A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. The clouding prevents light entering the eye from being focused on the retina. The lens clouds naturally as we age, resulting in a gradual decrease of eyesight. Cataracts usually progress slowly to cause visual loss and are potentially blinding if left untreated. The condition usually affects both eyes, but one is usually affected earlier than the other. In the United States of America, age related lens changes have been reported in 42% of people between the ages of 52 to 64, 60% of people between 65 to 74, and 91% of people between the ages of 75 to 85.
Symptoms Of Cataracts
• Blurred or hazy vision
• A “film” or “fog” over the eye
• Decreased contrast (newspaper or book ink fading)
• Decreased brightness of colors
• Glare from sunlight
• Halos around lights (like oncoming headlights)
• Light sensitivity
• Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
• Cannot follow the golf ball after hitting it
These symptoms are usually not always associated with cataracts. If you experience one or more symptoms, you should schedule an examination with us at Marshall Eye Care.
Diabetic Eye Exams
Diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels throughout a person's body, especially if their condition is not managed properly. Having Diabetes also increases a person's risk of certain eye conditions.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the more common conditions that affect diabetics. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults in the United States. The condition causes damage to the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blurred vision, black spots in vision, and a loss of your central vision.
It is important for diabetic patients to have an annual dilated eye exam to monitor for changes in the blood vessels in the retina. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is key to prevent vision loss.
Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem.
People with dry eyes may experience irritated, gritty, scratchy or burning eyes; a feeling of something in their eyes; excess watering; and blurred vision.
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor can determine if you have dry eyes and advise you on treatment options.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that leads to progressive damage of the optic nerve. Glaucoma most often occurs due to an increase in the pressure of the eye, however it can also occur after trauma or injuries to the eye. Glaucoma is mostly asymptomatic until advanced stages when vision loss occurs, so it is important to have yearly eye exams to monitor your eye pressure.
Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:
- Age - people over 60 are at increased risk for glaucoma
- Race - African Americans are significantly more likely to get glaucoma than Caucasians.
- Family history - Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing glaucoma
- Injuries to the eye - Severe trauma can result in immediate increased eye pressure.
- Corticosteroid use - using corticosteroids for prolonged periods of time appears to put some people at risk of developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma is diagnosed during your comprehensive eye exam. Additional testing will be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of your condition. If it is determined that you have glaucoma, treatment will be started. Treatment for glaucoma is aimed at reducing the pressure in the eye. Prescription eye drops are a common form of treatment, but other options such as laser surgery or other surgery may also be recommended. Your doctor with work with you to determine what the best treatment option for you is and will continue to monitor your condition at regular intervals.
Macular Degeneration is an eye disease affecting the macula (center of the retina), causing loss of central vision. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. Risk factors for AMD include: heredity, UV light exposure, smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
Symptoms of macular degeneration can often go unnoticed and include:
- The gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- The shape of objects appears distorted
- Straight lines look wavy or crooked
- Loss of clear color vision
- A dark or empty area in the center of vision.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have macular degeneration or other eye health problems.
Ocular allergies are the abnormal response of sensitive eyes to contact with allergens and other irritating substances. Ocular allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, is one of the most common ocular surface diseases. Symptoms include: itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes. Allergic conjunctivitis can be seasonal in nature or can occur all year long. Other conditions, such as dry eye, can have similar symptoms, so having an eye exam to determine the cause of your symptoms is important for determining the proper treatment needed.