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EyeSearch is a Guide to Vision and the Eye, including information on glasses, contact lenses, eye diseases, eye surgery, laser surgery, including laser vision correction, and directories of eye specialists nationwide, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and low vision services

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and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (***).

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Question from Tennessee
In October of 95 I was involved in a car accident in which I was hit on the drivers side. A lasting effect of the accident is a problem with my vision.  When I look at something at eye level,particularly text, I have to tilt my head slightly to the right or left in order to see it properly.  If I don't tilt my head then it's as if my right eye is focused where it should be and my left eye sees what is at the top of the page.   I would like to know if there is any sort of corrective surgery that could be performed or possibly a contact lens I could wear.  I went to an optometrist in 96 and he said he could make me glasses with a sort of prism in the lens but I have just opted to deal with this problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The problem you are describing is most likely due to an imbalance in the muscles between your two eyes. This very well could have occurred because of your motor vehicle accident. If it has persisted for several years, it is likely that you would require some treatment to rid yourself of these symptoms. Occasionally, glasses, which help to align images, can be useful. It is also possible to have surgery, in some cases, which can help to prevent the double vision. An evaluation by an ophthalmologist could determine what the best treatment is for you. Because this is considered a medical problem, it should be covered by your standard medical insurance, even if you do not have "optical" insurance.

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Question from Kentucky
Are floaters or flashes of light something to worry about?

Although most floaters and flashes of light in the eye do not indicate an eye problem, it is always necessary to have a complete eye examination if these problems develop for the first time. Most floaters are densities in the vitreous jelly inside the eye. However, new floaters may result from some problem in the retina, which may need prompt treatment. Flashes of light can also indicate a retinal problem and the only way to determine whether this is in need of treatment is to do a dilated examination of the eye. It would be wise to have such an examination if you have not done so already, as soon as possible.

Question from Pennsylvania
I have noticed that at times my one pupil is dilated while the other remains normal.   This has occurred before, but I cannot recall the reason.  Should I be looking for some "bigger health issue". I currently take ortho-novum 777, and neurotin (for chronic back pain) (although this occurred while I was not on the neurotin. Please advise.  I have developed "massive" headaches that I never had before.  Rest and closing my eyes helps. Thank you!

If your pupil dilates substantially more than the other pupil at any time, this ought to be investigated by your own physician or an ophthalmologist, as soon as possible. Although most serious health problems would result in permanent dilation of the pupil, temporary dilation can indicate some change in the way the eye reacts to light and/or the function of the nerve in the eye. While it is not likely that this represents a serious problem, it should be investigated as soon as possible.

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Question from the United Kingdom
My son aged 13 wears glasses since he was 7. Now his prescription has really gone up -7.5 and -6.5. No one really advises about how to stop or slow this damage. I was told that change will occur till he is 18. But at this rate can he go blind. There are corrective surgical procedures but you have to wait until your are 18. what as a parent I can do to help his vision.

When children develop progressive near-sightedness, it is most often genetically determined. If an eye examination has not indicated any eye disease, there is no proven way to prevent the progression of the near-sightedness as the child grows. It is impossible for increasing near-sightedness to cause blindness. However, it can cause the need for very strong lenses, in order to focus accurately. If a complete eye examination has not shown any eye problem it may be that his near-sightedness cannot otherwise be affected. Do consult your eye doctor again with regard to this question.

Question from the USA
My wife noticed this morning while she was applying make-up a pronounced red line on both of her eyes at the base of her spheres.  I'm concerned.   It looks scary.  What can you tell me about it ?

Redness in the area of the eye under the eyelid is generally caused by prominent or dilated blood vessels. If this occurs in the absence of pain or blurred vision it usually does not indicate any serious problem. However, if it persists or other eye symptoms occur, it should be investigated by an eye doctor, as soon as possible. I would recommend an eye examination to determine whether any treatment is necessary, unless this resolves immediately.

Question from Malaysia
Lately, my eyes have been itching very frequently and I get a lot of eye poo when I wake up in the morning.  I wear glasses and I use contact lenses occasionally. There is only a slight redness in the eye which I think is normal. I've seen a nurse about this before but didn't seem to find anything wrong.  What could be causing this itch and how do I get rid of it?  I know my eyes are naturally quite dry and my eyes get tired easily.

Itching and discharge in the eye can come from a number of different sources. Sometimes allergies will cause these symptoms.  It is also possible that the eyelid glands may be inflamed, to create this sort of problem.  One simple thing that can be helpful is hot compresses on the eye each night before bed.  If this does not relieve the problem promptly I would recommend an eye examination by an eye doctor to determine its cause and best treatment.

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Question from Kentucky
How long do you think it will take to cure every eye disease?

While there have been enormous advances in treatment of eye diseases there are so many potential eye problems that I doubt that it will ever be true that all eye diseases are curable. However, great strides have been made and continue to be made on some of the most common and most serious diseases causing vision problems.

Question from Pakistan
I am very keen about my eyes but I cannot see clear with my left eye.  I consulted many of the doctors specialists in Pakistan but none of them give me satisfactory answer.   But one eye specialist told me that your retina is damaged and all other things are OK.  Please inform me that this sort of problem can be resolved.

Retinal damage is frequently permanent because the retinal cells are nerve tissue and it is very difficult to repair damaged nerve tissue. You might want to ask whether your doctors know why the retina is damaged and whether any treatment is possible. Some retinal damage can occur from birth and others may be due to problems later in life. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Question from Texas
I use muro128 5%.  If I don't use this treatment I can't see nothing.  Now I use it for more than 1 year.  So when do I have to stop this treatment?

The ointment you described usually decreases swelling on the surface of the eye. If this has been necessary for over one year and your symptoms continue to occur when you stop using the ointment, you must have a chronic condition causing corneal swelling. You should consult your eye doctor with regard to any additional treatments that may be beneficial. However, if the ointment is successful, you may continue to use it because it generally has no major side-effects.

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Question from Texas

You noticed a hemorrhage under the surface layer of the white of the eye. Sometimes when there is pressure in and around the eyes, such as when the muscle contraction associated with vomiting occurs, small blood vessels in the eye may rupture. This will behave like a bruise and go away spontaneously. I suspect it has already improved, but if further problems should arise or if it does not resolve completely within one week, you should consult an eye doctor.

Question from New York
Dear Doctor,  I have had severe dry eyes since 1990.  I have found a wonderful eye doctor that has worked with me and I have finally found some relief.  Over a period of 2 years, I ended up plugging all 4 punctums.  I never got any significant relief until all 4 were plugged.  I now only need to do eye lid scrubs 4 times a day to have almost total relief (and plenty of tears)  My question is a hard one that my doctor does not know the answer to.  I want to know why I have this problem.  I do not have dry mouth. I have had a lot of blood work done and the only thing that shows up consistently is a high sed rate.  I do not have any arthritis that I know of.   I am a  42 year old female.  I am generally healthy other than the dry eyes.  Do you have any ideas why I have this and also, even though nothing obvious has been found, is there certain diseases that may present themselves in the future.    Thanks so much for your help.   

Many patients have dry eyes without any known cause, elsewhere in the body. It is presumed that this merely means they have naturally lower function in their tear gland. The fact that you continue to do eyelid scrubs suggests that part of your problem is due to the oil glands in the eyelid. Oil gland problems do not always accompany dry eyes but they can make them worse. Blepharitis, which refers to problems in the oil glands, can be caused by many environmental irritants as well as other local eye diseases. Finally, if you do have a high sed rate, that indicates some inflammation in your body. That inflammation may well be affecting the tear glands or the oil glands, even though you do not have an identifiable inflammatory diagnosis.

Problems like this, although common, continue to be challenging and medicine does not have all the answers as far as cause for many cases like yours. However, I am happy that your symptoms have been improved. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any further questions.

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Question from New York
My spelling is bad so bear with me... My 6 year old, suffers from premature retinopathy. She has had vectrectomy surgery.  The outcome is grim.  Is there anything else I can do to save her sight and /or her eye?

Unfortunately retinopathy of prematurity is a very difficult problem to treat, because it involves damage to the retina that occurs at a very early age. New research studies have helped with the surgical treatment of this condition, but it is rare that the eye or eyesight can be restored entirely to normal. If you have consulted with a specialist in pediatric retinal diseases, I expect you have been offered the best treatment alternatives. If any other questions should come up, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best of luck.

Question from California
Just like a previous question,  I too experience dizziness when moving my eyes fast from side to side.  However, I do not take ##.  I have been tired lately, and I am heavily into computers.  Any suggestions?

Dizziness when moving your eyes from side to side can result from problems with the balance mechanism. The balance mechanism in the inner ear is coordinated to eye movements so that we can maintain our equilibrium when we move or our head changes positions. If eye movement causes dizziness it may be the balance mechanism rather than your eyes that are causing the problem. I would recommend that you consult your own physician who then can recommend an eye examination, should it be necessary.

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Question from Illinois
I have had 7 puntual occlusions for Sjogren's Syndrome in 12 years and now have visual loss due to cornea dystrophy.  Does anyone else have cornea dystrophy?

You might want to check on which type of cornea dystrophy you have. That will be helpful as you seek people with a similar condition.

Question from Maryland
What is episcleritis?

Episcleritis is a condition in which the layer between the white of the eye and the mucous membrane on the surface of the eye becomes inflamed. It usually results in redness that is localized to one area on the white of the eye, often in a wedge shape. Sometimes it causes little, if any, discomfort, but it may create mild pain and irritation. It can resolve spontaneously or it may need medication if it is severe or persistent. It almost never causes any long term problem with the eye, but it always should be evaluated by an eye doctor.

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Question from Michigan
I have questions regarding my vision.  It seems I have trouble focusing on fine detail for any length of time without my vision appearing blurry.  For example: if I am looking at something across the room or close and try to focus on it, my eyes appear to me to focus in and out.  Like my pupils are adjusting themselves in and out.  I have trouble reading several lines of print in a row without losing track of the line I was reading, finding myself on a line either above or below the one I thought I was reading.  I also find myself having difficulty with certain color words with a different
color background, one appearing in an almost 3-d way.  I have eye exams with my optometrist every 2 years but have not found anything unusual to date.  I also saw a neurologist last year for problems with dizziness which he felt was nothing more than benign positional vertigo.  At best, I feel like nobody will understand what I am sensing or seeing.  I told my family Dr.  but he did not seem to think it was an issue.  What do you think?

The problem you are describing sounds complex, but it may be related to the natural focusing mechanism of your eyes. A complete eye examination should be able to determine if there is an asymmetry of focusing or if you are using extra muscle effort to focus, which could result in the clarity of objects seeming variable. I would recommend checking with your eye doctor or getting a second opinion and describing the symptoms as you have to me. While this does not appear to be any serious health problem of your eyes, it certainly would be a continued irritant if it cannot be solved.

Question from California
Can you tell me what papaloma is?  (Spelling is probably wrong).  What is the cause and what treatment can I expect to receive for this.

A papilloma is an overgrowth of the surface tissue. It can occur on the skin or on mucous membranes. If you are referring to a papilloma in the eye, it is usually on the mucous membrane covering the white of the eye or the internal surface of the eyelid. Frequently these can be removed in a minor surgical operation quite successfully. If you know more details about the papilloma, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Question from California
I am a 42-year-old female.  I have been diagnosed with Papilledema.  In 1982, I had a placement of a Vena Cava Filter for Thrombophlebitis from an injury.  What could be the causes of fluid build up in the brain that would cause pressure on the Optic Nerve?  I am scheduled to have a CT Scan.  Your reply is greatly appreciated!   Thank You!

Papilledema means swelling of the optic nerve. The first diagnostic procedure is usually to determine if anything may be causing pressure in the brain or within the skull. If these tests do not show an identifiable cause, then other considerations, such as medication side-effects or abnormal fluid flow around the brain can be investigated. A neurologist and/or a neuro-ophthalmologist can be very helpful in further evaluation and I would recommend that you get such an opinion if you have not done so already.

Question from Illinois
2 questions.  My left eyelid has been twitching for two weeks.  Should I go to a doctor?  Also, I wear contacts, is there an eye drop that takes the red out without damaging the contact? 

If your eyelid has been twitching consistently, it would be wise to have an eye examination to determine if there is an identifiable cause. Frequently eyelid twitching does not have a clear cause and effect relationship to an eye problem, but this should be investigated. Secondly, if you have redness in your eyes when you wear contact lenses, you should have the contacts checked to determine if they are in good condition, fit properly and are not causing irritating on your eyes. If there is some irritation that may be a partial cause of the twitching as well.

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Question from England
My son aged 13 wears glasses (-7.5, -6.5)for shortsight. His sight has been deteriorating since he first started wearing glasses with -0.5 on both eyes. Can anything be done to stop or slow down this damage to his eye sight. Are there any exercises, vision therapies to achieve this. How the corrective procedures like LASIK surgery or orthokeratology can help him see without glasses.

One update to your previous answer. LASIK is not indicated for anyone under the age of at least 18-21, because a growing eye does not respond in the same way as an adult eye does. Furthermore, surgery should never be performed on a patient whose eyesight has not been stable for approximately one year. Orthokeratology is a specific procedure in which an attempt is made to alter the focusing of the eye by the use of contact lenses. While this does not work for everyone and its effects may not be permanent, a specialist in this area could give advice as to whether it would be helpful for your son.

Question from Michigan
It was not easy finding your web page it happened almost by accident.  I have wore hard contacts for thirty years.  Went to have laser surgery and doctor refused to do it twice because eyes were not stable from hard contacts and one eye was reshaped and had not come back to natural shape.  This was to happen in Canada where I am told they are more advanced with laser technology.  Now I hear about keravsion is it worth waiting for?  The last question is I have a somewhat thick prescription can I get thinner glasses in Canada?

When the cornea is unstable from hard contact lens wear, laser surgery is less successful and less predictable. However, most people if they discontinue hard contacts for an extended period of time, for example, three to six months, will achieve sufficient stabilization that laser surgery can be considered. While Keravision may be helpful, it is likely to be less successful for higher degrees of near-sightedness. Finally, most optical shops do offer high index plastic, which can be made into thinner lenses for eye glasses. If you have further questions after consulting your eye doctor, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Question from the United Kingdom
My Mother is going blind in one eye, she has seen numerous specialists had scans & tests, and they can't come up with anything more concrete than "It might be a virus" (they don't know) There are no visible signs of damage, but the eye is deteriorating.
I wonder if you could help me find out where I can find a UK based Eye Specialist who is a diagnostic expert - so we can try and find out what is happening to her.  Thank you in advance for your help.

It sounds like there is a difficult diagnosis involved in your mother's case. The best general advice in terms of finding specialists for unusual cases would be to consult the local university or the UK Ophthalmology Society for the appropriate specialist. Certainly there are conditions where even the experts may be hard-pressed to make an accurate diagnosis, however.

Question from Arizona
My wife has had surgery to remove a pterygium, which has now grown back.  Her surgeon says laser surgery is still not an option on this type of growth, which must be surgically excised.  He plans on following the second surgery with radiation treatment to prevent re-occurrence, which is a more aggressive treatment.  Is there a laser treatment for this type of growth removal?  Why not?  Is radiation treatment following surgery a good idea?

Unfortunately a pterygium can recur after surgery. There are several treatments which can help to decrease the odds of recurrence. Radiation has been successful in many cases, though it is not an absolute certainty that it could not recur. Laser treatment can be beneficial for some kinds of growths on the cornea, but usually a pterygium is not a good candidate for this kind of laser surgery. It appears that your wife's physician has given you a good recommendation, but if you wish further information it is always possible to get a second opinion prior to embarking on the surgery.

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Question from North Carolina
For many years I have had a left to right continuous movement in my eyes. Most all the doctors that have seen me have no idea what it is. It first began when I was about 12 years old. It makes it difficult to focus on words and faces because they constantly move because of the eye movement. Any ideas?

The movement you describe could be a form of nystagmus. It would be worthwhile to seek an opinion from an expert in neuro-ophthalmology to determine what this condition is and what its cause might be. Unfortunately, many of these conditions cannot be eliminated or treated, but at least you would have a good idea of the nature of the problem that you have experienced.

Question from Arizona
My prescription measures 14 and 14.25 diopters of correction. I also have an astigmatism. What limitations are there with LASIK? I also have corneal scars. Should corneal transplant be a consideration?

LASIK can be effective up to relatively high degrees of near-sightedness, but it's success, its predictability and the possibility of future problems do change at that level of near-sightedness. Furthermore, laser surgery on a cornea that is scarred may not give the same results. It would be wise to have an evaluation with an expert in corneal surgery to determine whether LASIK or a corneal transplant or some other treatment might be the most beneficial for your particular condition.

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Question from South Carolina
My 72 year old mother has suffered from an eye problem for years:  her vision in one eye will suddenly get smaller and smaller until it gets to be the size of a pinhole.   It goes black for 2-3 minutes and normal vision is restored.  She has had 2-3 Corotid (sp?) artery tests which come out ok, in past few years.  This has been increasing in occurrence this year -- sometimes 2-3 times a week, many times at night. A couple of weeks ago, she had an episode of "confusion" for a few minutes.   Yesterday she woke up with a black eye -- but no trauma to cause it.  And this morning she woke up at 4:00 a.m. with a headache and pain behind her eyes, followed by a vision blackout.  She went to an ophthalmologist this a.m., the same one she has been seeing; he insists it is nothing -- maybe a "cramp" in vessel.  I am concerned, however.  She also wore a heart monitor overnight this week, prescribed by a cardiologist -- came out ok.  Thank you for any insight you can give. 

This condition of temporary loss of vision is called amaurosis fugax. It can be caused by blockage of blood vessels to the eye and frequently these blockages can come from the carotid artery. If her carotid tests have been normal, there are other areas to look for the cause of the blockages. It is also possible that there is a spasm in the muscle of the blood vessels causing these symptoms. If no other tests have helped in determining the cause, it may be worthwhile to consult a neuro-ophthalmologist who may be able to give you further insight into this problem. Best of luck.

Question from Los Angeles
What are the causes of "pink eye?"

Pink-eye is an infection of the mucous membrane covering the white of the eye. Most cases of pink-eye are caused by viruses, but there are more than 100 viruses that can be involved in causing pink-eye. It is also possible to have an infection caused by a bacteria, though this usually is a more severe problem than those infections caused by viruses. Most pink-eye, if it is caused by a virus, eventually gets better on its own, though sometimes eyedrops can help to accelerate the improvement or make the eye feel better while it is recovering.

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