According to the Vision Council of America, up to 75% of American adults require some type of vision correction. Since vision correction is such a widespread need, it can be hard to tell when a vision problem is an easy fix and when it’s something more serious that requires additional follow-up. Learn more about some of the more common vision problems, their causes, and how your eye doctor can correct them.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are some of the most frequently occurring eye problems in the United States. They include:

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness,
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness,
  • Astigmatism, or distorted vision at all distances, and
  • Presbyopia, or the loss of ability to focus up close. This can cause the inability to read letters of a phone book or the need to hold a newspaper or book further away to see clearly. Presbyopia most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 50.

These vision problems affect up to 150 million Americans and can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, and, in some cases, surgery.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the central part of the retina, call the macula, which allows the eye to see fine details. As it becomes damaged, it reduces your sharp and central vision.

The two most common types of macular degeneration are wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration is rarer and can lead to rapid central vision loss. An early symptom of wet macular degeneration to be aware of is that straight lines can appear wavy. Dry macular degeneration is far more common, accounting for 70-90% of all age-related macular degeneration. It progresses much more slowly than the wet form. In dry macular degeneration, the macula thins over time as part of the aging process and gradually blurs your central vision. It generally affects both eyes.


Cataracts are very common. They are recognized as the leading cause of blindness worldwide and vision loss in the United States. When you develop cataracts, your eye lens becomes clouded. Cataracts can occur at any age because of a variety of causes.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. It progresses through four stages and usually affects both eyes. Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to your retina’s blood vessels. You can reduce your risk for diabetic retinopathy through diabetes management, including maintaining control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid abnormalities.


Glaucoma is a group of diseases that affect your eye’s optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. It occurs when the normal fluid pressure in your eye slowly rises. Your doctor can test for this in your eye exam.

There are two major categories of glaucoma: open-angle, which is chronic and progresses over a long period, and closed-angle, which appears more suddenly and painfully. Open-angle glaucoma can result in the affected person not noticing their vision loss until it is more advanced. Closed-angle glaucoma, on the other hand, causes more rapid vision loss. However, the pain and discomfort often lead patients to seek medical attention more quickly, staving off permanent damage.

If you are experiencing vision problems, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Whether you need glasses or are experiencing a problem that requires a more advanced solution, the team at Battin Eyecare will be able to assess your situation and find the right treatment to help you.