WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?
I like to use the analogy of plumbing. When the drain from your sink gets plugged and the water backs up, pressure builds in the pipes. Inside you eye fluid is constantly being produced and drained. If the drain has a problem then pressure builds in the eye and this damages the optic nerve. Frequently, this damage occurs unnoticed by the individual because it is usually slow in its progression and it generally affects the peripheral or side vision first. For this reason it is important to be seen on a regular basis by Dr. Davis. At Davis Vision Center we have multiple automated instruments for detecting and following glaucoma.
WHAT IS MACULAR DEGENERATION?
This is the most common cause of vision loss in the elderly in the U.S. Throughout life your retina (the rods and cones) are being broken down and regenerated. The breakdown products are removed by a specialized tissue called the retinal pigment epithelium (or RPE). As we age, sometimes the RPE doesn’t function properly and the breakdown products build up behind the retina. This often occurs in the area of the retina used for central vision called the macula, hence the name Macular Degeneration.
There are two forms of Macular Degeneration, wet and dry. The dry form is simply due to the build up of the breakdown products and the person slowly loses vision but the loss is often mild. The wet form tends to be more devastating to the vision and is caused by abnormal blood vessels which grow into the area and bleed, causing scaring. The wet form normally is a progression from the dry form and is more devastating to the vision. Treatments for the dry form involve vitamins. Traditionally there have not been many effective treatments for the wet form. However, this is changing with newer drugs and treatments.
Macular Degeneration is more common after age 45 and is another reason to be seen on a regular basis at Davis Vision Center. Dr. Davis may also recommend that you look at a piece of paper with a grid on it called an Amsler grid. If recommended, you should look at the grid once per day with your reading glass prescription on and report any changes. We at Davis Vision Center offer multiple diagnostic evaluations for Macular Degeneration including Retinal photography and examination as well as flouroscene angiography.
WHAT IS LAZY EYE OR AMBLYOPIA?
After birth and during childhood the nerve from the eye to brain is forming. If a child prefers one eye over the other, then the nerve in the bad eye does not form properly and the child loses vision in that eye. This is called amblyopia or lazy eye. This is frequently confused with strabismus which is the crossing or turning out of the eyes. Strabismus is one of the causes of Amblyopia but there are other causes such as an eyeglass prescription which is stronger in one eye than the other or from an injury in one eye or a cataract in one eye. Treatment for Amblyopia frequently involves glasses and patching of the good eye to encourage the child to use the bad eye. Sometimes surgery is warranted. We at Davis Vision Center offer all treatments for Amblyopia.
WHAT IS STRABISMUS?
TStrabismus is any situation where the two eyes are not aligned. This could be crossed eyes (esotropia) or turned out eyes (exotropia). We at Davis Vision Center offer treatments including surgery to correct these problems.
WHAT IS DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?
Diabetes causes blood vessels to become leaky. When the blood vessels in the retina leak they can cause blurry or missing vision. Also abnormal blood vessels can grow near the retina which can cause a retinal detachment. We at Davis Vision Center are experienced in evaluating and treating Diabetic retinopathy. Generally, if you have Diabetes you should have a dilated retinal exam once a year. Also studies indicate that the better your blood sugar is normalized the better your eyes will do in the long run.
WHAT IS A RETINAL DETACHMENT?
The retina is the photographic film of the eye and sits like wall paper on the back wall of the eye. If the retina becomes detached from the wall of the eye it loses its blood supply and can die causing loss of part or all of the vision in the eye. Symptoms of a retinal detachment often include flashing lights, new floaters, and a dark appearance to the vision as if a curtain is being pulled across or down over the vision. If these symptoms occur it is imperative that you see an eye surgeon as soon as possible. Treatments may include the use of lasers, and/or more invasive surgery with the possible use of gas bubbles or eye encircling bands. We at Davis Vision Center are experienced in the evaluation and treatment of retinal detachments.