EYE CARE SERVICES AT CAROLINA EYE CARE

Glasses & Contact Lenses

Over 140 million people in the U.S. wear eyeglasses, and over 30 million wear contact lenses. Glasses and contact lenses improve vision by adjusting the way the eyes bend and focus light. Ideally, light rays are refracted (bent) as they pass through the cornea so that they focus on the retina in the back of the eye. In a healthy eye, this means that objects can be seen clearly. However, many people’s corneas have a shallow or steep curvature which causes light rays to focus in front of or behind the retina. Objects may then appear blurry at certain distances or at all distances.

Glasses and contact lenses correct these refractive errors. Prescriptions are measured for each eye so patients can enjoy optimal vision clarity, usually 20/20. Eyewear may be used for certain activities, such as reading for farsighted (hyperopic) patients and driving or watching television for nearsighted (myopic) patients, or may be worn at all times. Regular eye exams test for the development and progression of refractive errors and help your optometrist provide a proper prescription if eyeglasses or contact lenses are needed. Exams are also an invaluable tool in the early detection of eye disease.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises, damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss. The condition often develops over many years without causing pain or other noticeable symptoms – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. Symptoms that you could be developing glaucoma include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights, and painful or reddened eyes. People at high risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.

To detect glaucoma, Dr. Barowsky and his staff use state-of-the-art technology to measure your peripheral vision and eye pressure. In addition, Scanning Laser Glaucoma Tomography (SLGT) allows Dr. Barowsky to analyze detailed information about your optic nerve to detect early changes from glaucoma and provide custom treatment options for each glaucoma patient. Regular follow-up eye exams help to monitor any changes in your eye health and to determine whether your glaucoma is being controlled properly.

Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled with treatments to lower pressure in the eye including non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications. Depending on the severity of the glaucoma, laser surgery or more traditional surgical methods are used to treat your condition.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear crystalline lens of the eye. There is no pain associated with the condition but there are other symptoms, including the following:
  • Blurred/hazy vision making reading more difficult
  • Sensitivity to bright lights causing glare
  • A feeling of a “film” over the eye(s)
  • Double vision with one eye closed

Risk factors for developing cataracts include age, eye injury or disease, diabetes and other chronic medical problems, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications. For patients who have vision problems related to cataract development, surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens or implant may be recommended. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the USA and is done in the outpatient department of your local hospital or surgery center.

During phaco cataract surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye which breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently vacuums, or aspirates, those pieces out of the eye. Phaco surgery requires a very small incision of only 1/8 inch or less. To make your procedure as painless as possible, Dr. Barowsky uses topical anesthesia to avoid the need for injections of medicine around the eye with a hypodermic needle. With the recent advance of foldable IOLs, artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision that is created in the phaco procedure. These IOLs are made of a flexible material, allowing them to be folded for implantation. Once inside the eye, the lens unfolds and returns to its original shape.

Dr. Barowsky performs his cataract surgery locally so that you and your family do not have to drive long distances for surgery and can be back to the comfort of your home around lunchtime.

Retina / Vitreous Disease

The retina is a thin sheet of nerve tissue in the back of the eye where light rays are focused and transmitted to the brain. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the eye and is connected to the retina, optic nerve and many blood vessels. Problems with the retina and vitreous -- including retinal tear and detachment, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, infection and trauma -- can lead to vision loss and blindness. Early detection and treatment are critical in correcting problems before vision is lost and preventing further deterioration from occurring.

Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. These and other serious conditions often develop without pain, so significant damage may be done to the eyes by the time the patient notices any symptoms. For this reason it is very important for patients with diabetes to have their eyes examined once a year. Diagnosing and treating eye disease early can help prevent vision loss. It is also important to properly maintain your blood-sugar level, take your prescribed medications, follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking.

If diabetic eye disease develops it is important to have a retina specialist available to provide early treatment to protect your eye health. Dr. Barowsky works closely with an experienced retinologist from Wilmington who sees patients in our office. We feel that total care close to home is important for the continued health of our patients’ eyes.

Diabetic Eye Care

Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. These and other serious conditions often develop without pain, so significant damage may be done to the eyes by the time the patient notices any symptoms. For this reason it is very important for patients with diabetes to have their eyes examined once a year. Diagnosing and treating eye disease early can help prevent vision loss. It is also important to properly maintain your blood-sugar level, take your prescribed medications, follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking.

If diabetic eye disease develops it is important to have a retina specialist available to provide early treatment to protect your eye health. Dr. Barowsky works closely with an experienced retinologist from Wilmington who sees patients in our office. We feel that total care close to home is important for the continued health of our patients’ eyes.

Ectropion & Entropion Repair

An ectropion is a "turning out" of the lower eyelid that causes redness, irritation, tearing and an increased likelihood of infection.Common causes of ectropion include aging, sun damage, tumors and trauma. An ectropion can be corrected in a surgical procedure under local anesthesia in which the lid is tightened or re-positioned. Occasionally, Dr. Barowsky needs to graft a small segment of skin to ensure that the eyelid is fully repaired.

An entropion is a "turning in" of the eyelid. The lid and lashes rub painfully against the cornea. The entropion usually occurs as a result of aging, but other causes can include injury and various inflammatory conditions. The entropion can usually be corrected in the office with a simple surgical procedure under local anesthesia.

Ptergium Surgery

A pterygium is a raised growth on the surface of the eye (the conjunctiva) made mostly of collagen and tiny red blood vessels. They are usually caused by extended exposure to the ultraviolet light present especially in sunlight. They may remain stable after appearing, or they may grow onto the cornea and affect vision.

Treatments include eye drops for irritation and redness, protection from sunlight and dust to prevent the pterygium from worsening, and occasionally steroids to lessen inflammation. If the pterygium grows onto the central cornea, surgical removal is recommended. This prevents the pterygium from creating scar tissue that mayalter the cornea’s shape and affect vision.