Lawrence Wright, M.D., F.A.C.S - Lasik Houston, Optical Services Houston
What is an ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist is an eye M.D. who graduated from medical school and then completed 3-4 years specialty residency training in diseases and surgery of the eye.

What is myopia?
Myopia is nearsightedness. It results from light focusing in front of rather than on the retina.

What is hyperopia?
Hyperopia is sometimes called farsightedness. It results when light focuses behind rather than on the retina.

What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is the inability of the eye to adjust to a near focus. It usually produces symptoms of blurry near vision in the patients who are in the late 30's to early 40's age range.

What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition in which the front curvature of the eye is not spherical. This irregular curvature of the cornea causes incoming light rays to defocus resulting in blurry vision.

What is refraction?
Refraction is the part of the eye examination in which the refractive state, i.e. the need for lens correction of vision, is determined.

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens within the eye. It is not a film or growth over the eye. It may produce no symptoms or it may cause problems with blurry vision or glare when driving or reading. When cataracts cause symptoms, they are treated with small incision microsurgery called phacoemulsification in which ultrasound energy is used to break up the cloudy lens. A foldable intraocular lens is then inserted. Laser is not used to remove cataracts but may be used if cloudiness develops after cataract surgery.

What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition of damage to the optic nerve usually, but not always, associated with high intraocular pressure. The most common form of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma does not cause symptoms until advanced. It is treated by medication, sometimes laser or surgery, to lower eye pressure. A less common form of glaucoma, narrow angle glaucoma, may cause sudden pain and reduced vision.

What is macular degeneration? Can it be treated?
Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss especially after middle age. There are 2 types , dry and wet. Macular degeneration may cause damage to central vision there by making reading and driving difficult. Newer treatments therapies of medication injection and/or laser may benefit some patients with wet macular degeneration. A particular combination of vitamins and antioxidants has been shown to reduce progression of vision loss in some forms of dry macular degeneration.

What are floaters?
Floaters are debris particles within the vitreous, the clear jelly-like liquid that fills the eye. Although often harmless, they can sometimes be associated with tearing or detachment of the retina or hemorrhage within the eye. Sudden onset of floaters or flashes of light should prompt an ophthalmological examination.

Why does an ophthalmologist dilate the eye? Can I drive after dilation?
An ophthalmologist dilates the pupil in order to thoroughly examine the back portion of the eye. Patients may have blurry vision and/or increased light sensitivity for a short time following dilation. You will be offered disposable sunglasses or clip-ons after your exam. Some patients prefer to have a driver after a dilated examination but most feel safe to drive themselves.

What is refractive surgery?
Refractive surgery is surgery to change the refractive state of the eye and eliminate or reduce dependence on spectacles or contact lens for vision correction. It includes Lasik, PRK, and intraocular lens implantation.

What is Lasik?
Lasik is a form of refractive surgery combining laser and surgery to change the curvature of the eye in order to eliminate or reduce dependence on glasses of contact lens.

How may diabetes affect the eye?
Diabetes Type I and II may be associated with diabetic retinopathy a condition in which vision may be damaged by leaking vessels, hemorrhages, or swelling of the retina. All diabetics should undergo regular ophthalmological examinations. Treatment may require improved control of blood sugar, laser, or intraocular medication.

What causes a red eye?
There are many causes of a red eye including allergy, minor irritation, and conjunctivitis. More serious causes include glaucoma, serious infections, iritis. Any red eye accompanied by pain, light sensitivity, or reduced vision should be examined by an eye ophthalmologist.

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