Eye problems range in severity, and many of them are easily and safely treated. Some diseases, however, are more complex and require the intervention of a specialist. We can help make the diagnosis and put together a treatment plan to solve the problem. Let us know when you schedule your appointment if you are having a specific problem needing immediate attention. We offer same-day service for urgent problems.
The most common causes of red eyes in the desert are dry eyes and allergy. Generally, dry eyes will result in burning, a gritty sensation, and sometimes blurred vision. The primary symptoms of allergy are itching and swelling. Infection may also cause red eyes. Bacterial infection generally results in an increase in mucous production with minimal discomfort. Viral infection usually results in significant discomfort and can cause scarring. In addition to these common causes are many other, generally more serious problems. It can be difficult to diagnose the cause of a red eye, so we recommend against self diagnosing.
Cataracts occur in almost all adults over the age of 60, although they can occur at any age. A cataract is haze or opacification of the lens inside the eye. Because they are inside the eye, they cannot be seen without special equipment. The most common symptoms are blurred vision and glare. The only treatment for cataract is surgery, where the lens is removed from the eye and replaced with an artificial plastic lens. For most people, a cataract can be left untreated for several years until the changes in vision interfere with normal activities.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which affects about 3% of the population. It can occur at any age, but is most common amongst people over the age of 40. If left untreated, it may result in blindness. There are ususally no symptoms until there has been significant vision loss. It used to be thought that glaucoma could be diagnosed with only a check of the pressure inside the eye. While this is a valuable test, it can miss up to half of all people with glaucoma. The only effective means of screening for glaucoma at this time are regular comprehensive eye exams. Glaucoma is most often treated with prescription eye drops, although it is sometimes treated with surgery.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in this country. The vast majority of this blindness is preventable. The recommended standard for patients who have diabetes is to have a dilated eye exam or retinal photographs on a yearly bases. There are no symptoms associated with early diabetic retinopathy. If it is detected at this stage, it can be dealth with effectively, before more serious, permanant damage occurs. If you have diabetes, we can provide this yearly screening exam for you, as part of your normal eye exam.