With regular eye exams, your doctor should be able to diagnose any eye problems in the early stages of development, and work to remedy them before they cause serious vision loss. While some eye problems are more severe than others, most can be treated. Below is a list of some of the most common eye diseases and problems.
Myopia (short sight):
Short sight means that you can only see objects up close clearly, and objects at a distance are blurry and out of focus. Short sight occurs when the eyeball is too long or the lens is too thick, and the light reflected does not reach the retina, but focuses just in front of it. This condition can be remedied by laser eye surgery or corrective lenses.
Hyperopia (long sight):
Long sight means that you can only see objects at a distance clearly, and objects up close are blurry and out of focus. Long sight occurs when the eyeball is too short or the lens is too thin, and the light reflected reaches past the retina, and focuses behind it. This condition can be remedied by laser eye surgery or corrective lenses.
This condition is a lot like hyperopia, except it is age related. Presbyopia means that over time you lose the ability to see objects up close or read small print, and is a normal process that happens slowly through your lifetime. A significant change is usually only noticed by people over the age of 40. This condition can usually be remedied by reading glasses.
Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when tear glands cannot make enough tears, or they produce tears of poor quality. Dry eyes can cause discomfort, burning, itching, and even vision loss. This condition can usually be remedied by using artificial tears or eye drops, a humidifier in your home, or more severely, plugs that are placed inside tear ducts.
On the other hand, tearing is a common condition that occurs when ducts create too many tears. This can be caused by light, wind or temperature changes. This condition can usually be remedied by protecting your eyes with sunglasses, though it can sometimes be indicative of a more serious problem.
Cataracts are cloudy areas that can develop within the lens of the eye. The lens is the clear section of the eye that passes light through to the retina, where images are processed. When cataracts form, the lens is not as clear and light can not pass through as easily. The cataracts can impair your vision depending on how severe or large they are, but do not usually cause any pain. This condition can usually be remedied by surgery.
Glaucoma occurs over time when the optic nerve deteriorates. Glaucoma is not as common as some of these other conditions, and is usually caused by factors such as eye injury, infection, or inflammatory disorders. Glaucoma is not usually detected by the patient since there are no symptoms or pain in the early stages, so regular exams are vital.This condition can usually be managed by prescription eye drops or surgery.
This condition is one of the leading causes of vision loss and can only be diagnosed through an eye exam. The macula is a small area at the back of the eye that transmits images from the eye to the brain. This area can deteriorate with age and cause blurry vision, and inability to focus on details or distinguish colours. Though there is no cure, laser therapy, drugs, and even vitamins can slow progression of the disease and vision loss.
Conjunctivitis is also known as pink eye or red eye, and is a condition in which the tissue that lines the eyelids becomes inflamed. It can cause burning, redness, itching, and tearing. This condition is common and can be caused by infection, irritants or allergies. This condition is contagious for the first few days after it has surfaced and can be treated with warm or cool compresses, eyedrops, or ointment.
Floaters are small spots or strings that float in the liquid of your eye in your field of vision. Though they can distort vision, they should not be painful or uncomfortable. This condition is usually caused in older patients as the eye changes and naturally deteriorates, and most people over the age of 70 have experienced floaters at least once. Unless floaters are a symptom of an underlying condition, there is no treatment other than rolling your eyes to move the debris.
Though every eye condition has different levels of severity and discomfort, it is best to talk to your doctor about any condition that you think you may have. Since many of these conditions are within the eye itself and can only be diagnosed by a trained optometrist, the best thing to do is get regular eye exams to ensure your eyes are always healthy.