular edema.

Proliferate retinopathy is treated with laser surgery. This procedure is called scatter laser treatment. Scatter laser treatment helps to shrink the abnormal blood vessels and it can actually help to save your complete sight. 

Retinal Detachment 

A treatment known as cryopexy which treats holes and tears is performed by doctors in such cases. During the laser surgery, tiny burns are made around the hole and freeze that area. This helps reattach the retina. 

Dry Eye Syndrome 

There are various types of treatments available to treat dry eye syndrome. Some of them are: 

  • Eye Drops: The most common treatment available for dry eye syndrome include ye drops that increase the moisture in the eyes
  • Lacrimal Plugs: You doctor might use plugs to block the drainage holes in the corners of your eyes. This can be permanent if your condition is severe
  • Medications to reduce the risk of damage to your cornea 
  • A well-balanced diet with enough protein and vitamins is vital to keep them healthy
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