Our physicians diagnose and treat many different eye conditions. Here are some educational tidbits on some common eye concerns.
Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses to see distant objects clearly. Their near vision is typically good. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant objects appear blurred. There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.
Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina; this creates blur unless the natural lens can flex enough to focus the light onto the retina. Near objects require even greater focusing power than distant objects to be seen clearly and therefore blur more easily. Contact lenses can correct farsightedness, and there are some refractive surgery solutions available as well.
Astigmatism is present when the cornea (the front surface of the eye) or natural lens (a structure within the eye that helps to focus light rays) are not perfectly spherical and have areas that are curved more steeply than others. Astigmatism causes light to be focused unevenly, and this creates blur or shadows. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.
Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around the age of 40. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately. Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses are typically needed by the mid-forties. Aside from glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and presbyopia correcting implant lenses used in cataract surgery.
Sjögren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune condition in which white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands. The most common resulting symptoms are dry eye and dry mouth. Additionally, patients may experience joint pain, fatigue, and dysfunction of other organs including the kidneys and liver. This condition affects roughly 4 million people, most of which are undiagnosed.
SjöTM is an in-office test for the diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome. The test involves a finger-prick blood test that measures for seven markers for Sjögren’s Syndrome. Test results are usually available after 10-14 days. To schedule your dry eye evaluation including the SjöTM test, please request an appointment here.