Common Eye Diseases Causes and Treatments | Academically

Four Most Common Eye Diseases: Causes and Treatments

Feb 14, 2024 3 min read
Common Eye Diseases Causes and Treatments

Key Takeaways

  • Be aware of the four major eye diseases the human eye is susceptible to cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Understanding common eye conditions like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health.
  • The causes of major eye diseases include factors such as aging, genetics, diabetes, and lifestyle choices like smoking.
  • Treatment options for cataracts, glaucoma, AMD, and diabetic retinopathy range from medications and lifestyle modifications to advanced therapies and surgical interventions.
  • Vision loss can profoundly impact an individual's quality of life and overall health, affecting daily activities, work, and social interactions.

The human eye is an intricate and delicate organ prone to various diseases and conditions. Among the numerous eye ailments, four major eye diseases stand out due to their prevalence and impact on vision. These include cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy. 

Understanding the causes and available treatments for these conditions is crucial for maintaining eye health.

Understanding Common Eye Conditions

When it comes to eye conditions, it is of utmost importance to have a comprehensive understanding of the common issues that can potentially affect our vision. These conditions, namely myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia, are widely prevalent and have the potential to impact our daily lives significantly. 

Therefore, it becomes imperative to prioritise regular eye check-ups and early detection of these conditions to maintain optimal eye health and effectively address any vision-related concerns that may arise. By thoroughly understanding these common eye conditions and seeking professional guidance, individuals can take proactive measures to manage and improve their overall eye health, thus ensuring a better quality of life.

4 Most Common Eye Diseases

In addition to these common eye conditions, it is essential to be aware of the four major eye diseases that significantly impact vision: cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy. These diseases can cause vision loss and have various causes, including factors like genetics, age, and underlying health conditions. 

Treatment options for these eye diseases range from medications and lifestyle modifications to advanced therapies and surgical interventions. By understanding the causes and available treatments for these significant eye diseases, individuals can take proactive steps to preserve their vision and maintain optimal eye health.


Cataracts are characterised by the clouding of the eye's natural lens, leading to blurry vision and eventual blindness if left untreated. The primary causes of cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Smoking
  • Eye injuries


The most effective treatment for cataracts is the surgical removal of the cloudy lens, followed by the implantation of an artificial lens. This procedure, known as cataract surgery, is safe and has a high success rate in restoring clear vision.


Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often due to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). The causes of glaucoma involve:

  • Increased fluid pressure inside the eye
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Age-related factors
  • Ethnicity (African-American, Hispanic descent)


Treatment for glaucoma aims to reduce IOP to prevent further damage. This can be achieved through medications, laser therapy, or conventional surgery to improve the eye's fluid drainage.

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. The exact cause of AMD is not fully understood, but certain risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease


Treatment for AMD depends on the type and severity of the condition. It ranges from the use of specific vitamins and minerals to slow the progression of AMD to advanced therapies such as anti-VEGF injections or photodynamic therapy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects the eyes and is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. The causes of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Poorly controlled blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes duration


Managing diabetic retinopathy involves controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. In advanced stages, laser therapy or vitrectomy may be necessary to prevent further vision loss.

Impact of Vision Loss

Vision loss, whether partial or complete, can profoundly affect an individual's quality of life and overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vision loss can result from various factors, including eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. These conditions can lead to vision impairment or low vision, affecting an individual's ability to perform daily activities, work, and engage in social interactions. The CDC highlights that vision disorders are among the most prevalent disabling conditions in the United States, with millions of people affected, and the prevalence is expected to increase significantly as the population ages.

Vision loss can also have significant implications for public health and the economy. The CDC emphasises that blindness and vision impairment can lead to increased healthcare costs, reduced productivity, and decreased quality of life for those affected.

Furthermore, the impact of vision loss extends beyond the individual, affecting their families, caregivers, and communities. Addressing eye health and promoting early detection and treatment of eye diseases are crucial steps in mitigating the impact of vision loss and preventing blindness.

The effect of vision loss is far-reaching, affecting individuals, society, and the economy. Raising awareness about eye diseases, promoting regular eye examinations, and advocating for access to vision care can reduce the burden of vision impairment and improve the overall well-being of those affected by vision disorders.

Prevention of Common Eye Conditions


Regular Eye Exams: Schedule regular eye exams to monitor for changes in the vitreous humour or retina.

Protective Eyewear: Use protective eyewear to prevent eye injuries that can lead to floaters.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Genetic Counseling: If there's a family history of retinitis pigmentosa, consider genetic counselling before planning a family.

Retinal Detachment

Regular Eye Exams: Early detection through regular eye exams can help prevent retinal detachment.

Manage Risk Factors: Control high blood pressure and diabetes, risk factors for retinal detachment.

Colour Blindness

Genetic Counseling: For inherited colour blindness, consider genetic counselling before planning a family.

Nearsightedness and Hyperopia

Eye Health Habits: Encourage outdoor activities and limit screen time, especially for children, to reduce the risk of developing nearsightedness.

Regular Eye Exams: Early detection and corrective lenses can help manage nearsightedness and hyperopia.

Refractive Errors

Regular Eye Exams: Correction through prescription glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can help contain refractive errors.


Early Detection and Treatment: Early diagnosis and treatment, often through eye exercises or surgery, can help manage strabismus.

Eye Health Habits: Encourage activities that promote binocular vision and eye coordination in children.

By following these preventive measures, individuals can reduce the risk of developing common eye conditions and maintain good eye health.

The prevention and management of these common eye diseases involve regular eye examinations, lifestyle modifications, and prompt medical intervention. Understanding the causes and available treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, AMD, and diabetic retinopathy is vital in preserving and protecting one's vision. Early detection and appropriate treatment can significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals affected by these conditions.

Dr. Madhushree Agarwal
Dr. Madhushree Agarwal
about the author

Dr. Madhushree Agarwal is a seasoned dentist with over 12 years of clinical expertise. She is dedicated to transforming the landscape of healthcare through her passion for content creation. For the past seven years, she has been actively medico marketing by becoming a niche healthcare content writer, editor, and marcomms consultant. Her commitment to bridging the gap between technology and healthcare has set her apart as a forward-thinking professional in the health industry.