Ocular Disease

Our doctors are residency trained in ocular disease and are board certified in Medical Optometry. We utilize the latest in eye imaging technology to diagnose and manage eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.


Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetes is a disease of small blood vessels. During an eye exam, a doctor is able to visualize these blood vessels and check for signs of leaking, or retinopathy. Often, Diabetic Retinopathy does not have visual symptoms. Not all Diabetic Retinopathy requires treatment but, if it does, there are treatments to stop blood vessels from leaking and help prevent visual impairment. Early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and timely treatment reduce the risk of vision loss; however, as many as 50% of patients are not getting their eyes examined or are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. Everyone with diabetes should have their eyes examined at least once per year.

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Glaucoma is a disease that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve, usually from eye pressure that is too high. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. About 3 million Americans have glaucoma and nearly half of them are undiagnosed. Over time, optic nerve tissue is lost. In most stages of the disease, there are no symptoms. Late stages can cause loss of vision, usually tunnel vision. For this reason, glaucoma is referred to as “the silent robber of vision.” Diagnosis of glaucoma is made through careful examination of the eye and optic nerves. Advanced technology at Eye Clinic North, such as high-resolution retinal imaging, assists the doctor in diagnosing glaucoma and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. Treatment of glaucoma usually begins by taking one eye drop per day to lower eye pressure. Anyone with a family history of glaucoma or high eye pressures should get regular eye exams.

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Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in people over 55. It is a degeneration of the central retina, called the macula, that can cause significant central visual impairment. There are many risk factors for acquiring macular degeneration, such as age, smoking, and family history (genetics). Smoking is the most significant controllable risk factor. There are two forms of AMD; dry and wet. Dry AMD usually has a modest effect on vision and is monitored through examinations. The wet form is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing in the retina that leak and can cause severe visual loss, which requires treatment. Diagnosis of AMD can be made during a routine eye exam. However, high-resolution retinal imaging available at Eye Clinic North can track the progress of AMD and pick up on wet forms of AMD earlier, which helps to minimize vision changes. Treatment of wet AMD typically involves medication instilled in the eye to stop the abnormal vessels from growing and leaking. Specific eye vitamins are shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration.

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Macular Degeneration: Nutritional Supplements

Many of the key nutrients our eyes need come from what we eat. A healthy, balanced diet with plentiful green leafy vegetables and antioxidants is paramount to healthy living and vision. Sometimes, we need some help to protect our eyes. The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) concluded specific supplements can slow the progression of macular degeneration by about 25% of those at higher risk. Vitamin C, E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, among others, help to reduce damage to our retinas and slow the progression of AMD.

Eye Clinic North Hibbing

P: (218) 263-3633
F: (218) 729-2445

1311 East 34th Street
Hibbing, Minnesota 55746

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Eye Clinic North Virginia

P: (218) 741-5886
F: (218) 729-2445

413 Chestnut Street
Virginia, Minnesota 55792

Monday-Thursday: 9am-5pm | Friday: 9am-4pm

Eye Clinic West Duluth

P: (218) 624-1804
F: (218) 729-2445

405 North 57th Avenue West
Duluth, Minnesota 55807

Tuesday-Friday: 9am-5pm