Other Eye Conditions: Signs, Symptoms and Treatments.

Other Eye Conditions

Overview

Have you ever wondered why your eye is twitching? Or you’ve recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, macular degeneration or retinal detachment and want to know more about your eye condition? Or maybe you or your family members have eye conditions such as cataracts, conjunctivitis (pink eye), astigmatism or presbyopia and you want to know how to treat them? If these are some of the questions that you have been asking yourself, you have come to the right place! Browse through our collection of science-based articles below to learn more about the different eye conditions, their common signs and symptoms, and how to treat and manage them. Here are just some examples of what you can expect to learn more about the different adult eye conditions.

Common adult eye conditions

Floaters

Floaters are usually tiny specks and strings that are attributable to normal age-related changes in the vitreous (a gel-like fluid that fills the back of your eye). Most of us do or would have experienced floaters. The red flag is when there are significant and/or sudden changes in the appearance, number and/or size of floaters, which would necessitate an immediate visit to your eye doctor as these signs would indicate something more serious like a retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment

A retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from its underlying support at the back of your eye. As you age, the vitreous (a gel-like fluid that fills the back of your eye) undergoes a change in texture and shrinks. Occasionally, such a change could result in the retina becoming detached. While retinal detachment is not painful, the longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the more vulnerable you are to permanent vision loss. Warning signs of a detached retina include — the abrupt appearance of many floaters and flashes, reduced vision, or even the feeling of a shadowy curtain lowered over your eyes. If you experience such symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness in people over 60. This condition typically happens when fluid is not draining properly. Consequently, there is an accumulation of pressure that could damage the optic nerve. Glaucoma can be described as the “silent thief of sight” as it often affects both eyes, usually at different times. It can cause a significant loss of peripheral vision and total blindness if untreated. Regular eye exams are important as blindness can be avoided with early treatment.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia refers to the age-related increasing difficulty in seeing close objects or small print. Presbyopia develops as we inch closer to the age of 40. If you have presbyopia, you might often hold reading materials at arm’s length. Also, you might get headaches or “tired eyes” while reading or doing other close work. To address this issue, you can improve your vision with reading glasses or multifocal (bifocal) lenses.

Macular Degeneration

This condition is another leading cause of vision loss. Macular degeneration is when there is damage to your macula, responsible for your central, sharp and colour vision. As the disease advances, it can cause blurred vision and eventually central vision loss. Injections applied directly to the eye are a treatment option for macular degeneration, however, vision loss caused by this condition is often irreversible. Lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking are important in protecting your eyes against macular degeneration.

Cataracts

Cataracts are the result of proteins in the lens breaking down as you age and can lead to blurred or cloudy vision. You’re at higher risk if you suffer from diabetes, spend lots of time exposed to the sun over the years, or are on long term medications such as corticosteroids. When cataract impedes your everyday activities, your eye doctor may recommend surgery to exchange the clouded lens for an artificial one.

Diabetic retinopathy

If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you might have diabetic retinopathy which occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged as a result of diabetes. These damaged blood vessels can swell and bleed, therefore leaking blood and other fluids into the retina. As a result, you might suffer from cloudy vision, and sometimes floaters or blur vision. As time goes on, your symptoms worsen and you may experience dark spots or empty areas in your vision. While regular eye checks are important for people of all age groups, they are especially important in individuals with diabetes.

Dry Eye

After the age of 40, your tear production tends to lessen. Hence, most people over the age of 40 experience some symptoms of dry eye. Symptoms include stinging or burning sensations or gritty feelings in your eyes. Ironically, dry eyes might cause watery eyes (as the dryness prompts your eye glands to produce more tears). 

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