Both Type I and Type II Diabetes put individuals at risk for a number of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is a disease of the retina, usually taking form after a number of years with diabetes. Diabetes weakens the eye’s blood vessels, eventually causing blood and other fluids to leak into the retina.
This occurrence can cause blurred or loss of vision. It also causes new and fragile blood vessels to form on the retina. When they burst or tear, the pressure on the retina from scar tissue can result in retinal detachment. Ultimately, this leads to severe vision loss and blindness.
Although Diabetic Retinopathy has no cure, significant treatments such as laser treatment or retinal procedure performed by an eye specialist on the Nationwide Vision team can prevent vision loss if detected early.
Because early signs of retinopathy can only be identified during a routine screening, individuals at risk should see an ophthalmologist on an annual basis.
Glaucoma refers to a condition that develops when too much pressure builds up in the eye. If left untreated, this intraocular pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve often times resulting in permanent blindness. Glaucoma most commonly appears in individuals 40 years and older. Aside from age, particular risk factors include a family history for glaucoma, diabetes, and individuals of African American, Hispanic, Russian, Irish or Scandinavian descent.
Because early warning signs for glaucoma are difficult to detect, you can ensure your ocular health by receiving annual comprehensive eye exams. If your Optometrist identifies any intraocular pressure within your eye, you have a couple glaucoma treatment options available to you depending on the type and severity of the disease. With medicated drops, we can attempt to either decrease the eye’s fluid production or increase the eye’s ability to draw fluid out. If medication proves unsuccessful, we have a number or both laser and traditional surgical options to alleviate pressure.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Scheduling an annual eye exam with a Doctor of Nationwide Optometry is the greatest measure you can take to monitor the on-set and progression of macular degeneration. Macular Degeneration is a condition primarily related to the natural aging process. As we get older, the central portion of our retina, called the macula, becomes particularly susceptible to deterioration.
Whereas this degeneration can cause severe vision impairment, it rarely results in complete blindness. Although no cure exists currently, certain treatment options many help prevent vision loss including laser treatment, medication and dietary changes
Retinal Vein Occlusion (Hypertension)
Related to high blood pressure, retinal vein occlusion results from blockages of the small veins in the retina. This occurs when the arteries in the eye harden and blood clots form within the retina. Risk factors for retinal vein occlusion increase with age and can lead to other forms of eye disease such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Whereas is there no cure for this condition, ophthalmologists can treat vision loss if discovered early. Patients with Retinal Vein Occlusion may benefit from focal laser treatment or medicated injections.
A Pterygium is a pinkish-yellow triangular thickening of the conjunctiva (outer coating of the eye) that grows on the cornea. This lesion can be varied in its appearance from small and pink to large and angry red with symptoms of dry eye, cosmetically unacceptable appearance and or affecting vision adversely.
The general cause of pterygia is believed to be excessive exposure to sun and wind (familiar atmosphere for surfers and ocean lovers); dry, dusty environments, and genetics have been cited as a major determiner as well.