Top Causes of Blindness in Adults

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Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 by Dr. Robert Mack
Eye Exam Hoffman Estates, IL

Millions of adults in America are either legally blind or have low vision. Blindness is often caused by eye diseases related to age or complications of other diseases.

While not all eye diseases can be cured, many eye diseases can be diagnosed with regular eye exams and treated with early intervention at the Mack Eye Center in Hoffman Estates. The following are the top causes of blindness for adults:


The lens of your eye is normally clear. Over time it is possible for the proteins inside your eye’s lens to join together, resulting in a cloudy appearance and blurry vision. This is known as a cataract, and it is a leading cause of blindness. Cataracts are treated with cataract surgery. The ophthalmologists at Mack Eye Center offer patients bladeless cataract surgery, a procedure that incorporates a laser to offer even better results than traditional cataract removal. During the procedure, the clouded eye lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that can cause blindness if left untreated. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye) are damaged.

In its initial stages, diabetic retinopathy may be symptomless. As the disease progresses, patients may experience a number of symptoms including blurred vision, increased floaters and dark vision areas.

In its early or minor stages, diabetic retinopathy may be treated with monitoring and diabetes management. As it progresses, treatment can include laser therapy and intravitreal injections.


Glaucoma actually refers to a group of eye conditions. The most common form is a progressive eye condition that results when a buildup in pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma is one of the top causes of blindness and often has no symptoms until late in the disease progression. The only way to detect glaucoma is with a glaucoma eye exam. Patients are urged to regularly have their eyes examined for glaucoma.

Glaucoma cannot be cured but it can often be treated. Treatments vary and can include medications and surgery.

Eye Injury or Trauma

Eye injury and trauma can cause blindness. Eye injuries can include both blunt force trauma injuries and chemical injuries. Any eye injury should immediately be examined by an ophthalmologist. Patients should also have an eye exam immediately after any head trauma.

Contact Mack Eye Center for an Eye Exam

Regular eye exams are important to ensuring your best possible eye health and vision. Contact our ophthalmologists at Mack Eye Center today to schedule your eye exam.

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