As we grow older, our fragility becomes more apparent, and our eyes become more prone to developing problems. While wearing UV protective sunglasses is a great way to ensure that your eyes are safe from the sun, there are still a number of conditions that your eyes may develop.
There are four main eye conditions that adults are susceptible to, and many other rare diseases and syndromes. In this post, Lucyd delves into the four most common conditions and their treatments. Below, you can also find a glossary of eye conditions, in alphabetical order.
Most common eye conditions
Here are the four most common eye problems as well as their options for treatment:
Cataracts is a condition that is linked to age. The transparent lens of the eye becomes more cloudy and opaque, making it more difficult to see things clearly. With cataracts, vision in low light situations can become trickier, and one may develop sensitivity to bright light.
If the cataracts are not severe, they can be corrected by altering your glasses prescription. If they are more serious, cataract surgery, where the eye’s lens is replaced by a plastic one, can clear up this issue.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that is caused by a build-up in pressure of the fluid that fills the eye, damaging the optic nerve. Glaucoma is usually pain-free and develops gradually, so it can be hard to detect yourself. It may be worth asking your optician to test for this disease if you are over 70 years old, have a close relative with Glaucoma, have diabetes, or are of Afro-Caribbean or Asian origin, as these factors increase the likelihood of developing Glaucoma.
While it is mainly painless, there are certain things to look out for, and you should visit your optician as soon as possible if you experience these. The symptoms of serious Glaucoma include a noticeable loss in peripheral vision, nausea and vomiting, intense eye pain, headaches, red eye, seeing rings around lights, and sensitivity around the eyes.
There are a few ways to treat Glaucoma. The most common of these is the use of specific drops to reduce the pressure in the eye. If the drops do not work, laser surgery may be performed to unblock the tubes that drain fluid away from the eye.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a degenerative disease that affects the central vision, making tasks like driving and writing more difficult. Symptoms include blurry vision, things looking smaller, duller vision, seeing things that aren’t there, and seeing wavy lines.
The causes of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are currently unknown. However, the condition has been linked to high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and having a family history of AMD.
AMD has two types: ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. Wet AMD develops quickly, generally over a few weeks or months. Dry AMD develops more slowly, over the span of several years.
Currently, there is no cure for AMD. Visual aids may be used to help with the symptoms of dry AMD, while regular injections directly into the eye may be used to stop the condition from getting worse. In some cases, photodynamic therapy can be used to destroy the abnormal blood vessels that cause wet AMD. There are also nutritional supplements that can be taken to slow down the progression of AMD, and eating foods that are high in lutein are encouraged if you are prone to this condition.
As the name suggests, Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by a complication of diabetes. High blood sugar levels damage the back of the eye (retina), eventually causing blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately, it takes several years to reach this stage, so sufferers will have plenty of time to treat Diabetic Retinopathy.
Symptoms of this eye condition include gradually worsening vision or sudden vision loss, floating shapes, patchy vision, and difficulty seeing in the dark. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is best to visit your optician or GP.
There are three main treatments for advanced diabetic retinopathy, but there are also ways to first minimize the risk of developing this disease. If you have diabetes, you should control your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. You can also attend annual diabetic eye screening appointments, to pick up any issues early on.
If you have advanced Diabetic-related Retinopathy, your treatment options include laser treatment, medication injections in your eyes, and an operation to remove blood or scar tissue from your eyes.
List of eye conditions
Here is a glossary of the different eye conditions, in alphabetical order.
A - D
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Alstrom syndrome
- Antioxidant vitamins for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Anti-VEGF treatment
- Best disease (best vitelliform macular dystrophy)
- Behcet's syndrome
- Birdshot uveitis
- Cataracts – posterior capsule opacification
- Central serous retinopathy
- Charles Bonnet syndrome
- Coats disease
- Congenital cataracts
- Corneal dystrophies
- Corneal transplant
- Diabetes-related eye conditions
- Dry eye
E - N
- Ehlers-Danos syndrome
- Epiretinal membrane
- Friedreich’s ataxia
- Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy
- Giant cell or temporal arteritis
- Inherited retinal dystrophies including retinitis pigmentosa
- Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl syndrome
- Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Macular hole
- Marfan syndrome
- Micro and anophthalmia
- Monocular vision (sight in one eye)
- Myopia and pathological myopia
O - Z
- Optic neuritis
- Ocular melanoma
- Posterior lens capsule opacification
- Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)
- Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
- Punctate inner choroidopathy
- Retinal detachment
- Retinal vessel occlusion
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Squint in childhood (strabismus)
- Stargardt disease
- Stickler syndrome
- Stroke-related eye conditions
- Thyroid eye disease
- Toxoplasmosis of the eye