Around 61 million American adults are considered high risk for vision problems. Are you?
The eyes are a complex sensory organ that must work on many levels for your vision to be perfect and precise. Therefore, to keep them healthy, we need to pay attention to any possible symptoms of vision problems and keep regular eye doctor appointments.
This article will discuss seven common vision problems seen by eye doctors, their risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options.
7 Common Vision Problems
We use our eyes for every aspect of our life, so to lose our vision would be not only upsetting but disruptive. However, if you are educated about the common symptoms of eye problems, you can check for any possible signs of vision loss and work to prevent further deterioration.
Read on to learn more about the most common vision problems.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is an often seen vision issue. It’s when you can see objects close up but can’t see things that are far away.
Myopia is caused by a long eyeball structure or a curved cornea. The eyeball structure causes the light that goes into the eyes not to be correctly focused on the retina. This is known as a refractive error and produces blurred vision.
Symptoms of nearsightedness include eye strain, fatigue, squinting, and headaches.
An eye exam given by your doctor will show if you’re nearsighted. Nearsightedness can be fixed with eye surgery and temporarily corrected with eyeglasses or contacts.
You may be farsighted if you can see things far away but can’t see well when objects are close.
Farsightedness is also referred to as hyperopia and occurs when your eye is too short or is unable to hold a strong focus. This causes a refractive error and blurriness.
Symptoms of hyperopia include headaches, eye strain, blurry vision, and fatigue after reading or playing on the phone.
A basic eye exam will diagnose farsightedness. Surgery can permanently correct hyperopia, but contact lenses and glasses can also fix vision issues.
Glaucoma worsens due to pressure and fluid buildup inside the eye. This condition damages the eye’s optic nerve and causes vision loss.
The scariest part about glaucoma is that there aren’t many early symptoms. Therefore, it’s essential to go to your eye doctor regularly so that they may screen for these issues.
Once vision loss occurs from glaucoma, it doesn’t come back. However, if you can catch glaucoma early enough, you can slow the progression of symptoms and vision loss.
4. Diabetic Retinopathy
One of the central vision problems with diabetes is known as diabetic retinopathy. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It causes eventual blindness without treatment.
There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, but there are treatments that can be done to slow the progress.
Those who have diabetes, have poor blood sugar control, smoke, or have high blood pressure and cholesterol are at an increased risk of developing the condition. It is one of the shared vision problems during pregnancy, as well, as pregnancy can worsen diabetic retinopathy.
The beginning stages of this complication don’t have many symptoms, but you may notice floaters in your vision, blurred vision, vision loss, empty spots in your imagination, and color changes. It’s essential to visit your eye doctor regularly, especially if you have diabetes, to get your eyes screened for vision problems like diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to hemorrhage, retinal detachment, glaucoma, or blindness.
The key to managing diabetic retinopathy here is more about prevention than treatment. It’s critical to manage diabetes and blood sugar levels and to avoid smoking.
Cataracts occur when a foggy protein buildup on the eye lens causes blurry vision and a potential loss of eyesight.
Cataracts are more common in older adults, can be caused by another medical condition like diabetes, or can occur from trauma. You’re at a higher risk of getting cataracts with excessive sunlight exposure, heavy drinking, and smoking.
Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy vision, myopia, double vision, trouble seeing at night, and trouble with glares during the day. In addition, your eyeglasses or contacts may not work anymore.
Your eye doctor can see if you have cataracts by performing simple tests. Treatment will be either glasses, contacts (in minor cases), or cataract surgery.
6. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that worsens with age; in those over 60 years old, it is the top cause of vision loss. It occurs when the macula, the central portion of your retina, wears down.
As the name suggests, older people are at a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration. Other risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy, and smoking.
There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration, wet and dry.
The more common dry form is caused by small deposits called drusen in the retina’s macula. As the deposits layer on, vision may become distorted or dimmed.
The wet type of age-related macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels grow under the macula, leaking fluid into the retina. As a result, you could have points of wavy vision and blind spots.
Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include unclear vision and a dark and blurry center of the image.
While there isn’t a cure for age-related macular degeneration, you can slow the progress of the disease by choosing a treatment option with your doctor.
One popular treatment option for wet macular degeneration is known as anti-angiogenic drugs. This medication stops the fluid buildup from new blood vessels forming. Laser treatment may be a good approach, as well.
Taking vitamins can be highly beneficial to those suffering from age-related macular degeneration.
Astigmatism is another refractive error vision problem when your eye isn’t ideally round. As a result, light isn’t being appropriately bent within your eye, which makes only part of an object be in focus.
Astigmatism often accompanies nearsightedness or farsightedness but can also occur by itself.
Common symptoms of astigmatism include slightly distorted vision, blurriness, trouble seeing at night, headaches, and eye strain. An eye doctor can quickly diagnose you with this eye issue with an eye exam. In addition, surgery, contacts, or glasses can be used to treat astigmatism.
Seeing Is Believing
We may take our eyes for granted, but it’ll be too late if you lose your vision. So keep an eye out for these signs and symptoms of vision problems so you can put your best look forward.
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