Eye disorders are varied and affect many people of all age groups, particularly age-related eye disease, which is very common among the older generation.
Sometimes people have eye problems, of which some are minor and go away quickly, while others need specialist care. Some of the commonly affecting disorders are discussed below.
It is an eye condition associated with ageing and damages sharp and central vision. It affects the macula; the central part of the retina needed for central vision and focus on near objects. Age-related macular degeneration can be classified into dry and wet types.
When abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula and cause blood and fluid leakage, it is called wet macular degeneration. In contrast, macula thins over time as part of the ageing process in dry macular degeneration, gradually blurring the central vision. There is also drusen formation, which is yellow, white deposits found in old age people. Small drusen do not affect vision, while the larger ones impair vision significantly.
Clouding is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and is the most common cause of vision loss in the United States. It causes clouding of the eye’s lens and can occur at any age because of various reasons. It is a widely spread disease, but the good news is that the treatment for the removal of cataracts is also commonly available.
Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve, causing vision loss and eventually blindness due to increased fluid pressure inside the eyes. However, many findings show that glaucoma may also occur under normal eye pressure. Glaucoma can be divided into open-angle and closed-angle types.
Open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly, without the person noticing vision loss until very advanced disease. Angle-closure glaucoma can appear suddenly, is painful, and can lead patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the retina’s blood vessels, causing the growth of fragile, abnormal blood vessels that can leak into the eye’s vitreous humour. Severe cases can lead to vision loss and blindness.
Retinal Tear & Detachment
Retinal tears are a common condition where a piece of the retina is torn from the back of the eye, which commonly occurs from ageing. Tears can lead to retinal detachments, which should be treated immediately to avoid vision loss. Increased eye floaters, flashes and blurred vision are common warning signs of retinal detachment.
Ocular Surface Disorders
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Conjunctivitis is a condition causing inflamed conjunctiva, which causes discomfort, itchiness and redness of the eye. Conjunctivitis occurs due to an allergic reaction or infection; viral conjunctivitis is contagious, so it is best to avoid rubbing your eyes and wash your hands regularly.
A stye is a tender red bump on the eyelid with a pimple-like appearance. It is typically caused by a bacterial staph (Staphylococcus aureus) infection and will resolve itself in most cases.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids’ oil glands, causing them to be red, swollen, and itchy. It is typically caused by a build-up of bacteria around the eyelids and eyelashes and can be treated by washing your eyes and using warm compresses.
Sometimes, your eyes look red because their surface gets covered with blood vessels that expand when they are irritated or infected, giving them a reddish look. This can also occur due to eyestrain, lack of sleep, or allergies. It can also be a symptom of some underlying eye condition, such as conjunctivitis, in which case you must seek your doctor’s advice timely. It may also occur due to sun damage if you are not wearing shades for many years and are exposing your eyes to direct sunlight.
The eye is a very sensitive organ, and it gets infected by many common conditions due to exposure to harmful circumstances and microorganisms. The good news is these diseases have treatment at most of the nearest healthcare centres, so if you get doubts about getting any of these diseases, visit your nearest healthcare centre to protect your eyes.