Conditions We Treat
Definition: A cataract is a clouding of the body's natural lens. Generally, they take years to develop before causing symptoms, but under certain circumstances, can develop rather quickly.
Symptoms: Most patients complain of blurred vision with distant activities (driving, TV watching) or near tasks (computer work, reading). Often times the chief complaint is that of increased glare with the above activities. Occasionally, cataracts may cause double vision or the need for frequent glasses changes.
Treatment Options: If a change in glasses prescription does not seem to improve the vision significantly, cataract surgery is usually recommended. The procedure is a day surgery procedure with local anesthetic. Typically, recovery time is only a day or two. Many patients today opt for a Custom Vision Package, which utilizes a femtosecond laser and more advanced intraocular lens implants.
Definition: Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (Lasik) is a laser procedure targeting the cornea (front surface of the eye), which changes corneal shape in an effort to reduce or eliminate the dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses.
Candidates: If the patient is in good health and the eyes are otherwise in excellent health, most patients who are myopic (near sighted), hyperopic (far sighted), and/or astigmatic can be helped by Lasik surgery. However, there are limits to all of the above which would render Lasik surgery inadvisable. If the chief complaint is presbyopia (inability to read or perform near tasks), Lasik may not be your best option. A thorough eye exam with Dr. Moninger will help determine if Lasik is a good option for you.
Definition: Glaucoma is a disease marked by deterioration of the optic nerve. The deterioration may result in loss of peripheral vision and later central vision and can lead to blindness. Most patients with glaucoma have high pressure in one or both eyes. However, some patients may develop glaucoma deterioration of the optic nerve in the setting of normal (or even low) intraocular pressures. Conversely, some patients tend to have high pressures but never actually develop optic nerve problems.
Treatment Options: Generally, treatment involves lowering the intraocular pressure. There are a variety of eye drops which help achieve this. There are also in-office laser procedures which may be an option for some patients. Still, others require surgical management to control their eye pressure.
Symptoms: Unless there is a sudden spike of intraocular pressure, there may be little or no symptoms of this disease until late in its course. A sudden pressure spike might produce symptoms of one sided eye pain, blurry vision, redness, "steamy" vision, and/or nausea. Regardless of the underlying cause, symptoms such as these should warrant a prompt consultation from your Ophthalmologist.
More than 100 million people in the United States have Diabetes or PreDiabetes, which can affect practically every organ system. The eye is no exception. Critical to the follow up and management of diabetes are regular dilated eye exams. Specifically, diabetes tends to target small blood vessels in the retina in the back of the eye. It may cause fairly mild leakage of the vessels, but may also cause significant leakage or hemorrhaging, detrimental to the vision. Any degree of leakage or hemorrhage may be significant and if detected early, could be treated with laser or medical therapies. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends regular (at least once a year) dilated eye exams to detect diabetic retinopathy as early as possible.
Definition: The macula refers to a specific geographical area of the retina in the back of the eye which corresponds to the area directly behind the pupil. This area of the retina is critical to maintaining one's central vision, which impacts practically every visual task in life (particularly driving, reading, watching TV, and recognizing faces). As the name implies, AMD involves deterioration of that critical portion of the retina.
Symptoms: Symptoms range from mild difficulty with reading tasks to a new onset of visual distortion (straight line may appear crooked) to near complete loss of central vision.
Treatment: Many studies show there is a benefit to multivitamin therapy, lutein, omega 3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. Some (or all) of these may slow the progression of AMD in some patients or may help delay the onset of AMD for patients with AMD in the family. For more advanced cases of AMD, treatments including injections of newer medications have been shown to be of great benefit for slowing, stopping or reversing vision loss in AMD patients.
Definition: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS, dry eyes) is a common condition affecting men and women of all ages. It is marked by reduced tearing in the eyes. For the vast majority of us, there is no underlying reason for this dryness.
Symptoms: Symptoms include burning, followed by tearing, foreign body sensation, pain, light sensitivity, or fatigue while reading or working on your computer.
Treatment: When symptoms are only occasional, usually over-the-counter (OTC) artificial lubricants will suffice. When the symptoms are more chronic, a prescription medication, such as Xiidra or Restasis may be a better option. Other times, your doctor may recommend a punctal occlusion, an in-office procedure, designed to help retain your tears in your eyes for a longer period of time.
Depending on the health of your eye and your prescription strength, you may be a good candidate for contact lens wear. Daily disposable contact lenses are gaining popularity for their comfort and convenience. Schedule a complete eye exam to determine if you are a good candidate for contact lens wear.
Many eye conditions begin rather silently with no actual symptoms, yet can be detected fairly early by a thorough and comprehensive dilated eye exam. Further, many eye conditions, when caught and treated early, can help prevent more serious vision loss later in life. Additionally, occasionally the comprehensive eye exam will reveal hints of other systemic problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes mellitus. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a baseline evaluation at age 40, even in the absence of any eye related symptoms. The frequency of further exams depends on your general health, current eye health, and your specific family history of eye health.