Diabetic Eye Exams
For patients with diabetes (both Type I and Type II) the current recommendation is to have an annual dilated eye examination in order to determine whether or not the diabetes is causing damage to the retina. Because the eyes provide the unique ability for doctors to actually look inside an organ and see the smallest blood vessels (capillaries), eye doctors are able to diagnose disease processes that damage small blood vessels, such as diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). Not uncommonly, we are able to diagnose these diseases before the patient and their primary care doctor are even aware they have them. Blood vessels in the retina are some of the most susceptible to damage from diabetes. Such damage to the retinal vessels can lead to retinal hemorrhages or exudates (opacities) as well as edema (fluid leakage) in the central part of the retina called the macula. This change can lead to decreased or distorted vision. Like many other disease processes, it is much better to find diabetic changes in the retina early and treat them before they lead to more significant vision loss. With regular diabetic eye exams it is easier to prevent a decrease in vision from occurring than it is to try to regain vision after it has already deteriorated.
Macular Degeneration Exams
Macular degeneration is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula. The macula is a small area in the retina at the back of the eye that allows you to see fine details clearly and perform activities such as reading and driving. When the macula does not function correctly, your central vision can be affected by blurriness, dark areas or distortion. Macular degeneration affects your ability to see near and far, and can make some activities - like threading a needle or reading - difficult or impossible. Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but the most common is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Exactly why it develops is not known, and no treatment has been uniformly effective. There are two forms of macular degeneration; wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly. With wet AMD, loss of central vision can occur quickly. An early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy. If you notice this condition or other changes to your vision, contact your eye care professional at once to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam. There are laser treatments available for certain forms of wet AMD as well as intravitreal injections of medications that may be administered to fight the development of proteins believed to contribute to AMD. Dr. Barnhorst can refer you to one of Jacksonville’s excellent retina specialists should you require these forms of treatment. Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD gets worse, you may see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central vision is gradually lost in the affected eye. The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces. You may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye seems unaffected. A diet high in leafy green vegetables, antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids can slow the progression of macular changes and help to prevent macular degeneration. Click on the Nordic Naturals link for more information.
ProDHA Eye: Omega-3 for Age-Related Degeneration
ProDHA Eye is formulated with key ocular nutrients that have been shown to protect the eyes and support healthy vision.* ProDHA Eye consists of purified fish oil high in DHA combined with the fat-soluble carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The fish oil in ProDHA Eye provides an ideal lipid delivery system for the lutein and zeaxanthin, and regular supplementation with ProDHA Eye is a convenient way to achieve the combined benefits of these nutrients.
Did You Know? Omega-3s (EPA+DHA) from purified fish oil:
- Protects eyes from oxidative stress and damage
- Protects against age-related eye disorders
- Reduces the risk of cataracts
- Provides protective pigment to ocular cells
- Is natural and safe for long-term use
- 946mg EPA+DHA per 2 soft gels
Dr. Barnhorst provides comprehensive glaucoma exams along with regularly scheduled interval intraocular pressure checks and testing. Your glaucoma will be monitored closely for vision loss and uncontrolled intraocular pressure. Whether you need eye drop therapy, interventional laser treatments or conventional glaucoma surgery, Dr. Barnhorst is a skilled glaucoma physician.
Routine Eye Care
Dr. Barnhorst also performs routine, comprehensive eye exams. Whether a patient needs an updated eyeglasses prescription, desires to wear contact lenses, just wants to make sure their eyes are healthy, we can provide you with the care you need. Regular eye exams are an important part of good healthcare since many medical conditions can be diagnosed during the eye exam even before the patient may have symptoms. In addition to regular eye exams, eating a healthy diet and taking nutritional supplements such as the Nordic Naturals recommended by Dr. Barnhorst are additional ways to maintain optimal ocular health. We also offer great tasting chewable nutritional supplements for children such as the Nordic Naturals Nordic Berries and Omega-3 gummies.
Contact lenses may be ordered from this website and will be shipped directly to you from our supplier through our online store. Once you have an established contact lens prescription with us just click on the “Order Contact Lenses” tab to order your supply. You may also order your lenses by calling our office. Telephone orders are typically delivered to our Beach Boulevard address the next day.
Our staff can provide you with the pin number that will allow you to order your supply of Nordic Naturals through the Natural Dispensary link on this page.