At Family Vision Care we believe eye health is a part of overall well being. Annual eye exams not only help correct vision problems; comprehensive eye exams can also reveal the warning signs of more serious undiagnosed health problems. Eye exams are important to our productivity and health regardless of age.
Please click on the tabs below to learn more about different types of eye disorders and imbalances or click here to learn about Lasik.
- Macular Degeneration
- Systemic Hypertension
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.
There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.
To learn more about Glaucoma and its various types, please visit the Glaucoma Research Foundation at: www.glaucoma.org
Ocular hypertension is an increase in the pressure in your eyes that is above the range considered normal with no detectable changes in vision or damage to the structure of your eyes. It is often associated with glaucoma.
What is Macular Degeneration?Few people are aware that macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and that it is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans.
Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina's central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
As people age, their chances for developing eye diseases increase dramatically. Unfortunately, the specific factors that cause macular degeneration are not conclusively known and research into this little-understood disease is limited by insufficient funding.
To learn more about Macular Degeneration please visit the American Macular Degeneration Foundation at: www.macular.org
What Is Systemic Hypertension?
Fifty million Americans have elevated blood pressure; of these, 70% are aware of their diagnosis, but only 50% are receiving treatment. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age. Stroke and coronary heart disease are two of the major complications of hypertension.
In addition to being the chief cause of death in developed countries, systemic hypertension is also a leading cause of visual impairment. The eye is an end arteriolar system and is therefore susceptible to changes in blood pressure. Hypertension produces cardiovascular risk by causing end-organ damage that includes retinopathy.Current studies have shown that the effects of systemic hypertension on the retinal, optic nerve head and choroidal circulation.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
While over 21 million Americans have diabetes, it is thought that more than 6 million Americans are unaware that they have the disease. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 54 million Americans aged 40 to 74 have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes. While diabetes is already recognized as the number one cause of acquired blindness in the U.S., type 2 diabetes can be prevented if people at risk get tested, learn their blood glucose level and take appropriate action.
"Early detection is critical in maintaining healthy vision", said AOA president, Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., PhD. "Recognizing the importance of diabetes prevention and early treatment for lifelong eye health, AOA fully supports the National Diabetes Goal."
The AOA reminds patients that several factors influence whether someone with diabetes develops diabetic retinopathy. These include controlling blood sugar and blood pressure levels, the length of time with diabetes, race and family history. Be sure to see an optometrist if your vision becomes blurry, you have trouble reading signs or books, experience double vision, feel pressure in your eyes, encounter straight lines appearing indistinct or your side vision is limited.
To learn more about Diabetic Retinopathy, please visit the American Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon its size and location, it can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in people over age 55, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other. Reasearchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts.
To learn more about Cataracts, please visit the American Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. An irregular shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance.
Astigmatism is a very common vision condition. Most people have some degree of astigmatism. Slight amounts of astigmatism usually don't affect vision and don't require treatment. However, larger amounts cause distorted or blurred vision, eye discomfort and headaches.
The specific cause of astigmatism is unknown. It can be hereditary and is usually present from birth. It can change as a child grows and may decrease or worsen over time.
To learn more about Astigmastism, please visit the American Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
What Is Myopia?
Nearsightedness, or myopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.
Nearsightedness is a very common vision condition affecting nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population.
Generally, nearsightedness first occurs in school-age children. Because the eye continues to grow during childhood, it typically progresses until about age 20. However, nearsightedness may also develop in adults due to visual stress or health conditions such as diabetes.
To learn more about Myopia, please visit the American Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
What Is Hyperopia?
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Farsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly.
Common signs of farsightedness include difficulty in concentrating and maintaining a clear focus on near objects, eye strain, fatigue and/or headaches after close work, aching or burning eyes, irritability or nervousness after sustained concentration.
Common vision screenings, often done in schools, are generally ineffective in detecting farsightedness. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for farsightedness.
To learn more about Hyperopia, pleas visit the America Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
What Is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult for you to focus on close objects.Presbyopia may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease, and it cannot be prevented.Some signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold reading materials at arm's length, blurred vision at normal reading distance and eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for presbyopia.To help you compensate for presbyopia, your optometrist can prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals or contact lenses. Because presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, your optometrist will determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably.
To learn more about Presbyopia, please visit the American Optometric Association at: www.aoa.org
Family Vision Care provides both pre and post surgical procedure testing and evaluation. As the patient, you are referred by Dr. Thomas, O.D. to a trusted Lasik Center as to be sure you are in safe and qualified hands for your procedure.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is a surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses. The goal of this Web site is to provide objective information to the public about LASIK surgery. See other sections of this site to learn about what you should know before surgery, what will happen during the surgery, and what you should expect after surgery. There is a glossary of terms and a checklist of issues for you to consider, practices to follow, and questions to ask your doctor before undergoing LASIK surgery. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. A knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middle section of the cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is replaced. There are other techniques and many new terms related to LASIK that you may hear about.
What Conditions Can LASIK Correct?
LASIK, PRK, and other refractive procedures correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea so that the focal point is on the retina.
Nearsightedness (Myopia): Nearsightedness or myopia occurs due to an irregularly shaped cornea – when light enters the eye it focuses in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina. If you are nearsighted you will see well up close, but distant objects will be fuzzy.
Farsightedness (Hyperopia): Farsightedness or hyperopia also occurs due to an irregularly shaped cornea – when light enters the eye it focuses behind the retina, rather than directly on the retina. If you are farsighted you will have trouble seeing objects up close, but will see distant objects clearly.
Astigmatism: The most common of all eye disorders, astigmatism occurs when the eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball. This odd shape causes the light to focus on two points of the retina, rather than one.
Astigmatism is often accompanied by either nearsightedness or farsightedness. If this is the case, LASIK will treat both refractive errors simultaneously.