Creative Commons License photo credit: fran caThe human eye is a complex organ consisting of three layers of tissue that creates a complex process whereby all of us are able to see. When any of these layers are damaged, either through illness or injury, blindness can occur. Many an eye disease or disorder that can affect parts of the eye and cause blindness. There are treatments available for each of the and some more treatable than others.

Cone-rod dystrophy is a progressive disease whereby the rods and cones in your eyes deteriorate over time. This is an inherited eye disease that decreases visual acuity, affects peripheral vision and eventually leads to blindness. Although there is no cure this disease, protecting the retinas from bright light may help to slow down its progression.

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that occurs when the systemic damage caused by diabetes begins to affect the retina. Specifically, the excessive sugar in the blood causes damage to the blood vessels that nourish the retina, which leads to vision loss. The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is close control of diabetes. If the disease becomes more advanced, patients can undergo eye surgery to protect their sight.

Glaucoma usually occurs when the fluid pressure inside one or both eyes slowly begins to increase. This increase in pressure damages the optic nerve which leads to blindness. Those who are in the early stages of glaucoma often do not have any symptoms. Nearly half of those who are affected by glaucoma do not know they have the disease, which makes it dangerous because the loss of vision can occur without warning. Glaucoma is one of the primary reasons you should have your eyes checked annually.

Cataracts occur when the normally crystal clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy and causes blurry vision, faded colours and difficulties seeing through glare. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness and the risk of developing cataracts increases as we grow older. People with this eye disease can usually cope with it at first using special glasses, magnifying lenses and brighter light, but it should be left untreated. Advanced cataracts can undergo surgery to replace the clouded natural lens with an artificial one.