When it comes to diseases and disorders of the eye, ophthalmologists at Providence provide essential eye care. From eye exams to surgery, our ophthalmology departments offer expert treatment for your eye health.
While optometrists generally check and correct your vision, ophthalmologists work as medical doctors who serve as surgeons or specialists. Ophthalmologists check symptoms such as severe headaches or vision problems and can diagnose and treat a number of diseases, including cancer, macular degeneration and eye problems related to diabetes.
Eye health is extremely important to check as part of your overall healthcare, which is why our expert ophthalmologists and eye care teams can help you restore your function and improve your quality of life.
Some ophthalmologists complete additional training to sub-specialize in specific diseases or areas of the eye such as:
- Vitreoretinal diseases (medical and surgical treatment of the retina and vitreous humor, the clear gel that fills the eye
- The cornea
- Oculoplastics (plastic surgery), which deals with the eye socket, eyelids and tear ducts
Ophthalmologists are highly trained in the anatomy, physiology and diseases affecting the eye. Common treatment and surgeries performed by ophthalmologists include:
- Cataract removal: A cataract is a clouded area that forms within the normally clear lens of the eye. Cataracts block the passage of light into the eye, resulting in blurred vision. Using a tiny surgical incision, the ophthalmologist removes the cloudy lens from the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens.
- Corneal disorders: One of the most common corneal disorder is keratoconus, a disease that causes the cornea to undergo progressive thinning and thus protrude outward, forming a conelike curvature. This irregular curvature leads to blurred and distorted vision. Other causes of corneal disorders include eye injury, infection and hereditary diseases.
- Corneal transplants: A corneal transplant is sometimes necessary to treat keratoconus and other corneal disorders.
- Detached or torn retina: If the retina has a tear or hole, but has not become completely detached, your ophthalmologist may recommend a special type of laser treatment (photocoagulation) or freezing (cryopexy). If the retina is detached, surgical repair is necessary. The most common surgical procedures for reattaching a retina are scleral buckling, pneumatic retinopexy and vitrectomy.
- Diabetic retinopathy: A complication of diabetes that is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensing membrane that lines the back of the eye. These damaged blood vessels may leak fluid or blood and develop fragile new vessels and scar tissue. The result is blurry, distorted vision and sometimes blindness.
- Glaucoma treatment: Glaucoma is a buildup of pressure inside the eyeball that produces gradual and irreversible vision loss. Eyedrops and medications that lower eye pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve are the most common treatments for glaucoma.
- Macular degeneration: Macular degeneration results in the loss of central vision while peripheral vision is not affected.
- Dry macular degeneration can not be reversed and is caused by aging . Vision loss is usually gradual and needs to be monitored regularly.
- Wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal blood vessels forming in and under the macula. Vision loss may be rapid and severe. In its early stages, wet macular degeneration can be treated with laser surgery.
- Macular hole: When a hole develops in the macula, central vision may be blurred, making it difficult to read, watch television and recognize familiar faces. Surgery is the only recommended treatment for a macular hole.
- Strabismus treatment: Surgery on muscles of the eye to fix this condition where the eyes are not properly aligned.
Doctors Specializing in Ophthalmology
At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.