Eye Health

Dr. Harvey & Dr. Smith have extensively studied the mechanism of diseases that affect the eye and their diagnosis and treatment. Emergency treatment of injuries, such as removing a small fragment of metal on the surface of the eye, or treatment of eye infections like "pink eye" are handled the same day. Allergies that affect the eye along with dry eye syndrome can be very uncomfortable and we specialize in treatment options for these common problems.

Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when the normal flow of tears over the eyes is interrupted, or the tear film is abnormal. In many cases, dry eye syndrome is a life long problem. You can relieve the symptoms, but not cure the original cause. Artificial tear lubricants or in some cases blocking the tear ducts with punctal plugs will concentrate the limited tears that are available.

Cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural internal lens of the eye. This opacity may be a small spot or may cover the entire lens. When light enters the eye it is scattered, causing images to appear hazy and blurred. There are many different types of cataracts. The one shown here is a cortical cataract. Here the opacity forms first is the periphery of the lens and develops inward, like spokes of a wheel. Ultimately, the best treatment is to remove the cataract lens and replace it with an acrylic man made lens. This is referred to as cataract surgery.

Early Detection of Retinal Disease We take the health of your eye very seriously, and this is one of the reasons we use the latest technology with the OptoMap retinal exam. While eye exams generally include a look at the front of the eye to evaluate health and prescription changes, a thorough screening of the retina is critical to verify that your eye is healthy. This can lead to early detection of common diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, and even cancer. The exam is quick, painless, and may not require dilation drops.

The optomap story: In 1990, 5 year old Leif Anderson went blind in one eye due to an undiagnosed retinal detachment. He was getting regular eye exams, but conventional tests available at the time made a thorough examination difficult. Distressed by the diagnostic methods available, Leif's father, Douglas, designed the optomap retinal exam.

Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition when a diabetic persons blood sugar gets too high. High blood sugar levels start a series of events which end in damaged blood vessel walls. As such, the blood vessels begin to leak fluid or bleed, causing the retina to swell and form deposits know as exudates. Vision can be lost if these spots are not watched and treated. Here, at our office, we carefully examine the back of your eyes to follow and manage this and other important eye diseases.

Macular Degeneration is a condition in which the central part of the back of the eye loses blood circulation. It is considered a natural aging process. There is a breakdown of retinal pigment epithelium cells in the macular region. As the disease progresses, central vision diminishes. It is believed that this breakdown may be due to a lack of nutrients being supplied to the region. Additional studies have found a genetic link to this disease. Treatment can range from better nutritional management, sometimes to include a tablet containing the primary minerals and vitamins that are found lacking in many macular degenerated patients.

Glaucoma. An estimated 1.6 million individuals over 40 years of age in the United States have glaucoma, and the risk increases significantly with age. Sadly, approximately half of these people don’t know they have the disease. Almost every case of glaucoma develops without symptoms. Long-standing glaucoma without treatment can lead to severe vision loss. Early detection and treatment can reduce the severity of vision loss.

Retinal Detachment. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. Anyone can get a retinal detachment; however, they are far more common in nearsighted people, those over 50, those who have had significant eye injuries, and those with a family history of retinal detachments.

Melanoma. Melanoma is a cancer that usually occurs on the skin. It develops from the cells that produce the dark-colored pigment melanin, which is responsible for our skin's coloring. These cells, called melanocytes, are also found in other places in our bodies, such as our hair, the lining of our internal organs, and our eyes. So while most melanomas do begin to grow in the skin, it is possible for a melanoma to begin in other parts, including the eye. When melanoma does occur in the eye it is called ocular melanoma.