There are SO many conditions that can damage your eyes and cause permanent vision loss like diabetes and cancer! Did you also realize that his damage is painless and can occur suddenly? Read below for just a few of the most common issues that cause permanent damage to your eyes and why you need a yearly eye examination even if you ‘see’ fine.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes and can cause blindness. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. You should have a complete examination every year or more frequently if changes are noticed or your diabetes is not controlled. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to getting it.
Macular Degeneration is an eye disease affecting the macula (the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye), causing loss of central vision. It is also the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. There is no cure for macular degeneration. Causes and risk factors include hereditary, UV light exposure, smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Macular degeneration can be dry (gradual progress) or wet (progresses quickly and is severe). Regardless, any vision loss from either one is permanent.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve. some people are at higher risk. You’re at higher risk if you: Are over age 60, especially if you’re Hispanic/Latino, Are African American and over age 40, and/or have a family history of glaucoma. Glaucoma is sometimes the "silent vision thief" because there are rarely any early warning signs. Vision loss can be gradual and is PERMANENT. There are treatments available to treat glaucoma such as eye drops, laser treatment and surgery.
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon its size and location, it can interfere with normal vision. The lens is located inside the eye behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. Most cataracts are due to the normal aging progress, but other factors can cause early onset: Diabetes, certain medications like steroids (oral and eye drops), UV light, smoking, alcohol use, nutritional deficiency and injury. Cataracts generally form very slowly.
Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include: blurred or hazy vision, reduced-intensity of colors, increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night and increased difficulty seeing at night. Cataract surgery can be performed to replace the hazy lens with an artificial clear lens.
Did you know a sign of dry eyes can be your eyes tearing too much? Dry eye can be caused by your eyes not making enough tears or poor quality tears. Water, Oil and mucous are the three key components of tears. If any of these components are lacking in the correct amount, you can suffer from the following symptoms: over tearing, redness, gritty/sandy feeling, burning, blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches, eye pain, eyelid twitching, light sensitivity, stringy mucous, difficult to open your eyes in the morning.
There are many causes of dry eye such as use of electronic devices, age (older individuals), gender (female), medications (such as allergy medication and decongestants) and medical conditions (such as thyroid conditions, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, blepharitis/demodex blepharitis). There are numerous ways to treat dry eye depending on your symptoms and cause. There are drops that temporarily add oil to your eye, medications to increase tear production and/or reduce inflammation and and supplements to add beneficial oil to your body. You can also help yourself by staying appropriately hydrated, avoid direct air flow from fans and vents, wear sunglasses outside and take breaks when using electronic devices.
Choroidal Nevus - a darkly is a lesion found in the back of the eye. It is similar to a freckle or mole found on the skin. Most commonly, a choroidal nevus does not cause any symptoms and is found during a routine eye exam. Most choroidal nevi remain benign (non-cancerous) and have no symptoms. However, occasionally, a nevus can transform into melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.