Dr. Robert C. Bauman, Dr. Shannon Mitchell and Dr. Catherine Vishton offer prompt professional care for patients with serious eye problems such as sudden vision loss, eye pain and infections, dry eye and other conditions. They are certified in the treatment and management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, “pink” eye, “flashes and floaters”. They can prescribe medications, perform therapeutic procedures and remove foreign bodies from the eye. Dr. Bauman, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Vishton are available during regular office hours and are on call many nights and weekends, when emergency treatment is required.

Click below to learn more about Eye Injuries and Diseases

Cataract


Cataracts are a leading cause of vision issues for people over 40 and are one of the main causes of blindness. A cataract is a clouding of the eye, specifically in the eye’s lens behind the pupil, caused by proteins clumping together. There are different kinds of cataracts, and they can have different causes. Aging or other medical conditions can contribute to the development of cataracts in your eyes.

Cataracts can start small and develop slowly. It may not even be noticeable at first, or you may notice a slight blur to your vision. You may only notice symptoms when looking at bright lights. Cataracts can continue to worsen, and you may only feel the effects once it is well developed.

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Glaucoma


Glaucoma describes eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerve, which sends visual signals from your eye to your brain. This loss of nerve tissue can result in loss of vision.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is one of the most common disorders. It results from an increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve. A damaged nerve can lead to vision loss or even blindness. This pressure can build slowly and be difficult to detect in everyday life. It may start by affecting only your peripheral vision.

Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma, as high pressure does not always lead to glaucoma and glaucoma can develop in spite of normal eye pressure. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.

Acute angle closure glaucoma is not as common, but can develop much more quickly. If you are experiencing intense eye pain, redness in your eye, blurred vision, or nausea, you may need immediate medical attention. This form of glaucoma is an emergency and needs to be treated right away.

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Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is the loss of central vision due to damage to the retina. The macula is a part of the retina located on the back layer of the eye that affects the center of the visual field. Macular degeneration is often related to age and can be atrophic (dry) or exudative (wet).

The dry form of macular degeneration is most common and there is no medical or surgical treatment. The dry form occurs when debris collects between the retina and the choroid, which can cause scarring of the retina. The wet form is less common, but more dangerous. It occurs when blood vessels grow from behind the choroid, which can leak. This form of macular degeneration can be treated with laser coagulation and medication if diagnosed early.

Macular degeneration is one of the biggest causes of vision loss in adults over 50. Common symptoms include gradually blurred vision, seeing less vivid colors, and obstruction in the center of vision. Peripheral vision can remain intact, but macular degeneration can make daily activities difficult, such as reading or recognizing people’s faces.

If you are experiencing signs of macular degeneration, call us at (802) 253-6322 today to schedule an eye exam and consultation. Early detection and treatment are vital to managing vision loss.

 

AMD GENETIC TESTING – A BREAKTHROUGH IN EARLY DETECTION

Until now, the most common method of evaluating a patient’s risk for macular degeneration was an annual eye exam incorporating a macular densitometer instrument. Today, Dr. Bauman and Dr. Mitchell are among a handful of eye care professionals who offer a new DNA test to identify a patient’s future risk for serious vision loss. The test, called Macula Risk, uses genetics and lifestyle history to identify those who are most likely to progress to more advanced forms of vision loss. With this test a patient destined to develop macular degeneration can sometimes be treated before symptoms appear. Most insurance providers and Medicare cover the test, which consists of two simple cheek swabs.

 

RISK FACTORS

AgePeople aged 60 or older have a higher risk The older you are, the greater
your chance of being affected.
Family History If AMD runs in your family, or if you have a certain abnormal gene, you may have a higher risk
Gender Women are more likely to get AMD than men
Race AMD is more common in Caucasians

 

TREATMENT


Treatment options range from nutritional intervention to laser surgery of the blood vessels. We also offer low vision aids and techniques to maximize the use of peripheral vision to help patients better adapt better to their loss of central vision. The importance of early detection cannot me underestimated. We invite you to contact our office for more information on early detection through genetic testing.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes comes with a lot of other problems, affecting your whole body. Even your eyes can become affected by the disease. It is so common that it actually has a name: diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina, which is involved in your vision. Your retina is necessary so that everything that you see is transferred to your brain.

Diabetic retinopathy usually continues to get worse, especially if your diabetes is not under control, though it can get worse even with controlled diabetes. For this reason, we recommend having regular check ups so that we can monitor your eyes. During the progression of the disease, you may not even notice any symptoms which makes it even more important to come in regularly.

The first stage of the disease involves the blood vessels in your eyes. They get really weak and leak blood into your eyes. If it continues and leaks into the center of your eye, you will have blurry vision. Your body will try to compensate by making new blood vessels but they are also weak, allowing more blood to leak into your eye. Your body might also try to form scar tissue which causes the retina to move away from your eyes and can lead to legal blindness.

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Detached Retina & Tears

The retina is the part of the eye that sends images to your brain. Typically, the retina is firmly against the back of your eye. However the retina can tear or be pulled from its normal position, which can cause blurred or loss of vision. Retinal tears and detachments may require surgery, as they can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Some symptoms of retinal detachment include floaters, flashing lights, or gray moving across your field of vision. These symptoms alone don’t mean that you have a detached retina, but if you are experiencing them it is important to seek help and further testing.

Retinal detachment can occur at any time, although it is more typical in older patients. The likelihood of a detached retina can increase with conditions such as nearsightedness, glaucoma, previous surgery, or family history.

Retinal tears can usually be treated with laser treatment or cryotherapy. These procedures help place the retina against the back wall of the eye and generally involve little or no pain.

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Blepharitis

Blepharitis can be quite common. It is eyelid inflammation often caused by a bacterial eye infection. Patients who suffer from dry eye and skin conditions such as acne rosacea are more likely to be affected by blepharitis at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of blepharitis can include burning, tearing, irritation, itching, and many others. Many sufferers feel like they have a foreign body in their eye and are constantly itching it.

Treatment starts with a cleaning of the eyelid. There are many over-the-counter scrubs that we recommend. You may also need topical or oral medications, depending on the severity and location of the disease. If you have a bacterial infection, the most commonly prescribed medication is an antibiotic ointment. There are also times when will we talk about your nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids can really help with the lubrication of your eyes.

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Dry Eye

To keep your eyes healthy, you need to have tears to provide moisture and lubrication. This is not only for your comfort, but it helps with your vision. Tears are secreted by glands around your eyes. When you do not make enough tears, you have a condition called dry eyes.

There is no cure for dry eye. Instead, we have ways to make you more comfortable. There is a product called artificial tears. This comes in drops and ointments. Depending on your needs, one may work better for you.

We also perform temporary and non-dissolving punctal plugs. These are used to close the ducts that help with the overflow of tears. If you stop the tears from draining out of your eye, you will have more tears in your eyes. We start with a temporary one to see if it is going to help before trying a more permanent arrangement.

If necessary, we may also prescribe a medication for chronic dry eyes. We may also talk to you about other medications and your nutrition. Many supplements have been helpful for patients with dry eye.

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