The human eye is incredible, serving as our “window” to the world and the primary way we take in our experiences. It’s also very complex and delicate, made up of a number of tiny structures that work in tandem to help us see the world around us. Over time, issues may arise that can impact your vision. These range from minor conditions such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) to vision-threatening diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. Below are just a few of the major forms of eye disease. Check out the sidebar for more.
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of legal blindness in individuals 65 years or older*. This condition affects the macula, the sensitive middle portion of the retina that is responsible for fine vision (reading, driving, recognizing faces) and color perception.
A cataract occurs when your eye's natural lens becomes cloudy over time. This can cause your vision to become hazy, blurry, or less colorful. Cataracts are extremely treatable via surgery, allowing patients to reclaim their quality of life through a relatively short and simple procedure.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among those with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. Between 40-45% of those diagnosed with diabetes already have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
Glaucoma is often referred to as “the silent thief of sight” as it often has no symptoms in its earliest stages - in fact, about 50% of those with glaucoma have no idea they have it! While vision loss from glaucoma is typically permanent, vision loss can be prevented if treated early enough in the disease.