Ophthalmological Services from Dr. Eric Batiste, O.D.

Medical Treatments for Eye Conditions in Altoona, PA

At Barrett Vision Center LLC, we have the experience and knowledge it takes to properly correct or improve your eyesight. Don’t ignore any issues that you may be having with your eyes, as some can be quite serious. Not sure if you have a medical eye condition? Dr. Batiste and his expert staff will work to diagnose any existing problems and will give you the best options to correct these problems. Call today and make an appointment to see Dr. Batiste in Altoona, PA to diagnose and treat your medical eye condition. Learn more about some of the most common eye conditions below.


Astigmatism, Nearsighted, and Farsighted Correction in Blair County, PA


Irregularly shaped corneas or curved interior of the eye can cause Astigmatism. These slight differences can prevent light from focusing properly on the retina, the light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye. Vision at a distance becomes blurred with astigmatism, requiring the use of corrective lenses.

Astigmatism is very common, and most people have it to some degree, and some do not require treatment. When vision is very distorted, it can cause blurred vision, eye discomfort, and headaches. Astigmatism can occur with other vision conditions such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Its cause is unknown. It may be inherited, and can change (get worse or better) over time.

Our comprehensive exam includes a check for astigmatism. If present, we will help determine the best treatment method:

  • Prescription Eyeglasses
  • Prescription Contact Lenses
  • Orthokeratology
  • Laser or LASIK surgery

Eyeglasses are the most common choice for correcting astigmatism.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia, the medical term for nearsightedness, is a vision condition that affects around 30 percent of the people in the U.S., where close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness may be inherited, and occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) has too much curvature. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.

Nearsightedness may first be witnessed in school-age children, and progresses with eye growth until about age 20. However, nearsightedness may also develop in adults due to visual stress of too much close work or health conditions such as diabetes.

People with nearsightedness have a variety of options to correct their vision problem. In consultation with your optometrist, you can select the treatment that best meets your visual and lifestyle needs. Myopia may be treated in the Blair County area by Dr. Eric Batiste, at Barrett Vision Center LLC, in Altoona, PA.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsightedness, or Hyperopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Farsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly.

Common signs of farsightedness include difficulty concentrating on and maintaining a clear focus on near objects, eye strain, fatigue and/or headaches after close work, aching or burning eyes, and irritability or nervousness after sustained concentration.

Common vision screenings, often done in schools, are generally ineffective in detecting farsightedness. A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for farsightedness.

In mild cases of farsightedness, your eyes may be able to compensate without corrective lenses. In other cases, your optometrist can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to optically correct farsightedness by altering the way the light enters your eyes.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Lazy eye, or Amblyopia, is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses. It can result from a failure to use both eyes together. Lazy eye is often associated with crossed-eyes or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before the age of 6, and it does not affect side vision.

Symptoms may include noticeably favoring one eye or a tendency to bump into objects on one side. Symptoms are not always obvious.

Treatment for lazy eye may include a combination of prescription lenses, prisms, vision therapy and eye patching. Vision therapy teaches the two eyes how to work together, which helps prevent lazy eye from reoccurring.

Early diagnosis increases the chance for a complete recovery. This is one reason why the American Optometric Association recommends that children have a comprehensive optometric examination by the age of 6 months and again at age 3. Lazy eye will not go away on its own. If not diagnosed until the pre-teen, teen or adult years, treatment takes longer and is often less effective.

Treatment for Eye Infections and Irritations in Altoona, PA

Acanthamoeba, Blepharitis, Pink Eye, & Corneal Ulcers

At Barrett Vision Center LLC, we like it when all of our patients love their eyes, because we love being able to help keep your eyes looking and feeling their best. If you have something in your eye, we are able to check for and remove foreign bodies, including metal, rust, dust, etc., before an infection sets in.

Dr. Batiste and his caring staff work with you to heal eye health imbalances and treat common infections and irritations, such as:


What is Acanthamoeba? It is a plentiful organism in our environment and rarely causes infections, but when it does, vision can be placed at serious risk. Recent increases of Acanthamoeba keratitis (a joint infection the keratitis bacteria) have become common both in contact lens cases and on the cornea. Help protect yourself from this infection by educating yourself about the symptoms and risk factors.

The best defense against Acanthamoeba keratitis infection is proper contact lens hygiene. Some of the warning signs include: feeling like there is a foreign object in your eye, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. If your eyes remain irritated after removing your contact lens, or if you deviate from using the proper cleansing routine (such as rinsing the lens with tap water or not washing your hands first), it can add to the infection risk. If you have an eye problem and experience RSVP (redness, secretions, visual blurring or pain), come see Dr. B. for a professional evaluation right away.


Blepharitis is a bothersome eye condition that includes inflammation of the eyelids, which may become red and itchy, with dandruff-like scales on the eyelashes. It is considered a common disorder affecting people of all ages. It may be caused by either bacteria, a skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp, or acne rosacea. Blepharitis is not contagious and generally does not cause any permanent damage to the eyes or vision.

A differentiation among the four various types of blepharitis can often be made based on the appearance of the eyelid margins. Using the information obtained from testing, your eye doctor can determine if you have blepharitis and advise you on treatment options. Treatments vary depending on the type, and can involve not using makeup and gently scrubbing the eyelids to keep them free of the dry skin buildup.

While improvement to the condition is treatable, it can become a chronic, recurring condition. Regular support is helpful for patients who are living with blepharitis. Trust Dr. Batiste when you or a loved one needs quality eye care.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The conjunctiva is the thin, transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, often called “pink eye,” that can affect one eye or both. It is common, especially in children, and can rapidly spread in schools and at home. Causes may range from a viral or bacterial infection, to an allergic reaction to natural irritants or chemical ingredients that come in contact with the eyes. A less common cause is from sexually transmitted diseases.

People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms:

  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Discharge coming from one or both eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Dr. Eric Batiste and his staff will work with you to determine the best way to lessen the course of infection and keep it from spreading. Patient comfort goes a long way when it comes to healing. For example, if conjunctivitis developed due to wearing contact lenses, Dr. B. might need to alter your contact lens prescription to a type of lens that you replace more frequently to prevent the conjunctivitis from recurring.

Corneal Ulcer (Ulcerative Keratitis)

Painful eye ulcers are treated according to the type of corneal ulcer, and its cause. These are usually categorized as infectious and non-infectious types. Bacterial infections are most common, but other microbes like fungi (molds and yeasts), parasites, and viruses (herpes simplex) may also cause the problem.

Non-infectious ulcers include autoimmune, neurotrophic, toxic, and allergic, as well as chemical burns and keratitis secondary to other eye conditions. Symptoms you may feel and see include acute pain, profuse tearing, other discharge, decreased vision and acuity, and the feeling that there is a foreign body is in the eye. Eyelids may swell, and vessels may become inflamed.

Most often, treatments for eye ulcers include antibiotics and, if unresponsive, the careful use of steroids may be added. A mix or oral and topical steroids may be incorporated. Patients must follow the doctor’s orders strictly to keep to the treatment schedule. Expect repeat visits to check recovery progress. Patients may even be encouraged to get additional support with treatment. In severe cases or for patients who may be unable to treat the infection themselves, hospitalization may be necessary.

Diabetic Retinopathy, Dry Eye, and Glaucoma Treatments
in Blair County, PA

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious, sight-threatening condition that may occur in persons with diabetes. The disease causes progressive damage to the retina. It is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue that clouds the vision. The condition usually affects both eyes and, if left untreated, can cause blindness.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing well at night
  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
  • Seeing spots or floaters in your field of vision

In many cases, there are no visual symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, and there are different stages of the disease. This is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Visiting Barrett Vision Center LLC regularly can help you stay on top of diabetic retinopathy and other vision difficulties you may have.

Dry Eye

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have poor quality tears, which affects the health of the front of your eyes. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults, and may be due to an improper balance of tear production and drainage.

People with dry eyes may come to Dr. B’s office in Blair County experiencing symptoms of:

  • Irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes
  • A feeling of something in their eyes
  • Excess watering
  • Blurred vision

Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision. It can be caused by a number of factors: age, gender, medications, other medical conditions, environment, and other factors. Treatments often restore an adequate amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness so eye health is maintained.


Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It most often occurs in people over age 40, and within certain ethnicities. It is a group of eye disorders that typically lead to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. There are a number of risk factors that can lead to glaucoma. In its advanced stages, it can lead to blindness.

In addition to heritage, other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, and using medications that increase the pressure in the eyes. Glaucoma cannot currently be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early it can usually be controlled. Medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. However, vision already lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. This is why the American Optometric Association recommends an annual dilated eye examination for people at risk for glaucoma as a preventive eye care measure. Depending on your specific condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent examinations.

Certain surgical procedures may be recommended to help drain or release pressure in the eye, especially if medication becomes ineffective. Visiting Dr. Batiste for professional eye care in Blair County can provide you with the specific instruction you need before and after surgery, while also delivering on-going glaucoma treatment across the lifespan.

Early detection, prompt treatment, and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and therefore reduce the chance of progressive vision loss.

Macular Degeneration Treatment in the Altoona, PA Area

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. Patients can seek treatment in the Blair County area at Barrett Vision Center LLC, in Altoona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.8 million people have AMD, and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss. Women tend to develop AMD at an earlier age than men. This eye disease occurs when there are changes to the macula, a small portion of the retina that is located on the inside back layer of the eye.

AMD is a loss of central vision that can occur in two forms: “dry” or atrophic and “wet” or exudative. Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, for which there is no known treatment. The less common wet form may respond to laser procedures if diagnosed and treated early.

Some common symptoms are: a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision, and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision. If you experience any of these, contact Dr. B immediately for a comprehensive examination. Central vision that is lost to macular degeneration cannot be restored. However, low vision devices, such as telescopic and microscopic lenses, can be prescribed to maximize existing vision.

Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration. Ask Dr. B. any questions you may have about the importance of good nutrition and eye health.