Protect Your Vision, Protect Your Health
They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but they’re also a window into your overall health and wellness. Regular eye exams can do so much more than uncover your glasses prescription—they can reveal more serious eye health complications.
Many eye diseases can be managed, particularly if they’re diagnosed early. Keep your eye health in the hands of our dedicated, passionate eye care team.
Common Eye Diseases & Conditions
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded. They’re a common condition and tend to occur as we age—about half of Americans over 80 have had cataracts. Cataracts can also be brought on by another eye condition, like glaucoma, diabetes, or an eye injury. They can even be present at birth (these are called congenital cataracts).
Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Blurry vision
- Clouded vision
- Dim or faded color vision
- Poor night vision
- Light sensitivity
Some risk factors for cataracts are:
- Tobacco or alcohol use
- Family history of cataracts
- UV damage from sun exposure
- An injury
- Certain medications (like steroids)
Cataracts can be seen by your optometrist through a slit lamp exam or retinal imaging. Mild cataracts can be treated with an updated glasses prescription, and more advanced cataracts can be treated with a very safe, routine, and effective surgery.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
The macula is the center of your retina, a small spot with the crucial job of giving detail to your sight. When the macula is damaged, it results in a loss of central vision.
Age-related macular degeneration manifests with symptoms like:
- Loss of detailed sight
- Distorted shapes
- Wavy and crooked lines
- Weakened color vision
- Dark spots in the center of the visual field
This disease occurs with age, but other risk factors include:
- Exposure to UV rays
- Lifestyle factors like smoking, poor diet, & lack of exercise
There is no cure for AMD, but it can be managed with a combination of vitamins. Preventative measures like a healthy lifestyle, a nutritious diet, and regular exercise may help prevent AMD’s onset if you know you’re at risk.
There are 2 distinct types of age-related macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Dry AMD is the more common form, making up about 80% of all AMD cases. It involves the build-up of drusen, yellow deposits under the retina made of lipids and proteins. There is currently no way to treat dry AMD.
Wet AMD is a more concerning form of AMD caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina. Leaking blood vessels can damage the inner eye, leading to scarring and more rapid vision loss. There are treatments for wet AMD available.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60.
There are many different types of glaucoma, but the 2 most common types are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Other types of glaucoma include:
- Normal-tension glaucoma
- Congenital glaucoma
- Secondary glaucoma
- Pigmentary glaucoma
- Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma
- Traumatic glaucoma
- Neovascular glaucoma
- Irido corneal endothelial syndrome (ICE)
- Uveitic glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. The disease has been dubbed “the silent thief of sight” because it has no symptoms until the damage is quite far along.
With open-angle glaucoma, fluid builds up in the eye, increasing pressure, even though the drainage angle remains open. Since there are so few noticeable symptoms, regular eye exams are critical in detecting glaucoma early.
Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma can come on fast, with painful symptoms. This type of glaucoma occurs when the drainage in the eye is blocked, and intraocular pressure increases quickly.
Warning signs of an angle-closure glaucoma attack include:
- Severe pain in the eye
- Sudden intense headaches
- Eye redness
- A sudden decrease in vision
- The appearance of halos or rainbows
Angle-closure glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. Seek help immediately.
Our doctors at StylEyes test for glaucoma using a Goldmann applanation tonometer. This test determines intraocular pressure, which can give us clues to your eye health.
Any damage to the optic nerve that’s occurred due to glaucoma can’t be reversed, but there are treatments that can lower the pressure in the eye, such as:
- Eye drops
- Oral medication
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, more commonly called pink eye, describes an irritation of the conjunctiva, the thin layer that covers the white of the eye. There are a number of different types of conjunctivitis, such as:
- Allergic conjunctivitis—caused by allergens in the environment
- Infectious conjunctivitis—caused by a bacterial or viral infection
- Chemical conjunctivitis—caused by irritants
Conjunctivitis symptoms include the namesake red or pink eyes, as well as:
- Eye discharge ranging from clear to pus-like
- Itchy eyes
- Watery, runny eyes
- A foreign-body sensation
- A burning or stinging sensation
- Mild light sensitivity
Conjunctivitis treatment depends on the type of pink eye, but this condition will often run its course on its own. Allergy medication can help with allergic conjunctivitis, and chemical conjunctivitis can be managed by flushing the eyes or using a topical steroid ointment. As for infectious conjunctivitis, prescription antibiotic eye drops can ease the symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis, but there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis can be contagious, and the best way to prevent the spread is to maintain proper eye hygiene. Some tips for good hygiene are:
- Throw out old (or potentially infected) makeup
- Stop wearing contact lenses to give your eyes time to heal
- Don’t touch your eyes
- Wash hands frequently & thoroughly
- Don’t share washcloths or towels
- Use clean linens & change them frequently
Visit your optometrist to make sure there are no complications from your conjunctivitis and to make sure you understand the best treatment for your specific type of conjunctivitis.
Stay Ahead of Eye Problems
Regular eye exams and a good relationship with your optometrist are key parts of maintaining your ocular health. We welcome patients new and old and look forward to serving you and your family on your eye care journey. Visit us to keep an eye on your vision.
Wanna see what we’re all about?
Our practice is located in the same building complex as Noodles & Company and Sleep Number. We also have free parking in front of our office. If you have any questions prior to your visit, please give us a call!
- 6630 Mills Civic Parkway Suite 6120
- West Des Moines, IA 50266
- Phone: 515-225-6447
- Email: [email protected]
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
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