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Eye Diseases

Macular Degeneration (MD) – is a painless eye disease that typically affects the retina of older adults.  An accumulation of d eposits called drusen damage the central vision (macula).  It can exist in “dry” or “wet” forms.  Current studies show that vitamin supplements specific for dry macular degeneration are able to slow the progression of dry MD, and in some patients, improve visual acuity.  Only about 10% of MD patients result in the wet form which causes rapid vision loss. Wet MD is treated with one or more injections into the eye.  Risk factors include age, family history, smoking, race, obesity, and cholesterol.

 


Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) – is damage to the retina due to microvascular changes.  DR may result in compromised blood vessels that may leak fluids, lipids, or blood.  When these fluids deposit under the macula leading to macular edema, our central vision is effected.  80% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes for at least 10 years will have some type of diabetic retinopathy. 


Glaucoma – is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve.  Typically glaucoma is associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye, although it can occur with normal eye pressures.  Generally glaucoma is painless and decreases our peripheral or side vision first.  In advanced stages individuals are left with only a central tunnel of vision.  Glaucoma can be managed with various drops and/or surgery.


Cataract – is a clouding of the lens inside the eye.  It is the most common cause of blindness but is readily treated with surgery.  Vision changes due to cataracts include a general decrease in vision and glare sensitivity.


Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) – results from a decrease in tear production or an increase in tear film evaporation.  This can lead to red, irritated, gritty, itchy, or even watery eyes.  Inflammation of the eyes often accompanies DES and a number of management options are available including lubricating drops, prescription drops, punctal plugs, and surgery.