Eye Diseases That Cause Blindness

Table of Contents

eye diseases that cause blindness

Eye diseases are the leading causes of blindness worldwide, yet many of these sight-robbing conditions can be avoided or treated using medications, surgery and/or lifestyle modifications.

Retinoblastoma, though uncommon, is an eye cancer of childhood that can result in blindness. This rare condition arises as a result of mutations to RB1 gene during gestation that alter development of an embryo during development.


Glaucoma slowly destroys your vision over time – often without you even realising. It is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness among middle-aged and older adults, occurring when too much fluid formation or drainage problems lead to pressure building up inside the eye and damaging optic nerve fibres, leading to decreased vision or total blindness if untreated.

Your cornea, located at the front of your eye, contains a watery fluid known as aqueous humor which constantly flows out, providing nourishment to various parts of the eye and draining through an intricate meshwork located near where the iris and cornea meet. However, when glaucoma develops this drain may become blocked up leading to pressure build-up that damages delicate optic nerve fibers which over time causes permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma comes in two main varieties; open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is more prevalent and occurs when an eye’s iris moves too close to its drainage angle, preventing it from functioning normally and increasing eye pressure dramatically. When this drainage angle becomes completely blocked it can result in rapid eye pressure rise known as acute attack of glaucoma; an emergency medical situation which requires treatment immediately.

Prevention of Glaucoma While there is no surefire way of avoiding Glaucoma, early diagnosis and regular eye exams may help. Managing risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes and quitting smoking is recommended, while those at higher risk such as African Americans over 40 or those with family histories of Glaucoma should get regular dilated eye examinations every two years.


Human eyes are complex optical systems designed to allow us to perceive our world. Their cornea, iris and lens work in unison to focus incoming light onto our retina where it is then converted into nerve signals for interpretation by our brains – although for this to occur reliably we must ensure both eyes remain clear at all times.

Cataracts, one of the primary causes of blindness worldwide, often affect vision by opaquensing the lens of the eye and thus disrupting it. While cataracts often form due to natural aging processes or certain medications – including diabetes, eye injury and long-term use of steroids -, cataracts may also result from other causes like diabetes or eye injuries or injuries, certain eye drops or use.

Cataracts typically cause no noticeable symptoms until they start interfering with daily life or hindering activities that you enjoy, such as blurred vision or light glare; colors appearing faded; or sharp contrasts being lost between visual fields and colors appearing dull or washed-out.

Macular degeneration progressively compromises central vision by depleting healthy cells from the macula, an area at the centre of retina with millions of light-sensitive nerve cells. Macular degeneration occurs in two forms, dry and wet; with dry being the more prevalent form that cannot be treated effectively using laser techniques while wet forms can be managed using more conservative means like anti-VEGF injections or photodynamic therapy. There are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of macular degeneration, including quitting smoking and eating plenty of leafy green vegetables as well as taking a multivitamin with vitamins C and E. Regular eye exams may also be beneficial and UV-blocking sunglasses should help to protect the eyes against sun damage. If any changes to your vision arise, make an appointment immediately with your physician for a comprehensive eye exam.

Refractive Errors

Eyes are designed to focus images onto the retina by passing light through lenses and corneas that bend light rays. When your child suffers from refractive error, their eyeball shape prevents light rays from properly focusing onto their retina – leading to blurry vision. Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism are among the most prevalent refractive errors.

Refractive errors are the second leading cause of visual impairment worldwide and can result in blindness that leads to missed school and work opportunities, reduced productivity and diminished quality of life. Refractive errors may often be avoided with regular visits to an eye doctor for comprehensive eye exams.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are effective treatments for refractive errors. Eyeglasses should be prescribed during routine eye exams to ensure accurate prescriptions, while contact lenses can be prescribed to both children and adults to help improve quality of life. In certain instances, surgeries like LASIK can also correct refractive errors.

Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia – which typically begins around age 40 – are the four most frequently occurring refractive errors. Myopia causes nearsightedness while hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia require reading material further away for reading purposes (presbyopia occurs with loss of ability to see nearby objects; need to move newspaper further away to read). Most individuals affected by eye conditions usually develop them at birth or shortly thereafter, although certain genes can put some people more at risk than others. Many can be avoided through regular eye examinations. Early diagnosis and treatment of refractive errors, strabismus and amblyopia can significantly lower their prevalence and associated visual disabilities, as well as stop them progressing into cataracts or glaucoma – potentially leading to blindness – if left untreated. If untreated these diseases could have an adverse effect on the quality of life for your child and his or her future prospects.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease that attacks the central portion of your retina called the macula, leading to blurry, dark or distorted central vision and making daily tasks such as reading difficult. Although this disease doesn’t lead to total blindness, its symptoms include seeing faces as blurry or having difficulty driving at night or doing close up work such as cooking or cleaning more difficult than usual.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an increasingly prevalent condition that primarily affects those over 55, and is one of the primary causes of irreversible blindness in Western countries. A result of age and retina damage, AMD can be recognized by deposits known as drusen as well as changes such as geographic atrophy or choroidal neovascularization occurring within the retina itself.

Macular degeneration comes in two varieties, dry and wet. As people age, tiny yellow protein deposits known as drusen grow under their retina causing it to thin and eventually dry out, hindering vision function. Wet macular degeneration is less frequent but more serious; caused when abnormal blood vessels sprout beneath it leaking blood or even creating scar tissue which obstruct vision.

Though these diseases can result in permanent vision loss, you can do much to prevent them. Regular eye examinations are essential and if you are at risk for macular degeneration taking high dose vitamins and mineral supplements with omega 3 fatty acid supplements has been shown to slow its progress significantly.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes complications often damage blood vessels that provide nourishment to the retina, the inner lining at the back of the eye. Over time, these weak vessels can leak fluid or break apart and bleed, blocking oxygen from reaching the retina and leading to blurry and distorted vision as well as blurred and permanent blindness – leading to permanent blindness for over 8 million American adults, more frequently among Hispanics and African Americans and those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels. Blindness increases with time spent living with diabetes as well as poorly managed blood sugar levels – the more likely this complication becomes.

Diabetic Retinopathy can be divided into two stages: non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In NPDR, weakened blood vessels close and bleed or deposit fats and proteins into the eye causing swelling in retina tissue which blurs vision. As diabetes progresses further into more advanced stages, new fragile blood vessels form on retina surface or within vitreous body that bleed or leak and hinder clear vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms include blurred vision, halos around lights, increased floaters and flashing lights or shadows when blinking. Early diagnosis is key in preventing loss of vision; you should visit a comprehensive eye exam every year with your physician for at least an eye acuity test and pupil dilation to obtain a closer view of the lens and retina using microscope technology. People living with diabetes should closely monitor their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent damage to vision.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.


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