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The Eye Book
A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health
By Gary H. Cassel, Michael D. Billig, and Harry G. Randall

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The Eye Book: A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health

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The Eye Book: A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health
Large Print Edition
By Gary H. Cassel, Michael D. Billig, and Harry G. Randall
The John Hopkins University Press
A John Hopkins Press Health Book, (2000)
ISBN: 0-8018-6520-4
Genre: Eye Diseases and Disorders, Health

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - June 26, 2001

Your eyes are a precious resource. When your eyes work perfectly, you tend to not even notice them, but when they 'break', you become unbelievably conscious of their importance! In The Eye Book: A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health, the book's authors, three eye care professionals, discuss some of the most common eye disorders, and their treatments.

The Eye Book covers a wide range of topics. These topics include what to expect during an eye exam, how glasses and contacts can correct some vision problems, the pros and cons of refractive surgery, how to treat eye traumas, and the effect that many common medicines have on the eyes. Information is also furnished that examines how common health problems can affect the eyes. There is also a chapter devoted to coping with low vision. This chapter contains general information about low vision centers, tips on how to maximize the vision that you do have, and a list of resources where you can get more information about low vision.

While this book covers all areas of eye health, its main purpose is to provide a guide to common eye disorders. To this end, The Eye Book offers a comprehensive overview of many common eye disorders associated with aging, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. The Eye Book also looks at various disorders that can affect specific parts of the eye. For example under the section on the optic nerve, they cover disorders such as optic neuritis, as well as ischemic, nonarteritic ischemic, and arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy.

This book is written for a general audience. The writing is clear, and the topics are covered thoroughly. The book begins with a basic introductory chapter that explains how the eye works and how it changes as we age. In addition, this book contains many detailed diagrams that enhance the descriptions in the book. In particular, there are some excellent anatomical diagrams of the eye that help to explain exactly where 'everything is'. Not only does this book contain a wealth of general eye information, but many chapters end with a question and answer section.

In the eye disorder sections, the authors describe each disorder in detail. They also describe the symptoms of each disorder and how the various problems are diagnosed. They also discuss, in detail, the various treatment options that are available for each condition, plus the risks associated with each treatment and what kind of outcome you can expect from the various procedures. They also discuss risk factors for developing the different conditions, and when known, the steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing each condition. The authors also discuss how you general health can affect your eyes.

Throughout, the information provided in this book is accurate, detailed, and all professional jargon is clearly explained. When describing treatment options, the authors were careful to provide both the pros and the cons to each treatment. This format provides sufficient detail about the course and prognosis of each disorder, which will enable the patients to make a more informed decision about their own care. I also think that it is very important that they included a section on eye emergencies. This section explains what to do if an injury occurs, and when it is vital that you seek professional care immediately. The only drawback to this book, as far as I can tell, is that the low vision section was a bit skimpy. If you have had any dealings with low vision, you will find that this section covers just the bare basics.

Overall, I am very impressed with this book. It provides a wealth of information in a very accessible format, and I am particularly pleased that it is now available in large print.


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