Common Eye Conditions That Can Begin Asymptomatically By Gordon Wong, OD on September 15, 2023


Patient in front of an eye chart

Eye conditions and diseases compromise eye health and threaten vision. The longer an eye condition goes untreated, the more likely it is to cause irreversible damage. Unfortunately, people don’t always seek prompt treatment. Often, delayed diagnosis and treatment are due to a lack of symptoms. Many eye conditions begin asymptomatically.

The optometrists at GW Eye Associates can diagnose harmful eye conditions before symptoms develop for our patients from La Jolla, Carmel Valley, and San Diego, CA. Here, we discuss how comprehensive eye care services, like routine eye exams, identify eye conditions before permanent damage occurs and the benefits of early diagnosis.


Glaucoma is a progressive and irreversible eye disease related to increased intraocular pressure. When fluids do not drain from the eye properly, intraocular pressure increases and damages the optic nerve. The effects of glaucoma develop gradually. As the disease worsens, vision loss can occur. Typically, peripheral vision is compromised first. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to total vision loss. Unfortunately, glaucoma damage is permanent, which is why early diagnosis is crucial.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye). This disease is a risk for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is another eye condition that tends to be asymptomatic in its early stages. As the disease progresses, vision problems develop. Common symptoms include blurry vision, dark areas of the vision, and floaters. Early diagnosis is essential to preventing vision loss or blindness related to diabetic retinopathy.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness for individuals age 65 and older. People over the age of 50, those who smoke, and those with high blood pressure have an increased risk for this condition. Age-related macular degeneration significantly compromises the central vision, making it difficult to see faces, print, and other detailed objects. Symptoms usually develop in the later stages of the disease. Many patients are asymptomatic at the beginning stages of macular degeneration.

How to Diagnose Eye Conditions Before Symptoms Develop

It can be scary to think that an eye disease can be present without any symptoms. But that just highlights the need for regular eye exams. During a comprehensive eye exam, optometrists at GW Eye Associates thoroughly examine the inner and outer eye to test for common eye conditions and diseases. Individuals aged 19 to 64 should undergo eye exams once every one to two years. Individuals aged 65 and older and those at risk of eye diseases should schedule yearly eye exams.

Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Many eye conditions are irreversible. While eye diseases cannot always be cured, they can be treated and managed to slow or stop their progression. Early diagnosis is essential to effectively managing eye conditions, preventing irreversible damage, and preserving vision.

Contact Us

The optometrists at GW Eye Associates offer comprehensive eye exams that are crucial to monitoring eye health and preserving clear eyesight. If you are due for a routine eye exam, contact our office online and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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