Conditions We Treat

With our team’s broad clinical expertise, sophisticated diagnostic technology and advanced surgical capabilities, you can rely on the UMass Memorial Eye Center to treat virtually any condition that may affect your vision—from the most common to the most complex.

It’s also important to know that we give you all the time and attention necessary to understand what’s causing your condition, and to personalize treatment for your unique situation. The conditions we see include:

General Eye Conditions  

  • Cataracts—Clouding of the eye’s lens that results in dim, distorted or blurred images and decreased vision, like looking through a dirty window. Cataracts are the most common disorder affecting the lens of the eye.
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)—Inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin, delicate membrane that covers the eyeball and lines the eyelid
  • Refractive errors—A refractive error means that the shape of your eye doesn’t bend (refract) light correctly, causing a blurred image. Types of refractive errors, for which glasses or contact lenses may be prescribed, are:
    • Nearsightedness (myopia)
    • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
    • Loss of near vision with age (presbyopia)
    • Astigmatism, a defect in the curvature of your eye
  • Dry eye—A condition in which the eyes don’t produce enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye
  • Watering eye (epiphora) or tearing—A condition in which there is an overflow of tears

Specialized Eye Conditions

  • Retinal disorders—Conditions affecting the retina, the layer of transparent, tissue at the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to your brain, enabling you to see. Retinal disorders include:
    • Diabetic retinopathy—A complication from diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina
    • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—A breakdown of the eye’s macula, a small area in the retina that’s responsible for your central vision, enabling you to see fine details
    • Retinal vascular disorders—A range of eye diseases that affect the blood vessels in the eye; these conditions are linked to vascular diseases such as high blood pressure and artherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls)
    • Retinitis pigmentosa—An inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes a slow loss of vision and eventual blindness
  • Glaucoma—A condition in which fluid buildup within the eye damages the optic nerve and causes gradual loss of sight
  • Hereditary eye disorders—Genetics can play a role in many kinds of eye disease including:
    • Glaucoma
    • Age-related macular degeneration
    • Refractive errors
    • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
    • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
    • Eye abnormalities also are present in one-third of inherited, systemic diseases such as Marfan syndrome and Tay-Sachs disease
  • Uveitis—Inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall, causing eye redness, pain and blurred vision
  • Corneal diseases—The cornea is the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. If it becomes damaged through disease or injury, this can block or distort light as it enters the eye, interfering with your vision. Corneal diseases include:
    • Keratitis—Inflammation of the cornea
    • Shingles (herpes zoster)—A recurrence of the chicken pox virus in people who’ve already had the disease
    • Ocular herpes—A viral infection of the eye
    • Corneal dystrophies—Diseases that cause structural problems with the cornea, including:
      • Keratoconus—a progressive disease in which the cornea thins and changes shape
      • Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy—a corneal condition that causes abnormal folds of the outer layer of the cornea
      • Fuch's dystrophy—gradual deterioration of the inner layer of the cornea
      • Lattice dystrophy—the presence of abnormal protein fibers throughout the stroma, the thickest layer of the cornea

When Eye Problems are Part of Another Condition

Sometimes, eye diseases are related to a systemic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), diabetes, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease or cancer. As part of an academic medical center, we work closely with specialists in these other areas, integrating ophthalmologic treatment into each patient’s total care plan.

Trauma Care for Eye Injuries

There’s tremendous peace of mind in knowing that UMass Memorial is home to the region’s only Level I Trauma Center. We provide the highest level of expert care for critically injured patients, including those with eye injuries.