There are dozens of conditions and diseases that could affect the eyes. How do you prevent eye diseases from forming? And how do you combat or slow the progression of eye conditions that you already have? According to the American Macular Degeneration Association, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss. Certain actions can help prevent and slow the progression of macular and many other eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts. Knowledge and prevention always key when it comes to eye health though. The sooner and more frequent you see an eye doctor, the quicker small changes in vision can be detected. Many conditions can be prevented or treated with early detection. Call Optical Masters today to schedule your eye exam and to learn more about the symptoms of common eye diseases and how you prevent them from occurring.
On our website, you will see that we list many common eye conditions. Some of these include the following: cataracts, diabetes, conjunctivitis, dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, flashes and floaters, astigmatism, myopia, and presbyopia. Becoming familiar with the symptoms of eye problems is a great way to detect subtle changes in your eyes and vision and will help us diagnose any problems that much easier. Some problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness (myopia and hyperopia) are very common problems but also ones that need to be addressed so you can go about your day with clear vision.
Dry Eye - This is caused by a problem with drainage, evaporation and tear production. Tears are made up of 3 layers, so if there is a problem with one of the layers you could have a dry eye (even if you have watery eyes). You will feel eye irritation, burning, grittiness, itching or blurring. Artificial tears usually help dry eye and should be used to avoid corneal damage.
Diabetes - When we say “diabetes”, we refer to problems stemming from diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can damage the retina, eventually leading to blindness. You will have blurred or cloudy vision, floaters or spots in your vision (some dark or empty spots usually), and have difficulty seeing. 90% of new cases can be prevented with proper treatment, so come see us if you have diabetes!
Floaters and Flashes - These are usually harmless and are debris in the jelly-like substance (vitreous humor) of the eye that maintains eye shape. Eyes that are injured, inflamed or nearsighted can get floaters more easily or if a retinal detachment is happening. Get frequent eye tests and treatment from the eye doctor to help with flashes and floaters.
Glaucoma - The optic nerve becomes damaged, which is the light-sensitive membrane that sends images to the brain from the retina. It’s not painful and has no symptoms. You will gradually lose your peripheral vision until it seems like you’re looking through a tunnel. Regular eye tests can find glaucoma and it can be reversed if caught early.
Macular Degeneration - The retina’s center (the macula) focuses vision in the eye as well as reading, driving, and color-recognizing ability. With macular, you have vision loss in the center of your field of vision. It is painless but can cause blurriness, dark areas, and distorted vision. Permanent vision loss can happen as well. With our help, you can slow the progression of the disease through eye treatments, diet, exercise and protecting your eyes more.
Cataracts - This is a clouding of the lens in your eye (one or both). It is usually painless, but you will see your sight gradually worsening. Your vision might become misty or blurry and you might notice double vision or poor vision in bright light. This usually comes about by aging or injury to the eye. Longtime use of steroids, genetics, and diabetes can increase your risk for cataracts. Seeing the eye doctor is your best prevention and treatment option for cataracts!
Conjunctivitis - This is more commonly known as “pink eye”, or the inflammation of the conjunctiva (a thin layer that covers the white of the eye). You will notice itching or burning, excessive tearing, discharge or crusted eyes, pink discoloration and swollen eyelids. The cause is bacterial, viral or allergic and can be treated with antibiotics.
The American Optometric Association advises seeing your eye doctor at least every 2 years, but you may need to come in more often depending on certain eye conditions. We would love to see you in our office every year, and if you have glasses or corrective lenses, you should come in every year. Knowledge of common eye conditions and prevention is always key to steering clear of many eye conditions. In many cases, coming in to see us can help us detect a problem and even reverse it before it progresses. To stay on top of your eye health, call our Optical Masters office today at (720) 807-7600 to schedule your appointment, or to ask us any questions about common eye problems. Answers are just one call away!