Matthew W. Camp, MD
During our comprehensive eye exam, we thoroughly evaluate the function and health of the eyes and total visual system. Regular eye exams are an invaluable tool in maintaining your eyes' health by detecting and preventing disease. Some diseases develop slowly without causing pain or vision loss. Early detection of any problems can reduce the risk of further harm and allow for a choice of treatment options.
A typical eye exam will consist of a visual acuity test, tonometry (a check of your eye's pressure), and dilated pupil slit-lamp and indirect ophthalmoscopic exam.
150 Interstate South Drive
Jasper, Georgia 30143
These exams measure your ability to see and can diagnose a multitude of diseases, including Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Retinal Tears and Detachments, and Cataracts, as well as diseases elsewhere in the body such as Diabetes (and diabetic eye disease), Hypertension and inflammatory diseases. Additional testing for eye diseases and other eye conditions will be done as necessary to most efficiently diagnose and treat your problem.
Diabetic retinopathy is detected by an ophthalmologist such as Dr. Camp during an extensive eye exam that includes a visual acuity test, pupil dilation, and careful examination of your retina. If Dr. Camp suspects that you have macular edema, he will perform Optical Coherence Tomography (a CAT scan of the eye done without radiation) and perhaps fluorescein angiography to locate the leaking blood vessels that need treatment.
If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy (new blood vessels growing inappropriately in the eye due to diabetes), you may require these tests, as well as laser treatment. Other treatment options may also be available.
Macular degeneration is the number one cause of blindness in the caucasian population in the United States. It occurs when the macula - a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp - begins to fail or "degenerates", causing a progressive loss of vision.
The "dry" form of macular degeneration has no treatment, but the "wet" form may be helped by injecting medication into the eye if it is detected early. Because of this, and because vision lost to the disease is irreversible, regular eye exams are highly recommended.
Retinal Tear and Detachment
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue, much like you would peel wall paper away from the wall. Initial detacment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. People who suffer from retinal detachment feel no pain. A retinal detachment is commonly preceded by a posterior vitreous detachment which gives rise to these symptoms:
flashes of light
a sudden dramatic increase in the number of floaters
a ring of floaters or hairs just to the temporal side of the central vision
Glaucoma, the "sneak thief of sight", is the term usually used to indicate an abnormally high pressure inside the eye which causes optic nerve damage and vision loss. The condition often develops over many years without causing pain - so you may not notice vision loss until the disease is in an advanced stage.
The intraocular pressure is not related to your blood pressure, and you cannot "feel" the pressure in your eye. Only some types of glaucoma can be prevented, and vision lost to it cannot be restored. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. For these reasons, regular eye exams and early detection are critical.