calgary optometry

Common Eye Conditions

Eye Health

Emmetropia:

The medical term for vision that requires no corrective lenses (spectacles or contact lenses) to give 20/20 vision. This occurs because the optical power of the eye focuses light rays (images you see) perfectly on the retina.

Ammetropia:

When the optical power of the eye focuses light rays (images you see) in front or behind the retina.

Astigmatism:

Occurs from an irregularly shaped cornea and/or crystalline lens (shape is more football like than soccer ball like). This causes two distorted images to form in back of the eye rather than one clear image.

Hyperopia (Far-sightedness):

Occurs when light rays are focused behind the retina, often because the eyeball is shorter than normal. Symptoms of hyperopia include headaches, eyestrain, squinting, and difficulty focusing at near, not distance.

Babies are born with hyperopia and most of them outgrow it as their eye develops. Hyperopia affects 25% of the population but can be corrected with spectacle lenses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

Myopia (Near-sightedness):

Occurs when light focuses in front of the retina from the eyeball being longer than normal. Myopia tends to run in families, and children with parents with myopia have a greater likelihood of developing myopia. Myopia tends to worsen during teenage years.

Myopia can be caused by environmental factors. Extended periods of ‘near work’ involving fine detail or focusing on objects up close can cause the eyes to adapt to that near distance making distance vision blurry.

Spectacle lenses, and contact lenses are both options to correct for myopia. Once it stabilizes, refractive surgery may be an option.

Severe myopia can be a risk factor for eye conditions such as glaucoma and retinal detachments. In some cases of myopia in children and teenagers, myopia can worsen at rates faster and larger than normal. This is known as myopia progression and may need to be treated by alternative methods such as ortho-keratology (specially designed contact lenses worn at night to re-shape the cornea) or specific multifocal contact lenses.

Amblyopia (Lazy eye):

A vision development disorder affecting children where one or both eyes do not have normal visual acuity, even with spectacle lens or contact lens correction. Amblyopia can occur from large refractive states (astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia), misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) or from something blocking light entering the eye, such as a congenital cataract.

If left untreated during childhood, amblyopia can remain throughout adulthood. Treatment options can include a combination of spectacle or contact lens correction, patching, and/or surgery to remove what is blocking the vision. An assessment by one of our optometrists can help determine the most appropriate treatment options.

Strabismus (crossed eyes):

Strabismus (crossed eyes) is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It usually occurs in people who have poor eye muscle control or are very farsighted.

Normally, the eyes work together so they both point at the same place. When problems develop with eye movement control, an eye may turn in, out, up or down. The eye turning may occur all the time or may appear only when the person is tired, ill, or has done a lot of reading or close work.
Strabismus is treated by improving eye alignment and coordination, using eyeglasses or contact lenses, prism lenses, vision therapy or in severe cases eye muscle surgery.

20/20 vision:

Normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.

Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.

Eye Diseases

Blepharitis:

Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is a chronic external eye disorder resulting in red, burning, and irritated eyes. Blepharitis is caused by the inflammation of the oil glands located behind the eyelashes.

There are a number of available treatments for this chronic condition. Speak to your optometrists about the options.

Conjunctivitis:

Also known as Pink Eye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a contagious virus or bacteria, by allergies, or by irritants in the environment.

Depending on the cause, there are different treatments for conjunctivitis, including antibiotic eye drops or ointment, allergy eye drops or topical treatments. Your optometrist can suggest the appropriate treatment.