For additional information on other eye diseases or general eye health please click here for information provided by Eyecare America, the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.
Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily. LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.
Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.
Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.
Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties. Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting implant lenses.
A cataract is a condition that develops when your eyes natural lens becomes cloudy. Usually a patient will notice that they are experiencing decreased vision and colors that were once clear and bright are becoming more faded. Patients experiencing symptoms of cataracts may also notice glare or halos especially when looking at lights, such as headlights, in the dark.
Signs that you may be experiencing a cataract generally progress slowly, but patients will start to notice a cloudiness in the eyes natural lens, and a yellowish or amber color appearing on the lens. Some patients may also become more near-sighted as the cataract progresses.
Cataracts can affect anyone and generally comes with age. Cataracts may also develop as a result of eye trauma, diabetes, or prolonged used or certain medications such as steroids.
Treatment for cataracts involve glasses if vision can be corrected enough for patients to function. If a cataract has developed past the use of glasses, cataract surgery will be required. During cataract surgery the cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an intraocular lens. Patients have the choice of a monofocal lens implant so they will be able to see at one distance, or an multifocal lens implant that will allow them to recreate the eyes natural lens and see at both near, far, and intermediate distances.
Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition where patients experience a lack of tear production. People experiencing dry eye will feel their eyes burning, a scratchy feeling, or feeling like something is in their eye.
Causes of dry eye syndrome can be related to age as the tear production decreases, it can be associated with other diseases such as Sjogren's Syndrome, or with the use of medications such as anti-histamines.
Treatment for dry eye is usually treated with artificial tears in mild cases. In more severe cases lubricating eye ointment will be prescribed. If you are suffering from dry eye syndrome it is important to speak with your eye doctor at Baker Eye Institute so you can be provided with an effective and individualized treatment plan.
Glaucoma is a disease that patients usually are not able to catch in the early stages. Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops during the early stage, but since Glaucoma is difficult to diagnose it generally advances without the patient’s knowledge, requiring them to undergo laser surgery to treat their glaucoma. Because Glaucoma is not easily detected it is important to schedule routine eye exams with your eye doctor.
In the early stages of glaucoma is often treated by applying eye drops to reduce the intraocular pressure to protect the optic never. Advanced stages of Glaucoma where patients are no longer responding to medication, are treated with laser surgery. Laser surgery can only treat certain types of glaucoma. The procedure is used to diver the excessive amount of intraocular liquid to newly constructed pathways to reduce the intraocular pressure.
If medication is able to reduce eye pressure glaucoma patients will need to be seen every 3 to 6 months to make sure that the pressure stays at a controlled level.
Macular degeneration is an age related disease where the macula, or the center of vision in the retina, is damaged. Patients experiencing macular degeneration will notice that their vision is becoming gray or hazy and some areas of vision may be lost. Objects may also appear less colorful than before and lines that were once seen as straight will be blurry or wavy.
There is currently no cure for macular degeneration but there are a number of treatments available that may slow the process, including Photodynamic Therapy (PVT). PVT is used to seal leaky blood vessels in the retina. Most macular degeneration patients will only experience mild to moderate visual loss over time. If the macular degeneration occurs, vision loss may happen much more rapidly and will be more severe. Patients may gain a little vision with treatments, but once vision is lost it is very difficult to restore.
Retinal detachment is an eye disorder that occurs when the retina separates from the back wall of the eye. The common cause of retinal detachment is when the vitreous pulls on the retina leading to a retinal tear or hole causing fluid to accumulate under the retina and result in retinal detachment.
Symptoms of retinal detachment include intermittent flashes that last a few seconds, floaters, or loss of peripheral vision. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention immediately because if left untreated this condition may lead to total loss of vision.
Flashes occur as a result of the aging of the vitreous. As we age the vitreous changes from a jelly like consistency to a liquid like consistency which eventually leans to separation from the retina.
Flashes appear as light streaks, usually off to the side. They may last a few seconds and are more prominent in the dark. Flashes may also be triggered by rapid eye movements.
Floaters occur as a result of the aging of the vitreous. As we age the vitreous changes from a jelly like consistency to a liquid like consistency which eventually leans to separation from the retina.
Floaters appear as gray, black, or translucent strings or dots. The shape of floaters may be circular, or part of a circle. They are able to move freely and move with eye movement.
Blepharitis is a chronic or long-term inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes. It affects people of all ages. Among the most common causes of blepharitis are poor eyelid hygiene; excessive oil produced by the glands in the eyelid; a bacterial infection (often staphylococcal); or an allergic reaction.
Seborrheic blepharitis is often associated with dandruff of the scalp or skin conditions like acne. It can appear as greasy flakes or scales around the base of the eyelashes and a mild redness of the eyelid. It may also result in a roughness of the normally smooth tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid.
Ulcerative blepharitis is less common, but more serious. It is characterized by matted, hard crusts around the eyelashes, which when removed, leave small sores that ooze or bleed. There may also be a loss of eyelashes, distortion of the front edges of the eyelids and chronic tearing. In severe cases, the cornea, the transparent front covering of the eyeball, may also become inflamed.
In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine may control blepharitis. This includes frequent scalp and face washing; warm soaks of the eyelids; and eyelid scrubs. In cases where bacterial infection is a cause, eyelid hygiene may be combined with various antibiotics and other medications. Eyelid hygiene is especially important upon awakening because debris can build up during sleep.
If you have diabetes, your body does not use and store sugar properly. High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. The damage to retinal vessels is referred to as diabetic retinopathy.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).
NPDR, is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, tiny blood vessels within the retina leak blood or fluid. The leaking fluid causes the retina to swell or to form deposits called exudates.
PDR is present when abnormal new vessels (neovascularization) begin growing on the surface of the retina or optic nerve. The main cause of PDR is widespread closure of retinal blood vessels, preventing adequate blood flow. The retina responds by growing new blood vessels in an attempt to supply blood to the area where the original vessels closed. PDR may cause more severe vision loss than NPDR because it can affect both central and peripheral vision.
The best treatment is to prevent the development of retinopathy as much as possible. Strict control of your blood sugar will significantly reduce the long-term risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, it is important to know that today, with improved methods of diagnosis and treatment, only a small percentage of people who develop retinopathy have serious vision problems. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision.
At Baker Eye Institute in Conway, cataract surgery has benefited countless patients whose vision was fading, many who were nearly blind. Our experienced cataract surgeon, Dr. David Littleton Baker, can help reintroduce you to a world of clear vision. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about cataract surgery and the difference in IOLs.
If you live in the Conway or Little Rock, Arkansas region and would like further information about cataract surgery, schedule a vision consultation at Baker Eye Institute today. We pride ourselves on offering the latest advances in cataract surgery, including premium lens technology.
Providing excellence in eye care for over 18 years, Baker Eye Institute offers advanced treatment for medical and surgical diseases of the eye and eyelid. Dr. Baker helps restore the vision for patients throughout the state with an advanced no-stitch cataract surgery. You likely know someone who has already had the procedure done and is enjoying their renewed vision.
Schedule your eye care appointment with Baker Eye Institute by simply filling out our online form. For your convenience we have provided patient forms online so that you may print them and fill them out prior to your appointment.