One of the only treatments for glaucoma currently is lowering internal eye pressure. But a miniature eye implant developed at Stanford could combine with a smartphone to advance the way doctors measure and lower a patient’s eye pressure. Weekly visits to eye specialists for monitoring and control of increasing pressure within the eye are a… Read more

Many people never realize that there are actually many different types of eye doctors and specialists. Each of these doctors does deal with eyes and with eye health, but their exact roles and duties are different. Understanding these differences is important because you want to be sure to see the right type of professional depending on your eye care needs.

What is an Ophthalmologist?

An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that provides full eye care to the patient. This includes completing an eye exam and prescribing corrective lenses. The Ophthalmologist also diagnoses and treats complex eye diseases and performs surgery.

In some cases, an Ophthalmologist may limit his or her range of services. For example, some prefer to offer only basic eye care and to provide specific surgical procedures. In this case, they refer their patients to other ophthalmologists for additional procedures.

What is an Optometrist?

An Optometrist generally provides several of the same services as an Ophthalmologist. For example, the Optometrist may evaluate your vision, prescribe corrective lenses, and diagnose common eye disorders.

Intrastromal Corneal Rings

Intrastromal corneal rings, also known as intracorneal rings are two small, rainbow shaped pieces of plastic that are implanted in the eye to correct poor vision.

What does the surgery entail?

Eye drops are put in your eye to make your eye numb, this is a local anesthetic and is carried out by a doctor.

The doctor will make an incision in the cornea; the doctor creates tunnels between the corneal stroma and the crescent shaped pieces of plastic are then placed in the eye between the corneal stroma, which is a fluid filled area where light reactions take place.

Once the intracorneal rings are in place the doctor uses stitches to close the incisions made and you are allowed to go home, although you will not be allowed to drive a vehicle or use heavy machinery.

How does it work?

This eye surgery is normally carried out on those who are suffering with nearsightedness.

What happens to those who are near sighted is that the light rays hit in front of the retina (thin layer of neural cells at the back of the eye) causing blurred vision, with the intracorneal rings added from surgery the cornea is flattened which changes the way light passes through the cornea on its way into the back of the eye.

What is Oculoplastic Surgery

Oculoplastic surgery, which can also be known, as oculoplastics is the surgery to correct cosmetic issues with the eye and reconstructive surgery to the eye due to trauma and other reasons that may cause damage.

Oculoplastic surgery does not normally work directly on the eye but does work on the structures and various tissues that make up part of the eye and surrounding areas. This may come in the form of an eye lift which is surgery carried out to the eye lids, repairing fractures to the orbit (the socket of the eye made of bone) or removing an obstructions near or in the tear ducts.

Some of these treatments are just for visual appearance (cosmetic surgeries) while others are carried out for medical reasons. Below is a list of the most common forms of oculoplastic surgery that are carried out for various reasons.

Eye Lift

This is a cosmetic surgery that is carried out to reduce eyelid dropping, which can give the impression of being constantly tired and make a person appear older.

The eyelift involves the surgeon making incisions where the crease of the upper and lower eyelids while a patient is under local anesthetic. The surgeon removes excess skin and fatty deposits before sewing stitches in where the incisions were made. There is scarring due to the surgery but because the incisions are made in the crease of the eyelids they cannot be seen once the incision has healed.

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy

Laser peripheral Iridotomy or PI is performed on patients who have acute angle closure glaucoma. It will also correct patients with the problem of narrow angle vision. A patient has “narrow angles” when the aqueous fluid is not allowing the fluid to drain because of a bowed iris.

The fluid normally escapes the eye by flowing between the lens and the iris. The trabecular meshwork found where the cornea meets the iris and allows the fluid to drain. If the iris is bowed, the fluid will not drain.

Alternative Surgery for Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma

Laser peripheral Iridotomy surgery involves creating a small hole in the peripheral iris. This allows the fluid to flow from behind the iris directly to the outer chamber of the eye. This normally will take care of the bowed iris. This surgery is easily done in the office of the surgeon, or as an outpatient procedure.

The pupil is normally constricted with special eye drops, the head is positioned, and the procedure completed with a laser beam. Normally this does not require any sedation. Topical anesthetic drops may be applied to better control the laser beam.

This procedure takes only minutes to complete. Eye drops may be needed to keep the eye from becoming inflamed after surgery. You will normally stop using these eye drops after a few days.