Your eyesight is precious, and your eyes shouldn’t be neglected as part of your overall healthcare. Eye health experts agree that everyone should have an eye exam by age 18 even if they notice no vision changes. Eye conditions can be mild or serious; some may come and go or can be treated at home. Serious ones will need the help of an ophthalmologist or other healthcare professional. Everyone should be aware of the following most common eye conditions and take the proper steps to make sure they protect the gift of vision.
Staring at a computer screen for several hours a day and driving long distances are typical of activities that can cause eyestrain. Your eyes are red and feel tired. Like any other part of your body that gets tired, strained eyes need rest. Take a break and rest them and symptoms should go away.
Tears are for more than crying; they work to protect your eyes. Sometimes tear glands don’t produce enough moisture. This leaves the eyes red and burning. You may feel like there is something in your eye. It’s not a serious condition, however, there have been rare cases in which extreme dryness caused vision loss. Treat dry eyes at home by using a humidifier and special eye drops your general practitioner can prescribe.
If you’re a senior, you probably don’t see quite as well as you used to. That’s normal and can be treated with glasses, contacts, or LASIK surgery. Those who already wear glasses will you need a stronger prescription as the years pass. Be sure to keep up with your annual eye exams to rule out any other problems. Any sudden loss of vision warrants immediate medical attention
If you experience difficulty driving at night or feel overwhelmed in dark places like movie theaters you probably have night blindness. It’s more of a symptom than a condition and could be associated with other conditions such as nearsightedness, keratoconus, or cataracts. Low levels of vitamin A may also cause night blindness. All of the conditions associated with night blindness are highly treatable.
Lazy eye or amblyopia occurs when one eye didn’t develop properly. The condition rarely affects both eyes. One eye will move around lazily and vision in the eye will be weaker. Lazy eye appears most often in infants and children but can also happen in adulthood. Early detection and treatment will help avoid a lifetime of vision problems. Treatments include wearing corrective lenses, using an eye patch, and other strategies.
The eye’s middle layer of tissue is called the uvea. It’s where most of the blood vessels in the eye are found. Uveitis refers to a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the uvea. Blurred vision, eye pain, redness, and light sensitivity that is severe and lasts for an extended period calls for a trip to the eye doctor.
If you’ve had good distance vision all your life and now can’t see up close objects and fine print anymore, you’ve developed a condition called presbyopia. It happens around age 40 or so. This condition is simple to fix with reading glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.
Commonly called pink eye, conjunctivitis occurs when the tissue at the back of the eyelids and the sclera, or white part of the eye gets inflamed. The symptoms include redness, burning, itching, tearing, and discharge. It’s caused by infection, irritants, allergies, or allergies. It often clears up on its own, but antibacterial eye drops will speed up the process.
The retina is the part of the eye that acts like a camera. It’s a thin lining located at the back of the eye. The retina sends the images you see to the brain. Retinol disorders interfere with this transfer. Vision can be affected to the point of blindness. There are different types of retinol disorders including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment. These conditions can be treated, and early diagnosis is important.
Glaucoma occurs when there is too much pressure inside the eye. This condition can be practically symptomless earning it the label “sneak thief of vision.” You may notice a loss of peripheral vision or halos around lights. These symptoms don’t appear early, so you should have an eye exam periodically since this condition can lead to blindness. Treatment includes eye drops or laser surgery.