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Cataracts occur when there is a buildup of protein in the lens that makes it cloudy. This prevents light from passing through a normally clear lens, causing some loss of vision. Cataract surgery, which is now relatively routine and safe, involves replacing the clouded lens with an intraocular lens implant. As the leading cause of blindness worldwide today, it's imperative to seek early detection for cataracts.

Contact lens wearers can experience a range of conditions that range from allergic reactions to potentially dangerous infections. Sufferers often experience red, swollen, stinging sensations in the eye. It's also common for contact lens wearers to experience dry eye, a condition that is equally uncomfortable causing irritated dry eyes. Recent advances have been made in contact lens solutions to help contact lens wearers maintain eye hydration.

Retinal detachment occurs when the two layers of the retina become separated from each other and from the wall of the eye. The cause is most often attributed to the vitreous gel, the thick fluid that fills the center of the eye, shrinking and separating from the retina. The results can range from mild to severe vision loss in the affected area of the retina. Surgical treatment is available to repair the retina and is usually successful.

Dry eye is as it sounds – a condition that results in red, itchy, dry eyes as the result of a dry cornea. It's a common eye condition often affecting contact lens wearers, people who focus long periods of time on a computer screen or reading material, or people exposed to environmental pollutants. It was once common for artificial tear treatments to cause blurry vision, but recent advances have been made to minimize or alleviate this side effect while still effectively relieving the symptoms of dry eye.

An allergy is the body's overreaction to a substance it believes is harmful. Allergies of the eye often manifest as red, itchy, swollen eyes, but prevention is sometimes possible and pharmaceutical treatments are available to help with symptoms.

Eye infections can range from conjunctivitis to blepharitis or styes. Symptoms range from a swollen, red, irritated eye that discharges liquid to an inflamed eye lid or eye lid with a red, swollen bump, as is the case with a stye. An eye infection is usually a condition that is caused by bacteria, virus or other microbiological agent, but eye surgery is another common way to contract an eye infection. Treatments are available to protect against infection in cases of surgery, or treat eye infections once they have occurred.

Often painful and requiring attention by an eye care specialist, inflammation of tissue associated with the eye is generally related to trauma or surgery, but can also be caused by bacterial, viral or environmental factors. It's important to treat eye inflammation early to avoid the threat of infection and possible scarring, which may lead to permanent vision loss. Anti-inflammatory agents are available to treat eye inflammations.

Glaucoma is an eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside of the eye. It tends to be inherited, have few symptoms and may not show up until later in life. Fortunately, advanced treatment is available for glaucoma, but early detection is needed for greater success.

Macular degeneration occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates, which results in an increasing loss of central vision. As the leading cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 60 in the developed world, aggressive treatments are underway to slow the progression and ultimately cure the disease.