Myopia (nearsightedness) is a refractive condition of the eye that causes objects in the distance to be blurry. It is the most common refractive error but can easily be corrected with glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) is a refractive condition of the eye where distance objects may be seen more clearly than near objects. There may be no symptoms with hyperopia, especially in younger patients but symptomatic patients may experience blurry vision at near and sometimes in the distance, eye strain, headaches, double vision, and red eyes. Hyperopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the eye's cornea or lens. If your cornea or lens isn't evenly curved, light rays aren't refracted properly to a single point. With astigmatism you have blurred or distorted vision at near and far distances. Sharp vision can be achieved with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Astigmatism is very common. Doctors don't know why corneal shape differs from person to person. They do know that likelihood of developing astigmatism is inherited.
Astigmatism can develop after an eye disease, eye injury or surgery. It is a myth that astigmatism can develop or worsen from reading in low light or sitting very close to the television.
Common symptoms include blurry or distorted vision, eyestrain, headaches, and squinting.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition in which the lens of the eye becomes less flexible. Seeing details at near like words in a book or an online article, or adjusting focus between far-away and nearby objects is difficult. This condition is most common has an onset in people between the ages of 40 and 50. Presbyopia can be treated with reading, bifocal or progressive addition lens glasses and contact lenses.
Amblyopia is the medical term when the vision of one eye is reduced because it doesn't work properly with the brain. The eye itself looks normal, but for various reasons the brain favors the other eye. Amblyopia is the most common vision impairment in children affecting, approximately, 2 to 3 out of every 100 children. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood, amblyopia usually persists into adulthood. Amblyopia results when any condition prevents a sharp image from being focused on the retina of the eye. Common causes of this are misaligned eyes, congenital cataract (cloudiness of the lens of the eye), and high uncorrected refractive error such as hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism.
Your cornea is the clear, dome-shaped window at the front of your eye. It focuses light into your eye. Keratoconus is when the cornea thins out and bulges like a cone. Changing the shape of the cornea brings light rays out of focus. As a result, your vision is blurry and distorted, making daily tasks like reading or driving difficult.
Treatment can include glasses and soft contact lenses in early or mild cases but hard or scleral contact lenses may be required in more advanced cases. A newer treatment called Corneal Cross-Linking has shown great promise to slow down the progression of kerataconus.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that damages the optic nerve either from pressure build up in the eye or reduced blood flow perfusion to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is hereditary but systemic diseases such as diabetes can increase your risk. Glaucoma typically does not cause symptoms until the end stages so it is extremely important to have your eyes examined yearly.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition in which a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are poor quality. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults and those diagnosed with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome.
People with dry eyes may experience irritated, gritty, scratchy or burning eyes; a feeling of something in their eyes; excess watering; and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
The biggest risk factor for Macular Degeneration is age. Your risk increases as you age, and the disease is most likely to occur in those 55 and older.
Other risk factors include:
Genetics - People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk.
Race - Caucasians are at higher risk than African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos
Smoking - Smoking doubles the risk of AMD.
There is currently no known cure for Macular Degeneration, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk and possibly slow the progression once you’ve been diagnosed. For example, one can pursue lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, avoiding smoking, and protecting your eyes against ultraviolet light.
People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes can steal your vision.
You can have diabetic retinopathy and not know it. This is because it often has no symptoms in its early stages. As diabetic retinopathy gets worse, you will notice symptoms such as:
seeing an increasing number of floaters,
having blurry vision,
having vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear,
seeing blank or dark areas in your field of vision.
having poor night vision, and
noticing colors appear faded or washed out losing vision.
Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.
Patients with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam at least once every year.
Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.
Here are some vision changes you may notice if you have a cataract:
Seeing double (when you see two images instead of one)
Being extra sensitive to light
Having trouble seeing well at night, or needing more light when you read
Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms make an appointment today for a dilated eye exam.