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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

Questions are answered by:
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a Licensed Dispensing Optician
and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (***).

Answers are published on EyeSearch or emailed directly to the individual.

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Question from New Jersey
Can "mental blindness" be cured? At the age of three, I lost sight in the left eye.
Went to several doctors to try to correct it. I'm not too sure how I became blind.
I can see a little but it's like seeing through a crumpled piece of cellophane.   About 5 years ago, went to a doc and was told that the eye and retina were perfectly healthy. They say I cannot see because my brain has not made a connection with that eye and if it doesn't connect with it before the age of 7, the brain just acts as if it's not there at all. Is it possible for my brain to "reconnect" with that eye?

Apparently some eye problem interfered with your vision at an early age. Unfortunately what you were told is correct. At this point, if the eye itself is normal, no further treatment will help its vision because the ability to see was not established at an early age. If you have had a complete examination it is unlikely that any additional treatment is necessary, but in a situation like yours, it can always be helpful to have more than one doctor look to determine if all the assessments are similar.

Question from Costa Rica
Que tipo de problemas se presentan a los que tienes keratonocus?  Cuales son los cuidados ?  Cuantos casos hay en el mundo ?   Como se trata la enfermedad?

I will answer your question in English, because unfortunately, I am not fluent in Spanish. Keratoconus results from a change in the shape of the cornea, which distorts vision. This can often be improved with contact lenses, but sometimes in severe cases, if contacts do not improve vision, surgery is necessary. A corneal transplant is usually very effective at solving the problem when surgery is indicated. If you have further questions, please contact us.

Question from Massachusetts
My mother's vision has deteriorated significantly over the past year due to cataract formation. Her doctor recently recommended surgery but indicated that it will not be straightforward due to scarring from toxoplasmosis and subsequent steroid treatment. She is terrified that she will lose her sight completely following the surgery.  Should she be so concerned?

Cataract surgery in a patient who has had toxoplasmosis, generally is very successful at removal of the cataract and implantation of an intraocular lens. However, if there has been retinal damage from the toxoplasmosis, this may interfere with the quality of vision after surgery. Also there is always the possibility that the toxoplasmosis could re-activate and need further treatment. The decision about whether to have surgery is usually dependent on the severity of the visual loss due to the cataract, relative to the risk of exacerbating the toxoplasmosis problem or any other concurrent eye problems. Your mother's doctor should be able to give her some insight into the relative benefits and risks. It is highly unlikely that she would lose sight completely, although in this setting there is more uncertainty than if she did not have toxoplasmosis.

Question from New York
I'm a 23 y/o female who has a disc cupping of .75 with sharp and profound rims.  My eye pressures range between 16 and 18 and my VF'S test is normal.  I want to know at how high of a risk am I at for getting or possibly having glaucoma?

If your intraocular pressure is in the normal range and your visual field tests show no evidence of peripheral vision abnormalities, it is very likely that you may be able to avoid ever getting glaucoma. The disc cupping you have is definitely higher than normal, but some people may have that cup-to-disc ratio without ever getting glaucoma. Nevertheless, it would be wise to have regular examinations to confirm that this problem does not develop.

Question from Ohio
I was at the doctor for a cough last night and she told me I had a layer of skin
growing over my eyes from the corner closest to my nose to the starting of the pupil (?) (colored part).  She said this was a very common thing, but did not give me a name for it and she also stated that it needs to be removed surgically.  I have called the nurse hotline at the hospital I am a member of, and she has no idea what it could be.   Their computers are down right now so I cannot schedule an appointment with an eye doctor, and I am dying to know what is going on with my eyes.  I can see the extra "skin" that she's talking about.  When I move my eye, you can see it bunch up.
What could this be???

It appears that you are describing a pterygium. This occurs when the tissue of the white part of the eye begins to grow across the edge of the cornea. If this does not cause irritation or interfere with your vision it does not have to be removed surgically. However, if it causes problems or grows progressively bigger, surgery may be indicated. There are areas of "layered skin" on the white part of the eye that are normal, if they do not cross over the cornea or the iris. An eye examination by an eye doctor should be able to determine whether your problem needs treatment at the present time.

Question from Pennsylvania
I am a contact wearer.  I use the extended wear lens.  As I know you are to remove them after 2 weeks.  I had mine in for approx 4 weeks and noticed a lot of redness to my one eye.  The veins were really red.   I have had the lens out now for 4 days and the redness has lessened, but it has not gone completely.  Is there anything I could do on my own for this.  I thought I had read somewhere the lack of oxygen to eye would cause that, it that true.

When an extended wear contact lens is worn for a longer time than recommended, it often creates irritation and dryness on the surface of the eye. This is manifest by redness or prominence of the blood vessels. If you leave your contact lenses out this will improve on its own, in almost all cases. However, it may take more than just a few days to resolve completely. If that has not returned to normal within 5-7 days, it would be worthwhile to have an eye doctor examine your eye. You should be able to avoid this problem in the future, by wearing your contact lenses for the recommended time only.

Question from the United Kingdom
Please pass this on to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).  Who can provide an advice.  Hello Doctor, I am a visitor to England, Surrey. I would like to seek some advice on surgery/medicine/equipment. I am aged 72 years, live in Madras, India.
I have recently  cataract operation in the right eye and I.O.L has been fixed. But could not read. I was told by the surgeon in India that there is a dot in the retina of the right eye well as in the left eye. But cataract in the left eye not yet removed.And I can't also read through my left eye. I would you to advice me as to the further course of treatment available in the UK.  PS: I am not a diabetic patient and also I am physically fit.  Thank you.

If there is an abnormality in the retina of either eye, cataract surgery may not result in good vision for reading and other purposes. Before proceeding with any surgery on your other eye, I would recommend evaluation by a specialist in retinal diseases so that you can determine whether your vision is likely to improve with surgery. You should be able to find such a specialist through your local university or Ophthalmology Society.

Question from New York
Can you give me any information on Duane's Syndrome? My four year old son was just diagnosed with it and I can't seem to find the correct paths to find information on that Syndrome. Thank You.

Duane's Syndrome refers to several conditions in which the movements of the eye are not normal due to an abnormality in the nerves operating the eye muscles which occurs from the time of birth. When the eyes remain straight under normal circumstances, no treatment may be necessary. However, surgery is sometimes required if the child is unable to hold his or her eyes straight. Usually it is very difficult to restore entirely normal movement to the eye, but with appropriate evaluation and treatment the quality of vision should not be affected. A pediatric ophthalmologist can be of additional assistance in evaluating your son and discussing possible treatments, if any, with you.

Question from Georgia
What is the best treatment for dry eyes?

There is no one treatment for dry eye that is successful for all patients with this problem. In almost all cases the use of artificial tears is helpful in alleviating symptoms. However, some patients will also need treatment of the eyelid if there is a component of oil gland abnormality contributing to the dry eyes. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to block temporarily or permanently, the tear duct to avoid drainage of the tears in an effort to make them last longer in the eye. An eye specialist can help you with evaluating the best treatment in a specific situation.

Question from Pennsylvania
I am 24 yrs. old & have a problem with a watering eye.  When it is cold or windy my left eye begins to water & doesn't stop until I've been back in the warm for about 10 minutes.  I know that it's somewhat common, but I've never experienced before until this winter.  I also find it strange that it only occurs in one eye & not the other.  Could I possibly have an infection or is there anything that I can do to control it?

The most likely source for your problem is a narrowed or partially blocked tear duct on the left side. When you are in cold or windy conditions the eye generally secretes more tears. If the tear duct is unable to drain those as effectively as the duct on the other side, your eye will water. This is not an infection nor is it dangerous to your eye. However, if it persists or if you wish to consider treatment, consult an eye specialist. There are several things that may be able to alleviate your symptoms.

Question about Ocular Migraine
I don't seem to find to much about this disease.    Please e-mail  to let me know more.  Thanks

Ocular migraine describes a condition where the visual sensation that accompanies a classic migraine occurs without a subsequent headache. This generally involves zig-zag lines of light in the peripheral vision with a blurry spot in the center, this often changes in size during the duration of the visual change. It may last as little as 5-10 minutes or as much as an hour, although 15-20 minutes is most common. This virtually never causes any harm to the eye or any other detrimental physical effects. However, you should consult your physician with regard to any other health problems or possible treatment methods that you might wish to pursue.

Question from Texas
I had a blow out fracture in 1992 and had surgery to repair it.  I am not happy with the results (cosmetically and physically).  Is there something that can be done or is it something I have to live with it?

Although it has been a number of years since the repair of your blow-out fracture, an oculoplastic surgeon can often help to improve the cosmetic or functional status with additional surgery. Obviously this is more difficult when it is a second surgery and when it has been a number of years since the original injury. I would recommend consulting such a specialist to determine whether your condition could be improved.

Question from New Jersey
I am facing some problem in my eyes.  Last 20 days my eyes are getting red color.  I check  vision test, after changing glasses eyes are still red.  Unable to watch computer for 1 hour.  After one hour eyes are paining.  Please let me know what I have to do for which I will be grateful to you.  Bye

The persistent redness in your eyes and your eye discomfort and inability to use a computer screen indicate that there is some irritation or inflammation in your eyes. There are many possible causes for this problem and it should be checked by an eye specialist as soon as possible to determine what the source and what possible treatments are available. Usually these symptoms are not indicative of a serious eye problem, but only a complete eye examination can confirm this.

Question New York
I have a horse with a fungal infection of the eye. The medicines are very expensive. Can I try an over the counter yeast infection medicine?

Unfortunately the over-the-counter yeast infection medicines are not made in a sterile fashion to be safe for use in the eye. This applies to people and to animals, as well. While that does not mean that use of an over-the-counter medication would necessarily cause contamination or worsening of an eye infection there is no way to know whether these medicines are sufficiently sterile to be used in the eye.

Question from California
My son is 20 years old. About 2 yrs ago the doctor told us he has keratoconus.
Now they are recommending cornea surgery.  What are the chances of this surgery to solve his illness. I'm very concerned and I need your advice. Thank You!!!

When keratoconus becomes severe enough to be untreatable with glasses or contact lenses, surgery is usually very effective at curing the problem. Most statistics indicate that more than 90% of corneal transplant surgery for keratoconus is successful in terms of improving vision and eliminating the problem. If you have further question, please contact us.

Question from Texas
Where do I find statistics on the number of blue eyed, brown eyed and hazel eye colored people in the United States? Do you know the stats on this?

Thank you for your interesting question. Because most medical statistics do not include eye color among the characteristics that are documented, I am not aware of where these numbers might be available. You might want to try the Statistical Abstract of the United States or consult your local state government, which might have data from the Department of Motor Vehicle Licenses.

Question from Texas
I am 44 yrs old. For the last two years I have been working on a computer doing computer drafting. I've noticed that I have not been able to see up close with my right eye like I can with my left. Everything has an out of focus look up close up to 3' away. Some of the drawings I work with now has text so small I have to use a magnifying glass to make out what it is. I bought a pair of 2.00 reading glasses and these help greatly.  Is this happening because of my age, size of text I'm looking at, or constant work on a computer?

Many people notice changes in their near vision when they are past the age of 40. The feature that is somewhat different in your case is that your two eyes are focusing asymmetrically. This likely means that one eye is more far-sighted than the other. While over-the-counter reading glasses can be helpful, the ideal pair of glasses for you would correct each eye appropriately unlike the over-the-counter glasses, which always have the same power in both eyes. A complete eye examination should be able to determine what glasses would be most beneficial, but there is no harm in using the standard +2 glasses in the interim.

Question from Belfast, Northern Ireland
Niece has impaired vision from toxocariasis infection and recently this has reactivated causing further deterioration in vision. Difficult to get info on either progression of disease, reactivation and research/treatment. Currently has quite a lot of scarring around the macula, another reactivation will probably blind her. Current treatment antibiotic cover?drug, maxidex eyedrops and oral steroids 40mgs daily x 1 week, has helped a little with the blurred vision but what about the floaters and future transient blurring? Is this indicative of another reactivation?  Thanks.

Unfortunately, toxocariasis, in most cases, does not have any entirely curative treatment available. The medications you mentioned are intended to decrease the inflammation and help to suppress the organism causing it. However, if there has been previous damage, there is no certain way to avoid the chance of re-activation in the future. Additional information might be available from a retinal specialist in your area. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Question from Virginia
I would like information on interstitial keratitis please.

Interstitial keratitis means inflammation or infection in the middle layer of the cornea, the clear window on the surface of the eye. There are a multitude of causes, but interstitial keratitis may lead to pain, blurred vision or scarring. Please refer to the Corneal Diseases section of Eyesearch and if you have further questions, let us know about what specifics you wish to investigate.

Question from Wisconsin
Hi, my girlfriend has had crossed eyes since she her birth.  She is 17 now.  She was curious as to whether she could have her eyes fixed without surgery.  If not, what surgery does she need to get done?

If your girlfriend continues to have crossed eyes, it is likely the alignment of her eyes could be improved substantially with eye muscle surgery. However, if one eye does not see as well as the other, this could not be cured surgically. A specialist in eye muscle surgery can help with details of the possibility and success rate of surgery in her case.

Question from Virginia
I have in the surface on both eyes red little lines(especially in the corners).  In one eye I have also a small clear growth.   The "bubble" does not move and does not cause any vision problem.   Feel no pain but slightly more pressure on the eye.
What is the cause and the treatment? Thank you for your prompt response

Redness or "blister-like" areas on the white of the eye usually are indicative of irritation or dryness. When there is no pain involved, this is not a serious problem. Lubricating eye drops can be helpful, but in order to determine the best treatment for your particular situation, an examination with an eye specialist would be important.

Question from New York
I was diagnosed with Blepharospasm last July.   To date I have received a series of 2 botulin injections.  Neither helped at all.  My right eye is closed more than my left.  When it closes it is closed for quite a while.  I cannot open it even forcefully.  Is there any other treatment that you know of.  I no longer drive as I never know when my eye will close.  It seems to be sensitive to light of any kind (sun or headlights).  Any help you can give would be appreciated.  Thank you.

Blepharospasm can be a very difficult problem to treat. Botulinum toxin injections are usually quite effective, but apparently they have not been helpful in your case. Generally these injections are the most successful treatment available, so you may wish to have your eye specialist re-evaluate whether a different dose or injection type would be more helpful to you.

Question from Jordan
Dear Sir, I am infected by Behchet Disease and this has caused a serious problem in my retinas in both eyes, I've had main courses of laser in both eyes and a surgery of  cutting the glassy liquid in the left eye.   The vision improved for the best after the surgery for sometime but because of cataract as my ophthalmologist told me caused some troubles especially in the sunlight.   I would like to ask about any medication
that could help me and  if  I am in need for any surgery?  Part 2:  Dear Sir, thank you for caring for my question and replying so fast.  I would like to get to your attention that I have searched over the diseases page in EyeSearch and I would like to clarify my question as following:  Is there away that I could prevent or at least delay the cataract surgery?  I mean by any kind of medication or treatment.  And what effects could the cataract surgery affect in the case of Behchet Disease?  Best wishes and thank you again. 

Behçet's disease can cause serious eye inflammation with resultant vision problems. Apparently some of your treatments have helped your vision but now it is being impaired by a cataract. You should consult your ophthalmologist with regard to the prognosis and indications for cataract surgery at this time. If the status of the retina and your inflammation is stable, cataract surgery may help with your visual symptoms. However, further inflammation can result after cataract surgery in patients with your problem.

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Question from Arizona
I had LASIK on right eye a year ago Nov. and the Dr. is very pleased with the results.  Since the procedure a cloud or film is constantly there.  The Dr tells me that has do to with dry eyes. He has prescribed eye drops but there is no clearing of the cloud.  Out of numerous visits and a great deal of frustration, I am no longer seeing that Dr. after six years of service.  If the cloud was not there I would be very pleased.  Any specialist in the Phoenix area would be greatly appreciated.  My prescription before surgery was a -19 and now I see the best my eye can which is 20/50.

In order to evaluate further the nature of the cloudiness in your vision, you may want to consult a corneal specialist. There should be one or more such specialist available at the State University in Tempe, Arizona, or you could consult the Arizona Society of Ophthalmology for a recommendation. I wish you luck with your determination of the cause and treatment of your problem.

Question from Connecticut
My father has developed blurred vision. He can only see clearly if he holds his head in a certain direction. The doctors say he may have had a stroke.  He takes cholesterol medicine and shortly before this happened he had to double up on the medication.  Could this have caused his problem?  Also, I've been researching--could this just be macular degeneration?  Thank you

Thank you for your question. Please let me know which direction allows your father clear vision. In addition, it would be helpful to know whether his vision is perfect when his head is in that position and whether this problem in other positions is blurriness or double vision.

Question from Arizona
I just got back from the eye doctor today, I have 20/20 in the left, 20/25 in the right. I had went to discuss a spot on my right eye, which turns out to be a floater. In the exam, the doctor finds that I have a cotton wool spot in my left eye. It shows a spot below the eye that he said was a hemorrhage. Where there's oxygen depletion. He asked the normal questions, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc... I have none that I know of. My mother however does have high blood pressure and is a diabetic. He has asked that I see a doctor and get a full exam, plus be tested for diabetes, high blood pressure, HTN, and also HIV. I am 34 years old, married for 17 years, and am healthy. My last exam was prob. 12 years ago. I did however, with my last child, did receive blood, that was 13 1/2 years ago. Do you feel that this could be HIV related or possibly due to diabetes / high blood pressure. One other thing, I have bad allergies and go into terrible sneezing fits that when I sneeze, I really sneeze.  And often sneeze more than 5 times in a row. This cause my shoulders and chest to really hurt from the pressure of sneezing. Do you feel that this allergy could have caused the hemorrhage?

The information you were given about a cotton wool spot is accurate. There are situations in which a cause for a single cotton wool spot is never discovered.   However, it is certainly important to check with your general physician and have the recommended evaluation. While it is theoretically possible that any of these problems could be the source of your cotton wool spot, it is not certain that there is an additional disease involved in causing this finding. Please contact us if you have further questions after you have had your physical examination.

Question from Virginia
Is there any surgical procedure currently available to correct a nystagmus.  If not, is there any research being done on the possibility of being able to correct this problem in the future?

At present, most cases of nystagmus cannot be surgically corrected. Because there is a constant movement of the eyes, this is not as amenable to correction as a fixed mis-alignment, such as that in strabismus. Research on additional treatments is ongoing but I do not know of any immediate surgical possibilities in the future.

Question from Washington
I have been diagnosed with Central Serous Retinopathy in the right eye.  I am 56years old and have been told it is a condition relating mostly to young people. What information can you tell me about my condition, what brought on this condition and what can I do to improve my eyesight?  I have also been told that there is nothing to be done and the condition will improve over time, is this true?

Central serous retinopathy is a condition in which blood vessels in the retina leak causing swelling of the retina and blurred vision. There is no known cause of this condition and it generally affects "young" people, your age range is certainly not unusual for this problem. It often improves spontaneously but in some cases where improvement does not occur and vision is impaired, laser treatment can be helpful in resolving the condition and improving vision. A dilated retinal examination and observation of your particular situation should be able to determine whether treatment is beneficial to you and can give you additional information on the particulars of your situation. Please contact us if you have further questions.

**Question from the USA
What is the difference between bi focals with lines and bi focals without lines.  Is there any difference as far as the way you see while wearing them or is it strictly aesthetic?  Thank you for your time.

Bifocals with the line gives you two distinct visions.  One for the distance vision and one for the near vision with a slight blurr to divide the two different visions.  You are looking over a shelf all the time.  With the No Line multifocal you have more natural vision because you are not looking over a shelf or you do not experience a jump image going from one vision to another one.  They are two different lens designs which I feel the No Line multifocal is a far superior design.

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