Eye Disease Management
Glaucoma is an eye disease that robs a person’s peripheral vision. Because the changes are usually gradual, people usually do not recognize that they are going blind until it affects their central vision. For this reason glaucoma is sometimes called the “sneak thief of sight.” In glaucoma, the internal eye fluid pressure is too high and nerve tissue is damaged. Drugs and/or surgery are employed to lower the pressure. Because damaged nerve tissue cannot be restored early detection is the key to preventing this disease. Family history of glaucoma, high blood pressure, and being of African-American decent are risk factors for glaucoma.
Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss in people less than 40 years of age. It is also one of the major causes of vision loss in people over 40 years. When detected early, through a dilated eye examination by a competent ophthalmologist or optometrist, vision loss can be halted and prevented.
Patients with diabetes do not use and store sugar properly. The excess sugar in the blood can cause damage to the many tiny blood vessels in the retina. These unhealthy blood vessels can leak or bleed into the retina causing vision loss. The early stages of the disease are typically asymptomatic. When therapy is instituted at the early stages of the disease, damage can usually be prevented before profound vision loss occurs.
Macular degeneration is essentially a “wearing out” of the central portion of the retina that we use most often. Therefore, central vision is distorted and eventually reduced, but peripheral vision stays intact. Individuals with a light complexion are particularly at risk for this disease. As in glaucoma, family history may also play a role. Sometimes macular degeneration causes bleeding in the retina. (This should be detected, and treated promptly to prevent vision loss). The eye doctor may choose to perform a dye test to determine the extent of the bleeding.
Dry Eye Syndrome
The surface of the eye is constantly bathed in a very thin layer of fluid known as the tear film. This layer is made up of a balance of water, oils, and other secretions. When the tear layer is out of balance, the eye will feel dry and irritated. This is known as Dry Eye Syndrome. Dry Eye Syndrome becomes more common with age as the body in general becomes “drier.” Treament of Dry Eye Syndrome begins with tear supplements. In some cases, a better option is occlusion of the natural tear drains in the eyelids with a small silicone plug. Once in place, the clear “punctal plug” is unnoticeable to the observer.
Dr. Greer and Dr. Renner are your eye care team for meeting all of your ocular health needs. Both doctors provide comprehensive examination and management of eye disease. They are happy to explain to you all of your eye health conditions and management options. In addition, Dr. Greer is an experienced eye surgeon.
With age, changes in the delicate skin surrounding the eye can cause the eyelids to sag or to turn the wrong way causing discomfort. Not only is this unattractive, if left untreated it can actually harm the eye itself. In these cases, part of the patient’s peripheral vision may also be blocked. Surgical correction may be required. Dr. Greer offers pre-surgical evaluation to determine medical necessity for those patients.
There are many types of growths that occur on the eye surface and the surrounding skin. These range from the common wart of little consequence to a pterygium which is a vascular growth that can grow onto the clear cornea and interfere with vision. While cancer of the eye is rare, new lesions should be evaluated by a competent eye physician. The majority of growths may simply cause discomfort or cosmetic concerns. They are removed easily in our office or as an outpatient procedure.