Common Vision Conditions

Below are short descriptions of various vision conditions. They are not intended as comprehensive definitions. If you have additional questions or need evaluation for any of these, please contact us.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

The eye is not naturally focused strongly enough for any distance. This causes excessive focusing which can often be compensated for when young. However, this may cause headaches, dislike for or poor reading, poor concentration, or ADHD-like symptoms. It may cause blurred distance and near vision in adults.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

The eye is focused too much to see clearly for long distance. Blurred distance vision is often the only symptom. Near vision is normally good depending upon how nearsighted and how close the material is to the person.


The focusing surfaces are not found creating a distorted image. Often described as if looking through a lens with surfaces shaped like the side of a football.


Common to nearly everyone over 45 years old. This causes the person to lose their ability to focus up close. Bifocals or reading glasses are the most common corrections.


Often referred to as “lazy eye”, this results when an eye was deprived from normal vision when very young. This could have been caused by unequal refractions, patching one eye for some reason, or deviations in the eye alignment. This eye will have poor vision that cannot be improved with new glasses. However, the eye will have normal health in every other way. Treatment is patching the “good” eye to force the amblyopic eye to be used. Effectiveness of treatment is best early and rapidly decreases with age.


These appear to the patient as “lightning bolts” or “clusters of flash bulbs”. Most often they are not in your straight ahead vision. They may appear far above, below, or to the side of central vision. They often occur with floaters. They can be a sign of retinal detachment and new ones must be checked out.


These are seen by the patient as usually small, grey to black spot, hair, or shadow moving in the vision. They may appear as “ants on the floor”, or “gnats in the air”. They can be a sign of retinal detachment or vitreous hemorrhage and new ones must be checked out. They often occur with flashes. Floaters when severe can be removed but normally do not require treatment when no detachment or tear is present.


This presents as one eye lid being lower than the other all or nearly all the time. It can be present from birth or acquired later. Bell’s Palsy and stroke are common causes in adults.

Retinal Detachment

When the retina pulls loose (detaches) from the underlying tissue it is an ocular emergency as it can cause permanently reduced vision or total blindness in one eye if left untreated. Symptoms include blurred vision, flashes, floaters and distorted peripheral vision. Treatment may include laser surgery or intra ocular surgery.

Retinal Tear or Hole

As the name implies the retina is torn or has developed a hole, but has not yet detached. They symptoms and treatments are the same as a detachment although some holes may be watched for progression.

Vitreous Degeneration

You may hear many names for this including; vitreous separation or detachment. The symptoms are the same as retinal detachment however usually no treatment is advised. Since the symptoms are the same as a severe problem new symptoms must be check by your doctor