OCULAR DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Many diseases of the eye develop without obvious symptoms. Using routine dilated eye exams and advanced diagnostic technology, Dr. Chiu can diagnose diseases in their early stages, before they can harm your vision. Some common ocular diseases that can be detected by routine eye exams include Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and Cataracts.
Glaucoma affects 250,000 Canadians. The second-most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 65, Glaucoma manifests in several different forms, all of which are characterized by damage to the optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain.
Glaucoma is often asymptomatic, with no discomfort or loss of vision experienced. If left untreated, it causes progressive loss of peripheral vision. Regular eye exams are the single-most important means of glaucoma prevention.
AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)
Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD is the leading cause of adult blindness in Canada. AMD is three-times more prevalent than glaucoma. An estimated one million Canadians have some form of AMD, and individuals over-50s account for most cases. However, that statistic is likely to be much higher considering the large number of undiagnosed cases. Prevalence of AMD is expected to worsen given the aging population and increasing longevity.
Symptoms of AMD are:
Blurred or fuzzy vision
Straight lines appearing wavy or crooked
Decreased contrast sensitivity (for example, black coffee in a black cup, grey writing on a black background)
Blind spot in the center of vision
Increased difficulty distinguishing colors
Difficulty seeing over longer distances
Contact us immediately if you have any concerns.
Diabetes is the Leading Cause of Blindness in North America
Diabetes affects the entire body, including the eyes, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Due to the increased risk of vision-related problems associated with diabetes, patients must have eye examinations at least once per year. Over time, the high blood sugar experienced by diabetics damages the blood vessels of the retina, causing leakage. And as blood and fluid leak into the retina, it starts to swell, resulting in blurred or distorted vision.
Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
Dr Chiu uses advanced retinal imaging technology to help detect diabetic changes at the earliest possible stage, before they cause permanent damage to vision. Some diabetic patients may also require more frequent checkups, depending on individual cases.
A cataract is a painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which sits behind the iris and pupil, that typically occurs as we age. A cloudy lens blocks light from the retina and interferes with vision; the effect is similar to looking through a dirty car windshield. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 40 and are also the most common cause of blindness in the world. There is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent them, and they may form in one or both eyes, at the same time or at different times.
Symptoms of cataracts are as follow:
· Blurred vision that cannot be corrected with a change in your glasses prescription
· Ghost images or double vision that does not go away when you cover one eye
· Glare/halos from sunlight and artificial light, especially at night from oncoming headlights when driving
· Difficulty reading in lower light conditions, colours appear faded and less vibrant.
Common causes of cataracts:
· Congenital (present at birth)
· Natural aging
· Trauma/injury to the eye
· Long-term use of certain medications
· Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, a diet low in antioxidants
· Excessive exposure to the sun.
Fortunately, cataracts can be removed and your vision can be restored. Surgery is usually recommended when your cataracts are interfering with your daily activities. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens removed and replaced with a clear artificial implant.
Annual eye exams are the best way to detect cataracts at their earliest stages and monitor their developments. Dr Chiu will help you determine when it is time to be referred for cataract surgery, and what procedures and technology will bring you the best results for your situation.