Diseases of the Eye
Descriptions of diseases that cause vision loss
Dry and Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age Related Macular Degeneration comes in dry and wet stages, as the wet AMD progresses from the dry AMD due to new blood vessel growth. Both dry and wet AMD are genetic conditions caused by a faulty gene in a known pathway that result in a loss of central vision later in life.
Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Retinopathy (Diabetes)
Diabetes Mellitus causes vision loss by damaging blood vessels, which causes background diabetic retinopathy, and causing new blood vessels to grow, which results in vision loss known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
RP is a group of genetically inherited diseases that damage the rods and/or cone cells of the eye. Rods are primarily affected in the most common type of RP (also known as Rod/Cone disease), resulting in night blindness and progressive peripheral vision loss.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (RoP)
Description: In retinopathy of prematurity, the developing baby has not completely spread its blood vessels throughout the eye. The body sprouts new blood vessels to reach the periphery of the retina, causing vision loss.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases associated with damage to the optic nerve. The most common cause of glaucoma is high eye (intraocular) pressure, but diabetes and other retinal vascular disease that cause new blood vessel growth may also damage the optic nerve.
Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)
VHL is a hereditary disease caused by a faulty tumor suppressor gene that makes blood vessel tumors (angiomas) grow throughout the body, including the eye.
Coats’ disease is a retinal vascular disease that causes retinal blood vessels to leak fluid and cholesterol into and under the retina.
Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA)
LCA is a recessively inherited retinal disease that causes vision loss early in life. Like RP, LCA is a disease of abnormal photoreceptor cells (i.e. rods and cones) with variation in the type and severity of vision loss.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens that obstructs vision that is most often due to aging. Diabetes, trauma, steroid and tobacco use, and genetic diseases may also cloud the lens, but treatment is straightforward and effective.