• Eye Care

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    Bassett Healthcare Network offers comprehensive eye care services at several locations throughout the region. A team of certified ophthalmic technicians, ophthalmic assistants, optometrists and ophthalmologists works together to provide evaluation, treatment and management of vision problems and prescribe corrective eyewear and contact lenses.

    In addition to routine eye and vision exams, experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists provide examinations or referrals for the evaluation and treatment of common eye disorders such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

    Locations that offer ophthalmology services

    Cooperstown Eye Care Center, Bassett Medical Center, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown
    Cobleskill Regional Hospital, 178 Grandview Drive, Cobleskill
    Herkimer Health Center, 321 E. Albany St., Herkimer
    Little Falls Hospital, 170 Burwell St. Little Falls 
    O’Connor Hospital, Andes Road, Delhi
    Oneonta Specialty Services, One Associate Drive, Oneonta

    To make an appointment

    For Cooperstown: (607) 547-3140
    For Cobleskill: (518) 254-3317
    For Herkimer: (315) 867-2700
    For Little Falls: (315) 823-1000
    For Delhi: (607) 746-0525
    For Oneonta: (607) 433-6300

    Eyewear Centers

    Bassett operates eyewear centers at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, O’Connor Hospital in Delhi and Oneonta Specialty Services. Patients at these locations can have their eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions ordered immediately following their eye exams. Patients can also visit an eyewear center without an appointment to have eyeglasses adjusted and repaired. Certified technicians provide education for new contact lens wearers.

    All three eyewear centers offer a large selection of prescription frames. Sunglasses and protective sports eyewear are also available.

    For more information on Bassett’s Eyewear Centers

    Cooperstown Eye Care Center: (607) 547-3142
    O’Connor Hospital Eye Wear Center: (607) 746-0525
    Oneonta Eyewear Center: (607) 433-6300

    Eye Disorders and Procedures

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Age-related macular degeneration is a chronic condition that causes central vision loss. It occurs when the macula – the part of the retina that lets you see color and fine detail – becomes damaged. The condition affects both distance and close vision and can make activities such as reading very difficult or impossible. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, the progression of AMD may be delayed.

    Cataracts

    A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. The lens focuses light rays on the retina – the layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of the eye – to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, light rays cannot pass through it easily, and vision is blurred. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye through a surgical incision. In most cases, the natural lens is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens implant.

    Corneal Transplant

    The cornea is the clear front of the eye that covers the colored iris and the round pupil. Light is focused while passing through the cornea so we can see. If the cornea is damaged, it may become swollen or scarred, causing the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurred vision. Ophthalmologists perform more than 40,000 corneal transplants each year in the United States. In corneal transplant surgery, the damaged cornea is removed and a clear donor cornea is sewn into place.

    Detached and Torn Retina

    The retina is a nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain. The middle of the eye is filled with a clear gel called vitreous. As people get older, the vitreous may pull away from its attachment to the retina at the back of the eye. Usually this happens without causing problems, but sometimes, the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina. If left untreated, this tearing can lead to a retinal detachment, where the retina is pulled away from its normal position. The retina does not work when it is detached, causing blurry vision. A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that almost always causes blindness unless it is treated. Most retinal tears can be treated with laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing) to seal the retina to the back wall of the eye. Almost all patients with retinal detachments require surgery to return the retina to its proper position

    Dry Eye

    Dry eye is a condition in which people do not produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. Symptoms include stinging or burning eyes, scratchiness, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind, excess tearing (the eye’s response to irritation), and discomfort when wearing contact lenses. Dry eye is usually treated with eyedrops called artificial tears.

    Floaters & Flashers

    Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of the eye. They can appear as little dots, circles, lines, clouds or cobwebs in the field of vision. Flashes occur when the vitreous gel rubs or pulls on the retina. They look like flashing lights or lightning streaks and can appear off and on for several weeks or months. Some floaters and flashes may be a symptom of a tear in the retina, which is a serious problem that could require surgery if left untreated. It’s important to contact your eye doctor if you develop new floaters or flashes, especially if you are over 45 years of age.

    Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains. In most cases, there are no symptoms of glaucoma at first. That’s why it’s so important to have regular eye exams. Eye doctors can detect glaucoma through a comprehensive exam that includes vision tests to measure distance and side vision, a dilated eye exam in which the retina and optic nerve are examined through a magnifying lens for signs of damage, and tests with specialized instruments that measure the pressure inside the eye and the thickness of the cornea. There is no cure for glaucoma, but with early diagnosis and proper treatment, progression of the disease can be delayed. Glaucoma treatments include medicines, laser surgery, conventional surgery or a combination of these.

    Ptosis

    Ptosis is a Greek word that means “downward displacement.” In ophthalmology, it refers to a drooping upper eyelid. The lid may droop only slightly or it may drop enough to partially or completely cover the pupil, restricting or obscuring vision. Ptosis may be inherited. It can affect one or both eyelids, be present at birth, or occur later in life. When an infant is born with moderate ptosis, treatment is necessary to allow normal visual development. If the ptosis is not corrected, a condition called amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” may develop. If untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent suppression of sight in one eye. Ptosis in both children and adults can be successfully treated with surgery to improve visual function and cosmetic appearance.

    Strabismus

    Strabismus is a visual defect in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. One eye may look straight ahead, while the other eye turns inward, outward, upward or downward. About 4 percent of all children in the United States have strabismus. It can also occur later in life. Strabismus can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam. It is recommended that all children have their vision checked at or before their fourth birthday, or earlier if there is a family history of strabismus or amblyopia (“lazy eye”). Treatments for strabismus vary. In some cases, eyeglasses can be prescribed. Other treatments may involve surgery to correct the unbalanced eye muscles or to remove a cataract. Covering or patching the strong eye to improve amblyopia is often necessary.

    Vitrectomy Surgery

    Vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery that treats disorders of the retina (the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye) and the vitreous (the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye. During vitrectomy, the vitreous is removed and usually replace by a saltwater solution. Vitrectomy surgery often improves or stabilizes vision by removing any blood or debris (from infection or inflammation) that may be blocking or blurring light as it focuses on the retina.