Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a vision development disorder in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Amblyopia begins during infancy and early childhood. In most cases, only one eye is affected. But in some cases, reduced visual acuity can occur in both eyes. Particularly if lazy eye is detected early in life and promptly treated, reduced vision can be avoided. But if left untreated, lazy eye can cause severe visual disability in the affected eye, including legal blindness. It's estimated that about 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population has some degree of amblyopia.
The term astigmatism is used to describe a cornea that isn't round. The cornea is shaped like a football rather than a round, spherical basketball. Like a football, the astigmatic cornea has two curves: a steeper one and a flatter one 90 degrees away. These two curves bend light entering the eye, causing two images to form on the retina. Patients with astigmatism may notice blurred or ghost images close up or far away. Astigmatism may be present in various degrees and is found in approximately 30 to 40% of individuals who wear glasses or contact lenses.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an infection of the conjunctiva (the outer-most layer of the eye that covers the sclera). The three most common types of conjunctivitis are: viral, allergic, and bacterial. Each requires different treatments. With the exception of the allergic type, conjunctivitis is typically contagious.
To avoid spreading infection, take these simple steps:
- Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs and counters with diluted bleach solution;
- Don't swim (some bacteria can be spread in the water);
- Avoid touching the face;
- Wash hands frequently;
- Don't share towels or washcloths;
- Do not reuse handkerchiefs (using a tissue is best);
- Avoid shaking hands.
A detached retina is a serious and sight-threatening event, occurring when the retina becomes separated from its underlying supportive tissue. The retina cannot function when these layers are detached. And unless the retina is reattached soon, permanent vision loss may result.
Detached Retina Symptoms and Signs
- If you suddenly notice spots, floaters and flashes of light, you may be experiencing the warning signs of a detached retina. Your vision might become blurry, or you might have poor vision. Another sign is seeing a shadow or a curtain descending from the top of the eye or across from the side.
- These signs can occur gradually as the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue, or they may occur suddenly if the retina detaches immediately.
- About one in seven people with sudden onset of flashes and floaters will have a retinal tear or detachment, according to a study reported in late 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Up to 50 percent of people who experience a retinal tear will have a subsequent detachment.
- No pain is associated with retinal detachment. If you experience any of the signs, consult us at Crystal Clear Eye Surgeons right away. Immediate treatment increases your odds of regaining lost vision.
If you start seeing double images when your eyes normally work well together, you should take it seriously.
While double vision (also called diplopia) may be temporary, you should still visit Crystal Clear Eye Surgeons to find out what's going on.
Dry eyes can cause a gritty, sandy sensation, burning, stinging and itching. Some people notice their eyes sticking shut when they wake up. Sometimes a dry eye can actually seem watery. The eye can be producing poor quality, reflex tears, which don't do the job of keeping the eye lubricated.
What can be done for dry eyes?
The first line of treatment is usually artificial tears. There are several excellent brands on the market. One person may like one type better, while another may find a different brand works better. If you are using artificial tears more than 4 times/day, a non-preserved tear should be used. Ask your eye care practitioner to make some recommendations. If your eyes are severally dry, a humidifier in rooms that you spend a lot of time may be helpful. There are now also prescription drops (Restasis) that can alleviate dry eyes.
What if the drops don't work?
The doctors can place tiny collagen or silicone plugs in the drainage canals of your eyelids. These plugs prevent the tears from draining down and out of your eyes. Collagen plugs last about 2 weeks. Generally, they are a good first step. If the patient notices improvement for a few days, then the symptoms return, permanent silicone plugs can be inserted. While these plugs are removable if necessary, they do not dissolve on their own and don't require replacing.
Who gets dry eyes?
Virtually anyone is prone to dry eyes, although women get the condition more than men and older people more often than younger people.
What causes dry eyes?
Various systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjögren’s Syndrome can cause dry eyes. Environmental conditions, some prescription and over the counter medications, and wearing contact lenses also contribute to dryness.
What medications cause dry eyes?
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, anti-depressants, and some blood pressure medications can contribute to dry eye problems. Oral contraceptives are another common culprit, as are alcohol and marijuana. There are countless other over-the-counter and prescriptions; ask your eye care practitioner about specific ones.
For more detailed information on eye conditions, visit All About Vision.
Endophthalmitis is an infection inside the eye, that is, an intraocular infection. There are multiple different types of endophthalmitis, but our discussion will be limited to the most common type, post-operative endophthalmitis. This condition occurs most commonly after cataract surgery, typically afflicting approximately one in every 1,000 patients. In most cases, surgery was routine and uncomplicated, though certain surgical complications may increase the incidence of this infection. Patients typically present with a rather sudden onset of progressively worsening vision, pain, and a red eye. Most patients present the symptoms with the condition 3 to 12 days after surgery.
Floaters are caused by tiny bits of vitreous gel or cells that cast shadows on the retina. Flashes occur when the vitreous tugs on the sensitive retina tissue.
floater Signs and Symptoms
- Black spots or "spider webs" that seem to float in the vision in a cluster or alone;
- Spots that move or remain suspended in one place;
- Flickering or flashing lights that are most prominent when looking at a bright background like a clear, blue sky.
Symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem
- Sudden decrease of vision along with flashes and floaters;
- Veil or curtain that obstructs part or all of the vision;
- Sudden increase in the number of floaters.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, occurs when images are formed behind the retina, resulting in a blurred image. This is due to an eye that is relatively too short, or the refractive powers of the cornea and lens of the eye are relatively too weak. Depending on the degree of farsightedness and the age of the individual, some farsighted people may see clearly at both distance and near through the process of accommodation, or focusing of the lens in the eye. This may cause significant eye-strain; however, accommodative abilities are gradually lost with aging.
Keratoconus is an eye condition where the clear front of the eye, the cornea, gets thin and bulges outward into a cone shape. This usually begins in the teens or early twenties and affects mostly males. One eye is usually worse than the other eye. It is also oftentimes runs in the family, so alert other family members to get their eyes checked.
Many people are not aware that age-related macular degeneration, often called ARMD, is the leading cause of blindness in the world. According to the eye-health organization Prevent Blindness America, some 13 million Americans have evidence of age-related macular degeneration. The disease breaks down the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina responsible for the sharp, direct vision needed to read or drive. Macular degeneration is more common in people over age 65, and whites and females tend to get the disease more than others. Most cases of macular degeneration are related to aging, but it also can occur as a side effect of some drugs, and it appears to run in families.
Macular degeneration can produce a slow or sudden painless loss of vision. If straight lines look wavy, vision begins to seem fuzzy, or there are shadowy areas in central vision, it may indicate early signs of age-related macular degeneration.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition of the eye in which images are formed in front of the retina, resulting in a blurred image. This occurs when the eye is relatively too long or the refractive powers of the cornea and lens of the eye are relatively too strong.
Myopia usually begins in childhood, and progressively worsens until adulthood is achieved, usually about 18 to 21 years of age. All people will experience difficulty reading, usually beginning in their 40s. There is a lens in the eye, which “accommodates” light so that we can see at near distances. With Presbyopia, light from a near object enters the eye, the cornea refracts the light and the lens changes shape to accommodate for the decreased focal length of a near object.
Ocular migraines are painless, temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes. Though they can be frightening, ocular migraines typically are harmless and self-resolve without medication within 20 to 30 minutes. Other terms used by eye doctors to describe ocular migraines include ophthalmic migraines, retinal migraines and eye migraines.
If an ocular migraine-like vision disturbance is followed by a throbbing, usually one-sided headache, this is called a "migraine with aura" (previously called a classic migraine), and the visual disturbance is referred to as an aura rather than an ocular migraine. A migraine headache without a visual disturbance preceding it is called a "migraine without aura" (previously called a common migraine).
Migraine auras usually are visual in nature, but they can include disturbances of hearing, speech or smell; progressive numbness or tingling in the face or arms or legs; or generalized weakness. It's also possible, though less common, for an ocular migraine and a migraine headache to occur simultaneously, causing visual disturbances and unilateral (one-sided) or bilateral (two-sided) head pain at the same time, or for an ocular migraine to follow a migraine headache.
This is exactly the same process that occurs when focusing your camera on a near object. Unfortunately this lens within the eye, as it ages, loses its ability to focus for us and we need reading glasses or bifocals.
Ptosis(TOE-sis) refers to drooping of an upper eyelid of one or both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Ptosis can affect both children and adults, but usually occurs because of aging.