Most people will experience an eye problem at some point in their lives. Many of these problems are relatively minor and heal independently or through treatment at home. However, others are more severe and require specialist treatment by an eye doctor.
A vision issue could hit you at any time. However, many people ignore early symptoms of severe eye diseases, hoping their eyes and vision will miraculously improve. Unfortunately, that is not very likely to happen in most cases. Some of the most common eye diseases that require early diagnosis and treatment to prevent vision loss or blindness include:
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss among people aged 50 and above. This eye disease affects a person’s central vision and can lead to a severe loss of central vision. However, people rarely go blind from AMD. There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but early treatment may prevent the disease or slow its progression.
AMD can affect your ability to see fine details since it damages the macula, the central part of the retina. In advanced stages, you can lose your ability to read, see people's faces, and drive. Unfortunately, it may have no symptoms in its early stages, so you may not suspect that you have the condition.
Dry eye disease results from a lack of lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. This condition may cause constant but subtle eye irritation in mild cases. In severe cases, it may cause significant eye inflammation, leading to scarring or damage to the eye's front surface. Older individuals and those who wear contact lenses are at a higher risk of experiencing dry eyes.
Cataracts are a common eye problem affecting more than 50 percent of all Americans over 65. A cataract is a dense clouding of the lens positioned behind the iris. Cataracts do not go away on their own. If left unaddressed, they worsen and can make seeing nearly impossible.
Cataracts develop when the eye forms protein clumps that prevent the lens from sending visual information to the retina. Light cannot pass through the lens to the retina. You can develop a cataract in one or both eyes. The only treatment for this condition is cataract surgery.
Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. It causes a gradual increase in eye pressure due to a fluid imbalance in the eye. If left untreated, the ocular pressure can cause vision loss. Many people with the early stages of glaucoma are unaware of the problem due to a lack of symptoms. That is why eye doctors recommend regular comprehensive eye exams.
Small areas of the retina can gradually detach from their place in the eye before the entire retina separates. The longer you suffer from this condition, the higher your risk of complete vision loss in the affected eye.
It is easy to forget how critical it is to take good care of your eyes. The good news is that it is never too late to start protecting your eye health. Regular eye exams and doctor appointments can lead to early diagnosis of vision-threatening eye conditions. That is the key to slowing the progression or treating most eye diseases.
For more information on common eye diseases, contact Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry at any of our Pearle Vision or LensCrafters locations. You can call (702) 452-2020 or (702) 341-7254 to book an appointment today.