About Our Eye Health Services
Treating a Wide Array of Issues
At Auker Eye Institute, we’ve dealt with every type of eye health issue anyone could experience. We’ve treated thousands of patients and would be happy to help you. Contact us for a general eye health evaluation here.
Common Eye Conditions
Narrow-angle glaucoma is much rarer and is very different from open-angle glaucoma in that eye pressure usually goes up very fast. There may be a feeling of fullness in the eye along with reddening, swelling and blurred vision. If not treated promptly, this glaucoma produces blindness in the affected eye in 3 to 5 days. Contact us for a general eye health evaluation here.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.
When blood sugar levels are too high for extended periods of time, it can damage capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that supply blood to the retina.
In people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may leak fluids or bleed, causing edema (swelling) of the retina, distorting vision. In an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, these vessels can close off, called ischemia. The retina responds by growing new blood vessels on the surface of the retina. This is called neovascularization. However, these new blood vessels are abnormal and do not supply the retina with proper blood flow, which can lead to scarring or cause retinal detachment.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy?
People with all types of diabetes (type 1, type 2, and gestational) are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Risk increases the longer a person has diabetes. Between 40 and 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy, although only about half are aware of it. Women who develop or have diabetes during pregnancy may have rapid onset or worsening of diabetic retinopathy. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, click here to schedule your comprehensive eye examination.
Flashes & Floaters
Symptoms of Dry Eyes:
Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- A sensation of having something in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
- Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
- Blurred vision or eye fatigueSchedule an appointment for your dry eye evaluation and treatment if you’ve had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes.
What Causes Dry Eye Disease?
Dry Eye is a chronic disease that can be caused by advanced age, contact lens wear, certain medications, eye diseases, other medical conditions, or environmental factors. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes. One type of Chronic Dry Eye disease is caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation such as blepharitis.
Other conditions that may cause dry eyes are:
- The natural aging process, especially menopause.
- Side effects of certain medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, birth control pills, and antidepressants. These medications can reduce tear production causing dry eyes.
- Diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as diabetes, thyroid problem, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Structural problems with the eyelids that don’t allow them to close properly.
How are dry eyes treated?
The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.
Adding tears Eyedrops called artificial tears are similar to your own tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. Preservative-free eyedrops are available for people who are sensitive to the preservatives in artificial tears. If you need to use artificial tears more than six times a day, preservative-free brands may be better for you.
Conserving tears. Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. This is called Punctal Plugs. Or a surgical procedure can permanently close the tear ducts. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
Increasing tear production. Some people may find dry-eye relief by supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found naturally in foods like oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies) and flax seeds. Ask us if you should take supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and, if so, in what form and dosage.
Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation. Dr. Auker might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.
Tears evaporate like any other liquid. You can take steps to prevent evaporation. In winter, when indoor heating is in use, a humidifier or a pan of water on the radiator adds moisture to dry air. Wraparound glasses may reduce the drying effect of the wind. A person with dry eye should avoid anything that may cause dryness, such as an overly warm room, hair dryers or wind. Smoking is especially bothersome.
Schedule an appointment for your dry eye evaluation and treatment if you’ve had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes.
Insurance Treatment of many eye conditions is covered by insurance, including Medicare. If you have questions about what is covered by your private healthcare insurance, contact your plan provider, or provide us with a copy of your insurance card and we’ll check for you. We accept most major medical insurance plans. Please call us at 925-931-1090 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.