8 of the Most Common Eye Problems

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Because the eyes are often exposed to the elements, visual problems and eye disorders are common. In today’s post, we are listing down some of the most common eye problems that could affect a person’s eyesight and overall health:

1. Cataracts

A cataract is a condition wherein the white lens of the eye turns milky. This is typically an age-related condition, but even kids are known to develop cataracts. Causes of cataract could be anything from trauma, protein degeneration or UV exposure. This condition is treated through surgery wherein the lens of the eye will be replaced with artificial ones.

2. Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a condition wherein the cornea (the outer lens of the eye) becomes weak and misshapen from a dome to a cone. This condition can cause loss of vision if not treated right away. Keratoconus is often corrected by wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Implants can also be placed under the cornea to improve vision and correct the cornea’s shape. In severe cases, keratoconus may require a cornea transplant.

3. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a result of sustained exposure to blood with high glucose level. Too much sugar in the blood could alter the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This cuts off the supply of nutrients to the retina causing blindness. As the name suggests, this condition is common among diabetics. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated through laser surgery called laser photocoagulation. This procedure will either seal or destroy the leaking blood vessels in the retina to restore vision.

4. Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the world. This condition is caused by damage to the macula. The macula is a part of the retina that perceives light. Risk factors of macular degeneration include smoking, age, and family history of this condition. Macular degeneration has no known cure, but treatments can slow down the development of the disease.

5. Refractive Errors

Perhaps the most common of all eye problems is a refractive error. The length of the eyeball, aging of the lens and the shape of the cornea affects how the light passes through the cornea and lens. This causes visual problems. Types of refraction errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions could be corrected by wearing eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser treatment.

6. Glaucoma

One of the worst of all eye problems is glaucoma. This progressive condition occurs when the eyeball’s optic nerve becomes damaged. As the disease progresses, a patient will lose his vision for good. Unfortunately, glaucoma has no perceivable symptoms so it is hard to detect unless it is too late. This condition is often treated using lasers, eye drops, and surgery.

7. Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a visual problem that renders a patient unable to perceive small print or objects clearly. This condition is often caused by the aging lens that lost their flexibility. Presbyopia is often confused with farsightedness, but it’s a different condition altogether. This condition can be corrected by using prescription lenses, getting lens implants or undergoing refractive surgery.

8. Dry Eyes

This condition occurs when the tear glands cannot produce enough tears to lubricate the eyeballs. Symptoms include itchiness, burning, and red eyes. In severe cases, dry eyes could cause vision loss. Dry eyes are often treated with special eye drops that simulate real tears. Plugs are also placed in tear ducts to reduce tear drainage.