Isthmus Eye Care – Eye Health Topics
The optometrists at Isthmus Eye Care test for many vision and eye health conditions during a comprehensive eye examination. Below you will find more information on some of the most common conditions. Our video library is also a great source for informational, animated videos about many vision and eye health topics.
Common Vision Conditions
There are four common types of refractive errors that can affect vision: myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. These refractive errors can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or laser vision correction. In addition to the information presented below, the All About Vision website is a great resource for reading more about these and other common vision conditions.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, causes objects in the distance to be blurry. A person with myopia may have a hard time clearly reading road signs while driving, but his/her close-up vision will be clear. When light enters the eye it should focus on the retina, or back of the eye; however, myopia causes light to focus on a point in front of the retina.
A person with hyperopia, or farsightedness, has a hard time focusing on things up close, but distance vision may remain clear. Hyperopia is the result of light entering the eye and focusing on a point behind the retina (back of the eye) instead of directly on the retina.
People with astigmatism have distorted or blurry vision at all distances - far away and up close. Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Instead of being spherical, the cornea is shaped more like a football making light focus on multiple places in the eye instead of just one spot on the retina.
Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens of the eye begins to lose its elasticity and focusing ability, causing near vision to become gradually more blurry. Presbyopia is age-related and usually occurs around the age of 40. The loss of up-close vision happens to everyone, even if they have never had a vision problem before.
Common Eye Health Conditions
There are many conditions that can affect the health of your eye, a few of the most common include: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and dry eye. For information on these and many other less common eye health conditions, please visit the All About Vision website.
A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye. Symptoms of a cataract can include cloudy vision and colors appearing faded. In the early stages, your Isthmus Eye Care doctor can help you manage symptoms from cataracts with sunglasses and eyeglasses with anti-reflective coatings. When a cataract begins to interfere with daily activities it may be time to consider surgery which involves removing the cataract and placing a new lens implant in place. For additional information on cataracts please visit the National Eye Institute webpage.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. The most common risk factor for glaucoma is elevated eye pressure, which is checked during a comprehensive eye examination. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to gradual loss of side or peripheral vision and eventually lead to blindness. The American Optometric Association website is a great resource for more information on glaucoma.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) results in the gradual loss of central vision. AMD makes it difficult to see fine detail, read, recognize faces, and even drive. This is caused by the degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for crisp, central vision. Taking supplements can help restore the pigments in the macula and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. For more information about AMD visit the American Macular Degeneration Foundation website.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic eye disease. When blood sugar levels fluctuate, temporary changes in the size and shape of the lens within the eye can cause rapid and large prescription changes. The primary cause of permanent eye damage from diabetes is the poor condition of the small blood vessels inside of the eye. The doctors at Isthmus Eye Care strongly recommend dilated, annual eye exams for anyone with – or at risk for – diabetes to allow for early detection and prevention of vision loss. To read more about diabetic eye disease, please visit the National Eye Institute webpage.
Dry eye occurs when the eyes don't produce enough tears or they produce poor quality tears. This causes chronic discomfort and symptoms such as eye scratchiness, redness, burning and even watery eyes. Isthmus Eye Care is an accredited dry eye center and can test for dry eye by taking a small sample of your tear film. Treatment for dry eye depends on the severity of the condition. Common treatments include artificial tears, prescription eye drops, supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids and the insertion of punctal plugs to prevent tears from draining from the eye as quickly. For more information on dry eye and the testing process, please visit the All About Dry Eye website.