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The white, opaque outside of the eyeball. The sclera's purpose is to provide structure, strength and protection to the eye.

sclera 2


Scleral Buckle

A scleral buckle is a common surgical procedure used to repair a detached retina. During this surgery, the sclera (the outside covering or white of the eye) is indented or "buckled" inward, usually by attaching a piece of preserved sclera or silicone rubber to its surface.

How is the Surgery performed?
The surgery is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia. Because most retinal detachments are caused by a retinal tear (which in turn may have been caused by a vitreous detachment), the first objective is to repair the tear with a laser or by freezing (cryotherapy). This process creates scar tissue around the tear, healing it and preventing further damage. Then silicone is sewn onto the outside wall of the eye over the retinal tear site, so that it pushes in on the sclera (causing 'buckling') until scarring from the repair treatment (laser or cryotherapy) seals the tear. The buckle is not visible after surgery and is left on the eye permanently.

On occasion, a vitrectomy may also be performed in conjunction with the scleral buckling surgery. To read more about this procedure, click here.

Post-operatively, the eye may be red, scratchy and sore and vision may be blurry. Your eye will be patched and eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection. In addition, your doctor will recommend physical activity be restricted to ensure that the retina remains attached.

What is the success rate for this procedure?
The success of retina surgery depends on a number of factors; the length of time that elapsed from when the retina detached until it was repaired, whether a fibrous growth has formed on the retina, and the size/location of the damage . If the macula was detached, vision will be permanently affected.

In most cases, the retina can be successfully reattached, but reattachment does not guarantee restored vision, it can only assure that no further loss of vision occurs. Vision can improve gradually over many months after surgery and, if the first operation is not successful, a second may be performed.

What are the possible complications?
The most common is re-detachment of the retina but also double vision can occur. Other complications (and more rare, but should be reported promptly to your doctor) include cataract formation, bleeding beneath the retina, glaucoma, infection, and drooping of the eyelid.

A blind or partially blind zone in the visual field.
Scratch Protection Coating
Light weight hard resin lenses can be more easily scratched than glass lenses. Special coatings have been developed to help protect lenses for normal scratching. The modest additional cost for such scratch coating is usually a prudent investment.
Secondary Cataract

An after-cataract, or secondary cataract, is one that forms following cataract removal surgery. Typically it occurs when a piece of the cataract remains or when scar tissue has formed an opacity.

Who can get it?
Anyone. Secondary cataracts typically can occur in about 30% of all cataract surgery cases.

What are the symptoms?
Blurring in a portion of your vision that should have been clear following cataract surgery.

What is the treatment?
The procedure to remove a secondary cataract is quite simple. A Yag laser is used to eliminate the remaining opacity and is quick and painless. The procedure is called a Posterior Capsulotomy.

Soft Bifocal Contact Lenses

These are soft contact lenses that correct vision for individuals who require a different lens correction for their near vision and their far vision. Basically, if you wear bifocal glasses, then this is an option you could consider.

There are now several different types of soft bifocal contacts available. We find that different brands work for different individuals. We put the contacts on your eyes to determine how well they fit the eye, and how well you see with the lenses. If one type does not work, we try a different brand.

There are disposable brands available. Also, some are designed for "extended wear" so you can leave them on at night.

Contributed by H. Frank Storey, OD

Soft Toric Contact Lenses

Contact lens research over the last several years has resulted in the development of a high performance, comfortable and easy to care for contact lens that corrects astigmatism. It is called a "soft toric lens". The Toric lens is specially designed to accomodate the irregularly-shaped cornea and provide crisp, clear vision. What's more, as a soft lens, the Toric is more comfortable, easier to wear, and easier to adjust to than the rigid lenses which had previously been prescribed for astigmatism.

Contributed by H. Frank Storey, OD

Strabismus or Heterotropia.
The ectasia of the cornea or sclera, which is lined by uveal tissue.


Defined as the ability to perceive three-dimensional depth, the visual perception of three-dimensional space.



Also referred to as "crossed eyes, Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes; a condition in which the eyes do not fixate as a pair, but one eye deviates inward, giving them a "crossed" look. One of the eyes may be turned in or out, or even up or down. Normally, the two eyes are designed to work together as a team, especially to improve depth perception and increase peripheral vision. This eye teamwork is significantly impaired by the misalignment of strabismus. Strabismus also frequently leads to a condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye.

What can be done?
Because of the detrimental educational and psychological effects of strabismus on school and job performance, early detection and treatment through comprehensive examination by an eyecare specialist is very important. Strabismus can be treated successfully with a program of eye patching and vision therapy.

An infection of glands of Zeis or Moll; external hordeolum.
An adhesion of one or both eyelids to the eyeball.
The softening or liquefaction of the vitreous.
An adhesion of the iris to cornea (anterior s), or lens (posterior s); plural is synechiae.
The process of liquefaction of the vitreous.
The Eye Encyclopedia is a collection of eye care terminology created by practicing optometrists and ophthalmologists. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for regular medical care or to diagnose or treat any medical condition, and should be used only as a supplemental source of information. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your eye health.