Category Archives: Eye Problems

Blind/Visually Impaired People Will Double by 2050

As we age, so too do our eyes. A new study, published this year in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal, estimates that with Baby Boomers entering their golden years, the number of Americans who struggle with vision problems will double by 2050, effectively bringing the number to nearly 25 million. In this post, Dr. Eric Donnenfeld discusses the impact as well as potential solutions. Continue reading

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Are You at a High Risk for Macular Degeneration?

shutterstock_138176315Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60 years of age. The reason for this is that the macula, which is the central portion of the eye’s retina, begins to deteriorate over time as a result of the aging process. Though there are two types of AMD — “wet” and “dry” — the most common type is dry AMD, which occurs when blood vessels have grown under the retina and begin to leak, resulting in gradual vision loss. Common symptoms of dry AMD include blurred or distorted vision, reduced central vision, problems seeing in low lighting and difficulty recognizing faces and seeing intense or vivid colors. Continue reading

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Commonly Believed Myths about Vision

shutterstock_176602877There are many misconceptions about vision, ranging from old wives’ tales to outdated information that has since been disproven by the latest ophthalmology research. Widely recognized as an “eye doctor’s eye doctor,” board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Eric Donnenfeld has been practicing for nearly three decades, during which time he has also trained countless refractive surgeons. In this blog post, Dr. Donnenfeld uses his experience studying and correcting vision problems to dispel some common vision myths. Continue reading

Signs You Should Visit Your Eye Doctor

See your eye doctor if you have these symptoms

It can be hard to know which eye problems are benign and which require immediate attention. Here Dr. Eric Donnenfeld outlines a few of the more serious eye symptoms that may require immediate attention from an eye doctor.

Sudden Eye Pain

Sudden, severe eye pain, especially when coupled with red eyes, seeing halos around lights, nausea and vomiting, may be a signal of acute narrow-angle glaucoma. This occurs when the iris (the colored portion of the eye) is pushed or pulled forward, causing a blockage of the eye’s drainage channels. Because of this blockage, the intraocular pressure (eye pressure) may spike, causing damage to the optic nerve. This condition requires immediate attention by an eye doctor. If left untreated, it could lead to complete vision loss.

Excessive Spots and Floaters

It’s not uncommon to see spots and floaters (randomly shaped objects) in your vision, as they are mostly caused by small flecks of protein (or collagen) in the eye that break off from the vitreous (the clear gel that fills the gap between the retina and lens) as you age. However, if you see a flood of floaters, sometimes accompanied by flashing lights, it could be a sign of something more serious. This could mean that the vitreous is pulling away from the retina or that the retina is detaching from the inner back of the eye. If this is the case, see an eye surgeon immediately to reattach the retina so that there is no vision loss.

Cloudy or Blurred Vision

Cloudy or blurred vision could be a sign of cataracts. Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens clouds with age. Besides cloudy vision, you may find that you have increasing sensitivity to light, and colors may not seem as bright as they once were. Although the development of cataracts isn’t a medical emergency, left unchecked and without cataract surgery to remove them, you increase your chances of developing glaucoma.

Loss of Vision

A loss of any part of your vision is a sign that you should see your eye doctor immediately. If you’ve noticed a gradual narrowing of your vision, resulting in the ability to see only directly in front of you, you may have a damaged optic nerve due to the development of glaucoma. As glaucoma can cause partial or total loss of vision over time, and especially when left untreated, it is important that you see your eye doctor immediately for a glaucoma test.

If you notice a loss in your central vision, or your central vision is distorted, it may be a symptom of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula (the central part of the retina that is responsible for visual acuity and color vision) is deteriorated. Though not an immediate medical emergency, you should see your doctor as soon as possible in order to find out about treatments that may help prevent, and possibly even restore, some vision loss.

Contact Dr. Donnenfeld

If you have questions on how to prevent or correct eye problems, please contact laser eye surgeon Dr. Eric Donnenfeld today.

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