5 Main Causes of Vision Loss

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5 Main Causes of Vision Loss

The most common eye diseases and conditions

Over 3.4 million people in the U.S. aged 40 and older are legally blind or have serious vision issues, and about 7% of kids under 18 have eye problems. Nearly 3% of these kids are blind or have impaired vision. Causes of Vision loss is a common disability in adults and children in the U.S.

The good news is that you can start taking care of your eyes at any age. Regular eye check-ups can catch problems early, and early diagnosis helps fix or slow down most eye issues. If your vision troubles last more than a few days or get worse, see an eye care professional.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as AMD or age-related macular degeneration, is an eye problem that affects how well you can see things in the middle of what you’re looking at. It hurts the macula, which is the central part of your eye’s retina responsible for seeing fine details. This condition is the top reason for vision loss in people over 60 years old.

There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when strange blood vessels grow under the macula and leak blood and fluid, damaging the macula and causing a loss of central vision. Dry AMD involves the macula getting thinner over time, making your central vision blurry. Dry AMD is more common, making up 70% to 90% of cases.

Signs of AMD usually show up later in the disease and include:

  • Blurry central vision.
  • Dark or black spots in the middle of what you see.
  • Straight lines look wavy or curved.
  • While there isn’t a cure, treatment can slow down the disease or stop severe vision loss. Recently, there have been improvements in treating wet AMD using injections of anti-VEGF medications directly into the eye.


A cataract happens when your eye’s lens gets cloudy, making it hard to see clearly. It can happen in one or both eyes and is the top reason why some people can’t see well. In the U.S., it’s the main cause of vision problems that can be fixed.

Cataracts can affect anyone, even from birth, but they’re more common in people over 50.

Signs you might have a cataract include:

  • Vision becoming cloudy or blurry.
  • Seeing a glare around lights, especially at night,.
  • Trouble seeing well in the dark.
  • Being sensitive to bright lights.
  • lots of light for reading.
  • Noticing changes in how you see colors.
  • Frequently, you need to change your glasses.

The good news is that removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear one works well. More than 90% of people see better after getting a cataract removed.


Glaucoma is an eye problem caused by too much pressure inside the eye. This pressure hurts the optic nerve, which sends visual messages to the brain. If glaucoma isn’t found and treated, it can make you lose vision or go blind in one or both eyes. Sometimes, it runs in families.

There are two main types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma happens slowly, and you might not notice changes in your vision until it’s quite bad. Closed-angle glaucoma can happen suddenly, and it hurts a lot, causing quick vision loss.

Signs you might have glaucoma include:

  • Pain or pressure in your eyes.
  • Headaches.
  • Red eyes.
  • Seeing rainbow-colored circles around lights.
  • Having trouble with your vision, like it being blurry, tunnel vision, or having blind spots.
  • Feeling nauseous and throwing up.
  • Doctors try to lower eye pressure to treat glaucoma. This can include using special eye drops, Laser Eye Surgery
Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a problem that can make people with diabetes lose their vision or go blind. It affects the blood vessels in the back part of the eye, called the retina.

Anyone with diabetes can get this issue, so it’s really important for them to regularly check their eyes to catch it early.

Sometimes, there are no clear signs in the beginning. To treat it, people might need medicine, laser treatment, or surgery.

The good news is that in 90% of cases, blindness because of diabetes can be stopped. But if it’s not treated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to complete and permanent blindness.

Eye strain

When someone looks at a screen for a long time, their vision lose and get blurry. But don’t worry; this is usually not a permanent problem. Taking a break from the screen and letting your eyes rest can help.

You can prevent eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule. This means every 20 minutes, look away from the screen at something about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Doing this simple practice can keep your eyes from getting tired and blurry.

Medications, eye drops, or surgery may be used to treat vision loss associated with eye problems.

In addition to keratitis, trauma, hyphema, uveitis, acute glaucoma, optic neuritis, papilledema, and retinal detachment, other conditions can cause sudden vision loss.

  • close or cover one eye.
  • squint the eyes or frown.
  • complain that things are blurry or hard to see.

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