Eye Conditions And Disorders
If you have any of these eye conditions you may require emergency medical attention: sudden loss of vision in one eye; sudden hazy or blurred vision; flashes of light or black spots in your vision; Halos or rainbows around light; curtain-like blotting out of vision; and Loss of peripheral (side) vision.
Would you give up smoking if your cigarette pack had this warning?
Studies have shown that people who currently smoke are two to five times
more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers or past smokers. AMD - Age
related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people
65 and over.
Four of the most common eye conditions.
- Myopia - (nearsightedness)
- People with Myopic vision usually have eyeballs that are too large for their lens and cornea to focus light properly on their retina. Eyeglasses and contact lenses can usually correct this problem.
- Hyperopia - (farsightedness)
- Hyperopia vision is caused by the eyeball being too small for the lens and cornea to focus light properly on the retina. Eyeglasses and contact lenses can usually correct this problem.
- Presbyopia - (aging eyes)
- As people age, they often begin to have difficulty focusing their eyes for reading or close work. It is usually corrected with reading glasses. Some people may need bifocal of trifocal lenses.
- Astigmatism - (distorted vision)
- People with Astigmatism have irregularly shaped corneas. It is usually corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Most Common Causes of Vision Loss
- There are over 1 million Cataract operations performed annually in the USA. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure with a very high success rate. Due to the lack of modern medical technology in the developing world, it is also the world's leading cause of blindness. Over 16 million people are blind from cataracts.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration - (AMD)
- This is a degenerative disease of the macula; the macula is the part of the retina responsible for central vision. There is no way yet of repairing the vision that has been lost, but if detected early laser surgery can help slow the progression of the disease. (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 65. Eight million people are legally blind from macular degeneration worldwide and as the population ages this number is expected to grow.
- This disease increases the fluid pressure inside the eye, leading to loss of side vision and eventually total blindness. The increased pressure destroys the optic nerve. With early detection, it can be kept under control with pressure reducing eye drops and surgery. Chances of developing it increase with age. There are over five million people blind from glaucoma worldwide.
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- This complication of diabetes is a leading cause of blindness among middle-aged Americans. The longer a person has had diabetes the more apt they are to develop diabetic retinopathy. Laser surgery can slow the progression of this disease along with management of blood glucose levels. There are 2.4 million people blind from retinopathy worldwide.
- Retinitis Pigmentosa - (RP)
- This rare inherited degenerative disease slowly destroys the retina. Signs of (RP) first show up in early childhood. The side vision is lost first. The Disease progresses over many years leaving the person with only a small portion of their central vision. There is on cure for (RP) yet. There are 1.6 million people blind from (RP) worldwide.
- Eye Injuries
- Over 1 million people are blind worldwide from eye injuries. 90% of injuries can be avoided by using proper eye protection. If you are reading this page now because you or a loved one has an eye injury, turn your computer off and get medical attention. Any eye injury is a medical emergency.
- Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
- With this birth defect the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain has not developed properly, it is underdeveloped. This happens before birth leaving the child with mild to sever vision loss. In most cases, there is no known cause.
- Retinopathy of Prematurity - (ROP)
- This is an eye disease of premature babies. Soon after birth, abnormal blood vessels start to grow on the retina eventually destroying it. No one is quite sure what causes this disease, but premature birth and low birth weight are thought to be the main causes. With modern medical procedures, only 400 babies a year go blind from this condition. In the 1950's the number of babies blind from (ROP) reached epidemic proportions.
- Neurological Visual Impairment (NVI)
- Children with (NVI) have normal eyes, but a part of the brain responsible for seeing is damaged. It can be caused from a lack of oxygen before, during, and after birth. Diseases like meningitis or traumatic brain injury can also cause it. Many of the children with (NVI) are multihandicapped. Vision loss can be temporary or last a lifetime.
- Ocular Albinism
- With this inherited birth defect, people have no pigment or reduced pigment in their eyes, skin and hair. This pigment called melanin is needed for the full development of the retina. Children with this condition have mild to sever vision loss and are very light sensitive.
- Coloboma is a Greek word, which means mutilation. People with Coloboma are missing a portion of the structure of the eye. The human eye develops between the fourth and fifteenth week of pregnancy. As the eye starts to develop, a gap opens on the underside of each eye bud. This gap provides a way for the developing eye to be nourished. This gap, called the optic fissure, has to close before the eye is fully developed. Coloboma is the incomplete closer of the optic fissure. Gaps can occur in the eyelid, iris, ciliary body, lens, retina, macula, choroid and optic disc. It can cause from mild to sever vision loss. Coloboma occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births.
- Preventable Vision Loss
- Over 90% of the world's blind people live in developing countries. Many diseases can be prevented with education in basic hygiene, proper nutrition and medical care. Conditions unheard of in the modern world like: Trachoma, Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and nutritional blindness (vitamin A deficiency), are the leading causes of vision loss in these countries.
People looking for guidance among these links are strongly advised to review the information they find with their eye care professional.
- The Achromatopsia Network – Information and support network for people who are affected by the vision disorder achromatopsia.
- The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) – is a volunteer organization for persons and families involved with the condition of albinism.
- Amblyopia – also called "Lazy Eye" What It Is and How It Is Treated.
- The Eye Patch Club – "For families coping with a child's amblyopia treatment." Run by Prevent Blindness America.
- Eye Cancer Network – Information about diagnosis and treatment of ocular tumors, eye cancer, and orbital diseases.
- SEE/HEAR – Cerebral Palsy and Children with Vision and hearing loss.
- The CHARGE Family Support Group – C – coloboma, H – heart defects, A – atresia of the choanae, R – retardation of growth and development, G – genital and urinary abnormalities, E – ear abnormalities and/or hearing loss.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – Information about Diabetic Retionopathy.
- The Glaucoma Foundation – is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting glaucoma, the world's leading preventable cause of blindness.
- Children's Glaucoma Foundation – Childhood glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in both infants and children.
- National Keratoconus Foundation – Increasing the awareness and understanding of keratoconus and the support of scientific research into the cause and treatment.
- Micro and Anophthalmic Childrens Society (MACS) – The home of information about Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia, Coloboma and related conditions.
- Coloboma – Medical Information on Coloboma
- Macular Degeneration Foundation – serving the interests of those affected by Macular Degeneration and related low vision conditions.
- AMD Alliance International – Age-related macular degeneration is a degenerative retinal eye disease that causes the progressive loss of central vision eventually leading to Legal Blindness.
- Understanding & Coping with Macular Diseases – An online source of information and support for people with macular degeneration and other macular diseases.
- American Nystagmus Network – Nystagmus is a rapid, involuntary oscillation (usually back and forth) of the eyes that causes impaired vision.
- International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease – Information and support center for patients with optic nerve disease.
- Lost Eye.com – "Support for those who have or are about to experience the loss of an eye."
- Retinoblastoma International – A non-profit organization dedicated to educating the World about Retinoblastoma.
- ROPARD – The Association for Retinopathy of Prematurity and Related Diseases.
- FOCUS – Helping parents and caregivers with children who have Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) and Septo-Optic Dysplasia, (SOD), also known as deMorsier syndrome
- Retinal Detachment – The causes of retinal detachment, signs of retina detachment and information about retina repair.
- International Trachoma Initiative – Trachoma is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness.
- Uveitis and Ocular Immunology – The most current information from the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.
- Eye Diseases & Disorders – An interactive encyclopedia of various eye disorders.
- Kellogg Eye Center – This web site sponsered by the University of Michigan has lots of information on eye conditions.
- Eye Diseases – A huge list of Links to other sites on eye disease.
- National Eye Institute – Part of the National Institutes of Health. Information for: Researchers, Health Care Professionals, Public and Patients, Educators, and Media.
- The Foundation Fighting Blindness – They seek causes, treatments and cures for all related retinal degenerative diseases.
- Prevent Blindness America – On Line eye test.
Hospitals - Doctors
Your best resource for finding an eye care specialist is usually your local hospital or medical school. Some eye conditions are so rare local doctors, in small towns, may only see the condition a few times in there lives.
- American Association of Eye & Ear Hospitals – A listing of member eye and ear hospitals.
- Hospital Web – Global Hospitals on the World Wide Web
- AMA Physician Select – Search for a physician by name or specialty in the United States.
These e-mail lists are virtual communities where people with the same eye conditions gather for friendship and support. They are not places to ask for, or get medical advice.(1-04)
- BVI-Parents – This list is for parents of blind or visually impaired children.
- Coloboma Group – Support group for people living with the eye condition called Coloboma and their parents and friends.
- Glaucoma mailing list
- Keratoconus-Link – A list for Patients and their Doctors.
- Nystagmus – Discussion List
- Retinal Degeneration Mailing List – All forms of retina degeneration.
- Retina-Youth – Young people with retinal degenerative diseases.
- RP Friends – Retinitis Pigmentosa list.
- Retinoblastoma – Support Group
- Ushers Syndrome Mailing List