A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which can cause one's vision to become blurry. They are common with age and can occur in one or both eyes. While cataracts are not painful, they do cause many symptoms such as blurry vision, fewer details, glare while driving or reading, dull colors, changes in your glasses prescription and double vision in one eye. New advances and techniques have made cataract surgery one of the most successful and life-improving surgical procedures performed. Most cataract surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and more than 95 percent of surgeries improve vision.
Glaucoma is a common eye disorder which damages the optic nerve. The early stages of glaucoma are undetectable, and experts estimate that only half of the people who currently have glaucoma even realize that they are affected. While there is no cure for glaucoma, many medications and procedures exist that can help to slow the disease or stop it altogether.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that damages the blood vessels in the retina, and usually affects both eyes. There are no common symptoms present during the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. If you experience blurred vision or "floating" spots, contact our office as soon as possible. People with diabetes can help prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy by carefully managing their blood sugar level and blood pressure.
Strabismus (Lazy Eye)
Strabismus, also sometimes called "lazy-eyed", "cross-eyed" or "wall-eyed," is a condition that occurs when a person cannot align both of their eyes on a single object at the same time under normal circumstances. Movement of the affected eyes could either occur all the time (called "constant strabismus") or under certain conditions like high stress or illness (called "intermittent strabismus"). Early treatment is strongly advised for children with strabismus because it is not a condition that children "grow out of".
- Retinal Detachment: Retinal detachment is a very serious condition which occurs when the retina becomes separated from the underlying supportive tissues, preventing the retina from functioning properly. If you notice spots, floaters, flashes of light, poor vision or a shadow appearance across the top of the eye, seek ophthalmic care immediately.
- Macular Hole: Macular holes are tears or cysts that can develop in the macula (a small spot in the retina, or back inner part of the eye), where fine focusing occurs. Macular holes usually cause a sudden decrease in vision in one eye. Visit our office immediately if you notice a sudden loss of vision in one eye.
Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable, they are also more prone to injury and infection. For incidental cases of dry eyes, over-the-counter eye lubricants are all that is needed. However, chronic, lasting or severe dry eyes can be a condition known as dry eye syndrome. Depending on the cause and extent of dry eye syndrome, it may or may not be able to be completely cured. Even when not cured, however, the symptoms can be managed. Interestingly, one of the symptoms of dry eyes is too much tearing.
A refractive error is when the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly, causing blurred vision. The common refractive disorders are:
- Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, myopia is when distant objects appear blurry. The condition is inherited and usually discovered in childhood. As a person ages, myopia can progress, requiring a stronger prescription to correct vision.
- Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is when close objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is most common in children. It can improve as a person ages.
- Presbyopia: presbyopia is the aging of the lens in the eye, which can make reading more difficult. This usually occurs in people over the age of 40.
- Astigmatism: is an irregular curvature on the cornea (front surface of the eye) which causes a person's vision to be blurred at all distances.
If you experience blurred vision, difficulty reading or crossing of the eyes, it may mean you have a refractive disorder. Contact our office for a complete eye exam.
The cornea is the dome-shaped clear covering at the center of your eyes. It protects your eyes, and its curvature is also responsible for many aspects of our vision. It is a highly complex series of cells and proteins, and unlike most of the tissues of the body, it has no veins or blood vessels of any kind to help nourish and maintain it, because the blood vessels would interfere with our vision. This makes it vulnerable to outside infections and diseases, of which there are many.
Also known as "pink eye", conjunctivitis is a very common affliction of the cornea that causes irritation, itching and burning of the eyelid lining. Many times, the disease's symptoms are easily managed and disappear after several days, but in extreme cases, professional treatment may be needed. If severe cases are left untreated, they may worsen and impair vision.
Herpes of the eyes, also known as ocular herpes, is the single most common infectious cause of corneal blindness in America. Ocular herpes typically causes painful sores on the eyelid or cornea, and can cause the cornea itself to inflame, which can lead to the destruction of cells within the cornea, causing scarring and blindness. Though the virus itself never leaves the body, breakouts can be controlled and treated with prescriptions.
A pterygium is a pinkish-colored patch of tissue that grows on the cornea. Pterygia can potentially obstruct vision, but this can be prevented by careful observations and surgery if needed. More often, it is a cosmetic concern, since the pterygia can be seen when it becomes red and inflamed from dust or sunlight. Eye lubricants are usually an effective treatment for smaller pterygia. For larger occurrences, surgery may be needed.