Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD one of the four leading causes of blindness.  It is when the center of the retina, called the macula, begins to deteriorate.  The macula is the part of the eye that sees detailed visual sharpness and colors. Early detection of AMD is critical.  In order to do that, Dr. Norman uses a retinal camera with FAF technology.  FAF technology detects damage to the retinal nerve cells as they are degenerating, far before it is visible with the naked eye.  As of this date, our office has the only FAF camera in Southeast Missouri.  If you have AMD, Dr. Norman will focus treatment upon prevention of vision loss.  Prevention consists of either vitamin therapy or laser treatment.  Patients with permanent vision loss from AMD can benefit from prescriptions for visual aids like magnifiers and telescopes. Dr. Norman will work with you to help you find what you need.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision in one or both eyes is a common problem.  Blurred vision is usually due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia.  Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious problems including potentially sight-threatening eye or neurological disease.  Dr. Norman will help you discover the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.  Treatment could include eyeglasses, contact lenses, vision exercises, vitamins, medication or other therapies.  Come see us when you can’t see!

Pink Eye

Pink Eye can be a scary condition.  It is VERY contagious.  You can get it from other people, usually kids, or from contaminated objects.  The eyes become very red, watery, and itchy.  If you get these symptoms, Dr. Norman will prescribe eye drops to help calm your eyes before things get worse.  He may also do an antiviral eye wash in the office.  Don’t touch your eyes.  If you accidentally do, wash your hands right away.  Don’t share hand towels

Cataract

A Cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which is located behind the colored part of the eye.  Aging, sun exposure, smoking, and family history are related to cataracts.  Cataracts can cause your vision to change and get blurry.  Treatment can include vitamin therapy, homeopathy, sunglass (UV) protection and surgery.  Dr. Norman will assess your need for these and whether you need only to update your glasses or contacts.  Dr. Norman does not do cataract surgery.  If he finds you need surgery, he will recommend a local surgeon.  Do NOT go see a surgeon before seeing Dr. Norman.  There are a few surgeons in Cape Girardeau and Southern Illinois who will operate before it is necessary and you may regret it.

Diabetic Eyecare

Diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the body.  High levels of sugar can build up in the blood vessels and cause them to hemorrhage or break.  Regular eye exams are necessary to check on this.  Dr. Norman will evaluate your blood vessels, take photos and communicate with your PCP or Endocrinologist regarding how your diabetes is doing.  You should have a check-up with Dr. Norman once yearly if all is well and more frequently if he sees problems.  Please call us at 573-803-2211 for an appointment.

Itchy Eyes

Allergies are the most common cause of itchiness.  Another cause is “pink eye” so read the explanation of pink eye too.  Allergies can cause the eyes to itch, water and blur.  The skin around the eyes can get red and puffy.  The eyelids can puff up like marshmallows.  Dr. Norman will evaluate your allergies and determine if you need oral medication or eyedrops, homeopathic eyedrops, prescription ointment or an over-the-counter therapy.  Allergies are a common problem in Southeast Missouri because the air is loaded with pollens, molds, fungi and dust.

Red Gunky Eye

An eye that is red and has gunky pus means there is an infection.  Sometimes the pus will make the eyelids stick together in the morning.  Don’t wait to see if it will get better on its own.  Dr. Norman will get you on your way quickly with oral or eye medication to stop the infection.  The sooner you get started the faster the healing.  Don’t delay, call today:  573-803-2211.

Eyestrain

Eyestrain is due to either too much near work, aging of the eyes, or refractive error (need for glasses or contacts because of astigmatism or presbyopia).  Do your arms seem too short?  Do you work on a computer for hours on end?  Is your I-phone hard to see?  Dr. Norman will assess your needs and  discuss options such as contacts, glasses and vision therapy.  Let us get you back on track.  Don’t delay, call today 573-803-2211.

Headaches

Headaches are a common complaint when the vision is not correct.  When the eyes are out of focus, the brain gets two images that it can’t match up.  The brain may try to use one image and then the other, all day long.  The strain from doing this can cause a headache.  Dr. Norman will ask you specific questions about your headaches such as their frequency, time of day they come on, where they are located on your head, what they are associated with if anything (food, computing,etc.) , how long they last, and what you do for relief.  Dr. Norman will examine your eyes, take photos and do a visual field analysis.  Treatment most often includes eyeglasses or contacts to put things “in focus”.

Watery Eyes

Excessive watering of the eyes is due to either “dry eye syndrome”, allergies, plugged tear drains or infection.  People often complain that tears are just running down their cheeks and they aren’t crying.  Dr. Norman will assess your watering problem and determine if you need a prescription eyedrop, therapy or other in-office treatment.

Tired Eyes

Are your eyes tired at the end of the day?  Are you getting circles around your eyes?  The eyes can tire from overuse or from being “out of focus”.  We can overuse our eyes when we focus on the computer, I phone or printed material for hours on end.   We are “out of focus” when we have a correctable vision problem such as astigmatism, hyperopia, presbyopia or myopia.  These are correctable with glasses or contacts.  Dr. Norman will assess why your eyes are tired and recommend a treatment plan to “wake them up”!

Eye Pain

Pain in the eyes is unusual.  It means that you have either an eye infection, a foreign object in your eye or some other problem that needs immediate attention.  Please call right away and we will get you in to see Dr. Norman today.  Our number is 573-803-2211.  If the pain is severe and it is after hours, please visit a local emergency room.

Eye Twitch

A “twitching” of the eye or eyelid area around the eye can be a real bother.  Twitching is often due to the eyes being out of focus, physical exhaustion, excessive stress, excessive caffeine, lack of sleep, or some other physical stressor such as glaucoma or dry eye syndrome.  Dr. Norman will check all of these for you.  Treatment may include eyedrops, eyeglasses, oral medications, homeopathy and home therapies.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the four leading causes of blindness.  It is a treatable disease where the fluid pressure inside the eye gets too high and causes damage to the nerves.  Over time, if left untreated, a person permanently loses their side vision and can eventually go blind.  The famed pianist, Ray Charles, went blind from glaucoma at age 7 which they believe began at age 4.  Dr. Norman will check for glaucoma and begin treatment if necessary.  Treatment usually involves the daily use of a prescription eyedrops to lower the eye pressure.  Glaucoma is reason enough to get your eyes checked every year.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertensive retinopathy is when high blood pressure, or rapid changes in blood pressure, cause hemorrhages inside the eye.  Hypertensive retinopathy is one of the four leading causes of blindness.  Dr. Norman will check your blood pressure and evaluate for signs of hypertensive retinopathy during your exam.  If your blood pressure is high or Dr. Norman finds signs of retinopathy, he will communicate with your PCP (primary care physician) in order to reduce your risk.  If you have high blood pressure, it is important for your eyes that you follow your PCP’s orders for taking your blood pressure medication.