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What Is a Cataract?

Many people will have a cataract in their lifetime, and an average 3 million people will be diagnosed with one in the United States this year alone. Typically, as we age, the tissue around the lens of the eye changes and forms a cataract. Cataract symptoms may not be very noticeable initially, but with time, a cataract will grow and symptoms will become more noticeable.

Types of Cataracts

  • Nuclear Cataract– affects the center of the lens
  • Cortical Cataract– affects the edges of the lens
  • Posterior Subcapsular Cataract– affects the back of the lens
  • Congenital Cataract– a cataract that a person is born with

Cataract Symptoms

  • Clouded or blurred vision
  • Difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in corrective lens prescriptions
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Cataract Surgery in Sycamore

Once a cataract forms, surgery is the only treatment that will remove the cataract from the eye’s lens. If your vision has become blurred, don’t wait to seek treatment. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jason Friedrichs.

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Macular Degeneration

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What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration comes in two forms: dry and wet.

Dry Macular Degeneration

This chronic eye disease causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision. The disorder is caused by the deterioration of the macula, which is the in the center of the eye.

Wet Macular Deterioration

The less common wet form occurs when blood vessels that grow in retina at the back of the eye leak blood and fluid.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

  • The need for brighter light when reading or doing close work
  • Difficulty adapting to low light levels
  • Increased blurriness of printed words
  • A decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • A gradual increase in the haziness of your central or overall vision
  • Crooked central vision
  • A blurred or blind spot in the center of your field of vision
  • Hallucinations of geometric shapes or people

Treatments for Macular Degeneration in Sycamore

Treatments for macular degeneration vary according to a patient’s diagnosis. Some patients may see improvement with an increased vitamin regimen. For many patients, surgery may be needed to implant a telescopic lens.

Patients can also adopt certain lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Choosing healthy fats
  • Choosing whole grains
  • Adding more fish to your diet

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jason Friedrichs.

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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

People with diabetes need to be especially aware of their eye health. Diabetes can rob a person of his or her clear sight in several ways. That’s why it’s important to see your ophthalmologist regularly if you have diabetes.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy refers to diabetic eye conditions that involve the retina. Nonproliferative retinopathy is the most common form, caused by blood vessels in the back of the eye ballooning due to some blockage; this form can be severe. Even more serious is proliferative retinopathy, where the vessels become completely blocked, leading to new vessels and scar tissue forming. The retina can become distorted or even detached.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Macular edema is a swelling of the macula, which is part of the retina. It’s caused by blood vessels leaking fluids into the macula and is closely associated with retinopathy.


People with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to get glaucoma, according to the American Diabetes Association.


They are also 60 percent more likely to have a cataract. Additionally, people with diabetes tend to develop cataracts earlier in life and have more quickly growing cataracts.

Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Problems

All diabetic eye conditions can cause changes in vision and even complete loss of vision. Retinopathy and macular edema ruin a person’s ability to focus clearly. Cataracts can cause blurriness, haziness, and double vision in one eye. Glaucoma can cause gradual or rapid vision loss.

Diabetic Eye Condition Treatment in Sycamore

If you have diabetes, it is best to get in touch with an eye care professional sooner rather than later. Diabetic eye conditions worsen depending on how long you’ve had diabetes, how long you’ve gone with uncontrolled blood sugar or uncontrolled high blood pressure, and your genetic predisposition to these eye conditions.

Treatment options change depending on the condition and patient.

To see if your diabetic eye health is under control, make an appointment to see ophthalmologist Jason Friedrichs at Friedrichs Eye in Sycamore. View Video

Blepharoplasty and Lid Reconstruction

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Eyelid Surgery

People need eyelid surgery for any number of reasons, some for better function, some for cosmetic improvements. Blepharoplasty, sometimes known as an eyelid lift, is a surgery that treats drooping eyelids that occur with age. Not only does this have cosmetic benefits for patients, but it can be necessary if the eyelids block peripheral vision. Eyelid reconstruction restores form and function to eyelids that have been damaged by injury or surgery.


As we age, our eyelids stretch and droop, leaving “bags” over or under the eyes, or pulling downward on the lids. For some, this natural progression is not just worrisome in terms of how it looks, but it can also impair vision as eyelids fall into the line of sight. During the surgery, excess fat and tissue are cut away to improve vision and give the impression of younger eyes. This is generally an outpatient procedure.

Eyelid Reconstruction

The eyelids, both upper and lower, make up a very complex system of the human face and if they are damaged by injury or surgery due to skin cancer or growth-removal, they need to be repaired carefully.

Some reconstructions are more elaborate than others, based on the extent of the defect. Sometimes even grafting procedures are necessary to restore the eyelid to its original function and look.

Eyelid Treatment in Sycamore

If you are interested in blepharoplasty or require eyelid reconstruction, (call to make an appointment to see Dr. Jason Friedrichs in Sycamore.

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Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelid. It can be caused by a number of factors — everything from troublesome eyelash oil glands to allergies — and can sometimes be uncomfortable and unsightly. Patients might see a bump (a stye or chalazion) or an area of the eyelid that appears raised, irritated, red, and/or oozy.

Generally, these non-contagious infections of the eyelid are simply bothersome but if left untreated, they can evolve into a chronic condition or become problematic to your vision. For instance, they can interfere with your ability to wear contact lenses or cause excessive tearing. Your ophthalmologist has the expertise to care for blepharitis.

Signs of Blepharitis

  • Red, burning, watery, and/or swollen eyes
  • Discharge from the lids that can sometimes even cause the lid to stick closed
  • Problems with eyelash growth
  • Frequent blinking

Blepharitis Treatment in Sycamore

Most eyelid infections are easily treated with a prescription for topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs from your ophthalmologist. He also can test for specific bacterial infections and allergies that cause blepharitis. If you suspect you have blepharitis, make an appointment to visit Jason Friedrichs in Sycamore.

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What Is Glaucoma?

The term glaucoma refers to a series of disorders that lead to progressive damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is caused by the loss of nerve tissue, which results in loss of vision. Typically, glaucoma is caused by an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye, which may cause damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.

Types of Glaucoma

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma

This is the most common form of the disease. While an exact cause is still unknown, one theory is that the condition develops when the eye’s drainage system begins to work improperly.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Also known as acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma, this type is considered a medical emergency that can cause vision loss within a day of onset. If you start to notice symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Secondary Glaucoma

This glaucoma occurs as a result of injury to the eye or other eye diseases.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure in the eye is at a “normal” level, and the causes are unknown. Patients who suffer from normal-tension glaucoma may have sensitive optic nerves or reduced blood supply to the optic nerve.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Symptoms of glaucoma differ based on the type of glaucoma a person has. Open-angle glaucoma side effects occur over time. Sometimes it takes many years for the gradual vision loss to become noticeable. That’s why it’s important to keep regular visits with your eye care professional.

Angle-closure glaucoma side effects occur often without much warning and can cause blindness rapidly. The Glaucoma Research Foundation urges you to seek care from your ophthalmologist immediately if you have these symptoms:

  • hazy or blurred vision
  • the appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
  • severe eye and head pain
  • nausea or vomiting (accompanying severe eye pain)
  • sudden sight loss

Treatments for Glaucoma in Sycamore

Treatments for glaucoma vary according to a patient’s specific diagnosis. Some patients may benefit from medications, while other may require surgery.


Available medicines are typically intended to reduce elevated intraocular pressure. Patients may be prescribed one medication or a series of medications depending on a doctor’s diagnosis.


Trabeculoplasty is a procedure that can be performed with a laser or with more conventional surgical tools. Drainage implants may also be required by some patients depending on their age or specific diagnosis.

If you experience any loss in your field of vision, do not wait to seek medical attention. Call Dr. Jason Friedrichs and schedule an appointment.

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Eye Infections

Your eyes can get infected from bacteria, fungi, viruses, irritation, injuries, and even improper contact usage. Eye infections can occur in different parts of the eye and can affect just one eye or both.

A few common eye infections you may have heard of include the highly infectious conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, and styes, which are bumps on the eyelid that happen when bacteria from your skin get into the hair follicle of an eyelash. There are many others that range from easily treatable to vision-harming.

Contact lenses are very safe if used in the way they are intended, yet there is a risk of infection. The most common is keratitis, an infection of the cornea. Keratitis can be very serious if left untreated. In severe cases, patients have required a corneal transplant. If you think your contacts are causing an infection, take them out and wear your glasses until you can see your eye care professional.

If you sustain a minor eye injury — like a small scratch or irritant — remember that injury is susceptible to infection.

Signs of an Eye Infection

  • Pain and/or itchiness in the eye
  • A feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation)
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye
  • Swelling and/or Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids
  • A gray or white sore on the colored part of the eye (iris)
  • Fever with no other cause
  • Blurred or decreased vision

Eye Infection Treatment in Sycamore

Most eye infections are easily treated with a prescription from your ophthalmologist. If you suspect you have an infection, make an appointment to visit Jason Friedrichs in Sycamore.

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Dry Eyes

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What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition where the eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears are of poor quality. Dry eye can be a common and chronic problem for some people, especially older adults.

Causes of Dry Eye

Dry eye is primarily caused by two major factors: inadequate tears and poor tear quality.

Inadequate Tears

Tears are produced by glands in and around the eyelids. The production of tears typically begins to diminish with age, the use of certain medications, or as the result of certain medical conditions. When these factors cause tear production to decrease, dry eye symptoms will become noticeable.

Poor Tear Quality

Tears are comprised of three ingredients: oil, water, and mucus. If these components are out of balance, tears may not function as they are meant to, lubricating the eye and protecting it from infection.

Treatments for Dry Eye

Treatments for dry eye depend primarily on the type of diagnosis. Moderate cases of dry eyes can be treated with over-the-counter drops, but more severe cases should be treated with the help of a medical professional.

Conserving Tears

This method blocks the natural tear duct, where tears drain, with a small silicone plug that can be removed if needed. For some cases, permanently blocking the tear duct may also help.

Increasing Tear Production

An eye care professional will prescribe eye drops.

Treating Inflammation

An eye care professional may treat dry eye with warm compresses, lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to decrease inflammation around the eye’s surface.

Get Dry Eye Relief in Sycamore

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Jason Friedrichs to schedule an appointment before starting a treatment regimen.

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Flashers and Floaters

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What are Floaters and Flashers?

Eye Floaters

Floaters may appear in eyes that are injured, inflamed, or nearsighted. They are caused by vitreous fibers, which are usually invisible. However, when these fibers become detached, they can form shadows in the eye, and people will see them as floaters.

Eye Flashers

Eye flashers occur when the vitreous body fibers pull on the retinal nerve cells, causing a sensation of flashing light. These flashes can appear in a single spot or as a series of several flashes across a wide range of vision. It is also not unusual for flashers and floaters to occur at the same time.

Treatments for Flashers and Floaters in Sycamore

If you experience flashers and floaters in your field of vision, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional immediately. While floaters are typically not a sign of serious problems, flashes can be. Either way, an eye exam from a trained eye care professional will provide the diagnosis necessary to determine the proper treatment regimen. Contact Dr. Jason Friedrichs today to learn more about proper care.

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