Eye Disease Management
Optometrists don’t just test your eyes and match you with a prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses. Our optometrists at Dr. Coward and Associates also evaluate patients for various types of eye disease, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. We also oﬀer eye disease management.
Common Conditions We Manage
Macular degeneration is a condition that can result in central vision loss. Vitamin supplements and lifestyle changes can help to slow the progression. In more severe cases, patients can be referred to ophthalmologists for further management.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition associated with poorly controlled diabetes. Fragile, leaky blood vessels form in the eye and can cause retinal ﬂuid and bleeding, which can result in visual loss. Your optometrist will perform a comprehensive dilated eye examination to assess for damage from diabetic retinopathy and will update your family doctor on your condition.
Cataracts are an age-related clouding of the lens of the eye, which can result in blurry vision and glare while driving at night. When the cataracts begin to aﬀect your driving or ability to do daily tasks, your optometrist will send a referral to a local ohthalmologist to have them assessed for removal.
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which there is damage to your optic nerve, oGen as a result of high eye pressure. This damage leads to a permanent loss of your side vision. Optometrists are able to treat uncomplicated glaucoma, and can refer atypical glaucoma to the appropriate specialists.
Managing Your Eye Condition
The ﬁrst step to managing your eye condition is to diagnose it. Usually, this consists of the eye doctor determining your best corrected vision. If your vision is not signiﬁcantly improved with corrective lenses, there is oGen an underlying ocular health issue.
A large microscope known as a slit lamp is ﬁrst used to assess the front surface of your eyes for any ocular surface problems, such as dry eye, and to evaluate the lens of your eye to look for cataracts. Your eye pressure is taken as a way to evaluate your eyes for glaucoma. A special magnifying lens is used to assess your macula (center of vision) and optic nerve (the cable that connects your eye to the brain) for any damage that may result in visual loss. If you opt to have a dilated ocular health exam, your peripheral retina is also assessed for any damage.
Ocular treatments vary depending on the diagnosed condition. Your optometrist will always do their best to help you achieve and maintain the clearest vision possible.