A Glossary of Common and Uncommon Eye Conditions

When your eyes are healthy, you probably don't give them a second thought. But when your eyes hurt, cause headaches, or develop blind spots, you may wonder what's happening. In this blog, we'll go over a few of the most common eye conditions so you can take the appropriate steps to keep your eyes in good shape.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

This rare eye infection is often the result of poor contact lens hygiene. The infection starts with an amoeba, acanthamoeba, which lives in water sources like hot tubs, soil and sewage systems, and tap water. If contact lens wearers contaminate their lenses with the amoebas, they become vulnerable to infection. The infection can cause tearing, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and pain after removing contact lenses.


Amblyopia, or "Lazy Eye"
Amblyopia usually occurs in babies and toddlers, and it involves the brain focusing more on one eye than the other. If that eye does not receive proper stimulation from the visual brain cells, the condition could lead to vision loss, and in some cases legal blindness. Fortunately, if your doctor catches and diagnoses the condition early, you can avoid most vision problems associated with the condition.


Cataracts
Cataracts is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 40. The condition triggers cloudy vision, which is often due to protein clumps forming in the lens. This natural result of aging prohibits the lens from focusing properly. Most of the time, cataract symptoms develop slowly, with partial vision loss over time. Cataract surgery can treat cataracts by replacing the eye's natural lens with an artificial lens.


Colour Blindness
Despite its name, colour blindness does not cause any real blindness. Instead, it affects the way the eyes see colour. Most people who have colour blindness have difficulty distinguishing two or more colours, like yellow and blue or green and red. More men experience colour blindness than women—an estimated 8% of men and under 1% of women experience some sort of colour blindness.


Detached Retina
Warning spots of detached retina include floating spots and flashes of light. Certain conditions cause a greater risk of retinal detachment, including a blow to the eye or face and extreme near-sightedness. A detached retina can cause blindness because the retina doesn't function when it detaches from the supportive tissues. However, doctors can reattach the retina if they diagnose the condition in time.


Eye Occlusions
Also called eye strokes, eye occlusions are like strokes in other parts of the body. They occur when blockages restrict blood flow to the eye. If blood fails to flow, the eye will be unable to receive vital nutrients and oxygen. If deprived of oxygen for long enough, the tissue in the eye will die, resulting in vision loss. The severity of the damage to the eye's vision depends on the location and intensity of the blockage.


Macular Hole
A macular hole develops at the back of the eye, where a group of light-sensitive cells sit in the retina. When a hole occurs, the space fills with vitreous fluid, resulting in distorted or blurry version. Macular holes can happen for a variety of reasons, including diabetic eye disease, myopia, macular pucker, a detached retina, eye injury, and vitreous shrinkage.


Nystagmus
Nystagmus is a condition that causes uncontrollable eye movement. As a result, the eyes quickly jerk side to side or up and down rather than focusing on a fixed object. Some forms of the condition are symptoms of neurological issues while others develop due to inner ear problems, trauma, or disease. Nystagmus can develop from birth or later in life.


Ocular Migraine
These migraines can cause a variety of symptoms, including a sensation of looking through shattered glass and occasional visual disturbances that affect one or both eyes. Visual disturbances range between an enlarged bright spot, wavy lines surrounded by a blind spot, or flashing lights in the central field of vision. Some migraines cause intense pain while others have only visual symptoms. The migraines typically last between 20 and 30 minutes, and can usually resolve themselves without medication. However, if the migraines interrupt your daily life, you can consult a physician for treatment.


Stye
When an oil gland in the edge of an eyelid becomes infected, it can develop a pimple-like bulge. Styes can occur on the outer or inner lid of the eye, and they are often accompanied by swollen tissues around the eyes. Styes generally don't cause vision problems, but they are extremely contagious. Most styes heal on their own without medication, but you can consult a physician to open and drain a stye if it doesn't heal on its own.


If you want to know more about eye conditions, whether they're common or uncommon, check out our blog for regular updates. We'll keep you posted on the latest news regarding your eye health.

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