COMMON EYE CONDITIONS

Your overall health and the health of your eyes is very important to us. Comprehensive eye exams can detect eye conditions early so they can be treated or managed before they affect your vision. Many eye problems have no symptoms, so it is important to get regular eye care.

The American Optometric Association recommends having eye exams at the following times for those who do not have vision problems or who are not at risk of having vision problems. Visit AOA for more information

Pediatrics

  • At 6 months old
  • At 3 years old
  • Before first grade
  • Every 2 years thereafter

Adults

  • Every 2 years for those 18-60
  • Annually for those 61 and over


Cataracts are caused when the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy and opaque. This limits the amount and clarity of light entering the eye. Cataracts can be found on routine eye examinations. To restore vision, cataract surgery removes the cloudy human lens and implants a clear plastic lens. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States and can be as quick as a 15 minute procedure. Cataract surgery also attempts to reduce your dependence on eye glasses or contacts after surgery, much like LASIK or refractive surgery. With standard treatments, reading glasses are usually required after. Ask us about custom surgical treatments to avoid needing reading glasses.

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Cataracts

Dry Eye can be caused by a variety of conditions. The eye has three layers of tears to lubricate the surface of the eye. If one or more layer of tears are not produced properly, burning, stinging, and redness can result. There are many treatments for dry eyes and each one is aimed at a particular type of dry eye. Some dry eye is related to skin conditions or systemic diseases. Tell your eye doctor if you are having symptoms of dry eye.

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Glaucoma

Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the developed world. It is a degeneration of the central retina, called the macula, that can cause significant central visual impairment. There are many risk factors for acquiring macular degeneration, such as age, smoking, and family history (genetics). Smoking is the most significant controllable risk factor. There are two forms of AMD; dry and wet. Dry AMD usually has a modest effect on vision and is monitored through examinations. The wet form is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing in the retina that leak and can cause severe visual loss, which requires treatment. Diagnosis of AMD can be made during a routine eye exam. However, high-resolution retinal imaging available at Eye Clinic North can track the progress of AMD and pick up on wet forms of AMD earlier, which means earlier treatment and better visual outcomes. Treatment typically involves medication instilled in the eye to stop the abnormal vessels from growing and leaking.

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Lazy Eye (Strabismus)

Lazy eye is a term that characterizes an eye turn (strabismus) or loss of vision (amblyopia). Infants, toddlers, and children are at the highest risk of having a lazy eye. In a developing brain, connections need to be made so the brain can "learn" to "see" correctly. When an eye does not see well or is "lazy," the connections in the brain develop slower. If untreated, this can result in permanent visual impairment of that eye. Pediatric eye examinations are recommended at 6 months old, 3 years old, and before 1st grade to ensure proper development of the eyes and visual system. Treatment of lazy eye consists of eye glasses, patching, prismatic correction, vision therapy, or surgery.

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Presbyopia

Having trouble reading up close? Are you holding things farther away to read? Presbyopia is the eye's natural loss of focusing power on objects up close. It is not a disease, just a normal part of aging. The lens inside the eye becomes less flexible and can no longer focus light on the retina to see clearly while reading. There are many treatments for presbyopia. The most common are bifocals or reading glasses (cheaters). Bifocal contact lenses or monovision contact lenses offer an alternative to reading glasses. If glasses and contacts aren't your thing, ask the doctors at Eye Clinic North about other presbyopia-correcting surgical options, such as monovision LASIK, PresbyLASIK, or multifocal and accommodating intraocular lens implants.

Glaucoma is a disease causing progressive damage to the optic nerve. Nerve tissue is lost over time, causing loss of vision. A symptom of glaucoma is tunnel vision, but is only experienced at late stages of the disease. Usually, there are no symptoms, and glaucoma is referred to as the silent robber of vision. Diagnosis of glaucoma is made through careful examination of the eye and optic nerves. Advanced technology at Eye Clinic North, such as high resolution retinal imaging, assists the doctor in diagnosing glaucoma and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. Treatment of glaucoma usually begins by taking one eye drop per day. Anyone with a family history of glaucoma or high eye pressures should get regular eye exams.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

29 million (9%) of Americans have Diabetes and 27% are undiagnosed, according to the National Diabetes Report Statistics, 2014. Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults. Diabetes is a disease of small blood vessels. During an eye exam, a Doctor is able to visualize these blood vessels and check for signs of leaking, or retinopathy. Often, Diabetic Retinopathy does not have visual symptoms. Not all Diabetic Retinopathy requires treatment but, if it does, there are medications and lasers that can be used in the eye to stop blood vessels from leaking and prevent visual impairment. Everyone with Diabetes should have their eyes examined at least once per year.

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LOCATIONS

Virginia
Eye Clinic North               (218) 741-5886
413 Chestnut St               
Virginia, MN  55792
  
Hibbing
Eye Clinic North               (218) 263-3633
2016 1st Avenue              
Hibbing, MN  55746
  
West Duluth
Eye Clinic West                 (218) 624-1804
405 N 57th Ave West      
Duluth, MN  55807

Most insurances accepted.