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Eye Conditions

The following is a list of common eye conditions:

Pink Eye – This acute and contagious form of conjunctivitis is particularly common among preschoolers and school-age children

Styes – A stye (or hordeolum) develops when an eyelid gland at the base of an eyelash becomes infected.  Resembling a pimple on the eyelid, a stye can grow on the inside or outside of the lid.  Styes are not harmful to vision, and they can occur at any age.

Eye Floaters and Spots – “Floaters” are usually normal and harmless.  Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous – the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.  Floaters may look like specks, strands, webs or other shapes.  Actually, what you are seeing are the shadows of floaters cast on the retina, the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye.  But if you notice a sudden increase in floaters or floaters accompanied by flashes of light, see your eye doctor immediately.

Uveitis – Uveitis is inflammation of the eye’s uvea, an area that consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid.  The iris is the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil.  The ciliary body is located behind the iris and produces the fluid that fills the anterior part of the eye.  The choroid is the layer of tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye that nourishes the light-sensitive retina.

Blepharitis – is inflammation of the eyelids, occurring particularly at the lid margins.  It’s a common disorder and may be associated with a low-grade bacterial infection or a generalized skin condition.

Eye Allergies – Similar to processes that occur with other types of allergic responses, the eye may overreact to a substance perceived as harmful even though it may not be.  For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive tear production and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals.  Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma.  Most of the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from allergies also have allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dry Eye Syndrome – Persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation on your eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome.  Some people with dry eyes also experience a “foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye.  And it may seem odd, but sometimes dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes, because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye’s tears.

Pingueculae & Pterygia – Are yellowish, slightly raised lesions that form on the surface tissue of the white part of your eye (sclera), close to the edge of the cornea.  They are typically found in the open space between your eyelids, which also happens to be the area exposed to the sun.  While it is more common in  middle-aged or older people who spend significant amounts of time in the sun, they can also be found in younger people and even children – especially those who spend a lot of time in the sun without protection such as sunglasses or hats.

Astigmatism – Is one of the most common vision problems, but most people don’t know what it is.  In addition to blurred vision, uncorrected astigmatism can cause headaches, eyestrain and make objects at all distances appear distorted.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) – Is the lack of normal visual development in an eye, despite the eye being healthy.  If left untreated, it can cause legal blindness in the affected eye.

Keratoconus – Is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape.  The cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.  Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and is relatively rare.

Ocular Hypertension – Means the pressure in your eye, or your intraocular pressure (IOP), is higher than normal levels.  Elevated IOP is also associated with glaucoma, which is a more serious condition that causes vision loss and optic nerve damage.  By itself, however, ocular hypertension doesn’t damage your vision or eyes.

Photophobia – Is a term to describe the eye’s sensitivity to light.  Light from the sun, interior lighting, street lights – all can potentially cause eye discomfort or pain.

Information provided by Retinitis Pigmentosa article by AllAboutVision.com  2009 Access Media Group LLC.  All rights reserved