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Preventive Eye Care Can Detect Many Eye Problems Long Before Symptoms Develop

Millions of Americans have eye diseases that can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness when left untreated. However, less than 11% of Americans realize that these eye diseases don’t cause symptoms in their early stages. 

Preventive eye care, such as routine comprehensive eye exams, is critical to diagnosing these diseases in their early stages so you can get the treatment you need to protect your sight.

At Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, our expert optometrists and ophthalmologists are committed to protecting your eye health and your overall health. We recommend that everyone have an eye exam at least every two years, even if you don’t wear glasses or contact lenses. 

If you need corrective lenses or are 60 or older, you should have annual eye exams. We can spot the early warning signs of many eye diseases, including: 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” because it typically doesn’t cause any symptoms until your vision is permanently damaged. Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in your eyes increases and damages your optic nerve. 

The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. You have tiny openings, called drainage angles, between your iris and cornea that allow extra fluid to drain out of your eye.

If you have open-angle glaucoma, your drainage angles are open, but your eyes produce too much liquid, or a blockage elsewhere in your eye slows down the drainage process. 

This eye disease progresses gradually, but we can diagnose it during an eye exam before you have any vision changes or other symptoms. 

Macular degeneration

Your macula is the part of your retina that provides your central vision. Macular degeneration is an age-related disease that occurs when your macular becomes thin, and clumps of proteins called drusen develop. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness. 

Diabetic eye disease

When untreated, diabetes can damage blood vessels throughout your body, including the tiny vessels in your eye. They end up leaking blood and other fluids into your eye, which can cause scar tissue to develop on your retina and increase the pressure in your eye, contributing to glaucoma. 

Over 21% of people with diabetes have some degree of diabetic eye disease and are at risk of vision loss. 

Cataracts

Cataracts are another age-related eye problem. As you age, the proteins in the lenses of your eyes start to break down. These protein fragments clump together and cloud your lenses, creating cataracts. 

Eventually, your lenses become so clouded that your vision is blurry or fuzzy, and colors look yellowed or faded. 

Cataracts often begin to develop as early as your 40s, although most people don’t notice any changes in their vision until their 60s. Your eye doctor can identify changes in your lenses early and provide corrective lenses and other therapies to help you see clearly for as long as possible.

In addition to eye diseases, your eye doctor might be the first to notice signs of other conditions. For example, changes in your eyes can indicate:

If you’re due for an eye exam, or have any concerns about eye disease, schedule an appointment by calling our offices in Arlington in Mansfield, Texas, or sending a message to our team here on our website. 

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