Did you know that the health of the rest of your body can impact and harm your eyes and vision? Make sure you take care of your overall health and pay attention to these four diseases that could harm your eyes and vision.
Diabetes can cause what is known as diabetic retinopathy. This can affect the blood vessels in the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of your eye (your retina). This is the most common reason for vision loss among people with diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness among working adults. It can also lead to diabetic macular edema (DME) which is an accumulation of fluid in the part of the retina (macula) that controls detailed vision. Symptoms of DME include blurry and double vision and floaters. Left untreated, it can cause blindness.
2. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very common; it affects more than 75 million people in the U.S. It can damage your heart and kidneys—and your eyesight. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your retina, which will impact how your eyes focus. This is called hypertensive retinopathy. Symptoms often don’t appear until the disease has progressed significantly, but if you have headaches or vision problems, be sure to let your doctor know. This condition can also occur alongside high blood pressure during pregnancy so prenatal care is very important.
3. Connective Tissue Disease
Connective tissue connects, supports, and separates other tissues and organs with proteins, elastin, and collagen. There are more than 200 types of connective tissue diseases that affect varied body parts and organs, including the eye.
Cancer of the eye is uncommon. Some types affect only the outer parts of the eye, such as the eyelid. But if the cancer starts inside the eyeball it’s called intraocular cancer. The most common eye cancers in adults are melanoma and lymphoma. The most common in children is retinoblastoma, which begins in the cells of the retina. Cancer can also spread to the eye from other parts of the body. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy, and freezing or heat therapy.
We often take our eyes for granted, but they are a vital part of how most of us function every day. If you are interested in learning more about the human eye or have thought about a career in eye care, take a look at the Ophthalmic Assistant program at Career Quest Learning Centers. We offer this program at our Jackson and Lansing campuses.