The 4 Most Common Eye Diseases & Their Symptoms

iStock-1153021723

Over 4.2 million Americans are either considered legally blind or suffer from low vision. Some of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States are common eye diseases that typically present themselves as you age. Left untreated, these diseases can cause permanent damage and rob you of your sight completely. Luckily, if caught early, these common diseases can be treated, and vision loss can be prevented.

iStock-1331298245

St. Louis Eye Disease Treatment at Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center

Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center specializes in the treatment of vision problems associated with common diseases of the eye and can help restore your eye health and vision. Frequent eye exams are the main method of detection for common eye diseases, so make sure to schedule your appointment at our St. Louis office today!

Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common eye diseases impacting people as they age. Cataracts are the clouding of the natural lens of your eye. These lenses mostly consist of proteins, and as you age, these proteins and other fibers break down and cluster together. The clustering of proteins is what causes the lens to appear cloudy.

A cloudy lens prevents light from entering the eye, leading to impaired vision. Most people start developing some sort of lens clouding around age 50, and it worsens with age for many.

Symptoms of cataracts can include:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision

  • Double vision

  • Faded colors, especially brown or yellow-tinted vision

  • Seeing halos around lights

  • Light glare and sensitivity

  • Difficulty or loss of night vision

When these symptoms begin to significantly impair your quality of life, it may be time to consider cataract surgery. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center to schedule a cataract consultation.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a particularly problematic eye disease impacting many Americans and one of the leading causes of blindness. This is because glaucoma often doesn’t display any symptoms until it progresses into a more serious disease. This is why early detection of the disease is key to preventing significant, irreversible vision loss.

Glaucoma is another common eye disease that develops as people age. Most often it occurs as a result of increased pressure within the eye, either from fluid buildup or inflammation from auto-immune diseases. This increased pressure begins to press on the optic nerve, the part of your eye that sends images to your brain. Eventually, this damages the optic nerve, causing vision loss.

In the later stages of glaucoma, symptoms may include noticing blind spots in your vision, often starting in your peripherals. If you have these symptoms, call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. Even if you aren’t displaying symptoms, make sure you’ve had your annual eye exam. Frequent comprehensive eye exams are the only way to detect glaucoma in its early stages.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the more common causes of vision loss. This eye disease impacts an area in the back of the eye called the macula, which processes the things you see directly in front of you. 

It’s because the macula is impacted that this disease typically only impacts your central vision. Symptoms of AMD include blurry or wavy vision, a loss of central vision, and a dark spot in the center of your vision. 

There are two types of AMD, dry and wet. Dry AMD is what most people have. Symptoms aren’t obvious and vision loss may seem slow and barely noticeable. If left untreated, dry AMD can progress into wet AMD. This occurs when abnormal blood vessels start growing in the eye. These leak blood into the eye, which causes a growing blind spot.

The cause of age-related macular degeneration isn’t known, but eye doctors can detect the signs you may be at risk for it during your annual comprehensive eye exam. It’s important to seek medical help as soon as the symptoms of AMD become noticeable as it’s likely any further vision loss may be permanent. Book an appointment with the AMD specialists at Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center to prevent age-related macular degeneration from robbing you of your sight.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re at higher risk of developing serious eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when uncontrolled diabetes leads to abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye that can leak, causing vision loss.

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • General vision loss

  • Dark spots in your vision

  • An increase in eye floaters

  • Blurry vision

The best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is careful monitoring of your eyes and management of your diabetic condition. This is why it is especially important for patients with diabetes to receive yearly diabetic eye exams. These allow your doctor to detect and treat any diabetic eye diseases before they lead to permanent vision loss.

GettyImages-1056866562 RT v1

Visit the St. Louis Eye Disease Specialists at Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center

If you’ve experienced any of the eye problems described above, make an appointment with an eye doctor at Galanis Cataract & Laser Eye Center as soon as possible. We use the latest technology to detect and diagnose common eye diseases as early as possible. We’ll create a vision treatment plan to manage your condition and preserve your eyesight. 

If you haven’t had your annual eye exam yet, make sure you get in to see us as soon as possible. The earlier we detect an eye condition, the better your treatment options will be.