Medicine in Ophthalmology

Medical ophthalmologists are doctors trained in both general (internal) medicine and ophthalmology. They manage medical eye disorders, many of which are related to systemic (i.e. whole body) disease such as diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, inflammation, infection and malignancy. Ocular inflammatory disorders may be the first manifestation of systemic disease and it is important that the whole patient is investigated and treated, not just the presenting organ. Their role is different from ophthalmic surgeons who are specialists in the surgical and medical treatment of diseases and injuries in and around the eye.

Medical ophthalmologists treat with conditions such as:

  • Inflammatory/infectious disorders affecting vision, eg: uveitis, scleritis, corneal graft rejection, systemic vasculitis, thyroid eye disease
  • Neurological disorders affecting vision, eg: multiple sclerosis, brain tumour, stroke, pituitary disorders, thyroid eye disease
  • Raised eye pressure, eg: glaucoma
  • Retina specific disorders affecting vision, eg: age-related macular degeneration
  • Vascular disorders affecting vision, eg: diabetes, diabetic retinopathy
  • Genetic disorders affecting vision, eg: retinitis pigmentosa.

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