OTHER EYE DISORDERS

In addition the eye health subjects NHOA member optometrists have chosen highlight in the 20/20 Vision for New Hampshire campaign, there are several other common and not-so-common disorders of the eye that optometrists are skilled at diagnosing, treating or referring for additional treatment, and monitoring as needed.

These short descriptions are provided in case you feel that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of one or more of these disorders, so that diagnosis and treatment can be sought at soon as possible.

You can click on the name of any disorder and link to the American Optometric Association’s
page containing thorough information about each disorder.

Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, which includes the iris (colored part of the eye) and adjacent tissue, it can cause permanent damage and loss of vision. Signs and symptoms may include a red, sore and inflamed eye, blurring of vision, sensitivity to light, and a small pupil.

Blepharitis is a general term for very common inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection, an allergic reaction and/or abnormalities in oil gland function. Blepharitis can be controlled but not cured.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision, and is the world’s leading cause of blindness. A cataract starts out small and initially has little or no effect on vision; but as the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other normal tasks, requiring cataract-removal surgery, usually a very safely and highly-successful procedure.

Color vision deficiency means that your ability to distinguish some colors and shades is less than normal. About eight percent of men and one percent of women are color deficient. Red-green deficiency is the most common form. A less common type affects blue and yellow; and in very rare cases, color deficiency exists to an extent that no colors can be detected, only shades of black, white and grey.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva – the thin, protective membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids. Caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens and other irritants like smoke and dust, pink eye is highly contagious and is usually accompanied by redness in the white of the eye and increased tearing and/or discharge.

Now becoming more and more common, largely because of the vastly increased demands place on your eyes by electronic devices of many sizes, digital eye strain is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headache and watery eyes.

Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse and protect the eyes. When you do not produce enough tears, your eyes may feel “gritty” or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In extreme cases, vision can be blurred.

Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. It is a degenerative process that usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Lazy eye needs to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it is during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently.

Ocular hypertension is an increase in the pressure in your eyes that is above the range considered normal. The term is used to distinguish people with elevated pressure from those with glaucoma. There are no noticeable signs or symptoms, so as is the case with glaucoma, it must be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam.

Spots, aka floaters, are small, semi-transparent or cloudy particles within the vitreous – the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes. They appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, thread-like strands or cobwebs. Because they are within your eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. Most spots are not harmful and rarely limit vision, but they can be indications of more serious problems,

Cross-eyed, medically known as strabismus, refers to a condition in which eyes are misaligned. It commonly occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are not properly working together. The result is one or both eyes turning inward, outward, upward or downward, or one or both eyes moving irregularly.

The information on this website is offered as part of a public information campaign supported by NHOA member donations, grants, and funding from vision-related corporations. It is extended thanks to broadcasters across the Granite State, in order that you, your family members, and every resident of New Hampshire gets as close to healthy 20/20 vision as possible in 2020, and beyond.