Your eye is like a tire: Some pressure inside it is normal and safe. But levels that are too high can damage your optic nerve. Glaucoma is the name for a group of diseases that cause this condition.
A common form is primary open angle glaucoma. Most people who have it don’t have early symptoms or pain. So it's important to keep up with your regular eye exams.
It doesn’t happen often, but glaucoma can be caused by:
An injury to the eye
Blocked blood vessels
Inflammatory disorders of the eye
Treatment includes prescription eye drops or surgery.
These are cloudy areas that develop in the eye lens.
A healthy lens is clear like a camera's. Light passes through it to your retina -- the back of your eye where images are processed. When you have a cataract, light can't get through as easily. The result: You can't see as well and may notice glare or a halo around lights at night.
Cataracts often form slowly. They don't cause symptoms like pain, redness, or tearing in the eye.
Some stay small and don't affect your sight. If they do progress and affect your vision, surgery almost always works to bring it back.
The retina is a thin lining on the back of your eye that is made up of cells that collect images and pass them on to your brain. Retinal disorders block this transfer. There are different types:
Age-related macular degeneration refers to a breakdown of a small portion of the retina called the macula.
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in your retina caused by diabetes.
Retinal detachment happens when the retina separates from the layer underneath.
It’s important to get an early diagnosis and have these conditions treated.
As you get older, you may find that you can’t see as well as you once did. That’s normal. You’ll probably need glasses or contacts. You may choose to have surgery (LASIK) to correct your vision. If you already have glasses, you may need a stronger prescription.
Other, more serious conditions also happen as you age. Eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts, can cause vision problems. Symptoms vary a lot among these disorders, so keep up with your eye exams.
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