Four most common eye diseases that can cause blindness

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Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. It is due to the clouding of the natural lens in the eye and is most commonly due to aging. It can also be caused by the use of medications such as steroids, smoking, trauma to the eye and prolonged UV exposure.

The first few signs of cataracts are blurring of vision, glares or haloes at night or discolouration of objects.

Thankfully, blindness caused by cataracts are reversible via surgery. With advancements in technology, cataract surgery is performed as a day surgery, needing only topical anaesthetic eyedrops.


Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease whereby increased intraocular pressure in the eyes causes damage to the optic nerves at the back of your eyes. The optic nerves are responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain.

Glaucoma is commonly known as ‘the silent thief of sight”. During the early stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms and hence the condition progresses undiagnosed. Often times, it is only when the patient experiences symptoms such as poor night vision that it is diagnosed. By then, the damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and can lead to blindness in serious cases. Glaucoma accounts for 40% of blindness in Singapore.

3.Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye disease that affects patients with diabetes. Blood vessels at the retina, the light sensitive portion of the eye is being affected. Diabetic eye disease can also cause swelling at the back of the eye, affecting patient’s vision. People who have had diabetics for many years or have poorly controlled diabetics are at higher risk of having diabetic eye disease.

4.Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD commonly affects patients over the age of 50. In this condition, the macula, the back of the eye that is responsible for sharp, central vision is being affected. Patients who smoke or have family history of AMD are at higher risk of being affected by AMD.

Damage caused by AMD is irreversible. Hence, it is important to carry out comprehensive dilated eye examinations yearly

These conditions are commonly found in patients above the age of 40. Schedule a yearly eye examination to detect these eye conditions early.

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