A Cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens that causes hazy vision, light ‘flare’ at night, and more sensitivity to sunlight. The cataract will be monitored until your vision is compromised enough to warrant referral to a surgical specialist. Post surgical follow-up and prescription changes are usually required.
Glaucoma is a loss of peripheral vision due to optic nerve damage usually associated with a rise in intraocular pressure. It can occur without noticeable symptoms and is usually found in more than one family member. Early detection and treatment is essential; treatment usually begins with pressure-lowering drops.
Age-related macular degeneration causes the loss of central vision. People with a family history are approximately three times more likely to be affected; smokers are six times more likely. Dry macular degeneration is most common and is treated with nutritional supplements (effective in approximately 70% of cases). Wet (leaking, bleeding) cases happen quickly and can be catastrophic; immediate referral to an ophthalmologist is required at the first signs of wet macular degeneration. It may be treated with newer, injectable medications.
Systemic Diseases – the effects on blood vessels and nerves by systemic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis can be seen through the pupil and therefore diagnosed and monitored.
All of these conditions in the early stages have very few symptoms, hence the need for regular eye examinations.