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A variety of laser procedures are performed on the premises or at the Ambulatory Center for your convenience. These include retina lasers for diabetes and retinal holes, after cataract laser treatment, and various glaucoma treatments.
Patients with astigmatism who are undergoing cataract surgery can choose to have limbal-relaxing incisions made to reduce their dependence on glasses for clear vision. Limbal-relaxing incisions are tiny cuts made around the edge of the cornea, called the limbus. These incisions "relax" the cornea's steep curvature and improve the way the eye focuses light. Limbal-relaxing incisions have been shown to heal faster and cause fewer side effects than other astigmatic keratotomy (AK) procedures.
The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the arteries that nourish the retina harden. Deprived of nutrients, the retinal tissues begin to weaken and die, causing vision loss. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision.
AMD is the number-one cause of vision loss in the U.S. Macular degeneration doesn't cause total blindness because it doesn't affect the peripheral vision. Possible risk factors include genetics, age, diet, smoking and sunlight exposure. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include:
There are two kinds of AMD: wet (neovascular/exudative) and dry (non-neovascular). About 10-15% of people with AMD have the wet form. "Neovascular" means "new vessels." Accordingly, wet AMD occurs when new blood vessels grow into the retina as the eye attempts to compensate for the blocked arteries. These new vessels are very fragile, and often leak blood and fluid between the layers of the retina. Not only does this leakage distort vision, but when the blood dries, scar tissue forms on the retina as well. This creates a dark spot in the patient's vision.
Dry AMD is much more common than wet AMD. Patients with this type of macular degeneration do not experience new vessel growth. Instead, symptoms include thinning of the retina, loss of retinal pigment and the formation of small, round particles inside the retina called drusen. Vision loss with dry AMD is slower and often less severe than with wet AMD.
Recent developments in ophthalmology allow doctors to treat many patients with early-stage AMD with the help of lasers and medication.
Styes and chalzions are small fluid-filled cysts that develop along the eyelid as a result of an infection or blocked oil gland. While these bumps do not usually lead to any serious complications, they may cause pain, swelling and tearing of the eye. Larger chalazions may gradually obstruct vision.
A stye appears on the eyelid as a small red bump, while a chalazion is similar but usually larger and not as painful. Styes usually heal within a week, while chalazions can take up to a few months.
Many styes and chalazions go away on their own with no need for treatment other than warm, wet compresses. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or recommend over-the-counter treatments for those that do not heal on their own. Patients should avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses until after the stye or chalazion has healed.
During cataract surgery, your doctor replaces your clouded lens with an artificial one to correct vision. However, after surgery, many people experience a gradual clouding on the covering of the new lens, a condition known as after cataract or secondary membrane. If this causes blurred vision to return, it is readily treated.
A procedure called a posterior capsulotomy, using an Nd: YAG laser, can be performed to remove the cloudy back lining of the lens capsule to let light pass freely to the back of the eye.
The laser treatment is a painless procedure that does not require any anesthesia. It is considered a safe procedure and most people experience improved vision and reduced glare afterwards.