Common Eye Conditions
Refractive Eye Conditions
The most common eye conditions diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam involve refractive errors that cause blurry vision for patients. These conditions affect millions of people in the United States and often get progressively worse as patients age. Fortunately, refractive errors can be easily treated to let patients enjoy clear vision at all distances.
- Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision condition in which nearby objects are clear and distant objects appear blurry. This may be caused by excess corneal curvature or an oblong rather than a spherical shape to the eye, both of which affect the way light is bent upon entering the eye and whether or not it focuses properly on the retina. Myopia affects nearly one-third of all people in the United States to some degree, with symptoms usually appearing before the age of 20. Patients with myopia have difficulty focusing on objects in the distance, such as a chalkboard or TV.
- Farsightedness, or Hyperopia, is a condition in which the eye focuses on distant objects better than on objects closer to the eye, so nearby objects appear blurry. This happens when light rays refract, or bend, incorrectly in the eye. The eye is designed to focus images directly on the surface of the retina, but when the cornea is incorrectly curved light rays focus behind the surface, producing a blurry image.
- Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is curved slightly in one direction, causing blurred vision. While the cornea usually refracts to focus light on the retina, some of the light focuses in front of or behind the retina in patients with astigmatism. In addition to blurry vision, patients with astigmatism may also experience variable vision, headaches, eyestrain and fatigue. The severity of symptoms depends on the degree of astigmatism in the eyes.
- Presbyopia You may have noticed that you need to hold reading materials further away than usual, or that your vision is blurry at a distance that never used to be a problem. Or maybe you’ve been suffering from eye fatigue and headaches when working with materials at a close range. These are classic symptoms of Presbyopia.Presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes’ ability to focus. It occurs when the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility, causing objects to appear blurry. Symptoms take years to develop and typically begin to show in the early- to mid-40s. The effects of Presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, including Multifocal and progressive lenses; monovision; and conventional or laser surgery, such as CK, PRK, monovision LASIK, and Presbyopic intraocular lenses (IOLs).
Tearing / Watery Eyes
Although tears are necessary to lubricate the eyes and wash away foreign particles, some people produce too many tears or cannot drain them properly, leading to excess tearing or watery eyes.
Tearing of the eyes can be caused by several different factors:
- Blocked tear duct
- Dry eyes
- Environmental irritants
- Foreign bodies
- Misdirected eyelashes
Artificial tears or anti-histamines may be recommended to treat dry eyes or allergies, while other causes may require antibiotics or even surgery.