Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Around the planet, there are nearly 200 million individuals thought to be living with macular degeneration. This common age-related eye disease can lead to problems with your vision and blindness in the most severe cases. Here is a look at some of what you may want to know about macular degeneration.

Getting to Know the Typical Risks of Macular Degeneration

Primarily, macular degeneration is considered an age-related condition. The breakdown of the optic nerve can be the result of the aging process for some individuals, especially those over 50 years old. However, there are a number of other risks associated with macular degeneration, including:

  • Being a smoker or being around secondhand smoke for much of your life
  • Not following the healthiest diet
  • Being diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease
  • A family history of people with macular degeneration

When to Talk to the Eye Doctor About Macular Degeneration

It is good to be screened for macular degeneration if you believe you are at risk or if you are over the age of 50. However, speaking to the eye doctor is also important if you believe you have symptoms of macular degeneration no matter what your risks may be. Some symptoms include:

  • Distorted vision
  • Wavy lines in your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty with recognizing common objects or faces
  • Changes in your center-focused vision

Testing and Diagnosis

A number of tests may be performed by your eye doctor in order to test you for macular degeneration. The initial test may involve dilating your pupils with special drops and then looking into the back of the eye for drusen, which can be more prevalent in the eyes of someone with macular degeneration. However, the eye doctor will likely perform a series of vision tests and tests using various instruments before making a proper diagnosis.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Hummelstown About Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a worrisome condition because it can affect your visual performance. However, with an early diagnosis and the proper attention from an eye doctor in Hummelstown, PA, the progression of the condition could potentially be slowed. If you believe you are at risk for macular degeneration, reach out to us at Kirman Eye to schedule an appointment.

How a Concussion Can Affect Eyesight

While many people think a concussion is only a minor injury, it is classified as a traumatic brain injury and should be taken seriously. Often occurring in contact sports or when people suffer auto accidents or falls, a concussion involves the brain actually moving around inside your skull. While this will likely result in you having a headache and possibly some nausea, few people realize a concussion can also affect their eyesight. As for how, here are some common ways.

Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome

If you have persistent visual problems following a concussion, doctors may diagnose you with post-trauma vision syndrome. Happening in people who suffer even mild concussions, PTVS involves various issues that may alter your eyesight temporarily. However, when a concussion is very severe, people can experience total blindness for a period of time.

Double Vision

Most common with severe concussions, double vision is often a sign that a brain injury may be worse than originally thought, and thus should always be taken very seriously. An extremely disorienting condition, double vision results in dizziness, reduced hand-eye coordination, and difficulty walking, reading, and balancing.

Accommodative Dysfunction

Referring to a person having difficulty switching their focus from nearby objects to those located at a distance, accommodative dysfunction is something you may experience following any type of concussion. Hard to diagnose because your eyes will otherwise appear healthy, it will often dissipate on its own over time. Caused by an injury to the part of the brain stem that controls focusing, it rarely shows itself on an MRI.

Convergence Insufficiency

If you are diagnosed with this, it means your eyes will have difficulty establishing and maintaining binocular vision that is most often used when reading or working at a computer. In essence, your eyes do not want to work together and are often tired and achy when trying to do these tasks.

Sensitivity to Light

Finally, your eyes may be very sensitive to light after a concussion. When the brain suffers a blow, it becomes much harder for it to adjust to different levels of brightness, though researchers are now quite sure why.

Should you suffer these or other problems with your eyesight following a blow to the head, always seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

 

Fast Facts About Glaucoma Every Person at Risk Should Know

Glaucoma is a well-known eye disease that has a detrimental effect on the optic nerve in the eyes. While common, the eye disease is also one that many people do not understand or fully know about. Here are a few fast facts about glaucoma from us here at Kirman Eye in Hummelstown, PA.

Glaucoma is one of the biggest causative factors of blindness in the world.

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world. While treatment can greatly reduce the risks of blindness, as much as 10 percent of those who are diagnosed and properly treated can also lose their vision. The earlier a patient is diagnosed and the earlier treatment begins, the better chance they will have of retaining their vision.

You may not have a single symptom of glaucoma before diagnosis.

About three million people have glaucoma at any given time, but as many as half of those individuals are not diagnosed and probably have no symptoms that point to glaucoma as a problem. Unfortunately, when the condition initially begins to develop, many people do not have any symptoms to spur them to seek treatment or testing. Some patients may experience pain and pressure in the eyes, but this may not show up until the optic nerve has been affected for a while.

All people can be at risk of having glaucoma.

Glaucoma does not only affect men, women, or certain ethnic groups, even though it is more common among women and African Americans. Everyone could potentially be at risk, but it is a common misconception that most people are not at risk.

Glaucoma is a progressive disease and there is no cure.

As of now, there is no cure for glaucoma. However, there are treatments that may help slow the progression of the disease and help to deter some of the pressure on the optic nerve. When you are initially diagnosed, your eye doctor will discuss the treatment methods available for you and your specific condition.

Talk to an Eye Doctor in Hummelstown About Glaucoma

Being vigilant about the health of your eyes means taking the time to familiarize yourself with the risks of certain eye health conditions, and glaucoma is one of them. If you suspect you could be at a higher risk of glaucoma or simply want to schedule an exam, reach out to us at Kirman Eye in Hummelstown, PA to make an appointment.