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Eye Health for Adults

Near Sightedness (Also known as Myopia)

Nearsightedness, medically referred to as myopia, refers to the ability to see objects that are near to you clearly. It is a common eye condition, affecting 30% of the population in the United States.

People who are nearsighted often experience eyestrain or headaches, and might squint or feel fatigued when using the computer, driving or playing sports for example. If you experience these symptoms, you may need a comprehensive eye examination.

Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Depending on the severity of your vision problem, you may need to corrective lenses all the time, or only when you need distance vision.

Far Sightedness (Also known as Hyperopia)

Farsightedness, which is medically referred to as Hyperopia, is a vision problem in which objects that are close appear blurred , and objects in the distance appear normal.

People who are farsighted may experience eyestrain or headaches, they may squint or feel tired when performing work at close range, such as reading and writing, the words appear blurred and fuzzy. Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. You may need to wear your corrective all the time, or when doing tasks close up.

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Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that causes your body to not use or store sugar properly. When your blood sugar gets too high, it can damage your eye by weakening or swelling the tiny blood vessels in the retina. This damage may lead to diabetic retinopathy. This disorder usually occurs in both eyes and dims or obliterates vision temporarily. In fact, the longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he is to have retinopathy.

Diabetes may lead to new blood vessel growth on top of the retina. These blood vessels can develop into scar tissue, pulling the retina away from the back of the eye. This is called retinal detachment, and can lead to blindness if untreated. Additionally, irregular blood vessels can grow on the iris, leading to glaucoma.

Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. You may not notice any change in your vision in its early stages, which is why regular eye examinations are extremely important.

If detected early on, Diabetic Retinopathy can be treated with laser therapy to stop blood vessels from leaking and end new growth. If diabetic retinopathy has caused your body to form a cataract, it can be corrected surgically. Patients who have developed glaucoma should see a glaucoma specialist.

Presbyopia (Also known as Old Eyes or Aging Eyes)

Glasses

Presbyopia is a condition in which the aging eye is unable to focus on near objects. It typically begins around age 40. It is due to the loss of the normal elasticity (ability to bounce back to it's normal shape) of the lens of the eye. Over time, Presbyopia results in the inability to see close objects, as when reading a newspaper.

When presbyopia develops, people may need to hold newspapers, magazines, books, etc, at arm's length to focus clearly. They may experience eyestrain or headaches work on projects close up. Bifocal or progressive lenses may correct presbyopia. Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and progressives, which usually are worn all day, reading glasses are worn occasionally when during close work. Contact lens wearers may use reading glasses that are worn while their contacts are in.

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Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer-vision-syndrome

Many people using a computer for long periods experience eyestrain, this is called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS affects everyone who works on a computer and consists of symptoms such as headache, dry eyes, fatigue, blurred and double vision.

CVS can be caused from the glare of overhead lights, or poor lighting, dry eyes caused by infrequent blinking, focusing close for long periods of time, the screen may reflect glare or ultraviolet lights poor screen resolution, etc. Also, your computer screen projects images in pixels which constantly change, forcing your eyes to constantly refocus. This constant adjustment caused strain on your eyes, causing your eyesight to become distorted or blurred.

Computer Vision Syndrome can be treated with pair of computer glasses, which are different from glasses used for their other visual needs . CVS glasses allow your eyes to focus easily by reducing the glare on the computer screen. Other ways to deter the symptoms of CVS are to set up your work area in such a way that it is easy to view your computer screen, which should be straight in front of you, about 24 inches away from your eyes, and out of the suns glare. In addition, you may use a desk lamp to create a more focused light where you are working.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is distorted vision caused by an uneven curvature of the cornea, which is the outside front portion of your eye. Vertical but not horizontal lines are in focus, or vice versa. Diagonal lines may also seem out of focus. Astigmatism sometimes occurs in conjunction with nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Depending on the severity of astigmatism, it may not be noticeable or it may cause just a slight blur in vision. If left untreated, astigmatism can cause eyestrain or headaches, it can blur and distort your vision at all distances.

Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery may correct astigmatism, depending on severity. Treatment should always be discussed with a professional, call our office and schedule an appointment today.

Cataracts

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The lens of the eye is normally clear. When it becomes clouded over by thickened tissue, usually in old age, it is called a cataract . Cataracts prevent the lens from properly focusing light on the retina, at the back of the eye, resulting in a loss of vision. If the cataract blurs your vision severely enough to interfere with your daily routine, it is crucial that you speak with an eyecare professional immediately.

As cataracts grow larger and cloud more of your lens, more noticeable symptoms will develop. These symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, colors that seem faded, poor night vision, dark spots or shadows, and double or multiple visions. These symptoms can also be a sign of other eye problems.

The exact cause of cataracts is uncertain, but it is known that chemical changes within the lens cause it to become cloudy. This is often thought of as a part of the natural aging process, but it may also result from heredity, an injury or disease.

At the onset of cataract formation, corrective lenses may help minimize the impact. However, the eye's internal lens may eventually lose so much transparency that surgical removal of the clouded lens is necessary to restore vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals sight without symptoms, pain, or warning. Typically characterized by high pressure within the eye, the passages that allow the normal fluid in the eye to drain become clogged and blocked. This results in the amount of fluid in the eye building up and causing increased pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is the main carrier of vision information to the brain. Damage to it results in less information sent to the brain and a loss of vision. Glaucoma is one of the most common and severe eye disorders of people over 40. Early treatment is vital, or the condition can ultimately lead to blindness.

Chronic glaucoma has many times been referred to as the "Silent thief of sight" as there are no warning signs. Roughly half of Americans who have chronic glaucoma do not know it. Glaucoma reduces your peripheral vision so slowly, that once you notice it, permanent damage is done.

Narrow-angle glaucoma, can produce sudden symptoms such as, headaches, eye pain, halos around lights, red eyes, nausea, vomiting, and vision loss. These attacks may last for a few hours, and go away, then return again, each taking a part of your field of vision.

At this time there is no cure for glaucoma. The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is early diagnosis and treatment.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration, often called AMD, is an age-related breakdown of the macula, a portion of the retina, which is the light sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. The macula allows you to read, drive, and do other activities requiring fine, sharp, and straight-ahead vision. Without a healthy macula, seeing detail or vivid color is not possible.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration. The dry form, which is responsible for 90% of cases, involves the tissue of the macula becoming thin and stops functioning properly. This type is thought to occur as part of the aging process of the eye in some people. In the wet form, which is less common, fluids from newly formed blood vessels leak under the macula and cause significant vision loss. Macular degeneration produces painless loss of vision which can occur slow or suddenly. Straight lines may look wavy , vision seems fuzzy, or there are shadowy areas in your central vision, you may be experiencing early signs of AMD.

An eyecare professional will often detect early signs of macular degeneration before you experience any of these symptoms.

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but prescription eyewear can sometimes improve vision. Remember, early detection is the most important factor in determining if you can be treated effectively. Call our office and schedule an appointment today.

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Floaters

Floaters are what appear to be small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. But they are actually small clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. They may look like strands, webs, specks, or other shapes, but they are shadows cast on the retina.

Floaters are inside your eye, so they move with your eyes when you try to see them. You may see flashes of light, but these occur more in older people as the vitreous humor thickens and pulls on the retina. These flashes could be a warning sign of a detached retina.

People may experience flashes that look like jagged lines or heat waves, they may last 10-20 minutes. These kinds of flashes are typically caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the brain, called a migraine. A headache following the flashes, is a migraine headache.

Most floaters are merely annoying, yet harmless, and many fade over time. If you suddenly see floaters, or if they are accompanied by flashes of light or peripheral vision loss, it could be a sign of serious conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or the beginning of a retinal detachment. The retina can tear if the shrinking vitreous gel pulls away from the wall of the eye, causing a tiny amount of bleeding in the eye that may appear as new floaters.

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Dry Eye

Dry eye is a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture in the eye, causing slight but regular irritation. Relentless burning in your eyes, dryness, and scratching are signs of dry eye syndrome, or you may have the feeling like there is a foreign body sensation in your eye. Another symptom can be tearing due to excessive dryness.

Dry eye syndrome can be managed with prescription eye drops, or artificial tears to relieve the burning, dryness, and scratching.