YOUR EYE HEALTH
The greatest magnifying glasses
in the world are your own eyes.
YOUR EYE EXAM
Comprehensive eye exams should occur early in life to ensure proper eye and vision development. Ongoing eye health examinations at regular intervals are equally important as many eye diseases and vision changes can occur without warning signs.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will use eye charts to measure the sharpness of your vision. The classic example of an eye chart is the Snellen eye chart, and although there are many variations, in general they show 11 rows of capital letters. You will be asked to find and read the smallest line of text that you can make out. The standard vision acuity is 20/20, which is the fourth line from the bottom. If you can read either of the bottom two rows, your visual acuity is better than most people.
At Park Place Optical, we believe in a thorough eye exam, which means we believe you should be checked for color vision deficiencies and test your eyes to see how they work together. To ensure your eyes are healthy, we recommend seeing an eye doctor for your comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis.
Our eyes allow us to appreciate the beauty of the world, experience the joy of learning new activities and undertake new adventures. The entire staff of Park Place Optical wants to share this educational video on the anatomy of your eyes in hopes that it will provide our patients with a better understanding or the importance of having routine eye exams. We believe knowing the anatomy of your eyes and having regular examinations is the best way to keep your eyes healthy and your vision intact.
SCLERA: Also known as the white of the eye, is the opaque, fibrous, protective, outer layer of the eye.
IRIS: A thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil. The color of the iris is often referred to as "eye color."
PUPIL: A hole located in the center of the iris that allows light to enter the eye. It appears black because light rays entering the pupil are either absorbed by the tissues inside the eye directly, or absorbed after diffuse reflections within the eye that mostly miss exiting the narrow pupil.
CORNEA: This is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. The cornea, with the anterior chamber and lens, refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's total optical power.
CRYSTALLINE LENS: This is a transparent, biconvex structure that, along with the cornea, helps to refract light to be focused on the retina. By changing shape, the lens functions to change the focal distance of the eye so it can focus on objects at various distances.
RETINA: A light-sensitive layer of tissue, lining the inner surface of the eye. It captures light sent through the cornea and crystalline lens to create an image by triggering nerve impulses that pass to various visual centers of the brain via the optic nerve.
MACULA & FOVEA: Small areas within the retina that contain rods and cones to determine the color and shape of the image you are viewing.
Because eye allergies are very common, Park Place Optical would like to share with you some background information regarding eye allergies.
An allergy is an overreaction by the immune system by normally harmless subjects called allergens. Most people will suffer from at least one allergic reaction at some point in their life.
The most common allergens are pollen, dust mites,
pet dander, insect venom and food.
When a person encounters an allergen for the first time the immune system mistakenly believes the allergen is a threat and responds by producing anti-bodies to fight them.
These allergic reactions occur because the body produces white blood cells, which bind together to create mast cells. When the body is re-exposed to the same allergen, the mast cell releases chemicals to fight the allergen and protect the body. This results in an allergic response, which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.
Symptoms may include red, watery and itchy eyes, a runny or stuffed nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, a sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightening, and in severe cases, an asthma attack.
While there is no cure, there are ways to prevent or relieve allergy symptoms, such as avoiding specific allergens, taking medication, or immunotherapy.
Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is characterized by redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin and along the lash line. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. Blepharitis can be caused by various types of bacteria, and it may be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
There are various types of this condition. Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye. With it, you may see redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens nearer the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye. The posterior type can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids.
Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter
remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments.
Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. In rare cases, ongoing treatment may be required to keep the eyes comfortable and symptom-free. Eyelid hygiene can help maintain eye comfort and appearance. Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and occasionally doing a soak or warm compress.
Your eye doctor can diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam, as well as screening or diagnosing other eye problems that may be present. If you have any concerns about your eye health or questions about changes to your eyes or vision, please speak with us at your next appointment or by contacting us directly.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye. The condition can lead to a decrease in vision if clouding develops enough to obstruct your view. Left untreated, it is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
Cataracts are conventionally treated with surgery. Visual loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing through and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.
The most common cause of cataracts is
biological aging and over exposure to ultraviolet light.
Seeing through a cataract is similar to looking through a foggy window. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights.
While there is no way guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing everyday eyewear and sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset, as well as decreasing exposure to direct sunlight.
Cataracts do not need to interfere with your lifestyle. If you are concerned you may be suffering from cataracts, call our office today to schedule an eye health evaluation.
If you have questions regarding cataracts, ask your eye doctor at your next appointment. Make sure you are scheduling yearly eye exams to look for potential symptoms and risk factors of cataracts and other threats to your vision.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.Man with pink eye
Often called "pink eye," conjunctivitis is a
common eye disease, especially in children.
It may affect one or both eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and can easily spread in schools and at home. While conjunctivitis is usually a minor eye infection, sometimes it can develop into a more serious problem.
A viral or bacterial infection can cause conjunctivitis. It can also develop due to an allergic reaction to air irritants such as pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, ingredients in cosmetics, or other products that contact the eyes, such as contact lenses. Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea are less common causes of conjunctivitis.
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is an ocular manifestation of diabetes, a systemic disease, which affects up to 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Research indicates that at least 90% of new cases
could be reduced by preventative monitoring during regular
eye examinations and proper treatment.
There are multiple forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only your doctor can determine your particular form. With one form, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In another, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, many do not notice a change to their vision because there are little to no symptoms. If an eye doctor does not catch diabetic retinopathy early, one could sustain mild blurriness at near or in the distance, as well as floaters. In severe cases a sudden loss of vision may occur. Unfortunately, Diabetic Retinopathy can result in permanent damage that cannot be reversed. However, if caught in time, prescribed treatments may slow development and prevent vision loss.
If you have diabetes and are concerned about diabetic retinopathy, schedule an appointment with us for a comprehensive eye exam and be sure to include it on your patient history form.
DRY EYE SYNDROME
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears, or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear.
Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts, in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose. Dry eyes can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage.
People with dry eyes may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
The development of dry eyes can have many causes
including age, gender, medications, medical conditions,
environmental conditions and more.
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but your eye doctor can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. Specific treatments aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health. If you believe you are suffering from dry eye syndrome, make an appointment with your eye doctor today.th
Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss and is the second leading cause of blindness.
The most common form of glaucoma
occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become
clogged over time.
The inner eye pressure, also called intraocular pressure, or IOP, rises because the correct amount of fluid can’t drain out of the eye. With this most common form of glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear, and should be working correctly. However, the clogging problem occurs further inside the drainage canals (similar to a clogged pipe below the drain of a sink).
Other forms of glaucoma that are less common include severe infection, trauma or injury, inflammatory conditions, other types of eye surgery, or a blocked blood vessel.
Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs. If open angle glaucoma is not diagnosed and treated, it can cause a gradual loss of vision. This type of glaucoma develops slowly and sometimes without visible sight loss for many years. It usually responds well to medication, especially if caught early and treated.
People with glaucoma rarely experience symptoms, but each day, their vision becomes less and less clear. For this reason, routine eye examinations are more important than ever to help identify symptoms of glaucoma. Your eye doctor can detect elevated pressure within the eye, which can cause damage to the optic nerve that carries images to the brain. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness.
While anyone can develop glaucoma, a higher risk is associated due to family medical history, individuals over 40 years of age, diabetics, individuals of African or Mediterranean descent, as well as those who have experienced an eye injury or trauma.
Your eye doctor may become suspicious of glaucoma during this exam and order special tests to help in making the diagnosis of glaucoma. From there, the best treatment option will be decided.
Age-related macular degeneration, often referred to as AMD, is a medical condition which usually affects older adults. This vision stealing disease is a result of degeneration to the macula, and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina. It occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms and is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults over the age of 50. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.
The "dry" form of advanced AMD, results from atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelial layer below the retina, which causes vision loss due to the damage of photoreceptors, also known as rods and cones, in the central part of the eye.
The "wet" form of advanced AMD, causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth, ultimately leading to blood and protein leakage below the macula. Bleeding, leaking, and scarring from these blood vessels eventually cause irreversible damage to the photoreceptors and rapid vision loss if left untreated. Fortunately, only about 10% of patients suffering from macular degeneration have the “wet” type.
Macular degeneration is not painful, which
may allow it to go unnoticed for some time.
For this reason, regular eye examinations are important.
While approximately 10% of patients age 66 to 74 will have findings of macular degeneration, the prevalence increases to 30% in patients 75 to 85 years of age. Family history may also play a factor.
The good news is that regular eye exams, early detection and new treatment options, enable doctors to maintain and in some cases, increase visual acuity patients.
RETINAL TEARS AND DETACHMENTS
Retinal tears and detachments are conditions where the inner lining of the eye called the retina is damaged. The retina is a layer of tissue that’s light-sensitive and sends visual information through the optic nerve to the brain. If damaged, this layer of tissue can eventually detach from the inside of the eye, causing permanent vision loss.
A retinal tear describes a small break in this lining. Retinal tears can have many causes and can happen at any age. Retinal tears can be treated with laser surgery or an advanced “freezing” process. Both of these treatment options attempt to keep the retina in place and keep it from fully detaching.
Retinal detachment describes a much larger separation of the retina tissues and although it is not exclusive to older people, it’s more common in those over age 40. If detected with an eye exam early enough, retinal detachment can be treated with the procedures used for some tears, or with a more intricate surgery that uses gas to push the retina together with the wall of the eye to allow for reattachment.
Aging, eye trauma, eye surgery, or being drastically nearsighted may cause retinal tears or detachments. Symptoms of these retinal conditions may include seeing flashes or floaters, sudden blurry vision, and seeing an area of dark vision.
An eye exam is very important when these symptoms occur as permanent eyesight loss may occur if the retina problem is not treated in a timely manner.
RETINAL TEARS & DETACHMENT
Your Sight is Our Vision