Untreated eye disease can lead to permanent vision loss or even blindness. Many forms of eye disease can only be detected using a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection is critical for treatment to help slow or even prevent vision loss.
Regular eye exams allow your optometrist to detect, identify, and track small changes in your vision and ocular health. These changes may be indicative of eye disease and should be monitored closely.
Your vision is your most precious sense; do not put it at risk.
If you are diagnosed with an eye disease we will refer you to a specialist as needed for treatment, and co-manage your care.
Common Eye Diseases
Cataracts form when our natural lenses become opaque with age. Cataracts cloud our vision, causing our colour vision to dim, and leading to visual deterioration. Symptoms of cataracts include blurry or hazy vision, as well as increased sensitivity to glare. Cataracts are treated with surgery.
Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, but factors such as UV exposure, diabetes, excessive consumption of alcohol, and smoking all increase your chances of developing cataracts at a younger age.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists states that AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 55 in North America. AMD is a condition that affects the macula, which is the portion of our retina responsible for detailed sight and coloured vision. As AMD progresses, your central vision is slowly lost.
Smoking and UV exposure both increase your risk of developing AMD.
Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the optic nerve becomes damaged, typically as a result of high pressure inside the eye. The body relies on the optic nerve to transmit visual information from the eye to the brain.
Glaucoma rarely exhibits symptoms in its early stages, so many people do not realize they have glaucoma until they have already begun to experience permanent peripheral vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma is available, but early detection is vital to avoid vision loss. That is why all comprehensive eye exams performed at Eyesis Eyecare Center include glaucoma testing.
To test for glaucoma, we use both non-contact tonometry (the air puff test) and Goldmann applanation tonometry. We also test the biomechanical properties of the cornea using a Reichert Ocular Response Analyzer, which provides us with more information about how your cornea is contributing to your intraocular pressure measurement.
Conjunctivitis, commonly called “pink eye,” is a condition that occurs when the conjunctiva (the thin, transparent layer that covers the white of your eye) becomes inflamed and irritated. This irritation causes the delicate blood vessels in your eye to dilate, giving pink eye its name.
Conjunctivitis has three main forms:
- Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergic reaction to allergens, such as pollen or pet dander. This form of conjunctivitis is not contagious, and can typically be controlled using antihistamines.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection and needs to be treated using antibiotics. This form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so you should stay home from work or school until it has fully cleared up.
- Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, and like the common cold, it should clear up on its own within a few days to a week. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so you should avoid work, school, or crowds until your eyes return to normal.
If you suspect that you or your child has conjunctivitis, you should make an appointment with your optometrist right away. Depending on what form of conjunctivitis you have, you may require treatment.
Floaters, which are small collagen fibres that float around in the clear, gel-like substance (vitreous) inside your eye, are typically harmless. As we get older, the vitreous becomes more fluid. This allows the floaters to move around more easily, making them more noticeable.
However, if you notice sudden flashes of light followed by a shower of floaters, you may be experiencing a retinal tear or retinal detachment. A retinal detachment is a serious, vision-threatening condition that can cause permanent damage if it is not treated quickly.
If you suspect that you are experiencing a retinal tear or retinal detachment, please call our office right away at 403.259.4888 to request an emergency appointment.
For more information about common eye diseases and treatment options, please speak to your optometrist during your next appointment.