Eye Conditions

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease associated with aging that can gradually reduce central vision and comes in two forms – it may be referred to as AMD or ARMD (age-related macular degeneration).  The dry (non-neovascular form of the disease typically has few symptoms in its early phase, but can become progressively symptomatic over an extended period of time.  The wet (neovascular) stage, is more severe and can cause rapid severe vision loss if left untreated.  Early detection when the disease is still in the dry stages, can be helpful to prevent severe vision loss.

Dry macular degeneration affects between 85 to 90 percent of ARMD patients, with wet macular degeneration affecting just 10 percent of ARMD cases.  People over the age of 65 and Caucasian women are at a higher risk for macular degeneration.  Smokers have a higher rate of […]

Corneal Erosion

The cornea is composed of five layers.

Epithelium Layer – an exceedingly thin surface layer of cells in the cornea’s outermost region, comprising about 10 percent of the tissue’s thickness.  Its primary function is to block the passage of foreign material and provide a smooth surface that absorbs oxygen and cell nutrients from tears and then distributes them to the rest of the cornea.

Bowman’s Layer – compromised of strong layered protein fibers called collagen, the Bowman’s layer is a tough layer of basement membrane that keeps the cornea from swelling forward.

Stroma – Compromising about 90% of the cornea’s thickness, the stroma consists of 79% water and 16% highly arranged collagen fibers and supporting keratocytes, and contains no blood vessels.  The collagen gives the cornea its strength, elasticity, and form

Descemet’s Membrane – located below the stroma, Descemet’s membrane is a thin […]

Corneal Abrasion vs Laceration

The cornea is the transparent layer forming the front of the eye that transmits and focuses light into the eye.  A corneal abrasion is a scratch to the surface of the cornea.  Symptoms of a corneal abrasion and corneal laceration include redness, pain, light sensitivity, excessive squinting, and the feeling of a foreign body in the eye.  With a corneal laceration, the pain will be more severe.

Corneal abrasions are typically caused by minor trauma to the eye and may occur with contact lens use when a fingernail scratches or pokes your eye, or if something like dirt, sand, or sawdust, or some other foreign body gets trapped under your eyelid.  Corneal abrasions can also be caused by rubbing your eye too hard, wearing old contact lenses, and while participating in other everyday activities.  About 25% of corneal abrasions occur […]

Blocked Tear Duct: Causes & Symptoms

Most of your tears originate from your lacrimal glands, or tear and conjunctiva.  These glands continuously supply the fluid we call tears onto the surface of your eyes each time you blink.  Excess tears or fluid drains through the tear ducts down into the nose.  When your tear duct is either partially or completely obstructed, tears cannot drain normally resulting in a back-flow or watery eye.  Blocked tear ducts are common in newborns (congenital blocked tear duct) and usually heals without any treatment during the first year of life.  In adults, blocked tear ducts are typically caused by an obstruction and narrowing leading to infection – rarely is a tumor present

Other causes of a blocked tear duct:

Nose trauma
Age-related changes can cause the punctal openings, that drain tears, to become narrow resulting in blockage
Conjunctivitis – inflammation and infection of the […]

Traumatic Hyphema Symptoms and Treatment

Hyphema is the presence of blood in the front chamber of the eye and may partially or completely block vision.  It may present itself as a reddish tinge, or a small pool of blood that develops between the cornea and the iris.  Blood may cover part or all of the iris and pupil.  Hyphemas can cause permanent vision loss and requires immediate attention by an eye doctor.

Symptoms of Hyphema

Eye pain
Blurry, cloudy or blocked vision
Sensitivity to light
Bleeding in front of the eye

Type of Hyphemas

Traumatic
Spontaneous
Surgical
Neovascular
Idiopathic

Traumatic hyphemas are usually caused by an injury that causes a tear to the iris or pupil of the eye, resulting from projectile or a blunt injury that hits the exposed portion eye.  These projectiles can include, rocks, air gun pellets, paint balls, toys, balls or a human fist and usually occurs from accidents while playing sports.  […]

Pterygium

Pterygium is an elevated, wedged-shaped bump on the eyeball that begins on the sclera (white of the eye) and can invade the cornea.  Although Pterygia are benign growths, they can cause discomfort, blurry vision, and can permanently disfigure the eye.

Commonly known as “surfer’s eye”, you don’t have to be a surfer to suffer from pterygium.  However, prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays, especially when you are on water, increases your risk for this condition.  Other risks that may lead to development or growth of pterygia include dust, wind and having light skin and light eyes.

Signs and Symptoms of Pterygia

Pterygia can affect one or both eyes.  They usually occur on the side of the eye closer to the nose.

Symptoms may be non-existent with smaller pterygia.  However, large or growing pterygia may cause a burning, itchy, or gritty sensation […]

What is an External Eyelid Stye?

A stye (hordoleum) is an inflamed area of the eye.  External eyelid styes are more common in children.

There are two types of styes in relation to its location:

external – resides on the base of an eyelash
internal – resides on the inside surface of the eyelid

An external eyelid stye is a red, painful bump on the surface of the eyelid.  Stye’s are often mistaken for pimples and are tender to the touch.  Although an external stye can appear anywhere on the eyelid, they are more likely to form near the edge of the eye, where the eyelashes meet the eyelid.

The primary cause of an external eyelid stye is infection as a result of a clogged oil gland.  Our eyelids have numerous oil glands that help to maintain the moisture levels in the eyes and eliminate foreign particles in the eyes […]