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Eye Conditions


Blepharitis is a common and chronic inflammation of the eyelids, usually caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or a malfunction of the oil glands in the eyelids. It can affect people of all ages and can be associated with conditions such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.

If you suspect you have blepharitis or are experiencing symptoms, it’s crucial to consult with Guthrie Optometry for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Managing blepharitis involves ongoing care and attention to eyelid hygiene to prevent flare-ups and maintain overall eye health.

  • Red and Swollen Eyelids: Inflammation of the eyelids is a common symptom.
  • Itching or Burning Sensation: The eyes may feel itchy or as if they are burning.
  • Crusty Eyelashes: The base of the eyelashes may have crusts or scales.
  • Tearing: Excessive tearing or watery eyes.
  • Sensitivity to Light: Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Blurry Vision: Vision may become temporarily blurred.
  • Eyelid Hygiene: Regular and gentle cleaning of the eyelids can help remove excess oil and debris. Warm compresses can be used to soften and loosen debris.
  • Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter artificial tear solutions(Hylo-Intense/Systane) can help alleviate dry eye symptoms associated with blepharitis.
  • Anti-Inflammatory/Antibiotic Medications: Steroid eye drops or oral antibiotics may be prescribed for more severe cases.
  • Lid Massage: Gently massaging the eyelids can help express the oil from the meibomian glands.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help improve the quality of the oil produced by the oil glands.
  • Warm Compresses: Apply warm compresses to the closed eyelids for 10 minutes to help loosen crusts and improve the function of the meibomian glands.
  • Follow-up: Regular follow-up visits with Guthrie Optometry is important to monitor and manage blepharitis effectively.


Diabetes can have a significant impact on the eyes, leading to various eye-related complications. It’s important for individuals with diabetes to be aware of these potential issues and to undergo regular eye examinations to monitor and manage their eye health. 

If you have diabetes, it’s important to work closely with your healthcare team, including Guthrie Optometry, to monitor and manage your eye health effectively. Early detection and appropriate management can help prevent or minimize the impact of diabetic eye complications.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a common and serious complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels, leading to leakage of fluid and blood into the retina. This can result in vision impairment or even blindness if left untreated.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): DME is a specific complication of diabetic retinopathy that involves swelling (edema) in the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp vision. DME can lead to blurry or distorted central vision.  Retinal imaging with OCT can detect subtle swelling of the retina before it leads to vision loss.  
  • Patients with higher blood sugar levels or that have been diabetic for a longer period of time have a higher risk of diabetic eye disease.
  • Maintain Blood Sugar Levels: Keeping blood sugar levels within the target range helps reduce the risk of diabetic eye complications.
  • Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can contribute to eye problems. Managing these factors is essential.
  • Regular Eye Exams: Routine eye examinations, including dilated eye exams, are crucial for detecting diabetic eye complications early when they are more treatable. Retinal imaging with OCT can detect diabetic retinal changes at their earliest stages. 
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking can contribute to overall eye health.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Tears are essential for maintaining the health and lubrication of the eyes. Dry eye can cause discomfort, redness, and blurred vision.

It’s important for individuals experiencing symptoms of dry eye to consult with Guthrie Optometry for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Managing underlying causes and addressing symptoms early can help improve eye comfort and prevent complications.

  • Dryness: A persistent feeling of dryness or grittiness in the eyes.
  • Redness: Irritated and red eyes.
  • Burning Sensation: Eyes may feel like they are burning or stinging.
  • Blurry Vision: Vision may become temporarily blurred but can improve with blinking or application of artificial tears.
  • Sensitivity to Light: Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Watery Eyes: Paradoxically, some people with dry eye may experience excessive tearing as a reflex response.
  • Age: Dry eye becomes more common as people age, especially in individuals over 50.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop dry eye, particularly during hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause, or while using birth control pills.
  • Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders can contribute to dry eye.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to smoke, wind, dry climates, and prolonged screen time can increase the risk of dry eye.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and some blood pressure medications, may reduce tear production.
  • Eye Conditions: Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), meibomian gland dysfunction, and other eye disorders can lead to dry eye.
  • Artificial Tears: Over-the-counter artificial tear solutions can provide relief by lubricating the eyes.
  • Prescription Medications: In some cases, prescription eye drops, such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra), may be recommended to reduce inflammation and improve tear production.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Taking breaks during prolonged screen time, using a humidifier, and avoiding exposure to smoke and windy conditions can help.
  • Warm Compresses and Lid Hygiene: Applying warm compresses and cleaning the eyelids can help manage conditions like blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some studies suggest that omega-3 supplements may help improve symptoms of dry eye.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): IPL treatment for dry eye involves using flashes of broad-spectrum light to heat the glands around the eyes, specifically the Meibomian glands. These glands produce the oily part of the tear film, which helps prevent the evaporation of tears. Dysfunction of these glands is often associated with evaporative dry eye.
  • Radio Frequency (RF): Radio Frequency treatment is a non-invasive treatment that delivers Radio Frequency energy to help heat and unblock the meibomian glands. RF treatments have also proven effective at improving dry eye symptoms.


Floaters are small, moving specks or cobweb-like shapes that appear in your field of vision. They are often caused by tiny pieces of vitreous (the gel-like substance in your eye) breaking loose and casting a shadow on the retina. 

Regular eye examinations are crucial for monitoring eye health and detecting any underlying conditions that may be causing floaters. While floaters are often a normal part of aging, sudden changes or additional symptoms should be addressed promptly.

If you have concerns about floaters or notice any sudden changes in your vision, it’s essential to consult an optometrist at Guthrie Optometry for a thorough examination. They can determine the cause of your floaters and provide appropriate guidance or treatment.

  • Specks or Spots: Small, dark dots or lines that move with the movement of your eyes.
  • Cobweb-like Shapes: Transparent, irregular strands that may drift across your vision.
  • Increased Visibility in Well-Lit Areas: Floaters are often more noticeable in well-lit environments.
  • Age-Related Changes: As you age, the vitreous gel in your eye may become more liquid, leading to the development of floaters.
  • Eye Injury or Trauma: Injuries to the eye can cause the release of debris into the vitreous.
  • Retinal Detachment: A serious condition where the retina pulls away from the back of the eye, leading to the sudden onset of floaters.
  • Observation: In many cases, floaters are harmless and may become less noticeable over time as the brain adjusts.
  • Eye Movement: Trying to move your eyes up and down may shift the floaters out of your line of sight temporarily.
  • Sudden Onset of Floaters: If you suddenly experience a significant increase in floaters, especially accompanied by flashes of light, it could indicate a retinal tear or detachment, requiring immediate attention.
  • Changes in Vision: Any sudden changes in vision, such as the appearance of a curtain-like shadow, warrant prompt medical evaluation.
  • Eye Pain or Redness: If you experience pain, redness, or other signs of inflammation along with floaters, consult an eye care professional.


Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, affecting vision. The degree of elevated pressure that will harm the optic nerve varies from person to person.  If the pressure is too high for a particular patients eyes it will cause a gradual loss of peripheral vision. Risk factors include age, family history, and certain medical conditions.  Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection and management of glaucoma to preserve vision.

It’s important to note that glaucoma is a chronic condition that requires ongoing monitoring and management. If you suspect any issues with your vision or have risk factors for glaucoma, it’s advisable to consult with Guthrie Optometry for a comprehensive eye exam.

Since glaucoma often progresses without noticeable symptoms, regular eye exams are essential for early detection.

Early diagnosis and appropriate management can help preserve vision and prevent further damage.

  • Increased Intraocular Pressure(IOP):
    • IOP is the measurement of the fluid pressure within the eye.
    • In glaucoma, there is often an imbalance between the production and drainage of aqueous humor, resulting in increased IOP.
  • Damage to the Optic Nerve:

As the optic nerve sustains damage, it can lead to the gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision and if not controlled central vision as well.

In the early stages, people may not notice any symptoms because central vision remains intact.

Factors such as age, family history, ethnicity, and certain medical conditions can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

Treatment aims to lower intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.

Common treatments include eye drops, oral medications, laser therapy, and surgery in some cases.


Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that affects the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. In keratoconus, the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape, causing visual distortion.

Keratoconus is a manageable condition with appropriate care and interventions. Regular monitoring by Guthrie Optometry is essential to ensure that the condition is effectively managed and that the best visual correction is provided.

  • Blurred or Distorted Vision: Vision may be blurry, and straight lines may appear distorted or wavy.
  • Frequent Changes in Prescription: Individuals with keratoconus often experience frequent changes in their eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions.
  • Halos and Ghosting: Halos or ghost images(double or triple vision), especially at night, may be noticed around lights.
  • Genetics: There is a genetic component, and keratoconus is more common in individuals with a family history of the condition and more often in young men.
  • Eye Rubbing: Rubbing the eyes vigorously is associated with an increased risk and should be avoided.
  • Eye Allergies: Chronic eye allergies may contribute to the development of keratoconus so proper management to prevent eye rubbing. .
  • Connective Tissue Disorders: Some conditions affecting connective tissue, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome, may be associated with keratoconus.
  • Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses: In the early stages, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help correct vision. As the condition progresses, rigid gas permeable (RGP) or scleral lenses may be recommended for better visual correction.
  • Cross-Linking (CXL): A minimally invasive procedure where ultraviolet light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) are used to strengthen the cornea and slow the progression of keratoconus.
  • Corneal Transplant (Penetrating Keratoplasty or PK): In advanced cases where other treatments are ineffective, a corneal transplant may be recommended.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a progressive eye condition that primarily affects older adults. It involves the deterioration of the macula, a small area in the centre of the retina responsible for central vision.

It’s important for patients to work closely with Guthrie Optometry to manage macular degeneration effectively. Early detection, lifestyle modifications, and appropriate interventions can help slow the progression of the disease and maintain vision and a better quality of life.

  • Dry AMD (Non-neovascular AMD): This is the more common form of AMD and occurs when the cells in the macula gradually break down over time. Small yellow deposits(build up of waste products), called drusen, may accumulate in the retina.
  • Wet AMD (Neovascular AMD): Less common but more severe, wet AMD occurs when drusen break the retinal barrier and cause abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina. These vessels can leak blood and fluid, causing rapid damage to the macula and sudden loss of central vision.
  • Blurred or Distorted Vision: Straight lines may appear wavy or distorted, and central vision may become blurred.
  • Dark or Empty Areas: A blind spot or dark area may appear in the center of your vision.
  • Changes in Color Perception: Colors may appear less vibrant or may look different than usual.
  • Difficulty Reading or Performing Close-up Tasks: Tasks that require sharp central vision, such as reading or threading a needle, may become challenging.
  • Age: The risk increases with age, especially for individuals over 50.
  • Family History: Having a family history of AMD increases the risk.
  • Smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for AMD.
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Uncontrolled high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk.
  • Diet: A diet low in certain nutrients, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, may contribute.
  • Lifestyle Modifications:
    • Nutrition: A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins (especially A, C, and E)
    • Supplements: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin (MacuHealth).
    • Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk and progression of AMD.
  • Eye Examinations: Regular eye exams including retinal imaging with OCT is crucial for early detection and monitoring for progression of AMD.
  • Intravitreal Injections: For wet AMD, medications may be injected into the eye to inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
  • Low Vision Devices: Devices like magnifiers and special glasses can help individuals with reduced vision continue daily activities.