See one of our eye doctors in Toronto to get relief from the following eye conditions:
- Dry Eyes
- Visual or Refractive Conditions
- Other Ocular Conditions
Our modern optometry dispensary offers the latest in all your eye wear needs from children’s frames to frames for specialized prescriptions. We carry many of the well known brands. We constantly keep our board fresh by attending the best optometry trade shows. Our helpful staff will do their best to find the right frame for every patient's face and personal style.
Our office keeps a generous stock of most soft disposable lenses for our patients. We have had success solving patient's complaints of reduced wearing time, blurred vision, or dryness while wearing their lenses. We also fit many patients with gas permeable contact lenses.
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If you would like to order new contact lenses, please call us at: 416.961-6671 or email: email@example.com
**Contact Lenses are prescription-only, and considered a medical device. They must be fitted and sized properly to avoid possible complications and infections. Federal law prohibits the sale of contact lenses without a prescription.
(DES) is a common disorder of the tear film, affecting a significant percentage of the population, especially those older than 40 years of age. DES can affect any race and is more common in women than in men. Tears bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris and keeping the eye moist. They also contain enzymes that neutralize the microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health. In dry eye syndrome, the lacrimal gland or associated glands near the eye don't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. Dry eye syndrome has several causes. It occurs as a part of the natural aging process, especially during menopause; as a side effect of many medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson's medications and birth control pills; or because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate. If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes. Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you're staring at a computer screen all day.
Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that may not be completely curable (depending on the cause). But the accompanying dryness, scratchiness and burning can be managed. Your eye care practitioner may prescribe artificial tears, which are lubricating eye drops that may alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling. If you wear contact lenses, be aware that many eye drops, especially artificial tears, cannot be used while your contacts are in your eyes. You'll need to remove them before using drops and wait 15 minutes or even longer (check the label) before reinserting the lenses. However there are many lubricating eye drops that are made for use while wearing contact lenses. Ask your eye care professional for their recommendations.
Another option for dry eye treatment is called Lacrisert, a tiny insert filled with a lubricating ingredient (hydroxypropyl cellulose). The insert is placed just inside the lower eyelid, where it continuously releases lubrication for the eye throughout the day.
Punctal plugs help keep moisture on the eye by keeping tears from draining too quickly.
Floaters are actually cellular debris within the vitreous, the jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of the eye. They may be seen as strings, streaks, clouds, bugs, dots, dust, or spider webs. These objects appear to be in front of the eye, but they are really floating in this fluid, and at the same time, casting their shadows on the retina, the light sensing inner layer of the eye. The debris could be made up of blood, torn retinal tissue, inflammation, vitreous detachment, or could simply mean a normal aging change in the vitreous. Floaters could also signify retinal tears that might be threatening for vision loss.
The vitreous fluid degenerates during the middle age years, often forming minute debris within the eye. Floaters are also often noticed in people who are nearsighted (myopic), and those who have been operated on for cataract or Yag laser surgery.
Floaters could interfere with reading, and can be quite bothersome. Even though there is no treatment or cure, they may slowly fade out over time. One possible remedy is to move the eyes up and down when a floater appears. The vitreous fluid may shift, thus permitting the floater to move out of the line of vision.
For the most part, floaters are usually nothing to worry about, being simply a result of the normal aging development. Usually it is recommended to see an Ophthalmologist within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, as floaters could also denote a serious eye disease such as retinal detachment. The vitreous covers the retina surface, and sometimes the retina is torn when degenerating vitreous is pulled away. This leads to a small amount of bleeding, which may be interpreted as a new cluster of floaters. A torn retina is serious, and could possibly develop into a retinal detachment. Consequently, any new floaters that appear should be seen and evaluated by a doctor.
When the vitreous gel rubs against or pulls on the retina, it can produce the illusion of flashing lights. Flashers can be perceived as a sparkle, disco light, fireflies, lightning, fire works, or sparks. The same experience can happen after being hit in the eye, giving the illusion of seeing stars. All of these flashers are generated by any abnormal stimulus to the retina.
Light flashes can happen on and off for many weeks, or even some months. This is a common occurrence during the aging process, and it is generally not cause for concern. At times, however, a significant number of new floaters will appear, accompanied by light flashes, and partial sight loss of peripheral vision could occur. If this happens, it is important to see an ophthalmologist quickly in order to evaluate whether the cause is a torn retina or retina detachment.
Migraine flashers appear as zigzag, shimmering, or even colorful, lines that may move within the visual field. They usually last from five to thirty minutes and can occur in both eyes at once. They are most likely caused by a sudden spasm of blood vessels in the brain. These flashers are often associated with headache, nausea, or dizziness, but more often occur without such symptoms. In this case, they are commonly called an ophthalmic migraine, or a migraine without the other accompanying symptoms.
As in the case with floaters, an eye specialist should attend to any abrupt onset of an abundance of light flashes. The exam would involve close observation of the retina and vitreous fluid.
Floaters and Flashers are common visual symptoms that can be representative of normal aging changes in the eye or the onset of an eye disease that could lead to vision loss if left unattended. It is always prudent to consult an eye specialist when such vision changes occur.
COMPUTER EYE STRAIN
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, redness in the eyes, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, double vision, polyopia, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (ie. bright overhead lighting or glare) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.
Dry eye is a major symptom that is targeted in the therapy of CVS. The use of over-the-counter artificial-tear solutions can reduce the effects of dry eye in CVS.
Proper rest to the eye and its muscles is recommended to relieve the associated eye strain. Various catch-phrases have been used to spread awareness about giving rest to the eyes while working on computers. A routinely recommended approach is to consciously blink the eyes every now and then (this helps replenish the tear film) and to look out the window to a distant object or to the sky—doing so provides rest to the ciliary muscles. One of the catch phrases is the "20-20-20 rule" every 20 minutes, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds. This basically gives a convenient distance and time frame for a person to follow the advice from the optometrist and ophthalmologist. Otherwise, the patient is advised to close his/her eyes (which has a similar effect) for 20 seconds, at least every half hour.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is redness and inflammation of the membranes (conjunctiva) covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents, as well as to underlying diseases within the body. Viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis are common in childhood, but they occur in adults as well. Pink eye can occur in people of any age. Overall, however, there are many causes of pink eye. These can be classified as either infectious or noninfectious. Pink eye does not cause any changes in vision.
The leading cause of a red, inflamed eye is virus infection. Adenoviruses are the type of virus that are most commonly responsible for the infection. Viral pink eye symptoms are usually associated with more of a watery discharge that is not green or yellow in color. Viral pink eye is most common in late fall and early spring. Often, viral "cold-like" symptoms, such as sinus congestion and runny nose, are also present. The eyelids may be swollen. Sometimes looking at bright lights is painful.
While viral pink eye may not require an antibiotic, those affected should see a doctor, as occasionally this form of pink eye can be associated with infection of the cornea (the clear portion of the front of the eyeball). This infection must be correctly detected and treated. Viral pink eye is highly contagious. The symptoms of viral pink eye can last one to two weeks. Symptoms are pronounced for the first three to five days after symptoms appear, with slow resolution over the following one to two weeks.
Bacterial pink eye
Staphylococci and Streptococci, among others, are types of bacteria that commonly cause pink eye. Symptoms of pink eye caused by bacteria occur rapidly and can include eye pain, swelling, itching, redness, a moderate amount of discharge (usually thick and yellow or greenish)) and swelling of the lymph nodes in front of the ears.
The discharge commonly accumulates after sleeping. Affected children may awaken most unhappy that their "eyes are stuck shut," requiring a warm washcloth applied to the eyes to remove the discharge. Bacterial pink eye is treated by repeated warm washcloths applied to the eyes (try applying these to your child's eye one eye at a time during a favorite video) and requires antibiotic eye drops or ointment prescribed by the doctor.
What does pink eye look like?
Be careful not to use medication prescribed for someone else, or from an old infection, as these may be inappropriate for your current infection or may have been contaminated from other infections by accidentally touching the medicine bottle to infected areas. A safe, effective, and potentially less frightening method of putting drops into the eyes involves asking your child to lie down flat, with instructions to merely "close your eyes," and placing the recommended number of drops in the inner corner of the eye, next to the bridge of the nose, and letting them make a little "lake" there. When your child relaxes and opens the eyes, the medicine will flow gently into the infected mucous membranes without the need to "force open" the eyes.
When you feel that you or your child might have bacterial pink eye, it is very important to see your eye doctor immediately for several reasons. First, if the cause is a bacterial infection, an antibiotic will be needed to help the infection-fighting immune system to kill this infection. Secondly, if you are experiencing other symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, earache, etc., there is a good chance that these symptoms are caused by the same bacteria, and an oral antibiotic may also be needed to treat this infection along with the antibiotic drops or ointment for the eyes. Finally, your doctor will want to exclude the possibility that the infection has spread to areas where the symptoms may not yet be recognizable.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage (or subconjunctival haemorrhage) also known as hyposphagma, is bleeding underneath the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva contains many small, fragile blood vessels that are easily ruptured or broken. When this happens, blood leaks into the space between the conjunctiva and sclera.
Whereas a bruise typically appears black or blue underneath the skin, a subconjunctival hemorrhage initially appears bright red underneath the transparent conjunctiva. Later the hemorrhage may spread and become green or yellow, like a bruise. Usually this disappears within 2 weeks.
Although its appearance may be alarming, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is generally a painless and harmless condition; however, it may be associated with high blood pressure, trauma to the eye, or a base of skull fracture if there is no posterior border of the hemorrhage visible.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage in the left eye 48 hours after hemorrhaging.
- Blood thinners, such as ginger, capsaicin, ginseng, garlic, aspirin, or Herba if taken in high doses or combined. These can also make the vessels in the eye more susceptible to the pressure causes listed above.
- Pulling extreme g-forces
- Strenuous Exercising
- Touching/widening eyes
- Prolonged stress
- Severe thoracic trauma, leading to increased pressure in the extremities, including around the eyes.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is typically a self-limiting condition that requires no treatment in the absence of infection or significant trauma. The elective use of aspirin and NSAIDs is typically discouraged.
A common symptom of a subconjunctival hemorrhage, itchy eyes, is often treated by applying eye drops or artificial tears to the affected eye(s), however, this is discouraged, as it may slow down the healing process.
Bleparitis is chronic inflammation of the eye lash follicles resulting in the eyelids becoming red and irritated, with scales that stick to the base of the eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either bacterial or a skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp or acne rosacea. It affects people of all ages.
Warm soaking of the lids with a clean cloth dipped in warm water is done 2-3 times a day. This helps to loosen the crusts. These loose crusts are cleansed with a mild soap or lid cleansing products.
Contact Lens Complications
All contact lenses are still foreign bodies to the eyes, they can and sometimes do give rise to eye problems. However, these complications are fairly uncommon and easily remedied. The incidence of these complications from lens wearing can be prevented if they are utilized properly, in terms of proper lens fitting, appropriate wearing schedule and stringent lens hygiene. Wearers should view the warning signs and symptoms seriously. Consult your eye-care practitioner immediately if prolonged red-eye, eye discomfort, reduced vision, sensitivity to light and eye discharge develops.
MYOPIANearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision problem experienced by up to about one-third of the population. In fact, a recent study found that myopia is more common among Canadians now than it was 30 years ago. Nearsighted people have difficulty reading highway signs and seeing other objects at a distance, but can see for up-close tasks such as reading or sewing. People with myopia often have headaches or eye strain and might squint or feel fatigued when driving or playing sports. If you experience these symptoms while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need a comprehensive eye examination as well as a new prescription. Speak to your eye care professional.
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual from front to back. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface.
Nearsightedness runs in families and usually appears in childhood. This vision problem may stabilize at a certain point, although sometimes it worsens with age. This is known as myopic creep.
Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery. Depending on your vision problem, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need distance vision, like driving, seeing a chalkboard or watching a movie.
If you're nearsighted, your prescription is a negative number. The higher the numeral, the stronger your lenses will be.
Hyperopia or farsightedness, is a common vision problem, affecting about a fourth of the population. People with hyperopia can see distant objects very well, but have difficulty focusing on objects that are up close.
Farsighted people sometimes have headaches or eye strain and may squint or feel fatigued when performing work at close range. If you get these symptoms while wearing your eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may need an eye exam and a new prescription.
This vision problem occurs when light rays entering the eye focus behind the retina, rather than directly on it. The eyeball of a farsighted person is shorter than normal.
Many children are born with hyperopia, and some of them "outgrow" it as the eyeball lengthens with normal growth.
Sometimes people confuse hyperopia with presbyopia, which also causes near vision problems but for different reasons.
Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses to change the way light rays bend into the eyes. If your glasses or contact lens prescription begins with plus numbers, like +2.50, you are farsighted.
You may need to wear your glasses or contacts all the time or only when reading, working on a computer or doing other close-up work
Presbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer.
You can't escape presbyopia, even if you've never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.
Presbyopia is widespread in the United States. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, over 135 million Americans were age 40 and older in 2008, and the country is growing older: The median age reached 36.8 in 2008, up 1.5 years since 2000. This growing number of older citizens generates a huge demand for eye wear, contact lenses and surgery that can help presbyopes deal with their failing near vision.
When people develop presbyopia, they find they need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm's length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, such as embroidery or handwriting, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.
Presbyopia is caused by an age-related process. This differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia generally is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye.
These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, the eye has a harder time focusing up close. Other, less popular theories exist as well.
Presbyopia Treatment: Eye wear / Eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses (PALs) are the most common correction for presbyopia. Bifocal means two points of focus: the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for distance vision, while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work.
The eye's lens stiffens with age, so it is less able to focus when you view something up close. (Image: Varilux)
Progressive addition lenses are similar to bifocal lenses, but they offer a more gradual visual transition between the two prescriptions, with no visible line between them. Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike bifocals and PALs, which most people wear all day, reading glasses typically are worn just during close work.
If you wear contact lenses, your eye doctor can prescribe reading glasses that you wear while your contacts are in. You may purchase readers over-the-counter at a retail store, or you can get higher-quality versions prescribed by your eye doctor.
Presbyopes also can opt for multifocal contact lenses, available in gas permeable or soft lens materials. Another type of contact lens correction for presbyopia is monovision, in which one eye wears a distance prescription, and the other wears a prescription for near vision. The brain learns to favor one eye or the other for different tasks. But while some people are delighted with this solution, others complain of reduced visual acuity and some loss of depth perception with monovision.
Because the human lens continues to change as you grow older, your presbyopic prescription will need to be increased over time as well. You can expect your eye care practitioner to prescribe a stronger correction for near work as you need it.
Astigmatismmight be the most misunderstood vision problem. Even the name is challenging to many people, who incorrectly call it "stigmatism."Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error, meaning it is not an eye health problem; it simply is a problem with how the eye focuses light. In an eye with astigmatism, light fails to come to a single focus on the retina to produce clear vision. Instead, multiple focus points occur, either in front of or behind the retina (or both).
Astigmatism usually causes vision to be blurred or distorted to some degree at all distances.
Symptoms of uncorrected astigmatism are eye strain and headaches, especially after reading or other prolonged visual tasks. Astigmatism usually is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Instead of the cornea having a symmetrically round shape (like a baseball), it is shaped more like a football, with one meridian being significantly more curved than the meridian perpendicular to it. In some cases, astigmatism is caused by the shape of the lens inside the eye. This type of astigmatism is called lenticular astigmatism, to differentiate it from the more common corneal astigmatism.
- Myopic astigmatism. One or both principal meridians of the eye are nearsighted. (If both meridians are nearsighted, they are myopic in differing degree.)
- Hyperopic astigmatism. One or both principal meridians are farsighted. (If both are farsighted, they are hyperopic in differing degree.)
- Mixed astigmatism. One principal meridian is nearsighted, and the other is farsighted.
Astigmatism also is classified as regular or irregular. In regular astigmatism, the principal meridians are 90 degrees apart (perpendicular to each other). In irregular astigmatism, the principal meridians are not perpendicular. Most astigmatism is regular corneal astigmatism, which gives the eye a football shape.
Irregular astigmatism can result from an eye injury that has caused scarring on the cornea, from certain types of eye surgery or from keratoconus, a disease that causes a gradual thinning of the cornea.
Astigmatism often occurs early in life, so it is important to schedule an eye exam for your child to avoid vision problems in school from uncorrected astigmatism.
In a recent study of 2,523 Canadian children ages 5 to 17 years, more than 28 percent had astigmatism of 1.0 diopter (D) or greater. Also, there were significant differences in astigmatism prevalence based on ethnicity. Asian and Hispanic children had the highest prevalences (33.6 and 36.9 percent, respectively), followed by whites (26.4 percent) and African-Americans (20.0 percent).*
In another large study of more than 11,000 eyeglass wearers conducted recently, 47.4 percent of wearers had astigmatism of 0.75 D or greater in at least one eye, and 24.1 percent had this amount of astigmatism in both eyes. The prevalence of myopic astigmatism (31.7 percent) was approximately double that of hyperopic astigmatism (15.7 percent)
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA).
Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Canadians age 40 and older. And as the U.S. population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020, PBA says.
Types of cataracts include:
- A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes, high farsightedness or retinitis pigmentosa, or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.
- A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.
- A cortical cataract is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.
A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting.
Hazy or blurred vision may mean you have a cataract.
A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.
But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
No one knows for sure why the eye's lens changes as we age, forming cataracts. Researchers are gradually identifying factors that may cause cataracts — and information that may help to prevent them. Many studies suggest that exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development, so eye care practitioners recommend wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce your exposure.
Other types of radiation may also be causes. For example, a 2005 study conducted in Iceland suggests that airline pilots have a higher risk of developing nuclear cataract than non-pilots and that the cause may be exposure to cosmic radiation. A similar theory suggests that astronauts, too, are at risk from cosmic radiation.
Other studies suggest people with diabetes are at risk for developing a cataract.
The same goes for users of steroids, diuretics and major tranquilizers, but more studies are needed to distinguish the effect of the disease from the consequences of the drugs themselves.
Some eye care practitioners believe that a diet high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E, may forestall cataract development. Meanwhile, eating a lot of salt may increase your risk.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most serious eye manifestation of diabetes and is responsible for most of the blindness caused by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the second most common cause of
legal blindness and is the most common cause in the age group 30 - 65 years.
Hypertensive retinopathy is damage to the retina from high blood pressure. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back part of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.
Glaucoma is a type of progressive eye damage in which optic nerve cells are damaged by excess fluid pressure in the eyeball. It's the second leading cause of blindness in North America, behind diabetes.
Glaucoma often runs in families. There are several types of the disease and each is caused by a different disease process that tends to affect different racial groups. Overall, people of African origin are more likely than Caucasians to get glaucoma.
Other risk factors for developing glaucoma include being over 45 years old, having high intraocular pressure (IOP; pressure inside the eye), myopia (nearsightedness), diabetes, high blood pressure, and a history of an eye injury.
The front of the eye is a D-shaped chamber in which the lens and iris (the coloured part) make up the straight wall, while the cornea (the surface of the eye) forms the curved wall. A gland behind the upper eyelid fills this chamber with a clear liquid (aqueous humour) that supplies the front of the eye with oxygen and nutrients and keeps it inflated. A steady supply of liquid is produced, and it drains out through a mesh of tiny holes behind the lower eyelid, called the trabecular meshwork.
In glaucoma, the liquid is produced normally but the trabecular meshwork can't drain it due to clogging or some other reason. Liquid pressure builds up in the eye, pressing on the optic nerve (the nerve that links the eye to the brain). The nerve cells are then slowly strangled of blood, eventually dying. The outer nerves fail first, so vision loss tends to start at the edges, progressing to "tunnel vision" and blindness. Many people don't notice this at first, and there's usually no pain, so glaucoma can be quite advanced before it's detected. The US Glaucoma Foundation estimates that only 50% people with glaucoma are aware of the disease.
The biggest problem with glaucoma is the lack of symptoms, since you can't feel the pressure in the eye. Only a few people get headaches, red eye, or blurred vision. If you don't get your eyes tested regularly, the first noticeable symptom could be permanent "holes" in your vision. Lack of treatment of glaucoma often leads to blindness.
If you do get severe eye pain, redness, and blurred vision, it may be a symptom of an angle-closure attack. This is an acute complication in which the iris swells or moves forward to totally block the trabecular meshwork. If you are prone to angle-closure glaucoma, you're most likely to get an acute attack in the dark, because the pupil opens up in low light, making the angle smaller. In a mild attack, you may see haloes around objects and slight blurring, but there's no pain. Extreme pain and a red, swollen eye signal a medical emergency - people can go blind rapidly if it isn't treated.
The diagnosis of macular degeneration is becoming increasingly more common due to patient awareness, physician access, ground breaking improvements in treatment, and the relentless graying of the population exponentially increases the percentage of the population at risk for this condition. Thus, macular degeneration is a formidable challenge to patients, their doctors, and our society as the costs for delivering state-of-the-art care increase. Macular degeneration is caused when part of the retina deteriorates. The retina is the interior layer of the eye consisting of the receptors and nerves that collect and transmit light signals from the eye into the optic nerve, then to the brain for interpretation as our sense of vision. The macula is the central portion of the retina and is responsible for detailed vision and color vision, the vision we use to read, thread a needle, sign a check, or recognize faces. The macula is a highly specialized part of the nervous system and the eye in which the photoreceptors that react to light stimulus and the neurons that interpret and transmit these signals are precisely organized and densely compacted. It is the macula that allows humans to see 20/20, or an eagle to spot a small rodent on the ground hundreds of feet below.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:
- Dry; This type results from the gradual breakdown of cells in the macula, resulting in a gradual blurring of central vision. Single or multiple, small, round, yellow-white spots called drusen are the key identifiers for the dry type. These spots are located in the back of the eye at the level of the outer retina and are detected by examination of the retina with specifically engineered lenses, a slit-lamp biomicroscope, or an ophthalmoscope. Spots typically become visible when a person reaches his or her late 30s or older but are much more common in people over the age of 70. People with these spots may have excellent vision and no symptoms. Most people with age-related macular degeneration begin with the dry form. The dry form of macular degeneration is fortunately much more common than the wet form.
- Wet; This form of macular degeneration, newly created abnormal blood vessels grow under the center of the retina. These blood vessels leak, bleed, and scar the retina, distorting or destroying central vision. Vision distortion usually starts in one eye and may affect the other eye later. In contrast to the dry type, vision loss may be rapid in the wet type of macular degeneration.
Strabismus and Tropia are medical terms for a vision condition that is called by various different names. Other names include cross eyed, crossed eye, cockeye, weak eye, wall eyed, wandering eyes, deviating eye, squint, hererotropia and others. Strabismus is a vision condition where one’s eyes are not able to properly align under normal conditions. One eye is misaligned in relation to the other when focusing on an object. Both eyes are not able to focus in the same direction, at the same point, at the same time. When a person’s eyes appear to be turned in (toward the nose), they are commonly called cross-eyed. This is more formally termed Esotropic Strabismus. When the eyes appear to be turned outward (away from the nose), the person is commonly called wall eyed.
RECURRENT CORNEAL EROSIONS
Recurrent corneal erosion is a disorder of the eyes characterized by the failure of the cornea's outermost layer of epithelial cells to attach to the underlying basement membrane (Bowman's layer). The condition is excruciatingly painful because the loss of these cells results in the exposure of sensitive corneal nerves. Symptoms include recurring attacks of severe acute ocular pain, foreign-body sensation, photophobia (i.e. sensitivity to bright lights), and tearing often at the time of awakening or during sleep when the eyelids are rubbed or opened. Signs of the condition include corneal abrasion or localized roughening of the corneal epithelium, sometimes with map-like lines, epithelial dots or microcyts, or fingerprint patterns.
The erosion may be seen by a doctor using the magnification of an ophthalmoscope, although usually fluorescein stain must be applied first and a blue-light used. Opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists have use of slit lamp microscopes that allow for more thorough evaluation under the higher magnification. Misdiagnosis of a scratched cornea is fairly common, especially in younger patients
PTERYGIUMA pterygium is a non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera). One or both eyes may be involved. The cause is unknown, but it is more common in people with excess outdoor exposure to sunlight and wind, such as those who work outdoors. Risk factors are exposure to sunny, dusty, sandy, or windblown areas. Farmers, fishermen, and people living near the equator are often affected. Pterygium is rare in children.
The main symptom of a pterygium is a painless area of raised white tissue, with blood vessels on the inner or outer edge of the cornea. Sometimes it may become inflamed and cause burning, irritation, or a feeling like there's something foreign in the eye. No treatment is needed unless the pterygium begins to block vision or causes symptoms that are hard to control. Then it should be removed with surgery. A pterygium can return after it is removed.