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COMMON EYE DISEASES

Contact Lenses & Glasses

Andover Eye’s highly experienced, Board-Certified optometrists have extensive training on the cornea, contact lenses, and the fitting of specialty contact lenses including Keratoconous. At Andover Eye, we believe patients deserve a personalized experience to customize their glasses or contacts to look great and fit perfectly. Click here to book a consultation appointment.
 

Retinal Disorders

There are many inherited and acquired diseases or disorders that may affect the retina. Some are common and easily remedied, while others are rare and more difficult to diagnose. Rare disorders require more complex or, sometimes, urgent treatment.

Andover Eye ophthalmologists are skilled in differentiating these diseases, and then designing a treatment plan that slows or stops the disease and preserves as much vision as possible.

Please click here to book an appointment.
 

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens within the eye. Looking through a cloudy lens is like trying to see through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision can make it more difficult to read, or drive a car especially at night. Cataracts commonly affect distance vision and cause problems with glare. They generally do not cause irritation or pain.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb eyesight early on. But as the clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with vision. During the early stage of cataracts, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with vision problems. But if this impaired vision interferes with a patient’s quality of life, surgery is often the best treatment option. Fortunately, cataract removal is generally a very safe and effective procedure.

The ophthalmologists at Andover Eye are highly experienced in cataract surgery. Many are leaders in cataract research at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
 

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with Dry Eye either do not produce enough tears, or have a poor quality of tears. Dry Eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

The most common form of Dry Eye is due to an inadequate amount of the aqueous, or watery, layer of tears. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as Dry Eye Syndrome.

People with Dry Eye may experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision. Advanced Dry Eye may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.

Dry Eye can also be a side effect of using certain medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills. In addition, diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases can also lead to Dry Eye.

Treatments for Dry Eye aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.
 

Glaucoma

According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that damages the optic nerve over time.

Glaucoma is usually, but not always, associated with elevated pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure). Generally, it is this elevated eye pressure that leads to damage of the optic nerve. In some cases, glaucoma may occur in the presence of normal eye pressure. This “normotensive” form of glaucoma is thought to be caused by poor regulation of blood flow to the optic nerve.

Symptoms and signs of glaucoma are often absent in the earliest stages of the disease. Tragically, impaired vision is one of the first sign of glaucoma. In other instances, symptoms and signs of glaucoma may include eye pain, clouded or haloed vision, red eyes, headaches, and nausea.

Click here to book an appointment for a comprehensive glaucoma screening.
 

LASIK

LASIK is a surgical procedure intended to improve vision and reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK (which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, using an excimer laser. A mechanical microkeratome (a blade device) or a laser keratome (a laser device) is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middle section of the cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is replaced. There are other techniques and many new terms related to LASIK.

Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from the LASIK procedure. With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, the goal is to create a steeper cornea. Excimer lasers also can correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.

Our ophthalmologists are experienced in LASIK and can discuss all of the options available to you. We will help you determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK.

To set up a consultation about your LASIK surgery options, click here.
 

Pediatrics

Many vision problems are treatable only in childhood. Since it is possible for your child to have a serious vision problem without being aware of it, your child should have his or her eyes screened during regular pediatric appointments starting at 3 years of age.

Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical and surgical doctors who specialize in the eye problems of children. Vision develops in the brain during the first decade of life, and can be affected by eyes that are not straight or do not focus correctly. A child can grow up with good vision in each eye if these problems are caught early, treated, and maintained.
 

Neurological Eye Disorders

Neurological disorders can affect your eyes and your vision in many ways. Some of these disorders include:
  • Blepharospasm
  • Double vision
  • Ischemic optic neuropathy
  • Stroke
  • Temporal arteritis
 

Ocular Plastic

As we age, excess skin forms in the eye area, and the skin loses elasticity. Fatty tissue can accumulate under the skin. Eyes will "look older" because these aging processes leave the eyes appearing tired, wrinkled or puffy.

Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic plastic surgery that can tighten the baggy skin under the eyes and address sinking upper eyelids or drooping eyelashes that can impair vision.

The surgery can also treat a medical condition called ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision.

Blepharoplasty treats drooping eyelids, but not drooping eyebrows or wrinkles. Blepharoplasty is often performed with another cosmetic surgery such as a brow lift or facelift to improve droopy eyebrows, crow's feet and facial sagging.