Low vision correction is the use of special aides to enhance vision beyond what might be done with standard eyeglasses. This generally involves use of special magnifiers, telescopes, electronic devices, computer softwear, special design glasses or tinted lenses. We consult for patients with eye diseases including macular degeneration, diabetic or other retinopathies, corneal or retinal dystrophies, glaucoma and other conditions causing less than normal vision and try to find most appropriate solutions to maximize remaining vision.
Corneal Reshaping (Orthokeratology)
Orthokeratology is the use of special contact lenses to reshape the cornea while sleeping so no lenses or glasses are needed during waking hours. Many studies have confirmed that this technique reduces the progression of myopia so it is especially useful for children who are starting to show nearsighted changes. Orthokeratology was first popularized in the 1960’s with hard contact lenses but was very unpredictable. Newer techniques and designs allow us to achieve much more reliable and rapid control of the cornea and it became FDA approved in 2002. We use several different designs depending on the eye shape and degree of correction needed. It is generally best used for patients with under 6 diopters of myopia although it is much preferred to start well before the correction reaches that level. We’ve fit patients as young as 7 years old with good success. The lenses must be worn consistently because the cornea will tend to return to its original shape if the lenses are discontinued. Check out the following links for more detailed information and studies:
My Kids Vision - My Kids Vision is a free online tool that helps parents assess and manage myopia risks for their kids
Does My Child Need Treatment? - Discusses treatment options for younger patients
How To Guides - Demonstrates techniques of insertion, removal, and lens care.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that uses a laser beam to reshape the cornea. Patients who are nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic may benefit from this type of procedure. While millions of patients have seen successful results from LASIK, the procedure is not right for everyone. Your optometrist will need to thoroughly examine your eyes to determine which type of vision correction best fits your needs.
Low Vision Therapy
With the wide variety of lens options available, you can customize your “sunnies” (sunglasses) to meet your visual, protection, performance and comfort needs. Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is present even on cloudy days. Quality sunwear provides 100 percent UV protection and can significantly reduce the risk of vision problems caused by sunlight such as cataracts and retinal damage.
Glare, an issue that makes it difficult to see objects clearly by washing out colors and details, can be combated by polarized lenses. Looking at a scene with polarized lenses, you’ll notice the colors are deeper, richer and bolder, and details are clearer and more distinct. Polarized lenses also help reduce squinting, which, in turn, reduces eye fatigue, tension and eyestrain.
There are many different types of eye conditions that could be affecting your eyesight or could have long-term consequences if not treated properly or promptly. We list some of the more common conditions below. If you think you or someone in your family has one of these conditions, please contact our office for an exam and recommendations.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. This degenerative process usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Lazy eye needs to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it is during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently.
Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by the age of three and sooner if there is a family history of any eye condition or disease.
Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction and/or abnormalities in oil gland function. Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main goals in treating it are to reduce the amount of bacteria along the lid margin and open plugged glands.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world’s leading cause of blindness and among the most common conditions related to aging – by age 65, you have a 50 percent chance of developing a cataract, and, by age 75, it jumps to 70 percent.
A cataract starts out small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks. In the early stages, your doctor may recommend stronger eyeglasses and adjusting your lighting to reduce glare. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, which is one of the most frequent and successful procedures done in the U.S.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headache and watery eyes when working in front of a computer screen. The symptoms are typically due to posture, dry eyes, eye muscle coordination and poorly corrected vision.
Since computer monitors are typically 20 to 26 inches from your eyes, your regular glasses may not be the best option for computer work. This distance range is considered intermediate – closer than what you use to drive a car but farther away than what you use to read. Special lens designs for computer work provide you with a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer and your immediate work area like the top of your desk. Our optical staff can help you determine if these special lenses are appropriate for you.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse and protect the eyes. This is significant because, with each blink, tears protect the surface of the eye, washing away dust and microorganisms. When this protective coating dries up, the eyes may feel “gritty” or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In extreme cases, vision can be blurred. If you suspect that you have dry eye, please call us and schedule an appointment. Proper care will not only increase your comfort – it will protect your eyes. Your eye care provider can perform a series of tests to determine if you have dry eyes.
Cross-eyed, medically known as strabismus, refers to a condition in which eyes are misaligned. It commonly occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are not properly working together. The result is one or both eyes turning inward, outward, upward or downward, or one or both eyes moving irregularly. Strabismus is usually diagnosed during childhood and affects about 4 percent of children, afflicting boys and girls equally. Though it cannot be prevented, its complications can be avoided with early intervention. Even if you notice symptoms intermittently – when your child is ill, stressed or fatigued – alert your eye care provider.