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Cataract means the normal clear living lens becomes progressively cloudy. With time it may lead to increasing symptomatic blurred vision.
Treatment for the mild stage of cataract includes living with some blurred vision. Advanced cataracts, significantly affecting driving and reading requires surgery.
Bottom line: Cataract surgery can be very beneficial when medically necessary.
Diabetes is a disease of sugar metabolism. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is inadequate insulin production by the pancreas. Type 2 is insulin tissue resistance requiring replacement medication.
Symptoms include loss of patchy areas of vision. Central vision can be involved with a condition called macular edema resulting in distortion and/or blurred central vision.
Treatment includes controlling the blood sugar with medications, including insulin, photocoagulation and/or vitrectomy.
Bottom line: Diabetes is a serious disease requiring good medical control and annual eye evaluations.
Droop eyelid (ptosis) is a condition of increasing drooping of the eye brow, eyelid skin or entire eyelid structure resulting in blockage of vision.
Mild drooping does not require treatment. Advanced drooping may benefit from surgery.
Bottom line: Significant and symptomatic eyelid drooping may require surgery.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which is often associated with increasing eye pressure.
Disease initially has no symptoms. Mild stage is characterized by a slight visual field defect. With time, this can progress to marked loss of visual field.
Treatment: Two kinds of glaucoma. Angle closure glaucoma requires laser or incisional surgery. Open angle glaucoma can often be controlled with drops, laser and incisional surgery.
Bottom line: This can be a blinding disease requiring early diagnosis and treatment.
Macular Degeneration tends to be an age related condition affecting central vision. Mild degeneration may have slight distortion or blur in the central area. Advanced disease can dramatically affect central vision.
Treatment: Dry type, is treated with special vitamins such as Preser Vision. The wet type, is treated with intravitreal medication, laser coagulation and/or vitrectomy to control abnormal bleeding in the retina.
Bottom line: Sudden change in central vision requires urgent evaluation.
Floaters mean microscopic spots float in front of the eye which are protein fibers deep inside the eye casting shadows on the retina. This is not serious.
Symptoms: Retinal tear symptoms start with markedly increased floaters and light flashes which may proceed to retinal detachment.
Treatment: In the early stages, a laser can “spot weld” the tear and patients do well. Retinal detachment requires significant eye surgery.
Bottom line: Floaters that change drastically require urgent office evaluation.
A stroke means there is inadequate blood supply to the brain resulting in damage.
Mild stroke may affect only vision with a small defect in the visual field. Advanced stroke can result in large defect including paralysis of arm and leg.
Bottom line: Any sudden change or loss of vision requires urgent evaluation.