A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. This clouding decreases the amount of light that reaches the retina causing blurred or distorted vision. Patients who have cataracts can also be very sensitive to glare. In most cases cataracts affect people 50 years of age or older.
When glasses no longer improve a patient’s vision cataract surgery may be indicated. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in the United States and is usually done on an outpatient basis. Taking less than 30 minutes to complete, patients can be back at work with clear, comfortable vision as soon as the next day. During the operation, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced by an Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) that restores clear vision. Many different IOL’s are available and your doctor will help you decide which one is right for you.
Allergies affect over 20% of the population. Living in a large city there are a lot of environmental pollutants, pollen, and dust that can irritate a person’s eyes. The typical signs and symptoms of ocular allergies are itching, redness, watery eyes, and swelling of the eyes and eyelids. These symptoms are often accompanied by allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies).
With specific testing and new advances in therapies our doctors can give you the relief you have been searching for.
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that damages the central part of the retina which is called the macula. This causes central vision loss that may be severe and permanent.
There are 2 different types of Macular Degeneration:
1) Dry Macular Degeneration - Dry macular degeneration occurs when cells beneath the macula begin to break down. Small yellow deposits, called drusen, form under the macula between the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and Bruch’s membrane, which is a protective layer that supports the retina. Drusen deposits are “debris” associated with compromised cell metabolism in the RPE and are often the first sign of macular degeneration. As these drusen increase in size and number, they create a blurred and distorted spot in the central vision of the eye. Almost all people with macular degeneration start with the dry form.
2) Wet Macular Degeneration - Occurs in 10% of people with macular degeneration. Blood vessels beneath the macula begin to break down and new, abnormal vessels form that are very fragile. These vessels begin to grow upward through the sensitive retinal tissue. This is called choroidal neovascularization. These vessels begin to leak blood and fluid, causing damage to the macula. Although only 10% of people with macular degeneration have this form, it causes most of the vision loss associated with the condition.
Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration:
1) Smoking. #1 risk factor
2) Heredity. If others in your family have the disorder
3) Those with lighter complexions, hair color, and eye color
4) High fat diets and obesity
5) Exposure to UV light without proper eye protection, especially as a child
Signs and symptoms of Macular Degeneration
1) Loss of central vision
2) Distortion of central vision especially when reading
3) May only affect one eye or both eyes
Floaters and Flashes
Floaters are more common in people with:
1) high near sighted (myopic) prescriptions
2) Have undergone Cataract surgery
3) Have had certain types of Laser surgery
4) Have had inflammation of the eye
Because Floaters and Flashes may be an indication of a serious problem, you should contact our doctors when you experience:
1) Any new onset of Floaters
2) Any increase in the size or number of your current floaters
3) Any Flashes
4) Any decrease in your field of vision
Do not hesitate to call our office if you experience any of these signs. You can never be too careful with your vision.
This damage may happen slowly over time and not affect vision for years. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis. In addition to testing your vision, we will look for any symptoms of eye disease.