Eye Disease Management

At Pittsburgh Primary Eyecare, we diagnose and manage ocular diseases such as Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataracts.

Glaucoma - Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage your optic nerve. Glaucoma is especially damaging as your optic nerve carries the information your retina receives to your brain and provides vision. The damage from glaucoma is usually caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. While this disease can occur at any age, it’s usually more common in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over 60.

Some common signs and symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Redness in your eye
  • Sudden vision disturbance
  • Blurred vision

Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive age-related condition that affects your central vision when natural aging causes damage to your macula. Untreated macular degeneration blurs your vision and is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 55.

There are 2 main types of macular degeneration:

  • Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease and develops in 3 stages, early, intermediate, and late. Dry AMD progresses over several years, and while there is no cure, prevention methods such as monitoring your smoking habits and a healthy diet can help manage the disease.
  • Wet AMD is the less common form of the disease but is more severe. Wet AMD symptoms appear quickly and worsen rapidly and occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of your eyes and damage your macula. Like dry AMD, monitoring your diet and smoking habits can help manage the disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy - Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that only affects diabetics. It occurs when the fragile vascular network that supplies the retina – the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that helps us see – begins to swell or leak. During the beginning stages of the disease, there may be no noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to have your eyes checked by your eye doctor at least once a year if you have diabetes.

Once symptoms of diabetic retinopathy do develop, they can include:

dark or black spots in your visual field, or blurry vision, and it increases over time. This is a result of bleeding at the back of the eye, which prevents a clear image from being transmitted from the retina to the brain.

Cataracts - A cataract is a dense, cloudy area that can form in the normally clear lens of your eye. A cataract begins forming when proteins in your eye form clumps that may prevent the lens from sending clear images to your retina. The appearance of a cataract can make it harder for you to perform daily activities such as reading or driving a vehicle.

Common signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Double vision
  • An increased sensitivity to glare

Cataracts may develop slowly, and you may not notice the vision loss until they are at an advanced stage. Regular eye exams can help monitor vision concerns and assist with early detection. There are a few underlying causes of cataracts to be aware of, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Diseases like diabetes
  • Previous eye trauma

Cataracts can progressively worsen and eventually affect your ability to perform daily activities such as reading or driving safely. When this occurs, cataract surgery is the only option to remove them.

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