Find out about more about this serious eye condition and whether you’re at risk.
If you’re checking out this blog, chances are you have either just been diagnosed by your Chicago, IL eye doctor with macular degeneration or you suspect that you may have this disease. This is one of the leading causes of vision loss and it affects over 10 million Americans. Find out more about this condition and how the doctors ofChicagoland Eye Consultants can help slow the progression.
What is macular degeneration?
This condition causes a breakdown of the central part of the retina (known as the macula), which imprints what we see and sends these images from the eye to the brain. The macula focuses vision and help us to read, drive, see fine detail and recognize colors and faces.
What are the symptoms?
Vision changes will be subtle at first. You may start to notice that straight lines seem blurry or that your central vision is distorted. There may be white spots or dark blurry regions in your central vision. There may also be a change in how you perceive color.
What causes this condition?
Even though what causes macular degeneration is not completely conclusive, it is affected by heredity or environmental factors. It’s also an age-related condition.
Are there any risk factors?
One of the biggest risk factors is age, and this condition is more common in those over the age of 55. As you get older your risk of developing this eye condition increases. You are also at an increased risk for developing macular degeneration if you have a family history of this condition, if you are a smoker or if you are Caucasian.
How will my Chicago ophthalmologist treat macular degeneration?
While there is currently no cure for this disorder, there are still things you can do to prevent the condition from progressing quickly. That’s why it’s so important to see your Chicago ophthalmologist right away for a proper diagnosis. Small lifestyle changes like dieting, smoking cessation, exercising and protecting your eyes can help slow your condition.
Supplements may also be prescribed to increase cell structure and healthy pigments. Eye therapies such as Anti-VEGF therapy and laser photocoagulation are also recommended to reduce your chance of vision loss.
You don’t have to be alone with your condition. Turn to the Chicago, IL eye care experts at Chicagoland Eye Consultants for all of your eye-care needs.
What does it mean to have astigmatism?
So you’re one of the many people with astigmatism, but are you one of the few who actually knows what that means? Astigmatism is one of, if not the most misunderstood eye problem around. For starters it is commonly mistaken for a disease or a vision health problem when in actuality it is simply a problem with how the eye focuses light.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregular shaped cornea, the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. Or it may be caused by the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Whichever the cause it ends up preventing light from focusing properly on the retina which is called a refractive error. When the cornea has an irregular shape, it is called corneal astigmatism. When the shape of the lens is distorted, you have lenticular astigmatism. As a result of either type, your vision for both near and far objects can appear blurry or distorted. Other symptoms include eyestrain, headaches and eye discomfort.
Astigmatism is very common. In most cases, people with astigmatism are born with this condition. The reason why corneal shape differs from person to person is still unknown, but the likelihood of developing astigmatism is inherited. On occasion astigmatism can develop after an eye disease, injury or surgery.
Diagnosing astigmatism is easily done by your eye doctor with a comprehensive eye examination. There are a few test the doctor may choose to perform to measure how the eyes focus light and may determine the power of any optical lenses needed to compensate for reduced vision. This examination may include:
Visual acuity—As part of the testing, you'll be asked to read letters on a distance chart. This test measures visual acuity, which is written as a fraction such as 20/40. The top number is the standard distance at which testing is done, twenty feet. The bottom number is the smallest letter size you were able to read. A person with 20/40 visual acuity would have to get within 20 feet of a letter that should be seen at forty feet in order to see it clearly. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.
Keratometry- A keratometer is the primary instrument used to measure the curvature of the cornea. By focusing a circle of light on the cornea and measuring its reflection, it is possible to determine the exact curvature of the cornea's surface. This measurement is particularly critical in determining the proper fit for contact lenses. A more sophisticated procedure called corneal topography may be performed in some cases to provide even more detail of the shape of the cornea.
Before you consider LASIK it’s important that you can tell fact from fiction when it comes to this procedure.
Are you ready to wake up every morning and immediately be able to see? Have you been considering getting LASIK from your Chicago, IL eye doctor? There are a lot of myths surrounding this procedure, so arm yourself with knowledge before coming into our office for a consultation. Here are the top three most common myths we hear:
Myth: Getting LASIK means you’ll never need glasses again.
Fact: LASIK is a very successful procedure, which is why so many patients have turned to it to get the vision they want. How successful the treatment is will depend on how well the patient heals and how severe their original prescription was. Those with mild to moderate prescriptions can get 20/20 vision. However, as a patient ages, reading glasses may be necessary.
Myth: You should expect dry eyes or other issues after LASIK.
Fact: As with any surgery you chose to undergo there are always risks involved; however, this doesn’t mean that they will happen to you. Fortunately, the chances of developing complications or side effects after LASIK are very low. And many of these issues can easily be treated.
While dry eyes and glare are common side effects this problem is usually temporary. We can also determine during your consultation whether you are at a high risk for developing any of these issues.
Myth: Anyone can get LASIK.
Fact: While this surgery can certainly help many patients see better it doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. The only way to really determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK is to schedule a screening with your eye doctor in Chicago. LASIK can treat those dealing with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The patient should also be over the age of 18 years old and have not been diagnosed with eye diseases such as glaucoma.
Hopefully, you can breathe a little easier now that you know a little more about getting LASIK in Chicago. Maybe you had even heard and believed one of these myths and are relieved to hear that they just aren’t true.
If you are ready to see better, then turn to Chicagoland Eye Consultations for LASIK and all of your eye care needs. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.
If your eye sight is fine, is visiting an eye doctor at Chicagoland Eye Consultants in Chicago, IL really necessary? As it turns out, it is. Eye exams provide many important health benefits. Here are four reasons everyone should visit their Chicago, IL eye doctor, whether they have poor vision or not.
1. Eye Exams Can Remove Obstacles to Learning
Children who can't see well are at a distinct disadvantage in the classroom. Unfortunately, however, many children don't even know that their eyesight is poor, since it's all they've ever known. Routine eye exams for children help ensure that all children are given the opportunity to see and learn at their fullest potential.
2. You Get An Up-to-Date Prescription
3. Your Doctor Will Screen You for Other Eye Conditions
Unfortunately, nearsightedness and farsightedness aren't the only problems you could have with your vision. That's why, when you visit Chicagoland Eye Consultants, your eye doctor will also screen you for medical conditions including astigmatism, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, eye teaming problems and focusing problems. If you have any of these conditions, you will want to know right away.
4. Your Doctor Can Detect Other Serious Medical Conditions
Believe it or not, the condition of your eyes can even give your doctor important information about your overall health as well. In fact, eye doctors are often the first to discover certain chronic conditions. Conditions your eye doctor can detect include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and tumors.
You depend on your eyes to help you function in everyday life. Make sure they are always healthy and ready for the job. Call Chicagoland Eye Consultants in Chicago, IL to schedule your next appointment with an eye doctor today.
As we age, it is common for eyesight to deteriorate. According to the American Optometric Association, adults over 40 frequently notice that they begin having problems seeing clearly while reading or working close up or with small objects. While these troubles are normal and can be treated with glasses, sometimes more serious problems arise.
What are cataracts?
More than 22 million Americans over 40 suffer from some form of cataracts. Cataracts are defined as a slow clouding of the clear lens of the eye that is found behind the iris and pupil. This lens’ prime function is to focus the light that passes through the eye. When it becomes clouded, it causes the images absorbed by the retina to be less sharp or clear than normal. This causes clouded or foggy vision, much like looking through a frosty window.
How do I know if I am suffering from cataracts?
Cataract patients’ main complaint is foggy or blurred vision. However, there are many other symptoms, including:
- Prescriptions for contacts or glasses changing frequently
- Double vision in one eye
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Fading of colors
- Sensitivity to light
- Seeing “halos” around lights at night, commonly headlights while driving
What is the treatment for cataracts?
Cataract surgery is a relatively simple procedure, usually performed under an outpatient status, meaning that no hospital stay is required. It is generally safe, and post-surgery discomfort only lasts a few days, though the actual healing time can be up to eight weeks. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area around the eye, and an artificial lens is used to replace the natural clouded lens in the eye. Sometimes, if an artificial lens cannot be used, glasses or contacts can be used to correct the patient’s vision once the clouded lens is removed. If cataracts need to be removed from both eyes, two separate surgeries are needed.
How can I prevent cataracts from forming?
Having regular eye exams is the most important factor in cataract prevention. This way, optometrists can spot the problem early, and council the patient in ways to keep the cataract from worsening. Smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity can also increase the risk of cataracts. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps in decreasing risk of many illnesses, including cataracts.
An eye examination should be scheduled if you notice any changes in your vision. Advanced Vision Specialists in Chicago, IL can help you spot cataracts early, and treat advanced cases with compassionate and professional care.
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