Common Vision Conditions

Gain a better understanding of common vision conditions.

Taking good care of your eyes is absolutely critical. With regular eye exams, some of the most common vision conditions can be detected and treated.

Click on one of the conditions below to learn more about the condition, as well as the recommended course of treatment. 

Amblyopia
Astigmatism
Cataracts
Conjunctivitis
Dry Eye
Glaucoma
Farsightedness
Nearsightedness
Presbyopia
Strabismus (Crossed-Eyes)

Amblyopia

What is amblyopia?
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is the lack of development of normal vision in one or both eyes. The decreased vision is usually not caused by a current health problem, and eyeglasses or contact lenses can’t fully correct the reduced vision caused by amblyopia.

How is it treated?
Treatment for amblyopia may include a combination of prescription lenses, eye patching, eye drops, and vision therapy.

Astigmatism



What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a vision condition that causes blurred vision at both distance and near, and is due to either an irregular shape of the cornea – the clear front cover of the eye – or sometimes an irregular curvature of the lens inside the eye.

How is it treated?
This condition is treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are also a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can correct the condition. Your doctor of optometry, doctor of ophthalmology, or a retail location can help you decide which options of treatment are right for you.

Cataracts

What are cataracts?
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear natural lens of the eye. Depending on its size and location, a cataract can interfere with normal vision, causing blurred, hazy or double vision.

How is it treated?
The treatment of cataracts is based on the level of visual impairment they cause. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can be prescribed to provide clearer vision until the cataract develops to the point that it affects a person’s ability to do normal everyday tasks. Then cataracts may need to be removed surgically. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens implant.

Conjunctivitis

What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctive; a thin, transparent layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid and a portion of the front of the eye. This condition appears in many forms and affects people of all ages.

How is it treated?
Infectious conjunctivitis – caused by bacteria – is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops and/or ointment. Other infectious forms caused by viruses may not be treated with antibiotics. They are treated by anti-viral medication or with your body’s natural immune system. Antibiotics may be prescribed, however, if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

Allergic and chemical conjunctivitis are treated by removing the cause of the allergy or irritation. For instance, avoid contact with a specific lotion, shampoo or animal if it causes an allergic reaction. Wear swimming goggles if chlorinated water irritates your eyes. In cases where these measures won’t work, other types of prescription and over-the-counter eye drops are available to help relieve the discomfort.

Dry Eye

What is dry eye?
The tears your eyes normally produce are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eye occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or produce poor quality tears, which do not have the proper chemical composition.

How is it treated?
Dry eye cannot be cured, but your eyes’ sensitivity can be lessened and measures taken so your eyes remain healthy. The most frequent treatment is the use of artificial tears or tear substitutes that increase the quality of the tear film. For more severe dry eye, ointments or gels can be used, especially at bedtime. In some cases, small plugs may be inserted into the eyelid drainage canals to slow outflow and loss of tears.

Nutritional supplements may be recommended to support the function of the eyelid oil glands. Prescription medications may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation of the eye to improve necessary tear products.

Glaucoma

What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease defined by damage to the optic nerve – the structure that transmits the visual information from the eye to the brain – and causes gradual, peripheral vision loss. While there is not a cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and treatment can preserve eyesight.

How is it treated?
Glaucoma treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure inside the eye. The most common first line of treatment for glaucoma is prescription eye drops to be taken regularly. In some cases, oral medicine, laser treatment or other surgery may be required.

Farsightedness

What is farsightedness?
Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a vision condition in which someone can usually see more clearly farther away, but their vision becomes blurry as objects get closer.

How is it treated?
This condition is treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are also a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can correct the condition. Your doctor of optometry, doctor of ophthalmology, or a retail location can help you decide which options of treatment are right for you.

Nearsightedness

What is nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness (myopia) is a vision condition in which someone can usually see more clearly at close or near distances, but their vision becomes blurry as objects get further away.

How is it treated?
This condition is treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are also a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can correct the condition. Your doctor of optometry, doctor of ophthalmology, or a retail location can help you decide which options of treatment are right for you.

Presbyopia

What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition in which there is a gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on near objects. This usually becomes noticeable when people reach their early to mid-forties.

How is it treated?
This condition is treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are also a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can correct the condition. Your doctor of optometry, doctor of ophthalmology, or a retail location can help you decide which options of treatment are right for you.

Strabismus (Crossed-Eyes)

What are crossed-eyes?
Strabismus (one or both eyes turn out or in) is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It occurs when an eye turns in, out, up or down and is usually caused by poor eye muscle control or a high amount of farsightedness.

How is it treated?
Treatment options to improve eye alignment and coordination may include eyeglasses or contact lenses, prism lenses or vision therapy. In some cases, eye muscle surgery may be advised.

This information was gathered from the American Optometric Association. Visit www.aoa.org to learn more.