The Most Common Eye Diseases and Treatment Options
Many patients believe eye diseases are more prevalent among older adults, but that is not always the case. We will review the most common eye diseases and treatment options, and you might be surprised to learn that pediatric patients and those in their 20s and 30s can have eye diseases too.
There are no symptoms with certain eye diseases, and the only way to detect many sight-threatening conditions is through regular dilated eye exams. Consider your own medical history and that of your family as you read further about the most common eye diseases.
One such eye disease with no apparent symptoms is Glaucoma. It affects the optic nerve and retina as it slowly and silently steals your vision. With glaucoma fluid inside the eye does not drain properly causing increased pressure also known as intra-ocular pressure or IOP. With this increased level of pressure blood does not reach the optic nerve, and vision is diminished.
The only early symptom of this eye disease is a loss in peripheral vision. Unfortunately most patients don’t even notice this is happening until it is too late. Any damage from glaucoma cannot be reversed.
If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. The best way to detect glaucoma at an early stage is a routine eye exam. Once this common eye disease is diagnosed, there are treatments to slow its progression, but early diagnosis is key to preserving your vision.
There are many eye diseases related to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most prevalent and one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. It affects the blood vessels in the retina.
Depending on the type of retinopathy it can be a mild case, or lead to retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage or cause macula edema. In the last case vision can quickly be lost.
Any patient with diabetes, including children, should regularly visit their primary care physician, monitor and control their sugar level, and have frequent exams with their eye care professional.
Although more a condition than a disease, cataracts are very common and must be removed to maintain your vision and lifestyle. As we age the natural lens in our eyes becomes yellowed and cloudy. If not removed through cataract surgery, vision becomes compromised and everyday tasks like driving become difficult if not impossible.
There are many artificial lens options available to patients after cataract surgery to improve overall vision including near vision, intermediate and distance vision.
Visit Cedar Park Vision for an appointment if you suspect you may have cataracts.
Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Also known as age-related macular degeneration, this eye disease is so named because it causes the degeneration of the part of the retina known as the macula. As it progresses, it distorts central vision and blind spots appear.
It is the leading cause of vision loss in patients 65 or older and it progresses slowly and painlessly. There are some drugs to slow down the progression of AMD.
Although there is no real cure, there are some ways to lessen your risk of developing macular degeneration or slowing its progression.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t smoke
- Eat plenty of dark leafy vegetables and colorful fruits
- Wear sunglasses
When the eyes do not work together, one eye becomes much weaker than the other, and patients can develop amblyopia. This frequently happens with young children who cannot explain why they are having trouble seeing properly or performing in school. . Sometimes known as lazy eye, amblyopia causes the stronger eye to become dominant.
There are simple treatments like patching the stronger eye to make the weak one stronger. If the case is severe enough and all treatments have failed, surgery may be needed.
If your child is having difficulty in school, it may be a visual issue. Bring them to an eye care professional for an eye exam.
Eye Diseases Can Occur at any Age
Everyone is susceptible to common eye diseases from children through seniors.
As with all eye conditions or common eye diseases, a regular eye exam is the best defense. A routine exam can detect, diagnose and prevent the progression of some serious eye issues.
Keep you and your whole family safe from common eye diseases.
Contact Cedar Park Vision to preserve your vision.