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Eye Conditions

Cataracts

A cataract forms when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Cataracts affect millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans over the age of 65. Cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision. Cataracts also commonly cause blurred or hazy vision, a sensitivity to glare or a feeling of having a “film” over the eyes. Cataract surgery restores the clarity of your vision by removing the cataract and replacing it with a man-made intraocular lens (IOL).

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It is a form of damage to the optic nerve of the eye. The condition often develops over many years without causing pain or other noticeable symptoms – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. People at high risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.

To detect glaucoma, your physician will test your visual acuity and visual field as well as the pressure in your eye. Regular eye exams help to monitor the changes in your eyesight and to determine whether you may develop glaucoma. Once diagnosed, glaucoma can usually be controlled and further vision loss can be decreased. Treatments to lower pressure in the eye include non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy, and surgery.

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Macular Degeneration

The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. When Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs, loss of this sharp vision occurs. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision. AMD is the number-one cause of vision loss in the U.S. Macular degeneration doesn’t cause total blindness because it doesn’t affect the peripheral vision. Possible risk factors include genetics, age, diet, smoking and sunlight exposure. There are two kinds of AMD: wet (neovascular/exudative) and dry (non-neovascular). About 10-15% of people with AMD have the wet form. Vision loss with dry AMD is slower and often less severe than with wet AMD. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss. There are treatments for many patients with macular degeneration.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina inside the eye. These weak vessels can leak, causing a loss of vision. Changes to your vision may not be noticeable at first. But in its advanced stages, the disease can cause significant and irreversible vision loss. Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy is preventable by controlling blood sugar. Prevention is the best medicine with this disease. Regular eye exams are very important to detect diabetic retinopathy. Although damage caused by diabetic retinopathy cannot be corrected, patients diagnosed with the condition can be treated to slow its progression and minimize further vision loss. Treatment modalities include laser and surgical procedures.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently moisturized, leading to burning, redness and irritation. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves are of a poor quality. Your eyes may actually start to tear because they are irritated and your vision may fluctuate. People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries. Fortunately, many treatment options are available.

Blepharitis

BlepharitisBlepharitis is a chronic inflammation – a long-term swelling – of the eyelids, eyelid oil glands or the eyelash follicles. The eyes may burn or become red, itchy, and scratchy. Your eyes may tear frequently. Blepharitis can be associated with styes. It is a common cause of dry eyes. There is no cure for blepharitis, but there are a number of treatments which can control this inflammation and many of its symptoms.

For more information on eye conditions go to:  http://www.rpbusa.org/rpb/eye_info/page_4/

To learn more about any of these eye conditions and treatments, call Newman and Taub Vision Center today at 972-392-2020.

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