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Eye Disease Treatment

Millions of patients are diagnosed with diseases and conditions of the eye every year. Some of which may not display symptoms until there is irreversible damage to the patient’s vision. The outcome of eye disease can range from temporary discomfort to total loss of vision, which is why all eye problems and diseases should be taken seriously and regular eye check-ups are absolutely essential.
 

What Are The Causes of Eye Disease?

The main causes of eye problems can be divided into five groups:
 

  • Inflammation of the eye and surrounding structures caused by a bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infection.

  • Injuries to the eye and surrounding structures, either as a result of trauma or an object in the eye.

  • Genetically inherited eye diseases, many of which may only manifest later in life and affect the structures and the functioning of the eye which therefore can impair visual abilities. In some cases, however, children are born with these conditions.

  • Diseases or conditions, such as migraine or diabetes, which can affect other organs of the body, such as the eyes.

  • External causes, such as allergies or eye strain due to over-use, or as a side effect of medication.
     

What Are The Symptoms of Eye Disease?

The three symptoms indicative of eye disease are changes in vision, changes in the
appearance of the eye, or an abnormal sensation or pain in the eye.

Changes in vision can include the following symptoms :

  • Nearsightedness is caused by an elongation of the eyeball over time, making it difficult to clearly see objects far away.

  • Farsightedness is caused by the shortening of the eyeball, making it difficult to see objects that are close-by clearly.

  • Blurry or hazy vision, or loss of specific areas of vision, which can affect one or both eyes and is the most common vision symptom. Any sudden changes in vision should be a cause of concern.

  • Double vision means a single clear image appears to repeat itself. This could be accompanied by other symptoms like headaches, nausea, a droopy eyelid, and misalignment of the eyes.

  • Floaters are specks or strands that seem to float across the field of vision. These are shadows cast by cells inside the clear fluid that fills the eye. These are usually harmless,


Can Diet Reverse Diabetic Retinopathy

Eye disease that is caused by diabetes is currently the number one cause of blindness and vision loss. Due to the increased risk in diabetic patients, doctors recommend that people over 30 with diabetes get an annual dilated eye exam. Diabetic patients under 30 should get this exam five years after they have been diagnosed.

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is caused by damage to the retina. Patients that have diabetes may also have experienced extended periods of time where their blood sugar was elevated. The high levels of blood sugar damage the retina’s walls which leave them susceptible to leaking. When fluid accumulates in the retina or macula, it causes vision loss.

To make these matters worse, if prolonged high blood sugar levels are seen again, the retina will be oxygen-depleted. This causes the abnormal growth of new blood vessels. This condition is called neovascularization. This blood vessel type is weak and prone to leaking. As these blood vessels leak, they introduce blood into the eye. Excessive bleeding into the eye can cause blindness.
 

Treatment

While a healthy diet and exercise can be beneficial to your optical health, diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is caused by damage to the retinal wall. While this damage can sometimes be corrected, simple diet changes won’t reverse the effects.


It is essential to catch the condition in the earlier stages to reduce the effects. This can also help patients understand the importance of monitoring their blood sugar so that repeat events can be limited. Treatment options are even more successful when diabetic retinopathy is caught early. These options include vitrectomy, scatter photocoagulation and focal photocoagulation.


During both scatter, and focal photocoagulation the doctor will use lasers to help alleviate the condition. The lasers make small burns on the retina aimed at the blood vessels. These burns will help to seal the blood vessels to prevent more leakage and stop them from growing larger.


When using scatter photocoagulation, hundreds of small burns are made in a specific pattern during two additional appointments. Scatter coagulation should be used on patients who do not have advanced diabetic retinopathy.


Focal photocoagulation specifically targets the leaking blood vessels that are in the macula. Unfortunately, this procedure is not aimed to correct the blurry vision associated with diabetic retinopathy, but it does stop it from progressing further. Once the retina has detached, neither form of photocoagulation can be used.


Vitrectomy is a surgery that helps to remove scar tissue and/or the fluid that is clouded with blood that has been leaked into the eye. This operation is the most successful when performed before the disease has progressed too far. When the operation only targets removing the fluid, success rates are very high for the procedure. When the procedure also aims to reattach the retina, the failure rate is around 50%.
 


Which Patients are Good Candidates for Premium IOL

Premium IOLs or intraocular lenses are lenses that are placed in the eye during cataract surgery. The lens placement is designed to restore the natural lens shape. These lenses can also be placed as a vision correction device called refractive lens exchange. Premium IOLs offer advanced features beyond the single vision IOL’s that are also offered. These features include aspheric, toric, accommodating, and multifocal IOL’s.
 

Understanding Premium IOL Types

 

Aspheric Lenses

These lenses closely match the natural curve of the eye. Typical lenses were uniformly curved making it easier to manufacture, but at the same time increasing the chance of causing imperfections in vision. Aspheric lenses help to reduce imperfections and improve clarity, especially at nighttime.
 

Toric IOLs

These lenses are specifically designed to help correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
 

Accommodating IOLs

Accommodating IOL’s can tilt slightly forward when you look at objects that are close to the eye. This helps to improve visibility when you are performing actions like reading a book. While they are not necessarily as sharp as bifocals, patients have a reduced need to use reading glasses while still maintaining excellent distance vision.
 

Multifocal IOLs

If you require a bifocal or trifocal lens in your glasses, this may be a likely choice for you. Different portions of the lens allow for better vision at different ranges. However, there are some overall sacrifices with vision clarity at a distance.
 

History of Premium IOLs

Premium IOLs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the 1980s. Prior to FDA approval, when patients had cataract surgery, they were required to wear very thick eyeglasses or specialized contact lenses to correct their vision. New technologies in the optical world have allowed for a wide variety of available premium IOLs and figuring out which specific type that suits you best will depend on some different factors.
 

Patient Factors

Physicians are careful to discuss the realities of this procedure with their patients. After recovering from cataract surgery, many patients expect that their vision will be completely restored to their peak performance. However, doctors are careful to warn against this and explain the realities of the surgery and as well as likely expectations of what will result from the surgery. For this reason, surgeons are likely to have some initial concern about the desired outcome for the patient to make sure that their hopes are grounded.

Surgeons will also have an eye toward the patient's desire to not wear eyeglasses. If the patient does not mind wearing corrective lenses without the need for surgery, this may be the best option. These lenses may also not be an ideal fit for the elderly population. Eyes in the geriatric population are often rapidly deteriorating requiring a lens replacement more quickly than would be recommended.

Patients with certain medical histories may also be poor candidates for premium IOL surgery. Some of these conditions include:
 

  • Advanced macular degeneration

  • Anterior basement membrane dystrophy

  • Fuch’s dystrophy

  • Weak zonules

  • Glaucoma

  • Post-refractive surgery patients
     

This list is not comprehensive, so it’s important to consult with your physician and bring a detailed medical history for their review.

Finally, patients may also want to consider their careers when weighing the value of this surgery. Patients who are required to read on computer screens for extended periods of time (i.e., print editors, office jobs) may be ideal candidates.

In contrast, individuals that require long-distance acuity like truck drivers, pilots, or even photographers may find that some of the issues with these lenses are not suited to their needs. Individuals often complain of “halos” during the night when looking toward a light, glare, or general acuity issues at longer distances.
 

Further Consideration

While premium IOLs do have some limitations, they offer an excellent choice for many individuals. However, it is important to meet with your eye care professional to fully discuss all of the available options to find your best fit as well as to make sure that you understand all of the potential risks and restrictions that this operation poses.


Understanding PRK

Understanding PRK: Is It Right for You?

PRK or photoreactive kerectomy is a surgical procedure that was the precursor for the surgery known as Lasik. The biggest difference between the two procedures is how the first portion of the operation is conducted. Additional variability between the two procedures includes recovery, risk factors, and the patient’s overall needs. Understanding these differences can help you decide if PRK is an appropriate solution for your vision issues.
 

How it Works

PRK utilizes a laser to correct farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and astigmatism. During a PRK operation, a laser is used to remove the exterior epithelial cells from the cornea. This procedure uses an excimer laser to remove the cells which are then discarded. A contact “bandage” is placed over the eye, and the cells can heal over the course of a few days. Your doctor will then remove the contact lens when the eye has healed enough to be exposed.

While the results are like that of Lasik, PRK does take some additional healing time. This is due to the time that must be allowed for the epithelial cells to heal and regrow on the eye. Additionally, Lasik patients generally experience less discomfort and faster results. PRK results can take a few weeks to fully materialize.

This isn’t to say that PRK doesn’t have its own benefits too. This procedure is well-suited for patients that have had previous eye surgeries and may have thin corneas. Because PRK does not make an incision into the cornea and only removes the epithelial cells, it leaves more of the stromal tissues which underly the epithelial tissue. PRK does not run the risk of “flap” issues that can arise from Lasik, and the risk of removing too much of the cornea is reduced. However, if you are considering PRK, you should consult with your medical professional to identify the right procedure for your specific case.
 

Before the Surgery

When you meet with your eye specialist to discuss your options, there are several factors that they will consider. Your potential surgeon should conduct a thorough eye exam during which they will measure your eye moistness, pupil size, corneal thickness, and corneal curvature. Your doctor should also review your medical and family history to identify any possible concerns about your suitability. Make sure that you bring a list of your medications and previous operations. Finally, you may be required to stop wearing contact lenses for a period before the operation. This can allow your cornea to return to its natural shape before the operation.
 

The Surgery

The actual PRK surgery is a short procedure that will only take about 15 minutes. The patient will not be sedated during the operation but may be given an oral sedative that helps to relax the eye. Numbing drops are applied to your eyes and a small speculum is also used to hold the eyelids open for the procedure. The excimer laser is programmed for your exact eye prescription. Patients are instructed to look at a certain object or target while the laser is operating. The surgeon will watch the procedure through a microscope and can stop the procedure at any time. Most patients do not report discomfort, although there may be some pressure.
 

Recovery

You will be observed for a short time after your operation to make sure that you don’t have any severe immediate reactions. After this observation, you will be sent home. It is important to have someone else drive you after any procedure that may impact your vision or ability to drive safely. You should make sure to follow all of the doctor’s recommendations to facilitate a speedy recovery. You should also expect several follow up appointments to make sure that the operation was successful and that there are no additional concerns.

Your full results may take several weeks, but almost all patients have vision that is 20/40 or better. Over time, as the eye ages, vision may naturally degrade. At this time, you should consult with your medical professional to see if an additional operation is a good option for you.


Glaucoma Treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, you’re probably already familiar with the typical options in glaucoma treatment – eye drops, laser treatment or traditional surgery. While these are certainly effective, especially when glaucoma is diagnosed early, researchers have been working hard to offer new glaucoma treatments. Their goal is not only to improve outcomes but also reduce the treatment’s side effects and frequency of use.
 

What is the Goal of Glaucoma Treatment?

Before we dive into the new options, it’s important to understand the goal of any glaucoma treatment. At present, glaucoma is not curable. However, treatment can significantly slow the progression of the disease. Glaucoma damages your eye's optic nerve. Extra fluid builds up in the front part of your eye (cornea), which increases the pressure in your eye. Reducing this pressure is the primary objective of any glaucoma treatment. This is often referred to as intraocular pressure or IOP.
 

What are the Limitations of Standard Glaucoma Treatments?

Eye drops for glaucoma treatment seem like an easy option but there are several challenges that can reduce its effectiveness. It can be difficult to get all the medicine in the eye, especially for older adults with less of a steady hand. In addition, since it must be applied daily, individuals may forget. Since the drops have no perceivable benefit because early stages of glaucoma have no symptoms, patients might make it a lower priority which is understandable since it may also have unpleasant side effects like burning, red eyes.

Beyond eye drops, laser surgery is a less invasive option. The laser opens clogged tubes and drains fluid. It can take a few weeks to see the full results. If laser surgery or drugs don’t relieve your eye pressure, you may need a more traditional operation. You would have to go into the hospital and will need a few weeks to heal and recover. Although usually effective, glaucoma surgery can make you more likely to get cataracts later on. It can also cause eye pain or redness, infection, inflammation, or bleeding in your eye.


What are Recent Advances in Glaucoma Treatment?

Alternatives or Improvements to Eye Drops
The Glaucoma Research Foundation reported several new developments on the horizon. These technologies focus on reducing patient error in applying eye drops which would make the medication


Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the cells in the center portion of the retina deteriorate over time. This degeneration is more common as we get older and leads to various levels of central vision loss which can make it difficult to read and drive.

We are very excited to have a revolutionary device called the AdaptDx, dark adaptation instrument to help identify those patients who may be at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration. The AdaptDx is a safe and painless way to track the patient's ability to adjust back to normal vision after a bright flash. Patients who have or are in the early stages of macular degeneration take significantly longer to adjust. Those who are at high-risk for the disease are placed on specific nutritional supplements. Genetic testing is also now available to fine tune the particular supplement mixture.


Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to progressive vision loss if not treated early. This can occur painlessly without any noticeable symptoms. Vision loss in glaucoma happens when the optic nerve is damaged often from increased eye pressure.

New technological advancements available in our office allow us to detect early signs of glaucoma before any vision impairment has occurred.  In cases where treatment is necessary, our doctors are trained and experienced in managing glaucoma cases.


Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects millions of people over the age of 40. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to a reduction of vision and blindness. The expert eye care at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, will refer you to a Cataract Specialist. Below are some general information about cataracts and the type of treatment you may need if it affects your quality of life.

 

What Does It Mean to Have Cataracts?

With cataracts, a cloudiness forms in the lens of the eye. At first, you may not notice any symptoms because the cataract is only affecting a small part of the lens. As the condition progresses, you may experience blurred or dim vision, be sensitive to light, see fading colors, need a frequent change of prescription, or have trouble driving at night.

Long-term use of steroid medication, eye surgery, genetic disorders, tissue injury, and age are well-known factors for causing cataracts. But other causes can put you at risk for developing this condition, such as:

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Smoking

  • Hormone replacement therapy

  • Severe nearsightedness

  • Obesity

  • Extreme exposure to sunlight


Cataract Lens Replacement Surgery

In the early stages of cataracts, your eye doctor in Hudson, WI, may suggest corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contacts, to help improve your vision. If you are unavailable to perform daily tasks, we may refer you to an eye surgeon for cataract surgery.


Your optometrist will first determine if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery by performing a few routine exams. If your eye doctor decides that cataract surgery is right for you, we will co-manage the procedure with your ophthalmologist.


Cataract surgery is a procedure that replaces your cloudy lens with a clear plastic lens. During your surgery, a small slit is made in your eye, your lens is broken up and taken out, and a new artificial lens is placed in the eye.


An Optometry Evaluation Can Determine a Cataract Diagnosis

You can trust our eye care services from our optometry professionals at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, to preserve your sight. Our optometrists are dedicated to diagnosing conditions at the early stages before they can affect your health. Make an appointment with us today by calling (715) 381-1234 and receive the professional and personal attention you deserve.


Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects millions of people over the age of 40. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to a reduction of vision and blindness. The expert eye care at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, will refer you to a Cataract Specialist. Below are some general information about cataracts and the type of treatment you may need if it affects your quality of life.

 

What Does It Mean to Have Cataracts?

With cataracts, a cloudiness forms in the lens of the eye. At first, you may not notice any symptoms because the cataract is only affecting a small part of the lens. As the condition progresses, you may experience blurred or dim vision, be sensitive to light, see fading colors, need a frequent change of prescription, or have trouble driving at night.

Long-term use of steroid medication, eye surgery, genetic disorders, tissue injury, and age are well-known factors for causing cataracts. But other causes can put you at risk for developing this condition, such as:

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Smoking

  • Hormone replacement therapy

  • Severe nearsightedness

  • Obesity

  • Extreme exposure to sunlight


Cataract Lens Replacement Surgery

In the early stages of cataracts, your eye doctor in Hudson, WI, may suggest corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contacts, to help improve your vision. If you are unavailable to perform daily tasks, we may refer you to an eye surgeon for cataract surgery.


Your optometrist will first determine if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery by performing a few routine exams. If your eye doctor decides that cataract surgery is right for you, we will co-manage the procedure with your ophthalmologist.


Cataract surgery is a procedure that replaces your cloudy lens with a clear plastic lens. During your surgery, a small slit is made in your eye, your lens is broken up and taken out, and a new artificial lens is placed in the eye.


An Optometry Evaluation Can Determine a Cataract Diagnosis

You can trust our eye care services from our optometry professionals at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, to preserve your sight. Our optometrists are dedicated to diagnosing conditions at the early stages before they can affect your health. Make an appointment with us today by calling (715) 381-1234 and receive the professional and personal attention you deserve.


LASIK Procedure

If you are one of the thousands of people considering LASIK laser eye surgery, then you will probably be gathering as much information as possible about the treatment. By this point, you are probably aware of the benefits that LASIK offers, such as a reduced or eliminated need for glasses or contact lenses and greater convenience in your day to day life. However, for many patients, despite the advantages of LASIK, the thought of surgery on their eyes is still a cause of anxiety and fear. One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to find out more about what the procedure entails.


Your consultation

Before you can be approved for any form of laser vision correction, including LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment with your surgeon. During the consultation, he will perform an examination of your eyes and use your medical and ocular history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also speak to you about the expected outcome from your surgery, making you aware that while LASIK will dramatically improve your eyesight, there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear glasses in some situations, such as while driving in the dark. 


How LASIK Works

LASIK uses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light to reshape the patient’s cornea. Doing so will more accurately focus the light that enters the eye on to the retina, thus improving the patient’s vision. The way in which the cornea needs to be reshaped will depend on the visual needs of the patient. For example, a patient who is far-sighted will need their cornea reshaping to be steeper to experience better eyesight. Alternatively, a patient who is near-sighted will require their cornea to be flattened in order to improve their vision. LASIK can also smooth an irregular cornea into a more standard shape, meaning that the procedure can also be used to correct astigmatism.


The LASIK procedure

The LASIK procedure is very fast and straightforward. Although you will probably be in the surgical suite for around half an hour, the actual process only takes a couple of minutes per eye. The rest of the time will be spent preparing and ensuring that you are comfortable. Anesthetic eye drops are given to patients before their procedure so that the entire process is pain-free. If you are particularly anxious, it may also be possible for you to be slightly sedated – this should be discussed with your doctor at your consultation appointment.

Once you are in position, we will use a femtosecond laser to cut a thin, circular flap into the outer cornea. This can then be pulled back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, known as the stroma so that it can be reshaped using the laser. The exact path that the laser needs to take, known as the topography, will have been pre-programmed ahead of the procedure and can be followed with complete precision and accuracy.
Once the reshaping is complete, the flap is replaced back over the eye and the surgery is complete. There is no need for sutures or bandages as the cornea will start to heal immediately and without any medical intervention.
 


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