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Conditions and Diseases Treated

  • Cataracts Lebanon

  • A cataract is a cloudy or opaque change in the normally clear lens of the eye. This lens in located behind the iris of the eye. The lens has an important function to focus light on the retina by changing its shape as the distance of the object viewed changes.

    Cataracts are typically associated with age and begin to form in our 60's, but in rare cases can occur in as young as infants. These changes usually occur slowly over a decade or longer and are found in each eye, even though one can be worse than the other. The type of cataract will determine the severity of vision loss and the rate at which it will progress. Cataracts usually cause a gradual increase in blurred vision that is constant every day, creating greater sensitivity to lights and glare at night, and reduced intensity of colors.

    What you see with Cataracts

    Cataract onset can present earlier in life due to smoking, drug abuse, poor health, diabetes, and exposure to UV radiation. Research has shown that vitamin C and E can be helpful in reducing risk, but there is no clinically established treatment to slow or prevent cataract formation.

    Cataracts are diagnosed frequently by Dr. Knecht,O.D. Once the cataract has matured enough for surgery the patient will be referred to one of our local cataract surgeons. These surgeons are Dr. Madsen, Dr. Lundlow, and Dr. Genstler. Each are highly skilled and experienced in cataract surgery and provide excellent results. Post operative care is then usually performed by Dr. Knecht.

    Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

  • Metal RemovalMetal Removal Lebanon

  • Dr. Knecht, O.D. performs metal removal very frequently. When a small piece of metal comes in contact with the cornea or clear front surface of the eye it embeds slightly. Once embedded it will rarely come out without professional assistance. The metal only takes hours before it will begin to rust which causes inflammation and significant eye pain. With proper treatment the metal is removed, while causing minimal to no lasting damage to the eye. This procedure is considered a medical procedure and can be billed to your medical insurance. For those without insurance coming to Dr. Knecht still provides the service at a fraction of what the ER will charge.

     
  • Diabetic RetinopathyDiabetic Retinopathy Lebanon

  • Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

    In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.

    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.

    If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need an eye exam more often.

    Studies have shown that controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of vision loss. Controlling these will help your overall health as well as help protect your vision.

    Does diabetic retinopathy have any symptoms?

    Blurred vision may occur when the macula—the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision—swells from leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema.

    If new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye and block vision often.

    Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Don't wait for symptoms. Be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

    Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

  • glaucomaGlaucoma Lebanon

  • Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. There are many different kinds of glaucoma. Some forms can begin early in life, however the most common types begin in our 50's and higher. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

    Studies have shown that eye pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage. This pressure is usually not associated with blood pressure. In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. This fluid is always being produced while at the same time draining out of the eye into the bodies vasculature.

    In open-angle glaucoma, even though the drainage is "open", the fluid passes too slowly through the drain. Since the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma-and vision loss—may result. That’s why controlling pressure inside the eye is important.

    Not every person with increased eye pressure will develop glaucoma. Some people can tolerate higher levels of eye pressure better than others. Also, a certain level of eye pressure may be high for one person but normal for another.

    Whether you develop glaucoma depends on the level of pressure your optic nerve can tolerate without being damaged. This level is different for each person. That’s why a comprehensive dilated eye exam is very important. It can help your eye care professional determine what level of eye pressure is normal for you.

    Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead (central) vision may decrease until no vision remains.

    Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people, listed below, are at higher risk than others:

    • African Americans over age 40
    • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
    • People with a family history of glaucoma

    glaucoma sight

    A comprehensive dilated eye exam is needed to determine the type of glaucoma and can reveal more risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. In some people with certain combinations of these high-risk factors, medicines in the form of eyedrops reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by about half.

    Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

     
  • Age related macular edema (AMD)Age Related Macular Edema (AMD) Lebanon

  • Age related macular edema (AMD) is a common eye condition among people age 50 and older. It is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. It gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for seeing objects clearly.

    In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disorder progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. The vision loss makes it difficult to recognize faces, drive a car, read print, or do close work, such as sewing or fixing things around the house.

    Despite the limited vision, AMD does not cause complete blindness. You will be able to see using your side (peripheral) vision.

    AMD usually occurs in people who are age 50 and older. As people get older, the risk increases. Other risk factors include the following:

    • Smoking. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of AMD two-fold.
    • Race. Caucasians are much more likely to get AMD than people of African descent.
    • Family history. People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk.

    Does lifestyle make a difference?

    Some lifestyle choices, like smoking, are linked to AMD although it remains unknown if altering any of these would alter the impact of AMD on an individual. Nevertheless, the following choices may have an impact on AMD and certainly promote healthy living, including the following:

    • Avoiding smoking
    • Exercising
    • Maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels
    • Eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish

    There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

    Either form can advance and cause severe vision loss. All people who have the wet form had the dry form first. The following is a brief description of each:

    • The dry form is more common. It happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye.
    • The wet form is more rapid in its onset. It happens when new blood vessels under the macula leak blood and fluid. Damage to the macula can occur rapidly.

    Treatment

    At this time treatment is still very limited in its benefits. However vitamins and particular antioxidants have been shown to help slow the progression of this disease. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle and use the recommended eye vitamins to help slow this progression.

    Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

  • Vision Disorders Lebanon

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)

    Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance, and wear glasses or contact lenses to optimize visual acuity. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred.

    There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.

    Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

    Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye, and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly, and therefore, blur more easily.

    Glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, and refractive lens exchange are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.

    Astigmatism

    Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error, and is very common.

    Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special intraocular lens implants.

    Presbyopia

    Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 40 - 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.

    Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses or bifocals are typically needed by the early to mid-forties.

    Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting intraocular lens implants.

  • pink eyePink Eye (conjunctivitis) Lebanon

  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva or outer white part of the eyes. This causes the dilation of blood vessels on the conjunctiva of the eye. This is what causes the outer layer to turn a red or pinkish color. Pink eye is most commonly caused by viral or bacterial infections and allergic reactions. Viral or bacterial infections can be very contagious. It is important to wash hands and limit contact with others. Treatment for pink eye usually involves eye drops, but may also require oral medications. Early intervention helps control discomfort and limit its spread.

     
  • AmblyopiaAmblyopia Lebanon

  • Vision is a process of receiving an image and having the brain process that image. When the image is received but not processed properly the individual may have amblyopia. Amblyopia is usually reduced vision in only one eye that is not immediately correctable with glasses or other device. Amblyopia is the most common visual impairment in children. When amblyopia is caught early in life it is more successfully treated. Left untreated, the child and later adult will have one eye that is visually impaired. The degree of visual impairment is determined by the severity of the cause.

    The causes are most often associated with strabismus or significant prescription difference between eyes. Strabismus is an issue where one eye is turned in or out while the other eye is straight ahead. In order to avoid double vision the brain will automatically turn the central part of the turned eye off. This adaption is helpful in avoiding double vision but causes the turned eye not to develop completely and have reduced vision. Prescription differences work in a similar way. When one eye is more blurry than the other, the brain simply uses the more clear eye. This results in one be used and the other not so much. As a result the other eye will develop reduced vision.

    Treatment is usually required and can involve glasses, patching or atropine drops in the better seeing eye. Limiting or reducing vision in the better seeing eye forces the brain to use the worse eye causing the nerves to develop more completely. Results are not immediate and will usually take over a year to achieve the best outcome in vision.

 

Cataracts Lebanon

A cataract is a cloudy or opaque change in the normally clear lens of the eye. This lens in located behind the iris of the eye. The lens has an important function to focus light on the retina by changing its shape as the distance of the object viewed changes.

Cataracts are typically associated with age and begin to form in our 60's, but in rare cases can occur in as young as infants. These changes usually occur slowly over a decade or longer and are found in each eye, even though one can be worse than the other. The type of cataract will determine the severity of vision loss and the rate at which it will progress. Cataracts usually cause a gradual increase in blurred vision that is constant every day, creating greater sensitivity to lights and glare at night, and reduced intensity of colors.

What you see with Cataracts

Cataract onset can present earlier in life due to smoking, drug abuse, poor health, diabetes, and exposure to UV radiation. Research has shown that vitamin C and E can be helpful in reducing risk, but there is no clinically established treatment to slow or prevent cataract formation.

Cataracts are diagnosed frequently by Dr. Knecht,O.D. Once the cataract has matured enough for surgery the patient will be referred to one of our local cataract surgeons. These surgeons are Dr. Madsen, Dr. Lundlow, and Dr. Genstler. Each are highly skilled and experienced in cataract surgery and provide excellent results. Post operative care is then usually performed by Dr. Knecht.

Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

Metal Removal Lebanon

Metal Removal

Dr. Knecht, O.D. performs metal removal very frequently. When a small piece of metal comes in contact with the cornea or clear front surface of the eye it embeds slightly. Once embedded it will rarely come out without professional assistance. The metal only takes hours before it will begin to rust which causes inflammation and significant eye pain. With proper treatment the metal is removed, while causing minimal to no lasting damage to the eye. This procedure is considered a medical procedure and can be billed to your medical insurance. For those without insurance coming to Dr. Knecht still provides the service at a fraction of what the ER will charge.

Diabetic Retinopathy Lebanon

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.

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.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need an eye exam more often.

Studies have shown that controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of vision loss. Controlling these will help your overall health as well as help protect your vision.

Does diabetic retinopathy have any symptoms?

Blurred vision may occur when the macula—the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision—swells from leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema.

If new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye and block vision often.

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Don't wait for symptoms. Be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

Glaucoma Lebanon

glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. There are many different kinds of glaucoma. Some forms can begin early in life, however the most common types begin in our 50's and higher. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

Studies have shown that eye pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage. This pressure is usually not associated with blood pressure. In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. This fluid is always being produced while at the same time draining out of the eye into the bodies vasculature.

In open-angle glaucoma, even though the drainage is "open", the fluid passes too slowly through the drain. Since the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma-and vision loss—may result. That’s why controlling pressure inside the eye is important.

Not every person with increased eye pressure will develop glaucoma. Some people can tolerate higher levels of eye pressure better than others. Also, a certain level of eye pressure may be high for one person but normal for another.

Whether you develop glaucoma depends on the level of pressure your optic nerve can tolerate without being damaged. This level is different for each person. That’s why a comprehensive dilated eye exam is very important. It can help your eye care professional determine what level of eye pressure is normal for you.

Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead (central) vision may decrease until no vision remains.

Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people, listed below, are at higher risk than others:

  • African Americans over age 40
  • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

glaucoma sight

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is needed to determine the type of glaucoma and can reveal more risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. In some people with certain combinations of these high-risk factors, medicines in the form of eyedrops reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by about half.

Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

Age Related Macular Edema (AMD) Lebanon

Age related macular edema (AMD)

Age related macular edema (AMD) is a common eye condition among people age 50 and older. It is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. It gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for seeing objects clearly.

In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disorder progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. The vision loss makes it difficult to recognize faces, drive a car, read print, or do close work, such as sewing or fixing things around the house.

Despite the limited vision, AMD does not cause complete blindness. You will be able to see using your side (peripheral) vision.

AMD usually occurs in people who are age 50 and older. As people get older, the risk increases. Other risk factors include the following:

  • Smoking. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of AMD two-fold.
  • Race. Caucasians are much more likely to get AMD than people of African descent.
  • Family history. People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk.

Does lifestyle make a difference?

Some lifestyle choices, like smoking, are linked to AMD although it remains unknown if altering any of these would alter the impact of AMD on an individual. Nevertheless, the following choices may have an impact on AMD and certainly promote healthy living, including the following:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish

There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

Either form can advance and cause severe vision loss. All people who have the wet form had the dry form first. The following is a brief description of each:

  • The dry form is more common. It happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye.
  • The wet form is more rapid in its onset. It happens when new blood vessels under the macula leak blood and fluid. Damage to the macula can occur rapidly.

Treatment

At this time treatment is still very limited in its benefits. However vitamins and particular antioxidants have been shown to help slow the progression of this disease. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle and use the recommended eye vitamins to help slow this progression.

Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)

Vision Disorders Lebanon

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance, and wear glasses or contact lenses to optimize visual acuity. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred.

There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye, and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly, and therefore, blur more easily.

Glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, and refractive lens exchange are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.

Astigmatism

Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error, and is very common.

Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special intraocular lens implants.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition that typically becomes noticeable for most people around age 40 - 45. In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens loses its ability to focus adequately.

Although presbyopia is not completely understood, it is thought that the lens and its supporting structures lose the ability to make the lens longer during close vision effort. To compensate, affected individuals usually find that holding reading material further away makes the image clearer. Ultimately, aids such as reading glasses or bifocals are typically needed by the early to mid-forties.

Besides glasses, presbyopia can be dealt with in a number of ways. Options include: monovision and multifocal contact lenses, monovision laser vision correction, and new presbyopia correcting intraocular lens implants.

Pink Eye (conjunctivitis) Lebanon

pink eye

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva or outer white part of the eyes. This causes the dilation of blood vessels on the conjunctiva of the eye. This is what causes the outer layer to turn a red or pinkish color. Pink eye is most commonly caused by viral or bacterial infections and allergic reactions. Viral or bacterial infections can be very contagious. It is important to wash hands and limit contact with others. Treatment for pink eye usually involves eye drops, but may also require oral medications. Early intervention helps control discomfort and limit its spread.

Amblyopia Lebanon

Amblyopia

Vision is a process of receiving an image and having the brain process that image. When the image is received but not processed properly the individual may have amblyopia. Amblyopia is usually reduced vision in only one eye that is not immediately correctable with glasses or other device. Amblyopia is the most common visual impairment in children. When amblyopia is caught early in life it is more successfully treated. Left untreated, the child and later adult will have one eye that is visually impaired. The degree of visual impairment is determined by the severity of the cause.

The causes are most often associated with strabismus or significant prescription difference between eyes. Strabismus is an issue where one eye is turned in or out while the other eye is straight ahead. In order to avoid double vision the brain will automatically turn the central part of the turned eye off. This adaption is helpful in avoiding double vision but causes the turned eye not to develop completely and have reduced vision. Prescription differences work in a similar way. When one eye is more blurry than the other, the brain simply uses the more clear eye. This results in one be used and the other not so much. As a result the other eye will develop reduced vision.

Treatment is usually required and can involve glasses, patching or atropine drops in the better seeing eye. Limiting or reducing vision in the better seeing eye forces the brain to use the worse eye causing the nerves to develop more completely. Results are not immediate and will usually take over a year to achieve the best outcome in vision.