Common Eye Problems
Serving Edison and New Brunswick, New Jersey and all areas in Middlesex County, NJ
Everyone suffers dry eyes, itchy eyes, or blurred vision from time to time. In most cases, this is not a serious problem. People who have allergies can usually remedy their discomfort with over the counter allergy medication or eye drops.
However, there are some people whose eye problems can mean more serious eye conditions. Patients of the experienced Middlesex County, New Jersey eye doctors at Patel Eye Associates can find relief and answers by scheduling an eye appointment today.
Some common eye problems include:
- Central Retinal Vein Occlusion
- Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
- Corneal Arcus
- Corneal Ulcer
- Herpes Simplex
- Herpes Zoster
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
- Hypertension Retinopathy
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinal Detachment
- Viral conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis is more commonly known as pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis is caused by upper respiratory infections or the common cold. Symptoms include red, itchy eyes. This is easily spread from person to person.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – Pink eye caused by an allergic reaction. This type of conjunctivitis is not contagious. Common allergens leading to this type of conjunctivitis include pollen, animal dander, cosmetics, perfumes, air pollution, smoke, and more.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis – Pink eye caused by a bacterial infection that can sometimes mean there is a more serious underlying condition. Can be taken care of with antibiotics.
Also known as Surfer’s Eye, this is a benign growth of the conjunctiva, or the mucous membrane of the whit part of the eye. It is caused by sunlight, dust, and low humidity. Symptoms include inflammation, redness, the sensation that something is in your eye, and tearing. If not taken care of, pterygium can cause corneal scarring and astigmatism.
Blepharitis is a common eye condition and is inflammation of the eyelid that may be a symptom of a bacterial infection, dry eyes, or acne rosacea. This can affect the outside of the eyelid where the eye lashes are attached (anterior blepharitis), or within the eyelids where oil is secreted to lubricate the eye (posterior blepharitis). Basic treatment for blepharitis is an ongoing regimen of eyelid hygiene.
Chalazion is a cyst, usually in the upper eyelid, caused by a blocked gland. They are usually painless, but may become in flamed. Chalazia may disappear with the use of topical antibiotics, but can take months or years to fully heal.
Ptosis is drooping of the upper or lower eyelid. If left untreated, ptosis can cause astigmatism or lazy eye (amblyopia). This should be treated at a young age before problems occur during vision development.
Characterized by poor vision of an eye that is physically normal, amblyopia is caused by a problem with transmission of the visual stimulation through the optic nerve to the brain. This condition usually occurs early in life, which can result in very poor vision if not treated. One of the most common treatments is to patch the good eye and help train the brain to correct the problem with the signal.
Central Retinal Vein Occlusion
Also called CRVO, this is a common retinal vascular disorder. Vision loss may occur due to retinal hemorrhaging, macular edema, dilated retinal veins, or cotton-wool spots. The exact cause of CRVO is unknown, but may include other problems with the central retinal vein. Treatment almost invariably includes surgery to remove the clot, or the shunting of vessels in the eye.
Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
CRAO typically manifests as a sudden and painless, but severe, loss of vision. This is caused by a sudden loss of blood supply to the inner layer of the retina. The cause may depend upon the age and health of the patient, but includes diabetes, hypertension, cardiac anomalies, or embolisms.
This is a grayish-white ring that appears in the periphery of the cornea, which may be a result of the normal aging process, or high cholesterol. It usually appears in middle to old age, but infants are often born with this where it quickly fades. Corneal arcus is cause by lipids infiltrating the cornea. Dietary change, exercise and medication can eliminate this condition.
Corneal ulcers are more common among people living in the tropics, or children who have a vitamin A deficiency. Ulcers may also be caused by trauma, chemical injuries, eye infections, or problems with contact lenses. Bacteria, staph infections, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms can also cause corneal ulcers. It is an inflammation of the cornea’s epithelial layer and involves the area of the corneal stroma.
Ocular herpes simplex is caused by a virus that results in cold sores, and is easily transmitted from person to person. People exposed to the virus are most commonly those who got chicken pox as children, but the virus may also lay dormant for years. Herpes simplex of the eye usually affects only one eye and most often only affects the cornea. This kind of infection is called Herpes Keratitis. Scarring, loss of vision, or blindness can occur if the virus affects deeper layers of the cornea. It may also manifest within the eye (Herpes Uveitis) as well as the retina (Herpes Retinitis).
Like ocular herpes simplex, herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, is the result of the same virus that causes chicken pox. It affects the nerve around the upper eyelid and forehead. Symptoms include burning, throbbing, and itching, redness, sensitivity, and blisters.
Also known as hyposphagma, this is bleeding beneath the conjunctiva. When the tiny blood vessels of the conjunctiva are broken or ruptured, blood forms in the white part of the eye. It looks like a bright red splotch beneath the surface of the eye. It may be associated with high blood pressure or trauma, but will usually heal on its own and is generally painless.
Damage to the retina caused by high blood pressure that may include symptoms of headaches and decreased vision. The small blood vessels of the eye begin to leak, bulge, and thicken over time, damaging them and affecting vision.
One of the leading causes of blindness of people over age 65 in the US is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It involves the deterioration of the part of the retina responsible for central vision called the macula. The macula is located in the center layer of tissue of the retina. This is a slow and painless loss of vision characterized by shadows in your central vision, difficulty adjusting to low light levels, blurred printed words, decrease in color intensity, and problems recognizing faces.
People with strabismus are commonly referred to as cross-eyed. They are not able to align both eyes correctly, and the eyes may turn inward, outward, up, or down. This may occur constantly or only periodically. Intermittent turning of one or both eyes may be the result of an illness or stress. Children with strabismus may have double vision. If this condition is not corrected, strabismus may result in a loss of vision.
When the retina “peels away” from the underlying tissue, it is said to become detached. Only part may detach at first, but if left untreated, the entire retina may detach. This can lead to blindness. Retinal detachment is characterized as a medical emergency.
If you would like to learn more about these common eye problems, or need to see an eye doctor about one, please contact the experienced New Jersey eye doctors at Patel Eye Associates today for an appointment.