Medical Eye Care
Eye Associates is your eye care professional for the diagnosis, treatment and management of eye diseases and injuries.
Below are brief descriptions of the various eye conditions and diseases we commonly see and treat at Eye Associates. There are many different types of eye conditions that could be affecting your eyesight or could have long-term consequences if not treated properly or promptly. If you think you or someone in your family has one of these conditions, please contact Eye Associates for an exam and recommendations.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse and protect the eyes. This is significant because, with each blink, tears protect the surface of the eye, washing away dust and microorganisms. When this protective coating is deficient, the eyes may feel “gritty” or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In more severe cases, vision can be blurred. If you suspect that you have dry eye, see your eye doctor. Proper care will not only increase your comfort – it will protect your eyes. Your eye care provider can perform a series of tests to determine if you have dry eyes.
Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction and/or abnormalities in oil gland function. Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main goals in treating it are to reduce the amount of bacteria along the lid margin and open plugged glands. Contact Eye Associates to assess the severity of this condition and the best treatment method.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headache and watery eyes when working in front of a computer screen. The symptoms are typically due to posture, dry eyes, eye muscle coordination and poorly corrected vision. Since computer monitors are typically 20 to 26 inches from your eyes, your regular glasses may not be the best option for computer work. This distance range is considered intermediate – closer than what you use to drive a car but farther away than what you use to read. Special lens designs for computer work provide you with a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer and your immediate work area like the top of your desk. Eye Associates can help you determine if these special lenses are appropriate for you.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world’s leading cause of blindness and among the most common conditions related to aging. Typically, a cataract starts out small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks. In the early stages, your doctor may recommend stronger eyeglasses and adjusting your lighting to reduce glare. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, which is one of the most frequent and successful procedures done in the U.S.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. This degenerative process occurs during infancy or early childhood. It is important for a lazy eye to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it is during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently. Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination before the age of three. If you suspect a problem, or need to set up your child’s first eye examination, contact Eye Associates to set up an appointment.
Cross-eyed or turned eyes, medically known as strabismus, refers to a condition in which eyes are misaligned. It commonly occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are not properly working together. The result is one or both eyes turning inward, outward, upward or downward, or one or both eyes moving irregularly. Strabismus is usually diagnosed during childhood and affects about 4 percent of children, afflicting boys and girls equally. Even if you notice symptoms intermittently – when your child is ill, stressed or fatigued – alert your eye care provider as complications can be avoided with early intervention.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, sometimes known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Most commonly caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust. Pink eye can be highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge. While some minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into serious corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Eye Associates for an examination and treatment.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems that can result from having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.
Often called “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness. While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are medications and surgery available that can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slowing the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called “dry” and “wet”. “Wet” macular degeneration is less common, but can cause devastating vision loss and is often treated with laser procedures or injections. In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Eye Associates.
Eye Associates has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye conditions detailed at all of our offices. For more information please schedule an appointment with your eye care provider.