The following material is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice from healthcare professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read on this website. Our policies are further outlined in this medical disclaimer.
Your eye works like a camera. The white part on the outside of the eyeball is called the sclera. In its center is the cornea, the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris, or colored part of the eye. The iris operates like a camera shutter by controlling the amount of light that enters the eye.
Located behind the iris is the eye lens. It is suspended by fibers that tighten or loosen to focus the light rays from objects outside the eye onto the retina, located at the back of the eye.
The vitreous chamber, made up of clear, gelatinous fluid, is the space between the lens and the retina. The retina is like film in a camera. Within its layers are the cells that perceive light and color. The images received by the retina are conveyed to the brain by the optic nerve, allowing us to see objects.
An ophthalmologist is a medically and surgically trained physician (MD) who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Ophthalmologists can examine, diagnose and treat eye disorders. They are skilled in all facets of eye care, from prescribing eye glasses to performing intricate eye surgery. Ophthalmologists receive four years of medical school after college, a year’s internship, and a three-year training residency. Most Emory Eye Center ophthalmologists have had additional training in a subspecialty. Our retina and oculoplastic specialists have at least one year of fellowship training. Other sub-specialists, like our pediatric, glaucoma and cornea specialists, have completed at least a one-year fellowship.
Optometrists have a doctorate in optometry (OD). They’re skilled professionals who test vision and prescribe eyeglasses, contacts and other optical wear, such as low-vision devices. Most Eye Center optometrists have received additional training and specialize in treating patients with low vision or who require spectacles or contact lenses for correction.
Opticians have received additional training following college. They fill eyewear prescriptions and help fit patients into glasses and contacts.
Schedule regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist because many eye disorders exhibit no warning symptoms, but are treatable when discovered in the early stages. Here is a general guide:
No. Poor lighting won’t hurt your eyes when you read or watch television. However, a good source of light will lessen the strain on your eyes.
Carrots and broccoli, dark-green leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A. Research conducted at the Emory Eye Center has shown that IRBP, a protein that transports vitamin A within the retina, is essential for vision. IRBP may be responsible for genetic retinal diseases and for a serious disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the eye.
There is no scientific evidence that computer screens emit hazardous radiation. But you can suffer eye strain or fatigue from extended computer use, poor lighting or a variety of other related factors.
The following are some general guidelines for treating eye injuries properly; however; if you receive an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist or primary care physician to reduce the risk of permanent damage.
For foreign particles:
For chemical splashes:
Blows to the eye:
Previous studies have shown that diets rich in green, leafy vegetables lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the levels one might get in foods are low compared to a supplement given to patients in a recent study (Age Related Eye Disease Study—AREDS) here at Emory and nationwide.
The study showed that the supplements, which consisted of several antioxidant vitamins and zinc, significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss in patients at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD. The high doses of the study supplement, now available over the counter, are not right for everyone. The supplements are only appropriate for those with intermediate or advanced AMD (wet type).
The risk factors for developing macular degeneration are the following, in order of significance:
Active intervention options include laser treatment, photo-dynamic therapy (PDT), and surgical removal of scarring membranes or neo-vascularization. Palliative therapy includes low-vision devices such as the JORDY, a head-mounted binocular-like vision device that includes a computer chip. Other devices include computer-type monitors that "read" type and enlarge it.
Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States. Many of those injuries are sports related.
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), ninety percent of these injuries could be prevented with the use of protective eyewear.
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