Types of Eye Problems
There are different types of eye diseases and vision issues, some of which have no cure, but many can be treated. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regularly visiting an eye care professional, you can help manage your eye condition and address any changes in your vision.
About 3.4 million people in the United States aged 40 or above meet the definition of legal blindness, with a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better-seeing eye field of 20 degrees or less, or have corrected vision, according to the CDC.
Approximately 7 percent of children under the age of 18 in the USA have been diagnosed with an eye problem or condition. Additionally, around 3 percent of children under 18 are blind or have impaired eyesight. Vision loss is one of the top ten causes of disability in adults over the age of 18 and a significant disabling condition in children.
The good news is that it is never too late to start taking care of your health. Regular eye checkups and examinations can lead to early diagnosis, which is key to correcting or slowing down most eye conditions. If you experience vision problems that last for more than a few days or worsen, always consult your eye care professional.
Eye problems come in various forms, with glaucoma, cataracts, and refractive errors being the primary causes of visual impairment and preventable blindness. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness, accounting for 66.2 percent of blindness cases and 80.7 percent of severe visual impairment cases, followed by refractive errors and glaucoma.
Primary Causes and Symptoms of Eye Problems
- Infection, vitamin deficiency, genetics, allergy, chemical irritants, and smoking are some common causes of eye diseases.
- Glaucoma: Excessive production of aqueous humor or obstruction of its outflow from the eye can lead to increased intraocular pressure and eventually cause glaucoma. Prolonged high eye pressure can result in irreversible nerve damage and vision loss.
- Cataract: Cataracts can be caused by hereditary factors, aging, dietary deficiencies of vitamins E, C, B, and protein, as well as exposure to UV rays.
- Xerophthalmia: This condition, caused by a deficiency of vitamin A, is the most common cause of blindness in children.
Symptoms that Require Immediate Consultation
- Blurred vision
- Severe eye pain
- Change in vision or sudden vision loss
- Foreign body sensation in the eye
- Watery or red eyes
Types of Eye Problems and Their Remedies
Refractive errors, including hyperopia, myopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism, are the most common vision problems in the United States. Symptoms may include blurred vision for near or distant objects, irritation, headache, or itching. Refractive errors can be corrected with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or surgery in some cases.
Cataracts, characterized by clouding of the eye’s lens, are a leading cause of blindness worldwide and the primary cause of vision loss in the USA. Cataracts can occur at any age due to various reasons, including genetic factors, and may even be present at birth. Symptoms of cataracts include sensitivity to light, cloudy vision, double vision, or poor night vision. Treatment for cataracts is widely available, but barriers such as treatment cost, lack of awareness, patient choice, and insurance coverage prevent many people from receiving proper care.
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It involves progressive damage to the blood vessels and light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina) that is crucial for good vision. Symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, and loss of sight. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed through laser treatment, diabetes management, and surgery. Proper disease management, including maintaining reasonable blood sugar control, can also reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are essential in minimizing the risk of vision loss.
If you experience any difficulty with your vision or persistent irritation, it is important to consult a healthcare professional at your earliest convenience.