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Diagnosis, Treatment, & Management of Eye Diseases in Washington

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Regular Eye Exams Let Your Optometrist Detect Problems Sooner

Undetected and untreated eye disease can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness. Luckily, most vision-compromising conditions (including eye disease) can be diagnosed in their early stages using a comprehensive eye exam even if you have yet to develop any symptoms.

Regular eye exams allow your optometrist to detect eye diseases and other conditions sooner, which means you can begin treatment right away to safeguard your eye health and vision.

Your vision is one of your most valuable possessions; don’t put it at risk. Book your next eye exam today.

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Common Eye Conditions & Diseases

Some eye conditions and diseases occur more often than others and, if left untreated, could compromise both your vision and eye health.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a serious condition that damages the small, central portion of your retina (called the macula). If AMD isn’t treated, your central vision is slowly lost. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans, with approximately 6.5% of Americans over 40 already exhibiting early signs.

If AMD is allowed to progress, your central vision will slowly deteriorate until it’s completely lost.

There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

  • Dry AMD occurs when small lipid deposits (called drusen) accumulate under the macula, slowly damaging its delicate, light-sensitive cells. Dry AMD is the more common form of AMD and is typically less severe than wet AMD. There is currently no cure for dry AMD, but research has shown that a proper diet rich in certain nutrients can slow its progression. Unfortunately, any vision loss that has already occurred as a result of AMD is permanent.
  • Wet AMD is caused by new blood vessels growing under the macula. These new blood vessels are often weak and prone to leaking blood and other fluids. This damages the macula’s delicate cells. Though wet AMD is less common than dry AMD, it’s also more debilitating. Though there is currently no cure for wet AMD, this condition can be managed using intraocular injections. The injections can halt wet AMD’s progression, but aren’t able to restore any vision that has already been lost.

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For many of us, cataracts will be part of the aging process. Cataracts are painless and form when the proteins in our natural lenses become cloudy and opaque. Depending on how large your cataracts are, they may impair your vision and make it difficult to go about your day.

Cataract symptoms include:

  • Hazy or blurry vision
  • Muted color vision
  • Increased sensitivity to glare, especially during nighttime driving

Though many of us will develop cataracts at some point, there are several factors that can increase your chances of developing cataracts at a younger age. These include smoking, UV exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, and diabetes.

Depending on the severity of your cataracts, your optometrist may suggest workarounds, such as magnifying aids for close activities or anti-glare glasses for driving. However, if your cataracts are too severe for workarounds to be effective, you will likely need cataract surgery.

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Conjunctivitis, commonly called pink eye, occurs when the conjunctiva (the thin, transparent membrane that covers the white of your eye) becomes irritated and inflamed. This inflammation causes the blood vessels to dilate, tinting the white of your eye pink and giving pink eye its name.

Conjunctivitis has three main forms: allergic, bacterial, and viral.

  • Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergens, such as pet dander, dust, and pollen. This form of conjunctivitis isn’t contagious, and can typically be controlled using antihistamines.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis is triggered by a bacterial infection and, if it’s particularly severe, may require antibiotics. This form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so you should avoid crowded public areas until your symptoms have completely subsided, or you may infect others.
  • Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, just like the common cold. This form of conjunctivitis rarely requires treatment, but it’s still highly contagious. As such, you should stay home from work or school until your symptoms have completely subsided, or you may infect your co-workers or classmates.

A stray floater or two isn’t cause for concern, and most of us probably have a couple already. Floaters occur when tiny pieces of collagen (a type of protein) float around freely in the vitreous fluid inside the eye. As we age, our vitreous fluid loses viscosity, which allows the floaters to move about more freely, making them more noticeable.

While the occasional floater may be no cause for concern, a sudden shower of floaters may be a sign that your retina has become torn or detached, particularly if you are also experiencing flashes of light.

Retinal tears and detachments are incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention. If left untreated, they can lead to permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma is a serious condition that has many different root causes and occurs when the optic nerve is damaged. The most common cause of glaucoma is high intraocular pressure, but the optic nerve can become damaged even when your eye’s internal pressure is within normal range (a condition called normal-tension glaucoma).

Our optic nerves are responsible for transmitting visual data from our eyes to our brains. When it becomes damaged, it can result in permanent vision loss or even blindness.

Glaucoma can be treated, but the success of the treatment depends heavily on early detection. To help safeguard you from glaucoma-induced vision loss, all eye exams performed at Vision Source D.C. Focus Eyecare Center include glaucoma testing. These advanced diagnostic techniques include Non-Contact Tonometry (commonly called the air puff test), and Goldmann Applanation Tonometry.

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How to Find Us?

We’re located in Northwest D.C. to care for all your eye health needs.

Our Address

1776 G Street NW, Suite 104
Washington, D.C 20006

Contact Information

Phone: (202) 298-6878

Hours of Operations

Monday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Wednesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday
8:30am – 1:00pm
Sunday
Closed

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