Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology is the medical and surgical speciality that treats visual impairments, diseases of the eye and of the surrounding elements: eyelids, glands and tear ducts. Whether it is for an eye emergency, an eye test, a follow-up treatment or a consultation before a surgical procedure, our teams of optometrists, surgeons and ophthalmologists are here to welcome you to our specialised clinics.

The new Montchoisi eye clinic is equipped with all the latest technologies, enabling the most specialised ophthalmic diagnosis and treatment. It has state-of-the-art eye imaging equipment, in particular Europe’s only FLEX imaging system, as well as an operating theatre dedicated to femtosecond laser refractive surgery.

Swiss Visio

Ophthalmic emergencies

Many ophthalmic disorders can occur suddenly or have an effect on the quality of your life to the extent that they warrant an emergency consultation. Whether it is a sudden loss of vision (venous or arterial occlusion, retinal detachment, etc.), reddening (conjunctivitis, sties, etc.) or pain (corneal ulcers, infections, etc.), there are many different forms of diagnosis and treatment. So, don’t hesitate to ask for advice from a specialist.

Chronic glaucoma

Glaucoma represents a group of diseases where there is too much pressure inside the eye, ultimately causing damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision. These diseases are insidious and usually develop without causing any pain or noticeable symptoms before reaching an advanced stage. This explains the need for regular screening.

Most often, first-line treatments for glaucoma are eye drops aimed at controlling the pressure of the eye. In cases where medical treatment is not enough, laser procedures and filtration surgery usually stabilise the progression of the disease.

Acute glaucoma

Acute glaucoma occurs when drainage of the fluid contained in the eye is suddenly blocked. It leads to a significant increase of pressure within the eye. This usually causes the eye to redden, together with loss of vision and severe pain. The loss of vision may become permanent if the episode is not treated urgently. The first line of treatment is iridotomy, a laser treatment that allows for the restoration of the eye’s natural filtration process.

 

Conjunctivitis and corneal infections

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane covering the white of the eye. It may be caused by a virus, bacteria or an allergy, and typically results in the eye becoming red, together with pain, itching and discharge.

Eye infections may also affect the cornea and cause corneal ulcers or abscesses. Symptoms are similar to those of conjunctivitis but usually lead to decreased visual acuity, pain and discomfort caused by light. They are more common in people who wear contact lenses. Treatments depend on the severity of the infection and may range from simple eye drops to antibiotic injections, or corneal transplants in the most serious cases.

 

Cataracts

Cataracts represent a clouding of the lens. Usually natural and age related, they can however be present at birth or caused by trauma, or even by the use of medications containing corticosteroids. The main symptoms are a decrease in visual acuity, often accompanied by halos around light sources, decreased contrast perception and a glare in the presence of bright lights.

Cataract treatment involves a surgical procedure, which is performed on an outpatient basis in the vast majority of cases. It consists of removing the cataract using an ultrasound device and replacing it with an artificial lens.

 

Secondary cataracts

Secondary cataracts occur most frequently from a few weeks to a few years after cataract surgery. They are the result of opacification of the capsule – the natural bag around the cataract before the operation and the artificial lens after the operation – which thickens and becomes cloudy over time. The symptoms are similar to those of cataracts, with primarily a decrease in visual acuity and the presence of halos around light sources.

Treatment involves a capsulotomy – a simple laser procedure without incision.

 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a chronic disease of the retina where the ageing of the macula cells – located in the central region of the retina – leads to a loss of central vision. It may be dry or wet, with the latter being of potentially rapid onset. The main symptoms are a loss of vision in the central area of the eye, as well as visual distortions making straight lines wavy.

Treatments depend on the type of AMD present, but may involve intraocular injections. In all cases, regular follow-up is necessary.

Uveitis

Uveitis represents a group of inflammatory diseases of the different structures of the eye. They may occur at any age and their symptoms vary widely on the basis of their location and the cause of inflammation. Nevertheless, they usually involve reddening of the eye, eye pain, discomfort caused by light, spots in your vision and reduced vision. The most frequent causes are autoimmune diseases (arthritis, Crohn’s disease, etc.) and chronic infections (tuberculosis, chickenpox, etc.).

Treatment occurs mainly via anti-inflammatory therapy, which is usually topical. However, first and foremost, it is based on diagnosis of the root cause and the treatment of the underlying disease resulting in the inflammation.

 

Ptosis and epiphora

Ptosis is an abnormally low position of the upper eyelid. We often talk about drooping eyelids. It may be congenital (from birth) or have a more or less sudden onset. There are various causes, and a specialised diagnosis is essential to exclude an underlying neurological pathology and provide for appropriate treatment. Treatment is usually surgical and cosmetic, in the form of a blepharoplasty.

Epiphora is the medical term used to refer to eyes that water too much or too often. It is a very common disorder, which makes it no less debilitating in everyday life. Diagnosis of its causes and their treatment often occur in several stages. Treatment usually involves the use of artificial tears or cleaning of the tear ducts with a saline solution. In the most severe cases, a surgical procedure may be proposed.

 

Refractive disorders

Clear vision is fundamental for many everyday activities. It is made possible thanks to the optical properties of several elements of the eye, in particular, the cornea and the lens, which focus the light beams on the retina. When the light beams focus in front of or behind the retina, the brain perceives a blurred image. We usually talk about near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia – visual impairment beginning around 40 years of age. These defects can usually be corrected, both by wearing glasses or contact lenses and via so-called “refractive” surgery.