Serving Sutherlin, OR
Dr. Palm has extensive experience in age-related eye diseases. Have you
been diagnosed with an eye condition that you'd like to learn more about? From glaucoma to dry eye, we have several educational videos that may help you better understand your recent diagnosis. If you do not see your diagnosis here, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide you with additional information!
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Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. Because this disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The two main causes of AMD are the dry and wet form.
This disease is almost never a totally blinding condition, but it can be a source of severe visual impairment. Our doctors recommend a complete eye exam every 6 to 12 months, depending on the progression of the disease.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication that affects the eyes. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). Many times, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms, or only mild vision problems. Untreated, it can eventually cause blindness.
The longer you have diabetes, or little control over your blood sugar, the more likely you are to develop this condition. In order to prevent vision loss, careful management of your diabetes is extremely important. If you are a diabetic, our doctors recommend a complete vision exam every 6 to 12 months, depending on the management of your diabetes.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital to good vision. Typically, the damage is caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. The most common form of glaucoma may have no warning signs. Due to the gradual effects of glaucoma, you may not notice a change in vision until the condition has advanced. Vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be regained. Our doctors will check the pressure in your eyes at every complete eye exam.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, our doctors recommend a comprehensive eye exam every 6 to 12 months. Periodically, they may schedule an office visit to check the pressure to ensure it is not elevated. If glaucoma is caught early, further vision loss may be slowed or prevented. However, with a diagnosis of glaucoma, you'll likely need treatment for the rest of your life.
Cataracts are defined as a progressive, painless clouding of the natural, internal lens of the eye. Cataracts block light and can cause blindness if not treated. The most common symptom of cataracts is blurry vision. Your view may look clouded, foggy, or filmy. As the cataracts worsen, less light reaches the retina, resulting in light and glare sensitivity, and reduced vision when driving at night. Indoor lights that once didn't seem bothersome may now seem too bright or appear to have halos. You may experience double vision and, for some, color vision gradually begins to look faded.
Cataracts are diagnosed at your eye exam; if the vision loss is significant enough, you may need surgery to have it removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The surgery is generally very safe and extremely effective.
Tears are a necessity for our eyes. The eye depends on the constant moisture and lubrication of tears to maintain vision and comfort. Tears are a combination of water, oil, mucus, antibodies, and the special proteins that help resist infection. Our tears are secreted by special glands around the eye. If there is an imbalance in the tear system, a person may begin to experience dry eyes. Sometimes, with excessive dry eye, a person will have tears running down their face, which may seem confusing. The eye sends the distress signal through the nervous system for additional lubrication.
In response, the eye is then flooded with tears to overcompensate for the underlying dryness. There are many causes of dry eye, one of which includes Sjogren's Disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body; its main symptom being excessive dryness throughout the body.
Curious if you suffer from dry eye? Call our office and schedule an appointment today to talk about your symptoms.
Eye floaters are small moving objects that appear in our field of vision. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. These microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina, which appear to you as floaters. Typically, they are especially noticeable when you look at something bright, such as the sky or white paper.
Generally, they do not interfere with your sight, but can get annoying. If a slightly large floater is present in the eye, it may cast a shadow over your vision. This tends to clear up, though, in certain types of light. Most people learn to live with the floaters and ignore them. However, sometimes eye floaters may be a sign of a more serious condition.
We recommend you seek immediate attention if you notice a sudden increase in the number of eye floaters you are experiencing. This is especially important if the floaters are accompanied by flashes of light or loss of vision. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor right away.