Treatment of Ocular Diseases

Our optometrists are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat diseases of the eye. We prescribe topical and oral medications for infections, inflammations, eye pain, dry eyes, glaucoma and allergies. We also work with top specialists and surgeons in the Twin Cities to make referrals and co-manage treatment when indicated.

Common eye diseases we diagnose, manage and treat at Savage Eye Clinic:

Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Conjunctivitis, often called pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.

Conjunctivitis is a common eye disease which can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction to dust or pollen, shampoos, chlorine pools, and cosmetics. It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can easily spread to others. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.

Signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis:

  • Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Uveitis

Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall (uvea). Symptoms often come on suddenly and worsen rapidly. They include eye redness, pain and blurred vision. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes.

Possible causes of uveitis are infection, injury, or an autoimmune or inflammatory disease. Many times a cause can’t be identified. Uveitis can be serious, leading to permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent the complications of uveitis.

Signs and symptoms of uveitis:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dark, floating spots in your field of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased vision

Keratitis

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea that is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection, virus, fungus or parasite. Noninfectious keratitis can be caused by wearing your contact lenses for too long or by a minor injury. Keratitis can usually be effectively treated without loss of vision. If left untreated, or if an infection is severe, keratitis can be serious and may permanently damage your vision.

Signs and symptoms of keratitis:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Excess tearing
  • A feeling that something is in your eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Difficulty opening your eyelid because of pain or irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased vision

Chalazion

A chalazion is a lump that slowly forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid. A chalazion is generally not an infection. It often starts out as a very small red, tender, swollen area of the eyelid. In a few days, it may change to a painless slow-growing lump the size of a pea.

A chalazion is often confused with a stye, which is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. A stye produces a red, swollen, painful lump on the edge or the inside of the eyelid and usually occurs closer to the surface of the eyelid. If untreated, a stye can result in the formation of a chalazion.

Signs and symptoms of a chalazion:

  • Painless bump or lump in the eyelid
  • Tearing and mild irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Disappears without treatment within several weeks

Hordeolum (stye)

A hordeolum, also known as a stye, is an infection or inflammation of the eyelid that forms a painful red lump that looks like a boil or pimple. In most cases a hordeolum is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria.

Signs and symptoms of a hordeolum:

  • Red lump on edge of eyelid that is painful to the touch
  • Usually affects one eye but can affect both eyes
  • Watery eye
  • Burning in the eye
  • Crusting of the eyelid

Blepharitis

Blehparitis is an inflammation involving the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow and affects both eyelids. It commonly occurs when the oil glands at the root of the lash become clogged. Several diseases and conditions may cause Blepharitis. It can be a chronic condition that is difficult to treat but usually doesn’t cause permanent damage to your vision and is not contagious.

Signs and symptoms of blepharitis:

  • Red eyes
  • watery eyes
  • Burning sensation
  • Eyelids that appear greasy
  • Itchy eyelids
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Flaking of the skin around the eyes
  • Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
  • Eyelid sticking
  • More frequent blinking
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eyelashes that grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes)
  • Loss of eyelashes

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is an incurable eye disease and is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more Americans than cataracts and glaucoma combined. It is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye and controls our ability to read, recognize faces, objects and colors in detail.

Signs and symptoms of macular degeneration:

  • Straight lines start to appear distorted
  • Dark, blurry areas or white out appears in the field of vision
  • Very rarely diminished or changed color perception

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a selection of eye disorders that progressively damage the optic nerve (vital to good vision). This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. The damage to the optic nerve results in a loss of nerve fibers. When this happens, one may suffer vision loss or even blindness.

Glaucoma can occur at any age but is more common in older adults. The effects are often gradual with no warning signs. It is important to have regular eye exams that measure your eye pressure. If diagnosed early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented.

Signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition.

Signs and symptoms for open-angle glaucoma

  • Patchy blind spots in your peripheral or central vision
  • Tunnel vision in advanced stages

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Severe headache or migraine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around light sources

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car, especially at night.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your vision early on. They develop over time and will eventually disrupt your vision. Surgery is often available and is generally a safe and effective solution.

Signs and symptoms of a cataract:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Colors may not seem as vibrant

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition affecting people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina and can be a serious threat to ones vision. The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood. Tiny blood vessels in the eye leak blood and other fluids causing retinal tissue to swell, resulting in blurred vision. If left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss.

Signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Usually ffects both eyes
  • Dark spots floating in your vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Vision loss

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency and you should seek professional help immediately. Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye. This causes partial or total loss of vision which can be permanent if not repaired promptly. When it detaches it is being deprived of oxygen, which it needs in order to function properly.

Signs and symptoms of a detached retina:

  • Blurred vision
  • Partial or total vision loss
  • Sudden flashes of light when looking to the side
  • Areas of darkness in field of vision
  • Dark spots (floaters) in field of vision

Vitreous Detachment

The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eyeball. Vitreous detachment is a condition where part of the eye called the vitreous shrinks and separates from the retina. In most cases, a vitreous detachment alone does not harm vision and requires no treatment. It usually occurs as we age and the vitreous shrinks slowly over time. As it shrinks, the fibers pull on the retina’s surface. If the fibers break, the vitreous can separate from the retina.

Signs and symptoms of a vitreous detachment:

  • Dark spots (floaters) in field of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Partial or total vision loss
  • Sudden flashes of light when looking to the side
  • Areas of darkness in field of vision
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