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Eye problems can be extremely dangerous if they go unnoticed. However, most people put off having their eyes examined unless they see a change in their vision or need to get new a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. You should never wait to the last minute to have an eye exam if you are experiencing problematic symptoms. Scheduling regular eye exams can help detect serious eye problems or conditions early on, or prevent you from losing your sight altogether. The following eye problems are conditions you shouldn’t ignore.
If you’re experiencing foggy or cloudy vision, you most likely are developing cataracts. A cataract is the clouding of a lens of the eye that can be caused by injury, age, medical conditions and inflammation. Cataracts develop gradually and with age, but they do not affect your vision early on. However, if cataracts are left untreated, they can cloud more of your field of vision, causing serious limitations in your eyesight. Cataracts can limit your vision by making it extremely difficult to read or drive at night, and as you age it may become more difficult to read street signs or see facial expressions.
Patients with cataracts may also experience sensitivity to light and glare, fading of colors, double vision and may need to frequently change their prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, if cataracts are not ignored and detected early, a simple procedure can replace the cloudy lens with a new one, offering a quick recovery. If your vision is cloudy, an electroretinography test can determine if you need cataract surgery.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness. The optic nerve is known as the “information highway” because it sends light-sensitive information from the retina to the brain. In order to have healthy vision, you need to have a healthy optic nerve. Although people experience little to no symptoms, a Nerve Fiber Analysis test can be used to detect glaucoma in patients early – before it gets severe.
This examination lets doctors measure the thickness of the nerve layer that is damaged in glaucoma, allowing them to see whether or not the disease is stable, progressing or occurring at all. The direct measurement of the thickness is a more sensitive sign of glaucoma damage, letting the doctor fix it before too much damage has occurred.
If you are experiencing blurry or poor vision, eye floaters, flashes of light, or loss of peripheral vision, you may have a detached retina. A detached retina is very serious and may cause permanent vision loss – unless it is reattached quickly. A-Scans and B-Scans are types of ultrasound imaging tests that can be used to diagnose a retinal detachment. These types of scans can help doctors see inside the eye and determine if the retina is damaged. Don’t ignore any symptoms or warning signs of detachment. Go for an eye exam right away before the problem gets worse. The sooner the retina is reattached, the better the chance your vision can be restored.
Are you experiencing wavy, distorted or blurred vision in your central line of sight? You may have an eye condition called macular degeneration. The macula is the small, central part of the retina necessary for clear, central vision. Your central vision is the vision you need to read, drive a car and recognize faces. As it develops, a yellowish deposit appears around the retina and your vision begins to weaken.
People who are at risk for macular degeneration are individuals over 60 and who have a family history of the condition, smoke and have high blood pressure. Macular degeneration affects over 10 million Americans, and is one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss. To get checked for this eye condition, a fundus photography test can be performed to evaluate and detect macular degeneration, and help plan a treatment for the condition.
Do you feel a stinging or burning sensation in your eye? This irritating sensation may indicate that you have dry eyes. This condition occurs when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears to lubricate the eye. Tears act as a protective layer for the eye to prevent infection; without having enough tears you are more susceptible to eye infections and significant irritation. Decreased tear production can be caused by aging, different medications, or underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and thyroid disorders.
Eye irritation shouldn’t be ignored and requires immediate attention. In order to diagnose dry eyes, a comprehensive eye exam, including a visual field test, will look over your complete health history, as well as any previous eye issues. Your doctor will then measure the volume of your tears using the Schrimer test, and look for patterns on the cornea. Simple precautions can be taken early on and prevent you from experiencing further irritation and burning sensations.
Eye problems are dangerous and should not be ignored. If you are experiencing any symptoms of these five conditions or detect any changes in your vision, schedule an eye exam today with Marano Eye Care. We have an extensive history of dealing with a wide range of eye problems in NJ and will not stop until your vision is restored.