Eye Disease Diagnosis & Management

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Early Detection is Crucial for Many Eye Diseases

Many eye diseases are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t typically have any noticeable symptoms. Conditions like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration slowly damage your eyes over time, resulting in vision loss. By the time patients notice changes to their vision, the loss is often significant and irreversible. Through regular eye exams, we can track small changes to your eye health, initiating treatment before significant, permanent vision loss occurs. Request an appointment for your next eye exam today.

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Glaucoma is a condition that affects the intraocular pressure or IOP. As the IOP rises, it causes slow and cumulative damage to the optic nerve; the nerve responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain. In most cases, glaucoma doesn’t present with any symptoms until it has already caused irreparable damage and permanent vision loss. Glaucoma typically gets worse over a long period of time.

Every Abbey Eye Care patient receives glaucoma testing as part of their comprehensive eye exam.

Typically, we treat glaucoma through prescription eye drops which reduce IOP. Because patients don’t typically notice any glaucoma symptoms, they commonly forget to take their medication every day as prescribed. It is crucial that you remember to take your medication exactly as directed. Inconsistent use of the medication could allow IOP to rise and cause further damage to the optic nerve.

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As you age, the proteins in your eye’s natural lens break down, causing the lens to become cloudy. When the lens becomes cloudy, it is called a cataract. As the cataract continues to develop, patients tend to experience increasingly blurry vision and glare or halos around lights, particularly at night time. Although some factors (such as sun exposure and smoking) increase your risk of cataract development, cataracts occur in almost everyone eventually.

When cataracts are in their early stages, patients can typically maintain their regular lifestyle with the help of a change in eyeglass prescription. Eventually, however, the cataract becomes too opaque for patients to see properly, and it must be removed through surgery.

Cataract surgery is very effective and relatively simple. In most cases, patients regain the vision they had before their cataracts developed. Abbey Eye Care maintains an excellent network of eye care professionals. We will happily refer you to an ophthalmologist and help coordinate your care close to home.

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) occurs when the macula is damaged by deposits called drusen (dry AMD) , or scar tissue (wet AMD). The macula is the functional centre of the retina. It provides the best detailed vision that we have. In wet AMD, the blood vessels in the retina can become damaged. Your body attempts to grow replacement blood vessels, however, they are often weak and irregular, resulting in bleeding or scarring of the retina. This obscures the macula, and reduces the patient’s central vision.

AMD does not typically present any symptoms aside from gradual vision loss, which is very difficult to detect on your own.

There are a variety of treatments available to prevent the progression of AMD, including laser therapy and drug injections. The optometrists at Abbey Eye Care will take you through all of your treatment options and answer any questions you may have at the time of your diagnosis.

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Conjunctivitis (sometimes known as red eye or pink eye) is an irritation of the conjunctiva, the white part of the eye . This condition can be brought on by a number of factors, including allergic reactions, bacterial infections, and viral infections.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis can include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning or stinging
  • Excessive tears
  • Green, yellow, or white sticky discharge
  • Swelling

Each strain of conjunctivitis is treated differently, so it’s very important that you see your optometrist for an official diagnosis, even if you think you have had this strain before and know how to treat it. While antihistamines may help with allergic conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis requires antibiotics. Your optometrist will also be able to advise you as to whether your case is contagious or not.