Learn key information about common eye diseases
Macha Eye Care wants to keep you informed about common eye diseases and ailments! Explore some of the most commonly treated eye diseases and conditions that our eye care specialists encounter to ensure that if you contract an eye disease or are dealing with a condition, you can recognize the symptoms and get treatment!
Call Macha Eye Care today for a comprehensive exam to test for any of these conditions!
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner eyelid. Pink eye is highly contagious and usually identified by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing or discharge. While minor cases improve within two weeks, pink eye can develop into serious corneal inflammation and can threaten your sight.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Often, there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having an eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will reduce your chances of vision loss.
Called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in inner-eye pressure, which causes damage to the optic nerve with symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually to blindness. While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery that can help to halt vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are key to slowing the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that destroys focused central vision via deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the center of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD: “dry AMD”, the most common type with no known treatment; and “wet AMD”, a less common and treatable form of AMD. Genetic tests can help identify those most likely to develop “wet” AMD.
In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet, and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration.
Common eye conditions
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy eye, medically termed amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision (usually in one eye). This degenerative process usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Lazy eye needs to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it is during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently, further impairing visual development.
Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by the age of three and sooner if there is a family history of any eye conditions.
A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world’s leading cause of blindness and among the most common conditions related to aging. By age 65, you have a 50% chance of developing a cataract. By age 75, it jumps to 70%. A cataract starts small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks. In the early stages, your doctor may recommend stronger eyeglasses and adjusting your lighting to reduce glare. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, which is one of the most frequent and successful procedures done in the U.S.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headaches, and watery eyes when working in front of a computer screen. The symptoms are typically due to posture, dry eyes, eye muscle coordination, and poorly corrected vision. Since computer monitors are typically 20 to 26 inches from your eyes, your regular glasses may not be the best option for computer work. This distance range is considered "intermediate": closer than what you use to drive a car but farther away than what you use to read. Special lens designs for computer work provide you with a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer and your immediate work area like the top of your desk.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse, and protect your eyes. This is significant because, with each blink, tears protect the surface of the eye, washing away dust and microorganisms. When this protective coating dries up, your eyes may feel “gritty” or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In extreme cases, your vision can be blurred. If you suspect that you have dry eyes, see your eye doctor. Proper care will not only increase your comfort, but it will also protect your eyes. Your eye care provider can perform a series of tests to determine if you have dry eyes.
Cross-eye, medically known as strabismus, occurs when your eyes are misaligned. This can happen when the muscles that control eye movement are not properly working together. The result is one or both eyes turning inward, outward, upward, downward, or one or both eyes moving irregularly. Strabismus is usually diagnosed during childhood and affects about 4% of children, afflicting boys and girls equally. Though it cannot be prevented, its complications can be avoided with early intervention. Even if you notice symptoms intermittently, like when your child is ill, stressed, or fatigued, you should still alert your eye care provider.