Eye Disease Management
Cataract Surgery Co-Management
Cataracts is a disease of the eye that results in the clouding of the lens of the eyeball. Cataracts prevent clear images from appearing on the eye’s retina; causing mild, moderate, even severe blurred vision.
Typically an eye disorder associated with aging (over half of the people in America over age 80 have either had a cataract or cataract surgery), cataracts generally occur later in life as the lens structure within the human eye changes and gets older.
During the evaluation of your eye health, we will carefully examine your lens for signs of cataract formation. If a cataract is noticed and the clouding is causing visual disruption, the optometrist will refer you to a trusted and respected surgeon for surgery, which is the only known cure for cataracts. Our Eye Care Practice will be there for you providing pre and post cataract surgery care.
Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called "crystalline lens") that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over the time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. During cataract surgery, a patient's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.
Following surgical removal of the natural lens, an artificial intraocular lens implant is inserted (eye surgeons say that the lens is "implanted"). Cataract surgery is generally performed by an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) in an ambulatory (rather than inpatient) setting, in a surgical center or hospital, using local anesthesia (either topical, peribulbar or retrobulbar), usually causing little or no discomfort to the patient. Well over 90% of operations are successful in restoring useful vision, with a low complication rate. Daycare, high volume, minimally invasive, small incision phacoemulsification with quick post-op recovery has become the standard of care in cataract surgery all over the world.
The more you know about cataracts, the better prepared you will be to deal with them – or help prevent them in the first place!
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that only affects diabetics. It occurs when the fragile vascular network that supplies the retina – the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that helps us see – begins to swell or leak. During the beginning stages of the disease, there may be no noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to have your eyes checked at least once a year, if you have diabetes.
Once symptoms of diabetic retinopathy do develop, they can include: dark or black spots in your visual field, or blurry vision, and it increases over time. This is a result of bleeding at the back of the eye, which prevents a clear image from being transmitted from the retina to the brain.
Whether you have type 1, type 2, or even just gestational diabetes, you are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have had the disease, the greater the risk. It is essential to keep your blood sugar levels under control to prevent vision loss, and this may require a trip back to your primary care physician.
Treating diabetic retinopathy can include vitrectomy, replacing the inner gel-like substance that supports the eyeball structure, and laser surgery.
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!
Glaucoma Testing & Treatment
What is Glaucoma exactly?
It's often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and you should get yourself checked if others in your family have been diagnosed with this disorder. Over time, glaucoma will cause permanent loss of vision and without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years.
Are you at high risk for Glaucoma?
- If you are over the age of 40 and if you have a family history of glaucoma.
- GRF recommends that African-Americans get a thorough check for glaucoma every one to two years after age 35.
- Talk to family members about glaucoma. If family members have glaucoma, then your glaucoma risk is increased.
- If you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Hispanic Americans in older age groups are also at greater risk for glaucoma.
- Steroid Users - adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control asthma have an increased incidence of glaucoma.
- Eye Injury - Injury to the eye may cause secondary open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later.
Maybe you need a Glaucoma Test?
What is a Glaucoma test? Glaucoma testing involves measuring internal eye pressure and a detailed scan of the retina for signs of disease.
- Only a comprehensive eye exam can reveal whether or not you have glaucoma.
- Increased pressure inside the eye is often a key indicator of glaucoma, though not exclusively so.
- Eye doctors can use a number of tests for eye pressure but will, by default, check for signs of glaucoma as part of a detailed exam
- An examination of the retina—the light sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for processing images is only the true way you will know you have Glaucoma.
How Does Glaucoma Testing Work?
There are two types of Glaucoma tests that measure the internal pressure of the eye but one is much more accurate than the other.
One glaucoma test involvesmeasuring what happens when a puff of air is blown across the surface of the eye. (A puff test) Another test uses a special device (in conjunction with eye-numbing drops) to “touch” the surface of the eye to measure eye pressure.While increased eye pressure is a key indicator of the disease, it does not necessarily mean you have a glaucoma diagnosis. In fact, the only way to detect glaucoma is to have a detailed, comprehensive eye exam that often includes dilation of the pupils.So “true” glaucoma testing actually involves examiningthe retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye for signs of the disease.
Glaucoma can cause slight to severe vision loss, and is often discovered only after the disease is present—that’s why glaucoma testing is so important.
Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.
While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.
Types of Macular Degeneration:
There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.
- Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants which have been shown to slow diseases progression.
- Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injecting light-sensitive dyes, or AMD medication injected directly into the eye to inhibit angiogenesis.
AMD is an age-related eye disease that runs in families and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss is cannot usually be recovered. There are treatments, and preventative measures that can be taken, if detected early, so routine eye exams are essential.