Although no one wants to think about eye diseases or any other disease they might be at risk for, the truth is, many people are at risk for eye diseases as they age. Diseases are caused by a variety of issues, from poor diet, to overuse of the eyes, to simply aging over time. Knowing about eye diseases can help you prepare for the future and help avoid some of the most common diseases.
Take a look at some of the most common eye diseases, causes of the disease, and how you can help avoid them.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome affects nearly 10 million Americans each year. The syndrome is caused by lacking tears or poor tear quality. Tears have to be made of a precise balance of mucous, oil, and water, or else the eye will dry. Usually, environmental factors contribute to dry eyes, including smoking, heaters, windy climates, and high altitudes. You can limit your chances of getting dry eye syndrome by avoiding these conditions. Vitamin A supplements can also reduce dry eye symptoms. Usually, simple eye drops are enough to prevent dry eye syndrome.
Glaucoma is caused by pressure inside the eye. Fluid is constantly present in the eye, cleaning it and nourishing it. If the pressure is too high, or there is too much fluid, the pressure will damage the optic nerve. This will reduce peripheral vision and can eventually lead to vision loss and even blindness. You can limit your chances of getting glaucoma by avoiding steroid use, keeping your blood pressure low, and avoiding cortisone. Treatment for the disease is done with eye drops, surgery, or laser treatment.
Cataracts are a clouding over the eye caused by a build-up of proteins. The lens of an eye is made of a mixture of water and protein and clumps in the protein causes the eye to cloud over and results in vision loss. Cataracts are something that naturally happens during aging. There is little you can do to prevent it from occurring, but an eye doctor can perform surgery when the cataracts become too large for clear vision. The surgery is performed by making a small incision in the eye and removing the protein build-up. The surgeon then replaces the removed sections with an intra-ocular lens implant. This improves vision distance without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
This disease affects a small area of the retina called the macula. The macula is what helps the eye see small details. When the macula is damaged, this causes loss of detail vision. Macular disease is caused by a variety of factors. Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, a high level of sun exposure, and poor diet. You can lower your chances of getting this disease by avoiding these factors. However, there are a few genetic factors that also influence how likely you are to get the disease. Treatment for the disease includes nutritional therapy and management of blood pressure. Photo Dynamic Therapy is also used, which stops the eye from leaking blood, which contributes to the disease.
All of these eye diseases are common, and your risk can be reduced by applying the above solutions. In general, eye diseases can be avoided with a healthy diet, and by reducing the strain placed on the eyes.