What are eye diseases?
“Eye diseases” is a term used to refer to a group of diseases relating to eye function. Some of them are minor and go away, while others can cause vision loss.
When it comes to signs of eye disease, more people worry about turning blind rather than losing their ability to hear or walk, and almost half of them still, do not want to get their eyes checked.
Below we have compiled a list of some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are treated in general.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is redness and inflammation of the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eye and inside of the eyeballs – conjunctiva. The common causes are viruses, bacteria, allergens and other irritants like dust and smoke. This eye disease is highly contagious and is usually accompanied by increased tearing and/or discharge.
While most cases of conjunctivitis are viral which do not need treatment with antibiotics and improve within two weeks, others are bacterial and must be treated with antibiotic drops or by treatment by an eye doctor.
Floaters are spots, weblike lines, or rings drifting around the field of vision. They are generally caused by ageing changes in the vitreous jelly of the eye. Eye floaters are mostly harmless and fade away over time, but if someone develops multiple floaters or floaters with pain, floater removal becomes necessary.
There is no definitive treatment for floaters. However, since they can very well be a symptom of something more serious, it is imperative to see an ophthalmologist for eye floaters treatment in the case of impaired vision.
Diabetic Eye Disease
“Diabetic Eye disease” is a blanket term for a host of eye diseases that can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. These eye problems include cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – Diabetic people often have problems with their blood vessels throughout the body. Similarly, diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
The treatment of diabetic retinopathy generally involves a laser surgery, but it too has side effects. So, the best way to prevent it is with a healthy lifestyle and strict glucose control.
- Glaucoma – Also, called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is the elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye, which affects the optic nerve with no symptoms or signs in the early stages of the disease. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually cause vision loss.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, progressions of glaucoma can be halted or slowed with eye drops, laser treatments; and hence early examination and detection is the key.
- Cataracts – A cataract is known as a painless cloudy lens in the eye that results in blurry vision. In most of the cases, cataract slowly progresses as we age, but there are many other causes of cataracts like trauma, diabetes, some medications, and excessive UV light exposure.
A normal eye exam can detect a cataract. Treatments for cataracts include magnifying lenses, eyeglasses, or surgery. In the surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial one.
It is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of the retina that helps with focus. It is mostly associated with ageing and hence is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It rarely causes total blindness.
There are two forms of AMD –
- “dry” – central vision diminishes over time – due to the slow breakdown of the light-sensitive cells in the macula, this form is the most common and with no known treatment.
- “wet” – abnormal blood vessels start to grow beneath the retina, leaking fluid and blood, causing permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells and the loss of central vision, this form is less common and can be treated with laser procedures.
Taking proper care of eyes is important to protect your vision. And therefore, there are certain steps that you must follow – Always use eye protection to avoid injuries, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, be proactive in your eye health, and visit an ophthalmologist if you notice any symptoms of the disorders discussed above.