We provide diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases which affect the human eye and visual system. Some examples include:
Conjunctivitis (Red Eye)
When eyes become red, it may be due to infectious causes (bacterial, viral, fungal) or inflammatory causes (trauma, allergic, toxic, contact lens induced). The treatment for conjunctivitis may vary greatly depending on the underlying cause. We have the equipment and expertise to properly diagnose and treat accordingly.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when the normal flow of tears over the eyes is interrupted, or the tear film is abnormal. In many cases, dry eye syndrome is a life long problem. You can relieve the symptoms, but in many cases, not cure the original cause. Artificial tear lubricants, nutritional supplements, and prescription eyedrops can be of benefit or in some cases, blocking the tear ducts can concentrate the limited tears that are available.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition that may occur if a diabetic person’s blood sugar gets too high. High blood sugar levels start a series of events which end in damaged blood vessel walls. As a result, the blood vessels begin to leak fluid or bleed, causing the retina to swell and form deposits know as exudates. Vision can be lost if these spots are not watched and treated. Here, at our office, we carefully examine the back of your eyes to follow and manage this and other important eye diseases.
Cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural internal lens of the eye. This opacity may be a small spot or may cover the entire lens. When light enters the eye it is scattered, causing images to appear hazy and blurred. There are many different types of cataracts. The one shown here is a cortical cataract. Here the opacity forms first in the periphery of the lens and develops inward, like spokes of a wheel. Ultimately, the best treatment is to remove the cataract lens and replace it with an acrylic man made lens. This is referred to as cataract surgery with implant. Today’s advances in surgery techniques make this procedure extremely quick, relatively easy with very few complications seen.
Macular Degeneration is a condition in which the central part of the retina which lines the back of the eye loses blood circulation and/or starts to degenerate. There is a breakdown of retinal pigment epithelium cells in the macular region. As the disease progresses, central vision diminishes. It is believed that this breakdown may be due to a lack of nutrients being supplied to the region. Additional studies have found a genetic link to this disease. Treatment can range from better nutritional management, laser surgery and/or injections.
Keratoconus is a disorder that occurs when the cornea, which is typically rounded, becomes cone-shaped. The progression is usually slow and can stop at any stage from mild to severe. Distortion of the vision increases as the cornea bulges and thins. The apex of the cornea often scars, reducing the vision. Treatment of Keratoconus is most effective with gas permeable contact lenses, designed specifically for the irregular corneal surface. If contact lens treatment is not successful, surgical corneal treatment or transplant may be necessary.
Dr. Angela Billmayer has gone through extensive training and study into the mechanism of diseases that affect the eye and their diagnosis and treatment. Our office is open five days a week and accepts most major medical insurances as well as Medicare. We also provide an urgent care phone number that is accessible 24 hours a day.
Eye injuries can occur at any time. Our office is equipped to handle many eye injuries. The primary instrument we use is a biomicroscope, sometimes referred to as a slit lamp. The biomicroscope has a high magnification and is particularly designed to aid us in evaluating the extent of an eye injury. Whether it is a laceration, foreign particle embedded or a burn, the biomicroscope is the primary tool to carefully examine the injury.
Embedded Foreign Bodies
A common injury is a metalic foreign body embedded in the cornea. Grinding or drilling in iron or other metals will release particles that can embed themselves in the cornea. If it is iron, as in this example, it will immediatley begin to rust due to the salty consistency of our tears and oxidation. When the metal particle is removed, there is a remaining rust deposit that has infiltrated the surrounding cornea. We have experience at removing these rust spots. With proper medical treatment these injuries resolve well. If the foreign particle was embedded in the central visual axis of the cornea, there may be a scar remaining which could effect the patients ultimate visual acuity. Safety glasses are always recommended to prevent these type of injuries.
Contusions, otherwise referred to as a “black eye” can result in more than just the obvious bruises on the face. The retina is the nerve tissue that senses light which lines the back of the eye. There is a blood vessel layer under the retina. This is very delicate and sensitive tissue. Blunt trauma to the front of the head and/or ocular region can also cause breaks or detachment of the retina. A dilated retinal examination is recommended for these patients.
A compression type of injury can knock the retina loose and cause bleeding underneath. This example shows retinal hemorrhage. This can result in blindness to the effected eye. Immediate examination and subsequent treatment is needed in these type of injuries.
Emergency Eye Care
If you have symptoms of “Flashes of Light” in your vision, when there is no light to explain the flashes, this could mean that there is something happening at the back of the eye. The eye does not have any pain sensors so flashes are your best clue that there is something wrong. In contrast, the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye) has more nerve pain sensors that any other part of the body. Injury to the cornea can be incredibly painful. However, in both cases, immediate treatment is needed. Our office staff is well trained to know how to expedite the treatment of these type of injuries.
Call immediately when an injury occurs. We are here to help.
For emergencies call us at 804-270-1040.