Updated on  January 9, 2023
5 min read

Common Eye Conditions

8 sources cited
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Many eye conditions can cause low vision, blindness, discomfort, and other life-altering conditions. Other conditions may not cause vision loss but result in vision and eye irregularities. 

Some common eye problems include:

Refractive Errors 

Refractive errors are the most common type of eye condition. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK eye surgery can correct them.

Refractive errors occur when your eye's shape doesn't bend light correctly. This keeps the light from focusing on your retina properly. The result is blurred vision.

Refractive errors include: 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage your optic nerve. These conditions are usually caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. They are the leading cause of blindness in older people.

Treatment options include lowering eye pressure, eye drops, medications, surgery, and laser treatment.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens of a person’s eye becomes cloudy rather than clear. Most types of cataracts form slowly over many years.

The primary symptom of this condition is blurry vision, like looking out of a cloudy window. Treatment includes cataract surgery, which replaces the lens with an artificial, clear lens. 

Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetes is a group of diseases that result in high blood sugar. Over time, diabetes can damage your eyes and cause vision problems, even blindness.

Common diabetes-related eye diseases include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema. 

Contrast Sensitivity

Visual contrast sensitivity is the ability to differentiate between an object and its background.

Contrast sensitivity is not the same as visual acuity. Visual acuity measures how clear your vision is at a certain distance. 

People with poor contrast sensitivity have difficulty:

  • Driving at night
  • Driving in fog, rain, or snow
  • Locating objects with a similar color background
  • Reading newspapers
  • Stepping off curbs
  • Distinguishing facial features on people

Strabismus

Strabismus is when one eye is misaligned, so both eyes cannot focus in the same direction. To avoid double vision, your brain tries to tune out what the misaligned eye sees.

Some children have intermittent strabismus, which means the eye turn is not always present.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition that causes your eyelids to become inflamed. It often leads to dandruff-like scales and debris at the base of the eyelashes.

Blepharitis is very common in people who have rosacea. 

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. A viral infection, bacterial infection, or allergies can cause it.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but the condition generally resolves on its own without treatment. 

Digital Eye Strain 

Digital eye strain is caused by extended sessions staring at a phone, tablet, or computer.

This is a common condition that can cause:

  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty refocusing between near and far distances
  • Tired eyes
  • Double vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches 

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent digital eye strain. You can improve your posture, add anti-glare protection, and or try eye lubrication.

Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Macular degeneration is an age-related eye condition. It results in loss of the central vision of your eye (macula).

It causes blurred vision or vision loss. It can be treated with minerals and vitamins or surgery.

Keratoconus (Bulging Cornea)

Keratoconus is a continually developing eye disease that leads to a bulging cornea. Over time, the cornea starts to form into a cone shape. This diverts the light entering your eye and results in distorted vision.

Surgery is necessary to cure this condition.

Retinitis

Retinitis is inflammation of the retina, a thin layer of tissue lining the back of the eye. This condition can permanently damage the retina and cause blindness.

An ophthalmologist can help diagnose retinitis during an eye exam.

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment results in peripheral vision loss over time. It can be caused by injuries, retinal inflammation, posterior vitreous detachment, tumors, and eye surgeries.

Eye Styes

Eye styes are painful, red bumps that appear on the edge of your eyelid. They look similar to a pimple or boil and are usually filled with pus. In some cases, a stye can form on your inner eyelid.

Styes are relatively harmless and disappear on their own within a few days to a week. Treatment includes applying a warm washcloth to the stye to relieve any discomfort or pain.

Chalazion

Unlike a stye, a chalazion is a painless bump that develops in the oil gland of your eyelid. It typically forms if this gland gets clogged.

If a chalazion is large, you may need to get it removed by a doctor or apply hot compresses to it. However, most minor cases resolve on their own within a few days.

Uveitis

Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of tissue in your uvea (eyewall).

The symptoms of this condition often come on suddenly and get worse quickly. Indicators of uveitis include eye pain, blurred vision, and eye redness.

Other Common Eye Conditions

Other common eye conditions include:

  • Color blindness
  • Corneal ectasia
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Ptosis
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Eye floaters
  • Pterygium
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)

How to Protect Your Eye Health

Here are some important steps you can take to protect your eye health:

  • Schedule regular eye exams
  • Follow instructions if you wear contacts
  • Always wear sunglasses
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Protect your eyes
  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule when working on your computer or reading

Common Treatment Options for Eye Conditions

The treatment for eye conditions depends on the underlying cause. Common treatments include:

  • Eye drops or ointments
  • Surgery
  • Laser therapy
  • Medications
  • Vision therapy
  • Glasses or contact lenses

Your doctor will recommend the best treatment option based on your individual needs and the severity of your condition.

Updated on  January 9, 2023
8 sources cited
Updated on  January 9, 2023
  1. “Common Eye Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015.
  2. “Glossary of Common Eye & Vision Conditions.” American Optometric Association.
  3. Schiefer U, Kraus C, Baumbach P, Ungewiß J, Michels R. "Refractive errors." Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2016.
  4. Schuster AK, Erb C, Hoffmann EM, Dietlein T, Pfeiffer N. "The Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma." Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2020.
  5. Bui Quoc E, Milleret C. "Origins of strabismus and loss of binocular vision." Front Integr Neurosci, 2014.
  6. Sheppard, A. L., & Wolffsohn, J. S. "Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration." BMJ open ophthalmology, 2018.
  7. Cataracts.” National Eye Institute, 2022.
  8. Azari, AA., & Barney, N.P. “Conjunctivitis.” JAMA, 2013.
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