Library of Eye Conditions and Terms
- Acanthamoeba Keratitis
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
- Anterior Uveitis
- Color Deficiency
- Corneal Ulcer
- Detached Retina
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Dry Eye Syndrome
- Eye Occlusions
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
- Lens of the Eye
- Macular Degeneration
- Myopia (Nearsightedness)
- Ocular Hypertension
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Spots and Floaters
- Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)
- Sty (Chalazion)
- Sub-conjunctival Hemmorhage
- Visual Acuity
Use the search box above to find more information in our library about a specific eye condition.
Acanthamoeba Keratitis is an eye infection affecting the cornea that is most commonly found in contact lens wearers who do not take proper care of their lenses. Acanthamoeba is a parasite found in unsterilized water. Wearing contact lenses during swimming, hot tub use, or showering might increase the risk of infection. If left untreated, this infection can eventually cause blindness. Symptoms include redness, eye pain, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses. It can result from a failure to use both eyes together. Amblyopia is often associated with crossed-eyes or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before age six and it does not affect side vision. It is preventable with early diagnosis and treatment which usually consists of eye patching and glasses wear. Poor results are seen past age 7 but improvement can still be achieved past this age.
Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, which includes the iris (colored part of the eye) and adjacent tissue, known as the ciliary body. If untreated, it can cause permanent damage and loss of vision from the development of glaucoma, cataract, or retinal edema. It usually responds well to treatment; however, there may be a tendency for the condition to reoccur, especially if there is inflammation elsewhere in the body.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. Symptoms include blurred vision, headaches and eye strain. Astigmatism is easily corrected using glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
Blepharitis is a fairly common inflammation of the eyelids. This disorder is usually caused by bacteria and is treated by applying warm compresses to the eyelids, cleaning the eyelids and using an antibiotic cream. Blepharitis tends to re-occur and can be difficult to cure completely. Complications include Chalazion, Stye, and Dry Eye Syndrome
A cataract is caused by the clouding of the eye’s lens, which is located behind the iris and the pupil. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, halos around lights, and sensitivity to light; additionally, colors may not appear as bright as they once did. Cataract surgery is an effective way to cure cataracts, and the procedure, which replaces the eyes cloudy lens with a new, clear one, is one of the most common surgery’s and is relatively safe. New replacement lenses (implants) can greatly reduce the need for glasses after cataract surgery. Click Here to Learn More About Cataract Surgery
Color vision deficiency is the inability to distinguish certain shades of color or in more severe cases, see colors at all. The most common deficiency is distinguishing red from green. To the left of this definition is a common test used to detect this type of deficit. To have a more comprehensive screening, please call to schedule an appointment.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the white part of the eye usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms of pink-eye are red eyes, irritation, and excessive watering. Many people wake up with their eyelashes stuck together because of the mucus that has dried during the night. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and should be diagnosed and treated right away to prevent the spread of the condition.
The Cornea is the transparent dome-shaped surface on the front of the eye. This is the first and main focusing lens for the eye. It also contains the most nerve endings, so if it becomes injured or inflamed, it can be quite sensitive.
A corneal ulcer can be caused by injury, bacteria, viruses or fungus. This most commonly occurs when someone over wears their contact lenses causing their eye to become susceptible to infection. Symptoms include a red, swollen, and painful eye, often occurring with discharge and reduced vision. An ulcer must be treated right away and even if treated can lead to vision loss.
A detached retina occurs when the retina becomes separated from the supportive tissue that surrounds it. Symptoms of a detached retina are floaters, flashes of light, blurry vision, or a shadow in your vision. Because the retina cannot function when detached from the surrounding tissue, seeing your eye-care professional is crucial to preventing permanent vision loss.
Diabetic Retinopathy can be a serious issue for those living with diabetes. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels, which can cause the vessels to bleed. The bleeding leads to retinal swelling and the build-up of new blood vessels over the retina. If you have diabetes and experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your eye-care professional immediately: floaters, spots, blurred vision, wavy vision or double vision. If you are a diabetic you should have your eyes examined yearly to look for signs of retinopathy.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by the tears not coating the eye as it should. Symptoms include stinging, burning, scratchiness, stringy discharge, and excessive tearing. These tend to be worse when reading, driving, or watching television. Initial treatment is usually artificial tears, however more advanced treatments are available when artificial tears are not enough. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have dry eye. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a dry eye evaluation.
Eye Occlusions (or strokes) occur when there are blood clots or blockages in the veins and arteries in the eyes. Symptoms include distorted or decreased vision, spots, and floaters. The longer your eye is deprived of the oxygen, provided by the free-flow of blood through the arteries, the more permanent the damage will be.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
This is a common condition frequently seen in contact lens patients. Patients with asthma, hay fever or animal allergies may be at greater risk. The cause of GPC can be from deposits on the surface of the lens acting as the allergen. Signs include ichyness, mucus discharge, and blurred vision. Resolution can be very slow without treatment.
Glaucoma is caused when the internal eye pressure pushing outward on the eye is too high to withstand for the tiny blood vessels that feed the nerve fibers. This damages the optic nerve that transmits visual information to the brain. Glaucoma often does not have symptoms until significant side vision loss has occurred, so being tested regularly is important. In forms of acute glaucoma people may experience blurry vision, halos around lights, eye pain, nausea, or decreased peripheral vision. Those at increased risk include persons: with a family history of glaucoma, Caucasians over 65, African Americans over 40, ocular hypertension, diabetes, and persons with a history of migraines. Visit your eye-care professional regularly to be tested for Glaucoma.
Keratitis is an eye infection affecting the cornea that is found most commonly in contact lens wearers who do not take proper care of their lenses. It is typically caused by bacteria. Symptoms include redness, eye pain, tearing, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Keratitis can be prevented by learning how to properly care for your contact lenses.
Lens of the Eye
The lens in the eye is located behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. It focuses the light from the object you are looking at onto the retina in the back of the eye. As we age, the protein in our eye can clump together and cause a small cloud in the eye. The lens also adjusts the eye’s focus by flexing, so that we can see things both far away and close up. From our late teens the lens loses its flexibility, most often resulting in the need for reading glasses by your early 40’s.
Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the macula, a part of the retina which provides sharp, clear vision. This is primarily found in those who are 65 and older and is one of the leading causes of vision loss for that age group. 90% of severe vision loss is caused by the wet form of the disease. Research has found certain formulations of vitamins to reduce the risk of this form, to learn more, click here. Early symptoms include shadows in your vision or fuzzy, distorted vision. One way of screening for moderate to severe changes is the use of an Amsler Grid. Click Here to View Amser Grid
Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects do not come into proper focus. Nearsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, so the light entering your eye is not focused correctly. It is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Nystagmus is a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, often resulting in reduced vision. These involuntary eye movements can occur from side to side, up and down, or in a circular pattern. As a result, both eyes are unable to hold steady on objects being viewed. Nystagmus may be accompanied by unusual head positions and head nodding in an attempt to compensate for the condition. It is often one of the first signs of serious vision problem in infants.
Ocular hypertension is an increase in the pressure in your eyes that is above the range considered normal with no detectable changes in vision or damage to the structure of your eyes. The term is used to distinguish people with elevated pressure from those with glaucoma, a serious eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
Pinguecula is a yellow, raised lesion that is formed on the surface of the sclera, which is the white part of your eye. These lesions are caused by excessive sun exposure and cause dryness and irritation. You can protect yourself by wearing sunglasses and a hat when outdoors.
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult for you to focus on close objects.
Pterygium are growths of fibrous tissue on the surface of the sclera that grow onto the cornea. They can be caused by excessive sun and wind exposure. The Pterygium can become thick or large and looks like a film is growing over the eye, and the eye can become red and swollen. Treatment for this issue is important as it can cause the cornea to be distorted and lead to astigmatism.
The retina is a thin layer of nerve cells (photoreceptors) that lines the back of the eye, senses light, and creates impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain creating the picture that we see. There is a small area, called the macula, in the retina that contains special light-sensitive cells.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited diseases that damage the light-sensitive rods and cones located in the retina, the back part of our eyes. Rods, which provide side (peripheral) and night vision are affected more than the cones which provide color and clear central vision.
The most common cancer involving the eye in young children is retinoblastoma. In the United States, this fast-growing cancer occurs in 1 in every 20,000 children, making it the tenth most common pediatric cancer. Early diagnosis is crucial.
Spots and Floaters
Spots (often called floaters) are small, semi-transparent or cloudy specks or particles within the vitreous, which is the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes. They appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands orcobwebs. Because they are within your eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look atthem directly. An increase in new floaters is a symptom of many serious eye conditions including retinal detachment.
Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)
Strabismus occurs when one or both of your eyes turn in, out, up or down. Poor eye muscle control usually causes strabismus. This misalignment often first appears before age 21 months but may develop as late as age 6. If not treated it can cause Amblyopia, a form of permanent vision loss.
A sty is caused by a bacterial infection of an oil gland and often resembles a pimple on the eyelid. These irritations are not harmful to your vision, but can be painful and cause watery eyes, light sensitivity, and eye irritation. They are usually caused due to these glands not producing quality oil and can become chronic if this issue is not addressed.
This occurs when a blood vessel in the white part of the eye breaks resulting in the area between the white part of the eye and the thin layer of tissue that lies on top to fill with blood. Cold compresses can be used to stop the bleeding and help the blood reabsorb. High blood pressure must be ruled out as a possible cause.
20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.