Recurrent Corneal Erosion
Corneal Foreign Body
Below is a list of various common eye conditions:
- Dry Eye
Dry eye is a very common condition that occurs when people don't have either enough tears, or the correct composition of tears, to lubricate the eyes and keep them comfortable.
If you have dry eye, your eyes may feel gritty, itchy, burning, and painful. These sensations often worsten as the day goes on. Stringy mucus may appear in or around the eyes. Patients with the most severe disease are at increased risk of developing corneal infection, scarring or ulceration. These conditions can cause permanent vision loss, although this is rare. Severe dry eye is sometimes caused by Sjögren's syndrome, which is a chronic disorder that also results in dry mouth and is often associated with arthritis. More information about this disease is available at: www.sjogrens.org. You should be under a specialist's care if you have Sjögren's.
The first line of treatment is usually eye drops that act as artificial tears and give some temporary relief, but do little to arrest or reverse any damaging conditions. The preservatives in some eye drops can irritate the eye; preservative-free artificial tears may be required. For more severe cases of dry eye, topical steroids (in eye drops) are prescribed to combat inflammation. In other situations closing the drainage cannals either temporarily or permanently, to keep the tear film on the surface for a longer time is beneficial. For some forms of dry eye, tiny plugs can keep tears on the eye's surface by slowing the rate of drainage from the eye; this procedure is called punctal occlusion. Our office finds that Restasis works well by increasing the production of you eyes' own tears. For more information on Restasis visit www.dryeye.com.
- Conditions of the Retina
- Age-related Macular Degeneration: A leading cause of blindness in older people is a condition called age-related macular degeneration. The macula is located in the center of the retina (back of the eye) and is responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to see straight ahead. Aging can cause the macula to slowly degenerate and reduce central vision in people over 50 years of age. It is estimated that 8.5% of individuals between 43-54 years and 36.8% of those over 75 years have some degree of macular degeneration.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Approximately 5.7 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is a leading cause of blindness, yet only half of these individuals know they have the disease. Bleeding inside the eye may be the first sign of its presence. The major cause of blindness in people with diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy, a term used for all the abnormalities of the small blood vessels of the retina caused by diabetes.
- Retinal Detachment: The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. Anyone can get a retinal detachment; however, they are far more common in nearsighted people, those over 50, those who have had significant eye injuries, and those with a family history of retinal detachments.
- Glaucoma: An estimated 1.6 million individuals over 40 years of age in the United States have glaucoma, and the risk increases significantly with age. Sadly, approximately half of these people don't know they have the disease. Almost every case of glaucoma develops without symptoms. Long-standing glaucoma without treatment can lead to severe vision loss. Early detection and treatment can reduce the severity of vision loss.
Conjunctivitis refers to any inflammatory condition of the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the eye. It is the most common cause of "pink eye." Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by bacteria and viruses. Our office utilizes the RPS adenoviral test in order to determine the type of conjunctivitis you have. We then take the appropriate steps to treat the particular type of "pink eye." Allergic conjunctivitis, on the other hand, can be caused by exposure to certain irritants and is often seasonal. This condition can be treated long term with drugs such as antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is an inflammatory condition in which large bumps (known as papillae) form on the inside of the eyelids.
GPC is commonly associated with over wearing dirty contact lenses with surface deposits. All contact lens materials are different and interact differently with each individual’s tear chemistry. Current studies suggest that GPC is likely an immune or an allergic response to an individual’s own protein and lipid that has accumulated on or in the lens surface.
As GPC progresses, an individual may experience lens awareness, dryness, excessive lens movement, blurred vision, redness, itching and possibly mucous discharge. Giant Papillary conjunctivitis can be difficult to treat and may take weeks or months to improve. The doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops to reduce symptoms, recommend a
different cleaning solution, and allow limited lens wear.
- Recurrent Corneal Erosion
Also known as basement membrane disease. Patients with this condition awaken with pain in one or both eyes. Our office treats this condition with bandage contact lenses. Patients experience relief from long term discomfort with this type of treatment.
- Corneal Abrasion
A corneal abrasion can occur from a mechanical insult to the eye. Occassionally a contact lens wearer will experience a corneal abrasion. These can be quite painful. A foreign object can also fly into the eye and lodge under the upper lid creating continuous pain. A thorough examination of both the cornea and eyelids is necessary to remove the foreign body. Symptoms include:
- Sharp pain in your eye followed by burning, irritation, tearing, and redness
- Feeling that something is in your eye when moving your eye around while it is closed
- Scratching sensation over your eye when blinking
- Blurred vision or vision loss in the affected eye
- These symptoms warrant an immediate consultation. Our office will always work you in for a visit if you have any of these symptoms.
Eyelashes are misdirected in a posterior direction, then they may rub against the globe, particularly the cornea, causing ocular surface damage. There are several possible causes:
- Trichiasis is the common form of eyelash misdirection. It can arise from scarring of the lid margin causing misdirection of the lashes. Chronic blepharitis, herpes zoster ophthalmicus, trachoma, and basal cell carcinoma can cause this painful condition. However, trichiasis can also be idiopathic (meaning no obvious cause).
- Pseudotrichiasis refers to eyelash misdirection due to entropion. The eyelash follicles are normal but the eyelid as a whole is misdirected causing the lashes to rub the cornea. Our office treats this condition by removing the offending lashes.
- Color Blindness
Take our online color blindness test to determine if you may have color blindness. If you think you may have color blindness, come in for a full exam and ask about corrective lenses for color blindness.
Keratoconus is a condition that results from an irregularly shaped cornea, which prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina. In keratoconus, the normally round cornea becomes thin and more cone-shaped, causing blurred vision and sensitivity to bright lights. Our office fits special contact lenses to correct the shape of the cornea.