Eye Exams

Woman with glasses and eye test chart isolated on white background

A comprehensive eye examination should occur early in life to ensure proper eye and vision development. Ongoing eye exams at regular intervals are equally important as many eye diseases and vision changes can occur without warning signs.

During a comprehensive eye exam, our doctors will use eye charts to measure the sharpness of your vision. The classic example of an eye chart is the Snellen eye chart, and although there are many variations, in general they show 11 rows of capital letters. You will be asked to find and read the smallest line of text that you can make out. The standard vision acuity is 20/20, which is the fourth line from the bottom. If you can read either of the bottom two rows, your visual acuity is better than most people.

At Cumberland Eye Care, we believe in thorough eye exams, which means we also check for color vision deficiencies and test your eyes to see how they work together. To ensure your eyes are healthy, we recommend seeing an eye doctor for your comprehensive eye examination on a regular basis.


Blepharitis

Illustration of Blepharitis vs normal eye

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin characterize it. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. The disease can be caused by various bacteria and be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to having flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.

Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye, and you can see redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens nearer the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye, and can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids.

Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. Blepharitis, in some cases, requires ongoing treatment. Eyelid hygiene can help maintain eye comfort and appearance. Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and occasionally doing a soak or warm compress.

Our doctors will diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam.


Conjunctivitis

Woman suffering itching scratching eyes outdoors in a park

Conjunctivitis can be either an irritation or an infection of the membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inside lining of the eyelid. It has become commonly known as “pink eye” due to the significant blood vessel inflammation that can occur.

Allergies and other irritants like air pollution, eye make up, and contact lenses cause irritation conjunctivitis. Infection conjunctivitis has two categories—viral and bacterial. The viral type usually accompanies a cold, fever, sore throat, or flu and is characterized by eye redness and a watery discharge. The bacterial type presents with eye redness, a mucous like discharge, and is usually caused by a staph or strep bacteria.

Some bacterial and viral pinkeye can easily be passed between people, and it is common for children to experience this type of pink eye. The symptoms are generally mild and do not pose a serious threat to eye health, but symptoms in newborns should be addressed by a doctor right away to help ensure no vision loss occurs.

Conjunctivitis is treated differently depending on the cause. Most cases can be successfully treated with antibiotics, eye drops, or ointments.

Our doctors are trained and equipped to make the correct diagnosis of the type of conjunctivitis. In some cases, symptoms can progress to more serious eye condition and vision damage so professional evaluation is important.


Eye Allergies

Because eye allergies are very common, our doctors would like to share with you some background information regarding eye allergies. Symptoms of allergies may include red, watery and itchy eyes, a runny or stuffed nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, a sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightening, and in severe cases, an asthma attack.

An allergy is an overreaction by the immune system by normally harmless subjects known as allergens. Although there are many potential allergens, eye allergies are most commonly caused by pollen, dust, and pet dander. Food allergies and allergic reactions to insect venom typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens. Watch the video for more information on eye allergies.

An allergy is an overreaction by the immune system by normally harmless subjects called allergens. Most people will suffer from at least one allergic reaction at some point in their life.

The most common allergens are pollen, dust mites, pet dander, insect venom, and food.

Symptoms may include:

  • red, watery, itchy eyes
  • running or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • sinus pressure
  • sore throat
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightening
  • in sever cases an asthma attack can occur

While there is no cure, there are ways to prevent or relieve allergy symptoms such as avoiding specific allergens, taking medication, or immunotherapy.


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