Your eyes are a vulnerable part of your body. Not only are they relatively unprotected from the outside world, they are also subject to a number of diseases and disorders that can cause full or partial blindness. At Choate Eye Associates, we treat a wide range of eye conditions. Many disorders that once ended in blindness can now be cured. Others, though incurable, can be managed. With the aid of our doctors, you can enjoy relatively clear vision and a full life for years to come. If you have noticed a change in your eye sight, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Early detection is often the most effective way to save your vision. To learn more about the causes of blindness, contact our Nashville practice today.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. However, in the United States and other developed countries, the condition is easily treatable. Cataracts develop when proteins accumulate on the natural lens inside your eye. As the clusters grow, your vision will become cloudy. You may also experience glare, halos, and difficulty with night vision. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective medical procedures. Your doctor will remove the old lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). After surgery, you should enjoy clear vision.
Macular degeneration is the primary cause of blindness among American seniors. Dry macular degeneration occurs when the macula, the central section of your retina, starts to thin. Yellow deposits called drusen will also gather on the back of your eye. In rare cases, you may also develop wet macular degeneration. This disease occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop in your eyes. The vessels leak blood, damaging the sensitive macular tissue. There is currently no cure for wet or dry macular degeneration. However, proper care can slow the progression of the disease.
Glaucoma is a relatively common condition that causes the pressure inside your eye to build up. Left untreated, the disease can cause lasting damage to your optic nerve. However, if glaucoma is diagnosed in time, your doctor can easily save your vision. In most cases, Drs. Choate and Goldsmith will use medicated eye drops to treat glaucoma. If pressure continues to increase, they can also perform safe, effective surgery.
Retinal detachment typically comes on suddenly. If you do not seek treatment in time, it can lead to permanent blindness. This condition is often the result of aging, though it can also occur because of eye trauma, diabetes, or another eye disorder. In most cases, retinal detachment is preceded by certain common symptoms. These may include an increase in flashes and floaters, as well as a curtain-like shadow coming down over your field of vision. If you notice these symptoms, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Our doctors can often reattach your retina using lasers or freezing techniques.
Uncontrolled blood sugar can block the blood vessels leading to the back of your eye. In response, your blood vessels will weaken, leaking blood into the surrounding tissues. In severe cases, new blood vessels may develop. However, because they are abnormal, they, too, will start to leak blood. Your retina may begin to swell or even separate from the surrounding tissues. Early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is one of the best ways to prevent lasting damage to your eyes. Therefore, routine eye exams become especially important if you are suffering from diabetes. Typically, we will first try to treat the condition by helping you to control your weight and blood sugar. We also offer more advanced treatments, should they become necessary.
Routine eye exams are especially important if you are a senior or you have another systemic health concern. If you have neglected your routine visits, or if you have the symptoms of one of these conditions, contact us immediately for a consultation.