Let Beach Eye Care define your vision challenges and then correct them.
With all of the options available for vision correction today, it’s no wonder that people often get confused by all of the choices available. That’s why your initial consultation is so important. Below you’ll find a list of common conditions of the eye, how they affect your vision and the different corrective treatments available.
If you have a history of using corrective lenses, you may be here to explore the possibility of a vision correction procedure. Or you may be perfectly fine wearing your glasses or contacts. The qualified doctors at Beach Eye Care cover all facets of eye care – from providing you with prescriptions for lenses, to the most advanced laser vision correction and cataract procedures, and advanced care for diseases of the eye.
If you can see objects that are close to you well, but things at a distance are out of focus, you may be nearsighted. This occurs when the light reflecting off of a distant image enters the eye and comes to a point of focus before reaching the retina. Nearsightedness may be caused by a cornea that is too steep, which causes light to focus before reaching the retina, or it could occur when the eye is too long making the retina fall behind where the cornea and lens focus the image.
Possible Treatments for Nearsightedness: Intralasik Custom “All Laser” LASIK (Intralase and CustomVue), PRK, ICLs, Intacs, contact lenses, and glasses
If you see objects in the distance more clearly than things that are closer to you, you may be farsighted. With farsightedness, light/images entering through the cornea and passing through the lens are not bent sharply enough and thereby hit the back of the retina before reaching a point of focus. The cause for the light not hitting the retina properly may be that the eye is too short, making the retina too close, or it may be caused by a cornea that is too flat and without enough curve to focus on the retina.
Those who are younger with mild farsightedness may be able to compensate with the muscles surrounding the lens. With age, however, the muscles naturally lose some of their strength and elasticity, which is why those who are farsighted may eventually lose the ability to focus clearly both near and far away.
Treatment Options for Farsightedness: Intralasik Custom “All Laser” LASIK (Intralase and CustomVue), Near Vision CK, PRK, contact lenses, and glasses
Many people who are nearsighted or farsighted may also have astigmatism, which is a condition in which the cornea, instead of being curved like a basketball, is curved in somewhat of an oval shape – like a football. The result is that light rays entering the eye are bent irregularly, therefore you may see things blurred whether they are near or far.
Possible Treatments for Astigmatism: Intralasik “All Laser” LASIK (Intralase with CustomVue), PRK, LRI, CK (off-label use that is not FDA approved but a practice of medicine)
Some people confuse presbyopia with farsightedness because vision may be blurred both near and far. Sometime around age forty, the lens and its supporting muscles begin to naturally weaken and lose flexibility. This is natural and happens to most people. The result is that it becomes more difficult to focus on objects that are close to you, and you may have newfound difficulty reading books and menus as before. After forty, people who previously wore glasses may need bifocals, and those who never wore glasses may need reading glasses.
Now, however, your doctor may recommend an advanced implantable multifocal replacement lens designed to compensate for changes in the eye and improve functional vision. One of these new technologies may make it possible for you to recapture a full range of vision…without bifocals.
Possible Treatment Options: NearVision CK, Intralasik, CustomVue Monovision, ReSTOR®, Crystalens®, ReZoom™
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the area of the retina called the macula. This small area is responsible for producing sharp, central vision required for “straight ahead” activities such as driving, reading, recognizing faces and performing close-up work.
While scientists are uncertain of its cause, AMD destroys cells in the area of the maculat macula in two different forms, “dry” and “wet.” Dry AMD can advance so slowly that people hardly notice it or it can rapidly progress to the “wet” type with vision loss in one or both eyes.
Dry AMD is associated with the slow deterioration of retinal cells in the macula, occurring in one eye or both eyes at the same time. The presence of drusen or tiny yellow deposits in the retina, is one of the earliest signs of AMD. Drusen can block necessary nutrition that is needed in the eye. Over time, the retina tissue can waste away, causing spotty vision or even a moth-eaten appearance that leads to progressive vision loss. . Although the presence of drusen alone is not indicative of the disease, it may indicate the eye is at risk for developing more severe AMD.
In the beginning stages of “wet AMD”, straight lines appear wavy and fine details fade. It becomes hard to focus on just one word and faces start to blur. People gradually lose the ability to read or drive and may progress to legal blindness.
Up to twenty percent of those diagnosed with intermediate-stage dry AMD will eventually see the condition progress to the “wet” form of the disease. When this happens, the miniscule blood vessels located under the retina begin to grow rapidly causing the retina to leak blood and fluid. The result of the leaking and damage can cause rapid and permanent loss of central vision, which can be traumatic. For this reason, early detection is key and immediate treatment necessary.
Every year, more than 500,000 people worldwide lose their sight because of “wet” AMD. In the United States alone, more than 1.6 million people are affected. There are more than 200,000 new cases each year, and experts anticipate that this number will rise significantly as the baby boom generation ages and overall life expectancy increases.
Possible Treatment Options: Macugen, PDT, Avastin, Lucentis, Laser
Diabetes affects the blood vessels throughout the body, particularly in the kidney and in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the name we give to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels of the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults. Risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases over time. An adult who has had diabetes for 15 years or longer stands an 80 percent chance of experiencing damage to retinal blood vessels.
The retina, the multiple layers of tissue located at the back of the eye, detects visual stimuli and transmits signals to the brain. When diabetes damages these blood vessels, they may develop leaks or contribute to the formation of scar tissue; these problems reduce the retina’s ability to detect and transmit images.
There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy: background (BDR) and proliferative (PDR).
Possible Treatment Options: Medical Injections, Laser, Vitrectomy
Like the lens of a camera, the eye’s lens focuses to keep the images of both close and distant objects clear. Over time, the lens becomes less transparent; studies suggest accumulated exposure to ultraviolet light causes the natural lens to cloud. Most often, this clouding takes place slowly as proteins within the lens clump together.
What causes these proteins to clump together? In most cases, the culprit is the normal aging process. If you are age 65 or older, you probably have cataracts, but they may not have progressed to the point that they affect your vision. Certain lifestyle choices and relatively common health conditions, like diabetes, may hasten cataract development. Nutrition may play at least a limited role. Heavy salt consumption, for example, appears to increase the risk of significant cataract development. Some research suggests that antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins C and E, and selenium, may slow cataract development. All of these are available in common multivitamin formulas. Beyond that, the use of nutritional supplements carries its own risks; you should consult your physician before adding them to your diet.
Cataracts do NOT generally cause pain, discomfort, redness, discharge, or sudden, alarming vision changes that would lead you to seek immediate help. The changes caused by cataracts generally develop so slowly that you don’t notice them until they are serious enough to affect normal lifestyles. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I having difficulty driving at night?
- Is it more difficult to see distant objects?
- Does my vision seem blurred or dim?
- Have my eyes become more sensitive to light and glare?
- Do I see a halo around lights?
- Do colors seem “dull”?
- Have I had to change eyeglass prescriptions more frequently than usual?
- Do I need brighter light for reading?
- Do I see “ghost” images?
- Have I experienced double vision in one eye only?
All of these are difficulties commonly associated with cataracts. Only a professional can determine if cataracts are the cause of your symptoms. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to call Beach Eye Care for an evaluation.
Note: Even if you think you do not have cataracts, you should seek medical attention if you are having troublesome eye symptoms.
Possible Treatment Options: ReSTOR®, Crystalens®, ReZoom™
Glaucoma is a disease that destroys the tiny nerve fibers that carry signals from the back of the eye to the brain. Generally, high pressure within the eye causes this damage, but even patients with normal pressure can experience loss of this important nerve function due to glaucoma.
While glaucoma typically affects people age 40 and older, it can strike at any age. Glaucoma is called “the silent thief” because there is no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease. Visual field and computerized analysis of the optic nerve (OCT) help to diagnose the progression of glaucoma.
Possible Treatment Options: Laser (SLT or ECP), drops, oral medications, surgery (filter)