Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they’re more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.
Pink eye is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection, an allergic reaction, or — in babies — an incompletely opened tear duct.
Though pink eye can be irritating, it rarely affects your vision. Treatments can help ease the discomfort of pink eye. Because pink eye can be contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can help limit its spread.
The most common pink eye symptoms include:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Itchiness in one or both eyes
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- A discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning
When to see a doctor
There are serious eye conditions that can cause eye redness. These conditions may cause eye pain, a feeling that something is stuck in your eye (foreign body sensation), blurred vision and light sensitivity. If you experience these symptoms, seek urgent care.
People who wear contact lenses need to stop wearing their contacts as soon as pink eye symptoms begin. If your symptoms don’t start to get better within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection related to contact lens use.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes can affect more than just your blood sugar. It can also do some damage to your eyes if you are not careful.
Diabetic eye disease can cause vision loss if you are not careful. It can cause you to have trouble with everyday tasks even if you have regular glasses or contacts. It can even cause blindness.
If you have diabetes, you really need to monitor your vision. If you have blurry vision; see spots, flashing lights, or dark spots; or have trouble seeing out of the corner of your eye, you need to get help as soon as possible. You also need to be seen if you have any kind of pain or pressure in your eyes.
People with diabetes often have more eye problems than those who are not affected by the disease. They can also get some diseases at a much younger age. Many diabetics have cataracts or cloudy eyes. They can also be affected by glaucoma, which is increased eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and cause you to go blind. They may also have nerve damage in the eyes.
We are dedicated to caring for your eyes when you have diabetes. If you having any problems with your vision or pain in your eyes, we will be glad to see you as soon as possible so that we can prevent blindness.
Glaucoma is used to describe eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual signals from your eye to your brain, resulting in a loss of vision.
There are several types of glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is one of the most common disorders. It results from increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss or even blindness. This pressure can build slowly and be difficult to detect in everyday life. It may start by affecting only your peripheral vision.
Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma. High pressure does not always lead to glaucoma, and glaucoma can develop even with normal eye pressure. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is not as common, but can develop much more quickly. If you are experiencing intense eye pain, redness in your eye, blurred vision, or nausea, you may need immediate medical attention. This form of glaucoma is an emergency and needs to be treated right away.
There is no way to completely prevent glaucoma, but early diagnosis and treatment can help control the condition and limit its effects. Though medication or surgery can help reduce the damage, glaucoma is not curable.
For this reason, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly. If you have certain risk factors (such as those related to age, race, family history, and previous medical conditions), we may test for glaucoma even more often.
To test for glaucoma, we use tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye and pachymetry to measure your corneal thickness. We also examine your field of vision and your retina.
Treatment includes prescription eye drops to manage the pressure in your eyes. You may also need to add other medications, but surgery or implants may be a better option for you. Even when you are treating your glaucoma, it is important to have your eyes monitored closely for any changes.
Macular Degeneration is the loss of central vision due to damage to the retina. The macula is a part of the retina located on the back layer of the eye that affects the center of the visual field. Macular degeneration is often related to age and can be atrophic (dry) or exudative (wet).
The dry form of macular degeneration is most common and there is no medical or surgical treatment. The dry form occurs when debris collects between the retina and the choroid, which can cause scarring of the retina. The wet form is less common, but more dangerous. It occurs when blood vessels grow from behind the choroid, which can leak. This form of macular degeneration can be treated with laser coagulation, injections into the eye, and medication if diagnosed early.
Macular degeneration is one of the biggest causes of vision loss in adults over 50. Common symptoms include gradually blurred vision, seeing less vivid colors, and obstruction in the center of vision. Peripheral vision can remain intact, but macular degeneration can make daily activities difficult, such as reading or recognizing people’s faces.
There are increased risk factors for developing macular degeneration. Some of those are smoking, family history, diabetes, hypertension, improper diet, obesity, high cholesterol, and others. It is important to wear good quality sunglasses to protect the eyes from the harmful UV rays outdoors. The incidence of macular degeneration is ever increasing. The expectation is that there will be double the number of people affected by the disease by 2020 compared to the numbers in 2004. It is also one of the most difficult conditions to learn to live with.
Not only are regular exams important, but we have the ability to diagnose macular degeneration as much as 3 years before vision loss begins. This is an enormous breakthrough. Maculogix developed an instrument called the AdaptDx which will allow us to save vision. One of the early signs of macular degeneration can be an increasing discomfort with night vision. There are also early retinal signs that can indicate you are at risk for developing macular degeneration in the future. The dark adaptation test with the AdaptDx can allow us to pick up the disease much earlier, and start a treatment regimen so that we can keep you from ever losing vision. And, most insurance plans will pay for the test.