This occurs when the eyeball is longer than it is round, causing the focus of light to fall short of the retina. The result is fuzzy vision in the distance and clear at close range. Glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery can correct myopia.
This occurs when the eyeball is shorter than it is round, causing the focus of light to fall behind the retina. This causes the vision to be fuzzy up close but still clear in the distance (far). Glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery can correct hyperopia.
This condition causes blurred vision sometimes both in the distance and near and is due to an irregularly shaped cornea. The front surface of the eye isn't spherical like a basketball but is shaped more like a football with one meridian steeper and the other flatter. Glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery can correct astigmatism.
This typically happens to everyone, beginning in their 40's, when the lens (which does all the focusing) within the eye loses its elasticity and can no longer focus as well at close range. Glasses and contact lenses can help, and maybe soon there will be surgery options, as well.
Diseases of the Eye
We have prepared a brief description of the most common eye related issues. More resources can be found on our Eye Health links page.
Age-related Macular Degeneration
People that have this disease lose their central vision but still have some or limited peripheral vision. An estimated 13 million Americans have signs of this sight-threatening disease, the world's number-one cause of blindness.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, which usually occurs due to protein changes in the eye as we age. When the vision is obstructed to the point where it interferes with daily routines, cataract surgery is usually recommended.
Inflammation due to a virus or bacteria in the outer membrane of the eye can cause redness, swelling, itching and tearing. It can be very infectious, and spread to your other eye and to other individuals (family, friends, school mates, co-workers) in daily contact with you.
Changes occur in the eye when high blood sugar levels (due to diabetes) are not controlled properly. In late stages of diabetes, new blood vessels form around the capillaries in your retina. This can lead to scar tissue, and can eventually lead to retinal detachment.
Sometimes the eye doesn't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly, often noticeable in contact lens wearers. Symptoms are easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye drops.
It causes chronic damage to the optic nerve and a gradually diminished field of vision. Drops every day, and sometimes surgery, are necessary to keep the eye pressure down.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Many researchers and optometrists believe that antioxidant vitamins, such as beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins C and E, may protect the macula from damage. Reducing blood pressure, stopping smoking and losing weight are other ways to lower the chances of macular degeneration.
Wearing good sunglasses, and avoiding cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy alcohol consumption, can reduce chances of cataracts. Many researchers also believe that a diet high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E may slow the development of cataracts.
Avoiding viral and bacterial conjunctivitis includes washing hands frequently and refraining from touching or rubbing your eyes. Don't share washcloths, towels, eye drops, eye shadow or mascara with others.
Sometimes dry eyes are caused by medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills or cold medications. Avoiding or changing medications can sometimes help. Using over the counter lid scrubs or a Q-tip dipped in baby shampoo to wash the eyelids can also help with dry eyes. Research has shown that drinking plenty of water, getting as much sleep as possible, and using over the counter eye drops can also help.
The very best way to prevent glaucoma is early detection with frequent eye examinations especially for those at higher risk.
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