Common Eye Conditions & Diseases
Eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are some of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in the United States. At Stanislaus Optometric Center, Inc., our comprehensive eye exams are designed to detect these diseases in their earliest stages.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with the aging process and is common in individuals over 50. AMD occurs slowly over time, and involves the degradation of the macula, the area of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. We use this central vision for everyday tasks like driving or reading.
There are 2 types of AMD:
- Dry AMD is the more common form, occurring in 80% of AMD cases. Dry AMD occurs when the macula begins to thin with age and is associated with the accumulation of drusen, deposits of proteins under the retina.
- Wet AMD is less common but more serious. It is caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels are often weak, break, and leak blood or fluid into the macula. You will lose your vision faster with wet AMD.
Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. High blood sugar levels, a common symptom of diabetes, can harm your eyes if left unchecked. Diabetes can increase your risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there’s damage to the blood vessels that supply the retina. In early stages of this disease, damaged blood vessels can bulge and leak into the retina.
As the disease worsens, blood vessels can close off and cause new blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina. These new blood vessels can lead to serious vision problems if not treated.
If you have diabetes, it’s important that you have annual eye exams to monitor your ocular health over time.
Although not technically an eye disease, eye allergies can be irritating, painful, and disruptive. At Stanislaus Optometric Center, Inc., we don’t believe you need to live with eye allergies, so we offer comprehensive diagnosis and personalized treatment plans to bring you relief.
Eye allergies (also called allergic conjunctivitis) occur when the eyes react to something that irritates them. As a result of this irritation, the conjunctiva turns red and becomes swollen and itchy.
Those with eye allergies likely have other allergies as well, and may experience an itchy, stuffy nose or sneezing. Eye allergies are commonly related to seasonal allergies, but can result from pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or food.
Glaucoma is a group of progressive eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Because the optic nerve is responsible for relaying visual data from your eyes to your brain, damage to it can cause irreversible vision loss.
There are many types of glaucoma, most associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), but not all forms of glaucoma are. Many types of glaucoma develop with no symptoms, giving glaucoma the nickname: “the silent thief of sight.”
Cataracts develop slowly and are manageable with eyeglasses or contact lenses in their early stages, but may require surgery if they start to prevent you from completing your daily activities.