Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but objects at distance appear blurred. A common sign of nearsightedness is difficulty with the clarity of distant objects like a TV screen or the board in school. A comprehensive eye exam will include testing for nearsightedness. An optometrist can prescribe contact lenses or eyeglasses that correct nearsightedness.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) is a vision conditions in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but near ones do not come into proper focus. Common signs of farsightedness include difficulty in maintaining a clear focus on near objects, eyestrain, fatigue and/or headaches after close work, irritability after sustained concentration. Common vision screenings, often done in schools, are generally ineffective in detecting farsightedness. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for farsightedness. In mild cases of farsightedness, your eyes may be able to compensate without corrective lenses. In other cases, your optometrist can prescribe contact lenses or eyeglasses to optically correct farsightedness.
Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to 1) the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of your eye or 2) the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Patients with large amounts of astigmatism will experience distorted vision when viewing fine details, eye discomfort and headaches. Comprehensive eye exams with your optometrist will include testing for astigmatism. Depending on the amount of astigmatism present, glasses and contact lenses can be recommended to correct the astigmatism.
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the lens in your eye loses its flexibility, causing difficulty for you to focus on near objects. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease, and it cannot be prevented. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s. Some signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm's length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for presbyopia and your optometrist can endorse contact lenses and glasses to help the condition. Because the effects of presbyopia continue to change the ability of the crystalline lens to focus properly, periodic changes in your eyewear may be necessary to maintain clear and comfortable vision.
Cataracts are a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye, that based on size and location can interfere with normal vision. Patients with cataracts will experience blur at distance and/or near, glare, or difficulty in low-light situations. Cataracts can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. The optometrist will gather your patient history, obtain your visual acuity, and evaluate your lens to determine whether cataract surgery is appropriate.
Dry Eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health. Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination, with special emphasis on the evaluation of the quantity and quality of tears produced by the eyes. Using the information obtained from testing, your optometrist can determine if you have dry eyes and advise you on treatment options.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Patients with conjunctivitis may experience itching or burning, excessive tearing, or increased sensitivity of their eyes. A visit to the optometrist will allow them to determine the etiology and evaluate the severity of the conjunctivitis. Treatment is aimed at increasing patient comfort, reducing the inflammation or infection, and prevention of the spreading of the disease.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication in patients with diabetes that causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision, dark or empty spots within your field of vision, or difficulty with vision at night. The longer a patient has diabetes, the higher likelihood they have of developing diabetic retinopathy. If left uncontrolled and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. It is imperative for patients with diabetes to visit their optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination with dilation at least once a year.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) occurs when there are changes to the macula, a small portion of the retina that is responsible for your central vision. Some common symptoms are: a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision, and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision. In its early stages, signs of macular degeneration can go unnoticed. But, if you experience any signs/symptoms, contact your optometrist immediately. In a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will perform a variety of tests including dilation to determine if you have macular degeneration and if diagnosed, will provide a proper management plan to control the condition.
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. Many people do not become aware they have the condition until significant vision loss has occurred. It initially affects peripheral or side vision, but can advance to central vision loss and may even lead to blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma cannot currently be prevented, but if diagnosed and managed early it can usually be controlled. Medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. However, vision already lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. An annual dilated eye examination for people at risk for glaucoma as a preventive eye care measure. Depending on your specific condition, your optometrist may recommend more frequent examinations.