Prevent, Detect, & Manage Eye Diseases
Taking care of your vision health is a lot like taking care of the rest of your health: good nutrition and exercise habits, plus disease management and regular visits to your doctor will make all the difference.
Our comprehensive eye exams can help detect eye diseases before or after you notice symptoms, and we’ll provide a treatment or management plan as needed.
Common Eye Diseases & Conditions
Here’s an overview of the eye diseases, conditions, and infections we see most often at Old South Optometry.
Glaucoma describes a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, typically due to increased pressure in the eye. It’s a progressive disease that can begin without any symptoms and is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada.
The most common type of glaucoma, called open-angle glaucoma, has no early symptoms but eventually causes peripheral vision loss.
We can test your eye pressure (intraocular pressure) using specialized equipment, including i-Care, Goldman and Perkins tonometry, and an automated non-contact tonometer (NCT). Despite high eye pressure being a major risk factor for glaucoma, a in-depth assessment of the health of the optic nerve using OcT technology , a fundus examination and automated perimetry are all necessary to diagnose glaucoma. Treatments to slow or prevent the loss of vision include eye drops, oral medication, laser treatment, or a combination.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in North America for people over 55. It affects the macula, which is the part of your retina responsible for your central vision that you use for recognizing faces, driving, reading, and other daily tasks.
AMD is generally symptom-free at first, but an eye exam can detect it. As it progresses, it results in blurred or distorted central vision, sometimes a bit like dirt that can’t be blinked away, and the loss of some colour vision. It can also cause straight lines to look distorted, so we use something called an Amsler grid to help diagnose AMD.
Treatment will depend on the type of AMD but may include vitamins and lifestyle changes including smoking cessation, or medication injections.
Cataracts are a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. They happen to nearly everyone as they age, especially after the age of 80. Symptoms can arise quickly or take many years to appear and can include: blurry or foggy vision, decreased night vision, muted colour vision, the sense that there’s a filmy layer over your eye, or light seeming overly bright.
Keratoconus is a progressive disease that distorts the cornea, resulting in poor vision that often can’t be fully corrected with typical glasses or contact lenses. It generally arises in the late teen years but can develop later.
We offer specialty rigid gas permeable and scleral contact lenses for our patients with keratoconus, including specialized fitting sessions.
If you find your eyes are inflamed, red, or pink, with burning, discharge, or tears, these could be signs of an eye infection called conjunctivitis. Contact your eye doctor immediately if you think you have an eye infection.
There are 3 types of conjunctivitis:
Infectious: Caused by bacteria or a virus, this form of conjunctivitis is highly contagious and typically spreads from one eye to the other. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotics, the viral type cannot. Your doctor may suggest steroid eye drops and will advise that you isolate while contagious to avoid spreading the germs.
Allergic: This non-contagious type of conjunctivitis can be seasonal, from pollen or grasses, or it may occur year-round due to allergens like pet dander. Talk to your doctor about treating allergies with antihistamines.
Chemical: Chemical conjunctivitis is a reaction to chemicals, such as air pollution or chlorine in a swimming pool. For minor cases, flushing the eye with clean water can help, but more serious cases require immediate medical attention.
Other Eye Conditions and Symptoms
Flashes & Floaters
Occasional flashes and floaters are common as we age as a result of changes to the vitreous (gel-like substance) in our eyes. But when flashes or floaters appear suddenly, in large amounts, or disrupt our vision, they could be a sign of something more serious, such as retinal detachment.
Contact your eye doctor right away if you’re concerned about new vision symptoms.
Low vision is vision that can’t be corrected with a normal glasses prescription or surgery. People with low vision need to adapt their lifestyle to their changed vision and use visual aids.
In older adults, low vision can be a result of an eye disease, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. It can also result from an eye injury or brain changes, including a stroke.
Low vision isn’t a natural part of aging. Your eye doctor can diagnose the cause of low vision during a comprehensive eye exam and can advise you on treatment and visual aids that can help you live more comfortably. Book your appointment today.
We are conveniently located in South London, at the southwest corner of Wharncliffe Rd S & Emery St W.
- 393 Wharncliffe Rd S
- London, Ontario N6J 2M3