Are you looking for more information on an eye condition currently affecting you or a loved one? Browse through our complete list of ophthalmological conditions, including their symptoms and effects, as well as links to their related services being offered at the USC Roski Eye Institute. To learn more about the ophthalmology treatments provided by our expert team, contact us online or call us today at 323-442-6335.
- Blepharitis – inflammation, redness, itching of the eye and eyelids.
- Bullous Keratopathy – commonly occurs eye surgery, trauma, or glaucoma causing swelling of the cornea as a
result of damage to the endothelial layer of the cornea. Damage to this layer causes the formation of small vesicles or bullae leading to swelling, irritation and pain.
- Chalazia/Styes – Both chalazia and styes are characterized by a lump found in or along the eyelid. Typically styes are red, raised lumps found on the edge of the lid that are caused by infected eyelash follicles. A chalazion is a blocked oil-producing glands and thus are not caused by bacterial infection and are not cancerous.
- Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – the conjunctiva is a very thin layer of the eye that lines the sclera or the white part of the eye. It helps to act as an immune barrier and helps lubricate the eye. Bacterial, viral and allergic conjunctivitis can occur, producing swelling of the blood vessels contained within the conjunctiva, causing swelling and redness which many refer to as “pink eye”.
- Corneal Dystrophies – a group of rare hereditary disorders of the cornea, which occur as a result of an accumulation of foreign material such as cholesterol or lipids, which may be found in any of the five layers of the cornea.
- Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy – a corneal dystrophy that occurs posterior in the innermost part of the cornea; the endothelium and the Descemet membrane. It is the most common posterior corneal disorder causing loss of endothelial cells and thickening of the corneal wall, leading to corneal scarring and possible blindness. It is most common in women and in people who are 50-60 years of age.
- Corneal Infection (Keratitis) – also referred to as corneal ulcers, keratitis can be defined as swelling or inflammation of the cornea as a result bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Non-infectious keratitis can occur from prolonged use of contact lenses.
- Corneal Scarring – damage to the cornea through injury, abrasions, burns or various disorders. The scarring can cause impaired vision and may even lead to blindness.
- Dry Eye Syndrome – both corneal and conjunctival, a condition that causes diminished tear production, which results in irritation, burning, foreign body sensation and potential visual impairment from erosion of the conjunctival or corneal epithelium. Tears help lubricate or moisten the surface of the eye keeping it smooth and clear.
- Herpes Keratitis – a viral infection of the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Recurrent infection can cause permanent scarring to the cornea.
- Keratoconus – a condition where the cornea, typically a dome-like round structure that helps focus light as it enters the eye, becomes bulged and deformed into a more conical shape.
- Pterygium – also known as surfer’s eye, is abnormal benign corneal growth that occurs due to exposure to UV light and wind. It is predominant in people who work outdoors such as fisherman, farmers and people who live near the equator.
- Ocular Rosacea – occurs in people who suffer from rosacea and is defined as inflammation or redness of the eye and eyelids (blepharitis) as well as dry eye.
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- Cataracts and Intraocular Lenses – In cataract results when the natural lens becomes cloudy and impedes light from entering the eye. The lens is a transparent structure found in the eye that helps refract light upon the retina and changes shape to allow for focus of objects at various distances. A cataract may result if this lens becomes cloudy, compromising the appearance of sharp images and thus causing impaired or reduced vision. Cataracts may be treated through surgical removal of the lens and replacement with a new plastic lens (IOL) implant. Cataracts may be congenital or result from trauma, disease, or age.
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- Glaucoma – is a class of diseases that causes high eye pressure (intraocular pressure), damaging the optic nerve and retinal nerve fibers. The optic nerve is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, and is responsible for transmitting images to the brain. There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. Glaucoma-caused vision loss begins with the loss of peripheral vision.
- Angle Closure Glaucoma (Acute or Narrow Angle Glaucoma) – characterized by elevation of eye pressure due to closure of the drainage angle of the eye. The iris can move forward and block the outflow of fluid (aqueous humor) from the eye, resulting in rapid elevation of eye pressure. Symptoms include a deep, boring eye pain, nausea, clouding and haloed vision. Urgent assessment and management by an ophthalmologist is required.
- Open-Angle Glaucoma – the most common form of glaucoma, where a characteristic pattern of damage occurs to the optic nerve, resulting in corresponding visual field loss. A number of risk factors exist, such as elevated intraocular pressure, nearsightedness, thinner corneas, blood pressure issues, and atherosclerosis. Treatment usually begins with eye drops, but can include laser and surgical procedures.
- Congenital and Childhood Glaucoma – early onset glaucoma that often leads to increase in eye size (“buphthalmos”), tearing, decreased vision, and light sensitivity. A strong genetic component exists.
- Pseudoexfoliation Glaucoma (Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome) – a condition where abnormal material is deposited on the lens capsule, drainage angle structures and blood vessels. This can lead to weakening of the ocular tissues making cataract surgery potentially more challenging and can lead to a specific form of glaucoma.
- Glaucoma Secondary to Eye Trauma – damage to the drainage structures can lead to an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Regular monitoring is required to ensure that optic nerve damage can be prevented as much as possible.
- Neovascular Glaucoma – patients with significant growth of abnormal vessels within the eye due to damage from diabetes or retinal vein occlusions can experience elevation of eye pressure if the abnormal blood vessels extend to the drainage angle and cause scarring or bleeding.
- Pigment Dispersion Glaucoma – a form of glaucoma associated with liberation of pigment from the iris into the drainage angle, resulting in rapid increases in eye pressure. Young, near-sighted men are the most common group to be affected.
- Uveitic Glaucoma – glaucoma resulting from intraocular inflammation. Treatment includes targeting the underlying cause of the inflammation as well as management of the elevated eye pressure
- Normal Tension Glaucoma – a form of glaucoma where the eye pressure is “normal” relative to the range seen in the population at large. Patients present with optic nerve damage and visual field loss characteristic of glaucoma. Further lowering of the eye pressure has been shown to be beneficial.
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- Double Vision – misalignment of the eyes can lead to the perception of seeing two copies of the same object. Double images can be vertically, horizontally, or obliquely separated and can be due to damage to the brain or one of the nerves that supplies the eye (extraocular) muscles.
- Optic Neuropathy – damage to one or both optic nerves resulting in decreased vision or loss of visual field. The most common entities include glaucoma, optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy, and compressive (tumor or aneurysm) optic neuropathy.
- Papilledema – swelling of the optic nerves due to raised intracranial pressure.
- Visual Field Defects – loss of visual field in one or both eyes due to damage along the visual pathways. The nature of this defect can help localize where along the visual pathway (from eye to brain) the damage has occurred.
- Thyroid Eye Disease – causes eye and orbital changes such as eyelid retraction (“stare”), double vision from scarring of the eye muscles, protrusion (proptosis) of the eyes, and loss of vision for compression of the optic nerve(s) in patients with Graves Disease. Occasionally, other forms of thyroid dysfunction can also be associated.
- Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension – raised intracranial pressure in the absence of a brain tumor, meningitis, or hydrocephalus. Most patients are young, overweight women who can present with signs of elevation of intracranial pressure including transient blurring of vision, headache, and whooshing (tinnitus) sounds in their ears. Patients often have papilledema and can experience significant vision loss if not treated.
- Stroke – loss of circulation to any part of the brain. Visual deficits are common given that a large component of the brain is devoted to visual function.
- Temporal Arteritis – a condition that typically affects the elderly and involving inflammation of the arteries of the head, neck, brain and eyes. Patients can experience significant and irreversible vision loss. Presenting symptoms can include jaw pain while chewing, headache, scalp tenderness, loss of appetite, loss of weight and low grade fevers. Diagnosis is made by attention to clinical symptoms, blood tests and biopsy of the temporal artery(ies).
- Hemifacial Spasm – involuntary contraction of the facial muscles typically on one side of the face due to irritation of the seventh (facial) cranial nerve. The condition can rarely be due to a mass in the brain but typically results from compression of the nerve by a neighboring blood vessel. The most common treatment is serial Botox injections.
- Blepharospasm – involuntary spasm of the muscles of the eyelids, brows and occasionally the face. Usually both sides of the face are affected and commonly associated with ocular surface disorders such as dry eyes. Treatments include lubrication of the eyes and Botox injections.
Click here to learn more about Neuro-Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus.
- Lid Tumors – Abnormal nodules or lesions surrounding or on the eyelid which may be benign or malignant.
- Conjunctival Tumors – Abnormal nodules or lesions of the clear membrane over the white of the eye that may be benign or malignant.
- Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia
A malignant conjunctival tumor that may grow onto the cornea and cause eye pain, redness, irritation, or blurry.
- Anterior Segment and Iris Tumors
Abnormal growths involving the front part of the eye including the cornea (most anterior clear part of the eye), iris (colored part of the eye), or lens within the eye.
- Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia
- Lymphoma – A malignant tumor derived from the lymphatic system that may involve the inside of the eye or the surrounding tissue. May present as an eye mass or be associated with systemic lymphoma.
- Uveal Lesions – Lesions of the colored parts of the eye including the iris, ciliary body, or choroid in the posterior portion of the eye
Cancers derived from pigmented cells including those of the skin or uvea of the eye. Though originating from pigmented cells, melanomas may also be nonpigmented and require evaluation and treatment.
- Metastatic Lesions
Lesions that spread from cancers in other parts of the body. Metastatic lesions spread through blood vessels and can be found in the choroid or posterior portion of the eye.
- Vascular Lesions
Malformations of the arteries or veins that can be present from birth or may develop over time in adults. Can involve the tissue surrounding the eye or within the eye.
Lesions involving the tissue surrounding the eye or involving the eye socket that may benign or malignant. May displace the position or cause bulging of the eye.
- Optic Nerve Lesions
Lesions of the optic nerve such as glioma or meningiomas that may involve the nerve at any point from when it exits the posterior portion of the eye to the connections to the brain.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – A cancer of the skin that may appear on the eyelids or face as a shiny, pearly nodule in sun exposed areas. May be diagnosed by taking a skin biopsy and treated with surgical excision, chemotherapy, radiation, or other therapies.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – A skin cancer derived from the outer layer of the skin, often found in sun exposed areas, and appear as scaly, red patches. Squamous cell carcinoma may become aggressive if not treated.
- Sebaceous Cell Carcinoma of the Lid – Cancers derived from the glands within the eyelids that may confused with recurrent chalazion or stye and often associated with eyelash loss.
- Conjunctival Melanoma – A cancer of pigmented cells on the clear tissue overlying the white of the eye or inside the eyelid. May spread to other parts of the body if left undiagnosed and untreated.
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- Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
- Myopia (Nearsightedness)
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- Herpetic Uveitis
- HLA-B27 Iridocyclitis
- Ocular Tuberculosis
- Vogt Koyanagi Harada’s Disease
Click here to learn more about Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation.
- Retinal Vein Occulusion – occurs when there is blockage of small veins carrying blood away from the retina. The retina is nerve tissue found in the back of the eye, responsible for capturing images through light sensing cells and converting these nerve signals into electrical signals to be sent to the brain. Those at high risk of developing retinal vein occlusions are people suffering from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes, high blood pressure or other eye conditions such as glaucoma or macular edema.
- Central Serous Chorioretinopathy – may also be referred to as serous choroidopath, which is a disease that is often temporary and usually in one eye. Vision may become distorted as a result of fluid build up in the central part of the retina, called the macula. Specifically, visual impairment results from leakage of blood vessels of retinal tissue layers called the choroid, causing blister like formations or elevated areas of the macula.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – retinopathy is defined as damage to the retina, which is the back of the eye, which helps process images. Diabetic retinopathy, a range of changes that occur within the retina as a result of complications from diabetes.
- Diabetic Macular Edema – a condition where leakage from damaged blood vessels in the central part of the retina results in vision loss that can impair your ability to read, recognize faces, or even drive.
- Macular Hole – a defect in the central retina that can lead to decreased vision and distortion. Surgery can be offered for patients experiencing significant decrease in vision.
- Macular Pucker (Epiretinal Membrane or Cellophane Retinopathy) – a condition where a membrane can grow over the central retina typically in response to inflammation, diabetic retinopathy, or previous surgery. This can lead to distortion of the retinal surface producing decrease in vision or distortion. Symptomatic cases can be improved dramatically with surgery.
- Posterior Vitreous Detachment (Flashes and Floaters) – a condition where the vitreous gel and the retinal interface can detach spontaneously or following trauma, from the retinal interface. This typically occurs more commonly in elderly and near-sighted individuals. It may also occur after cataract surgery. Symptoms usually include flashes of light and floaters, warranting urgent medical assessment to evaluate for the possibility of a retinal tear.
- Retinal Tears – a tear that occurs in the retina, which can lead to a retinal detachment. It can present with new flashes and floaters. Tears can usually be treated with laser or cryotherapy (cold probe) in the office. Successful and early treatment can prevent retinal detachment and preserve vision.
- Retinal Detachment – a separation of the retina from the underlying pigment epithelium which can disrupt visual cell structure and thus markedly disturbs vision. Almost always caused by a retinal tear; often requires immediate surgical repair.
- Retinitis Pigmentosa – a group of inherited retinal degenerative diseases characterized by loss of photoreceptors (rods and cones) and progressive scarring of the retina. Many forms exist, with several general genetic mutations having been identified thus far. Gene therapy may ultimately be possible. Implantation of the Argus II retinal prosthesis can restore some sight to those completely blind from this disease.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – is a class of conditions which affects the central vision caused by the deterioration of the macula (the central part of the retina). The decline in central vision, found most commonly in those over the age of 60, can result in the inability to read, recognize faces, or even drive.
- Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD) – a condition that is the result of the deterioration to the central part of the retina known as the macula which affects central vision.
- Wet AMD – wet (vascular) AMD results from the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina, which may leak fluid and blood. The neovascularization that occurs can cause permanent damage to retinal cells (light sensing cells) giving rise to blind spots in the central part of the vision.
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