Understanding Macular Degeneration

As you age, it’s important to be aware of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration most typically affects older folks, although there are rare instances when younger people are impacted. The most common kind is called age-related macular degeneration since it occurs in older adults. Understanding this condition is crucial for early detection and management of macular degeneration in Falls Church, VA.

Two Types of Age-related Macular Degeneration

The macula is a small but crucial part of the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue located at the back of the inner eye. It’s primarily responsible for central vision and color perception. Changes in these two areas of vision are often symptoms of the onset of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.

The two types of AMD are wet and dry:

Dry Macular Degeneration – This form is more common and occurs when the macula thins over time, gradually blurring central vision. It’s characterized by the presence of drusen, which are tiny yellow deposits under the retina.

Wet Macular Degeneration – Less common but more severe, this type happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid or blood, damaging the macula.

Why Does AMD Occur?

There are many reasons why AMD occurs. One is that it is simply a part of the aging process. Like other body parts, the macula ages, as well. A natural deterioration occurs, which is why this condition mainly affects older persons.

Another reason has to do with genetics. If you have a family member with AMD, your risk is higher and you’ll also develop the condition.

If you want to learn how to prevent AMD, you should be aware of lifestyle factors. Excess alcohol consumption, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition all increase your risk for AMD.

When you visit your optometrist in Falls Church, VA, we will check for signs of AMD. Contact us today for your next eye exam appointment.

What to Know About Cataract Surgery

If youroptometrist in Falls Church, VA, has told you that you need cataract surgery, you probably have many questions. At Nova Vision Center, we believe that our patients should be as informed as possible about their vision health. Here is a rundown of what you should know about cataract surgery.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts aren’t one thing. They describe a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This cloudiness is brought on by a clumping together of protein deposits. Cataracts usually develop slowly over a period of years. As the protein deposits grow in number, vision becomes more and more cloudy.

When Should a Person Have Cataract Surgery?

You may live with cataracts for a certain length of time. But you’ll need cataract surgery to restore normal vision when they become problematic. If you find that cloudiness impacts your daily activities, such as driving, cooking, or working, it’s time for surgery.

Does Cataract Surgery Improve Eyesight?

Cataract surgery won’t improve your vision beyond what it was prior to developing cataracts. If you were nearsighted or farsighted before, you’d still be one or the other. Cataract surgery simply clears vision; it doesn’t improve eyesight.

What is the Cataract Surgery Procedure?

One of the misconceptions about cataract surgery is that a cataract is removed. This isn’t the case. In reality, the eye’s lens is replaced with an artificial lens. While this may sound quite surprising, it’s worth noting that cataract surgery has been done millions of times worldwide. It’s considered a safe practice with little to no related problems.

Recovery From Cataract Surgery

Recovery from cataract surgery is typically quick. Most people notice an improvement in their vision within a few days. Complete healing often occurs within several weeks.

Now that you know more about cataract surgery, you’re ready to book yourcataract surgery in Falls Church, VA. We look forward to helping you see clearly once again!

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eye

Dry eye disease is a disorder that affects roughly 20 million Americans, says theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology. Also called dysfunctional tear syndrome, this itchy, irritating condition is caused by inadequate lubrication of the sensitive tissues that cover the eye. Either, your body is not producing enough tears, or the tears are not remaining on the surface of the eye long enough to lubricate it. Fortunately, youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, has solutions.

How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?

Your vision specialist may discover dry eye disease during your routine eye exam. If so, they may perform several additional tests to find out why your eyes are drier than normal. This may mean examining the volume of tears your body is producing or testing the quality of tears produced. They may use special, staining eye drops to find patterns on your corneas or examine the composition of your tears to help them better understand what’s happening.

Once you have a diagnosis of dry eye disease, your eye doctor can recommend a simple course of treatment. Usually, this condition is not difficult or invasive to treat.

Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Prescription or over-the-counter eyedrops may be required to lessen dry eye symptoms. Or, your specialist may prescribe oral medications that stimulate tear production or reduce inflammation in the eyes. Tiny plugs inserted into your tear ducts may help keep tears from draining away too quickly. Tiny inserts that you place in your eyes daily may also be effective. They dissolve beneath the eyelid, acting as a type of artificial tear.

For more help withdry eye disease in Falls Church, VA, call Nova Vision Center to schedule an appointment. Our experienced professionals are happy to sit down with you to discuss treatment options for dry eyes.

What Happens During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Have you ever wondered what a comprehensive eye exam is? Youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, has probably recommended you have one. But what is it, and what does it entail?

Let’s take a look.

What Happens During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Acomprehensive eye exam in Falls Church, VA, is a several-step process. Here is how the process goes.

Step One: Consultation

Your eye doctor will talk with you about your medical history and visual health. They will also ask you about your lifestyle and any concerns you might have. Your eye doctor will use this information to personalize your comprehensive eye exam to best suit your needs.

Step Two: Evaluate Your Visual Health

The eye doctor will then need to test your visual acuity. This will involve having you read an eye chart. Doing so will help determine how well you can see at various distances. Once this is done, they will do a refraction test. This helps the doctor see if you have any refractive issues. The refractive test will show if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or an astigmatism.

Step Three: Intraocular Pressure Checks

This step involves using some advanced technology to examine the internal structures of your eyes. The pressure check will help your doctor see if there are any signs of disease present. For example, glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration.

Step Four: Eye Doctor Recommendations

Your eye doctor will then discuss the findings of your comprehensive dental exam with you. At this point, the doctor will address any concerns they might have and make recommendations for maintaining or improving your vision.

Do You Need an Eye Doctor in Falls Church, VA?

If you need an eye doctor in Falls Church, VA, pleaseContact Nova Vision Center. Don’t take the health of your eyes for granted. Take the first step in maintaining good vision and schedule an appointment today. Your eyesight is irreplaceable, so don’t delay.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a very common condition in America. It occurs when the macula, located in the center of your retina, becomes damaged. Because the macula is responsible for helping you see clear details, such as facial features, macular degeneration can greatly impact your quality of life. Keeping regular appointments with youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, can lead to early diagnosis and better outcomes for patients who have age-related macular degeneration.

Early Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Straight lines that appear wavy
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark or empty spots in vision
  • Problems recognizing familiar faces
  • Difficulty with central vision

Unfortunately, symptoms such as these can greatly impact your quality of life. Left untreated, AMD can lead to severe vision loss. But before you lose your vision, you may lose other abilities, such as your ability to drive or read. This is why it’s so important to keep appointments with your vision specialist, especially as you age. Early diagnosis of AMD can help you protect the vision you have and may prevent your vision from worsening.

What Can Be Done? 

Your eye doctor has interventions that can lessen the damage of AMD. Injections or laser therapy may be helpful. Low-vision devices, such as magnifying lenses, may also be beneficial. While there’s no current cure for age-related macular degeneration, seeking early diagnosis and treatment may preserve the vision you have. It will also help you learn to manage your condition so that it has less negative impact on your daily routine.

Help for AMD in Fall Church, VA

If you need help with symptoms ofAMD in Falls Church, VA, call Nova Vision Center today. Our experienced professionals will be happy to perform a routine eye exam to find out what’s happening with your vision.

When Should I Have a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Diabetes is a condition that affects many areas of the body, including the eyes. The tissues and blood vessels in the eyes are very delicate and can be easily damaged by diabetes. When this happens, it’s called diabetic retinopathy. Youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, offers special diabetic eye exams to patients who need them. The question is, when should you have a diabetic eye exam, and how often?

When to Have a Diabetic Eye Exam

If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association says that you should have an annual diabetic eye exam no later than five years after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you should have your first diabetic eye exam as soon as possible after diagnosis.

However, these are general guidelines. There are two other things to consider. One is the sooner diabetic retinopathy is detected by your eye doctor, the sooner it can be managed, and more of your vision could be saved. The other is that if you experience any symptoms of deteriorating eye health from diabetes, you should see your eye doctor immediately, no matter when you were diagnosed or even if you’ve yet to be diagnosed.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Pressure or pain in the eye
  • Seeing flashing lights or “sparkles”
  • Dark spots or missing patches in your field of vision
  • Increase in number of floaters (moving spots or lines)
  • Seeing red streaks in your field of vision
  • Sudden worsening of night vision
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden blurred vision

All of these could be signs of diabetic retinopathy, and indicate that you should have a diabetic eye exam as soon as possible.

To schedule yourdiabetic eye exam in Falls Church, VA, contact our office today to book your appointment. The sooner that diabetic retinopathy is detected, the better outcome for your eyesight.

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

For persons aged 50 and older, age-related macular degeneration is the most common reason for serious loss of eyesight. While age-related macular degeneration may not cause total blindness, it does cause enough lack of vision to inhibit the ability to perform some daily tasks. This disease affects the center of vision and is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to a loss of quality of life, as certain activities will be hindered or have to be stopped entirely.

How Macular Degeneration Reduces Quality of Life

Those with macular degeneration in Falls Church, VA, and other areas report that the disease prevents them from doing things they may have enjoyed in the past. Because of the way that macular degeneration affects eyesight in the center of the field of vision, people may be unable to read, see faces, drive, or simply navigate their way around their own house. Unfortunately, when macular degeneration begins, there may be no outward signs. So, without an eye exam, people may unknowingly have macular degeneration.

Risk Factors For Macular Degeneration?

Certain risk factors make it more likely that a person may develop macular degeneration. These include:

  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use of all kinds, including smoking, vaping, and chewing
  • Underlying disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • Being over the age of 50
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition

While these risks factors contribute to a higher chance of developing macular degeneration, the actual cause of this disease is unknown. Some people may have one or more of the risks mentioned above factors and never develop macular degeneration.

Regular eye exams in Falls Church are essential, but especially so if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above. The sooner that macular degeneration is diagnosed, the more vision may be saved. Contact us to book your appointment today.