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Eye Diseases and Conditions 

A quick look at some of the most common eye diseases and conditions diagnosed and often treated at Forsyth Family Eye Care in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of vision development, usually in one eye. This degenerative process 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 during this period, the brain chooses its visual pathway and may permanently ignore the weaker eye.

Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by age three and sooner if there is a family history of any eye condition or disease. If you suspect a problem or need to set up your child's first eye examination, contact Forsyth Family Eye Care to set up an appointment.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is an uneven or irregular curvature of the cornea or lens, which results in blurred or distorted vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism include the need to squint, eye strain from squinting, headaches, and eye fatigue.

In reality, most people have some degree of astigmatism, which is usually present at birth and is believed to be hereditary. In minor cases, treatment may not be required but it is certainly beneficial. Moderate to severe astigmatism can be treated with corrective eyewear or LASIK surgery.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions, usually resulting from poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction, and/or abnormalities in oil gland function.

Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main treatment goals are to reduce the number of bacteria along the lid margin and open plugged glands. Contact Forsyth Family Eye Care to assess the severity of your problem and the best treatment method.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's usually clear lens, which leads to a progressive blurring or dimming of vision. It is the world's leading cause of blindness, and among the most common conditions related to aging by age 65, you have a 50 percent chance of developing a cataract, and by age 75, it jumps to 70 percent.

A cataract starts small and initially has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to read and perform other routine tasks. In the early stages, your doctor may recommend stronger eyeglasses and adjusting your lighting to reduce glare. When cataracts disrupt your daily life, your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery, one of the most frequent and successful procedures in the U.S.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headache, and watery eyes when working in front of a computer screen. The symptoms are typically due to posture, dry eyes, eye muscle coordination, and poorly corrected vision.

Since computer monitors are typically 20 to 26 inches from your eyes, regular glasses may not be the best option for computer work. This distance range is considered intermediately closer than what you use to drive a car but farther away than what you use to read. Unique lens designs for computer work provide a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer and your immediate work area, like the top of your desk. Forsyth Family Eye Care can help determine if these special lenses are appropriate.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. This thin, protective membrane covers the eyeball surface and the eyelids' inner surface. 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 discharge.

While many minor cases improve within two weeks, some can develop into severe corneal inflammation and threaten sight. If you suspect conjunctivitis, visit your eye care provider at Forsyth Family Eye Care for an examination and treatment.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is a general term for a group of eye problems resulting from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so you mustn't wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse and protect the eyes. With each blink, tears protect the eye's surface, washing away dust and microorganisms. When this protective coating dries up, the eyes may feel gritty or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In extreme cases, vision can be blurred.

If you suspect that you have dry eye, see your eye doctor. Proper care will not only increase your comfort, but it will also protect your eyes. Your eye care provider can perform a series of tests to determine if you have dry eyes.

Glaucoma

Often called the silent thief of sight, glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure of the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve with no signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a decrease in peripheral vision and eventually blindness.

While there is no cure for glaucoma, medications and surgery can help halt further vision loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are vital to slow the progress of the disease.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsightedness, medically known as hyperopia, refers to good vision at a distance but not at close range. Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is shorter than average, as measured from front to back, or when the cornea has slight curvature. This reduces the distance between the cornea and retina, causing light to converge behind the retina, rather than on it.

If you are mildly farsighted, your eye care provider may not recommend corrective treatment. However, if you are moderately or severely hyperopic, you may have several treatment options, including eyeglasses, contacts, LASIK, and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Your eye care provider at Forsyth Family Eye Care will help you determine the best treatment option for you.

 

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease that gradually destroys sharp central vision due to a deterioration of the macula, a tiny spot in the central portion of your retina comprised of millions of light-sensing cells. Because it is so commonly associated with aging, it is also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two forms of AMD called dry, most common and with no known treatment, and wet, less common and treated with laser procedures. Genetic testing is now available to help identify those most likely to develop wet macular degeneration.

In most cases, reversing damage caused by AMD is not possible, but supplements, protection from sunlight, eating a balanced diet, and quitting smoking can reduce the risk and progression of macular degeneration. For suggestions, speak with your eye care provider at Forsyth Family Eye Care.

Forsyth Family Eye Care has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye diseases detailed above and many other eye diseases at our office in Winston-Salem. 

 

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsightedness, myopia, refers to good vision at close range but not at a distance. It generally occurs because the eyeball is too long, as measured from front to back.

Nearsightedness is diagnosed during routine eye exams and possible treatments include eyeglasses, contacts, acrylic corneal implants, LASIK, radial keratotomy (RK) and photorefractive keratotomy (PRK). Your eye care provider will suggest the best treatment option for you.

 

Presbyopia (Aging Eyes)

Aging eyes, medically known as presbyopia, is a condition in which the eye's lens gradually loses its flexibility, making it harder to focus clearly on close objects such as printed words. Distance vision, on the other hand, is usually not affected.

Unfortunately, presbyopia is an inevitable part of aging and cannot be prevented by diet, lifestyle, or visual habits. However, it is treatable with several corrective lenses, including progressives, bifocals and trifocals, single-vision reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses, and monovision therapy.

Your eye care provider at Forsyth Family Eye Care will work with you to diagnose your vision problem and suggest the best treatment option for your eyes at our optometric office in Winston-Salem. For more information, schedule an appointment with your eye care provider, and we'll be in touch with you shortly.

Strabismus

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

Strabismus is usually diagnosed during childhood and affects about 4 percent of children, afflicting boys and girls equally. Though it cannot be prevented, its complications can be avoided with early intervention. Even if you notice symptoms intermittently when your child is ill, stressed, or fatigued, alert your eye care provider.