3 Common Vision Disorders & Their Treatments
Ensuring our eyes stay healthy and our vision maintained is vital to our overall health, as vision impairment can impact quality of life. According to the CDC, people with vision problems are more likely to have heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes.
Yet with about 93 million people at risk for vision loss, only 50% of them went to an eye doctor within the last year. Annual eye exams can catch common vision disorders early, and help preserve vision. Keep reading to discover three common vision disorders and their symptoms, causes, and treatments.
1. Refractive Errors
With refractive errors, light does not bend correctly, making objects appear blurry. There are various types of refractive errors. Trouble seeing objects close by is hyperopia or farsightedness. Difficulty seeing objects far away is myopia or nearsightedness. A combination of both is astigmatism. Presbyopia develops over time as you age.
Signs and Symptoms
In addition to blurry vision, you can also experience the following symptoms:
- Dry eyes
- Eye muscle pain
- Eye strains
Refractive errors are typically caused by the shape of the cornea or the length of the eyeball being abnormal. That, plus the natural aging of the lens, can bring about a refractive error.
Refractive errors cannot be prevented, but they can be diagnosed early with routine eye exams and the symptoms treated.
Refractive errors can be treated with prescription corrective lenses. As an alternative to lenses, you could also receive LASIK eye surgery. LASIK can help reshape the cornea to allow light to focus correctly on the retina and improve your vision.
A cataract is clouding of the lens. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, with more than half of people over the age of 60 diagnosed with this vision disorder.
Signs and Symptoms
In addition to cloudy vision, the following symptoms are indicative of cataracts:
- Constantly changing prescriptions
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Double vision
- Light halos
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing objects with a faded or yellowish appearance
Eyes naturally change as you age. Over time, the proteins in the lens of the eye can break down and cause clouding of the lens.
While cataracts cannot be prevented, steps can be taken to protect your vision, including:
- Annual eye exams
- Dilated eye exams every two years
- Wear hats and sunglasses
- Eat healthily
- Quit smoking
Cataract surgery is simple, stress-free, and effective—with 90% of patients experiencing improved vision. During the surgery, the clouded lens is removed, and an intraocular lens is implanted. No stitches are required, and the surgery lasts between 30 minutes to an hour.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 60 in the United States. There are two types of this vision disorder: primary open-angle and angle-closure.
Signs and Symptoms
For primary open-angle, vision changes occur over time including loss of peripheral vision, but there is no pain caused by the fluid buildup. Angle-closure occurs suddenly and has some warning signs, including eye pain, blurry vision, nausea, and headaches.
Glaucoma is caused by excess fluid buildup in the eye, which puts pressure on the optic nerve. When the optic nerve gets damaged, vision loss results.
Glaucoma is not preventable, but when caught early, significant vision loss can be prevented. With the right treatment plan in place, glaucoma can be managed.
After a diagnosis, your eye doctor will create a treatment plan specific to your needs. It could involve eye drops to lower eye pressure, minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery, or traditional glaucoma surgery.
Receive Progressive Treatments for Vision Disorders
If you are experiencing symptoms common to the three vision disorders, schedule an appointment with a professional ophthalmologist to receive an accurate diagnosis. A routine eye exam can diagnose all three common eye problems. Your eye exam may require dilation so your doctor can check your pupils or optic nerve for damage. Your eye pressure will be measured, and a visual field test is given.
After your eye exam, the eye team at MEI can provide expert treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, and common refractive errors, among other common eye problems.
Schedule your appointment with an expert eye doctor in Michigan online or by calling us today!
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