Eye Conditions We Treat

UI Health ophthalmologists provide some of the most advanced, comprehensive care available for all types of eye conditions and diseases. Our team is made up of nationally recognized experts that treat a variety of eye conditions, including:

AIDS-related eye problems: Individuals with AIDS may experience eye problems related to the disease, including cotton wool spots; cytomegalovirus retinitis, or CMV retinitis; retinal detachment; vision loss; and Kaposi's sarcoma.

Allergic conjunctivitis: Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and extends over the front of the white part of the eye (sclera) caused by allergies to ragweed or other pollens.

Amblyopia: Commonly called “lazy eye,” amblyopia is the loss of vision in an apparently healthy eye. This occurs in babies and young children if there is an imbalance between the eyes. Amblyopia usually does not have symptoms and often is discovered at a school vision screening.

Aniridia: Aniridia is a rare genetic vision disorder characterized by partial or complete absence of the iris.

Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a condition in which objects, both near and distant, appear blurred. It is characterized by an irregular curvature of the cornea.

Blepharitis: Blepharitis — chronic inflammation of the eyelid — is the most common ocular disease known. Blepharitis always involves the eyelid margin (edge), but in some cases it may also affect the conjunctiva (inner lining of the eye), cornea (clear outer layer of the eye) and eyelid skin.

Blepharospasm: Also called a tic, blepharospasm is the persistent or repetitive involuntary contraction of the circular muscle around the eye (orbicularis oculi), which produces uncontrolled blinking and squeezing of the eyelids. It usually involves both eyes and may be accompanied by uncontrollable orofacial and head and neck movements.

Cataract: A cataract is the name given to the clouding of the normally clear lens. Cataracts are one of the most common causes of impaired vision in the world.

Chalasia: Chalasia occurs when chronic inflammation of the eyelid results in firm nodules (called chalazions) forming on the eyelid. Chalazions may be painful, red, and swollen, or may simply produce a firm mass.

Color blindness: Color blindness is a term used to refer to the difficulty in telling colors apart, but a more correct term would be color vision defect. No cure exists for color blindness, but special aids may be used to adapt to lack of color vision.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye): More commonly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is a group of diseases that results in inflammation of the mucus membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inner lining of the eyelids.

Corneal abrasion: A corneal abrasion is a common eye injury that occurs when there is a scrape of the outer surface of the eye. Fingernails, contact lenses, and paper edges frequently cause abrasions.

Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is the damaging of the blood vessels of the retina as a result of high blood sugar.

Double vision: Double vision is characterized by seeing two images from a single object with image displacement being horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Double vision can result from strabismus, cataract, tumors, among other eye diseases and conditions.

Dry eye: Dry eye is the inability to produce enough tears to keep the surface of the eyes lubricated and comfortable.

Epiphora: Epiphora, or excessive tearing, can be caused by problems with the external surface of the eye, problems of the tear drainage system, or flaccid lower eyelids.

Floaters: Floaters refer to dark dots, lines, or particles that many people notice in their vision that move around as though floating in the eye.

Genetic eye disorders: A genetic eye disorder is an inherited condition that may be passed on from parents to their children through their genes. Often, the risk of occurrence for other family members can be predicted.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of conditions that creates increased pressure inside the eye (elevated intraocular pressure), which causes the death of retinal nerve cells. It is one of the major causes of blindness in America.

Graves’ disease: Also called thyroid eye disease, Graves’ disease results from the glandular problems that may lead to changes in the eye and eye socket.

Herpes: Herpes simplex virus type 1 can cause recurrent infections of the eye — ocular herpes — and lead to other eye conditions.

Hyperopia (farsightedness): Farsightedness is a condition in which a person cannot see near or close objects clearly. It usually occurs when an eyeball is smaller than normal, not allowing light rays to focus properly on the retina, resulting in blurred vision.

Ischemic optic neuropathy: Optic neuritis is characterized by inflammation and swelling of the nerves in the eyes that transmit impulses from the retinas to the brain (optic nerves).

Keratitis (corneal infection): Keratitis is painful inflammation and swelling of the cornea that sometimes occurs with infection after bacteria or fungi enter the cornea, trauma, chemical exposure, or thermal injury.

Keratoconus: Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the shape of the cornea becomes distorted. In an eye with keratoconus, the center of the cornea slowly thins and bulges, so that it sags and has a cone shape.

Low vision: Low vision refers to impaired vision that does not improve through medicine, surgery, or ordinary corrective lenses. Individuals with low vision find it difficult or impossible to do many everyday tasks.

Macular degeneration: The macula is the tiny, central area of the retina. Individuals with macular degeneration have difficulty with central vision, such as seeing fine detail, looking straight at an object, reading, and driving.

Macular hole: Macular holes form when the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina, forming a hole at the macula. Macular holes may be caused by eye injuries, certain eye disease, and eye inflammation, but generally result from the normal aging process.

Melanoma (choroidal melanoma): A choroidal melanoma is a malignant tumor present in the choroid — the pigmented vascular layer beneath the retina.

Myasthenia gravis: Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of muscle weakness. The condition may be restricted to certain muscle groups, particularly those of the eyes (Ocular Myasthenia Gravis).

Myopia (nearsightedness): People who have nearsightedness have difficulty seeing distant objects, but can see objects that are near clearly. Myopia runs in families and usually appears in childhood.

Nystagmus: Nystagmus is involuntary, rapid movement of the eyeball that may be horizontal, vertical, rotatory, or mixed. Nystagmus usually results in some degree of visual loss.

Optic neuritis: Optic neuritis is an inflammatory disease of uncertain cause and the most common optic nerve disease to affect young people. The average age at the first attack is 31 years, but teenagers and persons over 40 may develop this disease for the first time. It also affects women more than men.

Pterygium: Pterygium is a raised, wedge-shaped growth of the conjunctiva. It is most commonly found in individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun or live in tropical climates.

Ptosis (drooping eyelid): Ptosis occurs when the muscle that raises the upper eyelid fails to develop properly in one or both eyes. When an eyelid droops and covers half the eye, that eye may mistakenly appear smaller than the other. Ptosis may sometimes result in amblyopia. If the ptosis is severe, surgery is required to lift the eyelid.

Retinal detachment: Retinal detachment occurs when the retina pulls away from its supporting tissues due to heredity or injury. Since the retina can't work properly under these conditions, permanent vision loss may occur if a detachment is not repaired within 24 to 72 hours.

Retinitis pigmentosa: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of progressive night-blinding disorders. Night blindness refers to difficulty seeing in the dark; most individuals with RP also will experience some impairment of peripheral vision, which in the majority of instances progresses to a profound loss. In addition, about half of all patients with RP will have variable degrees of cataracts.

Retinopathy of prematurity: Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a developmental disease of the eye that affects premature infants. In patients with ROP, the blood vessels stop growing and new, abnormal blood vessels grow instead of normal retinal blood vessels. The developmental arrest and blood vessel maldevelopment may be temporary or permanent, minimal or severe.

Sports eye injuries: Sports-induced eye injuries include corneal abrasion, blunt injuries, subconjunctival hemorrhage, hyphema, and penetrating injuries.

Strabismus (crossed eyes): Strabismus, or crossed eyes, occurs most often in young children. A child with strabismus may have esotropia (one eye turning in), exotropia (one eye turning out), or hypertropia (one eye higher than the other).

Stye: A stye is a red lump that forms near the edge of the eyelid as a result of infection (Staphylococcus aureus) of the Zeis's or Moll's glands — both of which are located near the eyelashes.

Uveitis: Uveitis refers to a group of inflammatory conditions that occur in the eye. Often, uveitis reflects diseases that are developing elsewhere in the body.