Eye Disease / Syndrome Evaluations
Although eye diseases can strike at any time, they are more common once we reach our older years. This is often due to the combination of the natural deterioration of our eyes and the accumulated exposure to elements such as the sun, which can have a profound effect on our vision.
One of the services that we offer here at our optometry offices in Amarillo, TX is an eye disease/syndrome evaluation. This is an appointment that is performed specifically to check for the presence of or early markers that indicate there is a high risk of, eye disease. Identifying eye diseases early is crucial as, like with general medical conditions, the sooner a problem is found the more quickly steps can be taken to reverse it. In some instances, prompt diagnosis can prevent your vision from being affected whatsoever.
Types of eye disease that we can detect
Our eye disease evaluation service is designed to detect a number of different eye diseases in their early stages and before they can have a detrimental effect on your vision or life. These include the following:
Glaucoma is a fairly common eye condition that affects the optic nerve, which is the structure that connects the eye to the brain. It occurs when there is an accumulation of fluid in the front part of the eye, which causes pressure to build inside it. This pressure causes the optic nerve to become damaged. In most instances, this pressure builds slowly over a number of years and is a result of the drainage channels in the eye becoming gradually blocked over time. This is the most common form of glaucoma and is known as open-angle glaucoma.
There are several other types of glaucoma that can affect patients. These include:
- Closed-angle glaucoma. This is when the pressure inside the eye rises suddenly, causing intense pain and other issues. Urgent treatment is needed to prevent sight loss.
- Secondary glaucoma. This is caused by an underlying eye condition such as uveitis.
- Childhood glaucoma. This is very rare and occurs in children, caused by an abnormality in the eye.
Cataracts is one of the leading causes of blindness in people aged over 60, and by the age of 80, more than have of Americans have either been diagnosed with a current cataract or have had a cataract removed. A cataract is a cloudy patch that develops inside the natural lens of your eye. It usually starts off very small and may not have any impact on your vision. However, these patches become increasingly bigger, causing your sight to become blurred or misty, much like looking through a permanent film of frosted glass. Eventually, if untreated, patients lose all vision.
A cataract can appear in one eye or both at the same time, though their growth rates may vary. If your vision isn’t too badly affected, you may be able to use stronger prescription glasses to help you see clearly. However, eventually, patients find that their eyesight is so severely affected that surgery is needed to replace the natural lens of the eye with an artificial alternative.
Dry eye syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that is, unsurprisingly, characterized by the main symptom which is eyes that feel dry and stiff. Dry eye syndrome is very common, and while some cases will resolve themselves, many patients find that they need the support of an experienced optometrist to see a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome is principally caused by a lack of tear film in the eyes. Tear film is a complex moisture of oils, proteins and water that is responsible for lubricating our eyes so that we can move them around with ease and comfort. There can be a number of reasons why someone might lack tear film. It could be that there is a problem with the production of the tear film itself, or that it is simply draining from the eyes too quickly. You are more likely to develop dry eye syndrome if you spend long periods of time driving or looking at a computer screen, since you blink less often and do not stimulate tear production. There are also a range of other risk factors for the development of the condition.
Glaucoma, cataracts and dry eye syndrome are all very common conditions that our experienced and dedicated optometry team are able to diagnose, treat and manage at our offices in Amarillo, TX. To schedule your confidential eye disease/syndrome evaluation appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling (806) 304-0500.