The National Eye Institute (NEI) performs and supports vision research and education programs that protect and prolong vision. Learn about eye conditions, healthy eyes, vision studies, and grants for vision research.
Floaters usually happen because of normal changes in your eyes. As you age, tiny strands of your vitreous (the gel-like fluid that fills your eye) stick together and cast shadows on your retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye).
Eye care and glasses can be expensive. And even if you have health insurance, it may not include vision coverage. The good news is that lots of programs offer help, like free or low-cost eye exams and eyeglasses. Read about ways you can get help paying for eye exams and eye care, eyeglasses, and cataract surgery.
Macular edema is the buildup of fluid in the macula, an area at the back of the eye. This fluid causes the macula to swell and thicken, which distorts vision. Learn about the causes and symptoms of macular edema, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and what research is being done.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve. Learn about the types of glaucoma and whether you are at risk, and find out how it is diagnosed and treated.
Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. Read about its causes, symptoms, and treatment and other conditions that can occur because of it.
A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye’s macula, located in the center of the light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that can make it hard to see clearly. Surgery is the only way to get rid of cataracts. Read about who needs cataract surgery, how to prepare, what happens during and after surgery, and what the risks are.
Retinal detachment is an eye problem that happens when your retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye) is pulled away from its normal position. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of retinal detachment and find out whether you are at risk and how to prevent it.
A macular hole is a small break in the macula, which is located in the center of the eye’s retina. Macular holes usually occur in people over age 60 and can cause things to look blurry and distorted. Read about the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of macular holes.
The NEI conducted the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and the follow-on AREDS2 to study cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Study researchers tested whether taking nutritional supplements could prevent or slow these diseases.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur the sharp, central vision you need for activities like reading and driving. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of AMD and whether you’re at risk.
In the AREDS trial, taking the AREDS formula reduced the risk of advanced AMD by about 25% over a five-year period. In the AREDS2 trial, adding omega-3s or lutein + zeaxanthin to the AREDS formulation (containing beta-carotene) had no additional overall effect on the risk of advanced AMD.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) happens when high pressure around the brain causes symptoms like vision changes and headaches. “Idiopathic” means the cause isn’t known, “intracranial” means in the skull, and “hypertension” means high pressure.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye. More than half of all Americans age 80 and older either have had cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of cataracts. Learn about the types, symptoms, and causes of cataracts and how your doctor will diagnose and treat them.
If glaucoma medicines and laser treatment haven’t helped treat your glaucoma, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery can’t cure glaucoma or undo vision loss, but it can help protect your vision and stop glaucoma from getting worse. Learn about the different types of surgery for glaucoma and what happens afterward.
Retinal detachment happens when your retina is pulled away from its normal position. If you have retinal detachment, it is very important to treat it early to protect your vision. Learn about the three types of surgery that doctors can do to fix a detached retina: pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, and vitrectomy.
Blepharospasm (also called benign essential blepharospasm) is blinking or other eyelid movements, like twitching, that you can’t control. Eyelid twitching usually goes away on its own.
Visit the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network website to get information about many uncommon conditions.; Get in touch with the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) to connect with helpful resources and specialists who can talk to you about your condition. Check out Genetics Home Reference to see fact sheets about more than 1,200 diseases and conditions.
Laser treatment, or trabeculoplasty, is a simple procedure to treat glaucoma that your eye doctor can do in the office. It works by using a laser to help the fluid in your eye drain away, which can help lower the pressure in your eye. Find out whether you need laser treatment, how it works, and what happens afterward.