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Eye Conditions

Below are brief descriptions of the various eye conditions we commonly see and treat at Winter Park Vision Specialists in Winter Park.

There are many different types of eye conditions that could be affecting your eyesight or could have long-term consequences if not treated properly or promptly. We list some of the more common conditions below. If you think you or someone in your family has one of these conditions, please contact Winter Park Vision Specialists in Winter Park for an exam and recommendations.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. This degenerative process usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Amblyopia 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.

A vision problem is not always easy to recognize in a child since a child may have good vision in one eye and not the other. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by an eye doctor by the age of 2 to 3 or sooner if you suspect a problem. If you need to schedule your child’s first eye examination, contact Winter Park Vision Specialists to set up an appointment.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis refers to the inflammation of the eyeids and can cause irritation, recurrent red eyes, and dry eye. It is a very come eye problem usually resulting from a skin condition involving oil gland dysfunction, irritation from seborrhea (dandruff) in the lashes, a low grade infection, or some combination.

As with other skin conditions, blepharitis can be managed but not cured. The main goals behind treatment are to reduce the amount of inflammation, reduce seborrhea, and to debulk the number of bacteria at the lid margin. Contact Dr. Marguerite Ball-Thomas or Dr. James Podschun to assess the severity of your problem and to recommend the best treatment option for you.

Cataracts

A cataract is not a growth but is rather the natural lens in the eye becoming yellowed or cloudy. In fact, the word cataract literally means “waterfall”, as some cataracts give the visual sensation as if an individual were looking through water. Cataracts occur in all of us if we live long enough and lead to a progressive visual blur that glasses alone cannot clear. It is the world’s leading cause of blindness and is among the most common conditions related to aging. By age 65, an individual’s chance of developing cataracts is 50 percent and jumps to 70% at age 75.

Initially, a cataract has very little clouding and has little or no effect on vision. As the cataract progresses, it becomes harder to see clearly and to perform other normal 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 surgery, which is one of the most successful surgeries performed on the body in the U.S.

Computer Vision Syndrome

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

Since computer monitors are typically set at an intermediate distance of 20 to 26 inches from the eyes, you may find that your regular distance or reading glasses may not be the best tool for the job. Special lenses designed for computer work provide an individual with a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer or most areas on the top of your desk. Dr. Marguerite Ball-Thomas, Dr. James Podschun, and the staff can help you determine if these special lenses are appropriate for you.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a very common problem in all of us and often presents with symptoms of dryness, burning, stinging, grittiness, sandy feeling, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. Dry eye is thought to be caused mostly by inflammation but can also be due to decreased tear production, excess oils in the tear film due to blepharitis, some oral and topical medications, and any activity that causes us to stare and concentrate which diminishes the blink rate. This is significant since with each blink, new tears bring oxygen and nutrients to the cornea, protecting the surface and washing away debris and waste products.

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

Strabismus

Eyes that do not point in the same direction and that are misaligned have a medically known condition called strabismus. It commonly occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are not working together properly. 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.

Dr. Marguerite Ball-Thomas and Dr. James Podschun have the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye conditions detailed above at our office in Winter Park. For more information please schedule an appointment with dr. Marguerite Ball-Thomas or Dr. James Podschun, and we will be in touch with you shortly.