Too often it is only when symptoms appear that people become aware of an underlying medical issue. But many serious eye conditions develop gradually without showing symptoms, making annual eye exams your first line of defense.

Here are some common eye diseases that may not show symptoms until the condition becomes serious:


The term “glaucoma” refers to a group of diseases which can damage the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye to the brain. According to the National Institute of Health, at least half of people with glaucoma don’t know they have the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to vision loss or blindness. The best way to detect glaucoma early is by having regular comprehensive dilated eye exams.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. ARMD primarily affects the macula, which is the part of the retina. Symptoms can include blurred central vision, black or dark spots in the center of your field of vision, or a wavy appearance to straight lines. Regular eye exams can detect early stages of ARMD, possibly delaying or even preventing further vision loss.


A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. Symptoms include blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to bright light, trouble seeing at night. Surgery to remove and replace the lens with an artificial lens is generally highly successful.

Diabetes-Related Retinopathy

Diabetes-related retinopathy is a well-documented complication of diabetes where long-term unmanaged high sugar (glucose) levels in your blood cause ongoing damage to blood vessels in the retina. Most people show no vision changes until the disease is severe. Regular eye exams can catch diabetes-related retinopathy early giving you the best chance to protect your vision.

Regular Eye Exams and Eye Health

Your ability to see clearly impacts your life on every level: when you drive, when you work, when you’re reading social cues and facial expressions, and when you’re reading a recipe or watching a movie. There’s no aspect of life where impaired vision serves you. Schedule your eye exam today at Bauer & Clausen Optometry – we look forward to helping you maintain healthy eyes and the best vision possible.