Eye Disease Management

WHATS NEW IN DRY EYE & ALLERGY MANAGEMENT?

25% of all visits to eye care professionals are due to dry or allergic eyes. About 75 million Americans suffer from dry eye symptoms on a regular or occasional basis. In addition, approximately 1/3 of dry eye patients also suffer from allergic conjunctivitis. About half of all adults suffer from allergies and about 80% of allergy sufferers who take medication experience swollen eyelids and/or itchy, watery, red eyes. We take your complaints seriously and we are armed with the latest treatments.

RESTASIS is the first available prescription treatment for chronic dry eyes due to decreased tear production. It works by increasing the production of your eyes own tears. Artificial tears do not increase tear production. Learn more about retasis.

TEAR DUCT CLOSURE  

SmartPlug:  Temporary closure of the tear duct (punctal canal) is accomplished by inserting a tiny PUNCTUM PLUG (like a sink stopper) to prevent tear drainage.  This allows your own tears to bathe your eye for a longer period of time.  In about one week this plug will dissolve and wash away with your tears.  You and your doctor can then evaluate the benefits of tear duct closure for you.

Long-term closure of the tear drainage ducts involves the use of non-dissolvable, yet removable, plug to seal the tear duct.  This non-surgical procedure is painless and takes only a few minutes in your doctor's office.

RELIEF from the discomfort of dry eyes may be immediate for some patients, while for others relief may be more gradual.  Artifical tears may be used in conjunction with punctal plugs for severe cases of Dry Eye.

BETTER DIABETIC AND HYPERTENSIVE EYE CARE

Diabetes and other vascular diseases can cause damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye (retina) resulting in blood leakage and other changes. If left untreated, blindness can result. We offer the Optomap retinal exam to monitor you for diabetic retinopathy and Heidelberg retinal tomography to monitor you for diabetic macular edema. These are two of the most sophisticated instruments used to detect and monitor diabetic eye disease.

If you suffer from diabetes or hypertension, you should have your eyes checked as recommended by your eye care provider or at least yearly to maintain healthy eyes and good vision. Other factors that play a role in reducing your risk of developing diabetic eye disease include good systemic control of your diabetes and all associated conditions (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia), proper diet and exercise, and not smoking. (www.diabetes.org)

THE LATEST IN GLAUCOMA DETECTION AND MANAGEMENT

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness affecting millions of people. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, the pathway that carries the image to the brain. If left undetected and untreated, glaucoma can painlessly destroy your vision. Since most people with glaucoma experience no noticeable symptoms, a thorough eye examination is needed to detect glaucoma. If glaucoma is suspected during your eye examination, specialized testing will be recommended.

The Heidelberg retinal tomographer is used to precisely measure the size, depth, and shape of the optic nerve and may help to diagnose glaucoma years before symptoms become apparent to the patient. In addition, its especially useful at detecting changes over time to follow your progress.

Other tests that are commonly used to diagnose and/or manage glaucoma are ultrasonic pachymetry (measures the thickness of the front surface of the eye), gonioscopy (allows the doctor to view the drainage system of your eye), visual field testing (measures how well you see off all points of your retina and the optic nerve pathway), and tonometry (measures the internal eye pressure).

The key to controlling glaucoma is catching it early. Those at increased risk for glaucoma include the following:

    * Over age 35
    * African-American Heritage
    * Diabetes
    * Hypertension
    * Family History
    * Long-Term Steroid Treatment
    * Injury or Trauma to the Eye
    * Nearsightedness
    * Elevated Intraocular Pressure
    * Decreased Corneal Thickness
    * Enlarged Optic Nerve Cup

The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is to know your risk factors and to have eye examinations as recommended by your eye care provider or yearly after age 35.

CATARACTS

What is a cataract?

When the normally clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy or opaque. Cataracts range from extremely small areas of cloudiness to large opaque areas that cause a noticeable loss of vision.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

A comprehensive eye examination includes biomicroscopy, a procedure that allows the doctor to view your lens with a specialized microscope and determine if you have a cataract forming.

How are cataracts treated?

If a cataract develops to a point that your daily activities are affected, we will schedule you an appointment with an eye surgeon who may recommend the surgical removal of the cataract. The surgery is generally performed in an out-patient surgery setting using local or topical anesthesia. After making a small incision, the surgeon will remove your clouded lens and typically replace it with an intraocular lens implant. A clear shield is placed on the eye for protection. Eye drops are generally needed a few days before and for several weeks after surgery.

What happens after cataract surgery?

You are typically seen in our office for several follow-up visits to monitor healing and prescribe your final glasses. We find that most patients are thrilled with their vision following cataract surgery!

SUDDEN ONSET OF SPOTS, FLOATERS, OR FLASHES

Almost everyone sees a few spots at one time or another. They occur more frequently and become more noticeable as you grow older. If you notice a sudden change in the number or size of the spots or see associated flashes of light, you should contact your eye care provider right away for an examination to be sure they are not the result of a more serious problem.

Drops will be put in your eyes to dilate your pupils so that I can examine the health of the inside of your eye. Special instruments, such as a biomicroscope and an indirect opthalmoscope will help me see the inside of your eyes and determine the cause of the spots.