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Common Eye Diseases (The basics)

Eye Information and Links – (see conditions for more details)

Healthy eyes mean a better life so take care of your eyes!

Cataracts

Cataracts is a clouding or darkening that develops in the normally clear lens of the eye. This prevents the lens from properly focusing light on the retina, at the back of the eye, resulting in a loss of vision. It is not a film that grows over the surface of the eye.

Nobody is quite certain what causes cataracts, but it is known that chemical changes within the lense causes it.

Common symptoms include haziness, blurry vision, dark-spots, shadows and glare.

There is no proven method that prevents cataracts from forming. However, contact lenses or glasses can be prescribed for a prescription change. Ultimately, an eye surgeon can perform cataracts surgery to remove the cataracts and replace them with an intraocular lens impant.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration results from changes to the macula, a portion of the retina which is located on the inside back layer of the eye. The Macula is responsible for clear, sharp vision. Without a healthy Macula, seeing details and vivid color is not possible. There are generally two typed of this disease.

Both types are caused by the aging process and can be hereditary.

Common symptoms include gradual vision loss, distorted or wavy looking objects, loss of color and a dark spot at the center of vision.

Unfortunately there is no known treatment for this progressive disease. The Wet Form Laser Treatment can be performed to stop further leakage of vessels. This will not restore vision, but will prevent further leakage from occuring. Other treatments include low-vision aides such as telescopic and microscopic lenses, magnifying glasses. A more preventative treatment is Ocuvite Preservision with lutein.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the passage that allows the fluid in the eye to drain becomes blocked or clogged. The resulting fluid build-up causes increased pressure inside the eye which damages the optic nerve head.

The exact cause of the disease is not known.

Common symptoms include loss of panoramic vision, blurriness and pain.

Treatments inlcude the use of eye drops to decrease pressure. In some cases surgery can be performed. Unfortunately loss of vision from this disease cannot be restored. Early detection is the key to prevention. A yearly eye exam is the most effective way to prevent this disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a retinal vascular complication of Diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a peripheral vascular disease in which the vessels of the body including the eye become thin and leaky. This can cause bleeding inside of of the eye.

The disease is caused from years of uncontrolled fluctuating blood sugars.

Treatment involves the tight control of blood-glucose levels. If this does not work photocoagulation treatment may be needed.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes would be defined as an ocular irritation due to the deficiency of one or more tear film components; lipid, aqueous, or mucin.

Kerato-conjuctivitissicca can be associated with several diseases; rhumatoid arthritis and acne.

Symtoms include burning, red-eyes, discharge, foreign body sensation and blurry vision.

Treatment includes topical lubrication with preserved and non-preserved artificial tears. If that is not adequate opthalmic ointments, can be used for longer lasting effect. If this is still not enough, consider punctal occlusion, temporary at first and permanent if succesful. In serious cases oral Doxycycline therapy may be needed or Vitamin A Supplement therapy.

Allergic Conjuctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an infectious or non-infectious inflamation of the conjunctiva. There are many different types of conjunctivitis but the three most common are allergic, bacterial or viral.

Allergic types are caused by allergies or seasonal conditions and bacterial types are caused by bacteria.

Treatment will vary based on the cause. If allergic an anti-histamine drop or mast-cell stabilizer drop will be prescribed. This will prevent watering, itching and redness. If the conjunctivitis is bacterial then antibiotics will be prescribed. This will prevent any redness and discharge. If the case is viral then a cold-compress will be recommended and occasionaly a mild steriod drop will be prescribed to stop any redness or watery eyes.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a bilateral, assymetric, cone-shaped deformity of the cornea, due to progressive paracentral corneal thinning. Patients usually develop irregular astigmatism.

The disease is usually sporadic but may have a positive family history of 10%.

Symptoms include decreased vision, sudden loss of vision, pain, photophobia, tearing and red-eyes.

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