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Common Eye Conditions

At one time or another, we will all experience an eye condition within our lifetime. Some are minor, requiring little to no treatment, whereas some are more complex, needing specialist care.

Often, eye conditions do not show early symptoms, so it’s best to keep up with routine eye check-ups for early detection.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is associated with damage to the optic nerve because of high pressure in the eye, which can lead to vision loss and, eventually, blindness if left untreated. There are often no early symptoms of the condition, so it is essential to keep up with routine eye check-ups. Later symptoms include blind spots and loss of peripheral vision. People above 60 and those with a family history of Glaucoma have a higher risk of having the condition.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common condition that can be hard to detect. The condition is caused by an abnormally shaped cornea and can cause distorted, blurry vision. Mild Astigmatism often does not cause symptoms and may not need treatment. The condition can be treated with prescription eyewear and contact lenses for more severe cases.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition that affects people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. The condition may not show symptoms at first. However, if left untreated, it can lead to complete vision loss and blindness. The condition is caused by high blood sugar from diabetes. Sugar blocks the tiny blood vessels that lead to the retina, eventually causing them to leak fluid and bleed. If you have diabetes, it's vital to manage your condition by staying active and eating healthy - it is also crucial to attend your yearly eye exams for early detection.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common condition and one of the leading causes of vision loss in older populations. Although AMD does not cause complete blindness, it can still cause you to lose your central vision, affecting your ability to drive and manage day-to-day activities. AMD is a progressive disease with no symptoms in the early days, so it's essential to keep up with yearly eye exams. If you experience blurry vision, and straight lines appearing wavy, schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition affecting the glands' ability to produce enough tears for the eye to stay wet. Symptoms of dry eye include a dry, scratchy feeling in the eye, a stinging sensation, red eyes, along with blurry vision. The condition can usually be treated with eye drops. However, if you suspect you have dry eye syndrome, it's best to make an appointment with your optometrist, as untreated, dry eye can lead to cornea damage.

Cataracts‌

Cataracts are a common condition in older populations. Diabetes, obesity and smoking can also increase your risk of contracting cataracts. You may have cataracts if you notice that your vision is blurry, your night vision declines, and you see halos around lights. Cataracts may require surgery if it affects your day-to-day activities, such as driving, working and watching TV.

What can you do to protect your eye health?

For optimal eye health, you can do a few things to reduce the risk of eye conditions.

  • Visit your optometrist for your routine eye tests for early detection and education on protecting your vision.
  • Wear sunglasses when you go outside; prolonged UV exposure can contribute to cataracts, corneal damage, macular degeneration and decreased vision.
  • Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing DIY projects where the risk of projectiles hitting your eye is higher.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and get the right nutrients to promote healthy vision. Ensure you get sufficient vitamins A, E, C, Zinc and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
  • Quit tobacco as smoking increases your risk of illness and medical conditions, including eye conditions.

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