Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

common eye conditions

The 5 Most Common Eye Conditions

The eyes are complex and fragile organs, and while some eye problems are minor and temporary, others can lead to permanent loss of vision.

The single best way to protect your vision is through regular professional eye exams. If you notice a change in your vision in between these examinations contact one of our eye doctors immediately.

Your best chance of effectively treating common eye problems is early detection, so it is important to be aware of the the signs and symptoms.

Here are the 5 most common eye diseases along with their symptoms for early detection, treatment options and in some cases preventative measures you can take to keep your eyes healthy.

1. Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Description: Lazy eye is an early childhood condition where a child’s eyesight in one eye fails to develop correctly. If left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss.

Symptoms: Poor vision in one eye, constant squinting, headaches, eyes that point in different directions, poor depth perception.

Treatment: With early diagnosis and treatment from a children’s eye doctor, improved sight in a lazy eye can be accomplished. Treatment options include eye patches, eyeglasses and, in severe cases, surgery.

Learn more about Amblyopia

2. Age-related Macular Degeneration

Description: Age-related Macular Degeneration is a deterioration of the eye’s macula - the lining of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye responsible for central vision.

Many older patients develop this eye condition as a part of the body’s natural aging process.

Symptoms: Distortion of straight lines, gradual loss of central vision, diminished color perception

Treatment: In the early stages, age-related macular degeneration goes largely unnoticed and can only be detected through a dilated eye exam. Treatment options include anti-angiogenic drugs, photodynamic laser therapy, vitamin supplements.

Prevention: The best way to protect your eyes from developing macular degeneration is to eat a healthy diet, exercise and wear sunglasses.

Learn more about AMD

3. Glaucoma

Description: Glaucoma is a serious eye condition in which damage to the optic nerve due to intraocular pressure leads to permanent vision loss.

Symptoms: Severe eye pain, tunnel vision, vision rainbows or halos, nausea, spotted vision

Treatment: In its early stages, open-angle glaucoma presents no obvious symptoms. That’s why regular visits to the eye doctor are crucial for early diagnosis and proper treatment. Treatment includes prescription eye drops, laser surgery and drainage tubes.

Learn more about Glaucoma

4. Cataracts

Description: A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. This eye condition affects mostly patients above the age of 40 but cataracts can develop at any age.

Symptoms: Blurred vision, sensitivity to light, poor night vision, sudden change in eyeglass prescription.

Treatment: Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the optometrist may recommend simply updating your eyeglass prescription or changing your contact lenses. However, if the condition impairs your ability to engage in day-to-day activities such as driving and reading, cataract surgery is recommended.

Learn more about Cataracts

5. Diabetic Retinopathy

Description: Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, is caused by abnormal changes to the blood vessels in the retina.

Symptoms: Floaters (dark spots in vision), blurred vision, vision loss, impaired color vision, empty areas in your vision

Treatment: Depending on the severity of your symptoms, treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include corticosteroids, vitrectomy and anti-VEGF injections.

Prevention: Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, make sure you visit your eye doctor for a yearly dilated eye exam, even if your vision seems fine.

Learn more about Diabetic Retinopathy

Early detection is the key to keeping your eyesight and health in the best condition possible for as long as possible. Be sure to maintain your regular eye exam schedule or call a qualified optometrists to book an appointment at the first sign of concern.

To schedule an eye-exams with one of our trusted optometrists, please contact our Lethbridge eye clinic today at (403) 327-4166.

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