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Conditions and Diseases of the Eye
Beyond the obvious need to improve your vision, routine eye exams are also provided to rule out other common eye conditions. Read below for more information:
A clouding of the normally clear, natural crystalline lens in your eye is called a cataract. This clouding is usually due to the aging process but can also be caused by eye trauma, heredity, diabetes, and even some medications. Currently, cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide.
Occurring in those who are myopic as they age, people who have had cataract surgery or those who have suffered a head injury, a detached retina is a tear or hole in the retina that can result in blurry, dim or reduced vision. As the world's aging population grows, cases of detached retina may become more commonplace.
Caused by complications of diabetes that result in decreased vision and blindness, diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects those with Type I and Type II diabetes by damaging the blood vessels inside the retina. If the damaged vessels leak blood, severe vision loss and even blindness can occur. The rising number of individuals being diagnosed with diabetes worldwide most likely will lead to a growing prevalence of this disease in the future.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Many people experience dry eyes from time to time, yet millions worldwide have to live with the irritating and often debilitating affects of dry eye on a regular basis. Often the result of any combination of a number of factors such as altitude, temperature, humidity levels, wind, air pollution and a host of ocular irritants, dry eye symptoms often mirror those of other conditions.
An abnormal reaction or increased sensitivity to foreign substances known as allergens, eye allergies are one of the most common diseases experienced by the global population.
Infections of the eye can be caused by bacteria, a virus or even be brought on by allergies and require rapid attention by an eye care professional. More severe ocular disorders can develop if infections are not treated promptly and aggressively.
Often painful and requiring attention by an eye care specialist, inflammation of tissue associated with the eye can be caused by bacterial, viral or environmental factors. An environmental factor experienced on a global scale is overexposure to ultraviolet light – often resulting in inflammation of the cornea or the conjunctiva. Repeat exposure and inflammation may contribute to cataracts.
Glaucoma is a sight-threatening optic nerve disease often related to increased intraocular pressure. The second leading cause of blindness worldwide, glaucoma affects some groups differently than others. For instance, those of African descent are five times more likely to develop glaucoma than Caucasians.
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 65. Central vision is gradually blurred and can be eventually lost – severely hampering the individual's quality of life. This is of great concern as the world's population aged 65 and older is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism & Presbyopia
These are conditions of the eye that result in less than perfect vision. Short- or near-sightedness (myopia), causes blurred distance vision. Hyperopia, or far-sightedness, causes blurred close vision. Astigmatism is an irregularly-shaped cornea that can distort vision at all ranges – while presbyopia is the loss of one's ability to focus close-up as one grows older. All of these visual impairments can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.