Blepharitis is the chronic inflammation, or infection, of the eyelids and the eyelash follicles along the edge of the eyelid. Blepharitis, which is not contagious, affects patients of all ages. Symptoms of blepharitis include, red or swollen eyes, and eyelids that are crusty, flaky or scaly.
There is no cure for blepharitis. Blepharitis can be controlled with proper hygiene of the eyelids. Treatment and preventative care for blepharitis involves a thorough but gentle cleaning of the eyelids, face and scalp. Warm compresses can be applied to loosen crust and a gentle baby shampoo can help keep the eyelids clean. This treatment may be combined with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the condition.
Regular eye exams are an invaluable tool in maintaining eye health by detecting and preventing disease. Some diseases, such as glaucoma, develop gradually without causing pain or vision loss, so patients may not notice that anything is wrong until significant and irreversible damage has been done. Early detection of eye diseases can allow for a choice of treatment options and reduced risk of permanent damage.
Patients should see their doctor for a comprehensive eye exam every one to three years, depending on their age, risk of disease and overall physical condition. Children should have regular tests to ensure the proper development of their vision and prevent any interference with their academic achievements. Even if your eyes are healthy, you should still have a regular eye exam to detect any problems as soon as possible and begin necessary treatment.
During a routine eye exam, your doctor will evaluate your eyes for refractive errors, as well as common conditions such as:
- Diabetic eye disease
This is done through a series of eye tests that examine all aspects of the eye, including a visual field test, dilation, glaucoma test, slit-lamp examination, cover test, retinoscopy and refraction. These tests can all be performed in your doctor's office and are safe for all patients.
Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are insufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear ducts don't produce enough tears, or because of a chemical imbalance in the tears.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. The length of time a patient has diabetes will determine the likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. Over 40 percent of patients in the United States, diagnosed with diabetes, have a form of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye complication and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.
Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina, the light-sensitive lining in the back of the eye where vision is focused, to weaken. These weakened vessels can leak, swell or develop thin branches, causing a loss of vision.
During any stage of diabetic retinopathy a condition known as macular edema can develop. Macular edema is the buildup of fluid in the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see objects with great detail. As the macula swells vision becomes blurred. About half of the people with proliferative retinopathy are diagnosed with macular edema.
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common condition in older adults and the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. Macular degeneration affects the macula, the part of the retina responsible for the crisp, detailed central vision needed for reading or driving. As we age, the tissue in the eye responsible for vision slowly begins to deteriorate which can significantly affect a patient's quality of life.
Macular degeneration can be classified as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). Dry macular degeneration is the more common diagnosis, and is considered to be an early stage of the disease. This form of the disease usually develops as a result of aging and thinning of macular tissues and the depositing of pigment within the macula.
Only about 10 percent of patients see their condition progress to the more advanced and damaging wet macular degeneration. In wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels develop beneath the macula and cause a leakage of blood and fluid. This leakage can lead to permanent damage in the central vision and the creation of blind spots.
Macular Degeneration: Introduction
Macular Degeneration: Overview
Macular Degeneration: Treatment Overview
Macular Degeneration: Wet Form
Macular Degeneration: Dry and Wet Treatment Overview
Macular Degeneration: Laser Treatment
Intravitreal Injections: Overview
Macular Degeneration: Dry Form
Macular Degeneration: Prevention Introduction