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Eye & Vision Diseases & Disorders (Umbrella)

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  • Lula Lorraine Myers (1948 - 2008)
    Lula Lorraine Marks Myers, 60, of Mt. Zion, West Virginia, went to be with her heavenly father on August 6, 2008 at Minnie Hamilton Health System. She was born February 28, 1948 in Calhoun County. She ...

Please DO NOT add profiles to this project which is an umbrella project for Eye diseases & disorders.

Some eye problems are minor and don't last long. But some can lead to a permanent loss of vision (Blindness). If you suspect you have an eye condition or vision problem or you have injured your eye, see an eye doctor immediately.

Vision Impairment (aka Low Vision) & Blindness:

See: (Blindness & Visual Impairment)

  • If you have low vision, eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery may not help. Activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be hard to do. The leading causes of low vision and blindness in the United States are age-related eye diseases: macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. Other eye disorders, eye injuries, and birth defects can also cause vision loss.
  • Whatever the cause, lost vision cannot be restored, but it can be managed.
    • A loss of vision means that you may have to reorganize your life and learn new ways of doing things. If you have some vision, visual aids such as special glasses and large print books can make life easier. There are also devices to help those with no vision, like text-reading software and braille books.

Common eye problems include:

  • Refractive errors - Farsightedness, Hyperopia, Myopia, Nearsightedness
    • The cornea and lens of your eye helps you focus. Refractive errors are vision problems that happen when the shape of the eye keeps you from focusing well. The cause could be the length of the eyeball (longer or shorter), changes in the shape of the cornea, or aging of the lens.
    • The most common symptom is blurred vision. Other symptoms may include double vision, haziness, glare or halos around bright lights, squinting, headaches, or eye strain.
    • They included:
      • myopia (nearsightedness), which is when far-away objects look blurry
      • hyperopia (farsightedness), which is when close-up objects look blurry
      • astigmatism, which can result in blurry vision because the cornea is not perfectly shaped to direct light into the eye
      • presbyopia, which is farsightedness caused by the loss of elasticity of the eye’s lens due to aging
    • Glasses or contact lenses can usually correct refractive errors. Laser eye surgery may also be a possibility.
  • Cataracts - clouded lenses
    • A degenerative form of eye disease in which the lens gradually becomes opaque and vision mists over.
    • Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
    • In rare cases, children develop cataracts in the first few years of their lives.
    • A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.
    • Common symptoms are:
      • Blurry vision
      • Colors that seem faded
      • Glare - headlights, lamps or sunlight may seem too bright. You may also see a halo around lights
      • Not being able to see well at night
      • Double vision
      • Frequent prescription changes in your eye wear
    • Cataracts usually develop slowly. New glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses can help at first. Surgery is also an option. It involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataracts.
  • Optic nerve disorders, including glaucoma
    • The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carry visual messages. You have one connecting the back of each eye (your retina) to your brain.
    • Damage to an optic nerve can cause vision loss. The type of vision loss and how severe it is depends on where the damage occurs. It may affect one or both eyes.
    • There are many different types of optic nerve disorders, including:
      • Glaucoma is a group of diseases that are the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises and damages the optic nerve.
      • Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve. Causes include infections and immune-related illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
      • Optic nerve atrophy is damage to the optic nerve. Causes include poor blood flow to the eye, disease, trauma, or exposure to toxic substances.
      • Optic nerve head drusen are pockets of protein and calcium salts that build up in the optic nerve over time.
    • Treatment depends on which disorder that you have. With some optic nerve disorders, you may get your vision back. With others, there is no treatment, or treatment may only prevent further vision loss.
  • Retinal disorders - problems with the nerve layer at the back of the eye
    • The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail.
    • Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are
      • Macular degeneration - a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision
      • Diabetic eye disease - see below
      • Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
      • Retinoblastoma Retinoblastoma - cancer of the retina. It is most common in young children.
      • Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula
      • Macular hole - a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
      • Floaters - cobwebs or specks in your field of vision
  • Macular degeneration (aka: Age-related macular degeneration, AMD) - a disease that destroys sharp, central vision
    • is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision. You need central vision to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving.
    • AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but it causes cells in the macula to die. There are two types: wet and dry. Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These new blood vessels often leak blood and fluid. Wet AMD damages the macula quickly. Blurred vision is a common early symptom. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Your gradually lose your central vision. A common early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked.
    • Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore vision.
  • Diabetic eye problems
    • If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can damage your eyes. The most common problem is diabetic retinopathy. It is a leading cause of blindness in American adults.
    • Your retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. You need a healthy retina to see clearly. Diabetic retinopathy damages the tiny blood vessels inside your retina. You may not notice it at first.
    • Symptoms can include
      • Blurry or double vision
      • Rings, flashing lights, or blank spots
      • Dark or floating spots
      • Pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes
      • Trouble seeing things out of the corners of your eyes
    • Treatment often includes laser treatment or surgery, with follow-up care.
    • Two other eye problems can happen to people with diabetes. A cataract is a cloud over the lens of your eye. Surgery helps you see clearly again. Glaucoma happens when pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the main nerve. Eye drops or surgery can help.
  • Eye infections
    • An infection in your eye can show up in many different ways.
    • For instance, you can get symptoms in your Eyelid, Cornea (clear surface that covers the outside of your eye), or the Conjunctiva (thin, moist area that covers the inside of the eyelids and outer layer of your eye)
    • It may affect one or both eyes
    • Signs & Symptoms may include:
      • Eye Pain or discomfort
      • Itchy eyes
      • Feeling that something's on or in your eye
      • Eye hurts when it's bright (light sensitivity)
      • Burning in your eyes
      • Small, painful lump under your eyelid or at the base of your eyelashes
      • Eyelid is tender when you touch it
      • Eyes won't stop tearing up
      • Irritation in your eyes
      • Discharge out of one or both eyes that's yellow, green, or clear
      • Pink color in the "whites" of your eyes
      • Swollen, red, or purple eyelids
      • Crusty lashes and lids, especially in the morning
      • blurry vision
    • Types of Eye Infections:
      • Conjunctivitis - an infection also known as Pinkeye; It can be caused by a bacteria or virus, although sometimes you might get it from an allergic reaction or irritants
      • Keratitis - corneal infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites in water; common in those wearing contact lenses
      • Stye - painful red bump(s) under the eyelid or at the base of eyelashes; occurs when the oil glands in eyelid or eyelashes become infected with bacteria
      • Fungal eye infections - rare but can be serious; many happen after eye injury, esp. if eye was scraped by something from a plant, like a stick or thorn or unclean contacts
      • Uveitis - an infection of the middle layer of eye; causes light sensitivity, floaters & blurred vision; sometimes linked to an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis (for more info see: WebMD - What is Uveitis?)

Notables with Eye / Vision Problems:

Resources & Further Reading: