Eye Diseases


Woman getting an eye exam in Portland at Foster Vision

Eye diseases that were once thought to be unstoppable can now be defeated, often by relatively simple methods. However, avoiding serious vision loss or blindness still requires the diseases to be treated early on, before damage has progressed too far. Ideally, treatment will begin even before the patient consciously notices a difference in his or her sight. The key to success is therefore the early detection of such sight-threatening diseases.

How Are Eye Diseases Detected Early Enough to Save Sight?

This is done by a comprehensive eye exam done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. In a comprehensive exam, the pupils are dilated by special drops so that the doctor can see all the way to the retinas of the eyeballs. For this reason, this type of exam is sometimes called a "dilated eye exam."

Once the pupils are dilated, they will stay at their widest size even as the doctor shines an examination light into the eye. Then, the retina is checked for conditions such as macular degeneration, detachment, edema, and similar issues. If you have diabetes, the doctor will also check specifically for diabetic retinopathy as well as the other problems.

Glaucoma is also tested for during a comprehensive eye exam. The pressure inside the eye is measured to make sure it is normal. The doctor will also look at your optic nerve and for cataracts while your eye is dilated to see if any problems are visible. This part of the test is simple – usually, all he needs to do is take a look.

What Treatments Are There?

This depends on which, if any, diseases are detected. Most of the time, medicated eye drops are used to control problems early on. The specifics depend on which eye disease is being treated. Glaucoma treatment may involve drops to make the fluids of the eye thinner or stop the eye from producing as much fluid volume. For diabetic retinopathy, some medications are used to stop the proliferation of blood vessels in the retina. These examples, however, are just the start of what can be done. Your doctor will recommend the best options for your case.

Thanks to the success of early treatment, the best thing you can do to protect your sight is to get eye exams on the schedule recommended by your eye doctor. Then, treatment can begin as soon as issues are detected. Even if you already have lost some vision to eye disease, you should get treated for it right away. This will often prevent further vision loss.

Other Services: 


Cataracts FAQ


Keratoconus FAQ

Myopia Control

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