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Diagnosis, Treatment and Management of Eye Diseases

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Prevent & Treat Common Eye Diseases

Untreated eye diseases can lead to permanent vision loss or even blindness. To help safeguard your sight, you should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once per year. Eye exams are critical for detecting and diagnosing eye diseases. An early-stage diagnosis means that treatment can begin as soon as possible, before you begin to experience vision loss.

Many eye diseases don’t exhibit symptoms until they are advanced, so by the time patients notice changes in their vision, they have already experienced irreversible vision loss.

The only way to detect eye diseases proactively is by undergoing a comprehensive eye exam.

Your vision is your most valuable asset; don’t put it at risk. Book your next eye exam today.

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Common Eye Diseases

Some eye diseases are more common than others, and can steal your sight if left untreated.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula (the small central portion of your retina), causing your central vision to deteriorate over time. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans, affecting approximately 6.5% of Americans over the age of forty.

As AMD progresses, your central vision is slowly lost.

There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

  • Dry AMD: Dry AMD is the most common form of AMD, and is typically less severe than its wet counterpart. Dry AMD is caused by drusen (small lipid deposits), which accumulate under the macula and damage its light-sensitive cells. There is currently no cure for dry AMD, but a large-scale nutritional study found that its progression can be slowed by consuming select nutritional supplements in addition to a healthy diet.
  • Wet AMD: Wet AMD is more debilitating than dry AMD, and typically progresses more rapidly. Wet AMD causes new blood vessels to grow underneath the macula. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are quite weak and may leak blood and other fluids, causing permanent damage to the light-sensitive cells of the macula. Wet AMD can be treated using intraocular injections. However, these injections can generally only halt the progression of AMD, not reverse any vision loss that has already occurred.

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Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process and form when the proteins in our natural lenses become cloudy and opaque. As cataracts progress, your vision becomes increasingly impaired.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Reduced color vision
  • Increased glare, particularly during nighttime driving

Though many of us will develop cataracts as we age, factors such as UV exposure, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking all increase your chances of developing cataracts at a younger age.

If your vision is only minimally altered, your optometrist may suggest workarounds such as using a magnifying aid for close-up activities or wearing glasses treated with an anti-glare coating while driving at night. However, if your vision becomes more severely affected such that it impacts your lifestyle, you may require cataract surgery.

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Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” is a condition that causes the conjunctiva (the thin, transparent film that covers the white of your eye) to become irritated and inflamed. The inflammation causes the delicate blood vessels in your eyes to dilate, making the white of your eyes appear pinkish and giving pink eye its name.

Conjunctivitis has three main forms: Allergic, bacterial, and viral.

  • Allergic conjunctivitis is triggered by allergens such as pollen or pet dander and is not contagious. It can typically be managed using antihistamines.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection, and depending on its severity, may require antibiotics. This form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so you should stay away from crowds until it has completely cleared up.
  • Viral conjunctivitis, like the common cold, is caused by a virus and doesn’t typically require treatment. It’s highly contagious, so you should stay home from work or school until it has cleared completely.

Floaters are caused by tiny pieces of protein (called collagen) floating around in the fluid inside your eye. As we get older, this fluid (called vitreous fluid) becomes less viscous, so the pieces of collagen are able to float around more freely, making them more noticeable.

However, if you experience a sudden onset or shower of floaters, or if your floaters are accompanied by flashes of light, your retina may have become torn or detached. Retinal tears and detachments are incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention. If left untreated, retinal detachments can lead to vision loss.

Glaucoma occurs when your optic nerve becomes severely damaged, typically because of high pressure inside your eye. However, glaucoma can occur even when your eye’s intraocular pressure is within normal range; a condition called normal-tension glaucoma. Your optic nerve is responsible for relaying visual information from your eyes to your brain, so when it becomes damaged, it can lead to blindness.

Glaucoma is treatable, but early detection is vital. That is why all comprehensive eye exams performed at Associates in Eyecare – Bristow include glaucoma testing. Our team uses a variety of tests, including Goldmann Applanation Tonometry and visual field testing to detect glaucoma.

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For more information about eye diseases, including treatment options, please speak to your optometrist during your next appointment.

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Where are we located?

Associates in Eyecare – Bristow is conveniently located in Bristow Center shopping mall between Anytime Fitness and Pizza Hut.

Address

10338 Bristow Center Dr
Bristow, VA 20136

Contact Information

Phone: 703.392.1010
[email protected]

Hours of Operations

Monday
9:30 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM – 6 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM – 7 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM – 6 PM
Friday
9:30 AM – 5 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM – 2 PM
Sunday
Closed

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