Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Ophthalmology

  • What is amblyopia? Amblyopia is a childhood problem that happens when one eye is weaker than the other. The brain chooses to take in images from the stronger eye and ignore images from the weaker eye. This means that your child uses the strong eye more than the weak eye. If the weak eye doesn't have to work, it isn't...

  • If you have narrow drainage angles or you have long-term (chronic) closed-angle glaucoma, you may need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, the dark spot in the center of the eye. Having wide pupils when you have these other problems may cause acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a dangerous condition that...

  • A perimetry test (visual field test) measures all areas of your eyesight, including your side, or peripheral, vision. To do the test, you sit and look inside a bowl-shaped instrument called a perimeter. While you stare at the center of the bowl, lights flash. You press a button each time you see a flash. A computer...

  • Covers surgery used to treat congenital glaucoma in children. Looks at what to expect after surgery, how well it works, and risks.

  • Discusses eye disease that damages the optic nerve. Covers open-angle, closed-angle, and congenital glaucoma. Covers importance of finding and treating early, to help prevent blindness. Looks at treatment with medicine and possibly with lasers or surgery.

  • Retinal imaging uses special cameras and scanners to make magnified images, or pictures, of the back of your eye. This includes the retina. It's the part of the eye that's most responsible for your vision. Common imaging methods include: Color and black-and-white photography. A camera magnifies the...

  • During trabeculectomy—sometimes also called filtration surgery—a piece of tissue in the drainage angle of the eye is removed, creating an opening. The opening is partially covered with a flap of tissue from the sclera, the white part of the eye, and the conjunctiva, the clear thin covering over the sclera. This new...

  • Looks at a surgery for glaucoma typically used after a trabeculectomy has failed. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Also covers risks and how well it works.

  • Laser iridotomy uses a very focused beam of light to create a hole on the outer edge, or rim, of the iris, the colored part of the eye. This opening allows fluid (aqueous humor) to flow between the anterior chamber, the front part of the eye, and...

  • Discusses laser treatment for glaucoma. Also discusses how well treatment lowers the pressure in the eye. Covers why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes risks of this surgery and what to think about.

  • What is blepharitis? Blepharitis (say "bleh-fuh-RY-tus") is a skin problem that affects the eyelids and lashes. It may be caused by bacteria or by other skin conditions such as dandruff, skin allergies, or eczema. If you have blepharitis, you're also more likely to get styes. What are the symptoms? If you have...

  • Guides through decision to have a probing procedure done for your baby's blocked tear ducts. Discusses why a doctor may recommend a probing procedure for your baby. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Vision is the result of electrical signals that travel between the retina and the part of the brain involved with vision (occipital cortex). Electrophysiology tests check to see how well this visual nerve pathway sends the electrical signals needed for vision. These tests measure electrical activity that occurs in your...

  • Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, which lies at the back of the eye. This nerve carries visual information from the eye to the brain. If it's inflamed, you may have blurred or double vision or even loss of vision. Your doctor may...

  • Here's help with giving your child eyedrops or eye ointment.

  • Here's help with using eyedrops or an eye ointment.

  • Has info on cataracts, glaucoma, and pinkeye. Also has links to age-related macular degeneration, vision tests, and a cataract surgery decision aid.

  • Most substances you get in your eyes that make your eyes burn will not cause serious eye problems. The only treatment needed for items such as soaps, shampoos, and perfumes that get in the eyes is to immediately flush the eyes with water. After flushing, the eyes may be slightly painful and irritated, but these symptoms...

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers symptoms like red eyes and itching or burning feeling. Explains possible causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • A dilated eye exam lets your eye doctor see the back of your eye (retina). It's usually done as part of a regular eye exam. Your doctor will use eyedrops to widen (dilate) your pupils. This makes it easier to see the back of the eye. Your doctor may...

  • Learn what to expect during cataract surgery and how it can improve your vision.

  • Learn how getting an eye exam may help you stay safe and independent.

  • Learn about vision aids that can make life easier and safer.

  • Learn ways to ease the discomfort of pinkeye and keep the infection from spreading.

  • Learn how to use lighting and contrast to make your home safer.

  • Learn why getting a glaucoma test is important.

  • Guides through decision to have cataract surgery. Describes the surgery and how well it works. Includes when cataract surgery is normally recommended. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Cataracts may occur in people who also have glaucoma. This commonly occurs in older adults. If you have glaucoma and cataracts, you may consider having surgery for both conditions at the same time. Depending on which condition caused the vision...

  • In the treatment of glaucoma, your eye doctor will try to reduce the risk of damage to your optic nerve by keeping your eye pressure (intraocular pressure, or IOP) from rising above a certain level. That level of pressure is called your target...

  • Corneal ring implants are clear pieces of plastic that can be surgically implanted into the clear, dome-shaped bulge at the front of the eye called the cornea. The implants flatten the cornea and reduce nearsightedness. The implants are shaped like crescents or half-circles. After you get local anesthesia, two implants...

  • Guides through decision to have laser surgery to correct nearsightedness. Covers benefits and risks. Discusses who is a good candidate for surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) light can cause serious flash burns to the cornea from a source of radiation like the sun or lights. High-intensity light from welding equipment. Wear a welding mask or goggles for protection. Sunlight (ultraviolet rays). This is especially true at elevations above 5000 ft (1524 m) or...

  • Contact lenses are small plastic or silicone discs shaped to correct refractive errors. After your doctor tests your vision, he or she will write a prescription for the lens you need. Your prescription may change over time. Contacts are placed directly on the eye, where they float on a film of tears in front of the...

  • Fishhook injuries to the eye are rare. When they occur, they can cause a serious injury, including blindness. Prompt emergency room or ophthalmology care is needed to remove the fishhook, prevent complications, and minimize damage from the fishhook. Do the following, and then seek emergency care: Do...

  • It's common for a speck of dirt to get blown into your eye, for soap to wash into your eye, or for you to accidentally bump your eye. For these types of minor eye injuries, home treatment is usually all that is needed. See a picture of the eye. Some...

  • Many people have minor eye problems, such as eyestrain, irritated eyes, or itchy, scaly eyelids (blepharitis). These problems may be ongoing (chronic) but usually aren't serious. Home treatment can relieve the symptoms of many minor eye problems....

  • Looks at common causes of minor and serious head injuries. Discusses possible head injury emergencies. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • All children Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with your pediatrician or family doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommend that all children have an eye exam during the newborn period and again at all routine...

  • Use the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. If you know that you are not at risk for eye disease and you don't have signs of vision problems, have a complete eye exam to check for eye disease and vision problems: Every 5 to 10 years if you...

  • Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) who specialize in eye care. Ophthalmology is a surgical subspecialty. Ophthalmologists are licensed by state medical boards to practice medicine and are usually board-certified in ophthalmology....

  • The eye is shaped like a round ball, with a slight bulge at the front. The eye has three main layers. These layers lie flat against each other and form the eyeball. The outer layer of the eyeball is a tough, white, opaque membrane called the sclera (the white of the eye). The slight bulge in the sclera at...

  • Prescriptions for glasses have two main components: shape and power. The shape of a lens determines the type of correction. Concave, or minus, spherical lenses are thicker at the sides than in the middle to correct nearsightedness (myopia). Convex, or plus, lenses are thicker in the middle than at the...

  • The following tips can help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible. Provide good light for reading, work, or study (soft background light plus a light on your task). Take regular breaks from close work and visually demanding...

  • Keratitis refers to an inflammation of the cornea. Infection of the cornea is called infectious keratitis. It is the most serious complication of contact lens wear and can cause blindness. Bacterial keratitis is the most common type of infectious...

  • Hypoxia occurs when the cornea does not get enough oxygen. It is the most common complication of contact lens wear, especially extended-wear lenses. The cornea has no blood supply of its own, so it gets oxygen only from tears and directly from the...

  • Not having enough tears (dry eye) is caused by a lack of one or more of the substances that make up tears. Dry eyes are common in those who wear contact lenses. Eye diseases, other diseases, and certain medicines can also cause dry eyes. Symptoms of...

  • PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis), and epi-LASIK (epithelial laser in-situ keratomileusis) use a laser to reshape the cornea. By reshaping the cornea, these surgeries allow light to focus on the retina and thereby correct a person's vision. With PRK, the top layer on the...

  • LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is a surgery that flattens the cornea. It is the most common laser surgery for correcting nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism. LASIK makes a small flap in the cornea and removes some of the tissue exposed by the flap. The laser removes tissue from the cornea very accurately...

  • What is nearsightedness? Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common cause of blurred vision. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. If you are nearsighted, objects in the distance appear blurry and out of focus. You might squint or frown when trying to see distant objects clearly. View a photo as seen through a normal and a...

  • What is color blindness? Color blindness means that you have trouble seeing red, green, or blue or a mix of these colors. It's rare that a person sees no color at all. Color blindness is also called a color vision problem. A color vision problem can change your life. It may make it harder to learn and read, and you...

  • Graves' ophthalmopathy, also called thyroid eye disease, is an autoimmune disease that can occur in people with Graves' disease. In Graves' ophthalmopathy the tissues and muscles behind the eyes become swollen. The eyeballs may stick out farther...

  • Strabismus (say "struh-BIZ-mus") is a vision problem in which both eyes do not look at the same point at the same time. Strabismus most often begins in early childhood. It is sometimes called crossed-eyes, walleye, or squint. Normally, the muscles...

  • What are styes and chalazia? Styes and chalazia are lumps in or along the edge of an eyelid. They may be painful or annoying, but they are rarely serious. Most will go away on their own without treatment. A stye is an infection that causes a tender red lump on the eyelid. Most styes occur along the edge of...

  • As we get older, the lower eyelids sometimes start to droop away from the eyeball. Drooping is the result of reduced muscle tone in the muscles that control the eyelids. If your lower eyelids droop outward, away from the eye ( ectropion), they may no longer be able to protect your eyes, and your eyes may become dry...

  • The main treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) is injections of medicines into the eye. But in some cases, doctors recommend laser surgery. Retinal laser photocoagulation is a type of laser surgery that uses an intense beam of light to burn small areas of the retina. The burns form scar tissue...

  • What is age-related macular degeneration? Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that causes blurring of your central vision. The blurring happens because of damage to the macula, a small area at the back of the eye. The macula helps you see the fine detail in things that your eyes are focusing on. Macular...

  • Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) happens as a normal part of aging. The vitreous gel shrinks and separates from the retina. PVD normally happens over a period of time, and it's something that you won't feel. It happens because the vitreous gel in...

  • Laser photocoagulation and cryopexy are used to fix tears in the retina and prevent a retinal detachment. These methods work well to treat certain retinal tears. But some people will need future treatment for a tear in another part of the retina. You can usually receive these treatments in a doctor's office or an...

  • Scleral buckling surgery is a common way to treat retinal detachment. It is a method of closing breaks and flattening the retina. A scleral buckle is a piece of silicone sponge, rubber, or semi-hard plastic that your eye doctor (ophthalmologist)...

  • Pneumatic retinopexy is a surgery to repair certain types of retinal detachments. It is usually an outpatient procedure, which means you don't need to stay in the hospital. Before surgery, your eye is numbed with local anesthesia. Then the eye...

  • What is retinal detachment? The retina is a thin membrane of nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye. When part or all of the retina comes off (detaches from) the back of the eye, it is called retinal detachment. The nerve cells in the retina normally detect light entering the eye and send signals to the brain...

  • A tonometry test measures the pressure inside your eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP). This test is used to check for glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause blindness by damaging the nerve in the back of the eye ( optic nerve). Damage to the optic nerve may be caused by a buildup of fluid that does not...

  • Vision tests check many different functions of the eye. Some of the tests measure your ability to see details at near and far distances, check for gaps or defects in your field of vision, and evaluate your ability to see different colors. Others may check how sensitive you are to glare (brightness acuity), how well your...

  • Looks at surgery for children who have congenital glaucoma. Covers risks and how well it works.

  • People who have sickle cell disease can sometimes have vision problems. Blood cells that change shape, or "sickle," can get trapped in blood vessels, blocking the blood flow. When this blockage occurs in the small blood vessels in the inner lining...

  • Tears normally drain from the eye through small tubes called tear ducts, which stretch from the eye into the nose. If a tear duct becomes blocked or fails to open, tears cannot drain from the eye properly. The duct may fill with fluid and become...

  • If your vision is 20/50 (20/20 is normal) or worse because of a cataract, you may benefit from surgery. If your vision is 20/40 and you have severe glare problems or require good vision for work (for example, you drive for a living), surgery may...

  • For cataracts A cataract—a clouding of the lens of the eye—blocks the normal passage of light through the eye. Surgery for cataracts involves removing the natural lens of the eye that contains the cataract and either replacing it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL) or compensating...

  • After surgery to remove a cataract: Use eyedrops as prescribed by your doctor. Wash your hands before putting drops in your eye. Be careful not to touch your eye with your hands or the tip of the medicine dropper. Protect your eye. Do not rub or...

  • A cataract is a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye. The lens is enclosed in a lining called the lens capsule. Cataract surgery separates the cataract from the lens capsule. In most cases, the lens will be replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). If an IOL cannot be used, contact lenses or eyeglasses...

  • Discusses laser surgery called Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy. Covers cloudiness that may happen after cataract surgery, sometimes called aftercataract. Discusses why surgery is done, how well it works, and risks.

  • Discusses vision problems caused by cataracts, a painless, cloudy area in lens of eye. Covers symptoms like fuzzy vision, glare from lamps or sun, and frequent changes to eyeglass prescription. Discusses treatment with surgery. Also discusses vision aids.

  • Gonioscopy is an eye examination to look at the front part of your eye (anterior chamber) between the cornea and the iris. Gonioscopy is a painless examination to see whether the area where fluid drains out of your eye (called the drainage angle) is open or closed. It is often done during a regular eye examination...

  • Ophthalmoscopy (also called fundoscopy) is a test that lets a doctor see inside the back of the eye, which is called the fundus. The doctor can also see other structures in the eye. He or she uses a magnifying tool called an ophthalmoscope and a light source to see inside the eye. The test is done as part of an eye...

  • Inflammatory eye disease (uveitis) can develop as a complication in children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Children and adults who have JIA can develop cataracts, glaucoma, corneal degeneration (band keratopathy), or vision loss. The...

  • Acid products include toilet cleaners, battery acid, bleach, chemicals used in industry for crystal etching, and chemicals that are added to gas. Acid solids and liquids can cause injury, depending on the type, the strength, and the length of time the acid is in contact with the body. The damage is usually kept to the...

  • It's not uncommon for a speck of dirt or a small object, such as an eyelash or makeup, to get in your eye. Usually your natural tears will wash the object out. Objects may scratch the surface of the eye (cornea) or may become stuck on the eye. If the cornea is scratched, it can be hard to tell when you have gotten the...

  • Amblyopia is a vision problem that occurs in a child when one eye is not used enough for the visual system in the brain to develop properly. This leads to poor vision in the affected eye. Treatment corrects amblyopia by training the brain to use the...

  • There are many studies being done to look at whether certain vitamin and mineral supplements and combinations of supplements may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or delay vision loss in people who already have it. For example, the...

  • A low-vision evaluation will help you and your doctor find ways to make the best use of your remaining vision. Your doctor will ask questions to find out how your vision loss has affected your life and what changes you have already made to cope with...

  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). It is not used to treat dry AMD. Photodynamic therapy may be recommended if you can't have injections of medicines to treat your AMD or if these injections don't work. In photodynamic therapy, a light-sensitive medicine...

  • There are many things you can do to make living with low vision easier and safer. Low-vision rehabilitation specialists can give you detailed information and training on doing your household tasks and other activities that can be more challenging...

  • Bifocal contact lenses have been developed for people who have both nearsightedness and presbyopia. Bifocal lenses provide correction for both near and distance vision on each lens. A number of designs are available in hard and soft lenses. There are two main types of bifocal contact lenses: Segmented (also called...

  • Some minor pain, bruising, and swelling are common following a blow to the eye. A black eye may show up after 1 or 2 days. A few specks or a small amount of blood on the white part of the eye often appear after a blow to the eye. Use home treatment to help relieve your symptoms. A direct blow to the eye can damage the...

  • Many soaps, shampoos, and perfumes cause some burning in the eye. Flushing these products out of the eye quickly usually prevents any permanent damage or other problems. Other products also contain chemicals that can cause the eyes to burn. Predictably, pepper spray causes a burning sensation in the eyes. But so do car...

  • Signs of an eye infection may include: Pain in the eye. A feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation). Increased sensitivity to light ( photophobia). Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye. Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids. A gray or white sore on the colored part of the...

  • Ice and cold packs can reduce the pain, swelling, and bleeding of an injury. Cold therapy is usually used immediately after an injury. For an eye injury, use one of the following methods: Ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic...

  • Warmth may relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, increase circulation, and help heal a wound or other problems that affect the eye. For an eye problem, use either of the following methods: Dry warmth. Place a protective layer of fabric between a warm compress and the skin. Heating pads and hot water...

  • Vision changes that occur gradually over time or that seem to come and go are usually less serious than changes that occur suddenly and persist. Sudden changes that happen in only one eye are usually the most serious. Any sudden loss of vision lasting for more than a few seconds is a serious symptom that requires...

  • Eyelid problems may be caused by irritation or infection. Common symptoms are redness, swelling, itching, and excess tearing; some drainage may also be present. Common symptoms of a stye (hordeolum) include swelling and tenderness or a tender red lump on the eyelid with occasional discharge from the lump. A chalazion...

  • Sometimes small blood vessels in the whites of the eyes break and cause a red spot or speck. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The blood vessels may break because of sneezing, coughing, vomiting, straining, or bending over, but sometimes there is no clear cause. The blood may look alarming, especially if the...

  • Parents are often the first to notice vision problems in a young child. A vision exam may be needed if your child: Is clumsy (beyond normal toddler clumsiness) and fails to notice new things around him or her. Squints when the light is not bright or...

  • The following tips can help you keep your contacts clean and safe, which will help keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible. Carefully follow the cleaning instructions for your lenses. Keep your lenses and all supplies very clean....

  • What is farsightedness? People who are farsighted see things at a distance more easily than they see things up close. If you are very farsighted, close objects may be so blurry that you can't do tasks such as reading or sewing. A farsighted eye sees things differently than an eye that is not farsighted. Farsightedness...

  • What is diabetic retinopathy? Retinopathy is a disease of the retina. The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of your eye. It is the part of your eye that "takes pictures" and sends the images to your brain. Many people with diabetes get retinopathy. This kind of retinopathy is called diabetic retinopathy...

  • Vitrectomy is a surgery to remove the vitreous gel from the middle of the eye. It may be done when there is a retinal detachment or if blood in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage) does not clear on its own. Removing the vitreous gel gives your...

  • Laser photocoagulation uses the heat from a laser to seal or destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the retina. One of two approaches may be used when treating diabetic retinopathy: Focal photocoagulation. Focal treatment is used to seal specific leaking blood vessels in a small area of the retina...

  • What is presbyopia? Presbyopia is the normal worsening of vision with age, especially near vision. As you approach middle age, the lenses in your eyes begin to thicken and lose their flexibility. The ability of the lens to bend allows our eyes to focus on objects at varying distances ( accommodation). The loss of this...

  • The slit lamp exam uses a tool that provides a magnified, three-dimensional (3-D) view of the parts of the eye. During the exam, your doctor can look at the front parts of the eye. These parts include the clear, outer covering (cornea), the lens, and the colored part (iris). The doctor can also see the front part of the...

  • With an injury to the eye, the muscles that control the pupil size and shape can be damaged. These muscles control the ability of the pupil to change in size and keep its round shape. An injury that punctures the eyeball may tear the colored part (iris) of the eye, causing it to lose its round shape. An injury to the...

  • Vision changes may indicate a serious problem with the tissue that lines the back of the eyeball (retina), optic nerve, or blood vessels in the eye. Evaluation by a health professional is needed right away for sudden vision changes, such as: Flashes of light (photopsia). Photopsia is brief but recurrent...

  • Flushing your eye may help relieve mild eye symptoms and is the most important first aid measure for a chemical substance in the eye. The sooner you get a chemical out of the eye, the less damage it may do. If you are wearing contacts, remove them before flushing your eye. If you are not able to remove a contact, flush...

  • Many types of protective eyewear are available. Lenses in the eyewear come in a variety of thicknesses. The thickness of lenses you need to wear depend on your activities and any eye conditions you have. The lenses in these glasses or goggles should be made from polycarbonate. These lenses can be prescription or...

  • Don't rub the eye since this can scratch the outer surface ( cornea) of the eye. You may have to keep small children from rubbing their eyes. Wash your hands before touching the eye. If you wear contact lenses, take your contacts out before you try to remove the object or flush the eye. If an object is...

  • A black eye is a type of bruise. Simple bruises are treated with ice and by elevating the head. The bruise should be gone in 2 to 3 weeks. Apply ice or cold packs for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day during the first 48 hours to help reduce swelling. Place a cloth between the ice and the skin. The sooner you apply a cold...

  • Immediately flush the eye with cool water. Quickly diluting the chemical reduces the chance of serious eye damage. Fill a sink or dishpan with water. Put your face in the water, then open and close your eyelids to force water to all parts of your eye. You can also flush your eye gently under a...

  • Immediately flush the eye with cool water. Fill a sink or dishpan with water. Put your face in the water, then open and close your eyelids to force water to all parts of your eye. You can also flush your eye under a running faucet or shower. You may need to open and close your eyelids with your...

  • Use a sterile bandage if you have one. If you don't have one, use a clean bandage or cloth. Don't use fluffy cotton bandages around the eye. They could come apart and stick to the eye. Apply light pressure to a very minor skin cut near the eye to stop the bleeding. Do not apply any pressure to the eyeball. See how...

  • Insert eye ointment (if prescribed) as follows: For older children and adults, pull the lower eyelid down with one or two fingers to create a pouch. Put the ointment in the pouch. Close the eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the ointment absorb. For younger children, ask the child to lie down with eyes closed. Pull the...

  • Chemical pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or toxic pinkeye is caused by getting smoke, liquids, fumes, or chemicals in the eye. Flushing the eye with running water must be done immediately to remove the toxic chemical or liquid. Mild pinkeye can be caused by the chlorine in swimming pools. Most people don't need treatment...

  • What is dry eye syndrome? Dry eye syndrome is a problem involving your tears. Your eyes need tears to stay clean and healthy. Tears are made by glands behind your upper eyelid. Every time you blink, the tears are pushed across your eye, keeping it moist. They flow into tiny openings, called tear ducts, in the inner...

  • A cataract is a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye that blocks the passage of light to the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye, usually causing vision problems. Cataracts are rare in babies and children. But a child may be born...

  • If you are younger than 40 and have no known risk factors for glaucoma, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that you have a complete eye exam every 5 to 10 years. This includes tests that check for glaucoma. The AAO suggests more frequent routine eye exams as you age. The AAO also suggests that...

  • Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes lead to damage of the retina, the layer on the back of the eye that captures images and sends them as nerve signals to the brain. Whether diabetic retinopathy develops depends in part on how high blood sugar levels have been and how long they have been above a target...

  • You don't see as well as you used to. Eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy may be making it hard to work and manage many of your daily activities. But don't give up. There are lots of things you can do to adapt to low vision and make your life easier...

  • Vision aids can help you in many of your daily activities. Here are lists of vision aids used in different areas. Which ones might help you? Cooking Vision aids for cooking include: Large-print, ringing, or talking cooking timer. Large-print or marked control dials for stove, oven, and other kitchen appliances...

  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) for farsightedness use a laser to reshape the cornea so that light is refocused on the retina. The laser reshapes the cornea accurately without damaging nearby tissues. No surgical cut is needed. Either procedure may be used to correct...

  • Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the preferred procedure for correcting farsightedness (hyperopia). It changes the shape of the eye. In LASIK, a thin flap is made on the cornea using a blade or laser. The flap is lifted, and a laser is applied to the central corneal tissue. The laser makes contact with the cornea...

  • Several different types of contact lenses are available to treat vision problems. Consult an eye doctor who is willing to work with you to select the best type of lens for your needs and lifestyle. Hard contact lenses Most hard (rigid) lenses are made of gas-permeable materials that allow oxygen to reach...

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers what causes it and symptoms. Offers home treatment tips. Also offers tips to prevent spreading it. Includes pictures of normal eye and one with pinkeye.

  • Many eye problems are treated with eyedrops or eye ointments, and sometimes with both. Even though drops and ointments are widely used, many people don't know the best way to put them in. But with a little preparation, you can comfortably and easily put drops or ointment in your eyes or someone else's. Eyedrops and...

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