Read more about the eye diseases we treat & how
we can help you
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. The lens sits behind the iris, the color part of the eye. It acts much like the lens of camera focusing the image on the retina, the layer of tissue in the back compartment of the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy from a cataract, the image is blurred. Cataracts do not cause pain in the eye. Symptoms of a cataract are blurry or cloudy vision, glare and halos around light at night, requiring more light to read. Initially we can update a patient’s glasses to improve the symptoms. Once the cataract has grown enough that new glasses do not help the vision, surgery is discussed to remove the cataract and place a lens implant in the eye. Traditionally the lens implant is focused for distance vision, reducing the need for glasses. Glasses are still required for reading. There are specialty lens implants available now that focus for distance and near. The lens implants are not covered by insurance or Medicare, but they offer reduced dependency on glasses. Please call our office to schedule a dilated exam to determine if you have a cataract affecting your vision.
Glaucoma is a disease affecting the optic nerve of the eye. The optic nerve relays the light information from the retina inside the eye to the visual cortex of the brain. The light information is then processed into images by the brain. Glaucoma patients have a pressure on the wall of the eye much like having too much air in your tire. The pressure gradient damages the optic nerve very slowly over the years leading to complete blindness in the end stages of the disease. There is no pain with this disease and therefore the patient may not know they have glaucoma until the disease threatens the vision. Initially the peripheral vision is affected, later in the disease the central vision diminishes as well. There are risk factors for glaucoma including a family history of the disease. A complete eye exam can determine your risk for glaucoma and whether there is a need for further testing. The loss of vision with this disease is completely preventable with the medications and surgical options available to control the eye pressure. We have all of the latest technology available to diagnose and treat this disease.
Dry eyes is a disease of the surface of the eyes. The tear film is composed of water, oil and mucous in a specific ratio that hydrates the surface and maintains a clear layer to focus the eyes. If the tear film is decreased or altered than the eye does not focus clearly and may become uncomfortable. Dry eye symptoms are many and variable. Some patients just experience blurred vision with tasks such as reading or working on a computer for extended lengths of time. Others may have a sensation of pressure, fatigue and even pins and needles in the eye. Dry eyes can be related to other medical conditions, medications, environment and allergies. Fortunately we have many options available to treat this chronic condition including over-the counter drops, plugs to create a lake of tears on the eye and a new prescription medication that was recently FDA approved for both the signs and symptoms of dry eyes. Please don’t suffer any longer with this common disease as we have good treatments available.
Diabetic retinopathy is still the leading cause of blindness in the US population under the age of 65. This disease affects the retina, the layer in the back compartment of the eye where many blood vessels are located. Diabetic retinopathy has many stages. In diabetics the blood vessels in the retina leak blood and fluid which causes swelling to the layers of the retina, known as edema. When the central part of the retina called the macula swells, the vision becomes distorted and blurry. Another form of diabetic retinopathy known as proliferative retinopathy is where new blood vessels grow in the back compartment of the eye. The vessels can tear and bleed, filling the eye with blood. The patient experiences a sudden decrease of vision with this condition. Diabetic retinopathy is completely preventable with controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Our office works closely with your diabetic doctor to coordinate care for the health of your eyes. Although we may observe diabetic retinopathy in a patient’s eyes, once blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are controlled with diet, exercise and medication, the retinopathy may disappear over a matter of months restoring the vision. When the retinopathy becomes more severe, the patient is referred to a retinal specialist for laser treatment and injections. This disease does not cause pain in the eye so the patient may not know they have it, however it is easily detected by a complete dilated eye exam. Diabetics should be seen annually by their ophthalmologist to determine the presence of diabetic retinopathy.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease affecting the retina, the layer in the back part of the eye which is much like film in a camera. In dry macular degeneration, there is scar tissue that develops in the central part of the retina called the macula. The patient experiences blurred vision in the center. There are dietary changes and vitamins that are recommended for this stage of the disease. Wet macular degeneration describe the growth of blood vessels underneath the retina that leak blood and fluid. At this stage the patient is referred to a retinal specialist for injections in the eye to stop the growth of the blood vessels and decrease the swelling in the retina. A full dilated eye exam can determine your risk for this disease and guide the development of a treatment plan. Macular Degeneration can also run in families so it is important to know your family history.
Our office provides routine eye exams for glasses and contact lenses. Please ask us about a new lens design that reduces exposure to blue light from handheld devices, computers and overhead indoor lighting. We partner with several optical shops in the area who give our patients a discount.