Common Vision Conditions

Below are a list of most common vision conditions and a brief description.

Nearsightedness (myopia)

A common condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. Myopia can occur at any age.

Farsightedness (hyperopia)

Distant objects are easier to see than near objects. The extra effort required to see clearly at close range can cause blur, fatigue, muscle tension, discomfort and headaches.

Astigmatism

Either the cornea and/or the lens inside the eye is slightly irregular or cylindrical in shape, resulting in vision being blurred or distorted at all distances.

Presbyopia

A natural effect of aging, usually occurring after the age of 40, in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time. It can cause headaches, blurred vision, tired eyes and the need for more light.

 

Treatment:

  • Refractive errors can be corrected by prescription eye glasses and/or contact lenses.  Your Markham Optometrist or eye doctor will be able to recommend the best prescription to correct your vision and ensure your eye glasses and contact lenses prescriptions are accurately filled and the final products are professionally fit to provide optimal vision, comfort and eye health.
  • Laser surgery is another option to correct refractive errors.  Your Markham Optometrist or eye doctor will be able to assess the condition of your eye and provide a comprehensive consultation to recommend the best option when it comes to laser correction.
Cataracts

Overview:

A cataract is formed when the clear lens within your eye becomes cloudy and opaque. Cataracts vary from extremely small areas of cloudiness to large opaque areas that cause a noticeable blurring of vision. They are a function of aging and are most often found in people over the age of 60, although they are occasionally found in younger people, including newborns. If a child is born with a cataract, it is referred to as a congenital cataract.

Symptoms:

  • Indications that a cataract may be forming include blurred or hazy vision that cannot be corrected by eye glasses, or the feeling of having a film over the eyes that don’t go away with blinking.
  • A progressive change in distance and/or near may occur.
  • There may be an increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night.
  • There is no pain or redness associated with cataracts.

Cause:

  • Advancing age
  • Inherited
  • Result of injury or disease
  • Excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain medications

Prevention:

  • Currently, there is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming.
  • Wearing quality, UV blocking sunglasses is beneficial as they protect your natural lenses from harmful UV rays that can speed up cataract formation.
  • A diet rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, Selenium and Magnesium, can also be beneficial.
  • Not smoking also helps to prevent cataracts.

Treatment:

  • In the early stages of a cataract, where vision is minimally affected, your Markham Optometrist or eye doctor may prescribe new lenses for your eye glasses to provide you with the sharpest vision possible. Some cataracts may not progress to the point that they need to be removed.
  • If the cataracts interfere with your daily activities, and glasses cannot improve your vision, your Markham Optometrist or eye doctor will refer you to an eye surgeon who may recommend surgery to remove the cataracts.
Dry Eyes

Overview:

Everyone has a thin layer of tears that coats the front surface of our eyes. These tears keep our eyes healthy and comfortable, and are needed for both overall eye health and clear vision. Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or produce tears that don’t have the proper chemical composition.

Symptoms:

  • Stinging
  • Gritty
  • Scratchy and uncomfortable eyes
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Burning feeling
  • Foreign body sensation
  • In moderate to severe cases, you may experience blurred vision, light sensitivity or even periods of excess tearing

Cause:

  • Normal aging process
  • Hormonal changes
  • Exposure to certain environmental conditions/irritants
  • Problems with normal blinking
  • Medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives or antidepressants
  • General health problems such as arthritis

Risks:

  • If dry eye is left untreated, it can be harmful. Excessive dry eye can damage and possibly scar the sensitive corneal tissues of your eye, impairing vision. Dry eye can make contact lens wear more difficult.

Treatment:

Dry eye is usually chronic, and although there is no cure, your Markham Optometrist or eye doctor can offer treatment to manage the condition and improve your comfort:

  • Artificial lubricating eye drops or ointments
  • Small plugs may be inserted in the corner of the eyelids to slow drainage and loss of tears
  • Treating any underlying systemic disease
  • Changing your diet to include items such as fish or flaxseed oil
  • New prescription medications are now available to help your body produce more of its own tears