COMMON VISION PROBLEMS
Our team of medical eye doctors can evaluate your eye health.
Floaters and Flashes
What are Floaters?
Floaters appear in your field of vision as minuscule specks, spots, circles, lines, or cobwebs. They appear to be in front of your eyes, but they are actually floating inside. Floaters are little clumps of gel or cells that float around inside the vitreous, the fluid that fills your eye. The shadows these clusters cast on your retina are what you see.
What are Flashes?
Flashes, often described as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision field, occur when the vitreous rubs or pulls on the retina.
Flashes are more prevalent in people as they grow older. Your ophthalmologist should examine any new floaters or flashes.
Signs of a More Serious Condition
Flashes and floaters can be symptoms of a serious ailment at times. You should contact your ophthalmologist right away if:
- You notice a substantial increase in floaters and flashes
- You see a shadow in your peripheral vision.
- Part of your vision is covered by a gray curtain.
These can be symptoms of a detached or torn retina, which is a serious condition and needs to be treated right away.
For more information on floaters and flashes, click here.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which is ordinarily clear. The clouding causes vision fog and lights to have a halo. To help prevent cataracts, it is important to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB light, control your blood pressure, watch your weight, avoid smoking, and manage diabetes if applicable.
Abrams EyeCare can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts. For more information on cataract surgical treatments, click here.
For more information on cataracts, click here.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is very common and is a leading cause of vision loss in people ages 50 and older. It occurs when tissue breaks down or blood vessels grow in the macula, the center of your retina. When this begins to occur in the macula, which relies on light-sensing cells, it becomes difficult to read, see faces, drive, and more.
To help prevent AMD, it is essential to control your blood pressure and cholesterol, get regular exercise, and eat plenty of leafy greens and fish. Smoking should also be avoided, as it can double the risk of AMD as you grow older.
For more information on AMD, click here.
Glaucoma is a dangerous eye disease that can strike anyone at any age, but it is most common among the elderly. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over the age of 60.
Glaucoma can be classified into two categories. The most prevalent type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is also the most gradual, causing no pain or visual loss at first. Regular eye examinations are essential to detect any early signs of optic nerve impairment.
Angle-closure glaucoma (also known as "closed-angle glaucoma" or "narrow-angle glaucoma") is a type of glaucoma that is less prevalent but far more dangerous. The issue develops when the iris in your eye comes too close to the drainage angle, causing a blockage and a rapid rise in ocular pressure. This is referred to as an acute attack, and it should be recognized as an emergency.
An acute angle-closure glaucoma attack can cause the following symptoms:
- Colored rings or halos around lights
- Sudden blurry vision
- Severe eye pain
Abrams EyeCare can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. For more information on glaucoma treatments, click here.
For more information on glaucoma, click here.
Refractive errors are when light rays do not bend and land where they should in the eye. These errors include:
- Difficulty focusing up close (age-related)
Annual eye exams are suggested before the age of 18 and after the age of 65, with every two years in between, except in cases of medical or eye problems that require frequent examinations.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is one of the most frequent disorders impacting the general public, with symptoms ranging from moderately irritating to debilitating. The ailment, also known as tear film dysfunction, occurs when your eyes aren't producing enough tears, or you can't keep a normal layer of tears on your eyes. While the most common problem of dry eye syndrome is tearing, there are numerous different symptoms which can occur, such as:
- Burning, stinging, scratchy, or itchy eyes
- Gritty or sandy feeling in the eye
- Excessive blinking
- Sensitivity to light
- Headache and/or pain
- Fluctuating or blurry vision
- Caking or mattering of the eyelashes
- Heavy eye lids and eye fatigue
The majority of patients with dry eye syndrome who follow their eye doctor's direction can have their symptoms controlled, allowing them to function symptom-free or with minimum difficulty. Because of the nature of the causes of dry eye syndrome, most people do not get "cured" of their condition, but they can function with regular maintenance. Even patients who are well-controlled on maintenance medication may experience break-through episodes, necessitating additional appointments to their eye doctor in addition to their regularly planned visits.
Abrams EyeCare has a dry eye specialist on our team. Click here to meet Dr. Polhamus! To learn more about our treatment methods for dry eye, click here. For more information on dry eye syndrome, click here.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects people who have diabetes. The condition occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina.
There are two main stages of diabetic retinopathy:
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) is the early stage of diabetic retinopathy and many people with diabetes have already been diagnosed. With NPDR, small blood vessels bleed causing swelling in the retina and macula. Another origin of NPDR is when the blood vessels in the retina close, causing macular ischemia. This causes blood to be blocked from reaching the macula.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is the more advanced stage of the disease. This phase occurs when the retina begins to produce new blood vessels, also referred to as neovascularization, which bleed into the vitreous. Less bleeding produces fewer dark floaters, but more bleeding could block all your vision. The new vessels can form scar tissue leading to complications with the macula or even a detached retina. PDR is a serious condition and can lead to both central and peripheral vision loss.
If you suffer from diabetes, make sure to regularly visit your ophthalmologist for dilated eye exams. Diabetic retinopathy can begin before you notice any vision issues.
For more information on diabetic retinopathy, click here.
To read about 20 surprising health problems an eye exam can catch, click here.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact Abrams EyeCare today to set up an appointment.