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The Top 5 Most Common Eye Conditions

The Top 5 Most Common Eye Conditions

Did you know that nearly two-thirds of Americans have some or other eye conditions and some degree of vision loss? 7 million people of the same fraction are legally blind! The eyes are the most delicate part of the body and improper eye care can lead to various eye conditions, mild and severe. Without regular eye checkups, you might not even know about certain eye conditions that can worsen and even cause blindness over time if not detected early.

Here’s a list of eye conditions that are most common among adults:

1) Refractive errors

Poor vision due to refractive errors is one of the common eye conditions. Refractive errors occur when light improperly bends through the lenses and fails to focus a clear image on the retina. There are three types of refractive errors:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)

  • Hypermetropia (Farsightedness)

  • Astigmatism (Blurry images at multiple distances)

Some of the common symptoms for such eye conditions are blurry, distorted visions, eye strain, squinting, and headaches. If you have been facing any of these symptoms, book an eye checkup appointment at The Eye Lab and get your eyes tested at the earliest.

Thankfully, refractive errors can be easily treated with the right prescription glasses or even surgical methods. A simple eye test can help determine the type and intensity of the eye conditions.  Your ophthalmologist will prescribe glasses to help the eyes to readjust light and correct vision problems. The prescribed concave and convex lenses adjust the optical length and physical length so that the light directly focuses on the retina for optimal eyesight. Surgical treatments for refractive errors include laser eye surgery and Visian ICL.

2) Cataract

A cataract is the formation of cloudy areas in the eye that does not allow light to pass through the lens to the retina. As a result, you might not get a clear image due to hazy vision or can even end up with permanent blindness. Did you know that cataract is one of the leading eye conditions for blindness in the world? While cataracts can form at any age, people over the age of 50 are more prone to this eye condition.

Some symptoms of cataract:

  • Colours appear faded

  • Hazy vision during night

  • Frequent change in eyeglass prescription

  • Sensitivity to light and glare

  • Clouded and dim vision

Unlike most common eye conditions, cataract is a disease that forms rather slowly and does not have obvious symptoms like eye strain or redness. If a cataract is detected at an early stage, it can be treated with anti-glare glasses or a corrective prescription. Laser cataract surgery, a procedure similar to LASIK, is another treatment option. It replaces the clouded lenses with a clear intraocular lens (IOL).

3) Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration tops the list of eye conditions that are common among those above the age of 60. It is a disease that causes abnormal growth of blood vessels near the macula which is the central part of the retina. It causes blank spots in the central vision and can also lead to permanent blindness. The eye condition is so common among the aged and the statistics around it are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1.8 million Americans above the age of 40 are affected by AMD. And these numbers are expected to almost double by 2050!

There are two types of AMD; dry AMD (atrophic) and wet AMD (exudative). According to the National Center for Biotechnology, permanent blindness is attributed as a consequence of wet AMD and it accounts for around 15% of overall AMD patients.

Here’s how you can tell if you might need to test for AMD:

  • Blurred central vision

  • Partial vision loss

  • Blank or blind spots

  • Hazy vision in dim light

  • Straight lines appear distorted

Even though Age-related Macular Degeneration is one of the most common eye conditions, unfortunately, there is still no cure to completely treat it. After an elaborate eye checkup, your ophthalmologist can prescribe medications to prevent abnormal growth of blood vessels. Other treatments for AMD include Anti-VEGF medicines, photodynamic or laser therapy to destroy abnormal growth in the eyes.

You can test your eye vision and health with high-technology-enabled optometry at The Eye Lab, Melbourne.

4) Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that occurs due to optic nerve damage that can worsen over time. A pressure buildup within the fluid of the eye hampers the transmission of images to the brain. The increasing intraocular pressure can also lead to permanent blindness. About 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma and it is considered to be the second leading in the list of eye conditions that cause blindness. There are two types of glaucoma; open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma: It is one of the most common eye conditions and is also known as wide-angle glaucoma. In this condition, the drain structure/ meshwork of the eye looks normal but the blood flow is unusual. It makes up around 90% of glaucoma cases and it’s hereditary too. If glaucoma runs in your family’s medical history, you are 4 times more prone to this eye condition. So when you go for your next eye test, don’t forget to mention the history of family glaucoma to your optometrist.

Angle-closure glaucoma: Unlike open-angle glaucoma which shows slow symptoms, this eye condition occurs rather suddenly. Even though it is not as common as open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma also runs in the family. If you are diagnosed with this eye condition, you need immediate medical treatment to prevent vision loss.

The symptoms of glaucoma vary according to the stage and severity:

  • Tunnel vision (open-angle)

  • Painful headaches (angle-closure)

  • Nausea and vomiting (angle-closure)

  • Blurred vision (angle-closure)

  • Redness and cloudiness in eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Teary eyes

  • Larger than normal eyes

There are often no early symptoms, which is why around 50% of people do not realize that they have glaucoma. Going for periodic eye health checkups can help detect this eye condition at an early stage and save you a lot of trouble.

You can get non-surgical as well as surgical treatments for glaucoma. The first thing you need to do is to consult an ophthalmologist. You can book an appointment for a complete eye checkup at The Eye Lab to take your first step towards glaucoma-free life. For non-surgical treatment, your ophthalmologist might prescribe special eye drops that can drain fluid and reduce the amount of fluid the eye produces. Surgical ways to treat the eye condition include drainage-stimulating Trabeculoplasty, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS), and Glaucoma Implant Surgery.

5)  Diabetic Retinopathy

The last in our list of eye conditions is diabetic retinopathy which as the name suggests, is a diabetic complication. It damages the blood vessels around the light-sensitive tissues of the retina. It weakens the retina and sometimes leaks fluid into the retina. Diabetic retinopathy leads to clouded vision and blurry eyesight.  There are two stages of diabetic retinopathy; Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) which is the early stage and Proliferative retinopathy (PDR) which is an advanced stage of this eye condition.

There are no initial symptoms of diabetic retinopathy but the symptoms of the later stages include:

  • Dark spots or floaters that affect the vision

  • Impaired colour recognition

  • Loss of vision

  • Blurry, hazy vision

It is a common eye condition among anyone who has been suffering from diabetes for a long time with irregular sugar levels. If you are a diabetic person, do not wait for the symptoms to show up and consult your optometrist at the earliest. Like most common eye conditions, diabetic glaucoma can be treated surgically as well as non-surgically.

One surgical method is Scatter Laser surgery or Photocoagulation which uses lasers to shrink the blood vessels in the spot where the retina is detached from the macula. The other way is Vitrectomy which removes the vitreous gel to repair the retina and macula. The non-surgical ways to treat the eye condition include Anti-VEGF injections and Corticosteroids which reduce fluid leaking and inflammation in the eyes.

Our list of eye conditions has only a few of the many eye conditions like presbyopia, pink eye, and dry eyes which can hamper your vision. Ignoring your eye health is not a wise thing to do! Ideally, every individual should book an eye test every two years.

Evaluate Your Eye Health at Melbourne’s Leading Optometrist

Call up The Eye Lab and schedule your eye test for a complete eye health checkup. Ask our expert optometrist regarding your concerns about common eye conditions, prescriptions, eye care tips, and more. Enjoy your life to the fullest with a clear and healthy vision!

-Vic, OD, the Eye Lab Melbourne Optometry Clinic

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