Here at Eye Associates of Elkins Park, we are dedicated to caring for patients who have glaucoma.
Glaucoma is used to describe eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual signals from your eye to your brain, resulting in a loss of vision.
There are several types of glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is one of the most common disorders. It results from increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss or even blindness. This pressure can build slowly and be difficult to detect in everyday life. It may start by affecting only your peripheral vision.
Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma. High pressure does not always lead to glaucoma, and glaucoma can develop even with normal eye pressure. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is not as common, but can develop much more quickly. If you are experiencing intense eye pain, redness in your eye, blurred vision, or nausea, you may need immediate medical attention. This form of glaucoma is an emergency and needs to be treated right away.
There is no way to completely prevent glaucoma, but early diagnosis and treatment can help control the condition and limit its effects. Though medication or surgery can help reduce the damage, glaucoma is not curable.
For this reason, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly. If you have certain risk factors (such as those related to age, race, family history, and previous medical conditions), we may test for glaucoma even more often.
To test for glaucoma, we use tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye and pachymetry to measure your corneal thickness. We also examine your field of vision and your retina.
Treatment includes prescription eye drops to manage the pressure in your eyes. You may also need to add other medications, but surgery or implants may be a better option for you. Even when you are treating your glaucoma, it is important to have your eyes monitored closely for any changes.
While it’s true that the primary symptom of diabetes is high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), it can lead to many other problems throughout the body, including wreaking havoc on your eyes. Some of the most common eye conditions caused by hyperglycemia are cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when the tiny blood vessels in your eyes become damaged by the high blood sugar levels over time.
If diabetes is well-managed, these secondary conditions can often be avoided altogether. Below are some helpful tips to help care for your eyes when you have diabetes:
- Keep blood sugar under control by maintaining a healthy diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein
- Keep cholesterol in check by eating a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fats
- See your optometrist at least once each year so that any developing eye conditions can be caught early and treated
- Have your A1c checked every few months, if possible, and try to keep it at or below 7%
- High blood pressure (hypertension) is also prevalent amongst those with diabetes and should be kept below 130/80 to prevent additional problems with your vision caused by damaged blood vessels
It is important to be aware of any changes to your vision. Contact your optometrist right away if you notice any of the following:
- Blurry vision
- Flashes of light
- Black spots or “floaters”
- Loss of sight in one or both eyes
Cataracts cause a clouding of the lens in the eye, making your vision appear to be foggy. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world.
Your eyes are meant to naturally adjust to normal light changes, adjust focus, and allow us to see both near and far. Your lens is primarily made up of water and proteins. The proper arrangement of these proteins is what contributes to normal vision. Some of these proteins clump together forming a clouding of the lens.
During the initial stages, cataracts start small and have little to no effect on your vision. As the cataract progresses, the lens becomes more opaque and objects appear blurry, hazy or faded in color. During your appointment, we will discuss the various treatment options available.
Dry Eye Disease
Here at Eye Associates of Elkins Park, we are proud to offer dry eye treatment for our patients. To keep your eyes healthy, you need to have tears to provide moisture and lubrication. This is not only for your comfort but also for your vision. Tears are secreted by glands around your eyes. When you do not make enough tears, you have a condition called dry eye.
There is no cure for dry eye. Instead, we have ways to make you more comfortable. There is a product called artificial tears. This comes in the form of drops or ointments. Depending on your needs, one may work better for you.
We also perform temporary and non-dissolving punctal plugs. These are used to close the ducts that help drain the overflow of tears. If you stop the tears from draining out of your eye, you will have more tears in your eyes. We start treatment with a temporary plug to see if it is going to help before trying a more permanent arrangement.
If necessary, we may also prescribe a medication for chronic dry eye. We may also talk to you about other medications and your nutrition. Many supplements have been helpful for patients with dry eye.
Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory disorder that affects the cornea. The cornea becomes thinned and steepened, resulting in distorted vision, sensitivity to light, and decreased vision. Symptoms typically manifest in a person’s younger years, usually the late teens or 20’s.
Keratoconus can affect a person’s ability to read or drive, which can be a major obstacle for people.
Luckily, this is a condition that can be diagnosed through a routine eye exam, which underscores the importance of scheduling regular eye exams for you and your children.
Every year over 2 million people sustain an eye injury of some sort. Ocular injuries or trauma are the second most common cause of visual impairments and refer to any wounds, contusions, burns, or foreign bodies causing harm to your eye.
Unfortunately, over 90% of ocular injuries can be prevented and occur in and around the home. You can avoid injury by using the appropriate protective eyewear while doing activities that put your eyes at risk and by following proper protocols for safety. Home repairs, gardening, house cleaning, cooking, and playing sports are all common situations that can put you at risk for major eye injuries.
Symptoms of ocular injuries will vary depending on the type of injury but may include eye pain, redness, or discomfort during eye movement.
Treatment for eye trauma also varies based on the severity and type of injury. It is best to see an optometrist for an evaluation following any form of eye trauma. All chemical injuries or severe trauma due to impact require immediate medical attention. Minor injuries such as black eye may be treated at home with cold compress and rest but should still be examined by a professional.
Our staff at Eye Associates of Elkins Park are dedicated to treating various ocular injuries using the latest treatments and technology to ensure high-quality patient care.
For more information on ocular injuries and your treatment options, contact our office today at (215) 376-0306.