Since 1923, CEENTA has been the region’s premier eye care provider for adult and pediatric patients. CEENTA has nearly 40 eye doctors in a dozen locations across North Carolina. Our award-winning staff of ophthalmologists is well trained in treating the most common eye problems, as well as some of the rarest. From routine eye exams to glaucoma and LASIK, from macular degeneration and cataract surgery to neuro-ophthalmological treatment methods, and from routine to complex pediatric eye care needs, CEENTA uses the latest techniques and treatments to provide you with the best eye care in the region. Our award-winning research department has also been on the forefront of many developments in ophthalmological care, which means our patients are some of the first to receive the newest healthcare treatments. Please call 704.295.3000 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.


Cataracts

Your eye works a lot like a camera. Light rays focus through your lens onto the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. Similar to photographic film, the retina allows the image to be “seen” by the brain. Over time, the lens of our eye can become cloudy, preventing light rays from passing clearly through the lens. The loss of transparency may be so mild that vision is barely affected, or it can be so severe that no shapes or movements are seen—only light and dark. When the lens becomes cloudy enough to obstruct vision to any significant degree, it is called a cataract.

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Common Eye Problems

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. has a dedicated, award-winning staff of ophthalmologists and optometrists who are well-trained in treating some of the most common eye problems as well as some of the rarest. From glaucoma to blepharitis, CEENTA is sure to give you the best care in the Charlotte region. Some common eye problems that we treat include blepharospasm, eye infections, age-related macular degeneration, conjunctivitis, dry eye, astigmatism, myopia, presbyopia, and blepharitis.

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Cornea

The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye. It's the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. The cornea helps shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust and other harmful matter. The cornea functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye. It contributes between 65-75% of the eye's total focusing power. Corneal diseases and disorders include corneal abrasions, corneal dystrophy, corneal erosion, corneal laceration, corneal ulcer, and Fuchs' dystrophy.

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Corneal Cross-Linking

CEENTA offers corneal cross-linking to treat keratoconus, a progressive thinning and distortion of the cornea, which leads to blurry vision. Our doctors use the Avedro corneal cross-linking system, the only FDA approved corneal cross-linking method. During corneal cross-linking - also known as CXL - the cornea is saturated with riboflavin drops. It is then bathed with ultraviolet A (UVA) light, which creates the cross-linking.

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Diabetic Eye Care

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough, or any, insulin, resulting in an excess of sugar in the blood. There are different variations of this disease, but all can affect the eye. Diabetes can damage specific parts of the eye: retina, vitreous, lens, optic nerve. Damage to the retina from diabetes is very serious and can result in vision loss. Having high blood pressure and blood glucose can cause the blood vessels within the eye to swell and weaken. As these blood vessels weaken, so will your vision.

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Dry Eye

Your eyes constantly produce tears at a slow and steady rate so that they stay moist and comfortable. Some people are not able to produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy or comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye. Symptoms of dry eye include scratchiness, stinging, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, and blurry vision. Sometimes people with dry eye will experience excess tearing. This is the eye’s response to the discomfort from dry eye. When the eyes get irritated, the gland that makes tears releases a larger than usual volume of tears, which overwhelm the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eyes.


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Eye Exams & Routine Eye Care

A complete eye examination does more than determine how clearly you see from a distance and which lens prescription, if necessary, will give you the best possible vision. Your doctor will also run a number of tests to check the health and function of your entire eye. If you have never had an eye examination or are seeing a new doctor, your doctor or a technician will begin by asking you questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and any vision problems you may have. If you wear contact lenses, be sure to bring them with you to your appointment. They will be checked to make sure that they are the correct prescription, fit, and kind of lens for your eyes.

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Eye Infections

Eye infections are caused by a virus or bacteria in the environment that attacks the eye. The most common of these infections is conjunctivitis. Eye infections can happen in almost any part of the eye, such as: the eyelid (blepharitis), the vitreous (vitritis), the optic nerve (neuroretinitis) and the cornea (keratitis). Symptoms include chronically red eye, itchiness, watery eyes, eye swelling, and eye pain.

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which transmits the images you see from the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers (like an electric cable with its numerous wires). Glaucoma damages nerve fibers, which can cause blind spots and vision loss. Glaucoma is often, but not always, caused by a buildup of the pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP). When the aqueous humor (a clear liquid that normally flows in and out of the eye) cannot drain properly, pressure builds up in the eye. The resulting increase in IOP can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

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LASIK

LASIK stands for Laser In Situ Keratomileusis. PRK stands for Photo Refractive Keratectomy. LASIK (with a flap) and PRK (without a flap) are both Laser Vision Correction (LVC) or refractive surgery procedures used to correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. These procedures use excimer laser technology introduced in the 1980’s. Candidacy is determined through an evaluation performed by an experienced CEENTA ophthalmologist and our laser center. Good candidates must be at least 18 years of age and have good eye and general health with a stable prescription that fits the range for LASIK surgery. Patients with amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (muscle imbalance), dry eye or other eye problems should alert their doctor. Women should be finished with breastfeeding for three months before pursuing an evaluation.

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Neuro-ophthalmology

Our fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmology physicians provide special expertise in the consultation, diagnosis and surgery of patients with disorders of the eyelid, pupil, optic nerve, cranial nerve, and orbit resulting from optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy, brain tumors and strokes, cranial nerve palsies, myasthenia gravis, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, pseudotumor cerebri, and migraines.

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Pediatric

Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical and surgical doctors who specialize in the eye problems of children. In particular, vision develops in the brain until about 9 years of age and can be affected by eyes that are not straight or do not focus correctly. A child can grow up with good vision in each eye if these problems are caught early, treated and maintained. Pediatric eye exams are as detailed as adult exams, if not more so. We want to give each child the time and attention that he or she deserves, so please allow 2 hours for a new patient exam.

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Refractive Eye Surgery

Today, many people choose to correct their refractive errors with techniques other than wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. Surgeries like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, improve vision by permanently changing the shape of the cornea to redirect how light is focused on the retina. However, in certain cases, LASIK or other refractive surgeries that reshape the cornea may not be a patient’s best option. In these cases, instead of reshaping the cornea, the eye’s natural lens can be removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) with a procedure called refractive lens exchange (RLE). IOLs are artificial lenses surgically implanted in the eye. These lenses help your eye regain its focusing and refractive ability. RLE can be used to correct moderate to high degrees of myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). In many cases, it is especially useful in treating presbyopia, the inability to focus at near distances with age.

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Retina

The retina is a light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye that contains highly evolved cells called rods and cones. It’s divided into the central (macula) and the peripheral retina. The macula has the highest concentration of photo-receptors (cones) and provides the sharpest vision. The peripheral retina is used for peripheral vision, which is critical for many activities (driving and playing sports). The leading cause of blindness in the U.S. is age-related macular degeneration, causing damage to the macula. The retinal tear is a common disease of the peripheral retina that can also lead to a retinal detachment and loss of vision.

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Strabismus

Strabismus refers to misaligned eyes. Esotropia (“crossed” eyes) occurs when the eyes turn inward. Exotropia occurs when the eyes turn outward. When one eye is higher than the other, it is called hypertropia (for the higher eye) or hypotropia (for the lower eye). Strabismus can be subtle or obvious, and can occur occasionally or constantly. It can affect one eye or shift between the eyes. Strabismus usually begins in infancy or childhood. Some toddlers have accommodative esotropia. Their eyes cross because they need glasses for farsightedness. But most cases of strabismus do not have a well-understood cause. It seems to develop because the eye muscles are uncoordinated and do not move the eyes together. Acquired strabismus can occasionally occur because of a problem in the brain, an injury to the eye socket, or thyroid eye disease.

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Uveitis

Uveitis refers to inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye: the iris, ciliary body and choroid. Together, these form the middle layer of the eye between the retina and the sclera (white of eye). The uvea is the middle layer in the eye sandwiched between the retina (innermost layer) and the sclera (outermost layer). The uvea contains many blood vessels- the veins, arteries, and capillaries that carry blood to and from the eye. Since the uvea nourishes many important parts of the eye (like the retina), inflammation of the uvea can damage your sight. There are several types of uveitis, defined by the part of the eye where it occurs: iritis (anterior uveitis), pars planitis (intermediate uveitis), posterior uveitis, and panuveitis.

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