Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans -- more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. It is considered an incurable eye disease. Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. The biggest risk factor for Macular Degeneration is age (55 and older being most at risk), but other factors include UV rays, genetics, race, and smoking.
A pterygium, also known as "surfer's eye," is an elevated, wedged-shaped bump on the eyeball that starts on the white of the eye and can invade the cornea. Being in bright sunlight for long hours--especially when you are on water, which reflects the sun's harmful UV rays--increases your risk. Pterygia are non-cancerous growths, but they can permanently disfigure the eye, causing discomfort and blurry vision.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye that affects your vision. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataracts usually develop slowly. Common symptoms are blurry vision, colors that seem faded, glare (seeing halos around light), not being able to see at night, double vision, & frequent prescription changes. Wearing sunglasses and a hat to block UV sunlight may help to delay cataracts.