Top 3 conditions that affect eye health

Many people face eye health issues at some point in their life. While some of these issues are minor and tend to resolve on their own or with basic treatment, others are severe and require a specialist’s care. There are multiple reasons for poor eye health, which might lead to partial or total blindness. In this article, we have listed the three most commonly diagnosed eye conditions, along with their symptoms and risk factors.

Glaucoma is the second biggest cause of permanent blindness among people in the country. The aqueous humor is a watery fluid found in the eye’s anterior chamber where the camera, iris, lens, and pupil are located. This fluid is vital to the functioning of the eyes, as it maintains the requisite pressure called the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and provides nutrients to help maintain the shape of the eye. An increase in this pressure leads to glaucoma.

In most cases, glaucoma is asymptomatic and progresses gradually, but the symptoms may appear gradually in some cases. Here are the common signs of this eye condition:

  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Severe eye pain, along with nausea and vomiting
  • Redness of the eye
  • Headache
  • Tenderness in the surrounding area
  • Viewing halos around lights

Risk factors

  • Ethnicity
    African-Americans face a higher risk of this condition that affects eye health.
  • Family history
    People whose siblings or parents had glaucoma are at a greater risk of developing it.
  • Age
    The risk elevates with age, especially after 60 years, but African-Americans face a greater risk after 40 years of age.
  • Vision problems
    People with short-sightedness or myopia are at a higher risk of glaucoma.
  • Medical conditions
    Diabetes increases the risk of developing glaucoma twofold.

Cataract refers to the appearance of cloudy patches in the lens of the eye. With the progression of the disease, the patch grows and results in blurry or misty vision. It can also aggravate and lead to blindness.

Some signs of cataract are:

  • Misty or blurry vision
  • Faded appearance of colors
  • Lights appear too bright or glaring
  • An inability to see in low light

Risk factors

  • Age
    Although this eye health condition is majorly diagnosed in older adults, babies or young children might also develop it.
  • Family history
    People whose siblings or parents had cataracts are at a greater risk of developing the disease.
  • Substance abuse
    Excessive drinking, substance abuse, or steroid use increase the risk of cataracts.
  • Medical conditions
    Diabetes increases the risk of developing this eye health issue.

Diabetic retinopathy
One of the key complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes, diabetes mellitus can damage the retina, and undiagnosed or untreated diabetes can also lead to blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy is asymptomatic in most cases and can be detected only via routine eye tests.

Risk factors

  • Diabetes
    People with high blood sugar levels and type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
  • Ethnicity
    African-American, Native American, and Hispanics are at a higher risk.
  • Pregnant women
    Pregnancy increases the risk of this condition among women.
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure levels
    People with high blood cholesterol or blood pressure levels are highly susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy.