Comprehensive Eye Care San Antonio

Annual Eye Exam in San Antonio, TX

We offer routine comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages. During your annual eye exam, we will evaluate not only your visual acuity, but also the complete health of your eyes, from the front to the back – checking for early signs of serious eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and detached retina. Based on the appearance of delicate blood vessels and other structures within the eye, the doctor will be able to help detect early signs of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Annual Eye Exam San Antonio

Blepharitis

Blepharitis (also known as “meibomian gland disease” or MGD) is an inflammation of the eyelids, causing swollen, red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff-life scales on the eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder with a wide variety of causes and it affects people of all ages. Blepharitis is not contagious and does not cause permanent damage to eyesight. Most patients have blepharitis in both eyes.

Cornea Health

The cornea is made up of five layers and is responsible for providing protection against injury and infection. After your comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Baribeau will discuss the health of your cornea and if any treatments or surgeries are recommended.
Cornea Specialist San Antonio Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is often called “pink eye.” It happens when the conjunctiva is irritated by an infection or allergies and causes the eyes to become red and swollen and sometimes they have a sticky discharge. You can have conjunctivitis in one or both eyes. Some types of pink eye are very contagious (easily spread from one person to person). There are three types of conjunctivitis: viral, bacterial and allergic.

Keratoconus
The word keratoconus is derived from two Greek words: “kerato” meaning cornea and “konos” meaning cone. Keratoconus, therefore, is a condition in which the normally round shape of the cornea is distorted and a cone-like bulge develops, resulting in significant visual impairment. This distortion usually begins in the late teens or early twenties and goes through a period of progression that can last 5 to 15 years or longer. As the keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges and thins, becoming irregular and sometimes forming scars. Once the progression ceases, the patient’s corneal shape is then stable for the remainder of his or her lifetime. The end result may range from mild ectasia (bulging) with minimal patient symptoms to severe disease with significantly decreased vision.

Partial Corneal Transplant: DSEK or DMEK
DSEK (Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty) and DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty) are surgical techniques that precisely remove the damaged layer of the cornea for patients with conditions such as Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy, corneal edema, and other forms of endothelial dysfunction. Because DSEK and DMEK are not a full-thickness cornea transplant, recovery time is usually quicker than with traditional corneal transplants. Visual recovery is gradual but most patients obtain their best-corrected visual acuity between 1-3 months after procedure.

Corneal Transplants
If your cornea cannot be healed or repaired, the Dr. Baribeau might recommend a cornea transplant, also called “keratoplasty”, which is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with the corneal tissue from human donor. All donated corneas are carefully tested to make sure they are healthy and safe to use. A corneal transplant can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. Most corneal transplants are successful; however, the surgery carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.
 
These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, call our office at (210) 692-8888 and schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Baribeau.

Retina

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of your eye. Light rays are focused onto the retina through our cornea, pupil and lens. The retina converts the light rays into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to our brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see. A healthy, intact retina is key to clear vision.

Retina Specialist San Antonio
Diabetic Retinopathy
Patients with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. These blood vessels can swell and leak; or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes to the retina can cause permanent vision loss.
The condition can develop in anyone who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled our blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.

Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined! At present, macular degeneration is considered an incurable eye disease, which is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina known as the macula. The macula is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls the ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. There is no known cure for macular degeneration, but with regular eye exams you will be informed on the latest treatments that might slow down the progression of the disease.

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion
A branch retinal artery occlusion is also known as an “eye stroke.” Eye strokes occur when blockages (occlusions) occur in arteries or veins in the retina, causing vision loss. The severity of vision loss depends on the extent and location of the occlusion(s) and loss of blood flow. Just as strokes occur in other parts of the body because blood flow is blocked, your eye also may suffer damage when vital structures such as the retina and optic nerve are cut off from nutrients and oxygen flow through your blood.

Flashes and Floaters
You may see a sudden flash of light in your vision or lightning streaks when the vitreous gel inside your eye rubs or pulls on the retina. You may have experienced this sensation if you have ever been hit in the eye and see “stars.”
These flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months. As we grow older, it is more common to experience flashes. If you notice the sudden appearance of flashes, it could mean that the retina has been torn.
 
Floaters are small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. You may see them more clearly when looking at a plain background, such as a blank wall. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. Floaters can have different shapes, such as little dots, circles, lines, clouds, or cobwebs.
 
Flashes and floaters become more common as we grow older. While not all flashes and floaters are serious, you should call our office at (210) 692-8888 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Baribeau right away so he can evaluate the health of your retina.

Retinal Tear / Retinal Detachment
The retina normally lies smoothly and firmly against the inside back wall of the eyeball and functions much like the film in the back of a camera. Millions of light-sensitive retinal cells receive optical images, instantly "develop" them, and send them on to the brain to be seen. If any part of the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position, it is considered detached and will cause some vision loss.
A detached retina occurs when the retina is pulled away from its normal position in the back of the eye. The retina sends visual images to the brain through the optic nerve. When detachment occurs, vision is blurred. The most common symptoms are:

  • Floaters
  • Flashing lights
  • Gray curtain or “veil” moving across your field of vision.

A detached retina is a serious problem that can cause blindness unless it is treated. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, call our office at (210) 692-8888 and schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Baribeau.

Strabismus / Eye Muscle Abnormalities

Strabismus is a visual disorder in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. This misalignment may be constant or intermittent. When the eyes are misaligned, typically one eye will fixate on objects of interest while the other eye turns in (esotropia), out (exotropia), down (hypotropia), or up (hypertropia).

Often times the eye that is fixing on objects switches; that is, the misaligned eye will fixate and the previously fixing eye will become the misaligned eye. This alternation of deviating eye is often a good sign suggesting that the vision in each eye is equal. On the other hand, if the eyes do not switch fixation (one eye is constantly the fixating eye and the other eye is constantly the misaligned eye), then the fixating eye is favored and almost always has better vision.
Esotropia and exotropia are common conditions among children. Eye misalignment typically results in double vision in adults, but the developing brain in a child deals with the double vision by suppressing one of the images. Therefore, abnormal eye alignment in childhood blocks normal binocular vision development (as the brain learns to rely on only one image from the fixing eye).

Although the avoidance of double vision is beneficial in some regard, this adaptation by the developing brain is also detrimental because the ignored eye loses the ability to see perfect “20/20” vision – a condition called amblyopia. Amblyopia is decreased vision in a perfectly healthy and well-formed eye which occurs because of a loss of the connection between an eye and the brain during a critical period of vision development from birth to 8 or 9 years of age. Young patients with eye misalignment also typically have poor stereo or 3D vision and depth perception.
Strabismus in adults often results in double vision because the brain has been trained to receive images from both eyes. Adults with strabismus are not at risk of developing amblyopia because the connections between the eye and the brain are already formed and cannot be suppressed.

In infants, it is often difficult to determine the difference between true strabismus (misaligned eyes) and eyes that appear to be crossed. Young children often have a wide, flat nasal bridge and a fold of skin at the inner eyelid (epicanthal fold) that tends to hide the white sclera of the eye when looking in side gaze, thus causing the eyes to appear crossed. An ophthalmologist like Dr. Baribeau can readily distinguish true strabismus from the optical illusion called pseudo-strabismus which resolves spontaneously with growth during childhood development. Children should undergo vision screening by a family doctor, pediatrician, or ophthalmologist at birth, six months of age, three years of age, and pre-school to detect potential eye problems early while they can still be treated.
 

Uveitis / Ocular Inflammation

Uveitis means inflammation of the uvea, or the middle layer of the eye. The uvea consists of three structures: the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid. Inflammation occurring in any of these three structures is termed "uveitis."
 
Inflammation in uveitis may involve any but not necessarily all of these three structures. Depending upon which structures are inflamed, uveitis may be further categorized into one of three main diagnoses:

  • Iritis or anterior uveitis
  • Intermediate uveitis
  • Choroiditis or posterior uveitis

Uveitis may develop following eye trauma or surgery, in association with diseases that affect other organs in the body, or may be a condition isolated to the eye itself. Uveitis often results from infectious causes. Common conditions associated with uveitis include:

 
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Lupus
  • Behcet's disease.

In uveitis, different combinations of these symptoms may be present, depending on which part of the eye is inflamed, including:

 
  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain/tenderness to touch

These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, call our office at (210) 692-8888 and schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Baribeau.