Eye injuries, disorders and diseases can affect people of all ages. Approximately 14 million individuals aged 12 years and older have some type of visual impairment, among which more than 80 percent are correctible through treatment or surgery. An even more daunting statistic is that an estimated 61 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half have visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
At St. Luke’s Medical Center, the physicians on the medical staff offer a wide range of eye care services — from routine eye exams and treatment of a variety of eye conditions, to more complex and delicate eye surgery, including corrective and cataract surgery. The physicians on the medical staff are experienced in the prevention, diagnosis and medical/surgical treatment of many eye conditions and diseases. And, since many eye conditions result from other medical issues, such as diabetes and arthritis, we take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment by working closely with other physicians and specialists to provide you with comprehensive, high quality care.
Comprehensive Care for a Variety of Eye Conditions
At St. Luke’s, a wide variety of eye disorders and diseases are diagnosed and treated, including:
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
Amblyopia is the term used when the vision in one eye is reduced due to misaligned eyes, or off-balanced nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism in the eyes.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids due to bacteria (germs) on the eyelids or on the skin around the eyes.
Cataract, a condition that clouds the eye lens, is the leading cause of vision loss. Possible risk factors include age, prolonged exposure to sunlight, smoking, diabetes and arthritis. Although cataracts are painless, common symptoms include blurring, glaring, poor night vision, and/or fading of colors. Treatment involves the surgical removal of the cataract.
- Visual diagram of a cataract
- Medical evaluation and treatment options
- Discharge instructions after cataract surgery
- Long-term eye care after cataract surgery
Conjunctivitis (pink eye, red eye)
Pink eye, red eye or conjunctivitis is redness and inflammation of the membranes covering the whites of the eyes and the inner part of the eyelids. Causes include exposure to bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, toxic agents and underlying diseases.
Corneal Diseases, Disorders and Injuries
The cornea is the clear layer on the front of the eyeball, which protects the eye from dust and germs, and filters out ultraviolet (UV) rays. Damage to the cornea can be caused by disease, infection or injury. Symptoms may include pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness and sensitivity to light. Treatment typically involves surgery.
- When to seek medical attention for a corneal injury
- When to seek medical attention for a corneal injury due to excessive UV exposure
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that is necessary for good vision.
- Causes and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy
- Controlling your risk factors of diabetic retinopathy
- Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy
- Laser treatment
Dry eye is a condition when the eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep the eyes lubricated. Artificial tears are the most common treatment for dry eyes.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of pressure in the eye, which damages the optic nerve. If caught early, it can usually be controlled.
Hyphema (bleeding in the eye)
Trauma to the eye can cause bleeding in the front (or anterior chamber) of the eye between the cornea and the iris. This bleeding into the anterior chamber of the eye is called a hyphema.
Iritis is an inflammation predominantly located in the iris of the eye. Common causes of iritis include blunt trauma to the eye, certain systemic diseases and infectious illnesses. Common symptoms include pain, red eye, small/irregularly-shaped pupil, blurred vision, headache and increased tear production. Treatment options typically include medication.
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder associated with aging and results in vision loss. The greatest risk factor is age; however, other risk factors include smoking, obesity and hereditary factors. Eating healthy foods and exercising can reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Treatment options typically include medication.
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects.
Pingueculum and Pterygium
Pingueculum and pterygium are different thickenings of the conjunctiva that grows onto the cornea. If large enough, these growths can interfere with vision. Although the exact cause is unknown, long-term exposure to UV rays, dry climates and dusty conditions can contribute to pingueculum and pterygium. Treatment may include medication or surgical removal of the growth.
Refractive errors are the most common eye problems in the United States. Refractive errors include:
- Myopia (nearsightedness).
- Hyperopia (farsightedness).
- Astigmatism (distorted vision at all distances).
- Presbyopia (loss of the ability to focus up close).
Treatment options to correct or improve vision include prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and surgery. Surgical options include:
- Phakic intraocular lenses (artificial lenses placed inside the eye)
- Conductive keratoplasty (reshapes corneal tissue)
- Photorefractive keratectomy (reshapes corneal tissue)
- Laser Thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, and can cause vision damage.
Common Symptoms of Eye Disorders
If you experience any of the following symptoms, please call us today to make an appointment with an eye care professional. These symptoms can be due to a serious eye condition that requires medical attention:
- Blood in the eye.
- Blurry vision.
- Crusty eyelid or eyelashes.
- Dark spots in vision.
- Dark curtain in vision.
- Discharge from the eye.
- Drooping eyelid.
- Double vision.
- Eye pain.
- Flashes of light.
- Floating objects in vision.
- Vision loss.