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Here at Paradise Canyon Eye Care in St. George, Utah, we monitor and treat eye diseases: Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetes, Dry Eyes, Allergies, Eye Infections and more.
Macular Degeneration (AMD):
Why lose the First eye?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 50. Fifty-three to 65% of patients who have dry to wet AMD lose legal vision in their first eye: the first eye is lost! Ninety-two percent of patients with the wet form of AMD when treated by retinal specialists maintain near to normal vision in their second eye: the second eye is saved! According to Dr. David Nelson, a past president of the AOA, "130,000 people in the U.S. lose sight in the first eye every year. 80% is preventable." Why do we wait until the first eye is lost? Why not try to save the first eye before blindness occurs?
Based on the findings from AREDS-2 as well as other studies that have gone on concurrently, we now are able to develop preventable strategies to protect against vision loss from macular degeneration. The earlier we detect the conversion of dry AMD to wet AMD the greater the ability to prevent vision loss in the first eye. We owe it to our patients to provide this new knowledge to help them avoid vision loss.
When it comes to AMD, prevention truly is the best medicine. We do this best by filtering out harmful UV and short wavelength blue light through wearing proper sun and blue filtering lenses such as BluTech, Crizal Prevencia or ReCharge, maintaining overall health by not smoking and controlling health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension and through consistent exercise, eating healthy and/or taking supplements such as MacuHealth which is designed specifically for eye nutrition, and monitoring those who are at greatest risk determined by a comprehensive eye examination in conjunction with the macular degeneration risk assessment questionnaire and genetic testing when appropriate.
Glaucoma gradually destroys the optic nerve tissue in the back of the eye. The greatest danger of glaucoma stems from the fact that the disease is painless and without obvious symptoms until significant damage has occurred. The most common cause is from pressure being too high inside the eye, but vascular disease and other diseases can also cause glaucoma. We always monitor for glaucoma during routine eye examinations. Tests include checking the pressure of the eye, screening for peripheral vision defects and analyzing the appearance of the optic nerve. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, we typically prescribe medications that lower the eye pressure. Most forms of glaucoma are successfully treated with eye drops. Laser treatments and eye surgery are secondary treatments that offer alternative ways to treat more advanced glaucoma.
The natural lens in the eye gradually becomes less clear as we get older. When opacities develop in the lens and the lens gets too hazy, vision will be impaired. Our office can diagnose and manage cataract care. When the cataract affects the vision to the extent that you cannot read or see distant objects comfortably, we will recommend cataract surgery. Our office co-manages with cataract specialists that are proven experts in cataract surgery. Cataract surgery can provide you with a bright new world of vision.
Diabetic patients should have a dilated retinal examination each year. Laser treatments have proven to slow the progression of retinal eye disease for many patients. Diabetes often stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the back of the eye, which ultimately leak and damage the retina. If this condition is discovered early, laser treatment can destroy these vessels. We have the latest instruments used to detect changes in the back of the eye. If we discover advancing diabetic eye disease that can be treated or needs further evaluation, we will refer you for consultation and further testing to a board certified retinal specialist.
Symptoms include scratchy eyes, burning, mild redness and gritty feeling eyes. Oral medications, reading, computer tasks and dry environments may aggravate marginally dry eyes. Dry eyes can be diagnosed by using dyes to observe tear patterns, evaluation of the amount of tears on the front of the eye and from review of your symptoms. Treatment may include artificial tears; eye drops for treating allergies; and/or punctal plugs inserted in the tear drainage canals.