Education & Tech - Common Eye Problems

Dry Eye

Dry Eye occurs when tear glands cannot make enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning, or rarely some loss of vision. Your eye doctor may suggest using a humidifier in your home, special eye drops that simulate real tears, or plugs that are placed in tear ducts to decrease tear drainage..

Cataracts

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop within the lens inside the eye. Since the lens in a healthy eye is clear like a camera lens, light has no problem passing through the lens to the back of the eye to the retina where images are processed. When a Cataract is present, the light cannot get through the lens as easily and, as a result, vision can be impaired. Cataracts often form slowly, causing no pain, redness, or tearing in the eye. Some stay small and do not alter eyesight. If they become large or thick, Cataracts can be removed by surgery. Cataracts are not dangerous to the eye and can be present for many years. Most people see very well again following surgery.

Glaucoma

This condition occurs when there is a progressive deterioration of the optic nerve. Glaucoma is often associated with an increased pressure of the eye. The eye is like a tire that generally has a normal and safe pressure. When this pressure is increased, it can be associated with damage to the optic nerve; this is called Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Glaucoma can also occur without an increase in eye pressure. This is called Low Tension Glaucoma and it is often associated with diabetes or high blood pressure. Glaucoma causes painless loss of peripheral vision and can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Floaters

“Floaters” are tiny spots or specks that float across the field of vision. Most people notice them in well-lit rooms or outdoors on a bright day. Floaters often are normal, but can sometimes indicate a more serious eye problem, such as retinal detachment, especially if they are accompanied by light flashes. If you notice a sudden change in the type or number of spots or flashes you see, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in Americans over 50. More than 3.5 million people have early stages of Macular Degeneration. This disease of the macula, the central and most sensitive part of the retina, robs people of central vision. Left with only peripheral vision, they struggle to identify faces, read books and watch TV, because they can see out of the corners of their eyes, but not straight ahead.

Diabetes and Hypertension

Many people are surprised when they visit the eye doctor that their blood pressure is taken and a medication list is analyzed. Diabetes, Types I and II and Hypertension are just two illnesses out of many that can cause damage inside the eye. Problems can range from minor prescription changes to permanent loss of vision. Signs can include double vision, retinal bleeding and stroke inside the eye.

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