A flaw in the curvature of the cornea (the clear covering at the front of the eye structure) or the lens can occur naturally, even from birth. When the cornea is irregularly shaped, the eye does not have the capacity to focus correctly. Ideally, a lens with no defects reflects light to a single point on the back of the eye, on the retina. An unnatural curve causes a problem in the reflective process, and light is not focused to one point.
This causes a variety of symptoms, including:
Blurred vision Eyestrain
Headaches Frequent squinting
Difficulty with night vision Double vision
Astigmatism can occur at any age, and can worsen over time. If you are nearsighted or farsighted, it is important that your eyes are checked for astigmatism as the condition may not be corrected with your current eyeglass or contacts prescription.
Characterized by cloudiness in the lens of the eye, cataracts form as we age. It is a frustrating condition as it cannot be treated with a simple fix like glasses or contacts. Cataracts can be a challenging sign of aging, affecting the ability to drive, see clearly, and can greatly limit your enjoyment of life. Cataracts can develop due to aging, environmental factors, eye injuries, or genetics. The only way to successfully treat cataracts is with a surgical procedure. Unlike other conditions that can be corrected with glasses or contacts, the clouding of the eye’s lenses is irreversible, and can be alleviated with a replacement lens implant. There are a range of lens types, including those to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as those with extended depth of focus and multifocal lenses, which can reduce your dependence on distance and reading glasses. Dr. Moore works with several of the regions best cataract surgeons to guide you through the pre-operative process and monitor your recovery through the post-operative period.
The uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye (or “dry eyes”) most often affects both of your eyes. You may be experiencing one or several of these symptoms:
- A scratchy sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Red, irritated eyes
- Sensation that you have something on your eye
- Contact lenses are very uncomfortable
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Night driving problems
WHY TEARS MATTER FOR HEALTHY EYES AND VISION
Tears are an important part of clear and consistent vision as well as eye health and allow for the smooth, comfortable movement of the lids across the eyeball. This lubrication protects the eye structure from inflammation. Made up of a combination of oil, water, and mucus, if any of these three ingredients are reduced or missing, the eyes become dry and irritated. For well-lubricated eyes, the tear glands and oil glands must be functioning as nature intended.
THE RISKS OF UNTREATED DRY EYE
If your eyes are dry, you are at higher risk of developing more serious eye conditions and diseases, including:
- Eye infections
- Damaged eye surface, potentially permanent
- Trouble driving, reading or other life activity
Glaucoma is an eye disease affecting all ages and typically found later in life. This disease is triggered by a blockage in the draining mechanism of the eye, causing a build-up of fluid that places pressure on the optic nerve. The pressure can lead to various symptoms, and is often painless although it can rarely include pain and blurred vision. If glaucoma is left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR GLAUCOMA?
- Are fifty or older
- Are related to someone who had glaucoma
- Are very nearsighted
- Are African American or Hispanic
- Have diabetes, migraines, or certain other medical conditions
- Had any eye injuries or conditions, including thin corneas or optic nerves
Even if you do not fall into one a high-risk category, it is still important to get regular eye exams to check for the early signs of glaucoma. As most cases of glaucoma progress slowly and present few painful symptoms, early detection is imperative to getting treatment to help you preserve your sight and avoid the risk of blindness.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a common condition where a person may or may not see distant objects clearly depending on the degree of far-sightedness, while close objects are blurry or difficult to focus. Hyperopia is not detected as often as myopia, or nearsightedness, as vision tests are commonly performed using distance charts. As a person with hyperopia may see distance clearly, they pass traditional eye tests without trouble. However, blurred near vision or headaches can be indicative of hyperopia and may warrant an examination.
Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. The symptoms of myopia are the ability to see close objects with clarity, while distant objects appear blurry or indistinct. Suffering from myopia is frustrating because it can make watching television, driving, or certain aspects of performing your work duties more difficult. Nearsightedness is common and affects people at almost any age. It is believed nearsightedness, or a propensity for developing the condition is passed down through genetics.
In the US, diagnoses of myopia in children has doubled over the course of just a single generation. What’s worse, researchers now predict that by 2050 the incidence of myopia will increase by a further 40% over today’s epidemic-levels of occurrence. This would translate into almost 60 million kids in the U.S. under the age of 17 suffering from myopia.
As a parent, it can be alarming to see your child’s vision deteriorate every year. Parents who remember getting glasses themselves feared it was just a matter of time before their children needed them too. But the rate and severity of myopia is growing so significantly that researchers believe there are other contributing factors beyond genetics. Many studies now point to environmental and behavioral factors such as reading at very close distances (<8 inches) and for continuous periods of time (> 45 minutes) and reduced outdoor time (<8-15 hours/week) during a child’s formative years of development having a role in driving the significant increase in myopia.
Presbyopia is the natural and inevitable loss of the ability to focus for near tasks and occurs in everyone and is associated with aging. You may notice that reading becomes a challenge or you are forced to hold a book or menu in a specific place further from your eyes, or need more light to see print clearly.
The retina is the layer of tissue on the back wall of the eye that detects light and sends images to the brain. The lens of the eye functions to focus the light at the back of the eye, creating an image on the retina, which are then sent instantly by electrical pulses to your brain. Myopia and hyperopia are defects in the lens of the eye that cause the image to focus in front of the retina or behind it, producing a blurred image. There are also disorders of the retina which can affect sight, and in some cases lead to blindness.
- Diabetic/Hypertensive Retinopathy - Damage to the retina can be caused by certain medical conditions, including diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). High sugar levels caused by diabetes can weaken the walls of the smaller blood vessels in the retina. If the blood vessels are damaged, blood and other body fluids can leak into the eye and damage photoreceptors on the retina. Hypertension causes the walls of small blood vessels to thicken to counteract damage done by high blood pressure, which in turn reduces blood flow to the retina. If there is damage to the photoreceptors or the macula due to hypertension, your vision is at risk. Lowering blood pressure and keeping diabetes well under control can help reduce the risk of retinopathy, along with regular eye exams to identify the early symptoms of this dangerous condition.
- Macular Degeneration - In the center of the retina is a small region called the macula that functions to reveal the fine details in your central vision. When photoreceptors in the macula start to deteriorate, a phenomenon called macular degeneration, it can cause blurred central vision the loss of the ability to perceive fine details. It can be caused by fat and protein deposits developing under the retina, or an excess of blood vessels forming beneath the macula which leak blood and fluid that damages the macular photoreceptors. This condition may progress rapidly and lead to a substantial loss of central vision.