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Eye Diseases

A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated by doctors Leitenbauer and Waddell.

“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 C.R. Lait Optical & L.W. Vision Care.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis 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. There are multiple types of conjunctivitis and specific causes- bacteria, viruses, allergens or other irritants like smoke and dust.  Not all types of conjunctivitis are contagious. Patients usually notice 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, please call to set up an office visit for evaluation 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, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.

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.

Glaucoma

Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with 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

Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually 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. Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop “wet” macular degeneration. We are able to conduct the genetic test in our office with a simple and painless cheek swab collection method.

In some cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions tailored specifically for you, speak with your doctor at the time of the exam.

C.R. Lait Optical & L.W. Vision Care has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases above, as well as others, at our office. For more information please schedule an appointment with either of our optometrists, and we’ll be in touch with you promptly.