Scripps Health: FAQs About Common Eye Diseases


– [Karim] The difference between ophthalmology and optometry. These two specialties are highly
educated groups of people. They’re all, both of them, are doctors. And ophthalmologists that
went to medical school, then that specialized in eyes, and eye surgery. Optometrists, they also did
an under-grad and they went to optometry school, where they
can treat and diagnose all eye diseases and, more and
more, they are doing more medical treatment and we actually work in a wonderful harmony with
optometry in our division. Half of our patients
are cataract patients, and since anyone over fifty-five,
sixty, the lens starts to cloud up a little bit. So, eventually they get
to the point where they fail to DMV test for example, or they have problems reading
or working or doing their regular daily activities. Another common problem is glaucoma, and there are many different
kinds of glaucoma. A common one is described as
a silent thief of the sight, meaning a patient feels nothing,
notices nothing, meanwhile, slowly the vision is going
away, and that’s what makes it important after the age
of fifty or sixty to have regular, yearly, eye exams. Macular degeneration is
another disease that can affect elderly patients. Many times it is in the family. As we grow older, many of us
will have tendency for it. There have been a lot of
advancements the last few years for that disease and many times
it can be controlled well. Some chronic illnesses
can bring up cataracts a little earlier. Smoking can bring up
cataracts a little earlier. Taking systemic steroids can do that. Living a healthy lifestyle helps. Glaucoma, many times, it is
part of a family history. But staying healthy always helps fight any other eye disease better. Floaters are little
particles in the eyeball, in the jelly part of the eyeball. In a way, if you look for
them, you’re gonna find them. If you go look at a white
wall, at a blue sky, and move your eyes, you’re
gonna find things moving. They are common, but some
people notice sudden presence of a lot of floaters and especially accompanied with flashes of light or a curtain covering part of your vision. They need to have their eyes checked asap.

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