Routine Eye Exams | Myopia (Nearsightedness) | Hyperopia (Farsightedness) | Floaters | Pediatric Eye Exams | Dry Eye | Cataract | OCT | Macular Degeneration | Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steals sight without warning and often without symptoms. Every year millions of people around the world develop glaucoma and each day without treatment can bring them one step closer to blindness.
In a healthy eye, a balance exists between the fluid produced, and the fluid that leaves the eye. This balance keeps the eye pressure at a healthy level. In order to maintain balance the eye has a built-in drainage system. This drainage system controls the inflow and outflow of fluids, which is responsible for nourishing the eye. The eye's drainage system works a lot like a sink. Fluid is produced from the faucet and exits through the drain. If a blockage develops in the eye's drainage system, or if fluid is produced faster than it can escape - an overflow will occur. In the eye, this overflow causes the pressure to elevate. The optic nerve is most vulnerable to damage from elevated pressure. Continuous elevated pressure or spikes in pressure can damage the optic nerve. If left untreated, damage to the optic nerve can lead to vision loss and even blindness. The main goals of glaucoma surgery are to reduce eye pressure and prevent vision loss. When treating glaucoma one option to reduce pressure, is to turn off the faucet. Another option to reduce pressure is to remove the blockage that's slowing the fluid from escaping. And the final option for reducing pressure is to create a new channel for the fluid to escape through. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
There are a number of treatment options available, that are designed to slow down, or stop damage to the eye that is caused by glaucoma. While vision that has already been lost due to glaucoma can not be recovered, these treatments can stop vision loss from getting worse. Your eye care professional may suggest medicated eye drops, a laser procedure, or a surgical procedure, to treat glaucoma. These treatments all have a common goal; to lower pressure inside of the eye, and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Prescription eye drops lower pressure inside of the eye, by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces, or by helping fluid leave the eye more easily. Laser procedures can lower eye pressure by relieving blockage in the drain mechanism of the eye. In some cases, lasers are also used to create new drainage channels inside the eye, when there is an obstruction to the normal flow of fluid. Surgical procedures lower eye pressure by creating an opening in the wall of the eye, so the fluid can easily escape. Another surgical approach is to implant a tube called a shunt, to channel fluid out of the eye. Your treatment plan will depend on the type of glaucoma you have, how far it has advanced, and your general health. Your eye care professional will determine the best approach for you.
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness, and therefore everyone needs to be aware of this disease. However, certain people are at a greater risk of developing this disease than others. These include: people over the age of forty, individuals who are severely myopic or nearsighted, people who have diabetes, people diagnosed with hypertension, long term steroid or cortisone users, people of african or mediterranean descent, people who have family members with the disease, individuals who have experienced a serious injury or trauma to their eye, those who have high intra ocular pressure, and people with enlarged optic nerves. Glaucoma is a highly detectable disease. It is essential that high-risk glaucoma patients have annual eye examinations to ensure continued ocular health.
Individuals who are at risk of developing glaucoma should be tested regularly to maintain the quality of their vision. There are many different tests that eye doctors may perform to monitor for glaucoma: One test a doctor may perform is called Ophthalmoscopy. During this test, the doctor observes the condition of the optic nerve through a special microscope. If necessary, your doctor may also use a special camera to take photographs of your eye for future comparison. Another test that may be performed is called Tonometry. This test measures for the presence of elevated pressure inside of the eye, a key risk factor for glaucoma. The thickness of the cornea can influence the results of a Tonometry test, so a doctor may measure the cornea by performing a test called Pachymetry. Knowing the thickness of the cornea can help the doctor more accurately interpret pressure within the eye. A doctor may perform a Gonioscopy test. During this test, the doctor observes the angle of the eye where fluid is supposed to drain to see if there is any blockage or closure that may elevate pressure within the eye. Patients may also be given an interactive test, called a Visual Fields test to detect vision loss due to glaucoma. During this test, patients look straight ahead, and indicate when they see a spot of light appear in their visual field. Spots that go unnoticed during this test may indicate areas of vision loss. Another test that may be performed, measures your optic nerve using computerized imaging devices. These devices scan the area of the optic nerve, providing highly-detailed images of the optic nerve and surrounding tissue. This test can help doctors identify and treat glaucoma far in advance of previous technologies. Doctors may perform one, or all of these tests on a patient, depending on their risks of developing glaucoma, and the condition of their eyes. Performed regularly, these tests provide an eye doctor with the information needed to effectively treat glaucoma, and prevent vision loss.
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor may prescribe eye drops to control pressure in your eye. These drops are applied onto the surface of the eye and may cause stinging or burning. Eye drops for treating glaucoma work in two ways. First they lesson the amount of aqueous fluid the ciliary body of your eye produces. Second, the drops may allow more fluid to drain out of the eye more easily. Sometimes, drops alone may not be able to treat glaucoma.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you are not alone. You can manage your glaucoma. Come in for routine check-ups. Incorporate your glaucoma drops into a daily routine so you remember them. Reach out for support from loved ones. If certain activities become challenging, don't be afraid of change. We will work as a team to manage glaucoma.
Nothing is more precious than our eye sight. Our eyes allow us to enjoy the beauty of the world around us. So much of what we learn, what we experience, and what we enjoy comes to us through our eyes. As you look at the world around you, you think of how valuable your vision is. Now, think of how your world would be if you were losing your eye sight to Age Related Macula Degeneration. Macular Degeneration is a disease that steals our central vision often without symptoms. Every year millions of people around the world develop Age Related Macular Degeneration, and each day without treatment can bring them one step closer to blindness.
Age related macular degeneration also known as AMD, is the deterioration of the center of the retina called the macula. The macula is the part of the retina which is responsible for our central vision, and our ability to see color and fine detail when looking directly at an object. Age related macular degeneration or AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 55. In the early stages of AMD there is little or no vision loss. As the disease advances, images can become blurred or distorted, or a dark or empty area can appear in the center of the vision. AMD does not cause total blindness, because side vision is not affected. There is some good news related to macular degeneration. With regular check-ups, early diagnosis and new treatment options, doctors are now able to maintain visual acuity in most patients and improve vision in a significant number of patients suffering from this condition.
Age related macular degeneration, is the leading cause of blindness in patients over the age of 50. You could be at risk, and not even know it. While there is no cure for AMD, nutritional supplements, and blue light filtering sunglasses, can go a long way in the prevention of this devastating disease. Ask your eyecare physician for more information about AMD, and how to protect your eyes, from the dangers of blue light.
The most common form of age related macular degeneration is called the dry form. This form of the disease affects up to 90 percent of AMD patients. In the early stages of dry AMD, tiny deposits called drusen, start appearing within the retina. These drusen may be so insignificant, that the patient has few, if any, outward symptoms, and no vision loss. As dry AMD progresses, more disruptive drusen begin to appear. As the size and number of drusen increases, patients may begin to notice a small dark spot in their central vision, causing them problems while reading, or driving at night. Drusen alone are not proof of macular degeneration, but they are an important warning sign. It is critical for patients to understand that as dry AMD progresses it can turn into the more severe form called wet AMD.
A less common, but more serious form of age related macular degeneration is called the wet form. This form of the disease affects about 10 percent of AMD patients. In the wet form of age related macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels begin to develop underneath the retina. These abnormal blood vessels are unusually delicate, and may bleed or leak fluid. This fluid builds up beneath the retina, causing it to bulge or lift up from the back of the eye. The eye is damaged as a result, causing central vision to appear blurred, wavy, or distorted. Wet AMD can progress rapidly, leading to severe vision problems in the affected eye, and causing permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis of wet AMD is critical. If caught early, treatment options exist which may delay or reduce damage to the eye, and decrease the severity of vision loss.
The most significant symptom of macular degeneration is blurred or distorted central vision. Over time, macular degeneration can affect vision by forming a blurred, darkened or empty area in the center of vision, or distorting one's surroundings; most noticeably in the appearance of straight lines. Macular degeneration may also cause colors to become less vivid. Blurred or distorted central vision can cause an inability to perform tasks that require precision, like driving a car. Fortunately, this disease does not cause total blindness, because side vision is not affected. If macular degeneration occurs in only one eye, the symptoms of the disease may not be noticed right away, as the good eye compensates for the bad eye. It is essential to take these symptoms seriously, and to speak with an eye care professional immediately if they are developed.
While macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss, early detection and timely treatment can help delay its progression and preserve your vision. Vision that is lost due to macular degeneration can significantly impact a person's lifestyle, so prevention is an important part of treating this condition. You can play a part by leading the healthiest lifestyle possible. Quit smoking, control your blood pressure, watch your weight and exercise. Studies have shown that nutrition matters as well, and that taking a prescribed combination of natural eye supplements can slow the development of this condition. However, nutritional supplements may only work in certain situations and are not guaranteed to help. During the early stages of treatment, your eye care professional may write a new prescription for your eyeglasses, and ask you to schedule regular eye exams. You may also be asked to use an at-home eye test, called an Amsler grid, to monitor for changes in your vision. Although dry AMD is far more common than wet AMD, wet AMD requires timely diagnosis and aggressive treatment. Some patients are good candidates for medications that are injected directly into the eye, which are called intravitreal injections. Although intravitreal injections are able to maintain visual acuity in most patients and improve vision in a significant number of patients, injections must be administered as frequently as every month to attain the best results. Another treatment option for wet AMD can involve focusing an intense beam of laser light onto the retina, which can seal leaking blood vessels, or even eliminate them. Should permanent vision loss occur, specialized glasses and low vision equipment such as magnifiers and bright lights may help. Your doctor will discuss which treatment options may be best for you.
Most cases of severe vision loss and blindness can be prevented with early detection. Optical Coherence Tomography, or 'OCT' is a powerful new test that can help your doctor identify and manage conditions early in the disease process. Most eye diseases that can lead to irreversible blindness, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, tend to progress without any pain, or vision symptoms, in the early stages. Age is a major risk factor for the development of many eye conditions, because they typically develop over the course of one's life time. This makes routine eye exams, especially for people over the age of 50, a vital step for detecting eye conditions, even in the absence of any vision problems. The later an eye condition is diagnosed, the more difficult it may be to treat. The OCT test uses light, to scan the structures in the back of the eye. Once the scan is complete, this test generates a highly-detailed, cross-sectional image of the back of the eye. The OCT test can also help doctors detect changes in the eye, caused by diabetes and macular degeneration. The test can help doctors quantify abnormal thickening of the center of the retina, known as macular edema, or help identify subtle, less common retinal conditions such as macular holes. The OCT test can be used to monitor changes to the back of the eye, as a result of drug or laser therapy. These changes can affect a doctor's decision regarding the need for additional therapy. The OCT procedure is brief, painless, and completely safe. Let the OCT test provide you and your doctor valuable information today... that can help preserve your vision for tomorrow.
Nothing is more precious than our eye sight. Our eyes allow us to enjoy the beauty of the world around us. So much of what we learn, what we experience, and what we enjoy, comes to us through our eyes. As you look at the world around you, think of how valuable your vision is. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss for people all around the world. For people who have cataracts, seeing through a cloudy lens, is like looking through a foggy window. While there is no way to prevent Cataracts, you can slow their progression by wearing UV protected sunglasses, eating healthy, quitting smoking, and taking nutritional supplements. It's also important, that you continue to monitor Cataract development, by visiting your eye care professional for annual eye exams.
As the cataract grows larger and clouds more of your lens, more noticeable symptoms will develop. These symptoms may include cloudy or blurred vision, faded colors, double or multiple images, and poor night vision.
Cataracts are a part of the aging process, but they do not have to interfere with your life style. A cataract is a cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside your eye. As your lens gets cloudier, your vision will gradually become more blurred. The human eye may best be compared to a camera. When you take a picture, the lens in the front of the camera allows light through and focuses that light on the film. When the light hits the film, a picture is taken. The eye works in much the same way. The lens of your eye is clear, and allows light to pass through. Light is focused by your cornea and lens onto a thin layer of tissue, called the retina. Your retina works like the film in a camera. When the focused light hits the retina, a picture is taken, and sent to your brain. While a dirty camera lens blurs a picture, any significant cataract in your lens will blur what you see.
Today, cataracts can be treated in a variety of ways. Initially, when symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision with a new pair of glasses or a change in prescription. Brighter lighting may also help in the short-term. If a cataract grows large enough to impair your vision, and affect your daily activities, cataract removal is recommended. Cataract removal is a common procedure, and is safely performed millions of times each year. During the procedure, the cataract surgeon removes the clouded lens that has affected your vision, and replaces it with a clear, artificial, intraocular lens. As a result, most patients can achieve a noticeable improvement in their vision. Cataracts do not grow back, but in some cases, the clear, thin tissue that holds the intraocular lens in place can turn cloudy, months or even years after cataract surgery, causing vision to blur again. If this happens, your doctor can easily and painlessly correct the issue, by using a laser, to create a new opening in the lens capsule. This creates a clear visual pathway, which should allow your sight to return to its previous level of clarity.
There are many treatments to relieve the symptoms of dry eye, which range from making simple changes in your home, to in-office procedures. It depends on the underlying cause of your dry eye. No matter what your individual treatment plan entails, the most important thing to remember is to be consistent and follow instructions regularly. Dry eye can be managed so that you can be symptom-free for months, even years - but even if you no longer have symptoms, you must still continue the treatment program prescribed by your eye care professional to keep dry eye at bay. Because dry eye is an inflammatory condition like arthritis, you can experience flare ups from time to time. Should this happen, just schedule an appointment with us. We’ll always work with you to find the best plan to keep your eyes moisturized, comfortable, and healthy. Bullet Summary: Dry eye treatment plans vary depending on the underlying cause Like any inflammatory condition, consistently following your treatment plan is key to managing dry eye Contact us if you experience a flare up - we may need to adjust your treatment.
There are a variety of dry eye treatments available to provide relief from dry eye. Once your eye care professional identifies the underlying cause of your dry eye, he or she will work with you to design a flexible treatment plan customized to your needs. If your dry eye is caused by your environment or behavior, you may be advised to make small changes. These can be as simple as reducing the speed of ceiling fans in your home - or remembering to blink more often when you use computers. Your eye care professional might recommend drinking more water or eating foods or supplements high in omega fatty acids or vitamin A.Your tear production may also be the cause of your dry eye. Eye drops including prescription medications, artificial tear drops, gels, or ointments are often used to increase eye moisture or tear production and may be used in combination with other treatments. Another option, called punctal plugs, retains tears in the eye by blocking the tear drainage canal. If you are experiencing dry eye as a result of another condition, your eye care professional will also treat that cause. For example, if you wear contact lenses, you may need to try other types of lenses. If you have inflamed or clogged eyelid glands, your doctor will offer methods to treat the glands ranging from at-home lid hygiene techniques, to in-office procedures. Let us work with you to find the best course of treatment for your dry eye!
Small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision are called floaters. Most floaters are not dangerous and are caused by tiny pieces of tissue inside of the eye. When light hits these pieces of tissue it creates shadows on the retina, that appear to float across your field of vision. It may appear that these specks are on the front surface of your eye, but they are actually inside. In most cases floaters are no cause for alarm and no treatment is necessary, however a sudden increase in new floaters may indicate a problem and an eye examination is recommended if this occurs.
Hyperopia is a common refractive error, also known as farsightedness. Farsighted people see things best when they are very far away but have trouble seeing things that are closer. Hyperopia occurs when light entering the eye comes into focus behind the retina instead of precisely on the retina. This can be caused by a cornea that is too flat, by an eye that is too short, or by a combination of both problems. People with mild hyperopia can still see things that are far away, but people with severe hyperopia can have trouble seeing clearly, even at a distance. In addition, hyperopia often becomes worse as the eyes lose focusing power with age.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, can be diagnosed easily by your eye care professional. Treatments for hyperopia are designed to change the way that light rays are bent when they enter the eye so that they come into a point of focus precisely on the retina. These treatments may include prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that compensate for the eye's inability to focus. Another treatment option is refractive surgery, where the cornea is reshaped to change the way it bends entering light rays. Hyperopia can also be treated by implanting a prescription lens inside the eye where it works with the rest of the eye's natural focusing system to refocus light rays precisely on the retina. When hyperopia causes blurry vision, these treatments may help restore clearer vision, making daily activities much easier.
Myopia is a common refractive error, also known as nearsightedness. Nearsighted people see things best when they are close up but have trouble seeing things that are farther away. Myopia occurs when light entering the eye comes into focus in front of the retina instead of precisely on the retina. This can be caused by a cornea that is too steeply curved, by an eye that is too long, or by a combination of both problems. People with mild to moderate myopia can see things close-up, but people with severe myopia may only be able to see objects clearly when they are just a few inches away.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, can be diagnosed easily by your eye care professional. Treatments for myopia are designed to change the way that light rays are bent when they enter the eye so that they come into a point of focus precisely on the retina. These treatments may include prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that compensate for the eye's inability to focus. Another treatment option is refractive surgery, where the cornea is reshaped to change the way it bends entering light rays. Myopia can also be treated by implanting a prescription lens inside the eye where it works with the rest of the eye's natural focusing system to refocus light rays precisely on the retina. When myopia causes distant objects to appear blurry, any of these treatments can restore clear vision, making daily activities much easier.
The inner workings of the human eye are complex, but at the same time, fascinating. The eye is easy to understand, if you think of it as a camera. When you take a picture, the les in the front of the camera allows light through, and focuses that light on the film. When the light hits the film, a picture is taken. The eye works in much the same way. In a healthy eye, the lens is clear, and allows light to pass through. Light is focused by the cornea and lens, onto a thin layer of tissue called the retina. The retina works like the film in a camera. When light hits the retina, tiny cells collect the light signals, and convert them into electrical signals, which are then sent through the optic nerve, and to the brain, where they are processed into the images we see.
Caring for your eyesight begins with the complete eye examinations. Complete eye exams are about more than just testing your vision, it's a full check-up for your eyes. Many eye care problems can develop over long periods of time, without symptoms, and can irreversibly damage your vision. Regularly scheduled complete eye exams are the best way to detect such conditions early, and address them before they develop into more serious problems. Most adults should have a complete eye exam every one to two years. Children should receive complete eye exams regularly as they grow to detect and treat eye conditions that can affect their progress in school. Patients who are at a higher risk for certain conditions, such as diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, and those over the age of 40, should have exams more frequently, as recommended by their eye doctor. Remember that caring for your eyesight begins with complete eye examinations. They are the best way to detect eye conditions early, and address them before they develp into more severe problems.
Caring for your eyesight begins with having regular eye examinations, performed by an eye care professional.Routine eye exams are painless, and can detect the early signs of many preventable, and treatable eye conditions. These exams may also detect broader health conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, that can affect your vision over time. During an exam, your eye care professional will ask you about yourmedical history, and if you are experiencing any vision problems. A vision test is performed to see if you may benefit from glasses or contact lenses, or to determine if your prescription has changed. Advanced instruments are used to examine the outside and inside of your eyes. This examination will help your eye care professional check for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health. It's important to understand that only an Optometrist or Ophthamologist can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained eye care profesesionals, and they can miss important vision problems that may require treatment. So whether you're experiencing eye problems, or not, regular eye exams are important for perserving hour vision for life.