It can be a painful and irritating experience when something gets into your eye. Your eye doctor will start with numbing drops and a careful examination to locate and safely remove the foreign body.
Glaucoma is when the normal fluid pressure in your eye rises, damaging your optic nerve. It can cause blindness.
A damaged optic nerve can result in glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. The damage usually comes from increased pressure inside the eye. It can be caused by either primary open-angle glaucoma, which develops slowly and has no symptoms, or narrow-angle glaucoma, which may occur as a result of other conditions that severely restrict blood flow to the eye, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy and central retinal vein occlusion (neovascular glaucoma).
Rapid vision loss is a symptom of acute angle-closure glaucoma, which requires quick medical attention to avoid long-term damage. Glaucoma risk can be calculated using a corneal thickness test known as pachymetry. Other treatments include medication and surgery, such as drainage implants to decrease eye pressure or laser peripheral iridotomy.
For persons over 50, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main factor in significant vision loss. It is a painless disease that causes central vision to become blurry or go dark. It can make driving, reading, or recognizing faces challenging but rarely leads to complete blindness. AMD doesn’t affect peripheral vision.
It happens when the macula in the eye’s retina becomes less robust. The most common form of AMD is dry macular degeneration, characterized by the development of small yellow deposits called drusen underneath the retina. The other type of AMD is wet macular degeneration, which is less common. It develops when abnormal blood vessels grow and leak serum under the retina.
The best approach to stop macular degeneration is to contact your eye doctor Ottawa for routine eye exams. As part of your diet, consuming leafy green vegetables, blueberries, and seafood can help lower your risk.
Over time, diabetes causes damage to tiny blood vessels all over the body, including the eyes. If these vessels swell, leak, or grow abnormal new ones, they can steal your vision.
Leaking blood causes fluid to build up in areas of the retina called macular edema. It interferes with clear central vision, especially for reading and other detailed work. Fluid can also bleed into the vitreous, a clear jelly-like substance that fills your eye. If this happens, you may see floating spots or streaks resembling cobwebs.
Strict blood sugar management can delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy and prevent it from worsening. Eye doctors can inject medicines into the eye that shrink leaking blood vessels and make them stop bleeding. They can also use lasers or surgery to treat severe retinopathy.
The retina is a layer at the back of the eye that converts light into signals the brain interprets as vision. It contains special light-sensing cells called rods and cones. These cells degenerate and die due to a series of genetic illnesses known as retinitis pigmentosa, which causes progressive vision loss.
The symptoms vary from person to person and depend on which gene mutation causes RP, but may include blind spots in peripheral (side) vision, tunnel vision, or difficulty seeing colors. In some cases, RP is part of other genetic syndromes and can also lead to hearing loss and bone degeneration.
Genetic testing can help identify the gene change that triggers RP and help your eye doctor understand how the disease might progress in your family. This information can guide emerging treatment approaches and clinical trials.
Stargardt disease is an inherited condition that causes progressive central vision loss. The most common type is caused by a change or mutation in the gene called ABCA4. This gene typically helps cells in the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye) clean up or recycle a form of vitamin A used for sight. But when the gene changes, waste products build up in yellowish clumps in the macula, killing the light-sensing cells that make clear central vision possible.
Often, people first notice symptoms of the condition in childhood or early adulthood. Symptoms may include having trouble reading, sitting in the front row in school or other places, needing help writing, or seeing a gray or hazy spot in the center of the vision.