Eye Diseases & Issues
A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases diagnosed, treated, or referred for surgery at Gateway Vision.
“Eye diseases” is a blanket term that refers to a host of diseases relating to the function of the eye. Below we describe some of the more common types of eye diseases and how they are generally treated. For more in-depth information, please speak with your eye care physician at Gateway Vision.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye is highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.
While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care physician at Gateway Vision for an examination and treatment.
Dry eye is a chronic irritation syndrome caused by an inadequate layer of protective, hydrating tear film. We can isolate the underlying causes of your dryness, recommending lifestyle changes to help you control environment factors. We can also prescribe eye drops to help you keep your eyes moisturized.
This syndrome, which features red, dry, itchy eyes, is caused by spending too much time staring at the bright glare of computer or mobile device screens. We can prescribe tinted lenses to reduce glare, issue eye drops, and recommend routines to ensure that you blink more frequently to encourage tear production.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.
Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry,” most common and with no known treatment, and “wet,” less common and treated with laser procedures.
In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care physician at Gateway Vision.
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon its size and location, it can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in people over age 55, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other.
Cataracts generally form very slowly. Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:
Blurred or hazy vision
Reduced intensity of colors
Increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night
Increased difficulty seeing at night
Change in the eye's refractive error
There is no treatment to prevent or slow cataract progression. In age-related cataracts, changes in vision can be very gradual. Some people may not initially recognize the visual changes. However, as cataracts worsen, vision symptoms increase.
Gateway Vision has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases & problems, at our offices in Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville, FL. For more information please schedule an appointment with your Optometric Physician here at
Beach (904) 247-0211 or Dunn Ave. (904) 751-4483