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Eye Diseases

A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases we treat and manage at Summit Eye Clinic

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens, or other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye is usually accompanied by redness of the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.

Depending on the cause, pink eye can sometimes be highly contagious and may need prescription eye drops.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural crystalline 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.  By age 65, you have a 50 percent chance of developing a cataract, and by age 75, it jumps to 70 percent.

An early cataract will have little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks like night driving. In the early stages, a change in your glasses prescription or increasing your reading light may help. When cataracts disrupt your daily life and a change in glasses will no longer improve vision, it is time to consider cataract removal surgery.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam.  It is recommended that all diabetics have annual dilated eye exams.  Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chance of sustaining permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma

Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is loss of vision due to damage of the optic nerve usually caused by high pressure inside of the eye.  In the early stages there are no signs or symptoms, but if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgeries available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, however, supplements, protection from UV light, and smoking cessation may reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears that moisten, cleanse, and protect the eyes. This is significant because, with each blink, tears protect the surface of the eye, washing away dust and microorganisms. When this protective coating of tears dries up, the eyes may feel “gritty” or burn, can be more sensitive to light, and may cause blurry vision.

Proper management of dry eyes will not only increase your comfort, but may improve your vision as well.  Our doctors can provide a dry eye evaluation to determine the best treatment options for you.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction, and/or abnormalities in oil gland function.

Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main goals in treating it are to reduce the amount of bacteria along the lid margin and open plugged glands.