A cataract is a medical condition which affects one or both eyes, most typically with people in their senior years. A clouding of the natural lens in the eye, a cataract gradually impairs sight. At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometric physicians, Dr. Lan O'Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez, detect cataracts on routine eye exams, helping patients get the treatment they need.
Cataracts are changes in the proteins which form the intraocular lens in each eye. Over time--usually starting at age 40 and becoming noticeable around age 60--these proteins breakdown. This degradation impacts how well your lens allows light and images to travel through the lens to the retina at the back of the eye. Accordingly, vision becomes:
- Less clear at night
- Sensitive to extremely bright light, such as automobile headlights or noonday sunlight
Fortunately, most symptoms develop gradually, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, congenital cataracts (those present at birth) or those due to injury, disease or medications (such as corticosteroids) may develop earlier and more quickly.
Solving the problem of cataracts
At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Gonzalez often diagnose cataracts on routine medical eye exam with dilation of the pupils and inspection of the interior and back of the eye. A visual acuity test reveals further details which confirm the presence of cataracts.
What can be done about cataracts
At first, your cataracts may be perceptibly asymptomatic. In other words, you may notice little to no change in your vision whatsoever. However, when glasses or other interventions no longer help you perform daily tasks, you will require surgery by a qualified eye surgeon.
This doctor will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one. Most of today's cataract procedures are quick, one-day procedures with tiny incisions and no sutures. Your unique health issues and eye structure will determine the details of your surgery.
Find out more
At O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Dr. Lan O'Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez deliver a full range of eye care and vision services. If you have a problem, such as cataracts, they will provide the support and referral you need to achieve excellent eye health once again. Phone us for your routine exam or with any questions you may have about cataracts: (850) 622-4000.
Nearsighted vs. Farsighted
Nearsightedness and farsightedness are two of the most common vision problems in the U.S. If you are nearsighted, it means that you can see objects that are close but things that are farther away appear blurred. If you are farsighted, it means that you can see things in the distance clearly, but things that are close appear unfocused. Dr. Lan O’Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez are eye doctors at O’Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, where they provide glasses for nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Santa Rosa Beach residents who are nearsighted, or myopic, have difficulty seeing objects in the distance. For example, you will have no problem reading a newspaper but will find it hard to see your TV screen clearly. This condition is either due to the fact that your eyeball is longer than usual, or your eyes’ lenses are too curved, which makes it difficult for your retina to focus light.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, occurs if your eyeball is too short or your eyes’ lenses are not curved sufficiently for the light to focus properly. This causes close vision to be blurred. This condition is less common than myopia and can be more difficult to detect in basic vision tests.
Changes in your Vision
Even if you have had perfect vision throughout your life, your vision may begin to change as you get older. This is not uncommon. Changes might take place when you reach your 40s or 60s. Fortunately, eye problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness are easily treatable with corrective lenses in glasses or contact lenses.
If you live in Santa Rosa Beach and you are having problems with your vision, call Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Gonzalez at (850) 622-4000 to schedule an appointment for a vision test.
Having a yearly physical or dental cleaning may be a normal part of your life, but what about eye exams? Unless you wear glasses, you may not regularly visit an optometrist. However, scheduling an eye exam can be instrumental in detecting eye problems such as glaucoma, which can cause vision loss or total blindness.
Drs. Lan O'Donnell and Heidi Gonzalez frequently diagnose and treat glaucoma at O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, and they want to make sure their patients are aware of the warning signs of glaucoma. Although there are several types, this article will concentrate on the two main classifications: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).
Behind both of your eyes is an optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain for processing. Glaucoma causes pressure to build up behind the eyes and damages the optic nerve. Anyone is at risk for developing glaucoma, although people over age 60 and those with a family history are more susceptible. The causes of glaucoma are largely unknown.
Changes in the way you see often accompany ACG. Many of our patients at O'Donnell Eye Institute report a new haziness or blurriness. When looking at bright lights, some people notice rainbow-like halos around them. A few people will have a sudden loss of sight. The visual disturbances with POAG are more subtle and can affect the peripheral, or sides, of your visual field. Although these symptoms can be indicative of other conditions, any unexplained changes in your vision should be evaluated by your Santa Rosa Beach eye doctor at once.
Because of the pressure that has to build up behind the eyes, those with glaucoma may experience a new and very uncomfortable headache or eye pain. It can even cause nausea or vomiting due to a response called the oculoabdominal reflex.
The idea that you are developing irreversible damage to your eyes without your knowledge is a scary one, but this can be a reality for those with POAG. By the time POAG begins to noticeably affect vision, it is often advanced and has caused significant damage to the optic nerve. The good news is that by scheduling yearly eye exams with your Santa Rosa Beach optometrist, both types of glaucoma can be detected and treated in their early stages.
To schedule a glaucoma evaluation with Dr. Lan O'Donnell or Dr. Heidi Gonzalez, contact O'Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, by calling (850) 622-4000 today!
The decisions don't end once you select a pair of eyeglass frames. You'll also need to consider the type of lenses that will best fit your lifestyle. Fortunately, your Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrists, Drs. Lan O'Donnell and Heidi Gonzalez of O'Donnell Eye Institute can offer a little guidance that will help you choose your next pair of eyeglasses.
Single vision lenses, bifocals, trifocals or progressives? Which is right for you?
Single vision lenses can improve your vision if you have myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). They also provide clear vision if you have astigmatism, which causes blurred vision at any distance due to an abnormal curvature of the cornea. (The cornea is the clear tissue that covers your iris and pupil.) Single vision lenses only have one lens power throughout the entire lens.
Bifocals and trifocals have two or three different lens powers in one lens. Each power is separated by a visible line on the lens. People of ages in Santa Rosa Beach use bifocals and trifocals, but they're most often prescribed when presbyopia becomes a problem.
Presbyopia makes it hard to see near objects and usually occurs around age 40 when the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. Bifocals or trifocals provide a separate lens power for near vision that makes it possible to read the small print on a prescription bottle or thread a needle.
Progressive lenses contain two or three lens powers in a single lens just like bifocals or trifocals. Unlike these types of lenses, progressives have no lines separating each power.
Other lens choices
After deciding whether you want single vision lenses, bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses, you'll also need to consider the materials used to make the lenses. They include:
- Plastic: Break-resistant and good for everyday wear, plastic lenses are also the least expensive choice.
- High-Index Plastic: These lenses are thinner, making them fit your frames better if you have a high prescription.
- Polycarbonate: Shatter-proof polycarbonate lenses are lighter and thinner than plastic lenses and are also used in safety glasses and sports goggles.
- Trivex: Trivex lenses offer the sharpest vision and are lighter than either polycarbonate or plastic lenses.
Is it time to replace your eyeglasses? Whether your vision has gotten a little blurry or you want to try a new style, you'll find plenty of frame and lens styles at O'Donnell Eye Institute. Call your optometrists in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Drs. O'Donnell and Gonzalez, at (850) 622-4000 to schedule your appointment.
How an eye exam from your eye doctors in Santa Rosa Beach FL can protect your vision
If you want to protect your vision, having an eye exam at least once each year is an excellent way to start. Annual eye exams are important for everyone, especially as you get older.
Dr. Lan O’Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez at O’Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach FL offer comprehensive eye care services, including annual eye exams.
Why Get an Eye Exam Santa Rosa Beach
An eye exam every year helps your eye doctor diagnose problems early, which leads to earlier corrective treatment and a better outcome for you.
During an annual eye exam, your eye doctor will screen for these common vision issues:
- Difficulties with depth perception
- Difficulties with peripheral vision
- Indicators of hypertension in your eyes
- Difficulties distinguishing color
- Problems with muscle imbalance
- Difficulties with tracking and focusing
Other tests included in your Eye Exam Santa Rosa Beach are:
- Eye pressure testing, which can indicate glaucoma
- A structural evaluation of your eyes
The information gained at your annual eye exam is used to determine your vision correction prescription for glasses, contact lenses, or both.
An eye exam is an important part of taking care of your eyes, and there are other things you can do too. Remember to:
- Wear sunglasses
- Stop smoking
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes
- Keep your contact lenses and glasses clean
- Don’t forget to wear protective eyewear, especially when you play sports or do activities which may be hazardous to your eyes.
At O’Donnell Eye Institute, your eye doctors can help prevent eye problems with an Eye Exam Santa Rosa Beach but that’s just one of the many eye care services they offer. They can also treat eye conditions like dry eye, pink eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems.
Call Us Today For Your Eye Exam Santa Rosa Beach
You deserve to enjoy great vision, and your eye doctor can help. To find out more about eye exams and additional eye care services, call Dr. Lan O’Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez of O’Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach FL at (850) 622-4000. Enjoy great vision by calling today!
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