Services & Procedures

Dr. Griswold and Dr. Volz  provide a wide range of services, from routine eye exams to cataract surgery, and some of these services are listed here. To find out more about these procedures, services or eye conditions and how to treat them, just click on the topic below.


Procedures and Technology

Accommodative IOL Implant

Accommodative Intraocular Lens (IOL)

Imagine being able to see your world as well as you did when you were younger, without the help of glasses or contact lenses. Being seen the way you want people to see you.

Youthful. Energetic. Vibrant.

Being able to see the way you want to see. Near, far and all distances in between. Seamlessly. Effortlessly. Naturally. Never missing a child’s smile, the sparkle of a diamond, a cloud that looks like a face, an important plot twist in a mystery novel. Imagine a way to do it. Through your own eyes. Imagine all the possibilities.

What is an Accomodative IOL?

An accomodative IOL is a replacement lens that works naturally with your eyes’ muscles to give you the quality of vision you enjoyed when you were younger. The revolutionary new design includes “hinges,” which are designed to allow the lens to move, or accommodate to focus on objects near, far and all distances in-between seamlessly.

Unlike old-style fixed focal lenses, which didn’t move, new IOLs, such as Crystalenshas the ability to move, thus focusing as your eye’s natural lens does. Your doctor will take precise measurements to insure the correct power selection.

The Accomodative IOL Procedure

The medical procedure to implant the IOLs is the same safe, proven cataract surgeryperformed annually on over 7 million eyes globally. Over 65 million procedures have been done in the US in the last 25 years.

Typically performed in an outpatient surgical facility, the actual surgery takes less than twenty minutes. In a pain free procedure, your doctor will place a few drops in your eye, then use an ultrasonic probe to remove the cloudy lens from your eye. The IOL is then gently placed where your original lens used to be.

Once surgery is complete, your doctor will place additional drops in your eye to prevent infection and decrease inflammation. Because the opening into the eye is so small, it heals quickly on its own, without any need for stitches.

Why we offer our patients the Accomodative IOL:

These lenses offers significant advantages over other kinds of lens implants and corrective lenses.

  • Standard (single vision) lens implants don’t have the ability to provide a full range of vision. Most people who have single vision lens implants MUST wear glasses for middle and near vision.
  • The lens has the unique ability to focus on objects at varying distances using the eye’s natural muscle. This means the Crystalens can provide sharper vision, without corrective lenses, throughout a full range of vision from near to far and everything in between.
  • The FDA one-year clinical study results indicate that 92% of the people enrolled in the study (implanted bilaterally) could see 20/25 or better at distance, 96% could see 20/20 at arm’s length and 73% could see 20/25 at near without glasses or contact lenses. What is more exciting is that 98% of these people could pass their drivers test, 100% could see their computer or put on their makeup, and 98% could read a magazine, all without glasses or contact lenses. Also, your ability to see at approximately arm’s length (middle vision) will be greatly enhanced with the lens.
  • The quality of vision compared to wearing bifocals and/or trifocals is significantly improved. You’ll have a full range of vision, without having to tilt your head to find that portion of your glasses that allows you to see clearly. You simply look at something and the lens, mimicking the natural focusing ability of your eye, will automatically focus your eye at near, arm’s length, or distance.

Griswold Eye Care Centers will be glad to answer any questions you have about the Accommodative IOLs.

Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery

Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger than that, suffer from cataracts. Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only way to see clearly again is to have them removed from within the eye.

In your parents’ or grandparents’ day, cataract surgery was considered risky, required a lengthy hospital stay and was usually postponed for as long as possible. Today, cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and takes only a few minutes. It is now one of the most common and successful medical procedures performed. In fact, following cataract surgery, many patients experience vision that is actually better than what they had before they developed cataracts.

Cataract surgery is for those who:

  • believe that their quality of life has been impaired by poor vision
  • have been diagnosed with cataracts
  • have no health issues affecting their eyes

What to expect on surgery day:

You will arrive at the surgery center about an hour prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye.
Eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb your eyes. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

Your eye will be completely numbed before the procedure.

A very small incision will be made and a tiny ultrasonic probe will be used to break up the cataract into microscopic particles using high-energy sound waves. This is called phacoemulsification.

The cataract particles will be gently suctioned away. Then, a folded intra-ocular lens (IOL) will be inserted through the micro-incision, then unfolded and locked into permanent position. The small incision is “self-sealing” and usually requires no stitches. It remains tightly closed by the natural outward pressure within the eye. This type of incision heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation.

Intra-Ocular Lens replaces the natural lens of the eye.
The IOL is placed inside the capsular bag of the eye.

If your eye has pre-existing astigmatism, your surgeon may elect to make micro-incisions in the cornea to reduce your astigmatism. These are called LRIs or limbal relaxing incisions.

Pre-existing astigmatism can be treated with limbal relaxing incisions.

 

You will go home soon after the surgery and relax for the rest of the day. Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately after the procedure. Most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two.

 

Realistic expectations:

The decision to have cataract surgery is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any vision restoration procedure is to improve your vision. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire.

Once removed, cataracts will not grow back. But some patients may experience clouding of a thin tissue, called the capsular bag, that holds the intra-ocular lens. In most cases, a laser is used to painlessly open the clouded capsule and restore clear vision with a procedure called a capsulotomy.

The capsular bag may become cloudy in the future.

Serious complications with cataract surgery are extremely rare. It is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to an eye specialist experienced with the procedure can significantly minimize the risks involved with cataract surgery.

After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if cataract surgery is an option for you. You will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

You may also choose to make an appointment or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.

Posterior Capsulotomy

Posterior Capsulotomy

A posterior capsulotomy is a non-invasive laser procedure to eliminate the cloudiness that occasionally interferes with a patient’s vision after cataract surgery. In modern cataract surgery, the cataract is removed, but a thin membrane that held the cataract is left in place to hold the implanted artificial lens.Leaving the capsule in place during cataract surgery is a great advancement because it allows the vision after surgery to be more stable and ensures fewer surgical complications. However, sometimes the posterior or back portion of the capsule becomes cloudy over time. This can be resolved with a quick in-office laser procedure.

The capsular bag can become cloudy over time.

A posterior capsulotomy is for those who:

  • have had cataract surgery
  • believe that their vision is being affected by cloudiness

What to expect on procedure day:

Once you have been checked-in, drops will be used to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

Your ophthalmologist will use a YAG laser to create an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule. The opening allows clear passage of the light rays and eliminates the cloudiness that was interfering with your vision.

Opening the bag with the laser allows for clear passage of light rays.

The entire procedure takes only about five minutes and you can leave soon afterward. The results of the procedure are almost immediate, however your vision will probably be a little blurry from the drops so someone will need to drive you home. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drops for you to use for a few days following the procedure. Most patients resume their normal activities immediately.

Realistic expectations:

Serious complications with posterior capsulotomy are extremely rare. It is a safe and effective procedure, but like any medical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to an eye specialist experienced with the procedure can significantly minimize the risks involved with posterior capsulotomy.

If you and your doctor decide that posterior capsulotomy is an option for you, you will be given additional information that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

If you would like more information about this procedure you can make an appointmentor contact the office for additional information.

Laser Iridotomy

Laser Iridotomy

Laser iridotomy is a treatment for narrow-angle glaucoma. In laser iridotomy, a small hole is placed in the iris to create a hole for fluid to drain from the back of the eye to the front of the eye. Without this new channel through the iris, intra-ocular pressure can build rapidly causing damage to the delicate optic nerve, and permanent loss of vision. In most patients, the iridotomy is placed in the upper portion of the iris, under the upper eyelid, where it cannot be seen.

A small hole is placed in the iris to create a hole for fluid to drain from the back of the eye to the front of the eye.

The purpose of an iridotomy is to preserve vision, not to improve it.

Laser iridotomy is for those:

  • who have been diagnosed with narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • whose doctor has determined that laser iridotomy is the appropriate treatment for their condition.

What to expect on procedure day:

Your treatment will be performed in a specially equipped laser room. It does not require a surgery center. Once you have been checked in and settled comfortably, drops will be used to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used.

First, your ophthalmologist will place a drop in your eye to make your pupil smaller. This stretches and thins your iris, which makes it easier for the laser to make the pinhole sized puncture. Next your doctor will place a special contact lens on your eye to focus the laser light upon the iris. This lens keeps your eyelids separated so you won’t blink during treatment. It also reduces small eye movements so that you don’t have to worry about your eye moving during the treatment. To ensure that the contact lens doesn’t scratch your eye, a special jelly will be placed on the surface of your eye. This jelly may remain on your eye for about 30 minutes, leading to blurred vision or a feeling of heaviness.

During the laser treatment, you may see a bright light, like a photographer’s flash from a close distance. Also, you may feel a pinch-like sensation. Other than that, the treatment should be painless.

Your eye pressure will be checked shortly after your procedure and drops may be prescribed to alleviate any soreness or swelling inside your eye. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your eye pressure.

Your doctor may ask you to continue using eye drops to make your pupil smaller for a few days following your laser treatment. These drops can temporarily cause blurred vision (especially at night) and may also give you a slight headache. Your doctor may use other drops, both before and after your treatment to control your eye pressure. Still other eye drops may be used to reduce inflammation.

Everyone heals differently, but most people resume normal activities immediately following treatment, although you’ll need to have someone drive you home after your procedure. For the next few days your eyes may be red, a little scratchy and sensitive to light.

Realistic expectations:

Serious complications with laser iridotomy are extremely rare, but like any medical procedure, it does have some risks. The chance of losing vision following a laser procedure is extremely small. The main risks of a laser iridotomy are that your iris might be difficult to penetrate, requiring more than one treatment session. Another risk is that the hole in your iris will close. This happens in less than one-third of the cases.

Following your procedure, you may still require medications or other treatments to keep your eye pressure sufficiently low. This additional treatment will be necessary if there was damage to the trabecular meshwork prior to the iridotomy or if you also have another type of glaucoma in addition to the closed-angle type.

If you and your doctor decide that laser iridotomy is an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

If you would like more information about this procedure you can make an appointment or contact the office.

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

As we age, the lens inside our eye loses its ability to focus both near and far. Most vision correction procedures attempt to change the focusing power of the cornea. A refractive lens exchange, on the other hand, corrects nearsightedness orfarsightedness by replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has the wrong power, with an artificial intra-ocular lens (IOL) implant that has the correct power for the eye.

A refractive lens exchange is a surgical procedure that uses the same successful techniques of modern cataract surgery. These surgical techniques have evolved and improved dramatically over the last 20 years. Cataract surgery is now the most common surgical procedure performed in medicine today.

The main difference between standard cataract surgery and a refractive lens exchange is that cataract surgery is primarily performed to remove a patient’s cataract that is obstructing and clouding their vision, while a refractive lens exchange is performed to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses. A refractive lens exchange can be combined with other procedures that treat astigmatism such as LRIs and AK.

A refractive lens exchange is for those who:

  • want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
  • may not be a good candidate for laser vision correction
  • are 18+ years of age
  • have no health issues affecting their eyes

Cataracts are a part of the normal aging process and if a person lives long enough chances are they will develop cataracts. People who have refractive lensectomy now, will not have to have cataract surgery in the future.

What to expect on surgery day:

The refractive lens exchange procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Only one eye will be treated at a time. After the eye is completely numbed with topical or local anesthesia, the eye’s natural lens will be gently vacuumed out through a tiny incision, about one eighth of an inch wide.

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Next, the new, intra-ocular lens will be folded and inserted through the same micro-incision. It will then be unfolded and placed into the “capsular bag” that originally surrounded the natural lens. This incision is “self-sealing” and usually requires no stitches. It remains tightly closed by the natural outward pressure within the eye. This type of incision heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation.

AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL, ReZoom™ Multifocal IOL, & Crystalens IOLs
For most RLE patients, life without glasses or bifocals is something they either experienced before age 40, or they just dreamed about for most of their lives. But today, the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL, the ReZoom Multifocal IOL and the Crystalens IOL are providing our patients with the ability to see clearly at all distances without dependence on bifocals or reading glasses.

Each of these presbyopia correcting IOLs  is unique in its optical design and visual advantages. Which one is best for you depends on the unique characteristics of your eye as well as your lifestyle needs. After a thorough eye examination we will make a recommendation as to which of these revolutionary IOLs would be most advantageous for you.

If your eye has pre-existing astigmatism, your surgeon may elect to make micro-incisions in the cornea to reduce your astigmatism. These are called LRIs or limbal relaxing incisions.

Your surgeon may elect to make micro-incisions in the cornea to reduce your astigmatism.

You will go home soon after the surgery and relax for the rest of the day. Everyone heals somewhat differently but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately after the procedure. Most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two.

Realistic expectations:

The decision to have a refractive lens exchange is an important one that only you can make. The goal of a refractive lens exchange is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire.

Serious complications with refractive lens exchange are extremely rare. It is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to an eye specialist experienced with the procedure can significantly minimize the risks involved with refractive lensectomy.

After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if refractive lensectomy is an option for you. If you are a good candidate, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

Alternatives to refractive lensectomy

A refractive lens exchange is not the only surgical procedure designed to correct nearsightedness. To learn about other procedures go to the surgical and laser vision correction procedures section of our Web Site. If you would like to learn more about vision correction procedures from sources other than our practice, we encourage you to link to a number of Web sites we feel provide factual and up-to-date information. You may also choose to make an appointment, attend a seminar or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.

We offer a number of finance options and affordable payment plans.  It is easy to apply online and receive credit approval before you schedule an appointment.

Punctal Occlusion

Punctal Occlusion

One way to alleviate dry eye is to help the eyes to make better and longer use of the small amount of lubricating tears they do produce. This is accomplished by closing off the small funnel-like drain hole found in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids. These drain holes, called punctums can be closed with tiny plugs called punctal plugs. The plugs can be placed in the two tear ducts, top and bottom, in both eyes or in only the lower ducts. The punctum can also be permanently closed with a heat or laser procedure.

Punctal plugs can be temporary or permanent. Temporary plugs dissolve a few days after insertion. If your dry eye symptoms disappear when the temporary plugs are inserted, your doctor may consider permanent punctal occlusion.

Punctal occlusion is for those:

  • who have been diagnosed with dry eye
  • whose doctor has determined that punctal occlusion is the appropriate treatment for their condition

What to expect on procedure day:

Your treatment will be performed in an examination room. It does not require a surgery center. Once you have been checked in and settled comfortably, drops will be used to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used.

Your doctor will pull your eyelid up and ask you to look toward the outside of your head, away from your nose. Using a forceps-like applicator, the plug will be placed into the corner of your eye, then released. An applicator or another tool will then be used to gently push the plug into your natural punctal opening and you’ll be asked to blink. Once the plugs get wet, they will expand to completely fill the opening. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes. Many patients report immediate relief from dry eye symptoms and resume normal activities immediately.

Realistic expectations:

Serious complications with punctal occlusion are extremely rare, but like any medical procedure, it does have some risks. If you experience side effects, your doctor can remove the plugs. Going to a specialist experienced in punctal occlusion can significantly minimize risks.

If you and your doctor decide that punctal occlusion is an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

If you would like more information about this procedure you can make an appointmentor contact the office for additional information.

Limbal Relaxing Incision

Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRIs)

The outer layer of the eye can be divided into three areas: the cornea, the sclera and the limbus. The cornea is the clear part, or the window, that covers the iris and the pupil. The sclera is the white part of the eye. The limbus is the thin area that connects the cornea and the sclera.

Limbal relaxing incisions (LRIs) treat low to moderate degrees of astigmatism. As the name suggests, the surgeon makes small relaxing incisions in the limbus, which allows the cornea to become more rounded when it heals. LRIs are placed at the very edge of the cornea (in the limbus) on the steepest meridians. LRIs are often combined with other surgical and laser vision correction procedures and cataract surgery.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions are for those:

  • who have astigmatism
  • want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
  • have no health issues affecting their eyes

What to expect on surgery day:

You will arrive at the laser center 30-60 minutes prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye. Anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes; no injections or needles will be used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

Next, marks will be made on the limbus. These impressions are temporary and used for marking where the surgeon will make the incisions. The marks are based upon a formula taking into account your prescription, age and the amount of correction needed. Next, tiny arc shaped incisions will be made in your limbus. Finally, antibiotic drops will be applied and the eyelid holder will be removed. The actual surgery takes about 5 minutes but with pre-operative preparations, it can take up to an hour.

Following your procedure, you will be given additional eye drops, and your eye may be shielded for protection. Your vision will probably be a little blurry at first, so someone will need to drive you home. You should relax for the rest of the day. You may experience some discomfort, but this is usually alleviated with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Some people experience sensitivity to light, and watering or swelling of their eyes for a few days following the procedure.

Everyone heals differently, but most patients resume normal activities the next day. Some patients see a dramatic improvement in their vision within the first day. For others, vision may be blurry for several weeks.

Realistic expectations:

The decision to have LRIs is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire.

Serious complications to LRIs are extremely rare. If you decide that LRIs are an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

Alternatives to LRIs

LRIs are not the only surgical procedure designed to correct astigmatism. To learn about other procedures go to the vision correction procedures section of our Web Site. If you would like to learn more about vision correction procedures from sources other than our practice, we encourage you to link to a number of Web sites we feel provide factual and up-to-date information. You may also choose to make an appointment, attend a seminar or request additional information to learn more.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Laser surgery has become increasingly popular as an intermediate step between medications and traditional glaucoma filtration surgery. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a relatively new laser treatment for open-angle glaucoma. SLT uses short pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin-containing cells in a network of tiny channels, called the trabecular meshwork. The objective of the surgery is to help fluids drain out of the eye, reducing intra-ocular pressure that can cause damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.

The selective technique is much less traumatic to the eye than Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT), which has been the standard laser procedure. ALT can cause tissue destruction and scarring of healthy cells in the trabecular meshwork structure. SLT reduces intra-ocular pressure without this risk. SLT can be used to effectively treat some patients who could not benefit from ALT. This includes patients who have already been treated with ALT.

Although your doctor may suggest laser surgery at any time, it is often performed after trying to control intra-ocular pressure with medicines. In many cases, you will need to keep taking glaucoma drugs even after laser surgery.

SLT is for those:

  • who have been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • whose doctor has determined that SLT is appropriate for controlling their intra-ocular pressure

What to expect on procedure day:

Your treatment will be performed in a specially equipped laser room. It does not require a surgery center. Once you have been checked in and settled comfortably, drops will be used to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking.

Your doctor will hold up a special lens to your eye as a high-peak power beam of green light is aimed at the lens and reflected onto the meshwork inside your eye. You may see flashes of bright green or red light. The laser will selectively target melanin-containing cells, resulting in increased fluid outflow. You will not feel any pain during the procedure. It takes 10-20 minutes.

Your eye pressure will be checked shortly after your procedure and drops may be prescribed to alleviate any soreness or swelling inside the eye. You should relax for the rest of the day. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your eye pressure. While it may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of this procedure, during which time you may have to continue taking your medication, many patients are eventually able to discontinue some of their medications. Most patients resume activities within a few days.

Realistic expectations:

The effect of the surgery may wear off over time. Serious complications with SLT are extremely rare, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to a specialist experienced in SLT can minimize the risks.

If you and your doctor decide that SLT is an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction. If you would like more information about this procedure you can make an appointment or contact the office for additional information.

Alcon AcrySof Foldable Lens

Alcon Acrysof® Foldable Lens

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. While the word surgery can frighten some people, modern medical technology allows your cataract to be treated safely with a microsurgical technique that takes less than 20 minutes to perform. Each year, about 2,000,000 people have their cataracts removed and an artificial lens put in its place.

Once the cataract is removed, a permanent, artificial lens, called an intraocular lens or IOL is implanted. There are two types of IOLs available; non-foldable and foldable. Non-foldable IOLs are made of a hard plastic material. Alcon Acrysof is a foldable lens made of a soft acrylic material. A dedicated research and development team took 10 years to develop, test and bring this product to market.

Why we offer our patients the Alcon Acrysof® Foldable Lenses:

  • Since 1995, over 3.5 million AcrySof lenses have been implanted worldwide.
  • AcrySof was developed to work with a small inicision, promoting faster healing.
  • AcrySof offers clear post surgical vision.
  • Due to the propriety properties of the lens, it does not irritate surrounding tissues.
  • The lens material is strong but also flexible making it easy to fold and implant.
  • 99.6% of patients experience best-case vision of 20/40 or better one year after their surgery.
  • 98.8% of patients experience best-case vision of 20/40 or better three years after their surgery.

Presbyopia Correcting Intraocular lens

Presbyopia Correcting IOLs

Presbyopia is a condition that most people over the age of 40 experience that results in difficulty seeing up close without the aid of bifocals, trifocals, or reading glasses. This age-related condition is believed to be caused by a hardening of the lens inside the eye, making it difficult for the eye’s muscles to change its focus.

Over time, the lens becomes cloudy and develops into a cataract. It is said that, if we live long enough, everyone will develop cataracts. The only way to treat cataracts is to remove and replace it with an Intraocular Lens (IOL).

Until recently, the primary option was to receive a “fixed focus” IOL. Patients who received this type of IOL typically had both eyes corrected for distant vision but usually still required glasses for intermediate and near vision.

If you are experiencing presbyopia or cataracts, you may be a candidate for one of the new technologically-advanced IOLs that can provide a full range of vision. This means that you would be able to read and see clearly in the distance, close up, and everything in-between, with little or no dependence on bifocals, trifocals, or contact lenses.

There are currently three presbyopia correcting IOLs that have been approved by the FDA. These include: the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL, the ReZoom™ Multifocal IOL and the Crystalens® Accommodating IOL.

Each of these multifocal lenses is unique in its optical design and visual advantages. Which one is best for you depends on the unique characteristics of your eye as well as your lifestyle needs. After a thorough eye examination we will make a recommendation as to which of these revolutionary IOLs would be most advantageous for you.

Presbyopia correcting IOLs are not covered by most insurance companies or by Medicare but most people to have one of these IOLs implanted during cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange feel the cost of achieving a full range of vision without dependence on glasses or contacts is well worth the money.

AcrySof IQ ReSTOR IOL

AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL

At Last! An Opportunity for Visual Freedom

For most cataract patients, life without reading glasses or bifocals is something they either experienced before presbyopia or they just dreamed about for most of their lives. But today, The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL is turning those dreams into reality with its revolutionary lens technology, which is designed to allow patients to see clearly at all distances without bifocals or reading glasses. The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL is now available and delivers a high level of glasses-free vision.

 

Presbyopia makes it difficult
to focus on close objects

The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL is a breakthrough intraocular lens (IOL) that can provide patients a full range of vision — near through distance — and greatly reduce their reliance on reading glasses or bifocals. The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL is an artificial lens used in cataract surgery for patients with and without presbyopia.

 

Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens inside the eye looses its ability to change shape and eventually affects everyone, including whose who are nearsighted, farsighted, have cataracts, or had perfect vision most of their life.


Until recently, most patients had their vision improved with a monofocal IOL. Although the quality of their distant vision was excellent, most patients needed reading glasses to see near objects.


AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL provides a full range of vision, decreasing dependence on reading glasses or bifocals.

Why we offer our patients the Acrysof® ReSTOR® IOL

  • This unique IOL results in highly-predictable visual results, meaning patients can read prescription bottles, magazines, newspapers and computer screens, while also seeing items at a distance without reading glasses or bifocals. In fact, in clinical trials, 80 percent of patients receiving the AcrySof ReSTOR IOL reported that they never wear glasses for any activities.
  • The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL is made of the same highly-biocompatible material as Alcon’s market-leading AcrySof family of intraocular lenses, which have been implanted in more than 21 million human eyes since 1991.
  • AcrySof ReSTOR IOL uses a combination of three complementary technologies: apodization, diffraction and refraction. Its unique design provides the ability to focus light correctly and automatically on the retina for images at various distances without mechanical movement of the lens, which is required by other lenses designed to provide a full range of vision.

For more information go to www.acrysofrestor.com. You may also choose to make an appointment or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.

AcrySof IQ Toric IOL

AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL

Say “goodbye” to both cataracts and astigmatism at the same time. Say “hello” to a clear tomorrow!

Traditionally patients receive a monofocal IOL that generally provides good distance vision without glasses or contacts. However, many patients that also haveastigmatism will still experience blurry distance vision because standard IOLs do not correct astigmatism. Corrective eye ware or additional surgery is needed to reduce blurring and distortion caused by astigmatism.

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped like a football (more curved in one direction than the other) which causes light to focus in more than one point on the retina and thus results in blurry, distorted vision.

Today, patients with astigmatism who want freedom from glasses for distance vision after cataract surgery can choose to have the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL.

The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL not only clears vision when the cataract is removed, it can reduce or eliminate the blurring  and distortion caused by astigmatism. The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL has a unique “aspheric” surface that has proved to eliminate much of the night vision distortions and loss of contracts that can be experienced with standard IOLs .

Why we offer our patients the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL:

  • In clinical trials 94% of patients implanted achieved uncorrected distance visual acuity of 20/40 or better.
  • The AcrySof® IQ IOL provides improved functional vision in challenging, low-visibility environments.
  • The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL is made of the same highly-biocompatible material as Alcon’s market-leading AcrySof family of intraocular lenses, which have been implanted in more than 21 million human eyes since 1991.

For more information visit www.acrysofiqtoric.com. You may also choose to make an appointment or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.

Alcon Series 20000 Legacy

Alcon Series 20000® Legacy®

Ultrasonic phacoemulsification for the removal of cataracts has become the “gold standard” for cataract surgery. In phacoemulsification surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into a very small incision on the edge of the eye. This probe gently breaks the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and suctions the cataract out of the eye. Then, a folded intra-ocular lens (IOL) is inserted through the micro-incision, then unfolded and locked into permanent position. The small incision is self-sealing and usually requires no stitches. This type of incision heals quickly and provides a much more comfortable recuperation.

Patients in your parents’ or grandparent’s day had their cataracts removed in one piece with an incision that was a 180 degree arch over half the eye. Cataract surgery was delayed because it was risky and required months of recuperation. Today, with ultrasonic phacoemulsification, our patients have cataract surgery in the morning and can resume most of their normal activities the very next day.

ALCON SERIES 20000® LEGACY® has become the world’s leading phacoemulsifier. It offers state-of-the-art technology for cataract removal.

Why we.ve invested in the Alcon Series 20000® Legacy®

  • Legacy uses sophisticated computer technology to break cataracts into tiny fragments that can be removed through a very small incision. This small incision allows for faster healing and a quick return to good vision.
  • Breakthrough programming capabilities give the surgeon precise control during the procedure.
  • The electronic voice confirmation of system commands enhances control and safety.
  • Legacy is very flexible, accommodating different surgical techniques.
  • The advanced technology allows the equipment to effectively

Crystalens AO

Crystalens® Aspheric Optic (AO)

Imagine being able to see your world as well as you did when you were younger, without the help of glasses or contact lenses. Being seen the way you want people to see you.
Youthful. Energetic. Vibrant.

Being able to see the way you want to see. Near, far and all distances in between. Seamlessly. Effortlessly. Naturally. Never missing a child’s smile, the sparkle of a diamond, a cloud that looks like a face, an important plot twist in a mystery novel. Imagine a way to do it. Through your own eyes. Imagine all the possibilities. Imagine Crystalens® AO.

What is Crystalens® AO?

Crystalens® AO is one of the more technologically advanced IOLs that can provide a full range of vision. Meaning, you can read, see clearly in the distance, and everything in-between, with little or no dependence on bifocals, trifocals or contact lenses for most of your activities.
The Crystalens® AO is the first lens designed to mimic the movement of the eye’s natural lens. This was accomplished by creating an extremely flexible lens which allows the optic to make microscopic movements.

When the eye muscles contract, the lens moves forward to focus on near objects. To go from near to intermediate vision, the muscle must slightly relax to move the lens backwards. When the muscle is totally relaxed, the lens is all the way back to allow clear distance vision.

Unlike multifocal IOLs that divide light into multiple focal points, Crystalens® AO delivers100% of light at all distances which means patients can see near, intermediate and distant images with equal clarity. It also significantly lowers glare and halos around lights at night compared to multifocal technology.

Many of our Crystalens® AO patients hardly, if ever need their glasses after surgery.

Why we offer our patients Crystalens® AO:

  • The Crystalens® AO offers significant advantages over other kinds of lens implants and corrective lenses.
  • Standard (single vision) lens implants don’t have the ability to provide a full range of vision. Most people who have single vision lens implants MUST wear glasses for middle and near vision.
  • The Crystalens® AO has the unique ability to focus on objects at varying distances using the eye’s natural muscle. This means the Crystalens® AO can provide sharper vision, without corrective lenses, throughout a full range of vision from near to far and everything in between.
  • Crystalens® AO FDA one-year clinical study results indicate that 92% of the people enrolled in the study (implanted bilaterally) could see 20/25 or better at distance, 96% could see 20/20 at arm’s length and 73% could see 20/25 at near without glasses or contact lenses. What is more exciting is that 98% of these people could pass their drivers test, 100% could see their computer or put on their makeup, and 98% could read a magazine, all without glasses or contact lenses. Also, your ability to see at approximately arm’s length (middle vision) will be greatly enhanced with the Crystalens® AO.
  • With Crystalens® AO, the quality of vision compared to wearing bifocals and/or trifocals is significantly improved. You’ll have a full range of vision, without having to tilt your head to find that portion of your glasses that allows you to see clearly. You simply look at something and the Crystalens® AO, mimicking the natural focusing ability of your eye, will automatically focus your eye at near, arm’s length, or distance.

We will be glad to answer any questions you have about the Crystalens® AO. Or to find out more for yourself, just go to www.crystalens.com.

TECNIS Multifocal IOL

TECNIS® Multifocal IOL

You can believe your eyes – Youthful vision after cataracts

Today, for people who have cataracts, there is a procedure to remove the clouded natural lens of the eye and replace it with an advanced, artificial TECNIS® Multifocal Lens. This unique  implantable lens is proven to provide excellent vision at all distances, under all lighting conditions — day and night. Even better, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens has helped thousands of people gain independence from glasses for the first time.

Although most people over 60 experience some level of blurry vision due to cataracts, and almost everyone over 50 loses their ability to read comfortably without glasses due to presbyopia, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens now makes it possible to regain the performance of youthful eyes.

Nearly 9 out of 10 patients enjoy freedom from glasses
after receiving the TECNIS® Multifocal Lens

Designed to give you back your youthful vision, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens can provide you with high-quality vision at any distance, and in all lighting conditions—even in dim light. With the TECNIS Multifocal Lens, you can see objects up close, far into the distance, and at every important milestone along the way.

Superior Results:

  • The advanced TECNIS Multifocal is an implantable lens that significantly improves vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia. In a recent clinical study, over 94% of study patients said they would choose the TECNIS Multifocal Lens again.
  • It’s a lens that offers patients with age-related vision loss an excellent chance to regain youthful vision and become free of glasses.
  • The lens for your lifestyle If you enjoy activities such as reading, boating, quilting, playing golf, sightseeing, or surfing the Internet, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens is the lens for your active lifestyle.

Form more information visit www.tecnismultifocal.com

Different types of implantable lenses are designed to meet individual eye health and lifestyle needs. Talk to your doctor about which lens is the right choice for you.

Corneal Topography

Corneal Topography

Corneal topography is a computer assisted diagnostic tool that creates a three-dimensional map of the surface curvature of the cornea. The cornea (the front window of the eye) is responsible for about 70 percent of the eye’s focusing power. An eye with normal vision has an evenly rounded cornea, but if the cornea is too flat, too steep, or unevenly curved, less than perfect vision results. The greatest advantage of corneal topography is its ability to detect irregular conditions invisible to most conventional testing.


Corneal topography is a computer
assisted diagnostic tool

Corneal topography produces a detailed, visual description of the shape and power of the cornea. This type of analysis provides your doctor with very fine details regarding the condition of the corneal surface. These details are used to diagnose, monitor, and treat various eye conditions. They are also used in fitting contact lenses and for planning surgery, including laser vision correction. For laser vision correction the corneal topography map is used in conjunction with other tests to determine exactly how much corneal tissue will be removed to correct vision and with what ablation pattern.


A detailed corneal topography map

Computerized corneal topography can be beneficial in the evaluation of certain diseases and injuries of the cornea including:

  • Corneal diseases
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal deformities
  • Irregular astigmatism following corneal transplants
  • Postoperative cataract extraction with acquired astigmatism

The corneal topography equipment consists of a computer linked to a lighted bowl that contains a pattern of rings. During a diagnostic test, the patient sits in front of the bowl with his or her head pressed against a bar while a series of data points are generated. Computer software digitizes these data points to produce a printout of the corneal shape, using different colors to identify different elevations, much like a topographic map of the earth displays changes in the land surface. The non-contact testing is painless and brief.

Humphrey Field Analyzer II

Humphrey Field Analyzer II

 

 

Visual field testing is an important tool in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. It is used to confirm that glaucoma has affected the visual function, to evaluate the severity and to monitor progression of the disease. The Humphrey Field Analyzer II is a wheelchair accessible, diagnostic tool used to examine a patient’s visual field. The Humphrey Field Analyzer II is the recognized standard of care for early diagnosis and management of ocular diseases resulting in visual field loss.

Why we’ve invested in the Humphrey Field Analyzer II

  • Diagnostic Precision: the Humphrey Field Analyzer II has been shown to be extremely accurate.
  • Early Glaucoma Detection: this technology has been shown to provide earlier detection of vision loss due to glaucoma.
  • Quickness: the Humphrey Field Anazlyzer II measures visual fields in as little as two minutes.

IOL Master

IOLMaster

In cataract surgery, or other lens-replacement procedures, vision is improved by replacing the eye’s natural lens with an intra-ocular lens (IOL). IOLs come in different powers and sizes to compensate for each patient’s individual needs. For best vision after cataract surgery, precise measurements must be taken to determine which IOL to implant. The IOLMaster is a high-precision instrument revolutionizing all previous techniques and setting a new standard for IOL calculations, called optical biometry.

The IOLMaster is a high-precision instrument.

Optical biometry using IOLMaster does not subject our patients to any discomfort. No local anesthesia is required and there is no risk associated with taking the measurements.

Why we’ve invested in the IOLMaster:

  • The difference between good vision and great vision after cataract surgery can be attributed to the diagnostic technology used to calculate the appropriate IOL. This technology provides our patients with the opportunity for the best possible visual outcome.
  • The IOLMaster is a great advancement in IOL calculation.
  • The risk of confusing right and left eye measurements is eliminated with this technology. The IOLMaster automatically detects the right or left eye while taking the measurement.
  • Axis length, corneal radii and anterior-chamber depth of the eye are measured with the IOLMaster. Three instruments integrated into one location provides our patients with a higher level of comfort.
  • Measuring the eye with the IOLMaster takes less time than using ultrasound, the traditional form of measurement that requires anesthesia.

For more information about the IOLMaster go to: http://www.zeiss.de/iol_master

Optical Coherence Tomography Scanner (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography Scanner (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) uses light waves to create detailed images of underlying retinal structures. Using this scanner, doctors can more specifically diagnose, treat and manage glaucoma and retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.


The Optical Coherence Tomography Scanner

Why we’ve invested in OCT:

  • The advanced OCT technology provides detailed images of the retina not observable by any other means.
  • This non-contact, non-invasive tool can lead to earlier confirmation of damage so doctors can provide earlier treatment.
  • The scanner produces high-resolution (10 times greater resolution than any other technique available), cross-sectional images of the retina.
  • This equipment does not require injections or exposure to painful, high-intensity light, which means improved patient comfort and safety.

For more information about the Optical Coherence Tomography scanner go to http://www.humphrey.com/Systems/OCTtext.html.



Services and Eye Conditions

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Comprehensive Eye Examination

A comprehensive eye exam will evaluate not only how well you see, but also identify potential eye diseases. Some eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, can result in serious vision loss if not detected and treated early. Often patients with these diseases dony´t experience any visual symptoms before vision loss occurs.

If you are over 35, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every two years. Patients over 65 or with a family history of glaucoma,diabetes or diabetic retinopathyshould have a yearly eye exam.

What to expect at your eye exam:

Your doctor will most likely dilate the pupils of your eyes, in order to better see the retina at the back of your eye. You may want to consider making transportation arrangements, as your vision may be blurry for a few hours after dilating.

Your exam may include a:

  • visual acuity or refraction test to determine the degree to which you may benearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.
  • muscle function test to check the movement of your eyes in each direction and at specified angles. This test will identify any muscle weakness or involuntary eye movement.
  • binocular vision skills assessment to ensure that your eyes work together properly as a team. This is important for proper depth perception, eye muscle coordination and the ability to change focus from near to far objects.
  • visual field test to measure your peripheral vision, the width of the area you can see when youy´re looking straight ahead. This test may also detect diseases of the eyes or neurological disorders.
  • eye pressure test. Your doctor may administer one or more tests to evaluate your intra-ocular pressure. High intra-ocular pressure may be a sign of glaucoma.
  • color vision screening to see if you perceive colors properly.
  • eye health assessment using an ophthalmoscope. This tool allows the doctor to evaluate your pupil responses, optic nerve, retina, cornea and lens.

Treatment options, if necessary will be presented at the conclusion of your examination.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, you can call our office or schedule an exam.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye

 

The name “dry eye” can be a little confusing since one of the most common symptoms is excessive watering! It makes more sense, though, when you learn that the eye makes two different types of tears.

The first type, called lubricating tears, is produced slowly and steadily throughout the day. Lubricating tears contain a precise balance of mucous, water, oil, nutrient proteins, and antibodies that nourish and protect the front surface of the eye.

The second type of tear, called a reflex tear, does not have much lubricating value. Reflex tears serve as a kind of emergency response to flood the eye when it is suddenly irritated or injured. Reflex tears might occur when you get something in your eye, when you’re cutting onions, when you’re around smoke, or when you accidentally scratch your eye. The reflex tears gush out in such large quantities that the tear drainage system can’t handle them all and they spill out onto your cheek. Still another cause of reflex tearing is irritation of the eye from lack of lubricating tears. If your eye is not producing enough lubricating tears, you have dry eye.

Symptoms of dry eye:

  • Watery eyes
  • The feeling that there’s sand in your eyes
  • Eyes that itch and burn
  • Vision that becomes blurred after periods of reading, watching TV, or using a computer
  • Red, irritated eyes that produce a mucus discharge

Causes of dry eye:

  • Age: As we get older, glands in the eyelid produce less oil. Oil keeps tears from evaporating off the eye. Decreased oil production allows tears to evaporate too quickly, leaving the eye too dry.
  • Diseases including diabetes, Sjogren’s and Parkinson’s
  • Hormonal changes, especially after menopause
  • Prescription medications: These include some high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, diuretics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills and pain medications. Over-the-counter medications including some cold and allergy products, motion sickness remedies, and sleep aids can also cause dry eye.
  • Hot dry or windy conditions: High altitude, air-conditioning and smoke can also cause dry eye.
  • Reading, using a computer or watching TV
  • Contact lenses
  • Eye surgery: Some types of eye surgery, including LASIK can aggravate dry eye.
  • Inflammation: Recent research suggests that dry eye may be caused by inflammation due to an imbalance of “good” fats and “bad” fats.

 

Diagnosing dry eye:

Your eye doctor can check for dry eye by examining your eyes with magnifying instruments, measuring your rate of tear production and checking the amount of time it takes for tears to evaporate between blinks. The doctor can also check for pinpoint scratches on the front surface of the eye caused by dryness using special, colored eyedrops call fluorescein or Rose Bengal.

Treatments for dry eye:

 

 “Moisture Eyes” from Baush & Lomb

The most common treatment is use of artificial teardrops that help make up for the lack of natural lubricating tears. Artificial tear products come in liquid form, longer lasting gelform and long-lasting ointment form, which is most often recommended for nighttime use. Many different brands of artificial tears are available over-the-counter. Some contain preservatives and some do not. Unpreserved tears may be recommended for people whose eyes are sensitive to preservatives. Artificial tears can generally be used as often as needed, from a few times per day to every few minutes. You should follow the regimen your doctor recommends.

 

 

“Bion Tears” from Alcon

When infection, inflammation of the eyelids or clogged oil glands contribute to dry eye, special lid cleaning techniques or antibiotics may be recommended. It may also help to avoid hot, dry or windy environments or to humidify the air in your home or office.

 

Restasis is an exciting new treatment for Dry Eye Disease. Restasis drops help the eyes produce more tears by reducing inflammation, which is often a cause of dry eye. Unlike artificial tears, Restasis is the first drug proven to effectively treat a cause of Dry Eye Disease rather than only temporarily alleviate symptoms.

Punctal occlusion is a medical treatment for dry eye that may enable your eyes to make better and longer use of the few lubricating tears they do produce.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease of the macula, an area of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for fine detail vision. Vision loss usually occurs gradually and typically affects both eyes at different rates. Even with a loss of central vision, however, color vision and peripheral vision may remain clear.

Distorted or blurred objects

Symptoms of macular degeneration:

  • Early macular degeneration may cause little, if any noticeable change in vision
  • Difficulty reading without extra light and magnification
  • Seeing objects as distorted or blurred, or abnormal in shape, size or color
  • The perception that objects “jump” when you try to look right at them
  • Difficulty seeing to read or drive
  • Inability to see details
  • Blind spot in center of vision

There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration, wet and dry.

Wet macular degeneration

Blind spots

Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal or leaking blood vessels grow underneath the retina in the area of the macula. These changes can lead to distorted or blurred vision and, in some cases, a rapid and severe loss of straight ahead vision.

Dry macular degeneration

The vast majority of cases of macular degeneration are the dry type, in which there is thinning or deterioration of the tissues of the macula or the formation of abnormal yellow deposits called drusen. Progression of dry macular degeneration occurs very slowly and does not always affect both eyes equally.

Causes of or contributing factors to macular degeneration:

The root causes of macular degeneration are still unknown. Women are at a slightly higher risk than men. Caucasians are more likely to develop macular degeneration than African Americans.

  • Age: Macular degeneration is the leading cause of decreased vision in people over 65 years of age.
  • Heredity: Macular degeneration appears to be hereditary in some families but not in others
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Diabetes
  • Head injury
  • Infection

Diagnosing macular degeneration:

An Amsler Grid

Your eye doctor can identify changes of the macula by looking into your eyes with various instruments. A chart known as an Amsler Grid can be used to pick up subtle changes in vision.

Please go to Patient Forms to download the Amsler Grid test and receive instructions on how to test your vision at home.

Angiography is the most widely used macular degeneration diagnostic test. During the test, a harmless orange-red dye called Fluorescein will be injected into a vein in the arm. The dye travels through the body to the blood vessels in the retina. A special camera takes multiple photographs. The pictures are then analyzed to identify damage to the lining of the retina or atypical new blood vessels. The formation of new blood vessels from blood vessels in and under the macula is often the first physical sign that macular degeneration may develop.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) uses light waves to create a contour map of the retina and can show areas of thickening or fluid accumulation.

Treatment for macular degeneration:

In the early stages of macular degeneration, regular eye check-ups, attention to diet, in-home monitoring of vision and possibly nutritional supplements may be all that is recommended.

Diet and nutritional supplements

There has been active research on the use of vitamins and nutritional supplements called antioxidants to try to prevent or slow macular degeneration. Antioxidants are thought to protect against the damaging effects of oxygen-charged molecules called free radicals. A potentially important group of antioxidants are called carotenoids. These are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color. Two carotenoids that occur naturally in the macula are lutein and zeaxanthin. Some research studies suggest that people who have diets high in lutein and zeaxanthin may have a lower risk of developing macular degeneration. Kale, raw spinach, and collard greens are vegetables with the highest amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. You can also buy nutritional supplements that are high in these and other antioxidants.

Low Vision Aids

Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases of wet macular degeneration and virtually all cases of dry macular degeneration are not treatable. In these cases, low vision aids may help make it easier to live with the decreased vision of macular degeneration. Low vision aids range from hand-held magnifying glasses to sophisticated systems that use video cameras to enlarge a printed page. Lifestyle aids such as large print books, tape-recorded books or magazines, large print playing cards, talking clocks and scales and many other devices are available.

Injection

LUCENTIS  and Macugen are new treatments for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. These injections block abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage.

Laser Treatments

In rare cases of wet macular degeneration, laser treatment may be recommended. This involves the use of painless laser light to destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels under the retina. This form of treatment is only possible when the abnormal blood vessels are far enough away from the macula that it will not damage it. Only rare cases of wet macular degeneration meet these criteria. When laser treatment is possible, it may slow or stop the progression of the disease but is generally not expected to bring back any vision that has already been lost.

Some cases of wet macular degeneration can be treated with photodynamic therapyor PDT. In those cases where PDT is appropriate, slowing of the loss of vision and sometimes, even improvement in vision are possible.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body, particularly vessels in the kidneys and eyes. When the blood vessels in the eyes are affected, this is called diabetic retinopathy.

The retina is in the back of the eye. It detects visual images and transmits them to the brain. Major blood vessels lie on the front portion of the retina. When these blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, they may leak fluid or blood and grow scar tissue. This leakage affects the ability of the retina to detect and transmit images.

During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, vision is typically not affected. However, when retinopathy becomes advanced, new blood vessels grow in the retina. These new vessels are the body’s attempt to overcome and replace the vessels that have been damaged by diabetes. However, these new vessels are not normal. They may bleed and cause the vision to become hazy, occasionally resulting in a complete loss of vision. The growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris of the eye can lead toglaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can also cause your body to form cataracts.

The new vessels also may damage the retina by forming scar tissue and pulling the retina away from its proper location. This is called retinal detachment and can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

  • There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy
  • Floaters
  • Difficulty reading or doing close work
  • Double vision
  • If left untreated, severe vision loss can occur

Causes of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Diabetes: Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, but not everyone develops it. Changes in blood sugar levels increase the risk. Generally, diabetics don’t develop diabetic retinopathy until they’ve had diabetes for at least 10 years.

You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by:

  • keeping your blood sugar under control.
  • monitoring your blood pressure.
  • maintaining a healthy diet.
  • exercising regularly.
  • getting an eye exam at least once a year.

Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy:

There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. An exam is often the only way to diagnose changes in the vessels of your eyes. This is why regular examinations for people with diabetes are extremely important.

Your eye doctor may perform a test called fluorescein angiography. During the test, a harmless orange-red dye called Fluorescein will be injected into a vein in your arm. The dye will travel through your body to the blood vessels in your retina. Your doctor will use a special camera with a green filter to flash a blue light into your eye and take multiple photographs. The pictures will be analyzed to identify any damage to the lining of the retina or atypical new blood vessels.

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy:

Diabetic retinopathy does not usually impair sight until the development of long-term complications, including proliferative retinopathy (when abnormal new blood vessels bleed into the eye). When this advanced stage of retinopathy occurs, pan-retinal photocoagulation is performed. During this procedure, a laser is used to destroy all of the dead areas of retina where blood vessels have been closed. When these areas are treated with the laser, the retina stops manufacturing new blood vessels, and those that are already present tend to decrease or disappear.

If diabetic retinopathy has caused your body to form cataracts, they can be corrected with cataract surgery.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Open-Angle Glaucoma

It is estimated that over two million Americans have some type of glaucoma and half of them do not know it. Ninety percent of glaucoma patients have open-angle glaucoma. Although it cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled. Vision loss may be minimized with early treatment. The eye receives its nourishment from a clear fluid that circulates inside the eye.


Fluid circulating inside eye

This fluid must be constantly returned to the blood stream through the eye’s drainage canal, called the trabecular meshwork. In the case of open-angle glaucoma, something has gone wrong with the drainage canal. When the fluid cannot drain fast enough, pressure inside the eye begins to build.


Excess fluid builds pressure

This excess fluid pressure pushes against the delicate optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. If the pressure remains too high for too long, irreversible vision loss can occur.


Excess fluid pressure pushes
against the optic nerve
(Roll your mouse over the image to change it)

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma:

  • In the early stages, there are no symptoms. There is no pain or outward sign of trouble.
  • Mild aching in the eyes
  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision (the top, sides and bottom areas of vision)
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Reduced visual acuity (especially at night, that is not correctable with glasses)

Who is at risk

Glaucoma can occur in people of all races at any age. However, the likelihood of developing glaucoma increases if you:

  • are African American
  • have a relative with glaucoma
  • are diabetic
  • are very nearsighted
  • are over 35 years of age

Diagnosing open-angle glaucoma:

Everyone should be checked for glaucoma at around age 35 and again at age 40. Those considered to be at higher risk, including those over the age of 60 should have their pressure checked every year or two.

Your doctor will use tonometry to check your eye pressure. After applying numbing drops, the tonometer is gently pressed against the eye and its resistance is measured and recorded.
Tonometry is used to check your eye pressure
An ophthalmoscope can be used to examine the shape and color of your optic nerve. The ophthalmoscope magnifies and lights up the inside of the eye. If the optic nerve appears to be cupped or is not a healthy pink color, additional tests will be run.
An ophthalmoscope is used to examine your optic nerve
Perimetry is a test that maps the field of vision. Looking straight ahead into a white, bowl-shaped area, you’ll indicate when you’re able to detect lights as they are brought into your field of vision. This map allows your doctor to see any pattern of visual changes caused by the early stages of glaucoma.
Perimetry maps your field of vision
Gonioscopy is used to check whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open or closed. This helps your doctor determine if they are dealing with open-angle glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma.
Goniscopy is used to help your glaucoma type

Treatments for open-angle glaucoma:

To control glaucoma, your doctor will use one of three basic types of treatment: medicines, laser surgery, or filtration surgery. The goal of treatment is to lower the pressure in the eye.

Glaucoma medication
comes in many forms

Medicines come in pill and eye drop form. They work by either slowing the production of fluid within the eye or by improving the flow through the drainage meshwork. To be effective, most glaucoma medications must be taken between one to four times every day, without fail. Some of these medications have some undesirable side effects, so your doctor will work with you to find a medication that controls your pressure with the least amount of side effects. Medicines should never be stopped without consulting your doctor, and you should notify all of your other doctors about the medications you are taking.

Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty and Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty surgery treat the drainage canal. Requiring only numbing eye drops, the laser beam is applied to the trabecular meshwork resulting in an improved rate of drainage. When laser surgery is successful, it may reduce the need for daily medications.


Laser surgery can reduce
the need for daily medication

Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation (ECP) is another type of laser procedure. Instead of treating the drainage canal, it treats the ciliary body. Treating the ciliary body reduces the amount of fluid production thereby reducing the intra ocular pressure. ECP is most often performed along with cataract surgery but can be done on an outpatient basis when in the best interest of the patient. The majority of patients having ECP reduce or eliminate their need to take glaucoma medications.

Filtration surgery is performed when medicines and/or laser surgery are unsuccessful in controlling eye pressure. During this microscopic procedure, a new drainage channel is created to allow fluid to drain from the eye.


Filtration surgery

 

Narrow Angle Glaucoma

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma (also called Closed-Angle Glaucoma)

Narrow-angle glaucoma is much more rare and is very different from open-angle glaucoma in that eye pressure usually goes up very fast. This happens when the drainage canals get blocked or covered over. The iris gets pushed against the lens of the eye, shutting off the drainage angle. Sometimes the lens and the iris stick to each other. This results in pressure increasing suddenly, usually in one eye. There may be a feeling of fullness in the eye along with reddening, swelling and blurred vision.


The drainage canals get blocked or covered over
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Symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma:

The onset of acute narrow-angle glaucoma is typically rapid, constituting an emergency. If not treated promptly, this glaucoma produces blindness in the affected eye in three to five days. Symptoms may include:

  • Inflammation and pain
  • Pressure over the eye
  • Moderate pupil dilation that’s non-reactive to light
  • Cloudy cornea
  • Blurring and decreased visual acuity
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Causes of narrow-angle glaucoma:

  • Defect in the eye structure
  • Anything that causes the pupil to dilate — dim lighting, dilation drops
  • Certain oral or injected medications
  • Blow to the eye
  • Diabetes-related growth of abnormal blood vessels over the angle

Diagnosing narrow-angle glaucoma:

Everyone should be checked for glaucoma at around age 35 and again at age 40. Those considered to be at higher risk for narrow-angle glaucoma, including those who are Asian, farsighted or over the age of 60, should have their pressure checked every year or two.

Because of the rapid, potentially devastating results of narrow-angle glaucoma, you should seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms.

During eye exams, your doctor will use tonometry to check your eye pressure. After applying numbing drops, the tonometer is gently pressed against the eye and its resistance is measured and recorded.
Tonometry is used to check your eye pressure
An ophthaolmoscope can be used to examine the shape and color of your optic nerve. The ophthalmoscope magnifies and lights up the inside of the eye. If the optic nerve appears to be cupped or is not a healthy pink color, additional tests will be run.
An ophthalmoscope is used to examine your optic nerve
Gonioscopy is used to determine whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open or closed, a key difference between open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma.
Goniscopy is used to help your glaucoma type

Treatment for narrow-angle glaucoma:

Laser iridotomy is a common treatment for narrow-angle glaucoma. During this procedure, a laser is used to create a small hole in the iris, restoring the flow of fluid to the front of the eye. In most patients, the iridotomy is placed in the upper portion of the iris, under the upper eyelid, where it cannot be seen.


Laser iridotomy

Filtration surgery is performed when medicines and/or laser surgery are unsuccessful in controlling eye pressure. During this microscopic procedure, a new drainage channel is created to allow fluid to drain from the eye.


Filtration surgery

 

Routine Exams

Coming Soon

Contact Lens Fitting

Contact Lenses

If you need glasses and are thinking about contact lenses instead, this contact lens overview could be useful. There are many types of lenses that can correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. There are also contact lenses that can provide you with a full range of vision if you are over the age of 40 and require bifocal or progressive lenses. Other types of contacts have artificial pigment to change the color of your iris. These are used to replicate a damaged pupil or for aesthetic purposes.  In all, more than 30 million people in the United States wear contact lenses.

Daily-wear contact lenses are the most commonly worn. This term “daily-wear” derives itself not from their disposability, but instead from the period of time they are worn without taking them out. Monthly-wear contact lenses, otherwise referred to as extended-wear, do not have to be removed at night. They can be slept in. Certain silicone hydrogel designs can be worn for up to 30 days without being removed.

Contact lenses come in both hard and soft forms. The advantages to hard “rigid” lenses are quickly being adopted by soft lenses. Rigid lenses are undoubtedly less comfortable than soft lenses. The wearer must adjust to wearing  hard lens more slowly by gradually increasing the number of hours it is worn each day. Though they are prescribed less often, rigid gas-permeable lenses are still the best choice for some patients including for use with orthokeratology (Corneal Refractive Theraphy). Soft lenses are prescribed most often because they are more comfortable and require less maintenance.

Individuals with corneal astigmatism are good candidates for toric contact lenses. Toric lenses are not meant to rotate in the eye and also correct nearsightedness and farsightness in combination with astigmatism. . Another recent advancement in contact lens technology is the multifocal lens, a lens made that provides multiple points of focus. This provides wearers over the age of 40 with the ability to see at all distances: near, intermediate and distance.

We hope this overview will help you understand your contact lens options. We will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have by calling our office and scheduling a contact lens evaluation.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease of the macula, an area of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for fine detail vision. Vision loss usually occurs gradually and typically affects both eyes at different rates. Even with a loss of central vision, however, color vision and peripheral vision may remain clear.

Distorted or blurred objects

Symptoms of macular degeneration:

  • Early macular degeneration may cause little, if any noticeable change in vision
  • Difficulty reading without extra light and magnification
  • Seeing objects as distorted or blurred, or abnormal in shape, size or color
  • The perception that objects “jump” when you try to look right at them
  • Difficulty seeing to read or drive
  • Inability to see details
  • Blind spot in center of vision

There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration, wet and dry.

Wet macular degeneration

Blind spots

Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal or leaking blood vessels grow underneath the retina in the area of the macula. These changes can lead to distorted or blurred vision and, in some cases, a rapid and severe loss of straight ahead vision.

Dry macular degeneration

The vast majority of cases of macular degeneration are the dry type, in which there is thinning or deterioration of the tissues of the macula or the formation of abnormal yellow deposits called drusen. Progression of dry macular degeneration occurs very slowly and does not always affect both eyes equally.

Causes of or contributing factors to macular degeneration:

The root causes of macular degeneration are still unknown. Women are at a slightly higher risk than men. Caucasians are more likely to develop macular degeneration than African Americans.

  • Age: Macular degeneration is the leading cause of decreased vision in people over 65 years of age.
  • Heredity: Macular degeneration appears to be hereditary in some families but not in others
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Diabetes
  • Head injury
  • Infection

Diagnosing macular degeneration:

An Amsler Grid

Your eye doctor can identify changes of the macula by looking into your eyes with various instruments. A chart known as an Amsler Grid can be used to pick up subtle changes in vision.

Please go to Patient Forms to download the Amsler Grid test and receive instructions on how to test your vision at home.

Angiography is the most widely used macular degeneration diagnostic test. During the test, a harmless orange-red dye called Fluorescein will be injected into a vein in the arm. The dye travels through the body to the blood vessels in the retina. A special camera takes multiple photographs. The pictures are then analyzed to identify damage to the lining of the retina or atypical new blood vessels. The formation of new blood vessels from blood vessels in and under the macula is often the first physical sign that macular degeneration may develop.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) uses light waves to create a contour map of the retina and can show areas of thickening or fluid accumulation.

Treatment for macular degeneration:

In the early stages of macular degeneration, regular eye check-ups, attention to diet, in-home monitoring of vision and possibly nutritional supplements may be all that is recommended.

Diet and nutritional supplements

There has been active research on the use of vitamins and nutritional supplements called antioxidants to try to prevent or slow macular degeneration. Antioxidants are thought to protect against the damaging effects of oxygen-charged molecules called free radicals. A potentially important group of antioxidants are called carotenoids. These are the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their color. Two carotenoids that occur naturally in the macula are lutein and zeaxanthin. Some research studies suggest that people who have diets high in lutein and zeaxanthin may have a lower risk of developing macular degeneration. Kale, raw spinach, and collard greens are vegetables with the highest amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. You can also buy nutritional supplements that are high in these and other antioxidants.

Low Vision Aids

Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases of wet macular degeneration and virtually all cases of dry macular degeneration are not treatable. In these cases, low vision aids may help make it easier to live with the decreased vision of macular degeneration. Low vision aids range from hand-held magnifying glasses to sophisticated systems that use video cameras to enlarge a printed page. Lifestyle aids such as large print books, tape-recorded books or magazines, large print playing cards, talking clocks and scales and many other devices are available.

Injection

LUCENTIS  and Macugen are new treatments for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. These injections block abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage.

Laser Treatments

In rare cases of wet macular degeneration, laser treatment may be recommended. This involves the use of painless laser light to destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels under the retina. This form of treatment is only possible when the abnormal blood vessels are far enough away from the macula that it will not damage it. Only rare cases of wet macular degeneration meet these criteria. When laser treatment is possible, it may slow or stop the progression of the disease but is generally not expected to bring back any vision that has already been lost.

Some cases of wet macular degeneration can be treated with photodynamic therapyor PDT. In those cases where PDT is appropriate, slowing of the loss of vision and sometimes, even improvement in vision are possible.

Keratoconus

Keratoconus

Keratoconus, often referred to as “KC” is an eye disease that causes the cornea to become progressively thinner. A normal cornea is round or spherical in shape, but with keratoconus the cornea bulges forward, assuming more of a cone shape. As light enters the cone shaped cornea it is bent and distorted and unable to come to a point of clear focus on the light-sensitive retina.

Keratoconus usually affects both eyes but the two eyes often progress at different rates. This disease typically begins during teenage years. In most patients, it progresses for several years before stabilizing in the third to fourth decade of life. In severe cases it can continue to worsen. In these cases the cornea continues to thin and bulge outward, further blurring vision. Scarring of the cornea can also develop.

Symptoms of keratoconus:

  • bulging, cone-shaped cornea
  • nearsightedness
  • astigmatism
  • glare and light sensitivity
  • the need for frequent prescription changes

Who is at risk:

Researchers believe that approximately three million people worldwide have keratoconus. It affects males and females of all races throughout the world. The causes are still being researched, but the likelihood of developing keratoconus is greater if you:

  • have a relative with keratoconus
  • have had excessive laser eye surgery
  • have hay fever, eczema, asthma or food allergies

Treatment

In mild cases, glasses and soft contacts can be effective, but in more advanced cases, these no longer work well.

Gas permeable (GP) contact lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses
are the primary treatment
for keratoconus.

These are the primary treatment for kratoconus. To counteract the distortion of the cornea, most keratoconus patients require special GP lenses to provide a smooth surface that can focus light in place of their own cornea’s distorted surface. Because the pattern of distortion in keratoconus is as unique as a fingerprint, the GP lenses are custom prescribed and manufactured.

A proper contact lens fitting is crucial to ensure optimal vision, comfort, and eye health. Poor fitting lenses can lead to corneal abrasions, scarring, and infection.

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking

Corneal Collagen Crosslinking is a procedure that has proven effective in strengthening the cornea and preventing it from becoming progressively thinner.  The cornea consists of layers that are crosslinked together by collagen fibers that give it its strength.  With keratoconus, these cross links degenerate over time, allowing the cornea to weaken, bulge forward. The medical term for this is called ectasia which is defined as the thinning and distortion of a membrane.

The procedure has been available internationally since 1998 and has been proven to stop the progression of keratoconus. It involves saturating the cornea with Riboflavin eye drops (also known as Vitamin B2) and then exposing the cornea to ultra-violet light. This causes a chemical reaction and increases the collagen crosslinks that bond the corneal layers together, making the cornea stronger and stiffer.

It is available in the US in various crosslinking studies for qualified patients. Click Hereif you are in Houston and are interested in learning more.

Please link the Click here to: http://www.visiontexas.com/houston/corneal-crosslinking.htm

Surgery

Many keratoconus patients will never require surgery, but it is an option in severe and advanced cases. If your doctor determines you have significant scarring of the cornea, he or she may recommend corneal transplant surgery. In this procedure, the scarred tissue is replaced with a section of donated cornea that is clear. About 10 to 20% of keratoconus patients will eventually require a corneal transplant. However, corneal transplantation is not a cure. Following a successful corneal transplant, most patients still need glasses, soft contacts, or GP lenses for adequate vision.

Intacs prescription inserts

Your doctor may recommend a relatively new surgery for keratoconus using Intacs prescription inserts. This surgery is sometimes called intra-stromal corneal ring segment implantation. It is a procedure for patients who can’t wear GP lenses but whose disease has not progressed to the point of needing to have a corneal transplant. During this surgery, tiny plastic segments are placed inside the cornea beneath the surface to reduce nearsightedness and astigmatism. Normally, eyeglasses are still required after the procedure to give you the best possible vision.

Precautions

Patients with keratoconus must not have LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery due to an unacceptable risk of a poor outcome. The cornea in keratoconus is unusually thin and weak. For patients with keratoconus, LASIK surgery thins and weakens their corneas further. This can irreversibly destabilize the cornea and accelerate its distortion. Rubbing the eyes may also increase the progression of keratoconus. Eye rubbing can often be very vigorous with patients using excessive force with their knuckles. Corneas already weakened by inflammation may develop thinning and protrusion as a result of rubbing.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis

Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelids.  Some doctors call it granulated eyelids. Almost everyone gets blepharitis at some time in his or her life. Some people get it repeatedly. Fortunately, blepharitis is relatively easy to treat.

Types of blepharitis:

Staphylococcus blepharitis is caused by a germ called Staphylococci, commonly known as “staph.” It often begins in childhood and continues throughout adulthood. This form of the condition results in collar scales on lashes, crusting, and chronic redness at the lid margin. Dilated blood vessels, loss of lashes, sties, and chalazia (nodules on the eyelids) also occur.

Seborrhea blepharitis is the most common and least severe form of this condition. It is not an infection but is caused by improper function of the oil glands, which causes greasy, waxy scales to accumulate along the eyelid margins. Seborrhea may be a part of an overall skin disorder that affects other areas. Hormones, nutrition, general physical condition and stress are factors in seborrhea.

Ulcerative blepharitis is a less common but more severe condition that may be characterized by matted, hard crusts around the eyelashes, which, when removed, leave small sores that may bleed or ooze. 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 covering of the front of the eyeball, may also become inflamed.

Symptoms of blepharitis:

  • Itchy, burning, watery eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Sticky discharge that causes the eyelashes to stick together
  • Redness of the eyelid edges
  • Frequent sty formation
  • Tiny pimples on the eyelid edges
  • Scaly skin flakes along the eyelid margins
  • Gritty sensation leading to irritated eyes and light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision

Causes of blepharitis:

  • Poor eyelid hygiene
  • Excess oil produced by the glands in the eyelid
  • Bacterial infection (often staphylococcal)
  • Allergic reaction

Treating blepharitis:

In addition to eliminating redness and soreness, treatment can prevent potential infection and scarring of the cornea. You doctor will perform a complete eye examination to determine the most effective treatment.

Cleaning
Usually, blepharitis can be controlled by careful, daily cleaning of the eyelashes. You can do this by moistening a clean washcloth with tap water as warm as you can stand without burning. Hold the washcloth against the eyelids until it cools, then rewarm and repeat for five to ten minutes.

After soaking, scrub each eyelid gently for one minute using a clean washcloth wrapped around your index finger and moistened with warm tap water. Cotton-tipped applicators, like Q-tips, are also useful to remove accumulated material from the eyelashes.

To remove excessive amounts of material from your eyelids, use a few drops of a non-irritating shampoo, such as baby shampoo, mixed in lukewarm water. Being careful to avoid getting shampoo in your eye, scrub back and forth along the eyelashes of all eyelids, and then rinse with plain tap water. Once the redness and soreness are under control, this cleaning may be decreased from daily to twice weekly. However, if the symptoms return, return to daily cleansing immediately.

Medication
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe eye drops or ointment to be used along with the daily cleansing regimen. For ointments, use a clean fingertip to rub a small amount into the eyelashes. Be careful to follow recommended dosages; excess medication will cause temporary blurring of vision. And with any medication, there is a small possibility of allergy or other reaction. If you think this is happening, stop the medication and contact your doctor immediately.

 

For certain types of blepharitis, medications taken by mouth are helpful. Most of these medications are antibiotics that also improve or alter the oil composition of the eyelid oil glands. When taken properly, they are safe. However, side effects may occur in some individuals, including skin rash, slight nausea and increased sensitivity to sun.

Although medications may help control the symptoms of blepharitis, they alone are not sufficient; keeping the eyelids clean is essential.

If you think you may have blepharitis, your eye doctor can determine the cause and recommend the right combination of treatment specifically for you.

Chalazion

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Flashers

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Floaters

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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye. The conjunctiva has many small blood vessels. It lubricates and protects the eye while the eye moves in its socket. When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, this is called conjunctivitis.

Bacterial conjunctivitis, often called pink eye, typically causes swelling of the eyelid and a yellowish discharge. Sometimes it causes itching and/or matting of the eyelids. Bacterial conjunctivitis is very contagious and can be easily transmitted by rubbing the eye and then infecting household items such as towels or handkerchiefs. It is common for entire families to become infected.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Inflamed eye lids
  • Blurred vision and a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eyes
  • Pus-like or watery discharge around the eyelids
  • Matting of the eyelids

How can conjunctivitis be prevented?

Certain precautions can to taken to avoid the disease and stop its spread. Careful washing of the hands, the use of clean handkerchiefs, and avoiding contagious individuals are all helpful. Children frequently get conjunctivitis because of their poor hygiene.

If you or someone in your household has contracted conjunctivitis, follow these steps to prevent the spread of the infection:

  • Every time you touch your eyes or face, including when using medicine in your eye(s), wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Wash any clothing touched by infected eyes including clothes, towels and pillowcases.
  • Do not share make-up. If the infection is caused by bacteria or a virus, you must throw away your used make-up and buy new make-up.
  • Do not touch the infected eye because the infection will spread to the other eye.

Diagnosing conjunctivitis:

Your eye doctor can easily detect conjunctivitis at an exam.

Treatment for conjunctivitis:

Antibiotic drops and compresses can ease discomfort and clear up the infection, normally within just a few days. Sometimes, the inflammation does not respond well to the initial treatment with eye drops. In those rare cases, a second visit to the office should be made. When there is severe infection, oral antibiotics are necessary. If left untreated, conjunctivitis can create serious complications such as infections in the cornea, eyelids and tear ducts.

Pterygium

Pterygium

A pterygium is a fleshy triangular tissue that grows over the cornea, usually on the inner corner of the eye. Sometimes, it grows big enough that it interferes with vision. As the pterygium develops, it may alter the shape of the cornea, causing astigmatism.

Symptoms of a pterygium:

  • Tissue growing over the eye
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Tearing

Causes of a pterygium:

The exact cause of pterygia isn’t known, but it’s thought to be linked to:

  • Long-term exposure to sunlight
  • Dry, dusty conditions
  • Age: Ptergia is typically found in adults over the age of 30.

Diagnosing a pterygium:

Chances are, you’ll notice a pterygium. Your eye doctor can also diagnose it during a routine eye exam.

Treatment of a pterygium:

Eye drops or ointment can be used to reduce the irritation caused by a pterygium. If the pterygium grows toward the central cornea,it may need to be removed surgically. Prevention is important. It’s a good idea to protect your eyes with sunglasses if you’ll be in the sun or a dusty, dry environment.

Photo courtesy of N. Friedman, M.D.