Maintaining healthy vision is incredibly important to living an overall healthy and happy life. Northside Eyecare takes pride in helping people around Evansville have the best vision possible. Having an eye disease screening should be something you may need to consider at various points of your life to protect your vision.
A few reasons to consider scheduling an eye disease screening with Northside include:
- You have recently turned 40
- Your family has a history of a certain type of eye disease
- You recently began having problems with your eyesight
- You have noticed a rapid change in your vision
- You were recently injured in the eye
We know that it can be intimidating to have any medical test performed, but our friendly staff and knowledgeable doctors will help make you comfortable during your screening. Early detection is extremely helpful in almost all cases of eye disease. We can check for several different issues that can affect eyesight and other areas of your health.
What to Expect During Your Exam
The eye disease screening will begin with some general health questions about you and your immediate family. It’s important that you answer these questions to the best of your ability so the doctor can properly assist you. There will also be a few questions about your vision history specifically to help get an idea of any problems you may be having.
A few of the questions that we may ask include:
- General health questions about your blood pressure, smoking, medications, etc.
- How well you currently see and if there have been any recent changes
- Previous eye problems including surgeries and injuries
- When was your last eye exam or eye screening
- Does your family have a history of eye related health issues
After we have this information we will begin to examine the external parts of your eyes including the iris, pupils, eyelids, and eyelashes. Then the doctor will dilate your pupils which will allow a better look at the inside of your eyes. This process is where subtle changes can be detected leading to the early detection of any issues. Depending on certain aspects, such as your age, a test of your eye’s fluid pressure may be done to check for glaucoma.
Here are a few of the things that can be detected with an eye disease screening:
- Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the white of your eye and the inside of your eyelid. Pink eye can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or even allergens. Symptoms include eye redness, eye discharge/crusty eyelashes, and mild swelling of the eyelids. Pink eye is highly contagious, so it’s important to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes to prevent infection.
- Macular Degeneration – Macular degeneration is a serious eye condition caused by the breakdown of the eye’s macula (part of the retina). It is frequently caused by aging, but factors like family history, hypertension, and smoking can increase your risk for macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can cause symptoms like blurry spots in your vision, difficulty recognizing faces, lack of color brightness, and objects appearing as different sizes to each eye. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your eye doctor to check for macular degeneration.
- Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a disease that damages to your optic nerve due to too much pressure in the eye. People with diabetes, frequent migraines and hypertension all have higher risk for glaucoma. Glaucoma often has no noticeable symptoms until damage has already been done. Watch for symptoms like blank spots in your vision, eye pain, seeing halos around lights, and headache/nausea. It’s important to catch glaucoma as early as possible to limit the harm caused by the disease.
- Cataracts – Cataracts are a condition that usually afflict people as they get older. This condition occurs when extra proteins build up on the lens of the eye and cause it to harden. This makes it more difficult for the eye to focus light and you end up with cloudy vision. While age is frequently the culprit behind cataracts, genetics, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure can also play a role. If you notice cloudy vision or halos around lights, visit your eye doctor. Cataracts can usually be corrected by a minor surgery.
- Eye Allergies – Eye allergies are a common and irritating problem for many people. Swollen, itchy, red eyes are caused by allergens entering your eye and activating its natural defense system. Common outdoor allergens include grass pollen, tree pollen, and ragweed. Avoid going outside if possible on days when the pollen count is high. You can help reduce indoor allergens like dust and mold by dusting your house frequently and cleaning air filters. If you struggle with itchy, burning, watery eyes or sensitivity to light, your eye doctor can help.
- Foreign Bodies in the Eye – Getting a foreign body in your eye, such as a speck of dirt or dust, is annoying and uncomfortable. While most of the time it’s a harmless annoyance, it’s important to cleanse your eye carefully to avoid damage. If you get a minor irritant in your eye, flushing your eye with water will usually get it out. Be careful not to rub your eye as it can cause the foreign body to scratch the surface of your eye. If you get a large and/or sharp foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of glass, seek emergency medical attention immediately to remove the object.
- Eye Infections – Our eyes are exposed to a lot of germs and bacteria on a daily basis, leaving them vulnerable to infections. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites can cause a number of different types of eye infections. Eye infections can also often accompany other health problems. Common symptoms of eye infections include: redness, itching, crusty or swollen eyelids, discharge, sensitivity to light, and watery eyes. To prevent eye infections, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes (especially with dirty hands), clean your contact lenses thoroughly and frequently, and don’t share makeup with others.
- Dry Eye – Dry eye is another common condition that affects many people. Dry eye is caused by a variety of factors, including: age, windy environments, prescription medications, and certain autoimmune diseases. Other people at higher risk include postmenopausal women, contact lens wearers, and people who look at computer screens for long periods. Dry eye is most frequently treated with artificial tears. If there is an environmental factor causing your dry eye, you can try to adjust it if possible. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in some fish and flax seed, have also been found to help some people suffering from dry eye.
- Eye Strain – As people spend more and more time looking at screens, eye strain becomes a bigger problem. Just like any muscle, our eye muscles can get tired and feel strained. In addition to digital eye strain from looking at screens, these muscles can be worn out by driving, watching TV, or reading for long periods without a break. Watch for symptoms like headaches, neck and back aches, eye twitching, blurry vision, and lightheadedness. If resting your eyes doesn’t reduce these symptoms, visit your eye doctor. Prevent eye strain by taking frequent breaks while using a screen and lower the brightness whenever possible.
Northside Eyecare has the tools and the experience to help detect many different eye diseases and maintain your vision. Don’t wait if you are experiencing trouble with your vision or having pain in your eye. Schedule an appointment for your eye disease screening with our helpful staff today. Our phone number is 812-401-7777.