Our top priority is the care of your eyes. We want to keep your eyes healthy through regular eye health evaluations, communication, and education. This page lists a few of the most common eye diseases. Select from the following list of topics or scroll to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for:
|Diabetic Retinopathy||Dry Eye Syndrome|
There are two types of blepharitis. Seborrheic blepharitis is often part of an overall skin condition called seborrhea, which may also affect the scalp, chest, back and the area behind the ears. The second form of blepharitis – staph blepharitis – is a more severe condition, caused by bacteria, that begins in childhood and may continue through adulthood.
Hormones, nutrition, general physical condition, and even stress may contribute to seborrheic blepharitis. Build-ups of naturally occurring bacteria contribute to staph blepharitis.
Blepharitis could be described as dandruff of the eyelids. Seborrheic blepharitis results in redness of the eyelids, flaking and scaling of eyelashes, and greasy, waxy scales caused by abnormal tear production. Staph blepharitis can cause small ulcers, loss of eyelashes, eyelid scarring, and even red eye.
Careful cleaning of the eyelids can reduce seborrheic blepharitis. Application of hot packs to the eyes for 20 minutes a day can also help. Staph blepharitis may require antibiotic drops and ointments.
A cataract is any cloudiness or opacity that occurs in the lens of the eye. . The lens is made mostly of water and protein that is arranged to let light through. Sometimes the protein clumps, blocking light and making the lens appear cloudy.
A person with cataracts may encounter faded colors, problems with light (such as halos, or headlights that seem too bright), poor night vision, double vision, or multiple vision. These symptoms, however, are not appreciated by all. Some can have a long history of cataract development and never complain of any visual deficit even if one is obviously present.
Your eye doctor can detect the presence of cataracts through a thorough eye exam, including a visual acuity test and dilation of the pupils. Treatment is available to prevent or reduce cataracts.
Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, is a redness of the eye. It is often accompanied by a discharge (clear, yellow, or white) and itching in the eye.
Pink eye may be caused by a bacterial infection or a viral infection, but it may also be caused by an allergic reaction. Viral pink eye is highly contagious.
Prevention and Treatment
To avoid spreading conjunctivitis, wash your hands often, do not touch the infected area with your hands, do not share wash cloths or towels, disinfect surfaces, and avoid using makeup which may become contaminated. A child with pink eye should be kept from school for a few days. Sometimes an eye doctor will need to prescribe antibiotic eye drops and ointments to clear up conjunctivitis.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition associated with diabetes. High levels of blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels all over your body as well as in your eyes. New vessels may form to replace the damaged ones, which is the bodies normal reaction where ever there is a lack of oxygen. However, all new blood vessels after childbirth are bad vessels and can leak blood and tissue fluid everywhere there are present, resulting in blurred vision or even blindness.
There are no obvious signs of diabetic retinopathy that a patient can determine on their own, unless there is a sign of visual reduction. This is why a regular/annual examination is recommended for all diabetic patients.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Reduced vision due to swelling within the retina
- Intermittent or constant blur due to swelling in the lens
- Sudden reduction or darkened vision due to a hemorrhage present within line of sight
- Floaters may also be present or noticed if there is a history of large hemorrhages
Risk Factors and Treatment
If you have diabetes, make sure you monitor regularly and tightly maintain control over your blood sugar. This will reduce your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, give us a call. If diagnosed properly, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with a laser procedure or a vitrectomy.
Dry Eye Syndrome
If your eyes are constantly itchy or dry, you may have dry eye syndrome, which affects almost 10 million Americans. Dry eye syndrome is caused by a lack of, or poor quality of, tears. Tears lubricate the outer layer of the eye called the cornea. If the tears are not composed of a proper balance of mucous, water, and oil, the eye becomes irritated.
Dry eye syndrome leads to a number of symptoms, including itchiness, irritation, burning, excessive tearing, redness, blurred vision that improves with blinking, and discomfort after long periods of watching television, using a computer, or reading.
There are many factors that can contribute to dry eye syndrome. These include dry, hot, or windy climates; high altitudes; air-conditioned rooms; and cigarette smoke. Contact lens wearers, people with abnormally dry skin, and the elderly are more likely to develop dry eye syndrome. You may also be more at risk if you take certain medications, have a thyroid condition, a vitamin-A deficiency, Parkinson’s or Sjorgen’s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or if you are a woman going through menopause.
Glaucoma is a very common eye disorder affecting millions of Americans. It is a disease of the Optic Nerve Head, where the nerve fibers that send information to the brain gradually die off. Its most common and noted form is caused by too much pressure inside of the eye, which compresses the nerve fibers destroying them. The fluid in your eyes helps to nourish and cleanse the inside of your eyes by constantly flowing in and out. When the fluid is prevented from flowing out, the intraocular pressure builds and damages the optic nerve. This causes a gradual loss in vision which progresses from the outside in until their vision is like looking through a tube and eventually leads to blindness.
There are no early symptoms for the development or progression of glaucoma. Most cases of Glaucoma diagnosed are done so after nerve fiber loss or thinning is obvious and visual loss present. Those suffering from open-angle glaucoma experience a type of tunnel vision, where their field of vision gradually decreases. It can eventually lead to blindness. Narrow-angle glaucoma, which is rare, carries symptoms of sharp pain in the eyes, blurred vision, dilated pupils, and even nausea or vomiting. It can cause blindness in a matter of days, and it requires immediate medical attention.
Heredity seems to be a risk factor. Also, you may be at greater risk if you are over 45, of African descent, near-sighted, or diabetic. Finally, if you have used steroids or cortizone for a long period of time, or if you have suffered an eye injury in the past, you have a greater chance of developing glaucoma.
Macular degeneration is a disease which affects a small area of the retina known as the macula. The macula is a specialized spot on the retina that allows us to see the fine detail of whatever is directly in front of us. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula begins to deteriorate.
“Wet” vs. “Dry”
Most often, macular degeneration is accompanied by formation of yellow deposits, called “drusen,” under the macula, which dry out or thin the macula. This is called “dry” macular degeneration. In rare cases, abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak fluid. This is called “wet” macular degeneration.
A number of uncontrollable factors contribute to macular degeneration, including age, sex, eye color, farsightedness, and race. Risk factors you can control include smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to harmful sunlight, and diet.
It is difficult to detect dry macular degeneration in its early stages. The most common symptoms, when detected, include a spot of blurry vision, dark vision, or distorted vision. Wet macular degeneration progresses much faster than the dry variety. Both forms of macular degeneration can cause blindness.
Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration, but treatment is available to slow the effects.
The part of the eye which collects light and transmits the light messages to the optic nerve and brain is the retina. It lines the inner back wall of the eye. When the retina separates from the back wall, it is known as retinal detachment. It is a serious condition which can cause permanent damage and vision loss if not treated quickly.
A retinal detachment often causes sudden defects in your vision. It may just cause a blind spot too small to notice, or it may cause a noticeable shadow which obscures your vision. An increase in “floaters,” which look like small particles or fine threads, may also be noticed. Finally, flashes of light are associated with retinal detachment.
Eye injuries, tumors, and cataract surgery can cause retinal detachment. Near-sighted individuals and the elderly are at greater risk for spontaneous detachment. Also, diabetic retinopathy, a condition associated with diabetes, can cause bleeding which leads to retinal detachment.