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Kern Medical Eye Institute: A New Way to See Eye Care in Kern County

The Kern Medical Eye Institute is the only academic institution in Kern County with comprehensive programs for the clinical care of patients with eye disorders. Our cutting-edge research on surgical techniques and treatments of eye diseases, education in the field of ophthalmology and innovative outreach to the community is what sets us apart.

We identify and offer treatment or the appropriate referral for the following eye diseases and conditions:

  • Glaucoma: With all types of glaucoma, the nerve connecting the eye to the brain is damaged, usually due to high eye pressure. The most common type of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma) often has no symptoms other than slow vision loss. Angle-closure glaucoma, although rare, is a medical emergency, and its symptoms include eye pain with nausea and sudden visual disturbance.
  • Cataracts: The main symptom of cataracts is blurry vision. Having cataracts can be like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Most cataracts develop slowly for years. When a cataract interferes with someone’s usual activities, the cloudy lens can be replaced with a clear, artificial lens.
  • Refractive Surgery: This eye surgery improves the refractive state of the eyes, decreasing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. This can include various methods of surgical remodeling of the cornea, lens implantation, or lens replacement.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: This condition is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). Poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor. Early symptoms include floaters, blurriness, dark areas of vision, and difficulty perceiving colors. Blindness can occur. Mild cases may be treated with careful diabetes management. Advanced cases may require laser treatment or surgery.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Macular degeneration causes loss in the center of the field of vision. In dry macular degeneration, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina. Blurred vision is a key symptom.
  • Corneal Conditions: The cornea is the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. It helps protect the eye from foreign bodies and plays an important role in vision. Some common corneal conditions include: Corneal abrasion, when there is physical trauma to the cornea, including the presence of a foreign body. Corneal dystrophy refers to a group of genetic eye disorders, in which part(s) of the cornea loses clarity because of a build-up of fat or cholesterol deposits. The disorder usually occurs before the age of 30 and affects men and women equally. You need to see an ophthalmologist for an accurate diagnosis. Recurrent corneal erosion is a disorder that occurs when the top layer of the cornea fails to adhere to the tissue (Bowman’s layer) directly underneath it. It can be caused by trauma, disease or diabetes and affects vision. A corneal ulcer is an open wound on the cornea that is often the result of a bacterial infection. Viral and fungal infections can also be responsible. Early treatment is essential because a corneal ulcer can lead to loss of vision. Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea caused by infection, injury or from leaving contact lenses in too long. Keratitis can be painful and may temporarily affect your vision. In rare cases, it may lead to complications that can damage your sight. Ocular herpes is a type of keratitis caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There is no specific cure, but an ophthalmologist can help you manage the infection and control further outbreaks.

To book an appointment at the Kern Medical Eye Institute, please call 661.862.8175.

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