More than 3.4 million people over the age of 40 in America are visually impaired, or completely blind, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Our eyes are extremely complex organs, and are unsurprisingly also very fragile. The majority of the population requires some form of visual correction, like eye glasses, in order to see clearly. However, astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia are only a small segment of eye issues that might be revealed from an eye exam with your ophthalmologist. In order to ensure that your eyes stay healthy, and your vision is as clear as it can be as you go through life, it is important to know what eye conditions you might encounter.
Cataracts are painless, and grow slowly, but their effect on your quality of vision can be significant. A wide range of factors can contribute to the development of cataracts, including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, excessive alcohol use, diabetes, aging, and family history, but the result is always a gradual clouding of the eye lens. When cataracts are small, they may not affect vision, but large or thick cataracts can prevent light from passing through the lens of your eye, and they may need to be surgically removed in order for vision to be restored.
Glaucoma is the result of abnormal pressure within the eye which damages the optic nerve, and in some cases can result in complete blindness. There are about 2.2 million people with glaucoma in the U.S., according to the CDC. The most common form of glaucoma causes no pain, therefore it is usually only with the help of an ophthalmologist that glaucoma can be detected. Risk factors for glaucoma can include severe infections, blocked blood vessels, eye injuries, or inflammatory disorders. Prescribed eye drops and surgery may correct the condition if caught early enough.
A common eye infection, conjunctivitis is highly recognizable because it causes the eye to become pink, or red, with irritation. Symptoms include burning, tearing, itching, discharge, and of course, the rather demonic appearance. Infection, bacterial or viral, and exposure to irritants and allergens can all cause conjunctivitis. Treatment may consist of prescription medication, or simply allowing the eye to heal on its own.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
As we age, it becomes more and more important to visit an ophthalmologist regularly. The CDC found that out of 61 million adults, only about half visited their eye doctor in the last year, despite being at higher risk for losing their vision. People over the age of 60 are especially at risk. The central area of the retina, which is the macula, tends to deteriorate with age. This condition might not result in complete blindness, though it is likely to cause severe visual disability.
Make sure that you get the best eye exams possible on a routine basis from an eye care clinic with experienced doctors. Our eyes might not be the most high maintenance organs in our bodies, but they are prone to injury, infection, and other disorders. Knowing what symptoms to look out for, and making it a point to visit the eye doctor regularly can help you to catch any issues before they become serious problems. More like this blog.
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