|Dry Eye Syndrome||Glaucoma|
|Macular Degeneration||Retinal Detachment|
There are two types of blepharitis. Seborrheic blepharitis is often part of an overall skin condition called seborrhea, which may also affect the scalp, chest, back and the area behind the ears.
The second form of blepharitis - staph blepharitis - is a more common condition, caused by bacteria, that begins in childhood and may continue through adulthood.
CausesHormones, nutrition, general physical condition, and even stress may contribute to seborrheic blepharitis. Build-ups of naturally occurring bacteria contribute to staph blepharitis.
SymptomsBlepharitis could be described as dandruff of the eyelids. Seborrheic blepharitis causes redness of the eyelids, flaking and scaling of the eyelashes, and greasy, waxy scales. Staph blepharitis also causes redness of the eyelid margins and flaking of the lashes, and can cause loss of eyelashes, eyelid scarring, and red eye.
TreatmentEyelid scrubs with baby shampoo or a specially formulated cleaner can reduce the symptoms of blepharitis. Application of hot packs to the eyes daily can also help. Staph blepharitis may also require antibiotic drops or ointments. The use of artificial tears is often helpful to relieve associated discomfort or dryness.
A cataract is a cloudiness that occurs in the lens inside of the eye. The lens is made mostly of water and protein arranged to let light through.
When the protein clumps, light is blocked and the lens appears cloudy. Cataracts are not a disease; we will all develop cataracts as we get older.
SymptomsA person with cataracts may notice faded colors, problems with light (such as halos, or headlights that seem too bright), or poor night vision.
TreatmentYour eye doctor can detect the presence of cataracts during a thorough eye exam, including a microscopic examination of the inside of the eye. When vision is impaired to a point where it interferes with daily activities, surgery may be indicated. Surgery is done on an out-patient basis and involves a very small incision, through which the cloudy substance of the lens is removed and replaced with an intra-ocular lens implant (IOL). With today's technology and surgical techniques most patients find their vision after surgery to be very clear at distance, without the use of glasses.
CausesPink eye is most often a viral infection, but may also be caused by bacteria or an allergic reaction. Viral and bacterial pink eye can be highly contagious.
Prevention & TreatmentTo avoid spreading conjunctivitis, wash your hands often, don't touch the infected area with your hands, don't share wash cloths or towels, and avoid using makeup which may become contaminated. A child with pink eye should be kept from school for a few days. Sometimes your doctor will need to prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments to treat conjunctivitis.
SymptomsSymptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Blurred or darkened vision
- Sudden loss of vision
Risk Factors & TreatmentIt is critical for all diabetic patients to have a thorough eye health examination at least every year. When diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed early, medical management, including laser treatment and other surgeries, can be more effective in preserving vision. In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetic patients also have a higher risk of developing cataracts at a younger age, and of having glaucoma. If you have diabetes, make sure you control your blood sugar level. This will reduce your risk of getting diabetic eye disease and other complications involving the heart, kidneys, and other organs.
SymptomsDry eye syndrome leads to a number of symptoms, including itching, irritation, burning, excessive tearing, redness, blurred vision that improves with blinking, and discomfort after long periods of watching television, driving, using a computer, or reading.
There are many environmental factors that can contribute to dry eye syndrome. These include dry, hot, or windy climates, high altitudes, air-conditioned rooms, and cigarette smoke. Contact lens wearers, people with drier skin, and the elderly are more likely to develop dry eye syndrome. You may also be more at risk if you take certain medications, have a thyroid condition, a vitamin-A deficiency, Parkinson's or Sjorgen's disease, or if you are a woman going through menopause.
Glaucoma is generally caused by too much fluid pressure inside the eye. Fluid in the eye helps to nourish and cleanse the inside of the eye by constantly flowing in and out.
When too much fluid is produced or the fluid is prevented from flowing out, the intraocular pressure increases and damages the optic nerve. This causes a gradual loss in peripheral vision.
SymptomsOpen angle glaucoma is often called the "Sneak Thief of Sight" because it has no symptoms until the disease is in advanced stages. With advanced glaucoma patients develop tunnel vision, where their peripheral field of vision decreases. Glaucoma can eventually cause blindness.
Risk Factors & TreatmentHeredity seems to be a risk factor. Also, you may be at greater risk if you are over 45, of African descent, very near-sighted, or diabetic. Finally, if you have used steroids or cortisone for a long period of time, or if you have suffered an eye injury in the past, you have a greater chance of developing glaucoma. Treatment may include prescription eye drops, laser treatment, and other surgeries. The goal of treatment is to reduce the pressure, thereby limiting damage to the optic nerve, and preserving vision.
"Wet" vs. "Dry"Most often, macular degeneration is accompanied by the formation of yellow deposits called "drusen" under the macula, which dry out or thin the macula. This is called "dry" macular degeneration. In less common cases, abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak fluid. This is called "wet" macular degeneration.
CausesA number of uncontrollable factors contribute to macular degeneration, including age, sex, eye color, farsightedness, and race. Risk factors you can control include smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to harmful sunlight, and diet.
SymptomsIt is difficult for patients to detect dry macular degeneration in its early stages. The most common symptom is blurred vision. Wet macular degeneration progresses much faster when it occurs. Symptoms include blurred vision and distortion or a dark spot in central vision. Both forms of macular degeneration can cause severe visual impairment.
TreatmentTreatment for dry, or atrophic macular degeneration includes cessation of smoking, control of high blood pressure and nutritional therapy. The most recent development in the treatment of wet macular degeneration is Photo Dynamic Therapy, which involves injecting a dye, Verteporforin, into the bloodstream and then applying a special, cool laser to the affected retinal area. When successful, this stops the leaking of blood while limiting damage to the sensitive retina above it.
The part of the eye which collects light and transmits the images to the optic nerve and brain is the retina. It lines the inner back wall of the eye. When the retina separates from the back wall, it is known as a retinal detachment.