Ophthalmologic surgery corrects problems of the retina or optic nerve caused by disease or birth defect. These procedures can remove cataracts, slow the progression of glaucoma, correct retinal detachment, and adjust muscles in the eye that causes them to cross. Macular degeneration ophthalmologic surgery might slow the formation of tiny blood vessels that impair vision. Laser surgery might also be performed for diabetic retinopathy, a condition affecting blood vessels in the retina, and epiretinal membrane, a condition where scar tissue blurs vision. Corneal implants flatten a bulging cornea, while a corneal transplant replaces a diseased cornea with a healthy one.
Some eye disorders occur with aging and lead to vision loss in older adults. Cataracts commonly cloud eyesight and may discolor the lens. They occur when a protein attaches to the lens and obstructs normal vision.
A common symptom of cataracts includes trouble driving at night because the glare from headlights becomes intolerable. Blurred vision also typically ensues. An ophthalmologist can remove cataracts during ophthalmologic surgery.
Glaucoma signifies a disease of the optic nerve also related to aging. This disorder typically exhibits no symptoms until it is quite advanced. It can lead to severe vision loss or blindness if not treated early, as pressure builds in the eye from excess fluid that collects up over time. One type of ophthalmologic surgery drains the fluid to relieve pressure and prevent vision from declining.
Diabetic retinopathy describes a common eye disease suffered by people with diabetes. The disorder harms the minute blood vessels in the retina, causing new blood vessels to grow. When these tiny vessels break, it leads to vision loss because they allow fluid to leak into the macula, a small area in the back of the eye responsible for sharp vision. Ophthalmologic surgery uses laser beams to remove fluid containing blood, which is replaced with a saline solution. This procedure commonly eases blurriness and might restore lost vision in some patients.
Two forms of macular degeneration can be treated with ophthalmologic surgery, a wet form and dry form. Macular degeneration typically surfaces in people over the age of 50 as the macula deteriorates. This disease usually starts as a dry form but may progress into the wet form if blood vessels leak and provoke swelling. Laser surgery might eliminate the development of blood vessels to reduce vision loss or improve eyesight.
Retinal detachment signs include the appearance of spots in the field of vision, often called floaters, and watery eyes. In severe cases, a patient might describe a sudden, dark curtain that completely obstructs vision, which is considered an emergency. Detachment happens when the retina moves from its normal position, which can be corrected via ophthalmologic surgery. The surgeon injects a gas bubble into the eye that moves the retina back into its normal place.