At the Northeastern Eye Institute, we have a lot of goals, depending on the specific procedure in question. However, our overriding goal is simple: protecting your vision and ensuring you can keep seeing clearly for as long as possible.
As such, preventing vision loss is our number one priority. We are committed to helping our Scranton-area patients prevent vision loss with a number of important eye care services. One of the keys to achieving that goal is awareness – knowing what to be on the lookout for is crucial if you are to maintain healthy vision.
As part of that goal, we're providing this small list of seven health conditions that, if left untreated, can result in vision loss. These aren't the only causes of vision loss, but these are seven common, widespread conditions that can afflict almost anyone.
It's vital that you pursue high-quality vision care to address any problems you might have. If you need laser cataract surgery or any other procedure where experience and skill are absolutely vital, please call Northeastern Eye Institute today at 570-342-3145 for a consultation and examination.
Keeping Your Vision Sound
Moving quickly and decisively is vital when your vision is at stake. If you notice any degradation in your vision, contact us immediately for an appointment.
It's important to understand that your body is a complex, inter-connected system. Nothing in your body is truly “isolated.” Conditions that start in one part of your body can have a truly staggering effect on other regions of your body, even resulting in problems that seem totally unrelated to the initial issue. Your eyes are as vulnerable as other parts of your body to being impacted by general health issues.
Here are seven health conditions that can threaten your vision:
- Diabetes: November is American Diabetes Month, so this is a good time to discuss the link between diabetes and vision loss. If left unregulated, diabetes can contribute to a range of serious vision problems, including cataracts, which will require laser cataract surgery to correct. Diabetic retinopathy is another problem to be aware of. If you have diabetes, make sure you take care to follow all of your doctor's instructions for its regulation. And be on the lookout for any loss in vision.
- High Blood Pressure: There's a reason your doctor makes a point of stressing the importance of lowering your blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can pose a serious threat to your health and well-being. And it can even affect your vision. Hypertension is a leading risk factor for cataracts and a number of retinal problems.
- Obesity: It's important to understand that obesity is also linked to cataracts and other vision problems. Because obesity is a risk factor for both diabetes and high blood pressure, you can do a lot to protect your vision – and overall health – by keeping your weight down and avoiding obesity. Remember, your eyes are full of blood vessels. And obesity can cause serious pulmonary problems. These problems can degrade the vessels in your eye, hurting your vision.
- Autoimmune Disorders: “Autoimmune disorder” is an umbrella term for any disease in which your body's immune system – which should attack contagions and other foreign invaders – actually starts attacking healthy cells. Your eyes are not immune from these attacks. A series of autoimmune disorders, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, Bechet disease and rheumatoid arthritis, can seriously affect your vision. As such, if you have an autoimmune disease, it's important that you receive regular vision care and examinations – these are vital to catching any problems early.
- Lyme Disease: If you're like many of our patients, you might enjoy hiking or even just taking a long walk in the woods. These are great activities, but one concern is the possibility of suffering a tick bite, even without noticing it. One of the possible consequences of a bite from a deer tick is Lyme disease, which affects hundreds of thousands of people a year. There are three stages to Lyme disease, and all of them include ocular problems. As such, if you notice any of the early symptoms of Lyme disease, including flu-like symptoms and a bullseye rash around the bite area, seek medical attention immediately.
- Sarcoidosis: Sarcoidosis is a disease in which tiny inflammatory cells grow in different parts of your body – most often, the lungs, lymph nodes and eyes. Doctors believe that sarcoidosis might be your immune system's response to an unknown substance inhaled through the air. Inflammation of the optic nerve is not an uncommon effect of sarcoidosis, and it can obviously do severe damage to your vision.
- Pregnancy: Obviously, pregnancy is not a disorder or disease, but it's definitely a medical condition, albeit one most people welcome. Pregnancy can have serious effects on many parts of your body. Many people don't expect pregnancy to affect their vision, but it can: women often report dry eyes and vision fluctuations, and pregnant women are more prone to contracting diabetes. This speaks to the importance of undergoing regular vision examinations in addition to your standard medical appointments throughout your pregnancy.
Taking the Steps Necessary to Protect Your Vision
Again, vigilance and prevention are vital. Exercising regularly and watching what you eat is good for your health and for your vision. And if you do find yourself in need of laser cataract surgery or any other procedure, our experienced doctors can help.
The important takeaway from this list of common medical problems is that regularly scheduled eye exams are not luxuries – they're necessities. It's very easy for your vision to slowly fade over time, especially if your vision loss is caused by some other, unrelated health problem. As such, it's best to take the time to visit one of our many offices for an exam – we'll be happy to work with your busy schedule to find a time that works for you.
If you live in or around Scranton, Pennsylvania, please call Northeastern Eye Institute at 570-342-3145 to schedule an exam.