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Eye Health from Brookside Optometric

Eye health tips and information about glasses, contact lenses, Lasik, and more from the doctors of Brookside Optometric Group.

Do I Have Cataracts?

What are cataracts?

A cataract is formed when the natural lens of our eye becomes cloudy or opaque. The human eye contains a natural lens which provides much of the “power” that allows us to see clearly and focus on the things we see. Over time, this natural lens begins to lose its clarity, which in turn can affect your overall vision. I like to use the analogy of trying to see through a dirty or hazy windshield. The best way to know you have cataracts is by having your routine comprehensive eye exam.

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Common Vision Conditions: Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a seemingly exotic word and often humorously mispronounced. It is a common vision condition in which light entering the eye can’t be focused clearly – in fact over 90% of all patients we see have some degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is also often described as the front surface of the eye (cornea) being football shaped, egg shaped, or a warped camera lens. The “nerdy” definition is that an image will come to focus in two different meridians either before or after the retina, thus it is associated with nearsightedness and farsightedness, which is obviously why we don’t describe it this way to our patients.

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Many patients come to our office at Brookside Optometric Group not only because they have blurry vision, but also because their eyes are often irritated, and even red. Sometimes the irritation and redness have been going on for so long that the patients think it is "normal", especially if they wear contact lenses. In actual fact, they may be suffering from dry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome (DES).

DES is a disease of the tear film covering the surface of the eye. This condition results in ocular discomfort, blurry vison, and tear film instability that can damage the surface of the eye. This then leads to inflammation of the eye, producing red eyes, swelling, and sometimes even watery eyes. Eventually the corneal surface will be damaged, causing further pain, discomfort, and even blurred vision.

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What's the problem with cataracts?

cloudy-lens.gif
Normal Vision
Vision with Cataract
An advanced "Mature" cataract

"What are cataracts?” and "Do I have cataracts?” are two of the most common questions asked during an eye examination.

What are cataracts? A cataract is formed when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The lens is the part of the eye that helps focus light or an image on the retina, the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, similar to film in cameras.

When the lens is cloudy, it will interfere with the light entering the eye and imaging on the retina. Hence, vision will be blurred or hazy. Colors will be less vivid or intense and more difficult to distinguish. There may be increased sensitivity to glare from lights, especially when driving at night and difficulty seeing at night. Reading and other routine activities become more difficult to perform.

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Springtime is allergy time!

As spring approaches most of us will appreciate the beautiful flowers, blooming trees, the singing birds, and the bees. Unfortunately some of you will dread the sneezing, coughing, and the watery, swollen, and itchy eyes associated with Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis (SAC).

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), is the condition that many patients often suffer from without knowing they have it. Unfortunately, we often do the wrong things out of habit.

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Dry Eye FAQs

Q:  WHY DO MY EYES ALWAYS FEEL SO IRRITATED? 

A:  COULD BE DRY EYE SYNDROME

Next to blurry vision, our most common ocular problem in the Valley is dry eye, and many people don’t even know they have it! Studies show that up to 1/3 of people suffer from dry eye naturally, and our dry Valley air and high degree of allergens makes it even worse.

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