Your eyes are an important part of your body—and when they are not healthy, that can have a big effect on your entire system. But while we know so much about diseases that affect other parts of our body, for many people even common eye diseases remain a mystery.
So, what are the most common eye diseases, how are they caused and what are their symptoms? As an eye doctor in Oshkosh, we consider it our responsibility to educate our patients about proper eye health. To that end, here is an overview of some of the most common types of eye disease:
- Cataracts: Cataracts are among the most common and well-known diseases that your eyes can develop. They occur when the lens of your eye, located right behind your pupil, becomes cloudy. This cloudiness is usually caused by aging or disease, though cataracts can be present at birth. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a fairly common and routine procedure. If you choose to go that route, your eye doctor in Oshkosh can refer you to a qualified cataract surgeon.
- Glaucoma: Your eyes are constantly draining liquid, which is why when your eyes are dry, it can feel so unusual and uncomfortable. But if too much fluid is produced, your eyes won’t be able to drain it all, which will create a buildup of pressure inside your eye. This gradually leads to a loss of vision, though treatments do exist. They include pharmaceuticals, traditional surgery and laser eye surgery.
- Diabetic retinopathy: You probably know what diabetes is—but did you know that a complication associated with diabetes can affect your eyes? When diabetes causes the blood vessels in your eye to weaken, they can sometimes break and bleed into your eye, causing your vision to become blurred and possibly have a reddish tint. The best way to treat this is to properly manage your diabetes.
- Macular degeneration: This common eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in people over 55. It occurs when the macula, a small area in the middle of the retina, starts to deteriorate. The macula is responsible for your eye being able to sense light, so when it starts to fail, your vision goes with it. This problem can be mitigated with laser surgery or photodynamic therapy, though no method completely solves the issue.
- Retinitis pigmentosa: Also known as RP, this eye disease is genetic, and usually spotted at a relatively young age. RP causes the retina to deteriorate rapidly, and usually results in complete blindness eventually. There is currently no known effective treatment for RP, though scientists continue to study it in hopes of finding a cure.
Now that you know about the most common eye diseases, you can do your best to prevent them, and monitor the general health of your eyes. If you are in need of a quality eye doctor in Oshkosh, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe. We care about your eyes as much as you do!