Tuesday, June 28, 2011

About Double Vision or Diplopia

“Double vision, which we also refer to as diplopia, generally results from either a misalignment of your eyes or a structural problem with the part or parts of the eye that let light into it”, noted Leslie Doctor, M.D. “There are two types of double vision. The first type is called binocular diplopia. The second type is referred to as monocular diplopia.”

Monocular diplopia can be differentiated from binocular diplopia by a simple test. If the double vision stops when you cover one eye, then you are suffering from binocular diplopia.  If the double vision persists even with one eye covered, that means you are experiencing monocular diplopia.

There are many different causes for diplopia. The problem can arise from the eyes themselves, the surrounding orbit, or the central nervous system. Causes of double vision include corneal infections or scars, cataract, eye muscle weakness from thyroid problems, nerve damage from diabetes or multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease such as myasthenia gravis, brain tumors or aneurysms, strokes, head trauma, orbital trauma, direct eye trauma and even migraine headaches.

Double vision can occur by itself with no other symptoms. However, depending on the cause other symptoms may be present with diplopia that can include:
  • Droopy Eyelids
  • Pain with Eye Movements
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Misalignment of one or both eyes causing a "wandering eye" or "cross-eyed" appearance
  • Weakness of the other muscles in your body
“Double vision that's new or unexplained requires urgent medical attention. With so many potentially serious causes for diplopia, it's important to discover the reason without delay”, said Dr. Doctor. A thorough history and physical examination are critical to localizing a disease process and guiding further tests and studies to identify and treat the cause. If you or someone you know experiences double vision, it is important that they schedule an appointment for an eye examination. Please feel free to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Glasses after Cataract Surgery-Do I Need Them?

“When we perform Cataract Surgery there are really two main goals we hope to accomplish. First, we want to remove the cloudy crystalline lens. The lens is actually an optical component of the eye that provides focusing power. Second, we want to replace the optical and focusing power that was provided by crystalline lens by implanting an intraocular lens (IOL) to provide the correct amount of focusing power to allow you to see clearly”, said Corneal Specialist and Cataract Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D.

If you wore glasses because you were nearsighted, farsighted or had astigmatism before you developed a Cataract, it is possible for Dr. Doctor to use a carefully calculated IOL power or even a special IOL that can correct astigmatism so that you may not need to wear eyeglasses to see at distance after your surgery. Today, it is even possible for Dr. Doctor to implant an intraocular lens (IOL) that can correct both distance and near vision so that you can decrease, or even eliminate, your dependence on bifocals and reading glasses after Cataract Surgery.

If you think you have a Cataract or have been told you have a Cataract and would like to be less dependent on glasses please feel free to contact us with your questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants or schedule an appointment by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye”

“Conjunctivitis is the term we use to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the very thin membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye-the sclera”, noted Leslie Doctor, M.D., Corneal Specialist at Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County Connecticut. “It is most commonly referred to as “red” or “pink” eye and can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies or environmental irritants.”

Symptoms of conjunctivitis may include:

Ø  Inflammation and Redness of the Eye
Ø  Increased Tearing
Ø  Soreness of the Eye
Ø  Foreign Body Sensation
Ø  Itchiness of the Eye
Ø  Excess Mucous or Pus
Ø  Crusting of the Eyelashes in the Morning

Viral conjunctivitis is much more common than the bacterial kind. It may last several weeks and is frequently accompanied by a respiratory infection, a cold or sore throat. Antibiotic drops or ointments usually do not help, but symptomatic treatment such as cold compresses or over-the-counter decongestant eye drops can be used while the infection runs its course.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is less common and characterized by considerable amounts of pus. Some bacterial infections are more chronic, however, and may produce little or no discharge except for some mild crusting of the eyelashes in the morning. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with a variety of antibiotic eye drops or ointments. These treatments usually cure the infection in a day or two.

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergies and often occurs in spring and fall. Itchy eyes are common with this variety, but can be treated with eye drops. It is important, however, to not use medications that contain steroids unless they are specifically prescribed your eye doctor. Names of steroids usually end in “-one” or “-dex.”

Conjunctivitis caused by a virus can be very contagious. If you have been diagnosed with viral conjunctivitis or suspect you might be suffering from this condition, practicing good hygiene can help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis if you are infected. You should:
Ø  Avoid re-using handkerchiefs and towels to wipe your face and eyes
Ø  Not share towels, pillowcases or makeup
Ø  Wash your hands frequently
Ø  Keep your hands away from your eyes
Ø  Replace your eye cosmetics regularly
Ø  Properly clean your contact lenses
Ø  Stay out of swimming pools and consider staying home from school or work

“Regardless of the cause, conjunctivitis generally should not cause a disruption in vision. More serious conditions, such as damage to the cornea, very severe glaucoma or inflammation inside the eye can also cause the conjunctiva to become inflamed and pink”, said Dr. Doctor. If your case of “pink eye” affects your vision or you experience eye pain, you should see your eye doctor immediately.

If you have questions about Conjunctivitis or "Pink Eye" or need to schedule an appointment please feel free to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fairfield County Cataract Awareness Month

Doctor & Associates wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated June as National Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. About 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80.

Many patients do not actually know that a cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. They need to understand that cataracts are not a growth or a film over the eye. For many patients cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts include:

blurring of vision
sensitivity to light and glare
double vision in one eye
poor night vision
fading or yellowing of colors
frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

When cataracts do begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort and safety, they can be treated surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, at Doctor & Associates we have a full range of Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) available that allow us to correct near vision as well as distance vision without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients. Please feel free to contact us with your questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.