To prevent diabetic retinopathy, it is imperative to control your blood sugar levels. Studies show that keeping your blood sugar in a target range reduces your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. If you are diabetic, you should have your eyes examined yearly. If you have evidence of diabetic retinopathy, you should be seen more often. We send a report to your general practitioner every time you visit us, so he or she is well-informed on the status of your eyes.
Glaucoma is typically a silent, chronic condition with elevated eye pressure that can lead to vision loss. If glaucoma is untreated, it is one of the leading causes of blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment can usually prevent vision-threatening damage. Heredity also plays an important role in developing glaucoma. If you have glaucoma or are being followed as a suspect, you should advise your relatives to be examined.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a transparent, thin membrane which covers the white part of the eye (the sclera). When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, the normally white part of the eye becomes pink or red. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are infections, allergies and environmental irritants. Infections causing conjunctivitis are very contagious and allergies while allergies and irritants are not. Bacterial conjunctivitis is characterized by production of considerable amounts of pus. Viral infections usually produce a watery discharge. The typical type of conjunctivitis seen in school is VIRAL. A common misconception is that viral conjunctivitis is no longer contagious after twenty-four hours of antibiotic drops. This is NOT TRUE! Like a virus that causes colds, antibiotics will not resolve this infection, which usually lasts about one to two weeks. Frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching the eyes are the best ways to prevent spreading.
Most people will develop cataracts to some degree as they age. Symptoms of cataracts are usually first noticed by the patient (blurred vision and glare) and are diagnosed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. A comprehensive dilated eye exam will reveal if the cataract is the cause of these symptoms. We will give our patients helpful information and preventative tips on cataract progression.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) The macula is the most central part of the retina. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula degenerates and atrophies. This is the leading cause of functional blindness in Americans over the age of sixty. It occurs in two forms. The dry form accounts for ninety percent of patients with macular degeneration. In the dry form, waste material from the retina accumulates under the retina. These are called drusen and eventually lead to atrophy and retinal breakdown.
The wet form accounts for the other ten percent of patients with macular degeneration. In the degenerated areas, the underlying blood vessels grow.
Tears are a combination of water, oils and mucous. These components are secreted by glands around the eye When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a patient may experience the following:
- FB sensation
- Light Sensitivity
- Blurred vision
Sometimes a patient has excess tears with dry eye syndrome. This is confusing to patients, but when there is an imbalance, the eye will start to tear with mostly water to compensate for the underlying problem. These tears do not offer the lubricating qualities of normal tears; therefore, they don’t coat the eye surface properly. This can be treated with:
- Artificial tear drops and ointment
- Temporary and permanent punctal procedures
Amblyopia can only be treated early in childhood. Treatment usually consist of patching the eye that sees better, forcing the brain to use the weaker eye. Glasses may also be helpful for the eyes to see more clearly or straighten alignment. After age nine, treatment is usually not successful; therefore, vision screening is very important in early childhood. Usually, there are no clues as to whether your child has amblyopia—as long as one eye sees well, you may not find the other doesn’t until it is too late.