Leading Causes of Eye Impairment

Leading Causes of Eye Impairment

Eyesight is a valuable sense that helps us to navigate the world around us. However, various variables might lead to visual degeneration. Understanding these variables, which range from lifestyle behaviors to underlying health concerns, can help you make educated decisions to protect your vision.

What Causes Eyesight To Worsen

While age is frequently blamed for diminishing eyesight, it is not the sole cause of hiding in the shadows. Here are some of the major causes of blurred vision:

Aging

The natural lens of the eye loses suppleness as we age, resulting in presbyopia, or the necessity for reading glasses. Another prevalent issue is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects central vision.

UV Sunlight

Excessive sun exposure can cause corneal and retinal damage, increasing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lifestyle Habits

Our everyday decisions have a significant influence on our vision:

Excessive Screen Time

Long amounts of screen time can cause eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes, resulting in impaired vision and difficulty focusing.

Poor Nutrition

Inadequate diet, particularly in key eye nutrients, can have an impact on eyesight health. Lack of vital nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids weakens the eye’s defensive mechanisms and makes it more susceptible to visual issues. 

Sleep deprivation

Eye tiredness and strain can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep.

Low Water Intake

Dehydration can impair eye lubrication, resulting in dryness, discomfort, and poor vision.

Smoking

Smoking-1

Smoking harms blood arteries throughout the body, including those that supply the eyes. This raises the chances of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

Too Much Rubbing of the Eyes

Rubbing can irritate the cornea, causing dry eyes and even visual distortion.

Eye Drop Overuse

While eye drops might provide immediate comfort, overusing them can interrupt the natural tear production cycle and aggravate dryness in the long run.

Eye Dryness

This frequent ailment happens when the eyes fail to produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too rapidly, resulting in irritation, burning, and blurred vision.

Excessive alcohol consumption

Alcohol intake can harm the optic nerve, causing visual difficulties such as night blindness and peripheral vision loss.

Diabetes

Diabetes may damage the blood vessels in the retina, resulting in diabetic retinopathy, a primary cause of visual loss. Diabetes that is not appropriately managed can result in retinopathy, which causes damage to the eyes and vision. This condition is painless, and most individuals are unaware that it exists.

Night Blindness

The difficulty with seeing in low light might be caused by a lack of vitamin A, retinitis pigmentosa (a hereditary disorder), or age-related eye abnormalities. Some people are born with this condition, while others get it as a result of a degenerative illness affecting the retina, which is typically incurable. If you have it, you must exercise extreme caution in low-light situations.

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

If left untreated, this syndrome in which one eye weakens owing to lack of usage throughout childhood might result in irreversible vision impairment.

If a lazy eye is discovered and treated in childhood, it is possible to avoid lifelong vision issues. Treatment may involve corrective glasses or contact lenses, as well as the application of a patch or other measures to force a kid to utilize the lazy eye.

Cross Eyes (Strabismus)

Double vision, fuzzy vision, and depth perception issues can all be caused by misaligned eyes. This issue will not go away on its own. Vision therapy with an eye specialist can sometimes help strengthen the weak eye muscles. Often, an ophthalmologist, or eye surgeon, will be required to fix it surgically.

Colorblindness

This hereditary disease, which is more frequent in men, changes how the eye interprets specific colors. You may be colorblind if you can’t see particular hues or can’t distinguish them apart (typically reds and greens). It occurs when the color cells in your eye (called cone cells by your ophthalmologist) are missing or do not function properly.

When it’s the worst, you can only see in grayscale, although this is uncommon. The majority of people who have it are born with it, although it can be acquired later in life by specific medicines and disorders. Your doctor will be able to tell you who is to blame.

Uveitis

Blurred vision, discomfort, and light sensitivity can be caused by inflammation of the uvea, the main layer of the eye. These disorders can harm eye tissue and potentially result in blindness. It is available to people of all ages. Symptoms may go immediately or last for a long period.

People with immune system disorders such as AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis may be predisposed to uveitis.

Cataracts

Clouding of the lens of the eye can cause progressive vision loss, sensitivity to light, and difficulties seeing at night. Light cannot pass through your cataract as easily. As a result, you can’t see as well as you used to, and you may notice glare or a halo around lights at night.

Cataracts frequently develop slowly. They do not produce eye symptoms such as discomfort, redness, or tears.

Some remain tiny and do not affect your vision. If they develop and impair your eyesight, surgery nearly invariably restores it.

Glaucoma

It is an illness that is generally caused by intraocular pressure. When fluids inside the eye do not drain properly, there is a rise in ocular pressure, which eventually damages the optic nerve. 

Other types of glaucoma are caused by a decrease in blood flow to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is particularly difficult to diagnose since there are no symptoms until considerable loss of your peripheral vision has occurred.

Protecting Your Eyes

Fortunately, many of these vision threats are preventable or manageable:

eye-diagnosis
  • Regular eye exams are essential for early diagnosis and management.
  • Sunglasses prevent UV radiation, whereas safety glasses protect the eyes from harm.
  • Fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids should be prioritized in a healthy diet.
  • Take frequent breaks from your computer, change your screen settings, and keep excellent posture.
  • Sleep well: Aim for 7-8 hours of excellent sleep every night.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Smoking and heavy alcohol usage should be avoided.
  • Control chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
  • For dry eyes, use artificial tears.

Conclusion

The causes of worsening eyesight are numerous, and they are impacted by a mix of hereditary factors, lifestyle decisions, and age-related changes. Understanding these issues enables people to make proactive efforts to protect their vision. Regular eye exams, healthy behaviors, and protecting eyes from external stresses all contribute to excellent eye health.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being