Eye Diseases and Disorders


Some eye problems are minor and fleeting. But some lead to a permanent loss of vision. Common eye problems include

  • Cataracts — clouded lenses
  • Glaucoma — damage to the optic nerve from too much pressure in the eye
  • Retinal disorders — problems with the nerve layer at the back of the eye
  • Conjunctivitis — an infection also known as pinkeye

Your best defense is to have regular checkups, because eye diseases do not always have symptoms. Early detection and treatment could prevent vision loss. See an eye care professional right away if you have a sudden change in vision or everything looks dim or if you see flashes of light. Other symptoms that need quick attention are pain, double vision, fluid coming from the eye and inflammation.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

General Resources

National Eye Institute
Part of the federal National Institutes of Health, the National Eye Institute was established by Congress in 1968 to protect and prolong the vision of the American people. Its website offers resources on a variety of eye diseases and disorders affecting both children and adults.

American Academy of Ophthalmology
This site offers an abundance of information for the public and patients about eye diseases and disorders. The resources include eye health tips for various life stages (including pregnancy) and a symptom checker for common eye health issues.

EyeCare America
This site is operated by the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The foundation's mission is to reduce avoidable blindness and severe visual impairment by raising awareness about eye disease and care, providing free eye health educational materials and facilitating access to medical eye care.

Prevent Blindness
This site is provided by a national volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight among both children and adults. The organization focuses on screenings and education.


A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. It affects your vision. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all people in the United States either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

Cataract, MedlinePlus
This website provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health includes information on symptoms, diagnosis, screenings and treatment.

What Are Cataracts?, American Academy of Ophthalmology
This site's resources include a cataract vision simulator and other helpful tools.


Glaucoma damages the eye's optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve. Often there are no symptoms at first, but a comprehensive eye exam can detect it.

Glaucoma, MedlinePlus
This website provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health includes information on symptoms, diagnosis, screenings and treatment.

The Glaucoma Foundation
The Glaucoma Foundation focuses not only on funding research but also on educating the public about the disease and the importance of early detection to prevent blindness.

Glaucoma Research Foundation
This site offers resources provided by a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma.

Retinal Disorders

The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail. Retinal disorders such as macular degeneration affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness.

Retinal Disorders, MedlinePlus
This website provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health includes information on symptoms, diagnosis, screenings and treatment.

American Macular Degeneration Foundation
The "Help and Advice" area of this nonprofit's website will be of particular interest to people looking for resources related to macular degeneration.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?, American Academy of Ophthalmology
This site provides information about diabetic retinopathy, the most common type of diabetic eye disease, as well as less common forms of eye disease associated with diabetes.

Children's Eye Disorders

Certain eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and amblyopia (lazy eye) are prevalent among children.

Childhood Eye Diseases and Conditions, American Academy of Ophthalmology
Many eye conditions and diseases can affect a child’s vision. Some of the more common focus and alignment disorders and eye diseases are described on this site.

Local Resources

Ensight Skills Center
Ensight Skills Center is a nonprofit organization that provides visual rehabilitation to people with vision loss. Its services help people with low vision to preserve their independence and quality of life.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about eye diseases and disorders, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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