Some vision conditions affect us from birth because they’re related to irregularities of the cornea. Others like Cataracts and Presbyopia creep up on us as we age. Some are the result of the wear and tear from sports during the active teen years. A regular comprehensive Eye Examination are the best way to detect and address any and all vision issues and the first step in resolving vision problems.
Comprehensive Eye Examination Tests:
A Corneal Abrasion is a painful scrape or scratch of the surface of the clear part of the eye. This clear tissue of the eye that covers the iris or colored portion of the eye is called the Cornea. The Cornea has many nerve endings just under the surface, so that any abrasion of the surface may be painful. You should suspect a corneal abrasion if you have sustained an injury to your eye. Some symptoms you may experience:
- A feeling that there is something in your eye that you cannot get out
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain in bright light
- Muscle spasms causing you to squint
The first and vital step after any eye injury is to have a full eye examination. Although small abrasions may require no specific treatment, larger abrasions may require a topical antibiotic to prevent infection and to reduce pain and improve comfort. Eye pads may improve comfort and promote healing by preventing repeated eyelid blinking that may cause further physical disruption to the Cornea. Contact Lenses, mainly silicon hydrogels, can be used as “bandage contact lenses” as they provide more oxygen to the Cornea and can be fitted tightly to improve healing. Serious or recurring abrasions may need to be treated with a laser surgery procedure called Phototherapeutic Keratectomy.
Keratoconus is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which the cornea thins and changes to a conical shape instead of its normal gradual curve. Keratoconus can cause distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light. It is typically diagnosed in the patient’s adolescent years and becomes severe in the twenties and thirties. If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient’s ability to drive a car or read normal print. In most cases, corrective lenses can allow the patient to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery radial Keratotomy (RK) or in severe cases, corneal transplant. Dr. David O’Day will diagnose and recommend the right treatment if this condition is present.
Intacs corneal implants are like micro-thin contact lenses that are inserted under the outer edge of the cornea during a brief outpatient procedure. They reshape the curvature of the cornea from within, enhancing the natural shape of your eye to correct mild nearsightedness. Unlike laser surgery, no corneal tissue is removed from the central optical zone of your cornea — the portion critical to your sight. Intacs corneal implants are indicated for use in the correction of nearsightedness and astigmatism associated with keratoconus where contact lenses and glasses are no longer suitable, or even for patients whose cornea is too thin for LASIK.
Once Intacs have been inserted they are no more visible than contact lenses and there is sensation of ‘wearing them’. No maintenance is required.
Contact Lens Fitting
Ensuring the correct type and strength off Contact Lenses is an essential aspect of eye health. A Contact Lens fitting involves special measurements of the curvature of the front surface of your eye (Cornea). Contact Lenses that are too flat or too steep will be uncomfortable and can cause damage to the Cornea. Your fitting will include an evaluation of the tear film on the front of your eyes. If your eyes are too dry, contact lenses may not be for you. If your eyes are marginally dry, some contact lenses work better than others but extended wear may not be possible. Dr. O’Day will also carefully evaluate the health of the cornea with a Slit Lamp examination. Trial lenses may be provided and evaluated for correctness of fit with normal movements due to blinking. Follow-up visits are necessary. Lenses that appear to fit fine at first can sometimes tighten up after several hours of wear. Checking the fit of your lenses ensures no adverse effects to the cornea. A review of how long to wear your Contacts and coaching in how to care for them are also important parts of the whole process.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye”, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. Pink eye can be alarming because it may make the eyes extremely red and can spread rapidly, however it is a fairly common condition and usually causes no long-term eye or vision damage. Pink eye can be caused by many of the bacteria and viruses responsible for colds and other infections, — including ear infections, sinus infections, and sore throats — and by the same types of bacteria that cause the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) chlamydia and gonorrhea. Pink eye also can be caused by allergies. These cases tend to happen more frequently among kids who also have other allergic conditions, such as hay fever. Triggers of allergic conjunctivitis include grass, ragweed pollen, animal dander and dust mites. Sometimes a substance in the environment can irritate the eyes and cause pink eye; for example, chemicals (such as chlorine and soaps) and air pollutants (such as smoke and fumes). Dr. O’Day will recommend the best treatment following a full examination and diagnosis.
Dry Eyes are a common problem for many people and are usually the result of impaired tear production. Contact Lenses, certain medications, and medical conditions can all cause impaired tear production, with the result of Dry Eyes. Eye drops and humidifiers help a little, but Dry Eye relief is usually temporary. If it is determined that the Lactoferrin (protein) level in your tears is low, your health insurance may pay for most of the treatment procedure.
- RESTASIS: When your eyes’ natural ability to make enough tears is reduced, they may not have enough tears to lubricate and protect them. Chronic Dry Eye (CDE) is a medical condition that can result from the eyes’ reduced ability to make tears. Over-the-counter eye drops can help moisten your eyes, but they cannot help increase tear production — so provide only temporary relief. RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion helps increase tear production in cases where it may be reduced by inflammation and helps you make more of your own real tears.
- Punctal (or Punctum) Plugs: Treatment for Dry Eyes involves a simple, non-surgical procedure that provides long-term relief using tiny silicone plugs called Punctal plugs. Punctal plugs have a very high rate of success and can be inserted easily and painlessly by an eye care professional. The plugs are inserted into your tear drainage ducts where they act as a dam. Your tears have no place to go but onto the surface of your eyes! Punctal plugs are also used for many patients after LASIK surgery since keeping the eyes moist is important during the healing process.Ask us about diagnosis of your Dry Eye condition and whether Punctal plugs would be your best solution.
No matter what your vision-related issues are, it is crucial to have a skilled, caring, and trusted health care provider. If you live in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and Myrtle Beach SC or surrounding areas, consider visiting Charleston Cornea & Refractive Surgery for help with a variety of vision-related issues including Dry Eyes. Call us at (843) 856-5275 for more information.