Everyone has cried, whether as a baby or just last night. Our eyes are amazingly in tune to our emotions and our thoughts, and they do so much without us even blinking an eye (pun intended). We often think of tears related only to crying, to times of emotional distress or extreme happiness (or while cutting up an onion). But what we don’t think of as often is that tears are always necessary for the nourishment of our eyes. There may not be tears streaming down our cheeks, but there should always be tears and water in our eye sockets to keep them lubricated and for you to have clear vision. And, unfortunately, there are times when this isn’t the case, when something called dry eye develops.
Our vision is important to our everyday life and, unfortunately, it’s something that’s very hard to regain once lost. That’s why it is essential to recognize and treat eye disorders early on, before irreversible damage occurs. Glaucoma is an eye disorder that affects about 2.2 million people in the United States. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this number is expected to increase to 3.3 million by 2020. But because few know how to recognize it, about half of those who have it do not even know.
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness in patients over age 65 in the United States. It is estimated that, during the next five years, over one million Americans will go on to central blindness from macular degeneration.