A cataract is the clouding of all or a portion of the crystalline lenses inside your eye. Cataracts block and distort light that enters the eye and can cause blurred vision, glare, halos, altered color vision, poor night vision and even double vision. Risk factors for cataracts include: age, family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, long-term sun exposure, long-term steroid use, smoking and eye trauma. Checking for cataracts is part of a comprehensive eye exam at Bensenville Eye Care. In the spirit of cataract prevention, our doctors prescribe top quality UV blocking lenses in our eyewear, discuss smoking cessation and recommend eye-specific vitamins to reduce our patients’ risk of cataracts. Typically, early cataracts can simply be monitored annually. If your cataracts are more advanced, your doctor will discuss your options and possibly refer you to one of our amazing ophthalmologists for a surgical consultation. Our team is happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about this common, life-impacting condition.
Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by progressive damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the tissue in the back of the eye responsible for vision. Specifically, diabetic retinopathy presents as retinal bleeding, swelling, and/or new retinal blood vessel growth. These changes that occur in or on the retina can lead to sudden, permanent vision loss from scarring and/or retinal detachments. The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is to control blood sugar, blood pressure and lipid abnormalities and obtain regular eye examinations for early diagnosis and timely treatment of possible retinal changes. Since there are no warning signs of diabetic retinopathy, any patient with diabetes should have a dilated comprehensive eye exam at least every year to check for signs of these potentially vision-threatening retinal changes. At Bensenville Eye Care, we not only dilate and examine the eyes of our diabetic patients, we also perform non-invasive retinal scans that allow our doctors to see under the surface of the retina to catch any areas that may be at high risk or show early signs of diabetic retinopathy. If retinal changes are detected, they can be treated with medication injections, laser surgery or other types of eye surgeries. Typically, vision lost to diabetic retinal changes cannot be restored, so the key is catching these changes early and before they affect the vision. Our advanced technology, passion for prevention and confidence in early treatment allows our doctors to best care for our patients with diabetes.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause gradual damage to the optic nerve, the pathway that carries visual information from the retina in the eye to the visual centers of the brain. If untreated, glaucoma slowly and irreversibly takes away vision, usually from the periphery first. Often, vision loss goes unnoticed until a significant amount of optic nerve damage has occurred. Patients with advanced glaucoma can be left with only a central island of vision (tunnel vision). Glaucoma’s specific cause is still unclear, however, known risk factors include: age (40+ yrs old), race (Hispanic & African American), diabetes, long-term steroid use, eye trauma, family history, nearsightedness and elevated intraocular pressure. While most cases of glaucoma are associated with high intraocular pressure, some occur even with normal eye pressure. During your comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will check your eye pressure and more importantly, evaluate your optic nerve health. For any suspicious looking optic nerves or patients with numerous glaucoma risk factors, our doctors at Bensenville Eye Care order a non-invasive, specialized imaging test of the optic nerve which can detect damage even before it impacts the vision. With an early diagnosis and early treatment, you can protect your vision and avoid serious, permanent vision loss from glaucoma. Treatment for glaucoma includes eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery and/or other types of eye surgeries. As is true with most eye diseases, early detection is crucial, so regular annual eye exams are recommended at our office.
Macular degeneration, commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease linked with aging that affects the central vision. It is a painless condition where there is a breakdown of the retinal tissue and/or abnormal retinal blood vessel growth in the macular region (the area in the back of the eye used for fine, detailed central vision). Vision loss occurs from the thinning and damage to the retinal tissue or bleeding, leaking and scarring from the abnormal blood vessels. Risk factors for macular degeneration include: age (50+ yrs old), cigarette smoking, race (Caucasian), a diet low in certain antioxidant nutrients and a family history. A comprehensive eye exam at Bensenville Eye Care checks every patient for signs of macular degeneration. But we don’t stop there. We also perform macular pigment density testing and non-invasive retinal scans to determine the health of the macular tissue. These additional tests provide useful information to help our doctors guide our patients in preventative measures based on their risk factors for macular degeneration. Treatment options for macular degeneration include eye-specific vitamins to support macular health, laser surgery and/or drug injections. Early detection and prevention are essential for this prevalent disorder.