Conditions and Treatments
When good vision is threatened by a disease or other eye condition, it is important to consult an optometrist for treatment as early as possible. In almost every case early detection and treatment is key to preserving good eyesight throughout life.
Dr. Taylor provides complete eye care and treatment for many conditions, including:
- Refractive Errors (Blurry Vision)
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
- Dry Eye
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Macular Degeneration
Refractive Errors (Blurry Vision)
Many people first visit an optometrist, because they experience blurry vision due to refractive errors of the eye. Refractive errors are vision problems that happen when the shape of the eye prevents you from focusing well. There are four common refractive errors that result in blurry vision, all of which will affect your vision and will require glasses or contact lenses in order for you to be able to see properly. :
- Myopia or Nearsightedness - Vision is clear up close but blurry at a distance. Nearsightedness is often first detected during childhood. Symptoms include squinting or partially closing eyelids to see more clearly.
- Hyperopia or Farsightedness - Vision is clear at a distance but blurry up close. Someone who is farsighted may experience eye strain and headaches.
- Astigmatism - This includes focus problems caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea. It usually occurs in conjunction with nearsighted or farsightedness. Symptoms may include headaches, eye strain, and squinting.
- Presbyopia (Aging Eyes) - This is the inability to focus on objects up close, due to aging. It usually occurs after the age of 40.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Amblyopia or lazy eye is an eye condition that develops in early childhood, where the images from one eye will be ignored by the brain.
Symptoms may include:
- Squinting or closing one eye to see things
- Poor depth perception and contrast perception
- Poor visual acuity in general
Amblyopia is most commonly treated by wearing an eye patch over the dominant eye until the weaker eye matches the stronger one.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's normally clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world's leading cause of blindness and among the most common conditions related to aging.
Cataract symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Lights that seem too bright or have a halo effect
- Double vision in one eye
- Decreased night vision and sensitivity to glare from headlights
- A dull or fading vision of colors
Early on a cataract may be treated with a stronger eyeglass prescription. However, once the cataract interferes with daily tasks like reading and driving, Dr. Taylor may recommend cataract-removal surgery.
Dry Eye syndrome is a disease in which the eye underproduces tears, or tears leave the eye too quickly.
Dry eye symptoms usually include:
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Stingy mucus in or around the eyes
- Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Excessive tearing
- Discomfort while wearing contact lenses
Treatments for dry eye include artificial tears, prescribed medication, and surgery.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye's optic nerve by increasing the pressure in your eye through a buildup of fluid. The disease is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old, but it can be prevented with early treatment. There are no symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma, which is why it is extremely important to have regular eye exams to assess changes in eye pressure. Peripheral vision is usually the first to deteriorate, followed by blank spots in vision.
Treatments for glaucoma include medication, laser surgery, and traditional surgery.
People with diabetes can develop an eye disease called Diabetic Retinopathy. High blood-sugar levels may damage the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensing cells in the eye, resulting in a possible loss of vision. With Diabetic Retinopathy blood vessels in the eye can swell and leak, or close off, preventing blood flow. Sometimes abnormal blood vessels will grow on the retina.
Early symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include:
- Decreased night vision
- Floaters or obscured vision
- Blurry vision
Typically, this condition can be diagnosed by an optometrist during an eye exam, long before noticeable vision symptoms occur and when treatment options are still available. It is very important for those suffering from diabetes to have annual eye exams to reduce the risk of vision loss.
Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy vary based on the nature and progression of the condition. The best way to preserve good vision is to control blood-sugar levels. Once the disease is in its advance stages, laser surgery may be needed.
Macular Degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. As part of the natural aging process, the macula can deteriorate and break down. Those with age-related macular degeneration experience blurry, dark, and distorted central vision.
The disease exists in two forms: dry and wet. Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common and milder of the two forms, develops gradually, and usually leads to only minor vision loss. Wet Macular Degeneration is less common, but the majority of severe vision loss cases result from this form.
Macular Degeneration symptoms may include:
- Shadows, blurriness, or holes in the center of vision
- Straight lines that appear wavy
- Trouble seeing details both up close and at a distance
- Difficulty telling colors apart, especially ones up-close
- Vision that can be slow to come back after bright-light exposure
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the dry form of Macular Degeneration and no cure for Wet Macular Degeneration. There are, however, several treatments designed to combat the disease. Early detection is very important, because once vision is lost, there is no treatment to regain it.