Amblyopia (lazy eye)

AmblyopiaAmblyopia, commonly called lazy eye, occurs when one eye develops differently than the other eye, causing one eye to be weaker than the other. Sometimes a difference in focusing ability causes one eye to be used more often. Other times, the eyes are misaligned, causing one eye to "shut off" to avoid double vision.

Symptoms

It’s hard to spot amblyopia. Sometimes a child will noticeably favor one eye over the other, but most of the time children do not show any symptoms The best way to tell if your child has lazy eye is through a complete exam at about six months of age and at two to three years of age. Early diagnosis can prevent amblyopia from leading to more serious problems, such as loss of the ability to see three dimensions or functional blindness in the amblyopic eye.

Treatment

Most of the time amblyopia can't be entirely corrected. The amblyopic eye will always be a bit weaker than the other. However, with treatment, vision in the amblyopic eye can be improved to some extent. Treatment involves encouraging the weak eye to develop. This is done using eye patches, vision therapy, glasses, and usually a combination of the three. The strong eye may be patched to encourage the weak eye to develop. Vision therapy can help to correct improper use of the eyes. If a focusing error is at the root of the problem, then glasses may reduce the error. Most of the time the amblyopic eye will require glasses.


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Astigmatism

AstigmatismSometimes the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing the eye to focus an object on two different areas of the retina. This is known as astigmatism. For the cornea to bend light correctly, it should be dome-shaped, like a basketball. Astigmatic corneas are shaped more like a football. This causes a distorted view when looking at objects which are close-up and far away.

The cause of astigmatism is unknown, but we should remember that astigmatism is NOT an eye disease, but an eye condition which is fairly common. Astigmatism is often associated with myopia or hyperopia, and it usually is present from birth. It may be hereditary, or it may be caused by factors such as pressure on the cornea, incorrect posture, or increased use of the eyes for “near work.”

Mild astigmatism may not need to be corrected. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can correct moderate to high degrees of astigmatism.


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Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) affects 75% of computer users. It is a series of symptoms related to extended periods of computer usage. Don't worry, there is no cause for panic, measures can be taken to relieve it.

Symptoms

CVS can appear as a variety of symptoms such as: headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, double vision, and irritated eyes.

Risk Factors

Any computer user can develop CVS. Your vision, your computer, and the environment where you use your computer are all factors which can lead to CVS.


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Emmetropia

When an eye's optical power is perfectly matched to its length, the eye is said to be emmetropic. Emmetropia is the medical term for vision needing no corrective lenses, contact lenses, or reading glasses. It occurs because the optical power of the eye can perfectly focus an image to the retina, giving them "perfect" vision. The opposite of emmetropia is ametropia. With ametropia, the focal point of the eye is some distance in front of or behind the retina.

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Hyperopia (farsightedness)

HyperopiaHyperopia is more commonly known as farsightedness. As the name suggests, people with farsightedness are able to focus on objects that are further away, but have difficulty focusing on objects which are very close. This is because the eyeball is shorter than normal, which prevents the crystalline lens in the eye from focusing correctly on the retina.

About 25% of the population are afflicted with hyperopia. Hyperopia can lead to chronic glaucoma, a more serious condition, later in life.

A family history of hyperopia is a risk factor for developing hyperopia. Babies are often born with hyperopia but they can usually outgrow the condition as their eyes develop into the correct shape.  Children with large amounts of hyperopia can be missed even on pediatrician and school screenings.  That is why it is so important to have children’s eyes examined even if they seem to see well.  Undetected hyperopia can lead to headaches, eyestrain, and learning difficulties.

Hyperopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are also new surgical procedures that can correct hyperopia.


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Myopia (nearsightedness)

MyopiaMyopia is the medical term for what most people call nearsightedness. It is a condition where you can see objects clearly only when they are closer, but when objects are further away you can't focus on them. Myopia usually develops in early childhood, though it sometimes develops in early adulthood. In rare cases, myopia can lead to more serious conditions such as retinal detachment.

Myopia is considered a genetic disorder. If your parents are nearsighted, you are at greater risk of also being nearsighted. Another risk factor is 'near work' - work involving fine detail or focusing on close objects.

Myopia can be accommodated and sometimes corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Sometimes myopia continues to gradually worsen throughout life, a condition known as myopic creep. Myopia can also be corrected by LASIK surgery.


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Presbyopia

PresbyopiaAs a people get older, usually when they hit their mid to late 40s, a condition called presbyopia can set in. Presbyopia is the inability to focus on objects near the eye. Mother nature essentially shuts our auto focusing mechanism down. One usually notices that it is harder to read or use the computer. Bifocals or reading glasses are a way to remedy this condition, but contact lenses are also a great option

Presbyopia is a natural consequence of the aging process. There is no cure, though researchers are constantly looking for one. Even if someone has never had vision problems before, he or she can still develop presbyopia. It may seem to occur suddenly, but it actually occurs over a long period of time. Symptoms include having to hold things at arm’s length to see them clearly, eye strain, fatigue, and headaches from near work.


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Team Doctors

Team Doctors for Montana State University

By maintaining close relationships with players and staff athletic trainers, we—as MSU team optometrists—ensure quick recoveries from on-field injuries and provide the guidance needed to help prevent future injuries and maintain optimal vision health.

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Office Details

  1. Bozeman
  2. Belgrade
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4265 Fallon St. Suite #1
Bozeman, MT 59718
Phone: 406-587-0668
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91 West Madison Suite B
Belgrade, MT 59714
Phone: 406-388-1988
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  • Thursday:7:00am - 5:30pm
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  • Saturday:Closed
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