EyeCare Center of Marshfield

Dr. Charles Miller & Dr. Elizabeth Sanders

605 E 4th St  Marshfield WI 54449

715-387-6397  800-313-6397

Eye Conditions


The doctors and trained staff at The EyeCare Center have helped thousands of people enjoy better vision and preserve eye health.  Your doctor of optometry can tell by performing a comprehensive exam whether your blurred vision is due to the need for an updated eyeglass prescription, or whether it is due to an eye condition like cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal disease.

 

Nearsightedness (Myopia)  Myopia, unlike normal vision, occurs when the cornea is too curved or the eye is too long. This causes light to focus in front of the retina, resulting in blurry distance vision.  Myopia is a very common condition that affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. It normally starts to appear between the ages of eight and 12 years old, and almost always before the age of 20. As the body grows, the condition often worsens. It typically stabilizes in adulthood.  Myopia causes distance objects to appear blurry and is treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.

 

Farsightedness (Hyperopia)   Hyperopia, unlike normal vision, occurs when the cornea is too flat in relation to the length of the eye. This causes light to focus at a point beyond the retina, resulting in blurry close vision and occasionally blurred distance vision as well. Usually this condition is undetected until later in life because the young eye is able to compensate for the hyperopia by focusing the internal lens of the eye.  Symptoms of Hyperopia can include near blur, strain, and occasional distance blur.  It is treated primarily with eyeglasses and contact lenses.

 

Astigmatism  Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped like a football (more curved in one direction than the other) and often occurs in combination with myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). This causes light to focus in more than one point on the retina, resulting in blurry and distorted vision.  It is a very common type of refractive error in the eye, and not a disease!  Astigmatism causes blurry and distorted vision at all distances.  It is corrected with eyeglasses and contact lenses along with refractive surgery procedures.

Presbyopia reading glasses multifocal contacts
Presbyopia   Presbyopia makes it difficult to focus on close objects.  Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the lens loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects. During the early and middle years of life, the crystalline lens of the eye has the ability to focus both near and distant images by getting thicker for near objects and thinner for distant objects. When this ability is lost, presbyopia results.   Symptoms include near vision blur after the age of 40, difficulty changing focus from near to far, and strain or headache with near work.  Presbyopia is treated with glasses and contact lenses.

Cataracts   Almost everyone develops cataracts as they grow older. Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60 (and quite a few younger than that) develop cataracts. Almost everyone will eventually develop cataracts as they grow older. Cataract formation occurs at different rates in different people, and can affect one or in most cases both eyes.
A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye's natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the back of the eye, the retina. Aging and other factors cause cells in the eye's lens to clump together,  forming these cloudy areas. Early changes may not disturb vision, but over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. People with advanced cataracts often say they feel as if they're looking through a waterfall or a piece of wax paper.   Symptoms of cataracts include; decreasing vision with age, blurred or double vision, seeing halos around bright lights, difficulty seeing at night, vision that worsens in sunlight, difficulty distinguishing colors, poor depth perception, frequent prescription changes for glasses, and difficulty reading.  Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only one way to achieve clear vision again is through cataract surgery. 

Keratoconus cornea rgp ridgid gas permiable contact lens
Keratoconus  Keratoconus is an eye condition that causes the cornea to become progressively thinner. A normal cornea is round or spherical in shape, but with keratoconus the cornea bulges forward, assuming more of a cone shape. As light enters the cone shaped cornea it is bent and distorted and unable to come to a point of clear focus on the light-sensitive retina.   Gas permeable (GP) contact lenses are the primary treatment for keratoconus. To counteract the distortion of the cornea, most keratoconus patients require special hard lenses that help mold the corneal surface so that light can be focused clearly. Because the pattern of distortion in keratoconus is as unique as a fingerprint, the GP lenses are custom prescribed and manufactured.  A proper contact lens fitting is crucial to ensure optimal vision, comfort, and eye health. Poor fitting lenses can lead to corneal abrasions, scarring, and infection. 

Glaucoma   It is estimated that well over two million Americans have some type of glaucoma and half of them do not know it. Ninety percent of glaucoma patients have open-angle glaucoma. Although it cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled. Vision loss may be minimized with early treatment. The eye receives its nourishment from a clear fluid that circulates inside the eye.  This fluid must be constantly returned to the blood stream through the eye's drainage canal, called the trabecular meshwork. In the case of open-angle glaucoma, something has gone wrong with the drainage canal. When the fluid cannot drain fast enough, pressure inside the eye begins to build.   This excess fluid pressure pushes against the delicate optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. If the pressure remains too high for too long, irreversible vision loss can occur.   Glaucoma is diagnosed though routine tests of eye pressure and optic nerve evaluation done at regular examinations, along with special testing that can find damage from glaucoma and sometimes its cause.  Glaucoma is treated medically though the use of eyedrops and surgically if needed.

 

Blepharitis  Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelids.  Some patients call it granulated eyelids. Almost everyone has some form of blepharitis.  It is caused by a bacteria that is part of our normal makeup but then gets out of hand and concentrates on the eyelids and eye, a nice warm environment that helps the bacteria grow.  Blepharitis causes a lot of problems for some people but not for others. Fortunately, blepharitis is relatively easy to treat. However, it is a chronic condition and needs to be taken care of on an ongoing basis, like brushing or flossing your teeth.

 

Diabetic Retinopathy  Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body, particularly vessels in the kidneys and eyes. When the blood vessels in the eyes are affected, this is called diabetic retinopathy.
The retina is the thin layer that lines the back of the eye. It detects visual images and transmits them to the brain. Major blood vessels lie on the front portion of the retina. When these blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, they may leak fluid or blood and grow scar tissue. This leakage affects the ability of the retina to detect and transmit images.
During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, reading vision is typically not affected. However, when retinopathy becomes advanced, new blood vessels grow in the retina. These new vessels are the body's attempt to overcome and replace the vessels that have been damaged by diabetes. However, these new vessels are not normal. They may bleed and cause the vision to become hazy, occasionally resulting in a complete loss of vision. The growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris of the eye can lead to glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can also cause your body to form  cataract more quickly.
The new vessels also may damage the retina by forming scar tissue and pulling the retina away from its proper location. This is called a retinal detachment and can lead to blindness if left untreated.                                                                          There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. An exam is often the only way to diagnose changes in the vessels of your eyes. This is why routine yearly examinations with a doctor of optometry are extremely important for anyone with diabetes. If your vision changes and you feel you are not seeing clearly, get in to see your eye doctor immediately.

 

Dry Eye   The term "dry eye" can be a little confusing, since one of the most common symptoms may be excessive watering or tearing! It makes more sense, though, when you learn that the eye makes two different types of tears.
The first type, called lubricating tears, is produced slowly and steadily throughout the day. Lubricating tears contain a precise balance of mucus, water, oil, nutrient proteins, and antibodies that nourish and protect the front surface of the eye.
The second type of tear, called a reflex tear, does not have as much lubricating value. Reflex tears serve as a kind of emergency response to flood the eye when it is suddenly irritated or injured. Reflex tears might occur when you get something in your eye, when you're cutting onions, when you cry, or when you accidentally scratch your eye. The reflex tears gush out in such large quantities that the tear drainage system can't handle them all and they spill out onto your cheek. Still another cause of reflex tearing is irritation of the eye from lack  of lubricating tears. If your eye is not producing enough lubricating tears, you have dry eye syndrome.   Treatments for dry eye: The most common treatment is the use of artificial teardrops, which help make up for the lack of natural lubricating tears. Artificial tear products come in liquid form, longer lasting gelform and long-lasting ointment form, which is most often recommended for nighttime use. Many different brands of artificial tears are available over-the-counter. Some contain preservatives and some do not. Unpreserved tears may be recommended for people whose eyes are sensitive to preservatives. Artificial tears can generally be used as often as needed, from a few times per day to every few minutes. You should follow the regimen your doctor recommends. Ask for samples of several different brands of tear so you can determine which helps you the most.   Anti-inflammatory medications such as Restasis have been shown to be effective.  The EyeCare Center Optometrists may have other treatments.

Eye Cornea lens retina Macula fovea optic nerve
Flashes & Floaters  Flashes and floaters can be alarming.  However, an eye examination is needed to confirm that they are harmless and do not require any treatment.  Your eyes will be dilated to allow a better view of the retina.  Using special instruments to look into your eyes, your doctor can distinguish between harmless floaters and flashes and more serious retinal problems such as holes, tears or detachment.  The usual symptoms of these more serious problems include seeing hundreds of small floating spots, persistent flashing lights, or a veil-like blockage of a portion of the vision. If you experience any of these, you should contact your doctor immediately.

 

Macular Degeneration  Macular degeneration is a disease of the macula, an area of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for fine detail vision. Vision loss usually occurs gradually and typically affects both eyes at different rates. Even with a loss of central vision, however, color vision and peripheral vision may remain clear.  In the early stages of macular degeneration, regular eye check-ups, attention to diet, in-home monitoring of vision and possibly nutritional supplements may be all that is recommended.  In recent years new treatments have become available to save vision in some advanced cases.

 

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)  Conjunctivitis is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye. The conjunctiva has many small blood vessels. It lubricates and protects the eye.  When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, this is called conjunctivitis. There are many causes of conjunctivitis.  The most common forms are bacterial and viral.   Treatment for conjunctivitis: Antibiotic drops and compresses can ease discomfort and clear up most bacterial infections, normally within just a few days. Sometimes, the inflammation does not respond well to the initial treatment with eye drops. In those cases, additional medication may be prescribed.  Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor: they are very important!   If left untreated, conjunctivitis can create serious complications such as infections in the cornea, eyelids and tear ducts.  There are no effective treatments for some forms of conjunctivitis like viral EKC mentioned above.  In this case your doctor will prescribe a regimen to make you more comfortable, but the viral condition will need time to resolve on its own.

 

Retinal Detachment   In patients who are very nearsighted or who have suffered an injury, the retina can tear loose and become "detached" from the layers below it.  Retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from the wall of the eye. If not treated immediately, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should call their doctor of optometry's office immediately.  Symptoms of retinal detachment:  The appearance of a curtain over the field of vision. Seeing light flashes or sparks, wavy or watery vision, a sudden decrease in vision, a sudden increase in the number of floaters or cobwebs in the field of vision