A local ophthalmologist is a doctor who performs surgical treatments for patients with eye diseases or conditions. A local ophthalmologist is different from a local optometrist in that an optometrist doesn’t perform surgery. Talk to your local family physician about how a local ophthalmologist may be able to help you. Research has shown that there are a number of eye-friendly nutrients (zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein etc.) can reduce the risk of some eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. You may benefit from working with a local nutritionist and local registered dietitian as well as your local ophthalmologist.
Diabetic retinopathy (also called diabetic eye disease) is a diabetes-related complication. It damages the blood vessels of the tissue at the back of the retina. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: early diabetic retinopathy and advanced diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes, and anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can be difficult to diagnose, as it may cause no symptoms or very mild vision problems. It's important to see your ophthalmologist for an eye examination. Supplementary testing might be necessary, which can include a fluorescein angiogram, where dye is injected into your arm and photos are taken of the eye. Often your local Ophthalmologist can help with eye exams.
Types of Eye Diseases Ophthalmologists Treat
• Amblyopia: Also known as lazy eye, this vision development disorder usually affects only one eye.
• Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataracts usually develop slowly, causing a painless and gradual decrease in vision as the lens of the eye prevents light rays from properly passing through.
• Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye called the conjunctiva.
• Diabetic retinopathy: Also called diabetic eye disease, this diabetes-related complication damages the blood vessels of the tissue at the back of the retina.
• Dry eye: This condition occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate the eye.
• Eye cancer: Cancer can develop inside the eyeball (intraocular cancer) or spread to the eye from other parts of the body.
• Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by a buildup of intraocular pressure (IOP). Your eyes have clear liquid that flows in and out, but if you have glaucoma, this liquid doesn’t drain properly, causing this buildup of IOP pressure.
• Macular degeneration: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an extremely common eye condition. As the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 65, it can affect near and distance vision.
• Refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism
Symptoms & Treatment of Eye Diseases
There are certain symptoms you should see an ophthalmologist for: At Harvard Medical School for Eye Health, sudden changes in vision such as spots, shadows, flashes, distortions or wavy lines, double vision or blurry faces
• Loss of vision or decreased vision
• Changes in colour vision
• Redness, swelling or discharge
Treatment will depend on the type and severity of eye condition you have. Your local ophthalmologist will be able to help you with diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and management of your eye condition.
A scleral buckle is a surgical procedure used to repair a retinal detachment by supporting the retina tears from the outside of the eye. A scleral buckle is a piece of silicone semi-hard plastic that the retina surgeon places around the outside of the eye like a belt.
Ophthalmology is a medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and disorders related to the eyes. Ophthalmologists can choose to either be comprehensive ophthalmologists who provide general eye care or specialize in a specific area of the eye.
Here are some of the sub-specialties within ophthalmology:
Ocular Plastics: Ophthalmologists specializing in ocular plastics focus on treating disorders of the eyelids, tear ducts, and the structures surrounding the eyes. They may perform surgeries to reconstruct tissues and improve the appearance and function of the eyelids.
Corneal Specialists: These ophthalmologists specialize in diseases and conditions affecting the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye. They may diagnose and treat corneal infections, injuries, and dystrophies. Corneal transplant surgeons perform corneal transplantations when necessary.
Neuro-Ophthalmologists: Neuro-ophthalmologists deal with diseases and conditions that affect the visual system and its connection to the brain. They often work closely with neurologists and neurosurgeons to diagnose and manage disorders such as optic nerve diseases, visual field defects, and double vision caused by neurological conditions.
If someone suspects they may need to see an ophthalmologist, it is recommended to first visit an optometrist or a comprehensive ophthalmologist. They can perform a general screening and vision test to evaluate the person's eye health. If further evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment is required, the optometrist or comprehensive ophthalmologist can refer the patient to the appropriate sub-specialist who is best suited to address their specific needs.