Our eyes contain a natural lens that bends (refracts) light coming into our eyes to help us see. When you have a cataract, that lens that is naturally clear becomes cloudy. It may seem as if you are looking through a dusty car windshield or fog. Objects and people may look blurry, hazy or less vibrant. Aging is the most common cause; normal proteins in the lens start to break down, causing the lens to get cloudy.
IOL (Intraocular lens) Options
Intraocular lenses (IOL) are medical devices that replace the eye’s natural lens when it is removed during cataract or other eye surgery. There are several IOL options to replace your natural lens. Your ophthalmologist can discuss with you the benefits of each lens, and together you can decide which lens will work best for you.
Conjunctivitis is when your conjunctiva, the clear tissue that covers the inside of your eyelids and white part of your eye, becomes irritated from either allergies or from infection. Your eyes will swell and can become very red. It is sometimes referred to as pink eye. Some types of pink eye are highly contagious.
People with diabetes are at risk for eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels that can swell, leak or close and inhibit the blood flowing through them. Abnormal new blood vessels can even grow on the retina. All of these factors can substantially impact your vision. Receive routine eye examinations if you have diabetes.Your ophthalmologist may treat your diabetic retinopathy with medication injections, with laser treatments or a combination of both.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Medication Injections
Diabetic Retinopathy: Laser Surgery
Dilating your eyes
Your eye doctor will dilate your eyes in order to see the structures that make up your eyes. Dilation will allow for your eye physician to view your retina, and optic nerve among other structures.
We get dry eyes when the eyes are not producing enough tears or the right type of tears. Our eyes need tears to stay comfortable and healthy. There are treatments available for dry eyes to maintain your eye health and comfortability.
Endophthalmitis is an inflammation of the intraocular fluids (vitreous and aqueous) in the eye, usually due to infection. It can cause symptoms such as blurred vision and red eyes.
This type of eye injury usually looks worse than it appears. A subconjunctival hemorrhage involves leakage of blood from one or more breaks in a blood vessel that lies between the sclera (white of the eye) and the conjunctiva (clear covering). These instances are common and can occur from minor injuries to the eye. This condition is usually painless and does not lead to any permanent damage.
Eye swelling and puffy, swollen eyelids can result from being hit in the eye—By a baseball at a rapid rate of speed, for example. It could be a simple bruise (black eye) or the trauma could have caused more serious, internal damage. The immediate treatment is to place an ice pack on your eye. You should then call your ophthalmologist.
Hyperopia is a refractive error in the eye; the eye does not bend (refract) light properly to a single focus for clear vision. Objects in the distance may look somewhat clear but close objects may appear blurry.
Fluorescein angiography (FA) or fundus fluorescein angiography, is a way to examine the circulation of the retina and choroid using a specialized camera and a fluorescent dye. The dye is injected intravenously into your arm, and travels quickly throughout your system, reaching your eyes. Photos are then taken as the dye makes its way through the vascular makeup of your eyes, allowing your physician to examine the photos and determine the health of your retina and vascular components of your eyes.
Foreign substance in the eye
You may accidently rub your eyes with a substance on your hands, transferring it to your eyes, or have a substance other than water unexpectedly splashed in your eye. When this happens, you should place your head under a steady stream of barely warm tap water for about 15 minutes. Let it run into your eyes and down your face. Call your eye doctor or an emergency room immediately, and make sure to have the substance that got in your eye with you. Do not rub your eyes.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve in your eye. This usually occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. The extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye and as a result, your optic nerve is damaged. Many complications of glaucoma can be prevented with early treatment.
LASIK / PRK – Refractive Surgery
Refractive Eye Surgery is a surgery used to improve or fix refractive errors, and to decrease or eliminate the need to depend upon glasses or contact lenses. Refractive Surgery reshapes the cornea, and successful refractive surgery can reduce effects from astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Refractive Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a good candidate for refractive surgery? Is laser refractive surgery safe? How long will the corrections of refractive laser surgery last? Dr. Kunz answers frequently asked questions regarding laser refractive surgery.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is an outpatient refractive surgery procedure used to treat astigmatisms, farsightedness (hyperopia) or nearsightedness (myopia). A laser is used to reshape the cornea; the clear, round dome at the front of the eye. It improves the way the eye focuses (refracts) light into the retina at the back of the eye.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a surgery to permanently change the shape of the cornea; the clear, round dome at the front of the eye, to improve vision and reduce the dependency on glasses or contacts.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an issue with your retina. When you have AMD, you lose your central vision. It is caused when the macula, a part of your retina, is damaged. While you will be unable to see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far, your peripheral (side) vision will be normal. There are two types of macular degeneration, Dry AMD and Wet AMD.
Dry AMD (Age-related macular degeneration)
Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein grow, causing you to slowly lose your central vision.
Wet AMD (Age-related macular degeneration)
Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. The macula can scar due to these vessels leaking blood and other fluids. Your loss of vision is more rapid with Wet AMD than with Dry AMD. Often, many people do not realize that they have AMD until their vision is compromised. It is important to have regular checkups by your ophthalmologist, because they can look for early signs of AMD before your vision is affected.
Macular dystrophy causes deterioration of the inner back lining of the eye where the retina and light-sensitive cells (photoreceptors) are located. Macular dystrophy is linked to genetic mutations that seem to trigger the degradation of retinal cells. There are many forms of macular dystrophy including Stargardts, best and pattern dystrophy.
A macular hole is a small gap that extends through the entire thickness of the macula, and can result in wavy or distorted vision and requires treatment by a retina specialist.
A macular pucker is a thin layer of scar tissue that forms on top of the retina. It may lead to mild blurring of the central vision. Severe macular puckers can result in wavy or distorted vision.
Myopia is a refractive error in the eye; the eye does not bend (refract) light properly to a single focus to view clearly. Objects up close may look somewhat clear but objects in the distance may appear blurry. It is estimated that one in four Americans have Myopia.
The retina is a layer at the back of the eye that contains light-sensitive cells. The retina initiates nerve impulses that transfer via the optic nerve to the brain where an image of what you’re viewing is formed.
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. There are times when small areas of the retina are torn, known as retinal tears or retinal breaks, and these can lead to retinal detachments. The retina is the light-sensitive layer that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain.
Sometimes, usually with age, the vitreous may move away from the retina. When the vitreous pulls too much, it may cause the retina to tear in one or more locations.This is called a retinal tear or torn retina. When the retina tears, it allows for fluid to pass through and lifts the retina off of the back of the eye. When this happens, this is called a retinal detachment. Treatments that an Ophthalmologist may administer for a retinal tear include Retinal Cryopexy and Retinal Photocoagulation.
To repair your retinal tear (or hole), your retina specialist may perform what is called a retinal cryopexy. Your eye is numbed, and then your physician will apply a freezing probe to the surface of your eye, directly above the retinal tear (or retinal hole). While looking into your eye, your physician will apply several bursts of cryotherapy to the area. This freezing works to seal the tear. This is an outpatient procedure.
Retinal Tear Photocoagulation Procedure
To repair your retinal tear (or hole), your retina specialist may perform what is called photocoagulation procedure. Your ophthalmologist will use a laser to seal the retinal tear or hole, to prevent the fluid from leaking into your vitreous which may cause a more serious condition called a retinal detachment.
Retinal vascular diseases
Retinal vascular diseases are conditions that can block or restrict the blood flow throughout the eye structures. Retinal vascular diseases, including central retinal vein occlusions, branch retinal vein occlusions, central retinal artery occlusions and branch retinal artery occlusions, are common in people with high blood pressure, diabetes and other factors that cause vascular disease in the body.
Retinal vein occlusion
Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)
Blood is carried throughout your body via arteries and veins, including to your eyes. When one of the smaller, retinal veins in your eye is blocked, blood and fluid spill out into your retina. Your macula can swell due to the fluid and this affects your central vision. You will require injections by a retina specialist to treat this condition.
Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)
Blood is carried throughout your body via arteries and veins, and your eye’s retina has one main vein and one main artery. When the main vein that carries fluid and blood to your eye is blocked, it is called central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). When your central vein becomes blocked, blood and fluid spills out into the retina. Your macula can swell due to the fluid and this affects your central vision. Eventually without blood circulation, your cells can die off causing you to lose more of your vision.
Retinopathy of prematurity
Retinopathy of prematurity is a disorder that causes potential blindness in premature infants. This condition is most common in babies weighing about 2¾ pounds (1250 grams) or less that are born before 31 weeks of gestation. While infants with severe retinopathy of prematurity require medical treatment, milder cases will improve with no permanent damage to the child’s vision.
Scratched eye (corneal abrasion)
Common causes of abrasions to the eye’s surface (corneal abrasions) are getting poked in the eye or rubbing the eye when a foreign body is present, such as sand or dirt. Corneal abrasions are very uncomfortable and cause eye redness and severe sensitivity to light.
Traumatic iritis is inflammation of the colored part of the eye and occurs after an eye injury. This condition can be caused by a poke a blow to the eye from a blunt object, such as a ball or hand.
Hymphemas and orbital blowout fractures
A hymphema is bleeding in the anterior chamber (space between the cornea and the iris) of the eye. Orbital blowout fractures are cracks or brakes in the facial bones surrounding the eye. Hyphemas and blowout fractures are serious eye injuries and medical emergencies. They are caused by significant blunt force trauma.
Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation caused by infection, injury or inflammatory disease. The different types of this condition are anterior (front of the eye), intermediate (ciliary body) and posterior (back of the eye) uveitis.
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