A cataract is simply a cloudy area present in the eye's lens. It does not cause pain, but can impair vision in some cases. The lens maintains a delicate balance between water and protein so that we can see clearly through it. If this protein clumps together, it clouds the lens causing a cataract. The exact reason this happens is unknown. Cataracts occur most frequently in older individuals, but others can get them as well.
Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in Americans. It is a disease that damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending signals to the brain. The optic nerve is commonly damaged by pressure on the nerve called intraocular pressure (IOP). Sometimes the optic nerve is damaged due to decreased blood flow to the eye. The exact causes of Glaucoma are unknown. There is evidence that the disease can be genetic. African Americans have particularly high incidence of glaucoma. Glaucoma can be divided into two broad categories, primary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma. Primary glaucoma is not caused by another disease or condition. Secondary glaucoma results from another problem such as diabetes or eye injury.
Macular degeneration is the number one cause of blindness in Americans age 65 and up. This condition is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) because it typically afflicts the elderly. This eye disease affects the macula, a thin layer of nerve cells located in the eye's retina. In macular degeneration, the macula becomes damaged, which interferes with your eyesight. Your central vision is primarily affected with this disease. We use central vision for activities like driving, reading and viewing faces. Because of this, macular degeneration is a serious and potentially debilitating condition if not caught early. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are treatments that can slow eyesight loss and possibly restore some of your vision. No one is exactly sure of the cause of macular degeneration. However, it seems that there is a genetic component to the disease. Someone with a relative who suffers from AMD is more likely to acquire it as they age also. On a positive note, medical research suggests that there are some things you can do to lower your risk of macular degeneration significantly.
An allergy is an exaggerated immune response to a substance that causes sensitivity. In the eyes, an allergic response may manifest itself through red, swollen, irritated and watery eyes. On this site you can receive advice on how to deal with these symptoms.
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