Chronic Eye Disease

Over the years, Dr. Giles and his team have helped hundreds of patients identify, prevent and manage underlying medical and eye issues. Dr Giles will tell you, “an eye exam is not complete without a dilated eye exam”. Why? Because it’s the simplest way to determine if you have a chronic eye disease.

Learn more about the four major eye diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Diabetes Care

Monitoring for retinal changes can help prevent blindness and other diabetic complications.

Did you know there are over 7 million Americans, who are undiagnosed diabetics according to the American Optometric Association, with 12,000 to 24,000 losing their sight, annually. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., today.

Diagnosed diabetics are required to have an annual dilated eye exam. On the other hand, should you be an undiagnosed diabetic, an annual dilated eye exam will identify the issue. Then, with the help of your physician, you can take appropriate steps to minimize the impact on your health.

Glaucoma Care

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States with about 3 million glaucoma cases reported annually. It develops gradually and has few noticeable symptoms. Essentially, glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which broadcasts what we see from the eye to the brain. The most common form of glaucoma increases the fluid pressure inside the eye.

We’ll test for Glaucoma if you:

  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Take medications that increase the pressure in your eyes
  • Have thinner corneas than normal
  • Have chronic eye inflammation
  • Are an African-American over 40 years of age
  • Are over the age of 60

Glaucoma can be managed, but must be diagnosed early. Eyesight lost due to glaucoma cannot be restored.

The focus is on lowering the pressure in your eye with either, medication or surgery. More frequent examinations to monitor progress may be recommended.

Age Related Macular Degeneration

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over 50 years of age. The risk for getting it increases significantly for those over the age of 75 and it is estimated to affect 1.8 million Americans. Other than age and genetics; smoking, diet and increased blood pressure can increase your risk.

The Giles EyeCare team will test for both dry and wet AMD. Atrophic or dry macular degeneration is the most common and represents about 90% of the cases. Exudative or wet macular degeneration accounts for most legal blindness issues.

It’s rare to lose all your sight with age-related macular degeneration but your sight will be compromised. Dr. Giles will offer a variety of treatments to maintain and maybe improve your situation.

Cataracts

Cataracts affect more people combined, than the “big three” eye diseases we discussed earlier. That represents about 22 million people in the U.S. Fortunately, cataracts can be corrected with outpatient surgery that typically lasts an hour.

What are cataracts? It’s a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye according to the American Optometric Association. Cataracts generally develop in people over the age of 55, and if you are over 55, expect Dr. Giles to require a dilated eye exam to test for cataracts.

Immediate surgery is not necessary. The decision to have surgery is driven by how your vision affects your personal safety and the safety of others; your independence; and ability to read computer screens, books or watch television.

Dr. Giles will work with you to determine your readiness for surgery and recommend a trusted ophthamologist.