Eye diseases
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Eye disease can range from mild an annoying to severe and loss of vision. It is not uncommon for eye diseases to go undiagnosed until the vision is affected, as many people do not regularly schedule visits with an ophthalmologist unless they are having vision difficulties.


Symptoms related to eye disease include red, irritated, or blood shot eyes, blinking excessively, blurry vision, burning sensations, bumps on the eye or eyelid, cloudiness, crossed eyes, lazy eye, discharge, distorted vision, dry eyes, loss of eyelashes, grittiness, halo vision, lack of night vision, limited ability to move the eyes, or anything out of the ordinary. Infants typically show few or no signs of eye disease unless there is an obvious discoloration, bruising, or swelling of the eyes due to their inability to focus.

Image: Eye


Injury and trauma can cause eye problems, although heredity is one of the main causes of eye disease. Eye disease can also be caused by recessive genes. Age and poor nutrition can contribute to eye disease. The sun can damage the eyes, especially in people over 40.

Injury and trauma are most often seen in athletes and pilots, especially those who fly fighter jets. Pressure can create risk factors for eye disease. Age, sun exposure, and poor eye maintenance can contribute to eye health issues. Other diseases can contribute to poor eye health, such as diabetes.


Diagnosis of eye disease and eye problems typically comes from an ophthalmologist. Special instruments and staining eye drops allow ophthalmologists to view the eyes beyond the iris and pupil. These instruments can allow ophthalmologists to see the cornea, bruises, scratches, and disease. This is why it is invaluable to see an ophthalmologist annually even if there are no symptoms of eye disease or eye problems. A test known as contrast sensitivity testing is often done to help detect underlying eye problems.

Contrast sensitivity determines the ability to see shades against shades, although this is different than testing for colorblindness. Puffing air into the eyes can help the ophthalmologist determine if there is too much pressure in the eye which can be a sign of diseases such as glaucoma. Slit lamps, also known as biomicroscope, magnifies the images and structure of the eye and can reveal damage to the eye, the cornea, and other areas of the eye caused by injury or disease.

Dilation drops help the ophthalmologist view the eyes with the biomicroscope. Simple tests like covering one eye and checking for refocusing time and asking the patient to read eye charts also factor into the range of tests which can determine eye disease.

Eye damage and eye disease can cause serious complications when left untreated. Blurry vision, deteriorating vision, and eventual blindness can occur from eye disease. Eye diseases such as pink eye can be contagious, and thus it is very important to have eye diseases treated by a qualified ophthalmologist.
Eye diseases
Image: Eye diseases


Treatment for various eye diseases can range from simple to invasive. Treatment for eye pressure disease such as glaucoma include beta blocker eye drops to help reduce pressure in the eyes, or alpha 2 agonist and prostaglandin drops for people with heart or lung problems. Some eye diseases can be treated with laser surgery. Cataract surgery is not only the most performed eye surgery in the world, it is in fact the most performed surgery of all.

Surgical procedures can often help patients regain lost vision due to poor eyesight or the impact of disease. Some eye diseases have no approved medications or treatments available. The American Food and Drug Administration must approve a treatment before it can be administered. However, there is evidence that treating some eye diseases with nutrition can slow the progression of the disease, such as macular degeneration. Medications that are actually used for decreasing blood pressure or blood vessel growth can often help with eye diseases, although they were not created specifically for eye disease treatment. Some eye diseases, such as astigmatism require nothing more than corrective lenses although surgical procedures are now available to assist with those who wish for more complete treatment.


Caring for eyes and preventing and treating eye disease involves a regimented routine of annual eye examinations, follow through on physician instructions, good nutrition, and understanding eye health. Things like reading in low light, sun exposure, allowing forcible wind contact with eye (such as riding a motorcycle without eye protection), working with machinery without eye protection, and the overuse of eye drops can inflame conditions if not contribute to their onset.
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