Dr. Christy Mushtaler & Dr. Jessica Lawrence

Eye Conditions

We offer complete vision and eye health exams which include the latest techniques and equipment in diagnosing eye disease. Blurred or impaired vision is not the only symptom of eye an disorder so make sure you schedule your annual appointment.

Take care of your eyes. It would be our pleasure to discuss any issues you might be having.

Myopia (near-sighted) – Describes when the eye is too long or too powerful, so that light is focused a little too early in the eye. As a result of this variation in eye shape, distant objects appear blurry while close objects remain clear. Myopia is not a disease, it’s just a variation in eye size or shape. It may get worse as you are growing up, but tends to remain fairly stable once you are an adult. It can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Hyperopia (far-sighted) – Describes the condition where the eye is too short or not powerful enough, so that light is focused too late in the eye. Far-sighted people may have clear vision for distant objects but can experience blurry vision or eye-strain when looking at close objects. It is not a disease and can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Astigmatism – Describes the condition where the front surface of the eye, instead of being shaped like a basketball, is shaped more like an egg, which causes light to be focused unevenly in the eye so that vision is blurred or distorted for both near and far objects. It is not a disease, it is just a variation in eye shape and can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Presbyopia – When you are young the lens inside the eye is flexible and can change its shape easily so that you can focus on objects at distance or near. As you age, the lens loses its flexibility so that around age 40, you start noticing that it is tougher to focus while reading. It is perfectly normal and can be corrected with reading glasses, bifocal glasses, or contact lenses.

Cataracts – As we age the lens inside the eye (behind the pupil) gets more and more cloudy. If it gets cloudy enough it can result in blurred vision, distorted vision, or light sensitivity. It is at this stage when the cloudy lens is normally referred to as a cataract. How fast the lens gets cloudy varies between people. If vision is reduced too much, a person can get their cataract removed and replaced with a new plastic lens implant.

Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a general term used to describe a group of eye diseases in which there is a degradation of the optic nerve at the back of the eye. Having high eye pressures, thin corneas and a family history of glaucoma, are risk factors for developing glaucoma. After considerable damage to the optic nerve, a person’s peripheral vision will become affected. Assessment of corneal thickness and eye pressure and optic nerve head appearance are important parts of your eye exam. A visual field test may be recommended to assess your peripheral vision.

Corneal Neovascularisation – The cornea is one of the only tissues of the body that does not have its own blood vessels and therefore relies on the outside air to obtain oxygen. When a person wears their contact lenses too often and/or they are wearing the wrong contact lens material for their eyes, the contact lens can act as a barrier to that needed oxygen. In response to this lack of oxygen, blood vessels from the conjunctiva can abnormally ‘grow into’ the cornea. This is one of the reasons why a contact lens exam should be performed regularly to rule out contact lens related problems.

Blepharitis – This is an inflammation of the eyelids. Oil and debris from the inflamed eyelid can move onto the tear film on the front surface of the eye and cause redness, irritation and a gritty, foreign body sensation. It is a common condition that can be controlled with treatment.

Macular Degeneration (also called Age-related Macular Degeneration) – Refers to the slow degeneration of the area at the back of the eye (called the macula) which is responsible for your central, detailed vision. It is normally the result of the aging process. The cause of this degeneration is unknown but smoking may increase its progression. There is no cure, but laser treatment may be used to slow the ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration by sealing leaky blood vessels to prevent scarring of the retina. New treatments are emerging that may help stabilize some forms of this condition.

Diabetes and your Eyes (Diabetic Retinopathy) – Diabetes may cause a weakening or swelling of tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye which leads to blood leakage and the growth of new blood vessels. Blood leakage can result in scarring which can cause blindness. It is important that diabetics keep their blood sugar levels stable and have their eyes examined regularly. Laser treatment can be used to slow the progression of leaky blood vessel growth.

Dry Eye – This is a common condition as we age and can also be associated with other medical conditions. The eye may not produce enough tears to keep the tear film sufficient or the tear film may slide off the front of the eye causing the tears to fall onto the cheek, leaving the cornea dry. Symptoms can include a burning sensation, painful red eyes, or a sandy / gritty sensation. It is usually worse in dry conditions such as dry and windy weather or with air-conditioned or heated environments.

Amblyopia – This condition can develop in children when vision doesn’t develop properly in one eye, even though the eye is otherwise healthy. The vision doesn’t develop normally because of either a ‘turned’ eye or if the eye has a very different optical power compared to the other. Amblyopia must be identified and corrected early in life to ensure that the ‘lazy’ eye develops good vision.

Strabismus – This is a general term that is used to describe when there is a misalignment of the eyes. The strabismic eye can be turned in, out, up, or down. Early detection is important so that children develop normal vision and depth perception.

Conjunctivitis – This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the white part of the eye. It can be caused by bacterial or viral infection, allergies, or chemical exposure. Treatment depends on the cause.

Floaters – Vitreous floaters are small specks or clouds that appear to be in your field of vision especially when viewing blank surfaces like a white wall or a blue sky. They are actually tiny clumps of gel in your eye that cast shadows on the back of your eye (retina) which is used to sense light. The appearance of floaters which may look like dots, lines, circles, clouds, or cobwebs tends to gradually increase as you age and are no cause for alarm. If the appearance of the floaters changes rapidly, or if the floaters are associated with flashing lights, it is a good idea to get your eyes examined, as there may be something more sinister happening than the normal aging process.