Patient Education

eye-anatomy

eye-anatomy FVC23

Glossary of Vision-Related Terms – click Here

A-Z Diseases, Disorders and FAQs – click to learn more

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD causes no pain. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.

Allergies

Allergies. Allergies affecting the eye are fairly common. The most common allergies are those related to pollen, particularly when the weather is warm and dry. Symptoms can include redness, itching, tearing, burning, stinging, and watery discharge, although they are not usually severe enough to require medical attention. Antihistamine decongestant eyedrops can effectively reduce these symptoms, as does rain and cooler weather, which decreases the amount of pollen in the air. An increasing number of eye allergy cases are related to medications and contact lens wear. Also, animal hair and certain cosmetics, such as mascara, face creams, and eyebrow pencil, can cause allergies that affect the eye. Touching or rubbing eyes after handling nail polish, soaps, or chemicals may cause an allergic reaction. Some people have sensitivity to lip gloss and eye makeup. Allergy symptoms are temporary and can eliminated by not having contact with the offending cosmetic or detergent.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

What is amblyopia? The brain and the eye work together to produce vision. Light enters the eye and is changed into nerve signals that travel along the optic nerve to the brain. Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called lazy eye. How common is amblyopia? Amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood. The condition affects approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 children. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood, amblyopia usually persists into adulthood, and is the most common cause of monocular (one eye) visual impairment among children and young and middle-aged adults.

Blepharitis

What is blepharitis? Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. The condition can be difficult to manage because it tends to recur.  

Blepharospasm

What is Blepharospasm? Blepharospasm is an abnormal, involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids. Most people develop blepharospasm without any warning symptoms. It may begin with a gradual increase in blinking or eye irritation. Some people may also experience fatigue, emotional tension, or sensitivity to bright light. As the condition progresses, the symptoms become more frequent, and facial spasms may develop. Blepharospasm may decrease or cease while a person is sleeping or concentrating on a specific task.  

Cataract

What is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.   What is the lens? The lens is a clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image, on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. Once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image is blurred.

Color Blindness (color vision deficiency)

What is color blindness? Color blindness (color vision deficiency) is a condition in which certain colors cannot be distinguished, and is most commonly due to an inherited condition. Red/Green color blindness is by far the most common form, about 99%, and causes problems in distinguishing reds and greens. Another color deficiency Blue/Yellow also exists, but is rare and there is no commonly available test for it.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

What is Conjunctivitis?  Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) describes a group of diseases that cause swelling, itching, burning, and redness of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that lines the eyelids and covers exposed areas of the sclera, or white of the eye. Conjunctivitis can spread from one person to another and affects millions of Americans at any given time. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, allergy, environmental irritants, a contact lens product, eyedrops, or eye ointments. 

Contact Lenses

Contact Lens Insertion & Removal Refresher

Why is proper contact lens care essential for healthy eyes?

Get Reminders via text or email to change your contacts, purchase new contacts, schedule your annual eye exam and/or submit rebates.  Only sign up for the reminders that you want.  You can choose to opt out of reminders at any time.

Corneal Infection

What is a Corneal Infection? Sometimes the cornea is damaged after a foreign object has penetrated the tissue, such as from a poke in the eye. At other times, bacteria or fungi from a contaminated contact lens can pass into the cornea. Situations like these can cause painful inflammation and corneal infections called keratitis. These infections can reduce visual clarity, produce corneal discharges, and perhaps erode the cornea. Corneal infections can also lead to corneal scarring, which can impair vision and may require a corneal transplant.

Diabetic Eye Disease

What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of diabetes. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. Diabetic eye disease may include:
* Diabetic retinopathy—damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
* Cataract—clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
* Glaucoma—increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.
What is diabetic retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.

Dry Eye

What is dry eye? Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon. Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane. Other names for dry eye include dry eye syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), dysfunctional tear syndrome, lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, evaporative tear deficiency, aqueous tear deficiency, and LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE).

Floaters, Facts About

What are floaters? Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They do not follow your eye movements precisely, and usually drift when your eyes stop moving. Most people have floaters and learn to ignore them; they are usually not noticed until they become numerous or more prominent. Floaters can become apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a blue sky.

Glaucoma

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises. However, with early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.   Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people are at higher risk than others.  They include: African Americans over age 40, Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans and People with a family history of glaucoma.A comprehensive dilated eye exam can reveal more risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. In some people with certain combinations of these high-risk factors, medicines in the form of eyedrops reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by about half.

Histoplasmosis

What is histoplasmosis? Histoplasmosis is a disease caused when airborne spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum are inhaled into the lungs, the primary infection site. This microscopic fungus, which is found throughout the world in river valleys and soil where bird or bat droppings accumulate, is released into the air when soil is disturbed by plowing fields, sweeping chicken coops, or digging holes. Histoplasmosis is often so mild that it produces no apparent symptoms. Any symptoms that might occur are often similar to those from a common cold. In fact, if you had histoplasmosis symptoms, you might dismiss them as those from a cold or flu, since the body’s immune system normally overcomes the infection in a few days without treatment. However, histoplasmosis, even mild cases, can later cause a serious eye disease called ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (OHS), a leading cause of vision loss in Americans ages 20 to 40.

Keratoconus

What is Keratoconus?  This disorder–a progressive thinning of the cornea–is the most common corneal dystrophy in the U.S., affecting one in every 2000 Americans. It is more prevalent in teenagers and adults in their 20s. Keratoconus arises when the middle of the cornea thins and gradually bulges outward, forming a rounded cone shape. This abnormal curvature changes the cornea’s refractive power, producing moderate to severe distortion (astigmatism) and blurriness (nearsightedness) of vision. Keratoconus may also cause swelling and a sight-impairing scarring of the tissue.

Low Vision

What is Low Vision?  Low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to do. Reading the mail, shopping, cooking, seeing the TV, and writing can seem challenging.

Macular Hole

What is a macular hole? A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision. Macular holes are related to aging and usually occur in people over age 60.

Macular Pucker

What is a macular pucker? A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye’s macula, located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular pucker can cause blurred and distorted central vision. Macular pucket is also known as Epiretinal membrane, preretinal membrane, cellophane maculopathy, retina wrinkle, surface wrinkling retinopathy, premacular fibrosis, and internal limiting membrane disease.

Refractive Errors, Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism, Presbyopia

What are refractive errors? Refractive errors include myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism, eye conditions that are very common.  Most people have one or more of them.  Refractive errors can usually be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lens.
What is myopia (nearsightedness)? If you have myopia you can clearly see close objects, but distant objects are blurry. Myopia is caused by the eyeball being too long. Myopia occurs in different degrees from minimal to extreme. The more myopic you are the blurrier your vision is at a distance and objects will have to be closer to you so you can see them clearly.
What is hyperopia (farsightedness)? If you have hyperopia, you can see distant objects clearly, but close ones are blurry. Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is too short for the light rays to focus clearly on the retina.
What is astigmatism? If you have an astigmatism, the surface of the eye (cornea) is not perfectly round, rather it is more oval and doesn’t allow the eye to focus clearly. The cornea is very important in helping the eye focus light rays on the retina. Astigmatism rarely occurs alone. It is usually accompanies myopia or hyperopia.
What is presbyopia? If you have presbyopia, you have the loss of the ability to focus up close that occurs as you age. Most people are between 40 and 50 years when they realize for the first time that they can’t read objects close to them. The letters of the phonebook are “too small” or you have to hold the newspaper farther away from your eye to see it clearly. At the same time your ability to focus on objects that are far way remains normal.

Retinal Detachment, Facts About

What is 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, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. In some cases there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can lead to retinal detachment. Symptoms of retinal detachment include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. Another symptom is the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should see an eye care professional immediately.

Sunglasses

Who should wear Sunglasses?

Polarized Sunglasses or Tinted Sunglasses with 100% UV protection are recommended for everyone, especially children. 80% of our lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 20. Visit our office to try on sunglasses for infants, children and adults.

Why Wear Sunglasses?

Excessive Light
Prevent Overexposure of the Sun
We need to protect our eyes from UVA, UVB and harmful visible light rays. Overexposure to visible light can bleach the photoreceptors in the eye, so it takes longer for night vision to return and makes it harder to see the difference between colors.
Cosmetic
Reduce wrinkles and crows feet caused by squinting.
Fashionable
Sports Protection
Protect your eyes while playing sports or riding motorcycles, ATVing or snowmobiling. 27% of all eye injuries are sports related. That number increases to 40% for children between 11 – 14.
Specific Tasks
Certain colored sunglass lenses can help you preform special tasks such as driving, fishing, golf and other activities.

Vitreous Detachment (Posterior Vitreous Detachment)

What is vitreous detachment? Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. There are millions of fine fibers intertwined within the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. Usually the fibers break, allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This is a vitreous detachment. In most cases, a vitreous detachment, also known as a posterior vitreous detachment, is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.