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Am I at Risk for Eye Disease?

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Did you know that many eye diseases can start off without any symptoms? Or, that some diseases unrelated to your eyes can cause vision problems and or even blindness? Read on to find out if you’re at risk of eye disease and when to consider making an appointment with your provider. 

Common Eye Diseases

Because many eye diseases don’t cause symptoms when they first develop, we recommend getting a dilated eye exam every two years as a precaution. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the conditions below or are exhibiting any of their related symptoms, you should speak with your provider about treatment immediately: 

  • Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve and is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60. This disease often shows no warning signs, which is why it’s critical to get regular eye exams. 
  • Cataracts are very common in older adults and occur when there is cloudiness in the lens of the eye. Common symptoms include blurred vision, glare from lights, and trouble seeing at night. 
  • Macular Degeneration is the top cause of vision loss in people over 60 and occurs due to the changes in the macula (small central portion of your retina). The most common symptoms include worsening, blurry, or distorted vision. 
  • Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause for blindness in people of working age. Symptoms are similar to macular degeneration but may not show early symptoms.

All our optometrists and ophthalmologists screen for and treat the conditions above, and will coordinate with our sub-specialists if advanced procedural care is required.

 

Other Conditions That Cause Vision Problems

In addition to diseases directly related to the eyes, vision problems can also occur due to:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, especially juvenile rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Carotid artery blockages 
  • Brain tumors 
  • Treatment with cortisone-like steroids or hydroxychloroquine
  • Migraines
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Shingles of the forehead or nose
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Rosacea

 

What You Can Do Now

Regardless of whether you have any of the conditions or symptoms listed above, we highly recommend speaking with your Primary Care Provider about getting an eye exam. Your provider will look at your whole health picture—the physical, mental, and lifestyle factors that impact your health—to make sure you get the care you need and receive important screenings at the right time. Make an appointment today.

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