Prevalent Eye Diseases
While some eye conditions reflect minor or temporary vision problems that can easily be treated or corrected with prescription lenses, some conditions and eye diseases can result in permanent damage or vision loss. Moreover, some eye diseases have no symptoms at all, making them impossible to detect without a comprehensive eye exam. Often, once symptoms are realized, it is too late to repair the damage.
Some of the most prevalent eye diseases, as based on national data from the Centers of Disease Control, are as follows:
- Dry Eye – An estimated 3.2 million women age 50 and over and 1.68 million men age 50 and over are affected by dry eye syndrome.
- Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – It is estimated that 1.6 million Americans over the age over 50 have AMD.
- Cataracts – An estimated 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40 have a cataract.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – 5.3 million people in the United States age 18 years and older have Diabetic Retinopathy.
- Glaucoma – affects more than 2.2 million people age 40 and older
Another common eye disease that is becoming more and more prevalent is Dry Eye, with an estimated 25 million Americans suffering from burning, itching eyes.
While most eye diseases cannot be prevented or cured, many can be treated with prescription eye drops and/or eye surgery. It is critical to visit you eye doctor at least once a year for an annual exam to identify the presence of any eye disease as soon as possible, in an effort to slow progression and preserve eye sight. Many eye diseases are hereditary, so make sure you inform your eye doctor of your family eye health history.