Ophthalmology Upper West Side
Ophthalmology Upper West Side
Ophthalmology Upper West Side

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Medical Ophthalmology

Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma Treatment Upper West SideGlaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the US, and can affect patients of all ages, many of who do not experience any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the disease. Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eye, but can also be caused by a severe eye infection, injury, blocked blood vessels or inflammatory conditions of the eye.

There are two main types of glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma and involves fluid in the eye not draining properly through the trabecular meshwork. Angle-closure glaucoma involves a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye and poor drainage because the angle between the iris and the cornea is too narrow.

Many patients do not experience any symptoms during the early stages of glaucoma, including no pain and no vision loss. This makes it difficult for many patients to know if they have the disease. But as glaucoma progresses, patients may experience a loss of peripheral or side vision, along with sudden eye pain, headache, blurred vision or the appearance of halos around lights.

Diagnosing Glaucoma
While some patients may experience symptoms from glaucoma as the disease progresses, others do not learn they have the condition until they undergo a routine eye exam. There are several different exams performed to diagnose glaucoma, including a visual field and visual acuity test. These tests measure peripheral vision and how well patients can see at various distances. Other tests may also be performed, such as tonometry to measure the pressure inside the eye and pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea.

Treatment for Glaucoma
Once glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as soon as possible to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage from occurring. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery. The best treatment for your individual case depends on the type and severity of the disease, and can be discussed with your doctor.

  • Eye drops are used to reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or to help drain excess fluid, but can lead to redness, stinging, irritation or blurry vision. Patients should tell their doctor about any allergies they have to minimize the risk of side effects.
  • Laser surgery for glaucoma aims to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages through laser trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation.
  • Microsurgery involves a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy, which creates a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the pressure that causes glaucoma. Surgery is often performed after medication and laser procedures have failed.

 

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Dry Eye Treatment

 Dry Eye Treatment Upper West SideDry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are insufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear ducts don't produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance.

Patients with this condition often experience irritating symptoms and can suffer from more serious vision damage if this condition is left untreated. It is important for patients with this condition to take special care of their eyes in order to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. Dr. Steinberg can diagnose dry eye after a thorough evaluation of your eye and tear production through a Schirmer tear test.

Causes of Dry Eye
People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries. Dry eye tends to affect women more often than men, as the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, menopause and with the effects of oral contraceptives can affect the consistency of tears. It is also more common in people over the age of 50. Other causes may include:
  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants
  • Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems
  • Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind and dry climates
  • Long-term contact lens use
  • Refractive surgery

These factors can affect the frequency or consistency of tears, both of which can lead to dry eyes. Our natural tears require a certain chemical balance in order to efficiently moisturize the eyes.

Symptoms of Dry Eye
Patients with dry eye may experience certain symptoms from this condition, usually affecting both eyes, which may include:
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Irritation from smoke or wind
  • Eye fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Excessive tearing

Dry eye is not only painful; it can also damage the eye's tissues and impair vision. Fortunately, many treatment options are available to help relieve symptoms and restore health back to the eyes to ensure clear vision and long-term health.

 

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Allergic Eye Disease

Allergic eye disease, or allergic conjunctivitis, makes the eyes feel itchy, red, watery and light-sensitive and can cause swelling of the eyelids. The allergy may be seasonal, often occurring alongside hay fever, or it may occur throughout the year, known as perennial, as a result of exposure to allergens such as dust mites, mold or animal dander. Both are very common conditions, especially for patients with family histories of asthma, eczema or rhinitis. Less frequently, people can develop allergic eye disease from wearing hard or soft contact lenses, as a complication of atopic eczema, or for other reasons. Patients with this condition may also suffer from dry eyes and blepharitis.

Allergic eye disease is uncomfortable but it rarely causes injury. Treatment varies depending on the cause, history and symptoms, and may include topical or oral antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers or topical corticosteroids. Cold compresses may also relieve discomfort.

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