Eye disease often has no early warning signs. However, with regular follow up and early detection, vision loss or blindness can be prevented. There are different number of common disorders of the eye.
Eyes are the important part of the body. It helps us see the world. Any disorder in the eye imparts the quality of life of an individual. As stated, there are various types of eye disorders and some of them are as follows:
Cataract is one of the most common eye disorder which is characterized by a cloudy area that appears in the lens of the eye and affects vision. Cataract is most common in old people and this is because as an individual gets old, the lens inside the eyes gradually changes and becomes less transparent.
The lens lies behind the iris and pupil. It focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eyes and let us see the things clearly, both close and far away. The lens in the eye is made up of mostly water and protein. Normally, protein is arranged in such a way that it keeps the lens clear and allow the light pass through it. But, with an advancing age, some of the protein may clump together and causes the clouding of the lens. There are different types of cataract:
- Congenital cataract - It develops at or shortly after the birth.
- Radiation cataract - It develops due to the exposure to certain types of radiation
- Secondary cataract - This type of cataract develops as a result of other underlying conditions such as diabetes.
- Traumatic cataract - It develops due to any traumatic eye injury.
Conjunctivitis is a general term that is used to describe the condition that primarily affects the conjunctiva. Sometimes, it is also known as a pink eye and it is characterized by the inflammation of conjunctiva that causes symptoms like redness, irritation, itchiness, swelling of eyelids, blurred vision, and yellow discharge that makes the eyes stick together.
Conjunctiva is a thin layer that covers the white of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. The conjunctiva contains tiny blood vessels that produce mucus to coat and lubricate the surface of the eyelid. When the conjunctiva becomes irritated and inflamed, the blood vessels become larger and make the eye appear red.
Causes of conjunctivitis can be categorized into infectious and non-infectious. Virus and bacteria are the most common infectious conjunctivitis. Whereas, non-infectious conjunctivitis include allergic, toxic, and immune mediated diseases. Some of the symptoms that can occur as the infection becomes severe include, severe eye pain, change in vision, sensitivity to light and excessive swelling of eyelids. Conjunctivitis is a disease that affects worldwide and can affect people of any age and of any gender.
Dry eye is a condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears and when the tears evaporate too quickly, accompanied by an inflammation of the surface of the eye. It is a disorder that affects the quality of life of an individual as it makes it difficult for a person to perform certain activities such as prolonged reading, use of gadgets and it also decreases the tolerance level for dry environments. It is a disorder that requires immediate treatment as if it remains untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, scars on the cornea and sometimes it can lead to permanent loss of vision. There are two types of dry eye:
- Aqueous tear deficient dry eyes is a disorder in which the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough watery component of a tear in order to maintain a healthy eye surface.
- Evaporative dry eyes is a disorder which occurs due to an inflammation of the meibomian gland that makes the oily part of the tears that slow evaporation and keep the tear stable.
Some other symptoms of dry eyes may include burning of eye, feeling of something in the eye, discharge from the eye, pain and redness of the eye. Although dry eye can occur at any age, elderly people are more likely to have dry have as compared to other people. Also, women who experience menopause prematurely are more likely to have dry eye and an increased risk of eye surface damage.
Dry eye can be the result of a side effect of certain medicines and any skin disease that occurs on or around the eyelids can also cause dry eyes. It can also result from chemical and thermal burns that scar the membrane lining the eyelid and covering the eyes. There are many other causes that can cause dry eyes.
Also Read: Low Vision Awareness Month- things you need to know about low vision.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve which is responsible for transmitting information from the eye to the brain. It is a disorder that gradually takes the vision and it does not have any early symptoms. Glaucoma is of many types but primarily it is categorized into two types:
- Primary open angle glaucoma - It is also known as wide angle glaucoma and it is the most common type of glaucoma accounting almost 90% of the cases. Normally, there is no symptom associated with it at the early stage. It is a painless disorder and an individual suffering from this disorder do not realize that something is wrong until he or she reaches the advanced stage of the disease. It is a chronic disease that requires immediate action.
- Narrow angle glaucoma - It is also known as angle closure glaucoma and with this type of glaucoma, the angle between the iris and cornea is narrower than normal and it makes it difficult for the eye’s fluid to drain. This increases the pressure in the eye.
Primary open angle glaucoma and narrow angle glaucoma are the two main types of glaucoma and some other types of glaucoma include normal tension glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, traumatic glaucoma, and neovascular glaucoma.
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