Eye Care Education

Eye Diseases

Learn About Common Eye Diseases

"Eye diseases" is a blanket term that's often used to refer to a host of diseases relating to the function of your eyes.


Common Eye Diseases

Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. To protect yourself from these diseases, book an eye exam at a Vision Source location near you.

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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva (the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of your eyeball and the inner surface of your eyelids). Usually, pink eye is caused when bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants, such as smoke and dust, enter into your eye. Unfortunately, pink eye is also highly contagious.

While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some cases can develop into serious corneal inflammation and eventually cause serious damage to your vision.

Diabetic Eye Disease

"Diabetic eye disease" is a general term that's used to describe a group of eye problems related to having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The most common types of diabetic eye disease are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma—all of which can eventually lead to permanent vision loss.

Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, and by the time it's discovered it may already be too late. That's why early detection and treatment is so important. 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that causes damage to your optic nerve – the part of your eye that carries images from your retina, ultimately allowing you to see. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness.

While medical experts don't really know what causes glaucoma, if you have high blood pressure, a family history of the disease, diabetes or are over the age of 40, you are more likely to develop glaucoma.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of the disease often go unnoticed in the early stages, which is why it's so important to get regularly scheduled eye exams with your optometrist.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related Macular Degeneration (also known as AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people 65 years or older, according to Health Canada.

AMD is responsible for the breakdown of the macula of the eye, which provides the sharpest part of your vision and allows you to focus on objects both up close and from far away. As a result, a person with Age-related Macular Degeneration may be able to clearly see a calendar on a wall, but the numbers and letters would appear blurred. If left untreated, AMD can become more serious over time, eventually resulting in a complete loss of vision.

That's why it's so important for individuals over the age of 60 to get a complete eye exam at least once a year to assess if there's a risk of developing AMD. 

For additional information on eye health or to book a complete eye exam, visit a Vision Source near you.