If you require an eye doctor who can diagnose and treat disorders of the eye, it’s an ophthalmologist you’re looking for. At Cullman Primary Care Multi-Specialty Group, our ophthalmology team is able to treat virtually every eye-related condition in a comfortable and convenient setting. From routine vision screenings and prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses to complex surgical procedures, our ophthalmology team can handle it all.
Some of the most common eye disorders we treat include:
Astigmatism is a common eye disorder that causes blurry vision. It is due to an imperfect curvature of the eye, which causes light rays to unevenly distribute on the retina and results in distorted vision. It can be difficult to see things nearby as well as at a distance with an astigmatism.
Glasses and contacts can correct some astigmatisms, and surgeries like LASIK may also help.
Cataracts are the progressive clouding of the lens of your eye. It causes gradually worsening blurry vision and may feel as though you are looking out a cloudy window. Cataracts are very common in older adults – more than half of all Americans over the age of 80 have had cataracts. It usually first begins to develop when you are in your 40s or 50s, although noticeable signs or symptoms may not appear until age 60 or later.
The good news is a safe and relatively simple surgery can fix cataracts and clear your field of vision. During the surgery, your ophthalmologist removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear artificial intraocular lens. Cataract surgery is usually recommended when your cataracts begin to interfere with your daily life.
Dry eye is just as it sounds – your eyes do not produce an adequate volume or quality of tears to stay wet. This is more likely to occur with age and may be a side effect of certain medications as well as medical conditions like thyroid disorders, allergies, lupus, and more. Chronic dry eye can cause a stinging or burning sensation, light sensitivity, and difficulty seeing.
A variety of treatments are available and can ease the discomfort of chronic dry eye. Medicated eye drops as well as artificial tears are commonly used. There are also minimally invasive procedures that may offer a more permanent solution to chronic dry eye. Ask your ophthalmologist what treatment options are right for you.
Accidentally scratching the cornea of your eye is a common type of eye injury. The cornea is the outer layer at the front of your eye. It protects the pupil and iris and allows your eye to properly focus light rays onto your retina (at the back of your eye), so you can see.
Small abrasions – as might occur if you rub your eyes vigorously when dust or other debris is present on the eye – usually heal on their own rather quickly. However, the pain of a corneal abrasion usually will send you to a doctor, who may use numbing drops to relieve your pain.
Deeper lacerations or trauma to the cornea require immediate medical attention as it may lead to scarring and vision problems. These injuries may occur in workplace accidents, while playing sports, or anytime small objects or chemicals may get into the eyes.
Corneal ulcers – painful inflammation affecting the cornea – can be the result of trauma or infection. It is considered a medical emergency. Treatment may include antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral medications.
If you see two images where there should be only one – you are experiencing double vision, or diplopia. There are a number of reasons for double vision, including trauma, fatigue, or wearing glasses or contacts with the wrong prescription strength.
A number of different medical conditions can also cause double vision, including high blood pressure, myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder that affects the nervous system, and Graves’ disease, a problem with the thyroid. Double vision can also be a sign of a stroke.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing double vision. Your ophthalmologist may be able to treat it immediately or, depending on its cause, may refer you to an appropriate specialist such as an endocrinologist or neurologist.
There are a number of eyelid diseases our ophthalmology team can address, including:
- Blepharitis – inflammation of the eyelids, typically caused by clogged oil glands at the base of the eyelashes
- Blepharospasm – involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids
- Ptosis – drooping eyelids that can occur for a variety of reasons, including trauma, fatigue, age, or family history
If your eye condition bothers you, is painful, or makes it difficult to see, make an appointment to see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Your treatment options will depend on the condition you have and its cause.
If you are farsighted, it may be difficult to read or use a computer without corrective glasses or contacts. This is due to shorter-than-normal-eyes or an abnormally shaped cornea or lens – either of which causes light to focus behind the retina instead of on its surface. For those who are farsighted, one eye may be worse than the other.
Pressure on the eye can damage the optic nerve and lead to glaucoma. The pressure is most often caused due to the buildup of fluid at the front of the eye.
Your ophthalmologist can check for glaucoma in several different ways. The most traditional test is tonometry, in which pressure is applied to the eye – such as during the “air puff” test. In another test, your pupils are dilated so your doctor can better see and assess the health of your optic nerve. Visual field tests – in which small spots of light appear within your field of vision and you are instructed to press a clicker whenever you see one – may be used to determine how severe your glaucoma is.
Glaucoma takes years to progress. However, if it is not treated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Treatment involves lowering the pressure in the eye, either with prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, or surgery.
Photophobia – or light sensitivity – is common among those with some type of vision loss or problem with the eyes. Many different things can cause light sensitivity, such as inflammation, infection, or a foreign body in the eye. Light sensitivity is also associated with conditions such as dry eye, migraines, or post-concussion syndrome. Treating light sensitivity will depend on its cause. Antibiotics may be necessary for a pink eye (conjunctivitis) infection or corneal abrasions, while eye drops may be used to address dry eye or inflammation.
Macular degeneration is an age-related eye disease. It is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 60. Vision loss occurs because the center of your retina (the macula) becomes worn down over time, causing blurriness, then loss of vision completely in the center of your field of vision.
There is no cure for macular degeneration, although some treatments may slow progression of the disease. Having regular vision exams with dilation can help identify the earliest signs of macular degeneration.
Also called myopia, nearsightedness is a common problem in which objects nearest you can be seen clearly – but things farther away appear blurry and are difficult to see. It is the opposite of farsightedness.
Nearsightedness is the result of the shape of your eye, and it tends to run in families. Because people who are nearsighted tend to have longer-than-normal eyes, light rays entering the eye focus too far forward – in front of the retina instead of on its surface – resulting in blurry images. The longer the shape of your eye, the more nearsighted you will be.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses can easily correct nearsightedness.
Ophthalmologist in Cullman, AL
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To find out more about our ophthalmology services, or to make an appointment with our eye doctor, call Cullman Primary Care Multi-Specialty Group in Cullman, Alabama, at (256) 736-2273 or request an appointment now.