Optometry - Pain Management
Our practice provides comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages. Our Optometrists are fully trained and experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of conditions.
Regular eye exams are a valuable tool for maintaining the health of your eyes by detecting and preventing disease. Children should have regular tests to ensure the proper development of their vision and prevent any interference with academic achievements. Older adults are often at a higher risk for eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. All patients can benefit from examinations that test vision and screen for disease.
The most common eye conditions diagnosed during an eye exam involve refractive errors that cause blurry vision for patients. These conditions affect millions of people in the United States and often get progressively worse as patients age. Fortunately, refractive errors can be easily treated to let patients enjoy clear vision at all distances.
- Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is a condition of the eyes in which nearby objects are clear and distant objects appear blurry. Almost a third of people in the United States experience some degree of nearsightedness.
- Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a condition of the eyes where the focus on distant objects is better than the focus on objects closer to the eye, so nearby objects appear blurry. The eye is designed to focus images directly on the surface of the retina; with hyperopia, light rays focus behind the surface of the retina, producing a blurry image.
- Astigmatism occurs when the cornea - the clear covering over the eye - is slightly irregular in shape, preventing light from focusing properly on the retina in the back of the eye. With astigmatism some of that light focuses either in front of or behind the retina, resulting in vision that may be blurry for either near or far vision or, in some patients, for all objects.
- Presbyopia is a visual inability of the lens of the eye to focus on objects that are close. It occurs when the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility, causing objects to appear blurry. Symptoms make take years to develop and patients begin to show signs of presbyopia in their early- to mid-40s - even in patients who have had laser vision correction.Presbyopia is not a condition that can be cured.
All of these vision conditions can be effectively treated with either eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eyewear may be used during certain activities, such as watching television or driving, or at all times. Our patients are given a wide selection of eyeglass frames, lenses and contact lenses to choose from to correct their vision issues in the most comfortable manner.
An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is a major medical condition distinctly different and more complex than acute pain. While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert one to possible injury, chronic pain is a state in which pain persists for many months or years, beyond the normal course required by healing of an injury. The economic and personal losses associated with chronic pain can be significant, including costly medical expenses, lost income and productivity; lost mobility, anxiety or depression.
The causes of chronic pain are not always clear. Past traumatic injuries, congenital conditions, cancers, arthritis, and others might point to an obvious culprit, but in many cases the source of chronic pain can be very complex. This makes it difficult to treat, and pain management usually does not involve one approach, but a multidisciplinary focus designed to help the patient reach his or her highest level of function and independence.
Depending on the individual, pain management programs can include the following components:
- Medication - Over the counter medication or prescription medication in more severe cases, prescription antidepressants where necessary.
- Physical therapy and exercise - heat/cold treatment, local electrical stimulation
- Emotional support - Group therapy, stress management hypnosis, patient and family education and counseling.
The most successful pain management programs are those that are specifically tailored for an individual so that the patient can be actively engaged in his or her own recovery with the support of medical and social networks.