The function of the eyes, much like other areas of the body, degrade as we age. While many of these issues are only minor in nature (i.e., macular degeneration, presbyopia, eye strain, floaters, and chronic dry eyes) others can be downright scary and even cause permanent eye damage if left untreated. Most of the following eye conditions are more prevalent as we age, however, early detection can help prevent them from progressing.
Here are the most common eye conditions:
Cataracts affects the lens of the eye, which is like a camera lens in that it’s responsible for image processing via the brain. However, when cataracts occur they develop in small cloudy areas cover the eye lens, which block light from passing into the back of the eye where images are established. Surgery is necessary in extreme cases to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, artificial lens.
Glaucoma puts excess pressure on the optic nerve while blocking fluid flow from eye lens to cornea. The pressure of glaucoma can be non-existant or mild in the early stages, however, floaters, blurriness, and some eye pressure may be felt by the patient. Glaucoma is treated with oral medication, eye drops, and surgery in severe cases to prevent permanent eye damage and possible blindness.
3. Excess tears
Excess tearing is exactly what it sounds like. It causes the eyes to produce excessive tears, often triggered by environmental factors—such as bright lights, cold temperatures, or high winds. The underlying cause of excess tearing may be an existing eye infection or a blocked tear duct, which when treated will remedy the situation.
4. Temporal arteritis
Temporal arteritis or Horton’s arteritis is caused by inflammation of the blood vessels (known as vasculitis) situated at the temples. These specific temples are those that transport vital blood between the scalp and the heart. When swelling occurs, these blood vessels become narrow and constricted, blocking blood flow and leading to symptoms of mild fever, pain in the temples, jaw pain, headache, and sudden vision loss in one or both eyes.