When one of our doctors diagnoses you with an eye disease, the next step is to recommend a treatment plan. Your care team at Trillium Vision Care may suggest a range of approaches, including surgery, vision therapy, improving your nutrition, or taking prescription medication.
Treatment Strategies for Common Eye Conditions
Some of the most frequent diagnoses we make at Trillium include conjunctivitis, dry eyes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. We explain these conditions and typical treatment approaches below.
Commonly referred to as pink eye, conjunctivitis develops in response to an infection or inflammation in the transparent membrane of the eyeball. Inflammation of the small blood vessels of your eye’s membrane causes it to appear red, pink, or swollen.
Pink eye is highly contagious, and you would most likely acquire it from being near someone who had it and rubbed their eyes. After rubbing their eyes, they transfer the contaminants to surfaces they touch. Anyone else who touches the same surface may pick up a viral or bacterial infection. Other causes of conjunctivitis include an allergic reaction or a tear duct that has not fully opened in infants. Typical symptoms include:
Discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust overnight, making it difficult to fully open your eyes in the morning
Grittiness, itching, or redness in one or both eyes
Most people require prescription eye drops to eliminate conjunctivitis. Your eye care professional at Trillium will also offer tips on how to prevent getting pink eye in the future.
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist may use the Schirmer test to measure the quantity and quality of your tear production. This simple test involves your eye care professional placing a blotting paper strip under each eye for approximately five minutes. Once the time is up, the doctor measures the percentage of each strip soaked by your tears. Other testing possibilities include using eyedrops with special dyes and a tear osmolarity test to measure water and particles in your eyes.
Most patients with dry eyes find relief from over-the-counter products that increase tear production. Discovering the cause of dry eyes is also important, such as the effect of certain medications or spending too much time in front of a computer screen. You could also have a condition that impacts tear production by turning eyelids inward or outward, which requires surgery. Medication to reduce inflammation in the eyelids can be helpful, as can tear-stimulating drugs or eye inserts that act as artificial tears.
The term glaucoma describes a group of eye conditions that cause optic nerve damage due to extremely high pressure in the eyes. Untreated glaucoma can cause vision loss, and it is the leading cause of blindness in adults over age 60. Unfortunately, glaucoma gives few warning signs and you could have advanced symptoms by the time your eye doctor diagnoses it.
Glaucoma is a serious, non-reversible eye disorder, so we recommend that you schedule regular eye exams that include eye pressure measurements. You might also consider scheduling more frequent appointments after your 60th birthday. Early intervention with glaucoma can reverse or at least slow down the progression of glaucoma.
The most common treatments for glaucoma include prescription eye drops, laser treatment, surgery, oral medication, or any combination of these. Because glaucoma can present as one of several different types, your eye care provider cannot recommend treatment until completing an exam.
Macular degeneration causes greater vision loss than glaucoma and cataracts combined. This incurable eye disease develops when the retina’s central portion begins to deteriorate. Your macula helps focus your central vision and gives you the ability to recognize faces, see detail, read, drive, and several other functions.
Genetics, Caucasian ethnicity, and smoking are the three biggest risk factors for macular degeneration. Vision experts currently do not know of any type of treatment or cure for this serious eye disorder, so prevention is always the best strategy. Quitting smoking, protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can all help reduce your risk of macular degeneration.
Schedule an Appointment for an Eye Exam at Trillium Vision Care
If you are concerned about any potential eye disorder, including cataracts, you can reach us at 740-334-1312 in Newark, Ohio, or 740-342-1784 in New Lexington, Ohio, to request an appointment.