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5900 Heckert Rd.
P.O. Box 324
Bakerstown, PA 15007
724-443-6767 Phone
724-443-6730 Fax

1629 Union Ave., Suite 1
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724-226-0444 Phone
724-226-0744 Fax

 

Low vision is vision loss that’s so severe, it can’t be corrected with regular eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. Low vision and vision loss could be defined as best corrected vision which is insufficient to do what you want to do.

There are two parts to the definition:

  • The Vision: best corrected with conventional spectacles or contact lenses.
  • The Task: activities that you want to do but are now difficult or impossible. For example, activities include reading, writing, driving, television, playing cards, or seeing medication bottles.

For a person to benefit from Low Vision Care there must be a degree of usable vision and a goal to do a visual task. Dr. Bissell is trained by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) and will discuss these issues in a free telephone interview before an appointment is offered.

Most conditions that cause irreversible vision loss do not cause complete and total blindness. Usually a person is left with “residual” vision that can be useful, especially with the help of low vision doctors. Low vision doctors of IALVS are uniquely trained and experienced in providing low vision glasses and devices plus rehabilitation training to make the most of the vision that remains.

Vision loss can occur from medical conditions, degenerative changes, congenital or genetic defects, and traumatic injuries. While most vision loss occurs in people over 65, low vision can occur at any age. Some of the major causes of vision loss are age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inoperable cataracts, and open angle glaucoma.


Additional Eye Conditions: Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Low Vision, Cataracts, Diabetic Eye Disease, Dry Eye Treatment, Concussions

 

Experiencing Vision Loss….See the Bigger Picture

With a very high degree of success, optometrists trained through the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists have helped thousands of patients with vision loss regain the ability to do the things they want to do:

IALVS Patients Can Now

  • Read
  • Write
  • Knit and sew
  • Play cards
  • Watch TV
  • Paint
  • Enjoy live theater
  • See faces
  • Go to ballgames
  • Some can drive their car again

Envision a Pair of Glasses That Will Improve Your Way of Life

Ever look through a pair of field glasses or binoculars? Things look bigger and closer, and easier to see. Members of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) are using miniaturized binoculars or telescopes to help people who have lost vision from:

  • Macular Degeneration: Wet or Dry
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Stargardt’s disease
  • Albinism
  • Glaucoma
  • and other vision limiting conditions.

IALVS Physicians Offer You

  • FREE Telephone consultation with doctor
  • Low-Vision Evaluation
  • Specialized Low Vision Eyeglasses
  • Low-Vision Nutritional Information

Schedule a FREE Telephone Consultation

See before you buy! IALVS physicians will have you look through the telescopic glasses in the office during the low vision evaluation. Seeing is believing.

Make an appointment for a convenient phone consultation with Dr. Bissell, an IALVS physician in your area, to see if you are a candidate for IALVS low vision care.

Call our office at 724-443-6767 and speak with Dr. Bissell, an IALVS physician.


About IALVS

The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) believes in LIFE AFTER VISION LOSS. The IALVS brings new hope and sight to those with macular degeneration and other vision limiting conditions. The IALVS can bring back the enjoyment of retirement.

If you are now having problems seeing and doing the things they have enjoyed, an IALVS eye doctor can help. If you have been told by your eye doctor that a change in your eyeglass prescription will not help you see any better, call IALVS doctor who is trained to design special glasses that can make a difference.

When your doctor says “sorry I cannot help you to see any better” an IALVS doctor often says “it may not be perfect, but it definitely is better!”.

It is very challenging for the best of doctors to keep up with all the advancements in the eye care field in their very busy practices. Although doctors stay abreast of advancements, they may not be fully knowledgeable in all aspects of vision care especially as it relates to low vision issues. IALVS doctors are specifically and extensively trained in advanced optics and magnification principles that most eye doctors have very limited knowledge of or even exposure to. IALVS glasses help patients with macular degeneration and other eye diseases to see and function better throughout the day.

IALVS magnification and telescopic eyeglasses are different than regular glasses. They have many sight enhancing advantages. They make things more vivid. Objects are clearer, larger and brighter. These special glasses may regain your ability to read better, watch television, drive and see faces more clearly. Specially designed tinted lenses with prism allow patients to see road signs and even the golf ball better.

IALVS members understand everyone’s eyes and vision needs are different. They have already helped thousands of patients see what they have been missing. Tell the IALVS doctor what in your life you missing seeing and they will demonstrate special glasses that may fulfill those needs.

Let an IALVS member maximize your vision to its utmost with technologically advanced optics and training. As they say, “Seeing is believing”.

Contact an IALVS member today. There is hope when vision fails. If your doctor says no and IALVS doctor often can say yes. Do not give up that desire to see better until you meet with an IALVS doctor.


About Low Vision

Low vision and vision loss could be defined as best corrected vision which is insufficient to do what you want to do. There are two parts to the definition:

The Vision: best corrected with conventional spectacles or contact lenses. The Task: activities that you want to do but are now difficult or impossible. For example, activities include reading, writing, driving, television, playing cards, or seeing medication bottles.

For a person to benefit from Low Vision Care there must be a degree of usable vision and a goal to do a visual task. IALVS doctors discuss these issues in a free telephone interview before an appointment is offered.

Download our low vision exam fact sheet

Who gets Low Vision?

Vision loss can occur from medical conditions, degenerative changes, congenital or genetic defects, and traumatic injuries. While most vision loss occurs in people over 65, low vision can occur at any age.

Most conditions that cause irreversible vision loss do not cause complete and total blindness. Usually a person is left with “residual” vision that can be useful, especially with the help of low vision doctors. Low vision doctors of IALVS are uniquely trained and experienced in providing low vision glasses and devices plus rehabilitation training to make the most of the vision that remains.

Causes of Low Vision

Some of the major causes of vision loss are age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inoperable cataracts, and open angle glaucoma. Each is described below:

Macular Degeneration & Diabetic Retinopathy

Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in those over 65. By definition, macular degeneration affects only the macular portion of the retina. The retina, like film in a camera, is the photosensitive layer of the eye. It is “wall-papered” to the back of the eye and is extremely thin. The macular portion of the retina, a very small area, is the part we use for sharp, clear central detail vision. The rest of the retina, the peripheral or side vision retina, is used for mobility and detecting motion.

When the macula degenerates, whether it’s wet or dry, only the central vision is reduced. The side vision always remains. Always.

Atrophic (dry) macular degeneration is when the cells in the macular die. Causes can be aging, nutrition, sunlight, smoking, genetics and other causes we may not know about yet. There is simply no medical treatment. Dead retinal cells cannot be brought back to life. Retinal cells cannot be regrown, replaced, moved or transplanted.

Exudative (wet) macular degeneration is caused by leakage of fluid from the blood vessels behind the macula. Because the macula has its own blood supply, only the macular area is affected. The peripheral retina has another blood supply.

Treatment with injections is aimed at stopping the leak. These injections are called angiogenesis inhibitors. The two most commonly used are Lucentis and Avastin.

The Technical Explanation

Vision loss in wet AMD is caused by the growth of abnormal leaky blood vessels that eventually damage the macula. Angiogenesis inhibitors are antibody fragments that bind to and inhibit the activity of human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein believed to play a critical role in the formation of these new blood vessels. The drug is injected into the vitreous portion of the eye (the clear jelly-like substance that fills the eye).

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In people with diabetes for many years, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid or abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.

Diabetic retinopathy has four stages:

  1. Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy. At this earliest stage, small areas of balloon-like swelling in the retinas tiny blood vessels called micro aneurysms occur.
  2. Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy. As the disease progresses, some blood vessels that nourish the retina are blocked.
  3. Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy. As more blood vessels are blocked, several areas of the retina are denied their blood supply. The retina compensates by growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization.
  4. Proliferative Retinopathy. The new blood vessels are abnormal, fragile and grow along the retina and along the surface of the clear, vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye. Because they have thin, fragile walls they can leak blood causing severe vision loss and even blindness.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normal crystalline lens located in the eye. Most cataracts are related to aging and are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes, but cannot spread from one eye to the other.

The lens is a clear structure located behind the pupil and helps to focus light on the retina. In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. The image is then changed into electrical nerve signals by the retina and is sent to the brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. When the lens becomes cloudy, which is called a cataract, the image you see will be blurred and/or hazy.

Treatment is by surgical extraction of the lens with replacement of a plastic implant. For the most part, cataract surgery is extremely successful and results in virtually normal vision.
However, there are times when cataract extraction can exacerbate macular degeneration or cause macular edema resulting in increased vision loss.

Talk to your eye care professional about these risks. Second opinions are often helpful and IALVS doctors are happy to help you make sure that cataract surgery is right for you.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve resulting in vision loss and even blindness. Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises. Usually there are no symptoms, which is why glaucoma is called the silent thief of sight. However, with early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

There are many types of glaucoma including open angle, closed angle, congenital, and secondary. The most common type, open angle, has no symptoms. There is no pain, redness, swelling, tearing or other signal to tell you of the problem. The vision loss is so gradual, beginning in the periphery or in the normal blind spot that people do not notice until significant loss occurs.

Studies have shown that the early detection and treatment of glaucoma, before it causes major vision loss, is the best way to control the disease. IALVS doctors recommend an annual dilated eye examination for early detection.


Vision Problems

What is Low Vision?

When standard eye glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery cannot provide sharp sight and the impairment interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities, an individual is said to have low vision.

What is a Low Vision Specialist?

With advanced training, a low vision eye doctor understands high-powered optics and magnification plus has working knowledge of the multitude of special glasses, magnifiers, electronic and non-optical low vision devices that can help those with reduced vision. Patients and families can be extremely upset, fearful, and even depressed due to loss of independence. Part of the extensive examination involves the time to explain the eye and vision condition and what the future may hold to patients who may be confused, misinformed and/or have an unrealistic view of their daily living tasks. A low vision eye doctor has compassion and empathy for what the patient and family is going through as well as the knowledge, resources and experience to help them adjust to the difficult situation.

What Causes Low Vision?

Medical conditions can cause reduced vision. The leading causes are Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Inoperable Cataracts, Glaucoma and Stroke. Congenital defects like Retinopathy of Prematurity can cause reduced vision. Genetic defects like Retinitis Pigmentosa and Stargardt’s disease cause reduced vision. Traumatic injuries sometimes cause reduced vision. If the reduced vision impairs the ability to do the tasks you want to do, then it is low vision.

How is a Low Vision Exam Different?

A low vision examination is quite different from a regular eye examination. It is a longer examination usually lasting one hour or more. It is a “vision and function” examination; therefore medical tests such as dilation are usually omitted. The first part of the low vision examination is conversing with the patient to find out how the reduced vision is affecting their life. The “wish list” is created so the doctor understands what the patients’ goals are. The second part is extensive vision testing. Careful refraction is performed to find out if a new “regular” eyeglass prescription will help. Part three works with magnification, illumination and other optical and non-optical low vision devices. The doctor must determine the best form and level of magnification needed for the person to perform the desired tasks. Telescopes, microscopes, and prisms, with varying levels of magnification and strength as well as other magnification devices are presented to the patient. Illumination levels must be determined as lighting plays a major role in vision. Part four is another conversation with the patient to determine the best form and level of magnification for that particular person’s task requirements.

How Much Will This Cost?

The low vision evaluation will be covered by Medicare and/or insurance. Telescopic spectacles range approximately between $1000 and $3000. Microscope and Prismatic glasses used for near tasks range approximately between $500 and $1200. It is important to understand that low vision devices are “task specific.” They are designed for the task the person wants to do. Therefore it may, and usually does, take more than one pair of glasses or magnifiers to handle the various tasks the patient wants to do. It is not unusual for a patient to need bioptic telescope glasses for outdoor travel and/or driving, full diameter telescopic glasses for television and microscope or prismatic glasses for reading. What is ordered depends upon the patients’ wish list, commitment and financial resources.

When Do I Get My Glasses?

It usually takes six weeks for specialized glasses to be fabricated. Arrangements can be made to have them sooner in some circumstances. If a person has a special event happening and needs the glasses, the lab will usually cooperate.

Do Vitamins Help?

For certain conditions, vitamins may be the ONLY help. Dr. Bissell will discuss vitamin therapy with you during your evaluation.

What Is The Free Telephone Interview?

The free telephone interview is a way of limiting the time, expense and disappointment of people who probably cannot be helped by low vision care. Dr. Bissell has determined that asking the right questions on the phone could determine if a patient was qualified for low vision services. “If not, why put the patient through the time and expense only to be extremely disappointed?” says Dr. Bissell. During the free telephone interview, Dr. Bissell will ask questions regarding vision, functional abilities, goals, motivation, health, and mobility to determine if an appointment is in the best interests of the caller.

How Do I Know The Glasses Will Work After I Get Them?

During the evaluation, the patient will use actual low vision telescope, microscope and prismatic glasses on the tasks desired. The doctor and the patient will see that they work BEFORE they are ordered. This will be done again when the patient picks up the glasses. We never order glasses until the patient knows that they work.

What If My Vision Changes After I Get The Glasses?

Almost always, prescriptions and magnification levels can be changed without the need for a whole new pair of glasses. We offer a six month warranty if the prescription changes at no charge to the patient. It is interesting that changes are actually rarely needed.

How Do I Pay For Them?

Since most insurance, including Medicare and supplemental do not cover the expense of low vision glasses, the patient must bear the expense. Credit cards are accepted and financing is available through care credit, sometimes with no interest. Discuss this during the free telephone interview.


Macular Degeneration

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive, sight-limiting condition in which the delicate nerves in the back of the inside of the eye begin to deteriorate. This leads to reduced central vision, but spares all of a person’s peripheral or side vision.

Because ARMD sufferers still have good peripheral vision, they may notice that they can sometimes see small things, like a coin dropped on the floor, but they may not be able to see a person’s face when looking directly at them. Often, people with ARMD will turn their heads or look to the side when gazing at someone, to make the most of their side vision capabilities.

There are two main types of ARMD: Dry and Wet.

Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry ARMD, also known as non-exudative macular degeneration, is characterized by development of drusen, an abnormal accumulation of macular waste products that are naturally produced by the eye’s specialized nerve cells. Drusen, which can be seen by an eye doctor during a dilated eye examination, is normally removed by special types of cells located just below the retina, known as retinal pigment epithelium. But if these cells fail to keep the macula clean, waste products will begin to collect and accumulate.

One theory about how drusen impacts vision is that it may form a barrier against the blood supply to the macula, leading to degeneration of rod and cone cells, causing progressive visual loss. Although drusen is present in Dry Macular Degeneration, the macula is not leaking fluid, proteins, cellular debris or blood, hence the term “dry.”

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet ARMD is a progression of the dry type of the disease. It has many of the characteristics of Dry ARMD, but it also includes the development of new abnormal blood vessels below the macula, as well as the accumulation of fluid and cellular debris called exudates.

These new blood vessels are very fragile and can rupture spontaneously, leading to bleeding below the macula, or even inside or on the retina and macula itself. This rupture of blood vessels can cause profound vision loss.

The treatment of Wet ARMD aims to stop the leaky blood vessels in the eye through a series of eye injections. In many cases, vision does not improve from the injections, but they can prevent vision from worsening.

Help for Macular Degeneration sufferers

Dr. Bissell’s specialized eyeglasses have helped many patients with Macular Degeneration see better. The glasses help expand the area of the retina used for seeing, so the healthier parts can help compensate for the diseased portions.

All it takes to find out whether a patient might be a good candidate for Dr. Bissell’s help is a free, no-obligation 15-minute phone consultation.


Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a common eye disease in Type I and Type II diabetics, and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Between 40-45% of adults with diabetes have some stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, and the longer a person has diabetes, the more likely it is they will develop the disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy usually affects both eyes. In some patients, blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid (known as Macular Edema), while in others, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina (called Proliferative Retinopathy).

The Four Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy:

  1. Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy – the earliest stage of the disease, in which microaneurysms (small areas of balloon-like swelling) occur in the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
  2. Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy – in the next stage of the disease, some of the blood vessels that nourish the retina are blocked, reducing the retina’s blood supply.
  3. Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy – in the disease’s next stage, enough of the retina’s blood supply is blocked that the body signals for the growth of new vessels to compensate for the diminished blood supply.
  4. Proliferative Retinopathy – in the advanced stage of the disease, new, fragile, abnormal blood vessels develop in response to the body’s signals for increased blood supply. These abnormal vessels aren’t a problem in and of themselves, but if they leak (which they are prone to do), severe vision loss or blindness can result.

Symptoms & Treatment

The disease may or may not cause symptoms like blurred vision or “spots” in the field of vision. Sometimes visual spots clear on their own, but that doesn’t mean they won’t recur or that the disease is not still progressing.

Diabetic Retinopathy can easily be detected by a medical professional during an exam, so an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam is recommended for anyone with diabetes. Pregnant diabetic women should have an exam as soon as possible, as pregnancy can increase the risk.

The risk of Diabetic Retinopathy-induced blindness can be reduced by up to 95% with timely treatment and follow-up care to better regulate blood sugar, so regular exams and patient vigilance are strongly encouraged.

Better vision may be just a phone call away!

While they won’t cure Diabetic Retinopathy, specialized eyeglasses with advanced optics can greatly improve vision for many sufferers. To find out whether you or your loved one might benefit from Dr. Bissell’s custom eyeglasses, please contact us today or call 1-888-552-2020 to schedule a free, no-obligation 15-minute phone consultation.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a hereditary disease, caused by a number of different genetic defects, that affects about 1 in 4,000 people in the U.S. The genetic defects damage the functioning of the retina, the inner-eye tissue that enables sight by converting light images of things you look at to nerve signals that are passed on to your brain.

Retinitis Pigmentosa most often affects the rod cells in the retina (the ones that enable night vision), but in some cases, it is the cone cells (the ones that enable you to see color) that are most impacted.

Because it’s a genetic disorder, the main risk factor for Retinitis Pigmentosa is a family history of the disease, so it’s important to know whether anyone in your family tree has been affected.

Symptoms & Progression

Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa often start in childhood, but severe vision problems don’t typically develop until adulthood, including:

  • Poor or reduced vision in low light or at night
  • “Tunnel vision” (a loss of peripheral or “side” vision)
  • Central vision loss (usually only seen in advanced cases of the disease)

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a progressive disease, so it advances slowly over time, eventually leading to peripheral and central vision loss, but the disease does not usually result in full blindness. Sufferers may also develop cataracts at an early age or swelling of the retina (Macular Edema), so patients should seek regular eye exams to identify and treat these complications early if they occur.

Diagnosis

There are a number of different tests your doctor may use to evaluate your retinal functioning:

  • Dilated pupil exam of the retina with an ophthalmoscope
  • Intraocular pressure – measures pressure within the eye
  • Fluorescin angiography – or “retinal photography,” uses a special camera and dye to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid
  • Pupil reflex response – measures the speed and strength of the pupil reflex
  • Electroretinogram – measures retinal electrical activity
  • Refraction test – tests vision clarity through a variety of lenses
  • Visual field test – or “side vision test,” measures peripheral vision
  • Visual acuity test – determines the smallest letters you can see on a chart
  • Color vision test – determines the ability to see and differentiate colors
  • Slit lamp examination – examines the physical structures of the eye using a low-power microscope and high-intensity light, often involves the use of a yellow dye to examine the cornea and tear layer

Taken together, the results of these diagnostic exams and tests can confirm a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa and clarify the extent of the disease progression.

Treatment

There is no effective treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa that corrects the underlying problem, but investigations are ongoing into whether treatment with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acid DHA or microchip implants may help in the future.

Protecting your retinas from exposure to ultraviolet light by wearing sunglasses in bright sunlight may help preserve your vision.

Custom eyeglasses might help you see better!

Custom eyeglasses with advanced optics often help Retinitis Pigmentosa sufferers adapt to their vision deficits and see better. To find out whether Dr. Bissell’s specialized eyeglasses might help you, please contact us today or call 1-888-552-2020 to schedule a free, no-obligation 15-minute phone consultation.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition associated with increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) that can permanently damage the optic nerve, causing blindness. Glaucoma most often affects adults over age 40, but it can occur at any age, even in infants. Your risk of developing glaucoma is increased if you:

  • Are over age 40
  • Have a family history of glaucoma, particularly in your parents or grandparents
  • Are of African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Scandinavian or Inuit descent
  • Suffer from poor vision
  • Are diabetic
  • Take certain steroid medications like prednisone

There are 4 Types of Glaucoma:

  • Open-angle (chronic)
  • Angle-closure (acute)
  • Congenital
  • Secondary

Open-Angle (Chronic) Glaucoma

Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, the most common type, occurs when fluid does not drain normally from the front of the eye, causing a gradual increase in intraocular pressure over time. The increased pressure eventually damages the optic nerve, causing total, permanent blindness within a few years if left untreated.

The cause of open-angle glaucoma is unknown, but it tends to run in families — your risk is higher if you have a parent or grandparent with the condition, or if you are of African descent. There are no early symptoms or pain from the increased pressure, though some patients may experience a slow loss of peripheral (side) vision. For that reason, it’s important to see an eye doctor and have regular screenings– by the time vision loss occurs, the damage is already severe.

Treatment for this type of glaucoma often involves one or more kinds of eye drops that reduce intraocular pressure, or oral medication may also be used. Eye drops are sufficient for most patients, but if they aren’t sufficient, laser therapy or eye surgery may be indicated.

Angle-Closure (Acute) Glaucoma

Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma occurs when the drainage of eye fluid is blocked, causing a quick, painful and severe rise in intraocular pressure. This type of glaucoma, which can be triggered by dilating eye drops or other medications, is a medical emergency– blindness will occur within a few days if it is not treated. People who have had this form of glaucoma in one eye are at risk of developing it in their other eye. Symptoms of this type of glaucoma may include:

  • sudden eye pain
  • headache
  • blurred vision / tunnel vision / vision loss
  • seeing halos around lights
  • nausea/vomiting
  • eye redness
  • hazy eye appearance (especially in infants)

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately.

Treatment for this type of glaucoma typically involves eye drops, oral medications and/or intravenous medications to lower intraocular pressure. Some patients may need emergency surgery to open a new drainage pathway in the eye to relieve the pressure and prevent another occurrence.

Congenital glaucoma

Congenital glaucoma is caused by abnormal eye development. This form of glaucoma, seen in babies, is present at birth, and is treated with surgery under general anesthesia. The prognosis after surgery is generally good if the condition is caught early.

Secondary glaucoma

Secondary glaucoma is caused by another problem or condition like eye disease, systemic disease or trauma. It can also be caused by drugs like corticosteroids. Treatment involves treating the underlying problem in addition to treating the glaucoma, and the prognosis varies depending on how successful treatment is for the underlying condition.

Diagnosis

A complete eye exam with dilated pupils, is needed to diagnose glaucoma. Other parts of your exam (which is painless) may include a tonometry (eye pressure) test, retinal exam, visual acuity test, visual field measurement and slit-lamp exam.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of glaucoma, please seek the advice of a medical professional right away. Glaucoma sufferers typically don’t know they have the condition until it is detected during a routine eye exam, and if you’re having symptoms, it may be serious. Regular glaucoma screening is essential.

If you need a Glaucoma screening, please contact us today or call 1-888-552-2020.

Ocular Albinism

Ocular Albinism is a genetic disorder caused by one of several possible genetic defects that make the body unable to produce melanin, a natural substance that colors the hair, skin and iris of the eye.

Ocular Albinism Type 1 (OA1) affects only the eyes. Though skin and eye color are usually within the normal range, from blue to green to brown, there is no color in the retina, the tissue at the back of the eye. Color in the iris may be spotty, and some OA1 patients find their eye color darkens with age.

Symptoms

The lack of pigment in the eye can cause a number of vision problems:

  • Reduced visual acuity (sharpness)
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Nystagmus – involuntary back-and-forth eye movements
  • Strabismus – crossed eyes

Treatment

Although there is no cure for Ocular Albinism, there many treatments available that can greatly improve vision and quality of life. Advanced optics, including specialized telescopic or microscopic eyeglasses or custom-made contact lenses, can help Ocular Albinism sufferers see better and navigate life more easily and independently.

To find out whether advanced optics might help you see better, please contact us today or call 1-888-552-2020 to schedule a free, no-obligation 15-minute phone consultation.


How Can We Help?

Free Phone Consultation

The low vision evaluation first starts with a call to Dr. Bissell, an IALVS doctor in your area at 888-552-2020. Dr. Bissell will conduct a FREE telephone consultation to determine if you are a candidate for IALVS Low Vision Care. If you are a candidate, the doctor in your area will schedule you for a Low Vision Evaluation.

Low Vision Evaluation

Basically what we do is this:

  • Evaluate the amount of vision the patient has.
  • Determine the amount of vision needed to perform the patient’s desired task.
  • Recommend the best magnification device that allows the patient to perform their task.

We find out the amount of vision the patient has by performing a low vision evaluation. It is not anything like a regular eye exam:

  • Special charts and techniques are utilized to “draw out” any residual vision that may be “hiding” in the periphery.
  • Regular eyeglass prescription is rechecked and evaluated to determine if it can be improved.
  • Magnification is evaluated to determine how it can affect the level of vision

The amount of vision needed to perform the desired task is determined with very specific questions and demonstrations.

  • We ask the patient to bring samples of print they want to see (racing charts, stock market pages, automobile repair manuals…).
  • Patients bring samples of activities they do (needlework, spark plugs, bridge cards…).

The best magnification device that allows the person to do the task is evaluated by utilizing many unique demonstrators in the office.

The patient actively uses various magnification devices to perform the actual task in the office and together we help the patient choose the best device for them.

Low vision device are ordered only after a patient has proven in our office first that the device will assist them in performing their particular task.