Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease can cause vision loss if you are not careful. It can cause you to have trouble with everyday tasks even if you have regular glasses or contacts. Diabetic eye disease is the number one cause of blindness in the U.S.

If you have diabetes, you really need to monitor your vision and eye health a minimum of once per year, sometimes more. If you have blurry vision; see spots, flashing lights, or dark spots; or have trouble seeing out of the corner of your eye, you need to get help as soon as possible. You also need to be seen if you have any kind of pain or pressure in your eyes. We will report back to your primary care physician.

Click here to see what Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy looks like.

Click here to see what Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy looks like.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is used to describe eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual signals from your eye to your brain, resulting in a loss of vision.

There are several types of glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is one of the most common disorders. It results from increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss or even blindness. This pressure can build slowly and be difficult to detect in everyday life. It may start by affecting only your peripheral vision.

Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma. High pressure does not always lead to glaucoma, and glaucoma can develop even with normal eye pressure. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is the loss of central vision due to damage to the retina. The macula is a part of the retina located on the back layer of the eye that affects the center of the visual field.

Macular degeneration is often related to age and can be atrophic (dry) or exudative (wet).

The dry form of macular degeneration is most common, and there is no medical or surgical treatment. It occurs when debris, which can cause scarring, collects between the retina and the choroid.

The wet form is less common, but more dangerous. It occurs when blood vessels that grow from behind the choroid leak into the eye. If it is diagnosed early, this form of macular degeneration can be treated with laser coagulation and medication.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision issues for people over 40 and are one of the main causes of blindness. A cataract is a clouding of the eye, specifically in the eye’s lens behind the pupil, caused by proteins clumping together. There are different kinds of cataracts, and they can have different causes. Aging or other medical conditions can contribute to the development of cataracts in your eyes.

Cataracts can start small and develop slowly. It may not even be noticeable at first, or you may notice a slight blur to your vision. You may only notice symptoms when looking at bright lights. Cataracts can continue to worsen, and you may only feel the effects once it is well developed.

There are many conditions or factors that can lead to cataracts. Regular eye exams and consultations with your optometrist are the best method of identifying cataracts. If cataracts has developed in your eyes, cataract surgery may be helpful to restore your vision. The surgery is generally successful and the clouded lens can be removed.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Conjunctivitis

Red eyes are a sign of ocular inflammation. There are many different diseases that can cause red eye, including conjunctivitis, blepharitis, foreign body, scratches, allergies, and much more. Eyes are red and sometimes itchy and painful. You may notice discharge and trouble with your vision.

It is important to have a thorough examination with a history to help determine what is causing your red eye. There are times when primary physicians can handle red eye, though there are cases which need to be seen by an ophthalmologist.

We are here for you when your primary care physician is unable to help. We should be seen if you are having vision loss with your red eye. If regular eye drops are not helping, you may need to see us to prescribe topical steroids. It is also important to come to an ophthalmologist when you are having an eye injury or a possible sore on your eye. We also need to be seen if you have recently had eye surgery.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Dry Eye

To keep your eyes healthy, you need to have tears to provide moisture and lubrication. This is not only for your comfort, but it helps with your vision. Tears are secreted by glands around your eyes. When you do not make enough tears, you have a condition called dry eyes.

There is no cure for dry eye. Instead, we have ways to make you more comfortable. There is a product called artificial tears. This comes in drops and ointments. Depending on your needs, one may work better for you.

We also perform temporary and non-dissolving punctal plugs. These are used to close the ducts that help with the overflow of tears. If you stop the tears from draining out of your eye, you will have more tears in your eyes. We start with a temporary one to see if it is going to help before trying a more permanent arrangement.

If necessary, we may also prescribe a medication for chronic dry eyes. We may also talk to you about other medications and your nutrition. Many supplements have been helpful for patients with dry eye.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory disorder that affects the cornea. The cornea becomes thinned and steepened, resulting in distorted vision, sensitivity to light, and decreased vision. Symptoms typically manifest in a person’s younger years, usually the late teens or 20’s.

Keratoconus can affect a person’s ability to read or drive, which can be a major obstacle for people.

Luckily, this is a condition that can be diagnosed through a routine eye exam, which underscores the importance of scheduling regular eye exams for you and your children.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

Eye Flashes & Floaters

Flashes can look like flashing lights or lightning streaks in your field of vision. Some people compare them to seeing “stars” after being hit on the head or standing up too fast. You might see flashes on and off for weeks, or even months. Flashes happen when the vitreous rubs or pulls on your retina.

Flashes could be caused by several different factors, such as medications, eye health, injury, and more.

Floaters look like small specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision. While they seem to be in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous that fills your eye! What you see are the shadows these clumps cast on your retina.

Click here to see an animation of what it looks like.

If you have any questions or may have any of the above, please contact us today at (703) 941-4111.