The eye is divided into different parts such as the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, macula, optic nerve, and vitreous. Each part has a different eye function. Among 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older experiencing low vision and blindness. Eye problems are a very common disease, some cases are minor that can be treated at home and can go away on their own while others are serious eye problems that need special attention. Eye conditions such as age-related macular, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are the leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States.
1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration or also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the eye problems that are linked to damages to central vision and effects of aging. The function of central vision is for seeing objects clearly and for daily activities such as reading and driving. Macular degeneration creates damages to the eye macula which is the central part of the retina that allows the eye to see clear details. AMD comes into two forms, wet and dry.
Wet AMD is caused by abnormal vessels behind the retina that can form under the macula. It can lead to blood and fluid leakage. The early symptoms of it are straight lines appear wavy. Dry AMD can cause blurry vision that can happen once the macular starts to thin through age. It affects both eyes and the most common early signs of it are drusen. Drusen are commonly found in people aged 60 years older and it is a tiny yellow or white deposit under the retina.
2. Refractive Errors
Refractive errors are just one of the many eye problems prevalent in the United States. It has many types such as astigmatism (distorted vision at all distances), myopia or commonly known as near-sightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, and presbyopia that usually occurs between 40 to 50 years old. Presbyopia is a loss of ability to focus up close, blurry vision, inability to read letters, and need to hold newspaper farther away to see it. It can be corrected by wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses.
A cataract is an eye condition that can cause blindness and the leading cause of vision loss. It is characterized by the clouding of the eye’s lens and it can occur at any age or it can be present at birth. It can be treated by the removal of the cataract. Almost 20.5 million Americans aged 40 years and older have cataracts either in one eye or both eyes and 6.1 million had their lens removed operatively.
Glaucoma is an eye problem that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in loss of vision and blindness. This eye condition can happen when the normal fluid pressure inside the eye slowly rises. You can protect your eyes against serious vision loss with early treatment. The eyes can suffer from two types of Glaucoma. First is the open-angle glaucoma is a chronic eye condition that progresses slowly over a long period. People with open-angle glaucoma will not notice any sign of vision loss until the disease is very advanced. Closed-angle glaucoma can be painful and can appear suddenly. People with closed-angle glaucoma can experience quick loss of vision.
Amblyopia or commonly known as “lazy eye”. It is a common cause of vision impairment in children and the vision in one eye reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. People with amblyopia eye condition looks normal, but the person suffering from this condition has a hard time using both eyes.
Strabismus eye problem is an imbalance positioning of the two eyes. People with strabismus condition have eyes that focus in different directions and do not focus simultaneously on a single point. Children are the most affected with this condition and the cause of it is unknown.
7. Diabetic Retinopathy
It is a common eye problem with diabetic people. It is the most common cause of blindness in diabetic people. It is progressive damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic Retinopathy comes with four stages such as mild nonproliferative or microaneurysms, moderate nonproliferative is a blockage in some retinal vessels, severe nonproliferative, and proliferative (most advance stage). It can be prevented by controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid abnormalities.