Common Eye Conditions: Lazy Eye

Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is a condition usually diagnosed during the early childhood years. It often occurs in children up to the age of seven and is usually recognized by an eye that appears to ‘wander’ around the room, instead of being in sync with the other eye. If you suspect your child may struggle with lazy eye, your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, can help.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

A lazy eye happens when one eye becomes weaker than the other. The retina of that eye, for whatever reason, begins to receive fewer visual signals. Over time, the brain learns to ignore signals from the weaker eye altogether. Different factors may contribute to amblyopia, including:

  • Muscle imbalance between the eyes (strabismus)
  • Prescription differences between eyes (refractive amblyopia)
  • Astigmatism
  • Cataracts

These problems may develop as a result of premature birth, developmental disabilities, being underweight at birth, or a family history of lazy eye.

Is Lazy Eye Treatable?

Amblyopia is a fairly common condition that’s usually easy to treat when caught early. To encourage the weaker eye to focus, your child’s eye doctor may recommend wearing a patch over the stronger eye. Special eyeglasses may help, as well — ones that feature a blurred lens over the stronger eye and a clear lens over the weaker eye. These solutions force the affected eye to work harder, strengthening muscles and improving eye health. Regular prescription eyeglasses that correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism may also be the answer. Sometimes, medicated eyedrops that blur vision in the good eye may be prescribed, as well. In some instances, eye surgery may be required to correct amblyopia.

If you’ve noticed your child exhibiting symptoms such as a wandering eye, frequent head tilting, or squinting, contact Champaign Eye Professionals to learn more about eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other treatment options to help correct lazy eye.

What Are Bifocal Contact Lenses?

You’ve heard of bifocal eyeglasses, but did you know you could get that same supportive technology in contact lenses? Bifocal contacts correct both farsightedness and nearsightedness, so there’s no need for segmented eyeglasses that make you feel older than you are. If your vision is changing as you age, bifocal contact lenses can correct the problem discreetly. Your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, can tell you more.

How Do Bifocal Contacts Work?

Bifocal contacts combine two prescriptions onto a single lens. Just as bifocal eyeglasses let you see close up and far away, these contacts do the same. They come in several designs, including:

  • Segmented Contacts
  • Concentric Contacts

Segmented contacts correct near vision at the bottom of the lens and far vision at the top. They’re similar to what most people picture when someone mentions bifocal eyeglasses. Concentric contacts, however, feature a circular design that corrects distance vision in the center and near vision in the outer ring. Both are solid solutions to correct presbyopia — the gradual change in vision most people experience through normal aging.

What Type of Bifocal Contact Lenses Are Available?

Your eye doctor may recommend several types of bifocal contact lenses to correct your vision. You’ll work together to find the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle. These may include:

  • Soft Contacts
  • Rigid, Gas-Permeable Contacts
  • Extended Wear Contacts

Soft contacts are flexible, easy to apply, and comfortable to wear. Rigid contacts are a bit more durable, however, and typically require less cleaning and upkeep. Extended-wear contacts may be worn for days at a time, and they come in both soft and rigid designs. You’ll want to choose the type of bifocal contact lenses that best fits the way you live.

When you’re ready to learn more about bifocal contact lenses in Champaign, IL, Champaign Eye Professionals is here to help. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Two Common Diseases That Impact Vision

Often, vision problems are easy to treat with a routine eye exam and a prescription for corrective lenses. Some situations, however, require a more in-depth approach. This is especially true when a more serious medical condition is the root of the issue and vision loss is only a symptom. This is why it’s so important to make and keep annual eye appointments. Your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, may be the first medical professional to detect diseases that could impact your vision, including the two most common.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a side-effect of uncontrolled diabetes. It can happen when elevated levels of sugar in your blood damage the blood vessels in your eyes. If gone undetected and left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to glaucoma and total vision loss. Advanced symptoms include:

  • Streaks or floaters in your field of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble seeing close-up or far away

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or if this disease runs in your family, it’s time to see your vision specialist. Schedule an appointment right away.

Chronic Hypertension

You may recognize chronic hypertension by its more common name — uncontrolled high blood pressure. This disease stresses your blood vessels and may lead to damage in the tiny vessels that supply blood to your eyes. When left untreated, chronic hypertension may cause blood vessels to leak blood or fluid to collect beneath the retina. It may also cause nerve damage, which can lead to total vision loss.

Effective management is the best way to treat chronic hypertension. This means partnering with your primary care physician and your eye doctor to learn how best to control your disease. Simple lifestyle changes may be enough to manage the condition and to prevent further damage to your eyes.

For help with diseases that affect the eyes in Champaign, IL, contact Champaign Eye Professionals to talk with one of our friendly and experienced representatives today.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Lasik

Your eyesight depends greatly on how accurately your cornea refracts light onto your retina. When the cornea becomes compromised, such as from normal aging or disease, things may go out of focus. Your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, refers to this as a refractive error. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct most refractive errors, but Lasik actually changes the angle of the cornea, itself, making corrective lenses unnecessary.

What Is Lasik?

During Lasik surgery, your eye specialist uses a laser to reshape the angle of your cornea. Movements of the laser are precise and highly controlled, and they shave off small segments of the cornea, changing its shape and improving its focus.

Lasik surgery is non-invasive and usually brief, taking place in as little as 30 minutes. You’ll receive eyedrops before the procedure that numb your eyes, so you don’t feel any pain. Recovery is usually uneventful, though your eyes may feel a bit gritty or itchy afterward, and it may take one to two months for your vision to stabilize completely.

Is Lasik Permanent?

Lasik is a permanent treatment to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Once you’ve had the Lasik procedure, there’s usually no need for a second treatment. Your vision may be restored as much as 20/25 or better without the need for corrective lenses.

Why Is Lasik Better Than Eye Glasses?

Lasik isn’t necessarily a better treatment option than eye glasses. Rather, it may be a better choice for patients who don’t want to wear corrective lenses. Roughly 80 percent of patients who elect to have Lasik no longer need to wear glasses or contacts to see better.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lasik surgery in Champaign, IL, call Champaign Eye Professionals to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Your Astigmatism

There’s a lens at the front of each eye that captures and projects light onto the retina. When all is well with this lens — the cornea — you see clearly. Images are in focus both far away and close up, and you have no need for corrective lenses. However, if this lens becomes misshapen, images may become blurry. This happens because the cornea isn’t refracting light as it should and light isn’t landing on the retina in an exact way. At this point, you have developed a refractive error, such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. Each will affect how easily you can read, drive, or use your computer at work. While myopia or hyperopia makes it more difficult to see either close-up or far away, astigmatism affects both aspects of your vision. Your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, can diagnose and treat astigmatism.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Several factors may cause your cornea to change shape. These include:

  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Eye Trauma
  • Prior Eye Surgery
  • Diseases of the Eye, Such as Keratoconus

If you’re experiencing problems with vision clarity, you may have astigmatism. Keeping regular appointments with your vision specialist may provide you with early diagnosis and intervention.

How Do I Know if I Have Astigmatism?

If your eyes frequently hurt, or if they feel strained, a refractive error such as astigmatism could be the culprit. Other common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, and the inability to see images that are close up or far away without squinting. If it feels more difficult to drive, read, or look at the whiteboard in your classroom or at work, it’s time to book an appointment for a routine eye exam.

Treatment for Astigmatism in Champaign, IL

There are several common treatment options to correct astigmatism, including:

  • Prescription Eye Glasses
  • Toric Contact Lenses
  • Rigid Contact Lenses
  • Lasik Surgery
  • Astigmatic Keratotomy (incisions to relax the cornea)

Basically, treatment is aimed at changing the angle at which your cornea refracts light. Your vision specialist will discuss the best options to correct your astigmatism in Champaign, IL. Call Champaign Eye Professionals today to schedule a consultation.

Myopia and Hyperopia Defined  

If you receive a diagnosis of myopia or hyperopia, there’s no cause for alarm. These are simply technical terms for nearsightedness and farsightedness. Both are very common refractive errors that impact how clearly you’re able to see objects far away and close up. Treatments for myopia and hyperopia are simple and noninvasive. Talk with your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, today if you’re noticing changes in how you view the world around you.

All About Myopia

When you have myopia, this means you can see nearby objects clearly but have trouble focusing on objects far away. Myopia may not affect your ability to read a map or work at a computer, but it can make driving difficult. This condition, and other refractive errors, occur when either the lens or the cornea of your eye become misshapen. As a result, light doesn’t bend and project onto the retina as it should. Images appear blurry instead of clear, and treatment to correct the angle of refraction is needed to bring the world back into focus.

All About Hyperopia

If you suffer from hyperopia, you may have difficulty focusing on objects that are close up, such as words in a book or the television screen in your living room. Distant objects, however, may appear clear and in focus. Hyperopia tends to run in families, and often people are born with this condition.

Treatment Options for Common Refractive Errors

Treatment for myopia and hyperopia in Champaign, IL, begins with a routine eye exam. Champaign Eye Professionals can diagnose and treat common conditions such as these easily by prescribing corrective lenses, contact lenses, or recommending Lasik surgery. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and friendly eye professionals.

Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Sunglasses 

Sunglasses not only make you look confident and sexy, but they also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you spend a lot of time outdoors on sunny days, you need sunglasses. Wearing them religiously can help you avoid some of the common signs of aging on your eyes, including the formation of cataracts. Your vision care specialist can help you choose sunglasses in Champaign, IL, that flatter and complement your facial structure. These tips may help.

Outline Your Face in the Mirror to Find Its Shape

A lipstick is all you need to find the shape of your face. Simply stand before a mirror and use the lipstick to draw its outline. When you step back, you’ll have a clear idea of how your face is shaped. Then, you can purchase sunglasses to complement it. Your vision care associate can help you find the right frame for your face, but you can make the process easier by understanding your facial structure.

Choose a Flattering Color for Your Sunglasses

You’ll want sunglasses that go well with your complexion and hair color, so follow these simple rules of thumb:

  • Warm, light-colored or dark-colored skin needs earth tones.
  • Cool, light-colored or dark-colored skin looks better in striking shades of blue or gray.
  • Medium skin usually goes well with a wider range of colors and hues, so if you have olive-tone skin, you may have more colors from which to choose.

It’s important to understand whether your skin has warm or cool undertones. Your vision associate can help you decide.

Champaign Eye Professionals, in Champaign, IL, is always happy to help you choose the best frame and color for your prescription or non-prescription sunglasses. Speak with one of our friendly representatives today to schedule an appointment.

Prevention and Treatment of Dry Eyes

Dry eye is an irritating condition that happens when your natural tears are no longer able to keep your eyes suitably moist. As a result, eyes feel dry, itchy, and inflamed. Dry eye is often associated with normal aging, which makes it a very common condition. Your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, may recommend a prescription or non-prescription eye drops to help with lubrication. Keeping regular appointments for eye exams can help prevent chronic dry eye.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Normal aging can contribute to dry eyes, but other factors may also cause this condition, including autoimmune diseases, allergies, changes in your body’s hormones, and inflamed glands in your eyelids. You may also be more prone to dry eyes if you’re female, deficient in Vitamin A, or have worn contact lenses in the past. Your eye doctor can diagnose the source of your dry eyes and provide treatment to help ease your discomfort.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

The symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • Burning or itchy eyes
  • Strings of mucus in the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Feeling as though there’s something in your eye
  • Blurred vision

Don’t ignore the symptoms of dry eye because they may not go away on their own. In fact, without treatment, your condition may worsen.

What Happens If I Don’t Seek Treatment for Dry Eyes?

It’s important to seek treatment for dry eyes because this condition could be a sign of something more serious. Having an eye exam could help with early detection of chronic conditions such as lupus or thyroid disease. Also, if left untreated, dry eyes can worsen and cause permanent damage to your vision. Dry eyes also put you at greater risk of eye infection.

If you’re struggling with dry eyes in Champaign, IL, Champaign Eye Professionals can help diagnose and treat your condition. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly vision specialists.

The Impact of Normal Aging on Your Vision

Aging affects your eyes just as it does the rest of your body, and your risks of developing chronic eye conditions go up as you get older. Diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma become more common. This makes regular visits to your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, even more important, so you can benefit from early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Two of the more common eye conditions caused by aging include presbyopia and the formation of cataracts.

Presbyopia May Develop as You Age

As people age, the flexible lens inside the eye tends to stiffen up and become less pliable. Because it’s the flexibility that allows you to change focus to see objects more clearly, changes in vision usually result. We call this presbyopia, and it’s very common among older people. Presbyopia may begin around age 40 and progress as a person ages. As a result, you may need more light to see clearly, or you may need prescription eyeglasses, such as bifocals, to help your eyes change focus. If you notice problems with eye strain, tired eyes, or your ability to focus on items close up, you may be noticing signs of presbyopia.

Cataracts Are a Common Side Effect of Aging

Cataracts happen when the lens inside the eye becomes foggy, another common eye condition related to normal aging. While not everyone develops cataracts as they get older, some health conditions put you more at risk. These include diabetes, exposure to radiation, and previous eye injury. If you smoke or drink heavily, you’re also at greater risk. Treatment for cataracts in Champaign, IL, usually involves eye surgery to replace the foggy lens with a synthetic lens.

Champaign Eye Professionals in Illinois can help with common eye conditions related to normal aging. Call today to schedule a consultation.

What Can You Learn From Your Annual Eye Exam? 

Annual eye exams are more than just opportunities to renew your eyeglasses prescription. Through regular visits to your vision specialist, you can benefit from early intervention of more serious conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or cataracts. Often, it’s your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, who’s able to first spot signs of chronic conditions such as diabetes through routine eye exams and diagnostic testing. Your yearly exam could lead to early detection of many serious medical conditions.

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, during which blood vessels leak into the retina and affect your vision. If left undetected and untreated, this condition can lead to total vision loss. If you check in with your eye doctor regularly, this can help with early detection and treatment.

If you’ve recently received a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s important to follow-up with your vision specialist right away.

Lyme Disease

If left undetected, Lyme disease can affect your eyes. In its later stages, it may compromise several areas of the eye, including the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye; the cornea, which is part of the outer eye; the iris, which is the circle of color that surrounds the pupil; and the choroid, or the blood vessels within the eye. This may cause your eyes to feel sensitive to light. You may also experience floaters and problems with double vision.

High Blood Pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause damage similar to diabetes. Retinopathy may occur, You may also experience fluid buildup beneath the retina, as well as nerve damage. It’s important to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension to protect your vision.

Schedule your annual eye exam in Champaign, IL, today by calling Champaign Eye Professionals.