Crozet Eye Care diagnoses and treats a variety of emergency and non-emergency medical disorders, including:
- Ocular diseases, such as conjunctivitis (aka “pink eye”), glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye syndrome, styes and retinal disorders. If needed, medical prescriptions are written.
- Ocular side effects of systemic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Vision disorders, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and focusing deficiencies
- Pre- and post-operative care for patients who require surgery
Have an emergency after business hours? Call our main number (434.823.4441) and follow directions to reach Dr. Franklin.
Glaucoma Detection and Treatment
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage to the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision. The optic nerve is a bundle of approximately one million individual nerve fibers and transmits the visual signals from the eye to the brain. The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is often associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye. This increase in pressure may cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and loss of nerve fibers. Advanced glaucoma may even cause blindness.
There are many types of glaucoma and theories regarding the causes. The exact cause of glaucoma is not known, and it cannot currently be prevented.
Who is at Risk?
People of all ages can develop glaucoma, but it most frequently occurs in:
- Caucasians and Hispanics over age 60
- African Americans over age 40
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- People who have eye-related risk factors, such as eye trauma, thin corneas, high myopia, retinal detachments, and eye inflammation
- People who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease
How Can It Be Detected?
Since the most common form of glaucoma develops gradually and painlessly, without warning signs or symptoms, regular eye examinations are an important means of detecting glaucoma in its early stages. Eye exams will include:
- Tonometry - a simple and painless measurement of the pressure in the eye
- Ophthalmoscopy - an examination of the back of the eye to observe the health and appearance of the optic nerve
- Visual field test - a check for the development of abnormal blind spots
How Can It Be Treated?
In most cases, Glaucoma can be treated effectively by using prescription eye drops or other medicines. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Unfortunately, any loss of vision from glaucoma typically cannot be restored. However, early detection, prompt treatment, and regular monitoring can enable you to continue living in much the same way as you have always lived.
How Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?
How Can Diabetes Affect the Eyes?
Diabetes and its complications can greatly affect many parts of the eye. A common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy in which elevated blood sugar damages the delicate blood vessels inside the eye, causing them to leak, bleed, and become blocked. If untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 70 years.
Often there are no visual symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. That is why the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
How Are Diabetes-Related Issues Detected?
Because this disease can cause blindness, early diagnosis and timely treatment are essential. That is one reason why it is important to have your eyes examined regularly by a doctor of optometry, especially if you have diabetes or are at risk for development of diabetes. Besides retinopathy, other eye conditions associated with diabetes include fluctuations in vision, double vision, cataracts, and a certain type of glaucoma.
During a comprehensive eye examination, Dr. Franklin looks inside your eyes with lights and lenses that magnify the view of the retina. The interior of your eyes also will be photographed to provide documentation of the retinal appearance.
How Can They Be Treated?
Treatment of diabetic retinopathy varies depending on the extent of the disease. It may require laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels or to discourage new leaky blood vessels from forming. Injections of medications into the eye may be needed to decrease inflammation or stop the formation of new blood vessels. In more advanced cases, a surgical procedure to remove and replace the gel-like fluid in the back of the eye, called the vitreous, may be needed. A retinal detachment, defined as a separation of the light-receiving lining in the back of the eye, resulting from diabetic retinopathy, may also require surgical repair.