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All About Eyes

Accomodation
Astigmatism
Cataract
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
Conjunctivitis
Contrast Sensitivity
Cornea
Distance Vision
Glaucoma
Hyperopia
Intermediate Vision
Intralase
Iris
LASEK
LASIK
Macular Degeneration
Near Vision
Presbyopia
PRK
CR-39

Accommodation - The lens of the eye changes shape to focus on objects at different distances.

Astigmatism - It may accompany nearsightedness or farsightedness. Usually it is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea (called corneal astigmatism). But sometimes it is the result of an irregularly shaped lens, which is located behind the cornea; this is called lenticular astigmatism. Either kind of astigmatism can usually be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

If you have only a small amount of astigmatism, you may not notice it or have just slightly blurred vision. But sometimes uncorrected astigmatism can give you headaches or eyestrain, and distort or blur your vision at all distances.

Unless it is extreme, astigmatism can be compensated for satisfactorily with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Depending on the type and severity of your astigmatism, you may also be able to have it corrected with refractive surgery. Discuss with your eye doctor which procedure is best to correct your astigmatism.

Cataract - Inside your eye is a natural lens that helps to focus light from outside your eye. The lens creates images in the back of your eye (called the retina) like a camera focuses images on film. As people age, the lens can become less clear, even cloudy. This cloudiness in the lens is called a cataract. Just as a dirty camera can spoil a picture, a cataract can prevent light from focusing clearly inside the eye. Typical signs of cataracts are blurred vision and sensitivity to light. For example, you may have trouble reading, or driving at night or at dusk. Colors may seem less vivid. And it may be difficult to thread a needle, shave, or put on makeup.

Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) - CK is the first FDA approved treatment for near vision loss (reading vision loss). Controlled radio frequency energy is delivered to the cornea in a circular pattern. This radio frequency energy shrinks the corneal tissue, acting as a belt that tightens the outer cornea. Peripheral tightening steepens the center of the cornea. This steepening results in the desired refractive effect.

Ck is for patients almost completely dependent upon reading glasses to read, see a wrist watch or a cell phone.

Conjunctivitis - Pink eye (or red eye) is the common name for conjunctivitis, a condition where the membranes covering the whites of the eyes (the conjunctiva) and the inner eyelids become inflamed and redden.

Pink eye occurs frequently in children and is most often caused by bacterial or viral infection. In these cases, it is highly contagious. Symptoms of pink eye include excessive tearing, discharge (greenish, yellowish or watery) and a sensation that there is "something" in the eye or that the eye is "scratchy."

Contrast Sensitivity - The ability of the eye to differentiate between an object and its background.

Cornea - The clear front surface of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil and provides most of the eye's optical power.

Distance Vision - Objects that are 7 feet or further from the eyes fall into your distance vision. Examples of typical distance vision objects are street signs and billboards.

Glaucoma - An eye disease caused by increased pressure within the eye. It is the leading cause of blindness in North America.

Hyperopia (far-sightedness) - In the normal eye, light travels from a near object through the cornea to focus on the retina. In the hyperopic eye, the eye is shorter, or the cornea is too flat, causing light to be out of focus. When glasses are added, a "plus" lens causes light rays to converge to now focus on the retina.

Farsighted people usually have trouble seeing up close, but may also have difficulty seeing far away as well. Signs and symptoms include difficulty seeing up close, blurred distance vision (occurs with higher amounts of hyperopia), eye fatigue when reading, eye strain (headaches, pulling sensation, burning), crossed eyes in children.

Hyperopia is detected with a vision test called a refraction. Young patients' eyes are dilated for this test so they are unable to mask their farsightedness with accommodation. This is called a wet refraction. The treatment for hyperopia depends on several factors such as the patient's age, activities, and occupation. Young patients may or may not require glasses or contact lenses, depending on their ability to compensate for their farsightedness with accommodation. Glasses or contact lenses are required for older patients. Refractive surgery is an option for adults who wish to see clearly without glasses. LASIK, Clear Lens Extraction And Replacement, LTK and intraocular contact lenses are all procedures that can be performed to correct hyperopia.

Intermediate Vision - Objects that are typically between 16 inches to 7 feet away from your eyes. You would typically use your intermediate vision to do such things as work at the computer or cook.

Intralase - Both LASIK and IntraLASIK sculpt the inner layers of the cornea (the front part of the eye) with an excimer laser. Before the excimer laser is applied, the surgeon creates a flap to reach the inner layers of the cornea, then re-positions it after the treatment. Many people do not realize that in traditional LASIK this first step, the flap creation, is accomplished using a blade. Now, the blade is replaced by the Intralase laser, making IntraLASIK a truly all-laser procedure and eliminating all blade-related complications.

How does Intralase create a flap?

Intralase delivers pulses of infra-red light at the precise depth and location needed by the surgeon. Each of these spots creates a "bubble", which together carve an ultra-precise corneal flap.

Iris - The colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil which controls the amount of light that enters the eye.

LASEK - Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. LASEK is the no-cut, no-flap version of LASIK. It is a relatively new laser vision procedure that combines certain elements of both the PRK and LASIK procedures, and may offer some advantages for patients with thin cornea, patients suffering from dry eyes, patients over the age of 45, patients who have other cornea problems and patients who just want to avoid the complications due to the flap. Instead of creating a flap as in LASIK the surface epithelium is loosened with a diluted alcohol solution and gently moved aside. The surface under the epithelium is treated with the laser and the epithelium flap is returned to its original position, as with LASIK. A protective, soft contact lens is then placed over the cornea to make the eye more comfortable while it heals. Using the epithelium flap as a natural protective bandage may improve healing, reduce postoperative discomfort and the incidence of postoperative haze. And, the margin of safety with LASEK is increased over LASIK as the need for a microkeratome is eliminated.

LASIK - As with most types of refractive surgery, LASIK reshapes the curvature of the cornea (or front surface of the eye) so that images focus properly on the retina. LASIK can permanently correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism and is performed in three basic steps:

1. A thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea. This flap is then folded back.
2. Our surgeon then uses an excimer laser to remove approximately 0.25 microns of tissue at a time (per pulse) until we achieve the correct corneal shape. To put that into perspective, it would take 200 pulses to etch through a human hair.
3. The corneal flap is then carefully put back into position. Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops are applied and the procedure is complete. The procedure will take about 20-30 minutes for both eyes.

Macular Degeneration - At the back of the eye, there is a thin layer of light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The eye focuses light onto a small spot about the size of a pea called the macula. The macula processes the details in the central part of our vision, and is responsible for us being able to see the finest details and colors, as well as to function in daylight.

If the macula is diseased for any reason, the retina becomes like a camera with a spot on the film in the center of the picture. This results in blurry central vision and loss of details.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe vision loss in the developed world, especially among the elderly. It causes one in three cases of legal blindness and vision impairment. The most common form of the disease occurs in people over the age of 55 and is called age-related macular degeneration.

Near Vision - Near Vision or "reading vision" refers to focal points that are typically 16 inches or closer to your eyes. You would typically use your near vision to read books, menus, or a map.

Presbyopia - Normally, when a close object is viewed, the lens will change shape (accommodation) to focus light on the retina. With Presbyopia, the lens will not sufficiently reshape and glasses may be required for close viewing.

PRK - PRK is often called "bladeless LASIK" or "surface ablation" because PRK applies the laser vision correction treatment to the top surface of the cornea, while LASIK applies the laser in the center of the cornea after the creation and lifting of a portion of the cornea. It is considered the safer procedure for patients who have an active lifestyle or work in professions with debris in the air. Because PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap, all potential flap complications are eliminated.

PRK can be used to treat myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. In PRK, the epithelium, or surface corneal cells, are first gently removed. The laser treatment is then applied to the eye. Afterwards a clear contact lens is placed on the eye by the surgeon to act like a bandage during the healing process. The patient wears the contact lens for the first 3-4 days after surgery or until the epithelium layer has completely regenerated. The lens will be removed by the doctor at a post-operative visit.

CR-39 - Plastic lenses.