Eye Health | Edmonton Opticians

Some Eye Conditions:

Cataracts

A clouding of the crystalline lens varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light.  Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss, and are potentially blinding if not treated.  The condition usually affects both eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other.  Several factors can promote the formation of cataracts, including:

  • Long-term exposure to UV light
  • Exposure to ionizing radiation
  • Secondary effects of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and advanced age or trauma

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Is caused when part of the retina deteriorates. The retina is the interior layer of the eye consisting of the receptors and nerves that collect and transmit light signals from the eye into the optic nerve, then to the brain for interpretation as our sense of vision. The macula is the central portion of the retina and is responsible for detailed vision and color vision, the vision we use to read, thread a needle, sign a check, or recognize faces. The macula is a highly specialized part of the nervous system and the eye in which the photoreceptors that react to light stimulus and the neurons that interpret and transmit these signals are precisely organized and densely compacted. It is the macula that allows humans to see 20/20, or an eagle to spot a small rodent on the ground hundreds of feet below.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people older than 55 years

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:

  1. Dry (atrophic) form: This type results from the gradual breakdown of cells in the macula, resulting in a gradual blurring of central vision. Single or multiple, small, round, yellow-white spots called drusen are the key identifiers for the dry type. These spots are located in the back of the eye at the level of the outer retina.
  2. Wet (exudative or neovascular) form: In the wet form of macular degeneration, newly created abnormal blood vessels grow under the center of the retina. These blood vessels leak, bleed, and scar the retina, distorting or destroying central vision. Vision distortion usually starts in one eye and may affect the other eye later. In contrast to the dry type, vision loss may be rapid in the wet type of macular degeneration.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis 

Rare disease in which amoebae invade the cornea of the eye. It may result in permanent visual impairment or blindness.  Poor contact lens hygiene often causes this rare but very serious eye infection.

Detached Retina 

A disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue.  Flashes of light and floating spots are classic warning signs of a detached retina.  You must see an Optometrist/Ophthalmologist right away

Eye Twitching 

The most common things that make the muscle in your eyelid twitch are fatigue, stress, and caffeine. Once spasms begin, they may continue off and on for a few days. Then, they disappear. Most people experience this type of eyelid twitch on occasion and find it very annoying. In most cases, you won't even notice when the twitch has stopped.

Floaters, Flashes and Spots 

Eye floaters are those tiny spots, specks, flecks and "cobwebs" that drift aimlessly around in your field of vision. While annoying, ordinary eye floaters and spots are very common and usually aren't cause for alarm.  If you see flashes of light and/or a grey curtain like coming over your vision you should have this looked at right away to rule out retinal detachment.

Ocular Migraine 

Painless, temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes. Though they can be frightening, ocular migraines typically are harmless and self-resolve without medication within 20 to 30 minutes.

Photophobia (Light Sensitivity) 

Abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light.  An experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure or by presence of actual physical photosensitivity of the eyes.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage 

Bleeding underneath the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva contains many small, fragile blood vessels that are easily ruptured or broken. When this happens, blood leaks into the space between the conjunctiva and sclera.

Such a hemorrhage may be caused by a sudden or severe sneeze or cough, or due to hypertension or as a side effect of blood thinners. It may also be caused by heavy lifting, vomiting, or even rubbing one's eyes too roughly.

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