A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated at Lifetime Eyecare
“Eye diseases” is a blanket term that refers to a host of diseases relating to the function of the eye. Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. For more in-depth information, please speak with your eye care provider at Lifetime Eyecare.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens, and other irritants, like smoke and dust, pink eye can be highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white part of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.
While minor cases often improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Lifetime Eyecare for an examination and treatment.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss. Yearly examinations are recommended for all diabetic patients, more frequently as advised by your eyecare provider.
Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a permanent decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgeries available that can help slow further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry,” the most common and with no known treatment, and “wet,” less common and treated with laser procedures or injections. Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop “wet” macular degeneration.
In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Lifetime Eyecare.
Dry Eye Disease
Say goodbye to dry eyes, relief is here! Dry eye disease occurs when the eye does not produce enough tears, the quality of the tears is poor, or the tears evaporate off the eye too quickly. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the eyes’ front surface and providing clear vision. If you think you have or are suffering from dry eyes, please consult with your doctor to help find a remedy personalized for you.
Lifetime Eyecare has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our office in McCook. For more information, please schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.