How does Keratoconus Affect my Eyes?

eye services Boise, IDKeratoconus is a rare eye disease. It can be genetic and typically develops during the teenage years, though it has been diagnosed later in life. Keratoconus is a condition wherein the cornea changes from a dome to a cone shape. This basic overview will help you understand the signs of keratoconus and how it can affect your eyesight.

The cause

Keratoconus occurs when miniscule protein fibers, known as collagen, are not strong enough to hold the structure of the cornea intact. Collagen will weaken when antioxidant levels become too low. As a result, the normal dome-shaped cornea will progressively take on the form of a cone. Studies show that keratoconus can run in families. If you have the condition and have children, be sure to schedule them for regular eye exams beginning at age 10.

The diagnosis

As the cornea transforms from a dome to a cone shape, the eye will have a more difficult time focusing. Keratoconus will change vision in two specific ways. First, as the shape of the cornea alters, the surface of the cornea will start to become wavy. This is known as astigmatism. Second, as the shape of the cornea begins to expand, you will become nearsighted and will only be able to see objects right in front of you. The symptoms that point to keratoconus include: lights streaking, seeing double or triple, double vision when using just one eye, an abrupt change in eyesight, and bright lights that seem to have halos.

The treatment

After you are diagnosed with keratoconus, your doctor will likely begin treatment by fitting you to new eyeglasses or contact lenses. If your case is mild, glasses may be all you need. If this does not help, a treatment called cornea collagen crosslinking can halt the progression of keratoconus. Another treatment involves using a laser to smooth out the eye and help your contact lenses rest more comfortably in place. In severe cases, a corneal transplant may be necessary.

Schedule an exam

The best way to keep your eye health in check is to make sure you regularly visit your eye doctor. At the Eye Associates, we pride ourselves on quality eye care and look forward to addressing your concerns and questions. Arrange your appointment today by calling MERIDIAN: 208-342-5151 or CALDWELL: 208-459-0717.

Do You Have Pinkeye?

pink-eye Boise Lasik The Eye AssociatesPinkeye (officially known as conjunctivitis) is a highly contagious and common condition where the membrane that lines the white of your eyes and eyelids becomes inflamed. Viral and bacterial infections are often the culprits for pinkeye, which typically resolves itself within a few days without any required treatment. If you suspect you have pinkeye, it’s important to go to the doctor just in case. Here are some warning signs that you may have pinkeye:

  • Eye redness is usually the first noticeable symptom on pinkeye. It can occur in different areas in the eye and in varying degrees. Typically, however, the redness occurs in the white of the eyes and the inner eyelids.
  • Pinkeye can manifest itself when you have a hot, burning sensation in your eyes. It is typically coupled with other symptoms, however. So if your eyes are burning from something as simple as smoke in the air without any other symptoms, it may not be pink eye. See your eye doctor is this burning sensation doesn’t go away after a few days, as it could be an indicator of something else.
  • Itchy eyes.The level of itchiness in the eyes varies from person to person. One thing is sure, however, if itchiness is persistent with no relief in sight, you might have pink eye.
  • Watery eyes.If your eyes just can’t stop watering, it could be your body’s way of trying to get rid of an eye infection naturally. In addition to tearing, you may see a thicker substance draining from your eyes.
  • Blurred vision.Trouble seeing clearly isn’t a primary symptom of pink eye, but it can happen.
  • Infection or cold.Bacteria and viruses can cause pink eye, which can be accompanied by symptoms found with a cold or allergies like sneezing or a scratchy throat, or by a respiratory infection.
  • Red bumps.Pink eye can make your eyes swell, and sometimes bumps can form under your eyelids. This may be more apparent if you wear contact lenses. If you’re suffering from pinkeye, refrain from wearing your contacts and wear eyeglasses instead until the infection goes away.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.When your lymph nodes are enlarges, it can be a sign that your body is combating infection, and that infection could be pink eye.
  • A crust may form in the eye as a result of pinkeye, often overnight after you’ve been sleeping.

To reduce your risk of getting pink eye, wash your hands regularly to avoid infection, never share eye makeup or contact lens equipment with others, regularly replace your hand towels and wash cloths, and wear eye protection on windy, hot or cold days to prevent against eye irritation.

Are You Interested in Learning More About Causes and Treatment of Pinkeye?
Contact our officeor call 208.342.5151 in Meridian or 208.459.0717 in Caldwell. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

The Facts about Eye Floaters

Eye FloatersDo you see dark, shadowy specks or “cobwebs” floating in your field of vision? Perhaps they look like tiny threads or jagged lines. Then once you try to look directly at them they disappear. These are called eye floaters, a condition that becomes more prominent when you look at something bright like a blue sky or a white wall. While annoying, eye floaters are not something that directly interferes with your sight and rarely requires any kind of treatment.

What Causes Eye Floaters?
A large part of your eye is filled with a gel-like material called the vitreous which helps maintain your eye’s round shape. Floaters appear when the vitreous gradually shrinks, becoming little shreds that cast tiny shadows on your retina. Floaters usually occur as you age, generally between ages 50 to 75, and they tend to be more prevalent if you are nearsighted, have diabetes, or have had cataract surgery. Floaters don’t go away completely, but over time they are inclined to settle at the bottom of your eye below your line of sight and become less bothersome.

How Are They Treated?
If eye floaters don’t bother you, don’t worry about seeking treatment. A good way to get rid of them is to move your eyes up and down to shift your eye fluid around. But if you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s time to visit your doctor.

  • Floaters that get thicker
  • Floaters that appear in large numbers
  • Sudden flashes of light
  • Changes in floaters that appear quickly and get worse with time
  • Floaters that appear after eye surgery or eye trauma
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Eye pain

If you experience any of the above, your eye doctor may recommend a vitrectomy, eye surgery that removes the vitreous gel and the floating debris from your eye, replacing it with a salt solution. Surgery to treat eye floaters is usually only performed when the floaters seriously impede your vision.

To learn more about detecting and treating eye floaters, or for questions regarding our services, contact our office or call 208.342.5151 in Meridian or 208.459.0717 in Caldwell. We look forward to hearing from you!