Know the Signs & Risks of Eye Diseases
Over 36.5 million Americans are afflicted with eye diseases that can cause blindness. At Rancho Santa Margarita Optometry, we can spot the signs of these diseases and take action before they severely impact your vision.
You may not be able to reverse vision loss caused by an eye disease, but with enough advance notice and the help of a qualified eye doctor you can often prevent it. We screen for many diseases during each comprehensive eye exam and act fast to address any problems we find.
Common Eye Diseases & Conditions
Glaucoma is caused by optic nerve damage and is a leading cause of blindness around the world. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve results from high intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma often progresses slowly, although certain types can develop rapidly and should be considered medical emergencies.
Without an eye exam, you may not know you have glaucoma until it starts to damage your peripheral vision. Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored, and it will eventually lead to blindness if left unmanaged. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect glaucoma before vision loss begins, so you can work with your eye doctor to control its effects.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss for people over 50 years old. It results from deterioration of the macula, a part of your retina that controls central vision. AMD can impair your ability to perform many central vision tasks, including driving, reading, and facial recognition.
If left untreated, AMD can cause severe vision loss over time. Having frequent eye exams after age 50 lets your optometrist recognize the signs of AMD early and take steps to control it before your vision is irreparably damaged.
You’ve probably heard conjunctivitis referred to as “pink eye” since it makes the whites of the eye look pink or red. Conjunctivitis results from an inflammation of the membrane that covers the white of the eye, which is called the conjunctiva.
Common types of conjunctivitis include:
- Viral conjunctivitis, which is often caused by the same viruses behind the common cold. This form of conjunctivitis spreads just like a cold does, via coughing, sneezing, and hand-to-eye contact.
If you have viral conjunctivitis, you might be extra-sensitive to light. You might also notice yellow or white discharge coming from your eyes.
- Allergic conjunctivitis, which produces similar symptoms to the common cold but is caused by allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis isn’t contagious, but it can still be irritating.
If you have allergic conjunctivitis, your eyes might itch or water more than usual. You might also experience a burning sensation in your eye area.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis, which comes from exposure to bacteria and is particularly contagious. It’s often caused by insects, contact with other people, and bad hygiene habits like touching your face with unclean hands.
If you have bacterial conjunctivitis, your eyes will likely produce green or yellow discharge as you sleep. This discharge can “glue” your eyelids shut overnight, giving you a nasty surprise when you wake up in the morning.
- Chemical conjunctivitis, which occurs when chemicals, like fumes, smoke, and toxic liquids make their way into your eyes. While chemical conjunctivitis isn’t contagious, it is a type of eye emergency that demands immediate medical attention.
If your eyes have come in contact with chemicals, don’t wait to see what happens. Instead, contact us right away.
Cataracts make the lenses in your eyes cloud over, gradually turning your vision foggy and blurry. Most cases of cataracts appear in older people, but certain risk factors such as diabetes can make them develop sooner.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Eye exams are the best way to catch diabetic eye diseases before they cause permanent damage to your vision, and they can even help detect diabetes in some cases. Contact us today to book your next eye exam and monitor your eyes for signs of these problems.
Our Location in Rancho Santa Margarita
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed