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Eye Conditions

Cataracts

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat cataracts. A cataract can be described as a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is clear at birth but eventually changes with time. Eventually the cataract becomes “mature” and can cause glare, blurred and/or reduced vision, which cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss among individuals ages 40 and up. The PBA predicts that approximately 30 million Americans will have cataracts by the year 2020.

Cataracts can be treated using visual aids, such as glasses, or through surgery. In cases where surgery is required, Esterman Eye Institute’s cataract surgeons are prepared to help patients regain better vision. A cataract surgery procedure involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). The surgeons at the Esterman Eye Institute are experienced in the modern cataract surgery, which uses a microscopic incision and ultrasound device to remove the cataract and replace it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL), usually without the need for any stitches! While cataract surgery is a real surgery and should be treated as such, cataract surgery has a very high success rate in the United States and patients routinely regain very good vision.


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Mature White Cataract

 


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Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract

 


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Left photo: Vision through a clear lens | Right Photo: Vision through a
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Top photo: Clear lens Bottom photo: Cataract Lens

INTRAOCULAR LENS IMPLANTS

Currently in today’s world, several options exist for which intraocular lens implant (IOL) can be placed in your eye during cataract surgery. Standard IOLs can correct a person’s pre-existing nearsightedness or farsightedness but do not correct for astigmatism or presbyopia (the decreased ability to read fine print up close that occurs as a result of aging, usually after the age of 40). In order to correct these conditions as well, several specialized IOLs are available.

Toric IOLs are used to correct astigmatism, as well as the patient’s underlying nearsightedness or farsightedness, thereby decreasing the need for glasses at a distance and providing clearer vision. Multifocal IOLs correct a person’s distance, intermediate and near vision, thereby allowing him or her to see fine print up close without the use of reading glasses. Placement of either the standard, toric or multifocal lens requires the same process and does not affect the actual cataract surgery. Our eye specialists are trained in placement of all types of IOLs and would be happy to assist you in choosing an IOL that would best suit your needs.

 

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PTERGYIUM

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat pteryigums. A pterygium is a wing-shaped growth that begins on the white part of the eye (also known as the conjunctiva) and can grow onto the cornea, eventually obstructing the pupil. While not cancerous, pterygiums can cause redness, irritation, and in some cases, astigmatism. The occurrence and growth of pterygiums are thought to occur mainly from UV exposure (i.e., sunlight) therefore it is important to always wear sunglasses and a hat while outdoors.

Most symptoms from pterygia can be treated with lubrication and medicated eye drops but in some cases surgery may be indicated. Surgery for pterygia has advanced in recent years with the result of more success and less recovery time.

Please consult with our ophthalmologists for more information.

 

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Illustration of a healthy eye
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Illustration of an eye with a pterygium
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Photo of an eye with a pterygium

GLAUCOMA

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is characterized as a group of eye diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision or even blindness. Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of vision loss in the United States.

Glaucoma primarily affects one’s peripheral vision but can also affect central vision eventually . The disease is typically treated by lowering the pressure, inside a patient’s eye. The two most common forms of glaucoma are open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma.

Our ophthalmologists are trained to evaluate the optic nerve and determine which type of glaucoma is present. Based on the diagnosis, our eye care professionals will develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual patient. The earlier our eye doctors diagnose glaucoma the more successful the treatment.

Because glaucoma is usually without symptoms, we highly recommend a comprehensive eye exam at least yearly. Glaucoma is most prominently found among individuals with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, those with nearsightedness, African Americans and the elderly.

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Normal optic nerve
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Optic nerve that is suspicious for glaucoma

DIABETIC EYE DISEASE

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat diabetic eye disease. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in working-age Americans. Even with adequate control of blood sugar, diabetic eye disease can occur. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics can develop diabetic eye disease and the longer a person suffers from diabetes, the greater the chance they can develop problems.

With diabetic eye disease, a person can suffer from cataracts, bleeding inside the eye, swelling of the retina, and even a retinal detachment. Treatments for these conditions are available but prevention is truly most important. It is recommended that all persons with diabetes have at least an annual dilated eye exam by an eye specialist.

Routine examinations with our doctors can help prevent these complications.

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Severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy

OCULAR ALLERGY

At Esterman Eye Institute, our physicians are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular allergies. Symptoms of ocular allergies include redness and itching, as well as tearing and burning of the eyes. Ocular allergies are usually caused by our own bodies’ immune systems reacting to environmental allergens, such as dust, cat dander, pollen, etc. When the surface of the eye is exposed to such allergens, the eye reacts by releasing histamine, which causes redness and irritation.

Ocular allergy can usually be treated with artificial tears or medicated eye drops, such as anti-histamines or steroids. If these treatments are unsuccessful, allergy testing may be indicated. Ocular allergy testing can be performed at the Esterman Eye Institute. Consult with our eye specialists for more information.

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EYELID SURGERY

At Esterman Eye Institute, our eye specialists can perform certain eyelid surgeries to help with droopy eyelids. Droopy eyelids can be from a variety of causes but one of the most common is due to a condition called dermatochalasis, which is an excess of eyelid skin that is usually associated with aging. Dermatochalasis can cause decreased vision in a person’s superior visual field, a heavy sensation of the eyelids and also can be very bothersome cosmetically. Fortunately, dermatochalasis can be corrected with an outpatient surgery. Please consult with one of our ophthalmologists to determine if eyelid surgery is right for you.

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Top photo: Before eyelid surgery | Bottom photo: After eyelid surgery

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Top photo: Before eyelid surgery | Bottom photo: After eyelid surgery

DRY EYE SYNDROME

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome, also referred to as dry eye disease. It is characterized by a lack of quality tear production or excess tear evaporation, which results in insufficient moisture and lubrication for one’s eyes. Dry eyes may also result from environmental factors that irritate the eyes.

Our eye specialists perform diagnostic tests to evaluate the nature of a patient’s dry eye disorder, determine treatment options and improve symptoms. A common treatment plan involves artificial tears, eye drops and/or ointments, which simulate the action of tears. Punctal plugs are another treatment option for dry eyes, since they slow tear drainage and can improve tear film function. Restasis® eye drops can also be prescribed by our ophthalmologists as a treatment for dry eye.

 

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AESTHETICS / EYE SPA

At Esterman Eye Institute, we perform aesthetic procedures, such as Botox® injections. Botox® is an effective treatment for wrinkles around the eyes and foreheads, and even in the cases of uncontrollable eyelid spasm. Botox® be performed in the office. Due to the complex anatomy of the eyelid, it is important to have Botox® performed by an ophthalmologist.

Please schedule an appointment today to speak to one of our eye specialists for more information.

 

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Before Botox®
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After Botox®

MACULAR DEGENERATION

At Esterman Eye Institute we diagnose and treat macular degeneration. Macular degeneration affects one’s macula, a part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe to permanent vision loss among individuals over the age of 50 in the US.

Currently, the effects of AMD are incurable but early detection and treatment can help prevent severe vision loss from occurring. Our eye doctors are experienced in diagnosing macular degeneration and developing a specific treatment plan for each patient.

Ocular injections are the most common form of treatment for “wet” AMD, though not in “dry, macular degeneration. The eye care experts at Esterman Eye Institute can prescribe treatments that will help preserve vision and prevent further vision loss.

 

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Healthy eye without macular degeneration
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Eye with the dry form of macular degeneration