The team at our Austin eye care center always strives to enhance the vision of every patient who visits us. Sometimes that means advanced procedures that treat refractive error, and other times that means diagnosing and treating eye conditions that cause blindness. The potential for vision loss is higher than you may realize.
With this in mind, let’s take a moment to look at some common causes of blindness and serious vision loss. We’ll also note the common options for treatment.
Cataracts are one of the most common and well-known cases of blindness. The condition involves the clouding over of the naturally clear lens of the eye. This may occur as a result of advanced age, prolonged exposure to UV rays, eye injuries, and other reasons. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the non-developed world. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that approximately 20.5 million Americans older than 40 years old suffer from cataracts.
Treatments for Cataracts
Treating cataracts is relatively routine and simple. When cataracts are in early stages of development, vision loss is limited and patients won’t require medical treatment. For more advanced cataracts, a routine cataract removal surgery can be performed, restoring vision in the process.
Glaucoma refers to a type of permanent and irreversible vision loss causes by excessive pressure within the eye. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, causing progressive loss of vision, though symptoms can come on slowly, which makes the conditions hard to detect. It’s been estimated that up to 2 million Americans suffer from glaucoma.
Treatments for Glaucoma
Since glaucoma is irreversible, surgeons cannot restore any lost vision to a patient. Instead, treatments for glaucoma are designed to relieve intraocular pressure, and in the process stopping or slowing the rate of vision loss. Medications and changes in lifestyle can help relieve the pressure within the eye. For more advanced stages of glaucoma, special laser surgeries and other procedures may be considered.
People who suffer from diabetes can experience a number of different health issues as a result of their condition. Among these is diabetic retinopathy, a condition which leads to problems with the blood vessels of the retinas that can eventually lead to permanent vision loss. It’s been estimated that 4.1 million Americans suffer from different stages of diabetic retinopathy.
Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy
Treating diabetic retinopathy typically involves prevention, early detection, and slowing the progression of the condition. In early stages, diabetic retinopathy can be managed through proper monitoring of your diabetes and making sound health and wellness choices. As diabetic retinopathy reaches later stages, common treatments include use of anti-VEGF drugs, vitrectomy, and laser surgery.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a condition that affects the macula, a part of the retina that’s important for central vision. As the macula breaks down, patients will lose central vision. It’s estimated that AMD affects 1.8 million Americans. On top of this, more than 7 million Americans are at risk of developing either wet AMD or dry AMD.
Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Treating AMD involves keeping the condition under control and trying to limit the amount of vision loss a patient experiences. For dry AMD, patients can improve their lifestyle and wellness habits to slow down the progression of the vision loss. For wet AMD, laser surgery and the use of anti-VEGF drugs may be considered.
Contact Broberg Eye Care
For more information about improving the health of your eyes and preserving your vision well into old age, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. We look forward to your visit and discussing your options for effective eye care.