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Eye Diseases

A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated at Vision Source of East Broward in Fort Lauderdale

“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 Vision Source of East Broward.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, 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. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye is highly contagious and is usually accompanied by 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, visit your eye care provider at Vision Source of East Broward for an examination 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.

In most 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, speak with your eye care provider at Vision Source of East Broward.

Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension means the pressure in your eye, or your intraocular pressure (IOP), is higher than normal. Elevated IOP is also associated with glaucoma, which is a more serious condition that causes vision loss and optic nerve damage. By itself, however, ocular hypertension doesn’t damage your vision or eyes. Studies suggest that 2% to 3% of the general population may have ocular hypertension.
You can’t tell by yourself that you have ocular hypertension, because there are no outward signs or symptoms such as pain or redness. At your annual eye exam, your eyecare practitioner will measure your IOP using a tonometer.

Ocular Hemorrhage

A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva). The most obvious sign of a subconjunctival hemorrhage is a bright red patch on the white (sclera) of your eye. If you believe you’ve suffered an ocular hemorrhage, it is very important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

Vision Source of East Broward has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our office in Fort Lauderdale. For more information please schedule an appointment with your optometrist, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.