Early Detection and Diagnosis

In addition to eye exams, contact lens fittings and Lasik co-management, we also diagnose and manage disease and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.Our optometrists work closely with primary care physicians, other health care providers and specialists to coordinate the very best in eye care for our patients.

We specialize in screening for treating, and managing the following conditions

ARMD

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD or AMD for short) is a painless condition that results in mild to severe degeneration of the macula ? the small part of the eye's retina that is responsible for central vision. This deterioration can lead to eventual blind spots that can impair vision, making some activities ? like threading a needle or reading ? extremely difficult or impossible. ARMD can have a significant impact on central vision, even blindness, although the peripheral vision is usually maintained.

Typically, ARMD affects older adults, although early onset cases are becoming more common in patients as young as 40. Because of the later onset of the disease, it is difficult to determine if it is hereditary; studies have shown familial patterns of the condition, indicating that there *may* be genetic causes.

DEA DOWNTOWN EYE ASSOCIATES

There are also other potential risk factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. These include:

  • History of hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Light skin and eye colour
  • Lens opacities (cataracts)
  • Both men and women are at risk for this disease.

CATARACTS

A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is located inside the eye behind the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The lens focuses light on the retina. Made of mostly proteins and water, clouding of the lens occurs due to changes in these proteins and lens fibers.

Depending upon its size and location, a cataract can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in people over age 55, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children. By age 80, more than half of all North Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.A cataract can occur in either or both eyes, but it cannot spread from one eye to the other. Typically, the development of cataracts is very slow; often just a byproduct of the aging process. Because of this, many patients are unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision have been so gradual.

Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:

  • Blurred, hazy, or vision
  • Reduced intensity of colours
  • Increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night
  • Increased difficulty seeing at night
  • Change in the eye's refractive error
  • Both men and women are at risk for this disease.