Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin characterize it. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. Blepharitis can be caused by various bacteria and be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have blepharitis flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
We will diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam. Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. Blepharitis, in some cases, requires ongoing treatment along with eyelid hygiene to maintain eye comfort and appearance.
A cataract is a clouding of the internal lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. As the lens becomes cloudier, vision becomes blurry and distorted. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights. Common risk factors for developing cataracts are including, aging, medications, eye trauma and surgeries, smoking, and unprotected excessive sunlight exposure.
Most people will have a slight cataract in one or both eyes by age 60. Most cataracts progress slowly over 5-15 years. An annual eye exam is recommended for people over age 60 to measure eyesight and evaluate overall eye health.
Conjunctivitis can be either an irritation or an infection of the membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inside lining of the eyelid. It has become commonly known as "pink eye" due to the significant blood vessel inflammation that can occur.
Allergies and other irritants like air pollution, eye make up, and contact lenses cause irritation conjunctivitis. Infection conjunctivitis has two categories - viral and bacterial. The viral type usually accompanies a cold, fever, sore throat, or flu and is characterized by eye redness and a watery discharge. The bacterial type presents with eye redness, a mucous like discharge, and is usually caused by a staph or strep bacteria.
Our doctors are trained and equipped to make the correct diagnosis of the type of conjunctivitis. In some cases, conjunctivitis can progress to more serious eye condition and vision damage so professional evaluation is important.
An ocular manifestation of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the result of weakening on the blood vessels within the lining of the inner eye called the retina and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.
Vision symptoms are usually rare in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, however, intermittent blur and seeing spots in the vision can be warning signs. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include, poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and being diabetic for ten years or more. Typically affecting patients who have had diabetes for ten years or more, the longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Annual eye exams are strongly recommended for all diabetic patients. At McPherson Family Eye Care, we use retinal photography methods to detect retinal blood vessel problems and to monitor changes from exam to exam. There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and our doctors can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratitis sicca, 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.
Risk factors for dry eye are, low humidity conditions, medications, eyelid problems, rosacea, and contact lens use. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. Common symptoms include irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Vision can be subsequently blurred when flare-ups occur. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
We will examine the tear film on the eye. Special eyedrop dyes are employed to help the doctor to detect dry spots, measure tear quality and volume then make a diagnosis. Treatment of dry eye may include certain over-the-counter eyedrops, eyelid hygiene methods, prescription eyedrops including mild steroids, dissolving tear implants, and punctual plugs. If you believe you are suffering from dry eye syndrome, make an appointment with McPherson Family Eye Care today.
Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Once thought to be only a high eye pressure problem, glaucoma is now known to be a more complex condition.The most common form of glaucoma, occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time.
People with glaucoma rarely experience symptoms, but risk factors for include, aging, African ancestry, family history, diabetes, hypertension, and certain anatomical eye features.
With glaucoma, each day, vision will become less and less clear. For this reason, routine eye examinations are important to help identify symptoms of glaucoma. We may become suspicious of glaucoma during this exam and order special tests to help in making the diagnosis of glaucoma. From there, the best treatment option will be decided.
Age-related macular degeneration, often referred to as AMD, is a medical condition, which usually causes central vision loss in older adults. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.
AMD is not painful, which may allow it to go unnoticed for some time. Risk factors for macular degeneration may include smoking, obesity, Caucasian, female, and family history.
Having an annual eye exam is important for adults to allow your doctor to examine the macula and to measure vision. New research has shown that certain vitamins and proper sunglass protection for ultraviolet sunlight exposure may be helpful to lessen the risk of macular degeneration. Early diagnosis and continued observation by an eye doctor is crucial to protecting eyesight in macular degeneration patients.
Retinal Tears & Detachments
Retinal tears and detachments are conditions where the inner lining of the eye called the retina is damaged. A retinal tear describes a small break in this lining whereas a retinal detachment describes a much larger separation of the retina tissues. Aging, eye trauma, eye surgery, or being quite nearsighted may cause retinal tears or detachments.
Symptoms of these retinal conditions may include seeing flashes or floaters, sudden blurry vision, and seeing an area of dark vision. An eye exam is very important when these symptoms occur as permanent eyesight loss may occur if the retina problem is not treated in a timely manner.