A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated at Conway Family Eye Care
“Eye diseases” is a blanket term that refers to a host of diseases relating to the function of the eye. Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. For more in-depth information, please speak with your eye care provider at Conway Family Eye Care .
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. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens or other irritants like smoke and dust. Pink eye can be highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.
While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Conway Family Eye Care for an examination and treatment.
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. Diabetic retinopathy, which is damage to the small blood vessels in the back of the eye, is a common complication of diabetes. Cataracts and glaucoma can also be associated with diabetes.
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. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss. Maintaining good control of blood sugar is also important. An annual eye examination with dilation is the best way to monitor your eye for changes associated with diabetes.
Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is often related to an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve. It often has no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. 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 surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that 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 so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry,” most common and with no known treatment, and “wet,” less common and treated with laser procedures or injections into the eye. Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop “wet” macular degeneration.
Specific vitamin supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Conway Family Eye Care.
Conway Family Eye Care has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our office in Conway. For more information please schedule an appointment with your optometrist, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.