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The Hidden Link Between Your Eyes and Your Health!

Did you know that the eye is the only place in the body where you can physically look inside and see blood vessels?

It’s true! In fact, by looking into your eyes, an ophthalmologist can see the earliest signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and many other medical problems so they can be quickly treated.

It’s just one of the reasons why you should visit an ophthalmologist every year. Here’s another…

“Age increases your risk for eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration, that can leave you struggling to see,” says THIPA Ophthalmologist Lydia Matkovich, M.D. “Visiting an ophthalmologist is the best way to catch these problems early for the best outcome.”

During your visit, your ophthalmologist will dilate your eyes to examine the retina and optic nerve. If there are signs of glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will take a scanning image of the optic nerve and check your visual field.

Is Your Vision at Risk for…

Glaucoma?

“Glaucoma has no symptoms, it’s a silent disease,” says Dr. Matkovich. “And because it affects the peripheral vision, many patients don’t realize they’re suffering until they can no longer see to legally drive. At this point, many patients still insist they see just fine.”

“Usually we reduce eye pressure through medication,” says Dr. Matkovich. “We can slow glaucoma down to the point where it’s almost stopped.” Early detection and treatment is critical, because once glaucoma has advanced, vision loss cannot be reversed.

Macular Degeneration?

“Usually patients with macular degeneration see something right in the center. There’s a spot that’s distorting their vision or blocking it out,” explains Dr. Matkovich. Treatments for macular degeneration include injectable medications and laser surgery. In the early stages, however, the best treatment is vitamins. “Eye vitamins that contain the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene can slow down vision loss,” says Dr. Matkovich. “It’s probably smart to take these vitamins whether you have macular degeneration or not. However, if you’re a smoker, taking beta-carotene will make vision problems worse.”

Dry Eye or Cataracts?

“In dry eyes, vision seems intermittently blurry, especially after blinking,” explains Dr. Matkovich. “But with cataracts, the area that is blurry is static and keeps getting worse over time.” Fortunately, both dry eye and cataracts are easily treated. Dr. Matkovich often recommends special eye drops for dry eye. For cataracts, the only treatment is surgical removal of the natural lens of the eye, replaced by an implanted lens.

Categories: Healthy Living

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