About Your Eyes
Annual eye health examinations are recommended in order to ensure your continued excellent vision. We provide comprehensive eye examinations for both adults and children. We check your eyes for all eye diseases including glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachments. We are also able to see systemic diseases and complications when looking at the eye, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Below are listed a few common eye diseases and conditions along with brief descriptions for your general knowledge.
Many people are lucky enough to have perfect vision, where all of the structures of the eye work together to bring the world into the sharpest possible focus at all distances.
But the eye can also have imperfections and some of us would face a fuzzy existence if not for the availability of glasses and contact lenses.
Nearsightedness or Myopia
The above diagram is Myopia, or Nearsightedness, one of the most common refractive errors. Light focuses in front of the retina instead of on it, resulting in good vision at very close range but blurred vision at distances.
Farsightedness or Hyperopia
Above is Hyperopia, or Farsightedness, the opposite of Myopia, where you can see more easily at distance than you can up close. Light focuses behind the retina in this case. Many people that are Farsighted do not notice blurry vision because they are able to strain their eye muscles in order to focus. This can cause frequent headaches and eyestrain. With larger amounts of Hyperopia, distance vision is blurred as well as near vision. Presbyopia is similar to Farsightedness, when the muscle in the eye weakens and can no longer help the eye to focus at close ranges. This usually happens around the age of 40.
Astigmatism means there is no one point of focus regardless of whether you are focused at distance or close-up. This is usually resultant from a non-spherical cornea. Unless corrected with glasses or contact lenses, Astigmatism can result in blurred vision , eyestrain, and headaches.
Macular degeneration can be a devastating disease where the patient loses their central vision. Imagine looking directly at a flash bulb when the camera goes off. All you can see for a couple minutes is that flash in the center of your vision. With macular degeneration, that central blur is permanent. Laser surgery treatments are only appropriate for a small percentage of patients, and even when laser is performed, it can only slow or halt further progression of vision loss. It cannot restore areas of vision that are already lost. Risk factors for macular degeneration include: family history, fair skin and light eye color, smoking, UV exposure and age. The best way to protect against this disease is to quit smoking, wear UV protection when outdoors (such as sunglasses and a hat), eat green leafy vegetables and/or take a multi-vitamin supplement that contains lutein. (Always consult your Primary Care doctor before beginning any vitamin supplements, as some vitamins can interfere with certain medications).
Glaucoma is a disease where the optic nerve is damaged, usually as a result from high intra-ocular pressure. When left untreated, this disease can cause total blindness. Once diagnosed with glaucoma, the disease progression can be slowed or halted with the use of prescription eye drops or, sometimes, with surgery. Glaucoma is a silent disease that usually has no symptoms. Loss of vision is only apparent to the patient after extensive optic nerve damage has taken place. For this reason, regular eye examinations are imperative in order to discover the disease before irreversible vision loss has occurred.
A clouding of the lens inside the eye is called a cataract. Exposure to UV light, which is exceedingly common in Florida, can hasten the formation and progression of cataracts. Many cataracts are age-related and unavoidable, whereas some cataracts can be caused by the use of certain medications (i.e. steroids). When a cataract begins to reduce the quality of vision, it may be considered “ripe” enough for surgery. During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and a new, clear lens is implanted. In most instances, the surgery can be done using a very small incision so that no stitches are required and healing time is very quick.
Eyeglasses, Eye Exams, Family Eye Care
1180 Nikki View Drive
Brandon, FL 33511