Detecting and Treating Eye Disease

Preventing, Diagnosing and Treating Eye Disease

An annual comprehensive eye exam is vital to identifying and treating eye disease early. Eye disease can cause changes in depth perception, color blindness or permanent partial or total blindness, depending on the exact type of eye disease present and the current technology available to treat the condition. Regular eye exams can prevent some types of ocular damage caused by eye disease.

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What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

A comprehensive eye exam is often the first step to diagnosing eye disease. The exam should include pupil dilation, a visual acuity test, and a tonometry test that checks for pressure in the eye. If abnormalities are found, further testing may be recommended.

Signs of Eye Disease

One of the most common signs of early eye disease is changes in vision, but the type of changes experienced can vary based on the type of disease present. For instance, the warning signs of macular degeneration include seeing distortion in straight lines, distortion in the center of the field of vision, or a reduced ability to perceive colors.

Other symptoms of eye disease include difficulty when your eyes are adjusting to dark rooms, being unable to focus on objects and seeing wavy lines near the edges of the field of vision. Dry eyes, excessive watering of the eyes and other physical symptoms are also common.

Even minor or occasional changes in vision or minor physical changes of the eye should be evaluated by an optometrist to rule out eye disease. While eye disease is most common among older adults, people of all ages should have an annual eye exam.

Treatments for Eye Disease

The treatments used to treat eye disease vary significantly based on the type of disease present. Medications and surgery are often the basis of treating eye disease. For instance, some types of glaucoma can be successfully treated with laser surgery, while macular degeneration is treated with medications that are injected into the eye and laser therapy or photodynamic laser therapy.

In some cases, treatment can delay or reverse damage caused by disease, but not all eye disease is reversible. Regular eye exams are recommended to catch eye disease early, as early diagnosis and prompt treatment may help reduce damage to the eye and optic nerves.

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