Eye Diseases Explained

Eye Diseases Explained

Eye diseases can affect all components of the visual organ and have various causes such as environmental stimuli, age or diseases. Symptoms can include itchy, red, and puffy eyes. The responsible specialist, the ophthalmologist, can intervene in an emergency or replace the lens and meninges with artificial implants. Some eye diseases can possibly be prevented with vitamin D.

What are eye diseases?

According to DigoPaul, eye diseases are diseases of the visual organ, which is made up of the apple of the eye, the visual pathway and appendages, i.e. the lacrimal system, the muscles, the lids and the conjunctiva.

The diseases of the eyes are diagnosed by a specialist, the ophthalmologist. The most common diseases of the visual organ are green star (glaucoma), cataract, corneal inflammation (keratitis) and conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis).

A disease of the eyelids is rather rare. Farsightedness and myopia are not defined as diseases of the eyes. Some of the diseases mentioned above are painless, such as cataracts, while others are painful, such as corneal inflammation. Some eye diseases are congenital, others arise as a reaction to environmental stimuli. Of course there are also age-related eye diseases.


The eye is a particularly sensitive organ. Some eye diseases are caused by environmental stimuli that eventually lead to inflammation.

The origins of some diseases of the visual organ are unknown, such as cataracts. Eye complaints are painful for some diseases, but painless for others. Symptoms of an eye condition can vary depending on the type of condition. Possible symptoms of the eye diseases are itching, redness, swelling, visual disturbances and bleeding.

Most of the time, an eye disease affects visual acuity, which leads to visual disturbances. The ophthalmologist (ophthalmologist) makes the diagnosis of an eye disease. His most important examination device is the slit lamp. The examination with the slit lamp enables the doctor to look inside the eye and is completely painless.

Symptoms, ailments & signs

Eye diseases are manifested by various symptoms. In the case of an inflammatory disease such as conjunctivitis, which is common, the eyes are red, itchy, burning and watery. The eyelids are swollen and there is often a sensation of a foreign body in the eye. In the advanced stage, the eyelids can be stuck together with purulent secretion in the morning.

A less than barley grain designated abscess on the eyelid can cause severe pain in addition to a swelling of the eyelid. If there is inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, the eyesight is severely restricted. In the case of age-related eye diseases, the focus is on decreasing eyesight, pain only rarely occurs.

Evidence of a cataract (cataract) can seeing double vision, increased nearsightedness be a reduction of visual acuity and veil before the eyes. As the disease progresses, the lens of the eye becomes visibly cloudy. Blurred and blurred vision combined with loss of visual field can be signs of age-related macular degeneration.

Lines are seen as wavy and distorted, contrasts in the surroundings can be perceived increasingly poorly. Green star (glaucoma) does not cause any symptoms for a long time, colored rings are occasionally seen around light sources. Visual field deficits only occur in the further course of the disease. A red, pressure-sensitive eye with a rigid pupil and severe eye pain and headache indicate an acute attack of glaucoma.

Diagnosis & course

Depending on the eye disease, the attending physician may prescribe topical medication (eye drops, ointment, gel, or injection) to help heal it. He can also operate in the case of more serious eye diseases.

Surgery is an option if the lens, cornea, retina or vitreous humor have to be tampered with in order to restore clear vision. The eye muscles, the eyelids and the lacrimal system can also be operated on. Surgical treatment is also carried out to remove foreign bodies and diseased tissues. Thanks to modern technology, it is possible to remove the lens in the event of illness and replace it with an artificial lens.

This happens, for example, in cataract operations. Similar to the transplant of an artificial lens, the doctor can insert a cornea. Surgical intervention is carried out with the help of laser devices, and it is inevitable that the attending physician will open the organ of vision with an incision.


As a rule, the further course and the complications that occur with eye diseases depend very much on the disease itself and the patient’s previous course of the disease. It is therefore not possible to make universal predictions about these diseases. In the worst case, eye diseases lead to the loss of vision or to weaker eyesight, so that it is necessary for the patient to wear visual aids.

Eye diseases can be treated relatively well, but do not lead to normal eyesight again, as these diseases are not reversible. Inflammation in the eye can be treated well with eye drops and medication and does not lead to further complications. More and more eye diseases occur, especially in old age.

These can negatively affect the eyesight and thus complicate the patient’s everyday life. Complete loss of vision is rare and is often inherited. However, it cannot be treated. Complications mainly occur when the eye diseases are not treated in time by an ophthalmologist.

Here the symptoms can intensify and inflammation can develop, which is difficult to treat. Eye diseases are relatively rare in young people.

When should you go to the doctor?

Eye diseases don’t always need to be treated by a doctor. Many complaints are temporary and should go away on their own after a few days. However, if an eye disease persists for more than a week, it should be taken to the family doctor. Serious symptoms such as eye pain, swelling and impaired vision are best clarified directly.

Elderly people in particular and people with a pre-existing eye condition should speak to a doctor quickly if they experience unusual symptoms. The doctor will diagnose the underlying condition and then suggest appropriate treatment. However, if an eye condition is left untreated, further complications can arise.

If the eyesight deteriorates significantly, eczema forms or side effects such as headaches and dizziness occur, you must see a doctor at the latest. People who rely on their eyesight for work should consult a professional at the first sign of an eye disease. If the risk of an accident is increased, the diagnosis cannot be waited for solely for reasons of insurance cover.

Treatment & Therapy

Age-related eye diseases in particular are related to other serious diseases of the organism, such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and obesity.

The high blood pressure can affect the small veins in the retina. High blood sugar levels cause the lens to lose fluid. Fatty foods favor age-related macular degeneration. Fungi, viruses, bacteria, chemical substances and rays also affect the conjunctiva.

The eyes react to these stimuli with swelling, redness, itching, sticky eyelids and impaired vision, but these are usually not severe. Smoking and staring at a screen are also risk factors for eye diseases.

Outlook & forecast

Eye diseases can be very diverse, so that an explicit prognosis and prospect is very difficult to predict.

The most common eye disease is inflammation in the eye. Bacteria and viruses cause inflammation, which may also be associated with the formation of pus fluid. If a purulent inflammation in the eye remains untreated, the prospect and prognosis of a quick healing are not very good.

In such a case, an increased production of pus fluid can be expected. The pain in and around the eye will also increase significantly, so that a visit to the doctor will be inevitable. If a doctor is consulted early on, a quick and timely improvement can be expected.

With appropriate medication, the existing inflammation can be quickly alleviated and fought. Thus, the prospect and prognosis for a quick and uncomplicated healing looks very good.

If there is a foreign body in the eye, a doctor should also be consulted. If you do without it, you have to expect a negative outlook and forecast. In such a case, the eye can retain permanent damage. The following applies: If you want to positively influence your own prospects and prognosis of healing in the case of eye diseases, you should not do without a visit to the doctor.


For years it was said that vitamin A is the vital substance for healthy eyes. Today, scientists find vitamin D much more effective in preventing age-related eye diseases.

This means that sunlight and therefore frequent exposure to the fresh air can prevent age-related eye diseases, among other things. In addition, animal omega-3 fatty acids protect the cornea. Since many eye diseases are related to other diseases, especially diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and obesity, a healthy lifestyle is a reliable method of prevention, including for eye diseases.

Refraining from cigarettes and continuous television or long computer use also helps prevent eye diseases.

The exact severity of the follow-up care for eye diseases depends on the type and severity of the disease. As a rule, it is the ophthalmologist who gives the patient specific recommendations for action and also specifies the duration of their use. The success of the measures or the previous therapy may be checked again in several follow-up controls.

There are some behavioral measures that are often particularly important for the patient as part of the follow-up care for eye diseases. These are described in compact form below.


The exact severity of the follow-up care for eye diseases depends on the type and severity of the disease. As a rule, it is the ophthalmologist who gives the patient specific recommendations for action and also specifies the duration of their use. The success of the measures or the previous therapy may be checked again in several follow-up controls.

There are some behavioral measures that are often particularly important for the patient as part of the follow-up care for eye diseases. These are described in compact form below. Irritation of the eyes should be avoided after any eye disease and thus not only aftercare, but often also precaution with regard to a possible relapse.

For the patient, this means, for example, protecting the eyes from glaring sunlight with suitable glasses, refraining from wearing contact lenses and taking measures to moisten the eyes if these are recommended by the doctor. Care in everyday life can also change during aftercare. Harsh cleansers for the face, especially those containing alcohol, are not suitable.

The same applies to make-up in the eye area. When shampooing hair, make sure that surfactants do not trickle into your eyes. Caution is also advised with the solarium, as it brings the combination of light and dehydration of the eyes by the blower.

You can do that yourself

Eye diseases often lead to severe restrictions in everyday life and at work. With complaints of any kind, the first step is to take care of your eyes. For this, activities that require a high level of concentration for the eyes should be largely reduced. In addition to reading, this also includes working on the computer screen or prolonged use of tablets and smartphones.

Once the eyes are irritated by the disease, additional irritations such as bright light and other environmental influences such as smoke and dust should be avoided. The urge to rub your eyes should not be indulged as this can further spread the disease. If only one eye is affected, the repeated rubbing of the eyes increases the likelihood that the infection will spread to the healthy eye. Therefore, paper tissues should only be used once and then disposed of, even if your eyes are watery.

Regardless of the type of complaint, eye diseases should always be clarified by a doctor as quickly as possible. If symptoms do not improve over the course of a day, a doctor should be consulted. Until then, going to the pharmacy can help. Self-treatment of the disease with the help of home remedies and drugstore products is expressly discouraged if the cause is unknown.

Eye Diseases