Eye Conditions

Commonly Managed Vision Conditions

In addition to providing a full-service optical and fitting glasses and contact lenses (including specialty lenses), Dr. Jerde and Dr. Thill also manage a range of eye problems:

  • Dry eye disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts

Read about these eye conditions below.

Our team has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above, as well as many other eye diseases, at our St. Louis clinic. For more information, request an appointment at Jerde Eye Specialists.

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears. When healthy, tears moisten, cleanse, and protect the eyes. When tears are unhealthy, it can have significant negative effects.

Common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Red, itchy, irritated eyes
  • Eye dryness
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  • The feeling of having something in your eye
  • Burning/stinging feeling in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive tearing (watery eyes)
  • Mucus in or around the eyes

There are a number of causes for tear quality and quantity breakdown. To provide longer lasting relief, it is important to treat the unique cause of your dry eye condition. Our doctors specialize in determining the root of your condition and providing customized dry eye and ocular surface disease treatment for the relief you need to resume and enjoy your everyday life.

Dr. Jerde specializes in dry eye treatment. If you suspect that you have dry eye, request a dry eye exam at Jerde Eye Specialists. Proper care will not only increase your comfort, it will protect your eyes.

Tell us about your dry eye concerns.


Glaucoma is often called “the silent thief of sight,” and is an increase in the internal pressure of the eyes. This pressure damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma symptoms vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. In the early stages, there are often no symptoms. Overtime, signs may begin to appear.

Open-angle glaucoma symptoms

  • Blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, usually in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in advanced conditions

Acute angle-closure glaucoma symptoms

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

If left untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular annual eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.

Schedule an eye exam today.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision. Vision loss is caused by a deterioration of the macula, which is a tiny spot in the center of your retina made up of millions of light-sensing cells. The disease is commonly associated with aging; therefore, it so is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

There are often no symptoms in the early stage of AMD.

The first sign you may notice is a gradual or sudden change in the quality of your vision or that straight lines appear distorted. This may gradually turn into a dramatic loss of your central vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Dark, blurry areas or whiteout in the center of your vision
  • Change in your perception of color

There are two forms of AMD:

  • Dry AMD: Most common and with no known treatment
  • Wet AMD: Less common and treated with laser procedures.

At Jerde Eye Specialists, we provide regular eye exams to catch diseases such as AMD early to protect your best possible vision. Request yours today.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a disease that results from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes (other diabetic eye diseases include cataracts and glaucoma). It is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue called the retina located at the back of the eye.

At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems.

When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Vision loss

Eventually, it can cause blindness. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication, so it is important not to wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy will dramatically reduce your chances of permanent vision loss.

Request an eye exam.


A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens and is the world’s leading cause of blindness. By age 65, you have a 50% chance of developing a cataract. By 75, it jumps to 70%.

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing "halos" around lights
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

A cataract starts out small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your eye doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, which is one of the most frequent and successful procedures done in the U.S.

Tell our doctors about your cataract concerns.