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Many eye diseases do not have early symptoms but can develop into serious problems if left untreated. People can ensure their eyes remain healthy by visiting an eye doctor regularly and reporting changes in vision, however small. In most cases, medical care and lifestyle alterations can manage eye diseases, but each is unique in the symptoms it produces and the most helpful treatments.

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-regulated macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among seniors over 65. The disease develops as macular tissues in the back of the eye start to thin with age. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, and excessive exposure to light. Symptoms include blurred vision and distorted lines. In some cases, doctors can slow age-related macular degeneration. The condition has various types, and doctors will perform diagnostic tests to determine which treatment is best.

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Cataracts

Cataracts affect the eye's crystalline lens. As this lens ages, it can stiffen and lose its ability to focus. Loss of lens clarity can severely impact vision. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy, blurred, or double vision in a single eye, poor night vision, and sensitivity to light. Not smoking, limiting alcohol, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, and wearing sunglasses outdoors may lower the risk of developing cataracts. Surgery is available should they develop.

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CMV Retinitis

An viral infection that attacks the retina's light-sensing cells causes CMV retinitis, which can lead to blindness if not treated promptly. Many people can effectively fend off this virus, but those with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable. Symptoms of CMV retinitis include eye flashes and floaters, blind spots, and loss of peripheral vision. Treatments involve medications to curtail the virus and help strengthen the immune system.

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Bulging Eyes

Bulging eyes or proptosis occurs when the eyes begin to protrude from their sockets due to swollen muscles or tissues or lesions. Symptoms include protruding eyes, dryness, and visible whiteness. To treat proptosis, the eye doctor must first determine what is causing it, then treat that problem. The most common cause in adults in Graves' disease, an autoimmune condition that leads to an overactive thyroid gland. In mild cases, the doctor may just monitor the condition. More serious cases may require surgery.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can impact the health of the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among people under 60. With early detection, however, the condition can be treated and reversed. This type of retinopathy occurs when high or unregulated blood sugar levels allow excess blood sugar to accumulate in organs such as the eyes. People with diabetes should visit the eye doctor regularly to catch any issues early.

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the eye does not make enough tears or produces low-quality tears. The common condition causes symptoms such as redness, itching, irritation, and blurred vision. In some cases, dry eyes can induce permanent damage. An eye doctor will try to determine what is causing the issue to prescribe the best treatment and ultimately correct the problem.

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Eye Herpes

Type 1 herpes simplex virus causes eye herpes, which presents as scarring and inflammation of the cornea. Signs include eye pain, redness, tearing, blurry vision, and irritation. Treatment is largely dependent on where the infection develops in the eye. While, like other types of herpes infections, eye herpes cannot be cured, anti-viral eye drops can reduce outbreaks and effectively manage the condition.

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an umbrella term for disorders that cause optic nerve damage. During the initial stages, the condition may not cause any symptoms; many people do not realize they have glaucoma until their vision is permanently affected. In more advanced stages, individuals might notice patchy blind spots or tunnel vision. Treatments for glaucoma include surgery and medications.

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Strabismus

Strabismus or crossed eyes occurs when the eyes are unable to align and work together as a pair. Visible misalignment of the eyes is invariably the first sign of these problems. Often, the only effective solution for crossed eyes is surgery. Treatment can also involve glasses, eye patches, and eye drops.

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Color Blindness

Color blindness is a genetic eye condition. Despite the name, a complete inability to see color is very rare. Most people with the condition see colors but have difficulty telling the difference between certain hues, such as red and green or blue and purple. The condition affects significantly more men than women. Today, special contact lenses can sometimes alleviate the issue, though in most cases, people learn to accommodate to their condition.


Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.