Eye Conditions

Below are brief descriptions of common eye conditions we treat at Eye Surgical-Medical Associates. For more detailed information, please click on the name of each condition to download a printable document. You will need Adobe Reader to view these documents. Click here to download your free copy of Adobe Reader.

To read more about these topics, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology website at

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a serious condition that can result in central vision loss and affects nearly 13 million people across the United States. AMD solely hampers the central vision when there is damage to the macula and does not affect your side, or peripheral, vision. While it may not render total blindness, people with AMD may find difficulty performing general tasks, such as reading, writing and driving. Doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause for AMD but find it more prevalent in people over the age of 60. Some other common risk factors associated with AMD are smoking, obesity, heart disease, hypertension and family history.

Printable Amsler grid with instrucrtions
American Macular Deneration Foundation


Blurry vision can be caused by a condition called astigmatism. When a person has astigmatism, their eye is more of the shape of a football than entirely round. With this different shape, light focuses on the retina in more than one location, which inevitably causes the distorted vision. People with hyperopia or myopia are often at risk for developing astigmatism. Scarring of the cornea, swelling of the eyelid and even heredity are known causes of this condition. It can, however, be treated through the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses or sometimes surgery.


Blepharitis is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include irritation, itching and occasionally, a red eye. This condition frequently occurs in people who have a tendency toward oily skin, dandruff or dry eyes. Blepharitis is a condition that may not be cured but can be controlled with a few simple daily hygienic measures.


Blepharospasm is an involuntary condition usually involving both eyes, where the eyelids and sometimes the eyebrows close involuntarily. Blepharospasm is caused by abnormal nerve impulses, which produce muscle spasm. It can be treated with medications, biofeedback, injection of botulinum (botulism toxin) and surgery.


Cataracts are a common condition, affecting 50 percent of people over age 60 and sometimes at an even younger age. When a person has a cataract, it obstructs light from reaching the retina in the eye, causing a clouding effect and blurred vision. Cataracts cannot spread from eye to eye, and the condition can be remedied through surgery. In most cases, if your doctor recommends cataract surgery for you, your lens will be replaced with a plastic one, enabling you to see clearly once again.
Lens options

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Central serous chorioretinopathy occurs when fluid detaches part of the macula, which is the center of the retina. Distorted vision is reported by patients with CSR due to the collection of fluid in the area. CSR is more common in men ranging in age from 25 to 45. Some known causes are the use of antihistamines, oral and nasal steroids, and those with severe high blood pressure and blood disorders.

Choridal Nevus

Choroidal nevus is a pigmented cell that grows on the choroids, the blood vessels below the retina. Generally in the form of a gray freckle or mole, a choroidal nevus can be detected during an exam when the retinas are dilated. Normally non-cancerous, it does not cause vision disturbance in most cases; however, it should be monitored on a regular basis for any changes.


Conjunctivitis is the term used by ophthalmologists to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva. In ordinary terms, conjunctivitis is simply the most common cause of red or “pink” eye. When the conjunctiva becomes irritated or inflamed, the blood vessels that supply it enlarge and become much more prominent, and the eye turns red. Many different sources of eye irritation can cause conjunctivitis, including infections, allergies and environmental irritants.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina of the eye, causing the retinal circulatory system to become weak and leaky. This can lead to hemorrhaging, oxygen deprivation and abnormal growths in the retina. These conditions can create blurry vision, bleeding and may even lead to complete vision loss without proper treatment. In most cases, diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Depending on the severity of the condition and based on how far it has progressed, treatment varies.

Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is a relatively common occurrence. Climate, age, overworked eyes and cigarette smoke are all contributing factors to dry eyes. Making an effort to stay properly hydrated can help alleviate some of the dryness. There are many solutions for dry eyes, depending on your doctor’s diagnosis. Many people merely use artificial tears to provide the lubrication that the eyes need. For more chronic conditions, your doctor may insert temporary or permanent plugs into your tear drains to maintain lubrication.

Eyelid Spasms

The three most common types of eyelid spasms are eyelid twitch (or tic), essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. Minor eyelid twitches require no treatment as they usually resolve spontaneously. Essential blepharospasm is an involuntary condition usually involving both eyes, where the eyelids and sometimes the eyebrows close involuntarily. When these spasms occur, temporary inability to see may result because of the involuntary eyelid closure. Hemifacial spasm is a twitching on only one side of the face of the eyelid muscles and usually the muscles around the mouth. Botox injections may be beneficial or a neurosurgical procedure may relieve the pressure of the artery on the nerve.

Flashes and Floaters

Floaters refer to tiny strands or shapes that you may see in your field of vision. These are small clumps inside the vitreous (that is, the fluid in your eye). Flashes refer to streaks of light or lines that may appear in your field of vision. Often, flashes are triggered by blood vessel spasms, or migraines. In other cases, the vitreous fluid may move against the retina, such as when you rub your eyes, creating flashes. In most cases, flashes and floaters are harmless and most doctors will not recommend treatment for them. However, if you experience a sharp increase in floaters, or flashes accompanied by loss of peripheral vision, you should contact your doctor immediately as you may have a detached retina.


Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid that normally flows through the anterior (front) of the eye fails to drain as needed, causing added pressure on the optic nerve. The optic nerve is sensitive to trauma from pressure. Left untreated, vision deteriorates and eventually ceases. In general, glaucoma arises in both eyes, but the pressure on the optic nerve usually begins in one eye first. Slight vision changes will occur and areas in the peripheral vision can be affected. Treatment methods can vary from medication to laser surgery.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Hyperopia is the technical term for “farsightedness.” Those who have hyperopia have difficulty seeing things clearly at close range and occasionally have trouble seeing things at a distance as well. A comprehensive eye examination can determine if a patient has hyperopia. Normal treatment for hyperopia includes wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. With the latest technology available today, many patients may opt to surgically correct the problem with LASIK or other laser procedures.

Macular Holes

A macular hole is an abnormal opening that forms at the center of the macula over a period of several weeks to months. In the early stages of hole formation, vision becomes blurred and distorted. If the hole progresses, a blind spot develops in the central vision, similar to the picture you would get if your camera film had a hole in it. Side vision remains normal, and there is no pain. Vitrectomy surgery is the only treatment that can repair a macular hole and possibly improve vision.

Macular Pucker

Some patients may suffer from blurriness in their central vision. This may be caused by a macular pucker, a membrane formed at the macula’s center. These membranes are fairly common; however, those actually causing the wrinkle or “pucker” are not as common. Macular puckers are broken down into grades on severity. For those with a Grade 2 macular pucker, a vitrectomy may be recommended.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia is the technical term for “nearsightedness.” Myopia can start early in a person’s life, even during the childhood years. As a person ages, the condition may slowly get worse. A comprehensive eye examination can determine if a person has myopia. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the normal treatment method for people with myopia; however, many are turning to certain laser procedures to significantly reduce or eliminate the problem with today’s advanced technology.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD),
Retinal tears and retinal detachment

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is the term used when the vitreous separates itself from the retina. This will generally cause a patient to begin to see floaters. While these are often temporary, some may see them for an indefinite period of time. A condition that naturally occurs by age 40 in many people, PVD may also arise in younger patients who have suffered an eye injury or underwent eye surgery. If the vitreous rips a blood vessel in the retina, this is called a retinal tear and can lead to retinal detachment. Once the tear is identified, your doctor can repair the tear through the use of cryotherapy or a laser treatment.


Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the eye’s ability to see things up close. As we age, the lens of the eye loses its flexibility or the power to accommodate. When this happens, most people begin to have difficulty reading and performing other close-up tasks. No medications, supplemental vitamins or exercises can stop or reverse the normal aging process responsible for presbyopia. Glasses or contact lenses are generally used to correct presbyopia.

Retinal Vein Occlusions

A retinal vein occlusion means that a vein in the retina of the eye has become blocked. Blockage or occlusion in the vein prevents adequate blood flow in the affected area. Walls of the vein leak blood and excess fluid into the retina. Some common symptoms may include blurred vision, floaters or pain in the eye. While there is no cure, laser surgery may be an option and we can determine if it is appropriate for you.

Sub-Conjunctival Hemorrhage

A person may develop a sub-conjunctival hemorrhage overnight. This type of condition looks worse than it really is. It occurs when a blood vessel below the surface of the eye ruptures. This causes the eye to turn blood red although there are generally no reports of pain or changes in vision. Although a general cause cannot be pinpointed, some doctors indicate that a history of using blood thinners, straining or even forcefully blowing your nose are potential causes. The eye typically returns to normal in about two weeks. If you notice a change in vision while you have a sub-conjunctival hemorrhage, contact us immediately.

Vitreous Hemorrhage

A vitreous hemorrhage, or bleed, is when blood vessels grow in the gel that fills the eye and then burst.

Eye Surgical Medical Associates

  • Bustleton Avenue Office - 8118 Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19152 Phone: (215) 342-8118
  • Feasterville Office - 210 E. Street Rd Suite 3C, Feasterville, PA 19053 Phone: (215) 342-8118

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