Our doctors are fully licensed, and experienced, in treating and managing a variety of acute and chronic ocular diseases.
Ocular Surface Disease (Dry Eye)
It’s been estimated that over 50% of adults in America have some symptoms of dryness or irritation to the eyes. The root of the problem can be seen in a group of conditions known collectively as ocular surface disease (OSD). There are 3 main components to OSD: dry eye syndrome, blepharitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Dry Eye Syndrome (DES): A condition that affects the surface of the eye due to decreased tear production or rapid evaporation of tears. Dry eye conditions may be caused by the normal aging process, environmental factors, medications, or certain diseases; such as, Arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, may cause dry eye. Some tasks, such as prolonged computer use, reading, or driving can make the condition worse; poor blinking habits may also be causing your dry eyes. Treatments may include artificial tear supplements, drugs such as Restasis or Xiidra, and omega 3 fish oil supplements. In more moderate to severe cases, we can use special “plugs” to block the flow of tears away from the eye.
Blepharitis: A condition that can be caused by bacteria on the surface of the eyelids and lashes. This may cause chronic infection and inflammation to the lids and surface of the eye. Treatments generally start with eyewashes to clean the skin surface of bacteria and other debris, and may include prescription drops or ointments. In severe cases an in office procedure called BlephEx can be performed to help get one’s eyes back on track.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD): A condition affecting the oil secreting glands of the upper and lower eyelids. The outer layer of the tear film consists of lipids, or oils, that help to reduce the evaporation of the tears off the eye. A deficiency in these glands will cause a decrease in the necessary secretions, and can be a result of infection or inflammation. Treatment generally includes hot compresses, massage to express the glands, and lid washes. Prescription medications may be used, and studies are beginning to show the benefits of using omega 3 fish oil supplements to treat this condition.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults over 55. Changes in blood sugar may cause vision to fluctuate, causing glasses prescriptions to frequently change. Diabetes can also cause problems to the retina known as diabetic retinopathy. This usually includes bleeding in the retina, and may cause permanent vision loss. Elevated blood pressure along with uncontrolled blood sugar levels combine for even higher risk of diabetic retinal disease. It’s recommended for all diabetics to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every 12 months. Due to vision changes, eye doctors are sometimes the first to diagnose diabetes.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, and is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. Over 3 million Americans have it, and another estimated 6 million have it and don’t know it. There are usually no symptoms of pain or blurred vision. Noticeable vision loss is usually not seen until the more advanced stages of the disease. The best defense is an annual eye exam, and early detection is a key to having the best control of the disease. There are different types of glaucoma, and most have treatments ranging from eye drops to laser procedures attempting to lower the pressure inside the eye.
Glaucoma is a serious disease that could silently steal away your vision. It can be controlled, but it has to be detected first.
A cataract is any opacity to the lens inside the eye. This clouding (opacity) will cause visual disturbances, such as, blurred vision and glare. Cataracts will make it more difficult to drive, especially, at night due to the glare. Cataracts can also affect quality of life by inhibiting your ability to enjoy everyday tasks, hobbies and leisure activities. Surgical options for cataracts range from traditional implants to new and improved multi focal implants. These new lens implants can allow patients to see both far distances and up close, for reading, without the use of glasses.
As our population is living longer, Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is becoming a significant vision problem in the U.S. This condition, which affects the central area of the retina known as the macula, has two forms. The first, less debilitating form of the condition, is called dry degeneration. Approximately 80-90 % of ARMD patients have this form, which usually causes mild to moderate vision loss. The more profound negative affect to vision is caused by the second form, known as wet degeneration. This form affects far fewer patients, but accounts for over 80% of the cases that cause legal blindness. There is now treatment available for wet macular degeneration in the form of intraocular injections; however, timeliness of diagnosis and treatment is vital to potentially prolonging vision.