Common Eye Conditions
Astigmatism distorts or blurs vision for both near and far objects. It’s almost like looking into a fun house mirror in which you appear too tall, too wide or too thin. When you have astigmatism, the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) curves more in one direction than in the other — like a football.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. Your eye becomes like a window that is frosted or yellowed. Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, especially as we age, but they are treatable.
Conjunctivitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva: the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye (the sclera). It is most commonly referred to as “red” or “pink” eye and can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies or environmental irritants.
Contact lenses are thin, clear disks of plastic that float on the surface of the eye. They correct vision like eyeglasses do and are safe when used with care. Contact lenses are used to correct the same conditions that eyeglasses do: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (blurred vision due to the shape of the cornea) and presbyopia (inability to see close up).
Dry Eye Syndrome
The eye bathes itself in tears to stay moist. Some people don’t produce enough tears for healthy eyes. This is called dry eye. Moist eyes are essential to comfort and health. Also, dry eyes may mean other problems, such as: stinging, burning, scratchiness, stringy mucus, excessive irritation from smoke and wind, discomfort when wearing contact lenses and watering eyes.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. If your vision seems blurry, contains blank spots, or if you have eye pain or see rainbow-colored halos around lights, call your Eye MD right away. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Early treatment can often prevent loss of sight.
A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal. Light from close objects cannot focus clearly on the retina. The words on a page will seem blurry or it will be difficult to see to thread a needle.
A myopic eye is longer than normal or has a cornea that is too steep, so that the light rays focus in front of the retina. Close objects look clear, but distant objects appear blurred.
Refractive errors are just one potential cause of blurred vision, so it is important to have an examination right away if you are experiencing symptoms.