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Eye Library

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At our New Jersey ophthalmology practice, we want you to be fully informed when it comes to your eye care options. Below is a library of common eye concerns, complete with definitions, descriptions and links to treatment information. This helpful resource represents only some of the conditions treated at Outlook Eyecare. Our highly experienced team of eye care professionals is qualified to treat a much broader range of medical, vision correction, and cosmetic eye care concerns.

We are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about your eyes. For more information, request a consultation at one of our offices, or call us at (609) 409-2777 (Monroe Township), (609) 419-1920 (Princeton), or (609) 587-4700 (Hamilton Township) and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.

Eye Anatomy

Often we find that it is helpful for our patients, who visit us from Hamilton Township, Monroe Township, Princeton, and surrounding areas, to have a basic understanding of eye anatomy to reference when learning more about the conditions that can be treated.

Diagram of the eye

Eye Glossary

Astigmatism – Condition in which the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing blurred or distorted vision. Astigmatism can be corrected with laser eye surgery in New Jersey.

Bell's palsy – A condition characterized by the abrupt, temporary paralysis of the facial nerve which controls facial expressions, eyelid movement and the muscles of the forehead and neck. Bell's palsy usually affects only one side of the face, and usually resolves on its own within 6 months. Patients with Bell's palsy cannot blink or close the affected eye, thus require treatment with ocular lubricants to prevent damage to the cornea.

Cataracts – Age related clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts are exacerbated by other factors including UV exposure, smoking, steroid use and diabetes. Symptoms include blurred vision, glare, halos around light, dulling of colors, or a cloudy spot in the vision. Cataract correction involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with one of the new premium intraocular lenses, such as Crystalens® or ReSTOR® and TECHNIS® IOLs.

Chalazion A nodule or cyst on the inside of the upper or lower eyelid that is caused by a blocked oil gland.

Crow's feet – Dynamic wrinkles at the outer corners of the eyes caused by repeated facial expressions such as squinting and smiling. This cosmetic concern is often treated with injections of BOTOX® Cosmetic.

Detached retina – This condition occurs when the retina becomes detached from the underlying layers of tissue, which are essential to the function of the retina and to vision. This is a serious, sight threatening condition, which requires surgery to preserve eyesight. See Retinal Disease.

Diabetic retinopathy A serious, sight threatening retinal disease caused by damaged blood vessels in the retina resulting from diabetes. As the disease progresses, blood vessels are blocked, depriving parts of the retina of their blood supply. New blood vessels may grow over the retina, causing scar tissue development and retinal detachment. These abnormal vessels can also break and bleed into the vitreous gel, causing severe vision loss or even blindness. Treatment may involve laser surgery or Lucentis® injections.

Drooping eyelids – Condition characterized by the sagging (ptosis) of the upper eyelids. A person may be born with this condition or it may occur later in life due to problems with the eyelid muscles. This condition can often be corrected with eyelid surgery.

Dry eyes –A condition characterized by a chronic lack of lubrication on the eye's surface, with consequences that range from irritation to corneal damage.

Farsightedness – Also called hyperopia. Farsightedness is a refractive error in which up-close vision is blurred, resulting in eye strain and squinting. Treatment options include corrective lenses or laser eye surgery.

Floaters – The tiny dots, specks or "squiggles" that drift through your field of vision. Most floaters are caused by bits of undissolved vitreous gel particles which have broken loose and harmlessly float around in the more liquid center of the vitreous. However, a sudden increase or shower of floaters or spots could indicate a retinal tear or detachment, and requires immediate medical attention.

Glaucoma – Eye disease in which increased pressure in the eye causes damage to the optic nerve and subsequent peripheral vision loss. Traditional treatments have included the use of pressure-reducing drops, but more recent treatment innovations include selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) for reducing intraocular pressure.

HyperopiaSee "farsightedness"

Keratoconus – A progressive eye disease in which the cornea thins, causing it to change from a rounded to a cone-like shape, which distorts vision. Options for treating this condition include special contact lenses, corneal inserts, or surgery.

Lazy eye – Also called amblyopia, lazy eye is a problem with vision development in which one – or in rare cases both – eyes fail to achieve normal visual acuity, even with corrective lenses. This condition is often caused by strabismus, a condition in which the eyes point in different directions.

Low vision – Significant vision loss that cannot be corrected with standard corrective lenses, surgery, or medication. There are many options available to help people with low vision to make the most of their remaining vision.

Macular degeneration – The leading cause of vision loss among Americans over the age of 65. It is characterized by gradual loss of central vision due to damage to the macula of the eye. The more common "dry" (non-neovascular) form of macular degeneration progresses slowly, and may be delayed with nutritional supplements. "Wet" macular degeneration, which makes up about 10 percent of cases, is more damaging and progresses more rapidly. We offer treatment for wet macular degeneration using the FDA-approved drug Lucentis.

Macular edema – A condition in which fluid and protein deposits accumulate behind the macula, causing it to thicken and swell, possibly distorting central vision. This is often caused by eye occlusions or diabetic eye disease, and treatments include laser photocoagulation and off label Lucentis, off label Avastin® or Triesence® injections.

Macular hole – A small tear or permeation in the macula – the center of the eye's light-sensitive tissue (retina) which allows us to see objects in detail. There are numerous causes of macular holes, which typically produce a sudden decrease in the vision of one eye.

MyopiaSee "nearsightedness"

Nearsightedness – Also called myopia. Refractive error in which distance vision is blurred, causing eye strain and poor night vision. This condition is generally easily treated with corrective lenses or laser eye surgery.

Ocular hypertension – A condition in which the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) is higher than normal. Ocular hypertension alone does not cause vision damage, but it is often associated with glaucoma, a condition which can cause damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.

Pink eye – Also called conjunctivitis, is a common eye condition in which the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the white of the eye) is inflamed. Contagious pink eye is usually from a bacterial or viral infection, and is characterized by burning, redness, discharge and crusting. Allergic pink eye is generally characterized by itching, redness and watering, and may be accompanied by other allergy symptoms.

Presbyopia – Impairment of the eye's ability to focus at different distances, caused by the lens of the eye thickening and becoming more rigid with age. This condition can be improved with LASIK or corrected with IOLs such as ReSTOR and TECHNIS.

PtosisSee "drooping eyelids"

Retinal artery or vein occlusions – Blockages within the veins and arteries of the eye that can cause vision loss or distortion due to lack of blood circulation to the vital structures of the eye. High blood pressure, heart problems, or artery disease can contribute to eye occlusions.

Stye – A red, inflamed bump on the inside or outside of the eyelid that develops from an infected gland on the edge of the eyelid.

Tear duct obstructions – Blockages of the tear ducts caused by infection, sinus problems, injury, or a host of other causes, which may prevent tears from draining properly. Tear duct repair can prevent tears from running out of the eyes and down the face, in some cases without even an incision.

Tear trough – An indentation beneath the eye that runs from the inner corner toward the top of the cheekbone. This becomes more prominent with age as the skin loses elasticity, and can be corrected using injectable dermal fillers.

Traumatic orbital fracture – Cracks or breaks in the facial bones surrounding the eye. These fractures may cause double vision and a sunken eye appearance. Traumatic orbital fracture repair is performed by an oculoplastic surgeon to correct the functional and cosmetic damage caused by these injuries.

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