Treatment for Eye Diseases in Pensacola
When a loved one’s vision starts to take a turn for the worse, you need an eye care professional that not only can help, but knows what he or she is doing. Dr. Barry Concool of Panhandle Laser Vision Institute knows what it takes to help each individual on their specific eye problem. From glaucoma, to dry eyes, from to AMD to every other eye disease, Panhandle Laser Vision Institute has you covered.
GLAUCOMA is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Some optic nerves have a suspicious appearance, resembling nerves with glaucoma, but the patients may have no other risk factors or signs of glaucoma. These patients should be closely followed with routine comprehensive exams to monitor for change. Certain factors can increase th risk for developing glaucoma. They include:
- Age—People over age 60 are at increased risk for the disease.
- Race—African Americans are significantly more likely to get glaucoma than are Caucasians, and they are much more likely to suffer permanent vision loss as a result.
- Family history of glaucoma—Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing glaucoma.
- Medical conditions—Some studies indicate that diabetes may increases the risk of developing glaucoma, as do high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Physical injuries to the eye—Severe trauma, such as being hit in the eye, can result in immediate increased eye pressure and future increases in pressure due to internal damage.
- Other eye-related risk factors—Eye anatomy, namely corneal thickness and optic nerve appearance indicate risk for development of glaucoma. Conditions such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, and eye inflammations may also induce glaucoma.
- Corticosteroid use—Using corticosteroids for prolonged periods of time appears to put some people at risk of getting secondary glaucoma.
There is no cure for glaucoma. Patients with glaucoma need to continue treatment for the rest of their lives. Because the disease can progress or change silently, compliance with eye medications and eye examinations are essential, as treatment may need to be adjusted periodically. Please contact our office today if you are at risk and have any symptoms of glaucoma.
DRY EYE is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision. Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health. Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but your optometrist can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes. Steps you can take to reduce symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Remembering to blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
- Increasing the level of humidity in the air at work and at home.
- Wearing sunglasses outdoors with wrap around frame design, to reduce exposure to drying winds and sun.
- Using nutritional supplements containing essential fatty acids may help decrease dry eye symptoms in some people.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of Dry Eye, please schedule an appointment with us!
AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)
AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have AMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from AMD. Caucasians are at higher risk for developing AMD than other races. Women also develop AMD at an earlier age than men. This eye disease occurs when there are changes to the macula, a small portion of the retina that is located on the inside back layer of the eye. Some symptoms of AMD are:
- Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- Objects appear distorted in shape. Straight lines look wavy or crooked.
- Loss of clear color vision
- A dark or empty area appears in the center of vision.
If you experience any of these, please contact us immediately for a comprehensive examination. Central vision that is lost to macular degeneration cannot be restored.
DIABETIC RETINOPATHY is a condition occurring in persons with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye. It is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue and clouding of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Seeing spots or floaters in your field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty seeing well at night
Often there are no visual symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If you are a diabetic, you can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy by taking your prescribed medication, sticking to your diet, exercising regularly, controlling high blood pressure and avoiding alcohol and smoking. Please contact our office as soon as possible, if you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.
Keratoconus is a vision disorder that occurs when the normally round cornea (the front part of the eye) becomes thin and irregular (cone) shaped. This abnormal shape prevents the light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and causes distortion of vision. In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. These symptoms usually appear in the late teens or late 20s. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow in its progression. Each eye may be affected differently. Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism that is caused by the early stages for keratoconus. As the disorder progresses and cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be prescribed to correct vision adequately. In a few cases, a corneal transplant is necessary. However, even after a corneal transplant, eyeglasses or contact lenses are often still needed to correct vision.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of keratoconus, please contact our office for an appointment at 850-438-1277 or contact us here.