Common Medical Eye Diseases and Their Symptoms
There are several forms of medical eye disease, some of which go away with minimal intervention, while others require the attention of an eye practitioner. Identifying the signs and symptoms of different medical eye diseases can help you know when to visit a specialist.
Dr. Walter Choate is board-certified in the treatment and management of eye diseases. He is also an FDA-approved investigator for new interventions in the ophthalmic field, which gives him access to the latest treatment options not available anywhere else. You can get started by contacting Choate Eye Associates, serving patients in and near Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, and greater Nashville, TN.
Dry eye occurs when your tear glands make insufficient tears to keep your eyes wet, or when your tears do not work correctly. You could also experience dry eyes if your tears tend to dry up too fast. According to the National Eye Institute, dry eye is one of the most common medical eye diseases, affecting millions of Americans annually.
Symptoms of dry eye include:
- Scratchy or burning sensation
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
You can experience it as a result of too much screen time, allergies, certain medications, and more. You should visit an eye doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Commonly referred to as a lazy eye, amblyopia is a medical eye disease that usually affects one eye. It occurs when the brain does not recognize sight from one eye, resulting in an over-reliance on the stronger eye. This overdependence worsens the weaker eye over time.
Amblyopia usually starts in childhood between birth and seven years of page. A child with amblyopia may exhibit signs such as:
- Squinting or shutting one eye
- Tilting the head
- An eye that wanders inward or outward
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, children should have their eyes checked at or before their fourth birthday to detect any serious signs of medical eye diseases.
Strabismus, also referred to as crossed eyes or squint, is a condition in which the eyes do not line up with one another. One eye is turned in a different direction from the other, such that both eyes cannot simultaneously look at the same point. The condition occurs when the eye muscles do not work properly to control eye movement. There are different forms of strabismus, categorized by the direction of the misaligned eye.
Common symptoms of strabismus include:
- Misaligned eyes/eyes that do not look in the same direction simultaneously
- Eyes that don't move together
- Squinting or closing one eye in bright sunlight
- Tilting or turning the head to look at things
A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s lens. Typically, the lens is clear and refracts light rays coming into the eye, which aids in vision. The clouding of this part of the eye impedes vision. Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Cloudy, hazy, or blurry vision
- Fading of colors
- Vision difficulties at night
- Seeing a halo around lights
- Double vision
- Having to change your prescription glasses or contact lenses frequently
Cataracts typically develop as you age, although many other factors can cause the condition.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that progressively damage the optic nerve. The signs of glaucoma usually vary depending on the type. Open-angle glaucoma usually develops without symptoms until the condition is in advanced stages. In the later stages, you may find it difficult to see objects in your central vision. Patchy blind spots may develop in your peripheral vision.
Acute angle closure glaucoma, which occurs due to sudden blockage of drainage channels in the eye, may present with symptoms such as blurred vision, pain, and redness in the eyes, as well as the appearance of halos around lights.
This eye disease affects the light-sensitive central area at the back of the retina or the macula. Macular degeneration causes a loss of central vision and mainly occurs in people over the age of 50.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- Visual distortions where straight lines appear crooked
- Loss of clear color vision
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Blurry spots or blind spots in your field of vision
Schedule an Exam to Protect Your Sight
The eyes are a vital sensory organ that enables you to go about your daily activities comfortably. Medical eye diseases can impede this ability, and the sooner you treat them, the sooner you regain your quality of life. Choate Eye Associates has the resources to provide the quality eye care you deserve. All you have to do is call us at (615) 851-7575 or contact us using our form to request an appointment.