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Treating Glaucoma

Treating Glaucoma What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a disease where there is progressive damage to the optic nerve, which is the major nerve associated with vision. This damage can first cause a subtle loss of peripheral vision, and can possibly progress to a loss of central vision and even blindness. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, worldwide. It is estimated that more than 3 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma, with up to half not realizing they have the disease. Glaucoma may initially cause no symptoms, with the subtle loss of peripheral vision often not recognized. Causes of Glaucoma The main cause of glaucoma is elevated pressure in the eye. The optic nerve, located in the back of the eye, is the main visual nerve for sight. The optic nerve is susceptible to high pressure because its delicate fibers can be easily damaged. There is a continuous process that occurs where fluid is produced and then removed from the eye. In some people, the drainage channels in the eye may be narrow, causing a ‘clogging’ of fluid and thus elevation in what is called intraocular pressure, the pressure  level within the eye. An elevation of pressure  outside the norm can cause optic nerve damage. Risk Factors for Glaucoma Glaucoma is especially dangerous because intraocular pressure can build up and damage sight without very obvious symptoms. For this reason it is critical that glaucoma be diagnosed early. There are several risk factors for glaucoma, including: 45+ years of age; nearsightedness; farsightedness; use of cortisone; history of eye injury; and black racial ancestry. Type of Glaucoma Glaucoma is normally...

Treating Dry Eye Syndrome

Treating Dry Eye Syndrome What is Dry Eye Syndrome? Dry eye syndrome is condition wear your eyes are not getting enough moisture, usually a result  of not enough tears, or inadequate tears being produced. Dry Eye Syndrome can cause  your eyes to feel uncomfortable, including a stinging or burning sensation. Dry Eye Syndrome may be more noticeable in specific situations, such as when in air-conditioning, working on a computer, or on an airplane. There are various treatment options for Dry Eye Syndrome, which can include lifestyle changes, eye drops and occasionally surgery. Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome There are various signs and symptoms to indicate you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome.  Symptoms include: a stinging, burning or scratchy sensation; eye fatigue; mucus in or around your eyes; excessive tearing; sensitivity to light; eye redness; difficulty with contact lenses; and even blurred vision. Diagnosis of Dry Eye Syndrome If you are suffering from one or more of the listed symptoms, you will want to see a doctor. Your doctor will help determine if you are suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome, and may refer you to a specialist. An ophthalmologist will ask you questions to diagnosis  your issue. She will ask you about your specific symptoms, when they began and whether they are chronic. She will ask whether over the counter drops have provided any relief, and also ask about any medications you take. She will likely conduct a comprehensive eye exam and may also analysis the volume and quality of your eye tears. Types of Treatment Many people will find relief from mild dry eye symptoms with over the counter eye...

Treating Cataracts

Treating Cataracts What is a Cataract? A cataract is an eye disease in which the clear lens becomes becomes cloudy or opaque, causing a decrease in vision. This clouding of the lens caused by cataract formation causes distorted vision. Cataracts usually occur gradually during the normal aging process but can sometimes develop rapidly.  In rare cases, cataracts can be present at birth or in early childhood. Most cataracts appear to be caused by changes in the protein structure within the lens.  There are also potential environmental causes including excessive ultraviolet light exposure, exposure to ionizing radiation, diabetes, smoking or the use of certain medications. Symptoms of a Cataract Cataracts can cause negative visual changes, including blurred vision, difficulty with glare, dull color vision, increased nearsightedness and even double vision.  A change in glasses may help for some period, but  as the cataract becomes more dense vision will deteriorate and strong glasses or contact lenses will no longer help.  Cataracts do not normally cause pain or obvious discomfort until they become very advanced. Diagnosis of Cataracts Cataracts are identified through an eye examination, when an eye care professional identifies and abnormal lens. The lens is viewed through specialized instruments. Using a variety of tests – including visual acuity, glare sensitivity, color vision and contrast sensitivity – the doctor will assess how much the cataract is affecting vision.  Your doctor will provide the patient treatment options, including surgery. Surgery is recommended for people who are experiencing meaningful loss in vision and are symptomatic secondary to cataract. Types of Cataract Surgery Cataract surgery is normally performed in a out patient setting, with minimal sedation....