An eye condition is any problem that affects your vision or the health of your eyes. There are many types of eye conditions, ranging from common ones like refractive errors and dry eye, to rare ones like retinal diseases and ocular tumors. Some eye conditions are inherited, while others are caused by aging, injury, infection, or other factors. Some eye conditions can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery, while others may require ongoing treatment or cause permanent vision loss.
In this article, we will introduce some of the most common eye conditions and their symptoms, causes, and treatments. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent or manage eye conditions and protect your vision.
Common Eye Conditions
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older are either legally blind or have low vision due to various eye conditions. The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Other common eye conditions include amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes).
Here are some brief descriptions of these common eye conditions:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD is an eye disorder that damages the macula, the central part of the retina that allows you to see fine details. AMD can cause blurred or distorted central vision, making it difficult to read, drive, or recognize faces. There are two forms of AMD: wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid or blood, causing rapid vision loss. Dry AMD occurs when the macula thins over time as part of the aging process, causing gradual vision loss. AMD is more common in older adults, especially those with a family history of the disease, smoking, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol .
Cataract: Cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which normally helps focus light on the retina. Cataract can cause blurry or dim vision, glare or halos around lights, poor night vision, faded colors, or frequent changes in glasses prescription. Cataract is more common in older adults, but can also occur in younger people due to trauma, diabetes, steroid use, or other causes . Cataract can be treated by surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one.
Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blurry or fluctuating vision, dark spots or floaters in your vision, impaired color vision, or vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is more common in people who have had diabetes for a long time, have poor blood sugar control, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or kidney disease . Diabetic retinopathy can be prevented or delayed by keeping your blood sugar levels under control and having regular eye exams.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma can cause peripheral vision loss (tunnel vision), blind spots in your vision, halos around lights, eye pain, headache, nausea, or vision loss. Glaucoma is more common in older adults, especially those with a family history of the disease,
high eye pressure (intraocular pressure), high blood pressure,
or diabetes . Glaucoma can be treated by medication,
or conventional surgery to lower the eye pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.
Amblyopia (lazy eye): Amblyopia is a condition where one eye does not develop normal vision during childhood due to a lack of stimulation from the brain. Amblyopia can cause reduced visual acuity,
poor depth perception,
or strabismus (crossed eyes) in the affected eye. Amblyopia is more common in children