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Eye Health




Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

  • Principal cause of permanent vision loss within the elderly community
  • Increased incidence with age, smoking, and sunlight exposure
  • Most common in the Caucasian population

What is ARMD?

  • With ARMD, the central vision is distorted and blurred
  • ARMD is the deterioration of the retina at the site of the macula
  • The macula is the structure used for central vision

Types of ARMD

Dry ARMD
  • Degenerative changes and deposits (drusen) occur in the macula.
  • No bleeding
  • Less vision loss
Wet ARMD
  • Degenerative changes and deposits (drusen) occur in the macula.
  • New blood vessel growth.
  • Bleeding occurs from new blood vessels
  • Greater vision loss.

Treatment

Dry ARMD
  • Does not require ancillary treatment.
  • Recent studies found vitamin therapy is helpful from progression to Wet ARMD
    • Ocuvite Preservision
    • Lutein
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acid
  • Other preventive measures
    • Sunglasses
    • Healthy lifestyle
    • No smoking
Wet ARMD
  • Medical intervention is necessary
  • Several treatment methods available or under study

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Cataracts

What is a cataract?

  • A cataract is the clouding of the crystalline lens inside the eye
  • It is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight
  • A cataract impedes light from entering the eye

Different types of cataracts

  • Age-related cataract
  • Congenital cataract
  • Traumatic cataract
  • Steroid-induced cataract

Symptoms

  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Starbursts, halos, and glare
  • Needing a bright light when reading
  • Fading of colors

Treatment

The treatment of a cataract is dependent upon the size of the opacity, along with the degree of symptoms the patient is experiencing. Early cataracts have milder symptoms, and a few modifications can greatly improve things. Denser cataracts may require surgery.

  • Early cataracts
    • Current eyeglass prescription
    • Strong sunglasses for glare
    • Bright light when reading
  • Moderate to dense cataracts
    • Cataract surgery

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Conjunctivitis

What is conjunctivitis?

  • The conjunctiva is a thin clear membrane that lies on top of the white (sclera) of the eye.
  • Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of this membrane

Different types of conjunctivitis

There are three main types of conjunctivitis that are most common to the general public. These types are allergic, bacterial, and viral conjunctivitis .

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Cause: seasonal allergies or irritating allergens

Signs & symptoms:
  • Severely itchy eyes
  • Redness and tearing
Treatment & management:
  • Artificial tears and cold compresses
  • Prescription antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer, or steroid eye drops

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Cause: various offending bacteria such as
  • Staphylococcus (most common)
  • Streptococcus
  • Pseudomonas
Signs & symptoms:
  • Thick yellow or green discharge that persists throughout the day
  • Severe ocular redness
  • Markedly swollen eyelids
Treatment & management:
  • Eye wash and cold compresses
  • Prescription antibacterial eye drop

Viral Conjunctivitis

Cause:
  • Common cold
  • Recent upper respiratory infection
  • Near someone with an eye infection
Sign & symptom:
  • Redness
  • Mild watery discharge
  • Discomfort, irritation, and burning
Treatment & management:
  • Artificial tears and cold compresses
  • Prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or antibacterial eye drops

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Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome
  • When the tear layer begins to decrease in production
  • A chronic condition
  • Leads to irritation, discomfort, & tearing
  • Caused by several systemic and environmental factors
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Age related changes to the glands of the eyes
  • Medical conditions, such as Sjogrens, Lupus, Rhematoid Arthritis
  • Medications that cause drying of the body’s glands
  • Environmental factors, such as heat, air conditioning, dust, allergens
Symptoms
  • Tearing, burning, redness
  • Blur relieved by blinking
  • Irritated with computer, TV & reading
Treatment
  • Artificial Tears
  • Lubricating gels
  • Ointments at bedtime
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Prescription medications (Restasis or mild steroids)

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Retinal Detachment


What is retinal detachment?
  • The retina is a structure that enables sight
  • A retinal detachment is when this membrane pulls off the eye
  • Vision loss occurs in the area corresponding to the detachment
  • Retinal tears or detachments are an Eye Emergency!

Symptoms
  • Flashes of light
  • New floaters
  • Sudden vision loss
Causes
  • Trauma
  • Retinal thinning
  • Age related changes
  • Spontaneous occurrence
Treatments
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgical treatment

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Glaucoma


What is glaucoma?
  • Glaucoma is a silent disease that will lead to blindness if not treated
  • It is detected through specific testing from the eye doctor
  • Glaucoma affects the side vision and moves to the central vision in later stages
  • Treatment for glaucoma, in most cases, is quite successful in slowing the progression of this disease
Who is at risk for glaucoma?
There is an increased incidence of glaucoma with:
  • African Americans
  • Those over 55 years old
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Those highly nearsighted
Treatment
  1. Anti-glaucoma eye medication
    • First line agent of treatment
    • Anti-glaucoma eye drops decrease the pressure within the eye
    • Begin with one eye drop, and if necessary, a combination of anti-glaucoma medications can be used
  2. Laser treatment
    • Resorted to when glaucoma continues to advance despite multiple ocular medications
    • Laser markings are made within in the drainage system to promote openings and improve outflow
  3. Trabeculectomy
    • Used when ocular medications laser treatment together have not succeeded with controlling the glaucoma
    • A surgical procedure where an alternative drainage system is made within the wall of the eye

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Hyperopia


What is hyperopia?
  • Hyperopia is when one has difficulty seeing up close
  • The eye has a shorter length or the cornea is flatter than average
  • The image focuses behind the eye, causing blur
  • A glasses or contact lens prescription makes things clear
Symptoms
  • Blur with close work
  • Eyestrain with prolonged computer or near work
  • Headaches towards the end of the day
  • Some eye-turns in children
Treatment
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses

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Myopia


What is Myopia?
  • Myopia is when one has difficulty seeing at distance
  • The eye is longer or the cornea has a steeper curvature than average
  • The image is focused in front of the retina, causing blur
  • There are several treatment options for clearing one with Myopia
Symptoms
  • Squinting
  • Difficulty seeing objects in the distance
  • Strained eyes with distance viewing
  • Headaches from squinting
Treatment
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Corneal Refractive Therapy
  • Refractive Surgery

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Presbyopia


What is Presbyopia?
  • Presbyopia occurs when the physiologic lens inside the eye, used to focus for reading, begins to lose its function
  • This is an age-related change
  • Reading glasses or bifocals are prescribed to improve ones clarity and comfort
Symptoms
  • Holding reading material farther away
  • Blurriness or tired eyes with extended close work.
  • Eyestrain with computer work
Treatment and Management
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses

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