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Common Vision Disorders


At Real Eyes Vision Center serving the greater San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels and Midland areas,  we pride ourselves on providing our patients with a wide range of services, some of which include:

Dictionary of Eye Terms and Conditions

Accommodation-The lens of the eye changes shape to focus on objects at different distances.

Astigmatism –In one plane, light focuses on the retina, but does not in another plane.

Cataract –Inside your eye is a natural lens that helps to focus light from outside your eye. The lens creates images in the back of your eye (called the retina) like a camera focuses images on film. As people age, the lens can become less clear, even cloudy. This cloudiness in the lens is called a cataract. Just as a dirty camera can spoil a picture, a cataract can prevent light from focusing clearly inside the eye. Typical signs of cataracts are blurred vision and sensitivity to light. For example, you may have trouble reading, or driving at night or at dusk. Colors may seem less vivid. And it may be difficult to thread a needle, shave, or put on makeup.

Conjunctivitis –Pink eye (or red eye) is the common name for conjunctivitis, a condition where the membranes covering the whites of the eyes (the conjunctiva) and the inner eyelids become inflamed and redden.

Pink eye occurs frequently in children and is most often caused by bacterial or viral infection. In these cases, it is highly contagious. Symptoms of pink eye include excessive tearing, discharge (greenish, yellowish or watery) and a sensation that there is “something” in the eye or that the eye is “scratchy.”

Contrast Sensitivity –The ability of the eye to differentiate between an object and its background.

Cornea –The clear front surface of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil and provides most of the eye’s optical power.

Diopter –A unit of measurement for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. A myopic patient has a negative prescription, and a hyperopic patient has a positive prescription.

Distance Vision –Objects that are 7 feet or further from the eyes fall into your distance vision. Examples of typical distance vision objects are street signs and billboards.

Glaucoma –An eye disease caused by increased pressure within the eye. It is the leading cause of blindness in North America .

Hyperopia (far-sightedness) –In the normal eye, light travels from a near object through the cornea to focus on the retina. In the hyperopic eye, the eye is shorter, or the cornea is too flat, causing light to be out of focus. When glasses are added, a “plus” lens causes light rays to converge to now focus on the retina.

Intermediate Vision –Objects that are typically between 16 inches to 7 feet away from your eyes. You would typically use your intermediate vision to do such things as work at the computer or cook.

Intraocular lens (IOL) –An artificial lens that is implanted in the eye to replace the eye’s natural clouded lens during cataract surgery.

Iris –The colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil which controls the amount of light that enters the eye.

LASEK-Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. LASEK is the no-cut, no-flap version of LASIK. It is a relatively new laser vision EK procedure that combines certain elements of both the PRK and LASIK procedures, and may offer some advantages for patients with thin cornea, patients suffering from dry eyes, patients over the age of 45, patients who have other cornea problems and patients who just want to avoid the complications due to the flap. Instead of creating a flap as in LASIK the surface epithelium is loosened with a diluted alcohol solution and gently moved aside. The surface under the epithelium is treated with the laser and the epithelium flap is returned to its original position, as with LASIK. A protective, soft contact lens is then placed over the cornea to make the eye more comfortable while it heals. Using the epithelium flap as a natural protective bandage may improve healing, reduce postoperative discomfort and the incidence of postoperative haze. And, the margin of safety with LASEK is increased over LASIK as the need for a microkeratome is eliminated.

Macular Degeneration –At the back of the eye, there is a thin layer of light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The eye focuses light onto a small spot about the size of a pea called the macula. The macula processes the details in the central part of our vision, and is responsible for us being able to see the finest details and colors, as well as to function in daylight.

If the macula is diseased for any reason, the retina becomes like a camera with a spot on the film in the center of the picture. This results in blurry central vision and loss of details.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe vision loss in the developed world, especially among the elderly. It causes one in three cases of legal blindness and vision impairment. The most common form of the disease occurs in people over the age of 55 and is called age-related macular degeneration .

Microkeratome- This very important instrument creates the thin flap used to prepare the corneal bed for treatment. It is a hand held device and uses a micro thin rapidly oscillating blade to cut the corneal tissue. There are several brands available, but most surgeons agree that the best ones have few moving parts, and are easy to assemble and disassemble. The blades should revolve at a very high speed to ensure a smooth and precise incision. The microkeratome should hold up well against the harsh treatment of frequent, high temperature sterilization.

Monofocal IOL –This type of IOL can provide excellent vision at one set distance, usually far. This means that you should see well when you go to a ballgame or read distant signs. But you will probably need glasses for activities requiring near vision, like reading a book or doing crafts.

Multifocal IOL –This type of IOL can provide vision at multiple distances. This type of lens usually reduces the patient’s dependency on glasses.

Myopia (near-sightedness) –In the normal eye, light travels from a distant object through the cornea to focus on the retina. In the myopic eye, the eye is longer, or the cornea is too steep, causing light to focus in front of the retina and out of focus on the retina. When glasses are added, a “minus” lens causes light rays to diverge and focus further back in the eye, on the retina.

Near Vision –
Near Vision or “reading vision” refers to focal points that are typically 16 inches or closer to your eyes. You would typically use your near vision to read books, menus, or a map.

Off-Label –
When a device or drug approved by the FDA for a certain procedure or condition is used in a different procedure or condition.

Presbyopia –Normally, when a close object is viewed, the lens will change shape (accommodation) to focus light on the retina. With Presbyopia, the lens will not sufficiently reshape and glasses may be required for close viewing.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE): –Also known as Presbyopic Lens Exchange (Prelex) or Clear Lens Exchange(CLE). Involves the removal of the natural lens which is becoming harder and less elastic and replacement of that lens with a modern multifocal lens implant like the ReStor or ReZoom lens. This eliminates the future need for cataract surgery and is considered an “off-label” surgery.