Eye Problems & You: A Beginner's Guide

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
October 22, 2019

A man rubbing his eyes while holding his glasses

Your vision is important, and part of keeping your eyes healthy involves having an understanding of some of the eye problems that may develop over time, as well as some of the problems that are quite common among the population.

To help you discover more about your eyes, we’ve compiled a short beginner’s guide to some of the ailments that your peepers might suffer from. Keep in mind that, if you start to notice any changes in your vision or you begin experiencing new symptoms, you should see an eye doctor right away to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment, and to be able to see your best.

Now, let’s get started, shall we?

Vision Problems: When You Can’t See 20/20

Not everyone can see 20/20. It’s totally normal. Some people develop vision problems as adults, while others have them even when they’re just kids.

Here are some of the common reasons why you might not see clearly without the help of glasses or contact lenses:

  • Farsightedness – This is also referred to as hyperopia. Basically, objects that are closer to you look blurry, while objects that are farther away look clearer.
  • Nearsightedness – This is also referred to as myopia. With this condition, you see things more clearly when they’re close to you. The farther away objects are, the blurrier they become. Fun fact: almost 30% of people are nearsighted!
  • Presbyopia – You know how, as people get older, they tend to start needing reading glasses? Presbyopia might be to blame. This is a condition in which things that are really close to you are blurry, while the rest of your vision is normal, with or without corrective lenses. So, while you can’t read the newspaper without your glasses on, you can see other things just fine.
  • Astigmatism – A totally normal eye’s cornea will be shaped much like a basketball; nice and round. When this isn’t the case, like when your cornea is shaped more like a football, you have what’s known as astigmatism. You could have this with farsightedness or nearsightedness. And people can be born with this condition.

Note: All of the above are categorized as refractive disorders. They can be corrected with the help of contact lenses and glasses, or you might even be the right candidate for LASIK surgery.

Eye Conditions That Might Develop with Age

As if getting older wasn’t bad enough already, the risk for certain eye conditions increases with age. Those problems include:

  • Glaucoma – This condition, which is related to diabetes and aging, affects millions of Americans who are 40 and older. Basically, there’s an increase in the amount of pressure that’s in your eye, and symptoms might include blurry vision, red eyes, seeing halos around lights, sudden changes in vision, eye pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness, but treatments are available.
  • Cataracts – Another eye issue that is related to aging is the development of cataracts. What’s a cataract? It’s when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. Symptoms include double vision, blurry vision, cloudy vision, and poor night vision. You might also notice that your vision isn’t as good as it used to be, even with your glasses, and your vision decreases progressively. There might even be a reduction in color sensitivity. Because this condition can lead to blindness, treating it with surgery might be necessary.
  • Macular Degeneration – This is an eye condition that typically occurs with age, so it’s also referred to as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It develops when the macula, which is found in the center of your retina, deteriorates. Symptoms include blind spots or blurred vision, particularly in the center of your field of view. You might also notice that straight lines appear wavy, that you are more sensitive to glare, and that you need more light for reading. The dry form of this disease often causes vision loss to occur more slowly, while the wet form might lead to blindness more quickly.

The Best Thing to Do for Your Eyes: See an Eye Doctor Regularly!

Sure, you can do things like eat right, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and lead a healthy lifestyle to keep your vision as sharp as possible, but what would be even better is seeing your eye doctor once a year. He or she will be able to thoroughly examine your eyes and vision, while also checking for signs of conditions like glaucoma and retinal problems. The sooner an eye issue is diagnosed, the better, as it increases the odds that you can treat it successfully.

Worried about the cost associated with seeing an eye doctor annually? Don’t worry, as there is a simple solution. Spirit Vision insurance offers an add-on plan that can help you save on eye exams and corrective lenses, so you don’t have to break the bank to see clearly!

While the list above is just a brief overview of some of the common conditions that can affect the eyes, there are many more issues that might arise as a result of illness, injury, or even genetics. So don’t neglect seeing your eye specialist, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms.


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