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Eye Diseases

A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed and often treated at Vision Source – Dr. Dan Host in Huntington

“Eye diseases” is a blanket term that refers to a host of diseases relating to the function of the eye. Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. For more in-depth information, please speak with your eye care provider at Vision Source – Dr. Dan Host.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye is highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.

While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Vision Source – Dr. Dan Host for an examination and treatment.

Diabetic Eye Disease

The incidence of diabetes is increasing dramatically among Americans.  It is now estimated that over 30 million Americans (approximately 1 in 10) are diabetic.  Of this number, only half know they are diabetic.

Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.  Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease. so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.

 

Glaucoma

Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry,” most common and with no known treatment, and “wet,” less common and treated with laser procedures.

In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Vision Source – Dr. Dan Host.

 

There is increasing evidence that vitamin supplements containing certain nutrients called carotenoids can decrease your risk of developing macular degeneration.  There are three carotenoids in the macula: lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin.  In our office, we strongly recommend Macuhealth.  Macuhealth is the only supplement that has these three important nutrients in the proper proportion.

Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop “wet” macular degeneration.  Recent studies have identified certain genetic markers that can predict the likelihood of progression of AMD.  This test is available at little or no cost to patients who have early signs of AMD.  For patients who have a strong family history of AMD, but have no signs at present.  Please, call our office for more information.

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye.  It is most often caused by age, but can be congenital, caused by trauma, or associated with systemic diseases, such as diabetes.  Risk factors for the development of cataracts include smoking, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and alcohol.  Symptoms include blurred vision, faded colors, difficulty with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night.  Surgery is required to remove cataracts.

Ocular injuries

In addition to treating eye diseases, such as those above, our doctors are trained to treat ocular injuries, such as foreign body removal, corneal abrasions, and many other ocular injuries.  We can often save you the time and expense of a visit to the emergency room.

 Vision Source – Dr. Dan Host has the experienced doctors and staff, as well as, the sophisticated equipment, necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our office in Huntington. For more information, please schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.