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EYE DISEASES

Cataracts

A cataract is the clouding of the eye's natural lens. The lens, which is located behind the iris and pupil, works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. As we age, protein begins to clump together and will start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time it may grow larger, prohibiting light from passing through the lens and making it more difficult to see.

 

The risks of forming a cataract increase as you age. However, there are other risk factors for cataracts including diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detection

 

Cataracts are detected through a comprehensive eye examination. During the exam, your On Sight Eye Consultants' optometrist will dilate your eyes in order to widen, or dilate the pupils. A special magnifying lens is then used to examine the retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. Tonometry will also be performed to measure the pressure inside of the eye.

 

Symptoms:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision

  • Colors seem to fade

  • Glare from headlights and lamps. Sunlight seems too bright. Halos surround streetlights at night.

  • Poor night vision

  • Frequent prescription changes

  • Seeing multiple images

Treatment

 

The early symptoms of cataracts may simply be treated with a stronger prescription in your eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunwear or magnifying lenses. As the cataract progresses and these measures no longer work, surgery becomes the only effective solution.

 

Cataract Surgery

 

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an IOL (intraocular lens). This lens becomes a permanent part of your eye like your natural lens, except it is a clear, plastic lens. IOLs require no care and you will not feel or see it. Your vision is improved by the clear focus of light the IOL provides.

 

Cataract surgery has undergone tremendous technological advances. Patients who recently encountered cataracts will now discover they have choices in the type of intraocular lens (IOL) they choose for surgery. Traditionally, the replacement lens used for cataract surgery was a monofocal IOL. This type of lens restores good function for distance vision, but patients still need to continue wearing reading glasses or bifocals for reading or other near vision tasks.

A multifocal IOL can provide you with a full range of vision, thus minimizing dependence on glasses and in many cases eliminating the need for reading glasses or bifocals. These new breakthrough lenses provide good distance, intermediate and near vision.

 

Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 50 in the United States. This eye disease occurs when the macula changes, which is a small part of the retina and is located on the inside back layer of the eye. AMD is a loss of central vision that can occur in two different forms: "dry" or non-exudative and "wet" or exudative.

 

Symptoms of AMD:

  • Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly

  • Straight lines look wavy or crooked and objects appear distorted in shape

  • Loss of clear color vision

  • A dark or empty area appears in the center of vision

 

Caucasians are at a higher risk for developing AMD than other races. Women are at a higher risk than men to develop AMD at an earlier age. You might not notice any signs of macular degeneration in its early stages. However, you should contact your optometrist immediately if you  notice any of the above symptoms. 

 

Treatment

 

In the "dry" form of AMD, the tissue of the macula slowly becomes thinner and stops functioning properly. There is no cure for this type of AMD, but it does not mean you will lose your sight. Fortunately, dry AMD develops slowly. You might lose some central vision over the years that can't be restored, but most people maintain normal, active lives.

 

Recent studies have shown a link between the progression of AMD and nutrition. Adding dark green leafy vegetables and low-fat content foods can slow vision loss. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two nutritional supplements that are beneficial in protecting and maintaining healthy cells in the macula.

 

"Wet" macular degeneration is less common and occurs when fluids leak from newly formed blood vessels under the macula, which blurs central vision. Rapid and severe vision loss can happen with this type of AMD. However, if detected early, the wet form can be treated with intravitreal medication injections. Unsuccessful injections lead to other forms of treatment, including laser photocoagulation, where a highly focused beam of light seals the leaking blood vessels that are damaging the macula. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is another treatment option where medication is injected into the bloodstream and is activated by a laser.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that causes them to be red, irritated and itchy. Formation of scales on the eyelashes that resemble dandruff are also caused by blepharitis. This condition can affect people of all ages. Luckily it is not contagious and does not cause any permanent eye damage, however it can be very uncomfortable.

 

Anterior blepharitis is one type of blepharitis which occurs where the eyelashes are attached at the outside front edge of the eyelid. Posterior blepharitis affects the inner edge of the eyelid which comes in contact with the eyeball.

 

For some people, blepharitis causes only minor irritation and itching. Others might experience a burning or gritty sensation in the eyes, red and swollen eyelids, dry eyes, crusting of the eyelids, excessive tearing and itching. However, blepharitis can lead to more severe symptoms, including:

  • Blurred vision

  • Inflammation of other eye tissue, especially the cornea

  • Missing or misdirected eyelashes

 

Controlling blepharitis for many people includes a regular cleaning routine with face washing and frequent scalp washing, doing eyelid scrubs and soaking the eyelids with a warm compress. Antibiotics and other medications might be needed if a bacterial infection is the cause. 

 

Diagnosis

 

A comprehensive eye examination can help your optometrist diagnose blepharitis. The testing during your exam might include:

  • Evaluation of the quantity and quality of tears

  • External examination of the eye, which includes eyelash appearance, structure of the eyelid and skin texture

  • Patient history to determine if any underlying health problems could be causing the issue

  • Evaluation of the base of the eyelashes, lid margins and meibomian gland openings using magnification and a bright light

 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is a disease that hinders the body's ability to use and store sugar, which can cause health problems like diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease causes damage to the retina and can be sight-threatening. It is the leading cause in new cases of blindness among adults 20-74 years old. 

 

Other risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Race - African Americans and Hispanics are at a greater risk for developing the disease.

  • Pregnancy - Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. 

  • Medical conditions - High blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
     

Detection

 

Often, an indicator of diabetes is blurred vision, which occurs when damaged blood vessels leak fluid and lipids onto the macula. If it isn't treated correctly, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness in severe cases. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty seeing well at night

  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision

  • Seeing spots or floaters in your field of vision

 

Several factors can influence whether someone with diabetes develops diabetic retinopathy, including blood sugar control, family history, length of time with diabetes and blood pressure levels. You can reduce your risk by:

  • Controlling your blood sugar levels by testing your own glucose several times a day and keeping a daily record of your blood glucose levels

  • Maintaining your blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase damage to blood vessels

  • Regular Exercise

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Quitting smoking

 

Detecting diabetic retinopathy involves a dilated eye exam that reveals blood vessel leakage and closure, retinal swelling and deposits on the retina. Damage caused from diabetic retinopathy can often be prevented, slowed, and occasionally reversed if treated within an appropriate time with laser treatment. Laser treatment can seal leaking blood vessels.

 

Early Detection Can Help Save Your Sight

 

If your On Sight Eye Consultants optometrist detects that you might have diabetic retinopathy, you will be referred to a specialist for treatment. Your specialist will have the capability to take detailed digital photos of the retina that can greatly enhance their ability to detect, monitor and treat diabetic retinopathy effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve from internal pressure that builds in the eye. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United StatesIf you are over the age of 40 and your family shows a history of developing the disease, glaucoma is more likely to occur. More than two million Americans are estimated to have glaucoma and this figure is expected to rise. 

 

The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown. Fluid pressure can increase in the eye if the normal balance of fluid produced and draining from inside the eye is disrupted. Blood vessels and nerve fibers located in the optic nerve can be easily damaged by the increased pressure. An injury, infection or tumor in or around the eye can also cause an increase in pressure.

 

There are two types of glaucoma. Most commonly occurring is primary open-angle glaucoma, which tends to be more common among blacks than whites, causes damage at a younger age, and will more likely lead to blindness. You are also at a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you are nearsighted and/or have diabetes. Acute angle-closure glaucoma results from a sudden block of drainage channels in your eye, which causes a fast build-up of pressure, resulting in blurred vision, the appearance of colored rings around lights, and pain or redness in the eyes.

 

Detection

 

A comprehensive eye examination includes tests for glaucoma. Tonometry measures the internal pressure of your eye and is a simple and painless procedure. Your optometrist will measure your field of vision and examine the health of your optic nerve.

 

Treatment

 

Preserving vision is the main goal of glaucoma treatment. This is done by keeping the fluid pressure within the eye at a lower level. Treatment options also include eye drops, laser treatment, and glaucoma surgery with an SLT Laser. This laser offers glaucoma patients a safer, less costly, and easier to comply with alternative to traditional medications.

 

Any vision loss suffered from glaucoma is typically permanent and can't be restored. Scheduling a regular eye examination with testing for glaucoma is a very important preventative eye care practice for people over the age of 40.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is a condition that occurs when tears do not sufficiently lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears provide clear vision and maintain the health of the front surface of the eye. Those who suffer from dry eyes have either a poor quality of tears or do not produce enough. 

 

The cornea is the front surface of the eye that tears spread across when you blink. Tears wash away any foreign matter that might be in the eye as well as reduce the risk of eye infection. We also have small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelids where excess tears flow and drain in the back of the nose.

 

Inadequate drainage or tear production causes dry eye. Dry eye is a common and chronic problem, especially in older adults. However, age is not the only factor. Other causes include:

  • Heavy cosmetics

  • Hormonal changes in women

  • Eye surgery

  • Wearing contact lenses long term

  • Certain medications that reduce tear production

  • Environment such as dry climates, exposure to wind and smoke

  • Long hours on computers when you are not blinking as much

  • Specific medical conditions including health issues with arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems

 

The most common form of dry eye results from an inadequate amount of the water layer of tears. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca is also referred to as dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Gritty eyes

  • Redness

  • Burning

  • Excessive watering

  • Blurred vision

  • A feeling that something is in your eyes

 

Talk to your On Sight Eye Consultants' optometrist about the right treatment to keep your eyes healthy and to relieve the discomfort of dry eye.

 

 

 

 

Normal Macula

Macular Degeneration

Diabetic Retinopathy

Glaucoma

Blepharitis

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833 N. Cass St.

Wabash, IN 46992 

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Eye Consultants