Caring for your eyes is an important part of protecting your overall health. An annual comprehensive eye exam can provide important clues and early warning signs for diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and even life-threatening brain tumors.
Common Correctable Vision Problems
The following vision conditions may usually be corrected with a comprehensive eye exam followed by the correct prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
Myopia: Persons with myopia are nearsighted; they are capable of seeing things at “near” distances, or up very close to their eyes. They can read fine print, thread a needle, and work with tiny objects but cannot see a street sign down the road without correction.
Hyperopia: Persons with hyperopia are farsighted; they are capable of seeing things in the distance or far off. They can easily see a street sign down the road but cannot see fine print, thread a needle, or do detail work without correction.
Presbyopia: Everyone will suffer from presbyopia in their lifetime. Presbyopia makes us unable to read fine print, thread a needle, or do fine work without the aid of magnification. The onset of presbyopia generally happens at around age forty-five.
Astigmatism: A vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Astigmatism affects the way the eye processes light and results in varying degrees of blurred vision.
Treatable Eye Diseases
Cataracts are dense, cloudy areas that slowly form in the lens of the eye. They are common in older people, but can also be present at birth or caused by medications, disease, trauma, or radiation. Most cataracts can be removed through surgical procedure, and the vision partially corrected.
Glaucoma is a disease that causes a gradual degeneration of cells that make up the optic nerve which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Left untreated, loss of side vision will occur and may eventually lead to blindness.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a secondary complication of diabetes and is caused by changes in the retina’s blood vessels. Small blood vessels swell, leak and hemorrhage into the retina, blurring vision and occasionally leading to blindness. When detected and treated in a timely fashion, significant vision loss can usually be avoided.
Pterygium is a common eye condition that affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors. People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye. It usually forms on the side closest to the nose. Mild cases of pteryguium may be treated with drops or ointments with major cases requiring surgery.