Know the signs
Your eyes are one of your most important organs. However, they are also susceptible to a number of environmental, genetic and age-related factors.
Common eye conditions
Some of the most common eye conditions to look out for are:
- Cataracts: These are cloudy areas that develop on the lens and stop some of the light from reaching the back (retina) of your eye. This can lead to blurred, cloudy or misty vision, particularly at night or in bright light. Cataracts are common in older people, but other factors may increase your risk of developing this eye condition. These include smoking, diabetes, poor diet and overexposure to ultraviolet rays.
- Colour blindness: This is the difficulty to see or distinguish between certain colours, most commonly red and green. Colour blindness is often inherited, but it can also be a symptom of other eye diseases such as glaucoma or AMD.
- Digital eyestrain: Digital devices have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives, but prolonged screen use can lead to a number of vision problems. Your eyes have to work harder and focus more often when looking at a screen. This can cause symptoms including eyestrain, eye fatigue, blurred or double vision and dry eye syndrome.
- Dry eye syndrome: When you blink, your eyelids spread tears across the surface of your eyes, keeping them moist. Dry eye syndrome can occur when your tear production process is disrupted. The eye condition is characterised by red, irritated eyes, a burning sensation and a feeling of dryness or grittiness. It can affect anyone but is most common among older people.
- Lazy eye (amblyopia): Lazy eye tends to affect children and usually develops from around the age of four. It occurs when the vision in one eye does not develop properly, causing the child to rely on the other, stronger eye. Lazy eye results from other eye conditions that affect vision, such as a squint, congenital cataracts or severe farsightedness or nearsightedness.
- Light sensitivity (photophobia): This is an intolerance to light, usually bright light sources such as sunlight, fluorescent light and incandescent light. Light sensitivity can cause discomfort and the need to squint or close your eyes. It often accompanies eye infections and inflammations such as conjunctivitis, but is also associated with sunburn and contact lens irritation.
- Squint: Also known as cross-eye or strabismus, a squint is an eye condition where the eyes focus in different directions. As a result, the brain receives two visual images, which can lead to blurred or double vision and lazy eye. A squint usually appears before the age of five, although it can begin later in life and is usually detected during a routine eye examination.
Take care of your vision
Visit your optician regularly to have your eyes examined. In between examinations, if you notice a change in or are concerned about your eyesight, contact your nearest Hoya optician. Detecting and treating problems early can help maintain good vision for the rest of your life.