Our eyes are perhaps the most important organs of the body. It allows us to see the world and interpret our surroundings. Compared to our other sensory organs, our eyes can perceive about 80 percent of all stimuli. Many people are not fortunate to be born with a 20/20 vision. Others even have congenital eye disorders.
Spotting eye problems can be difficult since some disorders may not exhibit any symptoms in the early stages. This is why regular eye check-up is recommended for all ages. Below is a list of the most common eye problems, and if you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms, immediate consultation with an eye doctor is prescribed.
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
Amblyopia or lazy eye is one of the most common eye disorders among children. Spotting signs of amblyopia early is key to long-term management of this disease because there are no treatment options available for adults with lazy eyes. Sometimes, detection of lazy eyes may be difficult if neither the child nor the parent notices the condition.
Lazy eyes happen when one of the eyes does not develop properly. The lazy or “weaker” eye is not able to send signals to your brain to properly interpret what it sees; thus, the lazy eye is used less often than the good eye.
If not treated or diagnosed early, amblyopia can develop into other eye disorders such as strabismus or misalignment of the eyes. It may also affect the vision in the healthy eye if left untreated. Because amblyopia is common in children, biannual check-ups are recommended for early detection.
Treatment options for lazy eyes may include eye patches, corrective glasses, contact lenses, or vision therapy. Helping the weaker eye develop normally is key to successful lazy eye treatment. Your doctor may recommend wearing an eye patch for one to two hours daily over your healthy eye so you can use your weaker eye more often. These treatments are only proven to work for early detected cases of lazy eye. There is currently no proven treatment for adults diagnosed late with amblyopia.
Dry Eye Disease
Dry eye disease happens when the eye is not able to produce enough tears to lubricate or coat your eyes. Dry eyes can irritate, but permanent vision loss is rare. There are many causes of dry eyes and it is usually associated with Meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD. MGD occurs when the Meibomian gland, the eye gland that produces oil, is clogged. Once this happens, less oil reaches the surface of the eyes and it is not lubricated properly.
Treating dry eye syndrome is easy as putting a few drops of artificial tears. In some cases, treatment may require treating any underlying cause such as MGD. MGD treatment is manageable and has a high success rate. Depending on your case, your doctor may prescribe either home remedies or in-office procedures.
Refractive errors are more commonly known as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. These vision problems occur when your eyes are unable to bend light rays properly resulting in blurred eyesight. Mild cases of refractive errors may have no symptoms. Advanced stages may exhibit double or hazy vision, squinting, eye strain, and headaches, among others.
Refractive errors are highly treatable with corrective glasses or contact lenses.