12 Common Eye Disorders You Need to Know About
It’s normal for your vision to change over your lifetime, yet eye disorders can sometimes creep up. Changes are often due to an ocular disorder and will require closer monitoring or treatment to prevent them from getting worse. For this reason, it’s very important that you see your eye doctor regularly for checkups.
Here are some of the most common eye disorders to look out for.
NOTE: If you are suffering any of these conditions or experience new/related symptoms, please ensure you see an optometrist quickly.
- Age related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration can cause vision loss due to damage to the macula (responsible for clear, central vision). It typically affects those over the age of 60.
Amblyopia is also known as “lazy eye”. People affected by this condition have one eye that is unable to focus as well as the other one because the brain favours the information being transmitted from the other eye. Children are most commonly affected, and if the condition isn’t treated adequately, this condition can last into adulthood.
Cataracts is a treatable condition that occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. They’re most common in older individuals — roughly half of the population aged 80 or older has been affected.
- Diabetic retinopathy
This condition occurs when the vessels that supply blood to the retina become damaged from overly high blood sugar levels. This damage leads to reduced vision. As the name suggests, it occurs in people who have diabetes.
- Dry eye
Dry eye is a condition where either the quality or quantity of your tears is insufficient to properly lubricate your eyes, and it can occur in people of all ages. Risk factors include prolonged computer usage, laser eye surgery, increased age, certain medications, too much exposure to wind, and allergies.
Glaucoma is a condition involving damage to the optic nerve that can result in blindness if not treated. People at the highest risk include those over the age of 60 years, those with a family history of this disorder, and Afro-Canadians older than 40 years of age.
- Graves eye disease
Also known as Graves Ophthalmopathy or Graves Orbitopathy, this condition can develop in people who have thyroid problems due to Graves disease. People who have this may suffer from a feeling of grittiness in their eyes, red eyes, light sensitivity, or double vision, among other things.
- Low vision
Low vision refers to a loss of sight that can be due to many causes including injuries, birth defects, aging, or an ocular disease. The most common types are decreased central or reading vision.
- Red eyes
Red eye can affect people of all ages and can be due to a wide variety of causes, including allergies, or infection.
- Refractive errors
Refractive errors can occur when the eye’s shape stops light from being focused correctly on the retina. People of all ages can be affected by this, but usually these errors can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- Retinal detachment
If the retina detaches from its proper position, it can cause permanent vision loss. Symptoms include flashes of light, having only part of your field of vision appear blocked, or an increase in the number of floaters. Although it’s considered a medical emergency, most people who receive prompt treatment can be treated successfully. People over the age of 40, men, and Caucasians are at higher risk.
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
This is a condition where the eyes appear to be looking in different directions, rather than working together. It can occur intermittently, or be fairly constant. Although it can affect adults, it’s most common in children and may be inherited.
See your eye doctor regularly to monitor for these common eye disorders
Since there are treatments available to either alleviate symptoms or reverse these conditions, this isn’t a case where the phrase “ignorance is bliss” applies. See your eye doctor for regular check-ups so you can be monitored for these issues and treated properly if any crop up.