Regular annual eye exams are a foundation for healthy eyes, especially as you age. Our optometrists will evaluate your prescription during your visit and investigate your entire ocular system for eye diseases. Many eye diseases show few or no symptoms until vision loss has already begun, so you must get your eye health checked regularly.
While there are many types of glaucoma, most versions occur when excess fluid (called aqueous humor) builds up in your eye. This build-up increases the internal pressure of your eye and potentially damages your optic nerve, resulting in tunnel vision.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It occurs when the aqueous humor is unable to drain properly because of a blockage in the eye’s drainage system. This is believed to gradually increase pressure within the eye, potentially damaging the optic nerve. There are treatments available to prevent or halt optic nerve damage and sight loss, but early intervention is critical.
Normal-tension glaucoma occurs when the eye’s drainage system is fully functional and the pressure in the eye is normal, but the optic nerve still becomes damaged. Although treatments are available to mitigate or prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss, early intervention is vital.
Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is rare and occurs when the drainage angle in the eye becomes blocked or closes completely. If the iris is pushed too far forward from a growing lens, the gap between the iris and the cornea becomes very narrow, preventing the aqueous humor from draining.
This type of glaucoma typically occurs without warning, and symptoms can include:
Sudden blurring of vision
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a severe ocular emergency. If you experience the symptoms listed, you should seek medical attention immediately. Call our office and request an emergency appointment or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is one of our most valuable tools, as it allows us to take exceptionally high-resolution images of the retina and optic nerve, from which we can diagnose the presence of glaucoma. During your comprehensive eye exam, The Eye Care Team will use a variety of tests to look for signs of glaucoma, including tonometry, an assessment of the intraocular pressure (or fluid pressure) inside your eye.
As our eyes age, the proteins in the lens restructure, causing a hazy mass known as a cataract. Age and sun exposure. As they progress, vision becomes blurry, cloudy, and less vibrant.
Cataracts Risk Factors
Though we will all eventually develop cataracts as we age, some factors increase the likelihood of developing cataracts at a younger age:
Undergoing eye surgery
Sustaining an eye injury
Prolonged UV exposure
High blood pressure
By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you can reduce your likelihood of developing cataracts at a young age. Wearing UV protective sunglasses, not smoking, and eating a balanced and nutritious diet may help prevent cataract development.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in America and a condition that affects the macula, the portion of your retina contributing to central vision. You are more vulnerable to macular degeneration if you have a high amount of drusen. When these small deposits (drusen) form around the macula, it can damage macular cells, leading to the dry form of AMD.
There is currently no treatment to reverse the effects of macular degeneration. Depending on how advanced the disease is, various lifestyle changes and treatment options may slow the progression of the disease.
One way to reduce your likelihood of vision loss due to macular degeneration is to schedule regular eye exams. Early detection of macular degeneration is critical—by the time you begin to experience symptoms, you may already be at risk of permanent vision loss.
Dry Macular Degeneration (DMD)
In complement to medical treatments for dry macular degeneration, your optometrist may recommend some lifestyle changes to help slow its progression. Quitting smoking, losing weight, or eating more of certain foods to ensure you get specific nutrients can help slow the progression of dry macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration (WMD)
Wet Macular Degeneration, also called neovascular macular degeneration, occurs when abnormal blood vessels start to grow beneath your macula. There are several treatments available for wet macular degeneration, including:
Laser surgery to target and remove irregular blood vessels
Eye injections to inhibit new irregular blood vessel growth