An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrists in the United States also are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or an osteopathic doctor (DO) who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat disease, prescribe medications and perform eye surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Refraction is the process of determining the eye’s refractive error, or need for corrective glasses and/or contact lenses.
Refraction is sometimes necessary depending on the patient’s diagnosis and/or complaints presented that day. For example, if a patient is experiencing blurred vision or a decrease in visual acuity on the eye chart, a refraction would be needed to see if this is due to a need for glasses or due to a medical problem. A refraction is also necessary to prove to insurance
the need for cataract surgery. We must prove that your vision cannot be simply improved with a glasses prescription.
A refractive lensectomy corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness by replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has the wrong power, with an artificial intra-ocular lens (IOL) implant that has the correct power for the eye. Refractive lensectomy is a surgical procedure that uses the same successful techniques of modern cataract surgery. The main difference between standard cataract surgery and refractive lensectomy is that cataract surgery is primarily performed to remove a patient’s cataract that is obstructing and clouding their vision, while refractive lensectomy is performed to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
-He or she wants to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
-He or she may not be a good candidate for laser vision correction
-He or she is 50+ years of age (varies depending on the patient)
-He or she has no health issues affecting their eyes
A refractive lensectomy procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Only one eye will be treated at a time. After the eye is completely numbed with topical or local anesthesia, the eye’s natural lens will be gently vacuumed out through a tiny incision, less than one eighth of an inch wide.
Next, the new intraocular lens will be folded and inserted through the same micro-incision. It will then be unfolded and placed into the “capsular bag” that originally surrounded the natural lens. The incision is “self-healing” and usually requires no stitches — it heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation. The whole procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
You will go home soon after the surgery and most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two. The goal of the procedure is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Though some patients report an improvement in their vision almost immediately, results vary by patient.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that can cause vision loss if left untreated. It is one of the most serious eye disorders and approximately 2.25 million Americans 45 years or older have glaucoma. It is estimated that between 84,000 and 116,000 of them have become blind from glaucoma. The incidence of glaucoma increases with age.
Glaucoma is usually caused by increased pressure in the eye, which causes mechanical damage to the optic nerve and also affects the blood flow to the optic nerve. This damage to the optic nerve will cause vision loss. There are two main types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma (the most common form) and angle closure glaucoma (5% of glaucoma cases).
Yearly examinations with your ophthalmologist will be sufficient to check for glaucoma. If you have any risk factors for glaucoma your ophthalmologist will perform a work-up for glaucoma. The work-up includes checking your eye pressure with a tonometer, checking for damage to the optic nerve, and checking for damage to the drainage system in the eye.
Glaucoma often develops over many years without causing pain – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. Symptoms are occasionally present and should be taken as warning signs that glaucoma may be developing; these include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights and painful or reddened eyes.
People at the greatest risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.
Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled. Treatments to lower pressure in the eye include non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy, and surgery.
Macular degeneration is the number-one cause of blindness in the United States. It occurs when the macula — a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp — degrades or “degenerates,” causing a progressive loss of vision.
Yes. They include:
A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
A gradual loss of color vision
A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
The “dry” form of macular degeneration has no treatment, but the “wet” form may be helped by laser procedures if it is detected early. Certain vitamins and minerals may also aid in slowing or preventing vision loss.
A cataract is a loss of transparency, or clouding, of the normally clear lens of the eye. As one ages, chemical changes occur in the lens that make it less transparent. The loss of transparency may be so mild vision is hardly affected or so severe that no shapes or movements are seen, only light and dark. When the lens gets cloudy enough to obstruct vision to any significant degree, it is called a cataract. Glasses or contact lenses cannot sharpen your vision if a cataract is present.
People at risk for developing cataracts are over 55 years old, have had eye injuries or disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications.
There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts. These include:
Spots in front of the eye(s)
Sensitivity to glare
A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
A temporary improvement in near vision
Reducing the amount of ultraviolet light exposure by wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses may reduce your risk for developing a cataract but once developed there is no cure except to have the cataract surgically removed. Early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible.
Vision loss from cataracts can often be corrected with prescription glasses and contact lenses. For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, replacement surgery may be the preferred method of treatment. During cataract replacement (the most common surgical procedure in the country), the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL.
“Dry eye” is the term for when your eyes are insufficiently moisturized, either because they do not produce enough tears or because the tears have an improper chemical composition. It often occurs during the natural aging process, but it can also form as a result of eyelid or blinking problems, certain medications (antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants), climate (low humidity, wind, dust), injury, and various health problems (arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome).
In addition to being uncomfortable, dry eye can damage eye tissue, scar the cornea and impair vision. Dry eye is not preventable, but it can be controlled before harm is done to your eyes.
Irritated, scratchy, dry, uncomfortable or red eyes
A burning sensation or feeling of something foreign in your eyes
Treatment for dry eye can take many forms. Non-surgical methods include blinking exercises, increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. If these methods fail, small plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed.
Botox® Cosmetic is a simple, non-surgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows, on the forehead and around the eyes (crow’s feet) in people from 18 to 65 years of age. It is the only treatment of its type approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Botox® Cosmetic is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause those frown lines between the brows to form over time. Over a million people have been treated with FDA-approved Botox® Cosmetic.
Hyper dynamic wrinkles are the most common indication for Botox® Cosmetic treatments, and are caused by repeated contractions of the delicate underlying facial muscles every time you smile, laugh, or frown. A very animated individual who contracts these facial muscles frequently will have greater facial muscle tone, and deepening of unwanted lines of the face. Botox® Cosmetic is injected into the small facial muscles through a tiny needle, and it works in two ways. First, Botox® Cosmetic relaxes hyper dynamic muscles, dramatically softening or eliminating wrinkles within three to ten days. Second, over the ensuing months the relaxed muscle slowly thins down to a more normal state, providing further cosmetic benefit for unwanted wrinkles. This secondary effect has been seen to last as long as two years.
Given its unique mechanism of action, Botox® Cosmetic offers sustained relief, dose after dose over the course of long-term treatment. The relief you will feel from a single treatment of Botox® will normally be sustained for approximately three to four months. You will notice a gradual fading of its effects. At this point, you will return to us for your next treatment. Usually, Botox® treatment is required only three or four times a year. Symptoms may vary throughout the course of the condition, and so the degree of relief and duration of effect varies from person to person.
With more than 2.0 million treatments performed last year and a superb safety track record, Botox® Cosmetic has rapidly become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Most side effects are rare and temporary. Botox® injection side effects and risks include:
· Mild numbness or tingling in the injection area
· Minor swelling or bruising around the injection area (temporary)
· Headache (temporary)
· Nausea (temporary)
· Drooping eyebrow or eyelid (usually temporary and can last 2-3 weeks)
· No improvement after undergoing treatment
· An allergic reaction to Botox® Cosmetic
· Flu-like symptoms
Many of these side effects can be avoided if proper injection techniques are used, and if the patient avoids rubbing the injection area for approximately 12 hours after treatment. The possibility of experiencing Botox® injection side effects can be greatly reduced by choosing a qualified physician who has experience in performing the Botox® injection procedure. The specific risks and the suitability of these procedures for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.