VisionSource! - North America's Premier Network of Private Practice Optometrists
North America's Premier Network of Private Practice Optometrists





Ocular Disease


We provide diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases which affect the human eye and visual system.  It is common that eye diseases may go unnoticed because a patient has 20/20 vision, doesn't need glasses, and therefore doesn't get their eyes checked regularly.  The following are descriptions of several ocular diseases, some of which are completely asymptomatic:




Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when the normal flow of tears over the eyes is interrupted, or the tear film is abnormal.  In many cases, dry eye syndrome is a life long problem.  You can relieve the symptoms, but not cure the original cause.  Artificial tear lubricants or in some cases blocking the tear ducts will concentrate the limited tears that are available.





Keratoconus is a disorder that occurs when the cornea, which is typically rounded, becomes cone-shaped.  The progression is usually slow and can stop at any stage from mild to severe.  This distortion increases as the cornea bulges and thins.  The apex of the cornea often scars, reducing the vision.  Treatment of Keratoconus is most effective with gas permeable contact lenses, designed specifically for the irregular corneal surface.  If contact lens treatment is not successful, surgical corneal transplant may be necessary.




Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition that may develop in the retina when the blood sugar levels get too high in a patient with diabetes.  High blood sugar starts a series of events which end in damaged blood vessel walls.  As such, the blood vessels begin to leak fluid or bleed, causing the retina to swell and form deposits know as exudates.  Vision can be lost if these spots are not monitored and treated.  At Vision Care Center, we have technology which enables us to evalute these blood vessels with digital photography and 3-Dimensional laser scans of the retina.  We carefully examine every patient with diabetes annually to follow and manage this and other important eye diseases.




Cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural internal lens of the eye.  This opacity may be a small spot or may cover the entire lens.  When light enters the eye it is scattered, causing images to appear hazy and blurred.  There are many different types of cataracts.  The one shown here is a cortical cataract.  In this case, the opacity forms first in the periphery of the lens and develops inward, like spokes of a wheel.  Ultimately, the best treatment is to remove the cataract lens and replace it with an acrylic man made lens.  This is referred to as cataract surgery.  At Vision Care Center, we manage patients as their cataracts change and develop and will determine when the time is right for a surgical consultation.  After the surgery, we follow up with all necessary post-operative care.




Macular Degeneration is a condition in which the central part of the back of the eye loses blood circulation.  It is considered a natural aging process.  There is a breakdown of retinal pigment epithelium cells in the macular region.  As the disease progresses, central vision diminishes.  It is believed that this breakdown may be due to a lack of nutrients being supplied to the region. Additional studies have found a genetic link to this disease.  Treatment can range from better nutritional management to tablets containing the primary minerals and vitamins that are found lacking in many macular degenerated patients.



Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve - the nerve which connects the eye to the brain.  If information is not allowed to pass within this nerve, it can cause a visual field defect and may lead to blindness if not controlled.  Glaucoma does not affect one's central visual acuity, but rather it can cause peripheral vision loss.  Typically, glaucoma is caused be elevated intraocular pressure.  This increase in pressure from buildup of fluid inside the eye can put strain and may damage the optic nerve.  We have the ability to carefully monitor microscopic changes within the nerve to treat and prevent this disease from causing blindness.  Typical treatment of glaucoma involves using daily eyedrops.  If you have family members with glaucoma, you are at higher risk of developing this disease. 




Dr. Fitch and Dr. Cundiff have both done extensive study into the mechanism of diseases that affect the eye and their diagnosis and treatment. Vision Care Center is open six days a week and accepts major medical insurance as well as Medicare. We also provide an urgent care phone number that is accessible after hours.

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