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Ocular Diseases

Many ocular and systemic diseases can affect the health of the eyes. Regular comprehensive eye examinations are vital to diagnosing these diseases and treating them before vision-threatening damage can occur. Dr. Taylor has extensive knowledge of ocular diseases and a thorough understanding of how systemic diseases can affect your vision. Dr. Taylor and the Taylor Eye Care staff also implement the latest technology when screening for, diagnosing, and treating eye disease. Two integral components of this technology are the digital retinal camera, which is used to take an image of the inside of your eyes, and the Ocular Coherence Tomographer (OCT), which generates cross-sectional images of the inside of your eyes. Using this innovative equipment, eye diseases can be detected more easily, and conditions can be monitored and treated more effectively.

Digital Retinal Images

A normal retina displays healthy blood vessels, a circular optic nerve, and a darker central macular region.

Cataract is a naturally occurring change in the aging eye. It is a significant cause of decreased vision. By the age of 65, nearly everyone has developed some degree of cataract formation. Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes opaque, preventing the normal amount of light from getting through it. This makes vision blurry and may cause debilitating glare. The majority of cataracts are a result of the normal aging process, but other types of cataracts may be caused by medication usage, trauma, or systemic disease. Treatment consists of cataract surgery to remove the cataract.

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve inside the eye usually characterized by elevated intraocular pressure, damage to the sensitive optic nerve, and loss of peripheral vision. Genetics may play a role in glaucoma, but it may also be caused by certain medications or trauma to the eye. Glaucoma may also be idiopathic, which means it has no cause. Numerous treatment modalities exist, including eye drops and eye surgeries. Unfortunately, approximately half of all patients with glaucoma do not know they have it. Glaucoma in its most common form does not have symptoms until the disease is advanced.

Diabetes can cause significant visual loss or blindness. Patients with diabetes should have regular exams to have any diabetic eye disease detected, diagnosed, and treated. Diabetic retinopathy, the most serious ocular complication of diabetes, consists of retinal changes, usually hemorrhages, edema, or new blood vessel formation, secondary to diabetes. The changes occur when excess blood sugar causes small blood vessels in the eye to become leaky. It is caused by uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and is treated by laser eye surgery or injections to the eye. Today, with modern methods of diagnosis and treatment, only a small percentage of people with diabetic retinopathy suffer significant vision loss. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision.

Macular Degeneration is a severe cause of vision loss in persons over 50. An estimated 38% of those 75 years of age or older have some level of age related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disease characterized by waste accumulation in the part of the retina responsible for our clear central vision. The waste accumulation, called drusen, prevents the retina from working properly, resulting in blurred vision. A genetic component exists for macular degeneration. Other risk factors include poor diet, smoking, and obesity. Treatment includes vitamin supplementation, laser eye surgery, and injections to the eye.