Common Eye Diseases WHAT ARE COMMON EYE PROBLEMS? Short sight (myopia) and long sight (hypermetropia) are common conditions, both caused by the cornea and lens not focusing properly on the retina. Short sight: is where the eyeball is elongated or the lens is too thick, causing the image to focus in front of the retina. Long sight: is where the eyeball is too short or the lens too thin, causing the image to focus behind the retina. Prescription glasses can help with both long and short sightedness. There are other sight-threatening eye conditions and eye diseases which are not so easily corrected, including cataract, glaucoma and neglected tropical diseases* like trachoma, river blindness (onchocerciasis), all of which can cause complete blindness if left untreated. For more than 60 years, Sightsavers has been working with partners to prevent or treat these and other causes of avoidable blindness that affect hundreds of millions of people in developing countries. We do this not only by distributing treatment and carrying out operations to restore sight, but also by strengthening health systems to enable more people to access eye health services, and treatment and operation programmes, into the future. Some other problems: Presbyopia: This is the loss of the ability to clearly see close objects or small print. It is a normal process that happens slowly over a lifetime, but you may not notice any change until after the age process. Presbyopia is often corrected with reading glasses. Floaters: These are tiny spots or specks that float across the field of vision. Most people notice them in well-lit rooms or outdoors on a bright day. Floaters often are normal, but can sometimes indicate a more serious eye problem, such as retinal detachment, especially if they are accompanied by light flashes. If you notice a sudden change in the type or number of spots or flashes you see, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. Dry eyes: This happens when tear glands cannot make enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning, or rarely some loss of vision. Your eye doctor may suggest using a humidifier in your home, special eye drops that simulate real tears, or plugs that are placed in tear ducts to decrease tear drainage. Your doctor may also recommend a new procedure called Lipiflow that uses heat and pressure to treat dry eyes. Tearing: Having too many tears can come from being sensitive to light, wind, or temperature changes. Protecting your eyes by shielding them or wearing sunglasses can sometimes solve the problem. Tearing may also mean that you have a more serious problem, such as an eye infection or a blocked tear duct. Your eye doctor can treat or correct both of these conditions.