Your Eyes, Your Health

There are several different diseases and conditions that can lead to preventable blindness. If diagnosed early enough, severe vision loss can often be completely avoided.

Learn about the most common conditions affecting our vision below.

80 million Americans have an eye disease that could make them go blind. Those diseases include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age‑related macular degeneration (AMD) [1].

Over 20 million Americans aged 40 years and older have cataracts in one or both eyes [2]. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that affects vision. Cataracts are related to aging and very common among older people [3].

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1.6 million Americans aged 50 years and older have age‑related macular degeneration (AMD) [4]. AMD blurs your sharp, central vision by affecting the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It is most common in older people [5].

5.3 million Americans aged 18 years and older have diabetic retinopathy [4]. It affects the blood vessels in the eyes, which can distort vision. It is the most common cause of blindness among working‑age adults [6].

2.2 million Americans aged 40 and older have glaucoma [4]. Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. Many people with glaucoma don’t realize it because it slowly affects the peripheral vision, which means people just see less of their surroundings [7].

  1. CDC - Why is Vision Loss a Public Health Problem
  2. CDC - Vision Health Initiative - Common Eye Disorders
  3. National Eye Institute - Cataracts
  4. CDC - Vision Health Initiative - National Data
  5. National Eye Institute - Macular Degeneration
  6. National Eye Institute - Diabetic Retinopathy
  7. National Eye Institute - Glaucoma

Healthy Tip 1

Get a comprehensive eye exam.
Most common eye diseases show no warning signs, so it is important to get dilated eye exams to detect conditions in their early stages

Healthy Tip 2

Protect your eyes from the sun.
Wear UV-blocking sunglasses or a brimmed hat when you're out.

Healthy Tip 3

Stay healthy!
Exercise and maintain a healthy diet.

Healthy Tip 4

Learn about your family history.
See if you might be at increased risk of diseases like glaucoma.

Healthy Tip 5

Use contacts safely.
To avoid infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your contact lenses.

Healthy Tip 6

Stop smoking.
Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing a blinding eye disease.