Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve as a result of a build up of pressure within the eye. It is currently the leading cause of blindness, which is why everyone in the ophthalmology world also knows it as the “Thief of Sight”.
Three types of glaucoma can develop within the eye: open-angle, angle-closure, and normal tension glaucoma. Though there is no cure for glaucoma, there are ways to prevent it from getting worse. Think of glaucoma as a fever that never goes away, so you must learn to manage it before it worsens. The most popular treatments to manage glaucoma involve having surgery to lower eye pressure, take prescribed medication to help lower the production of aqueous liquid in the eye, or MIGS.
There are no visible signs that appear when one has glaucoma, which makes your annual eye exams that much more important. If a Precision Vision opthalomologis notices someone has unnatural high eye pressure (ocular hypertension) yet no signs of eye damage, they label these patients as “glaucoma suspects”. These glaucoma suspects have a higher risk of developing glaucoma later on in life and should be carefully monitored by your Precision Vision eye doctor.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. There are often no noticeable symptoms in the early stages of AMD, but if left untreated, it may gradually result in blurred or loss central vision; in one or both eyes. While it does not cause complete blindness, loss of central vision can make it hard to recognize faces, drive, read, or perform other daily activities.
Reduce your risk and protect your eyes from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by following these four tips:
Maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol
Make sure to exercise regularly
Start each day with a healthy diet composed of fish, vegetables, and leafy greens.
Visual symptoms of AMD may not appear until late in the disease, so it is important for all adults over the age of 50 receive annual dilated eye exams to screen for “age spots” known as drusen in the macula, which is the central portion of the retina.
Low vision is when your vision cannot be corrected to 20/70 or better, even with glasses or contacts. Typical causes of low vision include, cataracts, AMD, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease:
Age-related Macular Degeneration: is a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. There are often no noticeable symptoms in the early stages of AMD, but if left untreated, it may gradually result in blurred or loss central vision; in one or both eyes.
Diabetic Eye Disease: Diabetes causes many complications in the body, particularly in the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years old.
Glaucoma: The name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve by high intraocular pressure in the eye. Known as the “thief of sight, if left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness.
Cataracts:A cataract is the progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which disrupts light passing through the pupil to the back of the eye (retina). Over time a cataract leads to diminished sight in the affected eye and eventually to blindness if untreated. Unlike AMD, Glaucoma, and Diabetic Eye Disease, Cataracts can be removed through Laser Cataract Surgery.
These eye conditions make doing dailyactivities difficult such as cooking, driving, reading, and even recognizing the faces of friends and family.
How Yearly Eye Exams Can Lower the Risk for Low Vision
Just like an annual physical, a yearly eye exam is important for your overall health. Comprehensive eye exams are critical in the prevention and early detection o various eye diseases. Several eye diseases do not show symptoms until vision loss has occurred. However, if a condition is detected early, there is the potential to prevent vision loss.
During an eye exam, your Precision Vision optometrist will evaluate the health of your eyes through a series of comprehensive tests, while checking for the very conditions that cause low vision such as glaucoma, AMD, and diabetic retinopathy.
November is the designated month for Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness. This month helps remind and motivate those living with diabetes to make sure to take the proactive steps, to monitor their eye health and protect their vision.
Diabetes inhibits the body from using or storing sugar properly, damaging the retinal blood vessels in the eye, causing them to bleed and swell, ultimately distorting vision. These damaged blood vessels can cause diabetic eye disease, also known as diabetic retinopathy, becoming the one of the leading causes of blindness in diabetic adults. Populations including African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics are at a greater risk than others for developing diabetic eye disease. There are little to no symptoms when diabetic retinopathy is in its early stages, however with a comprehensive dilated eye exam, these problems can be easily detected and treated. Because diabetics have 25 times the usual risk for blindness, studies have shown that diabetics are more likely to keep their vision if treatment is started before vision loss has actually occurred. The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to keep your diabetes and blood pressure under control. You should have your eyes examined every year, even if you are seeing well, to screen for any retinal changes. The goal of diabetic eye care is to PREVENT vision loss before it occurs. Although you might be seeing well, it is not uncommon to have a vision-threatening problem with your retina. If it is determined that treatment is necessary, the doctors at Precision Vision can perform a number of state-of-the-art therapies designed to prevent vision loss. You will know more about your diabetic retinopathy treatment options during your initial consultation with us.
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight, has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States and affect approximately 24 million American adults over the age of 40. Cataracts are a natural part of aging and can happen to anyone. As we get older, the lenses in our eyes can gradually start to become cloudy, reducing the ability to see clearly. Precision Vision wants to help educate patients on understanding the symptoms of a cataract.
Common signs of cataracts:
If you’re 55 or older, and you haven’t had an eye exam in a year, schedule an appointment with one of our eye care specialists at Precision Vision. Your medical doctor may not perform an eye exam during your checkups, so it is important to also schedule an eye exam each year. During the eye exam, your Precision Vision specialist will be able to determine if the changes in your vision are related to the development of a cataract.
If you notice your vision has become blurry or not in focus, you could possibly be developing cataracts. The lens of the eye helps you to focus on what you see – if it is compromised, it will affect your ability to focus.
If you begin to have impaired reading, or skip letters while you read, this is another sign a cataract may be developing. As you lose your ability to focus, the way you see is altogether changed.
Another common symptom of cataracts is the decreased ability to see at night or in dark lighting. Complaints of halos around lights, glare, and decreased vision are all common descriptions. If you have noticed your eyesight has changed during the night and in dark conditions, it could mean you have cataracts.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call Precision Vision today at (405) 733-4545 and schedule a cataract exam today at one of our four locations in Oklahoma. Our experienced laser cataract surgeons can help you determine the best treatment option that fits your lifestyle.
Nothing can be quite as devastating as losing your ability to see. As one of the senses you use most, your vision can be considered one of the driving forces of your body. If you have recently discovered that one of your friends or family members has lost their eyesight, you may not know if there’s anything you can do to lend a hand. However, we have created an article with a few ways that you can emotionally support a friend who lost their eyesight.
Keep Them Company
Losing your vision can be beyond isolating. To help your friend not feel so alone as they adjust, try keeping them company. If your schedule permits, try going over to their house every day for the first couple of weeks. By having something to look forward to, you can help them feel less isolated.
Drive Them Round
As an adult, one of the most difficult parts about losing your vision is losing your ability to drive—-which can feel like you’re losing your independence. As your friend is transitioning, offer to drive them around so they can still get things done like grocery shopping. The more your friend feels like they’re able to do the same things as before, the easier the new transition will be.
Read to Them
To help your friend pass their time without dealing with too much boredom, try reading to them. Ask them to pick one of their favorite books and spend a little time each day reading with them. Additionally, consider helping them learn braille. As a way for the blind to read, Braille uses raised characters that you can feel with your fingers. By learning braille with your friend, you can show a great amount of support.
It’s hard to always show someone support when they are going through a difficult time. However, if your friend has recently lost their eyesight, consider using the tips above. To learn more about vision loss or care, contact Precision Vision today!