patient education.

To learn about some of the more common eye conditions, click on any of the following:

What is a Cataract and how is it treated?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's normally transparent crystalline lens. The onset of cataracts are so gradual that you hardly notice it, until one day, your ability to perform every day functions, such as driving, becomes slightly impaired.

We will all get cataracts if we live long enough. In fact, cataracts affect almost everyone by age 75, and 80% of people over the age of 60. Cataract surgery ranks as the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the U.S. and it also represents one of the most successful surgeries in terms of a rapid recovery and improvement in quality of life.

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure in which the surgeon uses specialized ultrasound equipment to break up and remove the cataract through a small incision. A permanent artificial lens is implanted to replace the cataract lens. The patient receives local anesthesia to numb the eye and remains awake during the procedure.

What is a Cornea?

The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window covering the front of the eye. It is a powerful refracting surface, providing 2/3 of the eye's focusing power. Like the crystal on a watch, it gives us a clear window to look through.

Because there are no blood vessels in the cornea, it is normally clear and has a shiny surface. The cornea is extremely sensitive - there are more nerve endings in the cornea than anywhere else in the body. The adult cornea is only about 1/2 millimeter thick and is comprised of 5 layers: epithelium, Bowman's membrane, stroma, Descemet's membrane and the endothelium.

What is Corneal Disease?

Fuch's dystrophy is an inherited condition that affects the delicate inner layer (endothelium) of the cornea. Fuch's is detected by examining the cornea with a slit lamp microscope that magnifies the endothelial cells thousands of times. Treatment can include medication or surgery as indicated.

What is Glaucoma and how is it treated?

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP). If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness. In fact, it is the second leading cause of blindness in the US.

There are many different types of glaucomas, and they can affect all age groups. One glaucoma patient may have sudden pain and redness, while another has no symptoms at all. It is important to learn as much as you can about glaucoma and to have your eyes examined by your doctor on a regular basis.


The goal of treatment is to reduce eye pressure. There are several different kinds of surgeries available to treat various types of glaucoma. Generally, the doctor won't recommend surgery until medication has been tried first. And even after surgery, medication may still be needed to control your intraocular pressure.

Conventional Glaucoma Surgery called trabeculectomy or filtering microsurgery is one option. In conventional surgery, the surgeon makes a new opening for fluid to leave the eye. The surgery is usually performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia. The surgeon removes a tiny piece of the wall of the eye, called the sclera, leaving a tiny hole through which the aqueous fluid can drain out under the conjunctiva. Laser procedures include Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty and Laser Peripheral Iridotomy.

Your physician will discuss with you the best option for your particular case.

What is a Retina?

The retina is the part of the eye that works like the film in a camera. The retina is actually light sensitive nerve tissue in the eye that converts images from the eye's optical system into electrical impulses that are sent along the optic nerve to the brain.

There are two types of photoreceptors in the retina: rods and cones. The retina contains approximately 6 million cones. The cones are contained in the macula, the portion of the retina responsible for central vision. They are most densely packed within the fovea, the very center portion of the macula. Cones function best in bright light and allow us to appreciate color.

There are approximately 125 million rods. They are spread throughout the peripheral retina and function best in dim lighting. The rods are responsible for peripheral and night vision. There are a number of conditions that can permanently impair vision including retinal tears and retinal detachments. Early detection is key in successfully treating retinal tears and detachments and your physician can determine the appropriate treatment.

How is a Retinal Detachment treated?

Some types of retinal detachments, because of their location or size, are best treated with a procedure called a scleral buckle. With this technique, a tiny sponge or band made of silicone is attached to the outside of the eye, pressing inward and holding the retina in position. After removing the vitreous gel from the eye with a procedure called a vitrectomy, the surgeon usually seals a few areas of the retina into position with laser or cryotherapy. The scleral buckle is not visible and remains permanently attached to the eye.