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Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions


February 16, 2013

The remaining 10% are wet. Here's what you should know about these threats to your eyesight." finely detailed vision. By 2020. dry and wet. Your Eyes and Age-Related Macular Degeneration Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) damages. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI):   About 3. your doctor may recommend an eye exam every two years or more often after age 60. that number could be 5. vision loss from eye diseases is increasing. This is about 1 in every 28 people. a more advanced form. causing about 90% of serious vision loss.3 million Americans aged 40 or older are blind or have low vision. This eye disease takes two forms. About 90% of AMD cases are dry. Who's at Risk for AMD? Starting with the highest risk. central vision. Wet AMD is more damaging. then destroys.DETECTING EYE DISEASES AND CONDITIONS Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions As our population ages.a 60% increase. people who:       Are over age 60 Smoke Have a family history of AMD Are white (Caucasian) and female Have high blood pressure (hypertension) Are obese 1 .5 million -. NEI has identified the most common eye diseases in people over age 40 as:     Age-related macular degeneration Cataracts Diabetic eye disease Glaucoma To catch eye conditions early and help prevent vision loss. or if you are at high risk for an eye problem. your "straightahead.

the most common dry AMD symptom Trouble seeing things in the distance Problems seeing colors correctly Difficulty seeing details. this regimen did not prevent AMD onset or slow its progression in early-stage disease. An NEI study showed that taking high doses of the antioxidants vitamin C. and beta-carotene. like faces or words on a page Dark or "blank" spots blocking your central vision Treatment of AMD Wet AMD treatment may include:    Special drug injections (by far the most common treatment) Laser surgery Photodynamic therapy Dry AMD treatment is aimed at monitoring or slowing the progression of the disease. Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Intermediate AMD High risk of progressing to advanced AMD Advanced AMD in just one eye 2 .Symptoms of AMD AMD is painless. vitamin E. Dry AMD may affect central vision within a few years. See your eye doctor right away if you notice:       Straight lines appearing wavy. Don't smoke. Check your blood pressure regularly. Get treatment if your blood pressure is too high. early detection and treatment are key to slowing vision loss. a symptom of wet AMD Blurred central vision. along with zinc. may help slow AMD progression in cases of:    However. Wet AMD can cause sudden and dramatic changes in vision. But taking certain dietary supplements may help stabilize the disease in some patients. It may worsen slowly or rapidly. In either case. Vision loss from advanced dry AMD cannot be prevented. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Steps to Prevent AMD These preventive steps may help keep AMD at bay:     Eat more leafy green vegetables and fish.

your doctor will probably recommend surgery. lamps. It eventually occurs in both eyes but may be more noticeable in one eye first. or double vision Frequent prescription changes for your eyeglasses or contact lenses Treatment of Cataracts For early cataracts. Other risk factors include:        Diseases.such as overexposure to sunlight Lifestyle -.including smoking and alcohol use People who have certain diseases -. the more they affect your vision.Your Eyes and Cataracts A cataract is an eye condition in which the eye's normally clear lens becomes cloudy. Since less light passes through a cloudy lens. these steps may help:     Getting a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription Using brighter lighting Using magnifying lenses Wearing sunglasses If cataracts interfere with everyday activities. and most effective types of surgery 3 . Cataracts are small at first and may not affect vision. or sunlight Poor night vision Multiple images in a single eye. But the denser they grow. like diabetes Eye injury or trauma Eye surgery for another problem. Most cataracts are due to aging. vision blurs. Inheritance or pregnancy-related causes (Babies can be born with cataracts or develop them in childhood. Surgical cataract removal is one of the most common.including diabetes Symptoms of Cataracts The most common cataract symptoms include: Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013       Blurred or cloudy vision "Faded" colors Increased glare from headlights. Other risk factors for cataracts include:    Environmental -. safest.) Overexposure of eyes to the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays Smoking Certain medications Who's at Risk for Cataracts? The risk increases with age.

type 1 and type 2. The longer you have diabetes. Who's at Risk for Diabet ic Eye Disease? Everyone with diabetes. Diabetic Eye Disease People with diabetes are at risk for developing several eye diseases:    Diabetic retinopathy Glaucoma Cataracts Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease in people with diabetes. you'll be referred to an ophthalmologist who can perform the surgery. The most severe is proliferative retinopathy. These vessels blur vision by leaking blood into the center of the eye and causing scar tissue. Damaged blood vessels due to diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss and blindness two ways: 1. one eye will be done at a time with a month or two between procedures. In proliferative retinopathy. blurring vision.done in the U. 2. It affects over 5 million Americans aged 18 and older. Sometimes vision remains unaffected as the eye disease progresses. This area of the retina is where central vision takes place. is at risk for diabetic eye disease. up to 45% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some form of diabetic retinopathy. Usually both eyes develop the disease. According to the National Eye Institute. and that can lead to retinal detachment. During the procedure. called the macula. the more your risk grows. The fluid causes the macula to swell. Delaying cataract surgery until it interferes with your quality of life is appropriate and won't harm your eyes. your risk of eventual vision loss is high – that’s one reason why routine eye exams are necessary. Diabetic retinopathy progresses in four stages. Nevertheless. the eye surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial clear lens. If both eyes need cataract surgery. Fluid leaks into the center of the retina. if you don't already have one. new and abnormal blood vessels grow. Ways to Prevent Cataracts You may help delay cataract development by: avoiding overexposure to sunlight -.wear sunglasses with ultraviolet protection and a wide-brimmed hat. One problem with identifying yourself as being at risk is that proliferative retinopathy and macular swelling can develop without any symptoms. Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 4 . If you choose surgery.S.

schedule a complete eye exam with your eye doctor once a year. but if you have diabetes especially. "Focal" laser treatment may be done to stabilize vision. But they cannot cure diabetic eye disease. Newly developed medications can be injected into the eye to treat the complications of diabetes. 5 . or more often if needed.Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease Like diabetes.  Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease "Scatter" laser treatment (pan-retinal photocoagulation) is effective for treating new blood vessels before or after they begin to bleed. Don't wait for symptoms to appear before taking action. early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may not be noticed for some time. it may be less effective. These may be ordinary harmless floaters. If you delay treatment until vision is noticeably affected. New floaters are always a reason for seeing an eye doctor -especially when you have diabetes. They cannot bring back lost vision or prevent future vision loss. "Floaters" that swim in and out of your vision in one eye that last longer than a few days. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes. floaters may be the sign of bleeding in the back of the eye. These laser treatments may reduce the risk of serious vision loss and blindness. Severe bleeding may be treated with a surgical procedure (vitrectomy) by removing blood from the center of the eye. See your eye doctor right away if you notice these symptoms:   Blurred vision – this is very common in people with diabetes who have unstable blood sugar levels even without the presence of retinopathy. This therapy may reduce vision loss by up to 50%.

This puts them at higher risk for blindness.Steps to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease More than a third of people with diabetes don't get proper vision care. corneal thinness. or optic nerve problems Anyone who has had a severe eye injury People with certain medical conditions. Glaucoma can also develop without an increase in eye pressure. Always follow your doctor's recommendations regarding medication. people at increased risk include:        Symptoms of Glaucoma Typically. That's because symptoms don't appear until glaucoma has already damaged the optic nerve. Those with diabetic changes in their eyes need to be seen more frequently. However. including:     Blurry vision Narrowed side (peripheral) vision Problems focusing A "halo" effect around lights (This is unusual and typically occurs at extreme eye pressures and acute glaucoma attacks. the person with glaucoma may notice progressive vision loss. This nerve carries images from the eye to the brain.) Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 People over age 60 Mexican-Americans All African-Americans and especially those with high eye pressure. Who's at Risk for Glaucoma? Glaucoma can develop in anyone. even those without diagnosed eye disease. Its causes are not yet clearly understood. People with diabetes. If you have diabetes. That’s why some people call glaucoma “the sneak thief of sight. such as diabetes Anyone with a family history of glaucoma A person who has increased eye pressure 6 . diet. be vigilant about eye and vision care. Glaucoma optic nerve damage is usually associated with an elevated pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). glaucoma has no symptoms until the latest and most advanced stages when vision is just about gone. called lowtension or normal-tension glaucoma. Many people who have it don't know it. and exercise.” As this eye disease progresses. The most common type of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. Your Eyes and Glaucoma Glaucoma is a group of related eye diseases that can cause blindness. need to see their eye doctor once a year. Keeping your blood sugar tightly controlled and your blood pressure within the normal range both help as well.

Glaucoma treatment may include:    Eye drops or pills that help reduce pressure in the eye Several kinds of laser treatments to decrease eye pressure or to compensate for narrow angle glaucoma Surgery to create a new opening for fluid to drain from the eye 7 . Once vision is lost. it cannot be restored. However.Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Treatment for Glaucoma There is no cure for glaucoma. early detection and treatment of this eye disease can often protect you from severe vision loss.

take your medicine every day as directed. when you don’t take your medicine. look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes. place your screen so it’s about 25 inches away and slightly below eye level. Have regular eye exams every two years until age 60 and then every year afterward.If you're taking medicine for glaucoma. Also. Tips for Healthier Eyes Take a 20-Second Computer Break Staring at a computer (or any digital screen) won’t hurt your eyes. Low-vision aids can help you make the most of your remaining vision. but it can make them feel tired and dry. your eye doctor can refer you for low-vision services. Steps to Prevent Glaucoma The key to preventing glaucoma is to maintain normal eye pressure. eye drop treatment can reduce the risk by about 50%. your eye pressure increases -. In these cases. Reduce glare by moving light sources or using a screen filter. Remember. Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 8 . What eye pressure level is "normal" for you? Only an eye doctor can determine this. we blink about half as often when we’re looking at a screen. In some people who are at risk for glaucoma. Reducing eye pressure is the only known way to slow or stop the progression of visual loss from glaucoma. Your eye doctor may notice high eye pressure or may determine that you are at high risk of developing glaucoma. you may be asked to use eye drops or visit the doctor more often. Surprisingly.and that may be silently causing permanent vision loss. If you've lost some vision due to this eye disease.

peanuts. 9 . Don’t Ignore Eye Problems If your eyes are itchy or red. dark leafy greens.beans. Protective lenses don’t have to be expensive. And carrots do help eyesight: the vitamin A in them is important for good vision. Other nutrients that help eyes include beta-carotene (found in many yellow or orange fruits and veggies). peas. secretions. and poultry -. Other reasons to see a doctor: dark floating spots. If you feel grittiness. or eye drops. like there’s sand in your eye. and even cancer of the eyelid. flashes of light. or if you have eye pain. just check the label. Effects add up and can cause problems like cataracts.Always Wear Sunglasses UV radiation can hurt your eyes just like it does your skin. Snow. water.can help eyes resist light damage. Whenever you’re outside -even on cloudy days -. Eat for Your Heart and Your Eyes Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Foods that help circulation are good for your heart. or sensitivity to light. Choose heart-healthy foods like citrus fruits. and concrete all can reflect UV rays. cornea burns. antihistamines. Hats block exposure. and lutein and zeaxanthin (found in leafy greens and colorful produce). lean red meat. oysters. swelling. or any time you can't see normally. rinse with clean water or saline. Foods rich in zinc -. See a doctor if symptoms continue. soothe them with cold compresses. and whole grains. eyes. and vision.wear sunglasses or contacts that block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. sand. too.

tuna. 1. As many as 45% of people with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy. One works for intense sun exposure. Having diabetes also increases your risk for glaucoma and cataracts. If you've tried to quit smoking before and relapsed. Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 Too much UV exposure increases your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. give it another shot. which lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. and vitamins C and E may help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. lutein. leafy vegetables such as spinach. Get the Best Nutrients for Good Vision Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate. The right kind of sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. 3. be safe as well as stylish. and collards Salmon. Studies have shown that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. Protect your eyesight with these six tips for eye-healthy nutrition. beans and other non-meat protein sources Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices Eating a well-balanced diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight. here's another good reason to quit tobacco. and preventive care. lifestyle. Polarized lenses work well to help reduce glare when driving. which damages vision. Contact lens wearers have the option of using contact lenses that offer UV protection. such as in the mountains or on the beach. Wear Sunglasses for Good Vision There are two good reasons to wear sunglasses whenever you spend time outside in the sun: 1. 2. zinc. Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. There are two types available. kale. but may not be a substitute for large wrap-around sunglasses.Maintaining Good Eye Health Don't take your eye health for granted. Kick the Habit for Better Eyesight If you smoke. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. and macular degeneration. optic nerve damage. It is best to protect the eyelids and eye surface from UV in addition to the area covered by the contact lenses. UV protecting contacts are a reasonable option. nuts. and other oily fish Eggs. Studies show that the more times you try to quit smoking. 2. Regularly eating these foods can help lead to good eye health:     Green. Sunglasses look cool. When choosing sunglasses. the more likely you are to succeed. 10 .

Wearing eye protection such as helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses can shield your eyes from a flying puck or swinging lacrosse stick. Use Safety Eyewear at Home.4. vision loss. and blindness. 11 Detecting Eye Diseases and Conditions | 2/16/2013 . wearing safety glasses or protective goggles can protect your eyes from injury. Certain sports such as ice hockey. and lacrosse also carry the risk for eye injury. and While Playing Sports If you work with hazardous or airborne materials at work or home. racquetball. at Work.