What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a fairly common eye condition as the eye ages. The lens of the eye collects a calcification-like build up causing reduced vision. A cataract causes the eye’s lens to become cloudy. When the light rays travel into our eye through the pupil, the rays come through the lens into the retina, which is a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. When the eye’s lens is not clear because it has become cloudy, this is what is called a cataract.When a cataract begins to develop, there may be no change in your vision. However, as it progresses, it may begin to interfere with daily activities. This occurs when vision becomes blurry, cloudy or dim, or things you see are not as bright or colorful as they once were, you may be experiencing a cataract in one or both of your eyes.
A complete eye exam can determine if you have a cataract. Changing the prescription in your eyeglasses may help to improve vision, however when cataract surgery is indicated your Optometrist will refer you to an Ophthalmologist for cataract surgery.
What is Glaucoma?
A disease of the eye, Glaucoma occurs when the pressure within the eye increases, and causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. When damage occurs, blind spots in the peripheral (outer) vision occur.
Often, significant damage to the optic nerve causes blind spots, it is better to have an annual eye exam as this type of damage to the nerve is irreversible. If the entire optic nerve is destroyed, blindness results, but Glaucoma can be prevented with early detection and treatment.
Chronic open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. This occurs when there is an imbalance between fluid being made by the eye and drained from the eye, increasing pressure in the eye. This can cause damage to the optic nerve, leading to visual loss or even blindness.
What is Macular Degeneration?
The macular is the part of the retina that is responsible for our central vision and allows us to see fine details very clearly. The macula is a small area in the retina that is the light-sensitive tissue lining in the back of the eye. Age-related Macular Dengeneration (AMD) is a deterioration of the eye’s macula. Typical signs of the disease are dark or empty areas in the center vision and straight lines that become distorted.
There are two common types of macular degeneration — “dry” and “wet”.
The most common is dry macular degeneration and vision loss is gradual. In the early stages, people may not be aware they have macular degeneration until they notice slight changes in their vision. Often, an eye exam reveals macular degeneration, making an annual eye exam important.
The second type of AMD is called wet macular degeneration. The eye’s blood vessels leak fluid or blood, causing central vision to become blurry. Vision loss with “wet” macular degeneration is usually more rapid and severe. Wet AMD is less common and the result of abnormal blood vessels forming under the retina in the back of the eye.