What Eye Conditions Can Secretly Cause Permanent Vision Loss? By Walter Choate on December 31, 2023

Woman receiving an eye exam

All kinds of ocular conditions can impact the health of your eyes and vision. If left unaddressed, some can worsen over time and result in more severe symptoms, potentially leading to permanent vision loss. Here, we’ll share some eye conditions that you should know can lead to compromised vision if left untreated — and offer advice on how to stay on top of your eye health.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If left undiagnosed and untreated, diabetic retinopathy — a complication of diabetes — can cause blindness. While some may eventually notice changes in their vision, such as difficulty reading or seeing objects that are far away, this condition may not show any symptoms at first. As it progresses, one could develop spots or dark strings floating in their vision (also known as “floaters”).


The leading cause of irreversible blindness, glaucoma is a widespread eye condition; some three million people in the United States alone have been diagnosed. This chronic, progressive eye disease is caused by damage to the optic nerve, often linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye.

It has been referred to as the “silent blinder” as there are no noticeable symptoms in the early stages.

Macular Degeneration

While it doesn’t usually cause blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can result in serious vision problems. This condition impacts your central vision, causing it to appear distorted or not as clear. Unfortunately, once the damage occurs, it lasts forever.

There are two primary types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD, which accounts for roughly 80% of those with the condition, causes slow, gradual vision loss. Wet AMD (which is more rare) is the most common cause of severe vision loss. Dry AMD can turn into wet AMD at any stage.

Protecting Your Vision: The Importance of Timeliness

A misconception about retinal eye disease is that it’s an inevitable part of aging or diabetes. However, early assessment, treatment, and monitoring from a trusted team of eye care professionals can make all the difference in retaining your vision and permanently losing it.

Catching eye diseases early can help prevent or delay vision loss, help preserve your quality of life, and even help you save money on costlier procedures you would otherwise need down the line.

The idea of suffering from an eye condition that secretly causes permanent vision loss may sound frightening — but routine visits with an eye doctor are an effective way to tend to your vision health before irreversible damage takes place. That’s where Choate Eye Associates steps in.

Visit Choate Eye Associates to Assess Your Eye Health

Our optometrist, Walter Choate, provides comprehensive eye exams to put patients on the path to getting the care they need. The team at our practice provides non-surgical treatment options for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. Depending on your unique needs, Dr. Choate can refer you to a specialist for surgical care.

For more information about receiving care at our optometry office in Goodlettsville, TN, get in touch with us today.

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Dr. Choate

Choate Eye Associates

Choate Eye Associates has been delivering high-quality, compassionate eye care to the Nashville community since 1979. We are affiliated with various leading organizations in the field, including: 

  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association 
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry 

To schedule a consultation at our practice, call us at (615) 851-7575 or request an appointment online

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"I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam." Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient

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