Below are answers to commonly asked questions. If your question is not answered, please ask during your appointment, or call our office.
My eyes don't hurt and my vision is okay. Do I need an eye exam?
Regular eye exams are an invaluable tool in maintaining your eyes’ health by detecting and preventing disease. Some diseases, such as glaucoma, often develop gradually without causing pain or vision loss – so you may not notice anything wrong until significant and irreversible damage has been done.
Early detection of any problems can allow for a choice of treatment options and a reduced risk of further harm.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is the number-one cause of blindness in the United States. It occurs when the macula - a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp - degrades or “degenerates,” causing a progressive loss of vision.
Does Macular Degeneration have any symptoms?
Yes. They include a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, a gradual loss of color vision, distorted vision, and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
The “dry” form of macular degeneration has no treatment, but the “wet” form may be helped by laser procedures if it is detected early. Certain vitamins and minerals may also aid in slowing or preventing vision loss.
Can cataracts be prevented?
Reducing the amount of ultraviolet light exposure by wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses may reduce your risk for developing a cataract but once developed there is no cure except to have the cataract surgically removed. Early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible.
What causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is usually caused by increased pressure in the eye, which causes mechanical damage to the optic nerve and also affects the blood flow to the optic nerve. This damage to the optic nerve will cause vision loss. There are two main types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma (the most common form) and angle closure glaucoma (5% of glaucoma cases).
Does Glaucoma have any symptoms?
Glaucoma often develops over many years without causing pain – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. Symptoms are occasionally present and should be taken as warning signs that glaucoma may be developing; these include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights and painful or reddened eyes.
Who is at risk for Glaucoma?
People at the greatest risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.
Is Glaucoma treatable?
Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled. Treatments to lower pressure in the eye include non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy, and surgery.
What is a Cataract? Who is at risk for developing them?
People at risk for developing cataracts are over 55 years old, have had eye injuries or disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications.
Are there symptoms associated with Cataracts?
There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts. These include:
- Blurred/hazy vision
- Spots in front of the eye(s)
- Sensitivity to glare
- A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
- A temporary improvement in near vision
How are cataracts treated?
Vision loss from cataracts can often be corrected with prescription glasses and contact lenses. For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, replacement surgery may be the preferred method of treatment. During cataract replacement (the most common surgical procedure in the country), the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
- Irritated, scratchy, dry, uncomfortable or red eyes
- A burning sensation or feeling of something foreign in your eyes
- Blurred vision