Some of the Most Common Eye Diseases

Published on July 27, 2015

Many of us take our eyesight and the health of our eyes for granted. However, there are actually many problems that can affect our eyes, which includes a range of eye diseases. These are diseases and conditions that can occur for a number of different reasons but one thing that they all have in common is that they can have an impact on the health and functionality of our eyes. With this sort of effect on what is one of the most important senses to most people, our quality of life can be seriously affected.

In order to be able to identify and treat possible eye diseases, it is important to be aware of some of the most common eye diseases.

 

Some of the common eye diseases

When it comes to eye diseases, there are a number of common ones that can affect people to varying extents. Some of the common ones to consider include:

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are very common but can also cause a lot of discomfort and even pain for the sufferer. The problem arises when the tear glands are unable to produce enough tears or the tears that are produced are not of a high enough quality to lubricate the eyes. The symptoms can be very uncomfortable and can include itching, redness, swelling, a gritty sensation in the eyes, burning, and in some rare cases even some loss of vision.

Thyroid eye disease

This eye disease results in the swelling of the muscles and soft tissues within the eyes. This swelling can result in the eyeball being pushed forward and a variety of symptoms can occur. It is important to ensure that the eye is protected while it is pushed forward, as otherwise there is a high risk of other problems occurring.

Red Eye Disease

Red eye is not actually a disease in its own right but actually the sign of a minor eye condition. Sometimes referred to as pink eye, it could be a sign of conjunctivitis or even a burst blood vessel in the eye. It is important to find out what has caused the red eye as otherwise it will be impossible to treat the underlying cause and this could lead to spiralling problems.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is the most common diabetic eye disease and is one that results from changes in the blood vessels of the retina. There can be swelling and even fluid leakage from the vessels and in extreme cases the vessels may close off altogether. There are also cases where growth of abnormal new blood vessels can be seen on the retina’s surface. Generally, both eyes are affected by this condition but it can be difficult to realise that any changes are taking place during the early stages of the condition.

Cataracts

Cataracts tend to be very common in older people, with many ending up either having had cataracts or having had surgery for this condition by the time the reach the age of around 80. It involves the clouding of the eye lens and can occur in one or both eyes. This is a condition that leads to blurry vision due to the clouding on the eye lens and can also result in other issues such as poor night vision, sensitivity to bright light, and double vision amongst other things.

Glaucoma

This is a collection of eye diseases that can cause damage to the optic nerve in the eye. This has become one of the main causes of blindness and tends to occur when the optic nerve becomes damaged by rising fluid pressure inside the eyes. Symptoms are not always noticeable in the early stages but can gradually lead to loss of peripheral or side vision. As the condition worsens it can then lead to loss of central vision as well, thus resulting in blindness.

Refractive errors

These are vision related problems caused by the inability to focus due to the shape of the eye. The problems may occur for reasons such as aging eye lenses, changing in the shape of the cornea, or even the length of the eyeball. Some common refractive errors include myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (focus problems due to age) and astigmatism (focus problems due to cornea issues).

Conjunctivitis

conjunctivitisThis is a very common eye condition that is also referred to as pink eye. This is where the outer layer of the eye along with the inside of the eyelid becomes inflamed. The symptoms include swelling, itching, redness, burning, and discharge. The causes can include allergies, substance reactions, and infections.

Macular Degeneration

This condition is often referred to as age related macular degeneration or AMD. As the name suggests, it is a condition that is related to age and it impacts on sharp and central vision. This type of vision is required in order to be able to clearly see objects as well as to carry out tasks such as driving or reading. It is worth noting that there are two different variations of this eye disease, which include wet AMD and dry AMD. The wet variation entails abnormal blood vessels from behind the retina growing under the macula. The more common dry variation is where the macula thins over time and causes gradual blurring of central vision.

Treatments for common eye diseases

The treatments that are administered for common eye problems such as these can vary based not only on the disease itself but also on the cause of the disease. In some cases the treatment may involve medication to directly treat the problem or even surgery. In other cases, you may have to have treatment to deal with an underlying cause, such as in the case of thyroid eye diseases when tend to be cause because of a thyroid problem.

It is also worth remembering that the severity of these diseases can vary from one person or condition to another, and that during the earlier stages of some of these conditions you may not realise that there is an issue at all.


 

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