If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, controlling your blood sugar levels is vitally important for your health and wellbeing. However, did you know that managing your diabetes effectively is also essential for you to maintain your eyesight? Many people are unaware that there is a serious eye condition, known as diabetic retinopathy, that can develop in patients with diabetes and if it isn’t treated promptly, it could cause you to lose your vision.
Here is what you need to know about diabetic retinopathy including all-important information about how to avoid it!
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that is fairly common amongst people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, particularly if they have been suffering from the condition for some time. In fact, diabetic retinopathy has been found to affect 80% of people who have had diabetes for upwards of 20 years.
The retina is an integral part of our eyes. This light-sensitive layer of cells which is right at the very back of the eye is responsible for turning the light that hits it into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to our brain which determines what we can see. However, for the retina to work properly it needs a constant supply of blood which it gets through a complex network of tiny blood vessels. Unfortunately, over time, patients who have persistently high blood sugar levels tend to experience damage to these blood vessels which prevents them from serving the retina as well as they should. This occurs in three distinct stages.
In the earliest stage of diabetic retinopathy, tiny bulges develop in the blood vessels. They may bleed slightly, but there shouldn’t be any real impact on your vision.
As the condition progresses, more severe changes affect the blood vessels causing greater amounts of bleeding into the eye. Again, your vision should be largely undisturbed and treatment at this stage could prevent the problem from worsening.
By this stage, scar tissue and new blood vessels, which are weak and bleed easily, develop on the retina. At this point, you can expect to start experiencing noticeable vision loss.
In most instances, the initial symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are subtle and easily overlooked until the condition has progressed. At this point, some of the signs of diabetic retinopathy to be aware of include:
Gradually worsening vision
Shapes floating in your field of vision
Redness around the eyes
Sudden vision loss
These signs can be indicative of other eye diseases too, so it is important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible to determine what is causing your symptoms.
If you suffer from diabetes, you will likely be invited to attend an appointment where your eyes will be screened to check for diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment could potentially save your vision. In the meantime, there are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing this potentially serious condition. These include:
Ensuring that you control your blood sugar as much as possible by sticking to guidelines regarding your diet and medication
Attending any diabetic retinopathy and regular eye screening appointments
Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Eating a healthy, balanced diet
Maintaining a healthy weight
Obtaining advice as soon as possible should you suffer from unusual or sudden changes to your vision
If you are concerned that you may have some of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, don’t delay in seeking professional advice as it could help you to preserve your vision. Contact our offices today to arrange an appointment with our experienced eye care team at Cleburne Eye Clinic in Cleburne, TX at (817) 645-2411.
Keratoconus is a terrifying diagnosis to those that have experienced it. To compound issues, many patients complain that they had poor initial treatment due to a lack of understanding about the disease. If proper treatment is not achieved, individuals may experience a rapid deterioration in their ability to see. This leads to a reduced quality of life. You can reduce the stress related to a keratoconus diagnosis and increase the benefits of treatment by understanding your treatment options.
Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea to thin and bulge. This bulge generally takes on the appearance of a cone. As light enters the eye, it becomes distorted by the cone causing vision abnormalities.
Modern research is connecting keratoconus with an enzyme imbalance in the cornea. This imbalance leaves the eye susceptible to oxidative free radicals. Keratoconus has also been linked to UV damage, excessive eye rubbing, poorly fitting contacts, and chronic eye irritation.
While your eye professional will have the best understanding of what treatment option is right for you, we have compiled ten of the most common treatments here.
Corneal Cross-linking (CXL) – There are two different types of this procedure, but they both introduce riboflavin to the cornea in order to strengthen the corneal tissue and stop the bulging from progressing.
Custom Soft Contact Lenses – Soft contacts are generally more comfortable to wear than gas permeable lenses. Recently, some contact companies have been able to create a contact specifically to correct the issues related to mild and moderate cases of keratoconus.
Gas Permeable Contact Lenses – Gas permeable lenses are a hard contact lens that physically forces the eye to adhere to the lens shape. This allows for the correction of keratoconus. The fit is often time-consuming and may take several different lenses to achieve the proper fit.
Piggybacking Contact Lenses – This method is used for individuals who require a gas permeable lens but cannot tolerate wearing the rigid contact. Piggybacking utilizes a soft lens placed on the eye first, and then a gas permeable lens is placed over the top. This offers the comfort of soft contacts with the rigidity and clarity of the gas permeable lenses.
Hybrid Contact Lenses – Hybrid contact lenses were designed specifically for keratoconus. This technology blends a rigid contact lens center with a softer edge, or skirt, of the contact. Scleral and Semi-Scleral lenses – These lenses are gas permeable lenses but cover a larger area of the eye than a standard rigid lens. These lenses don’t put pressure onto the cone shape of the eye. The reduced pressure results in a more comfortable fit for patients.
Prosthetic Lenses – This lens is used specifically for patients that have very advanced keratoconus and have ruled out other options. The advanced scleral lens also doubles as a protective prosthetic shell. There are special requirements to qualify for this lens though, so check with your eye care professional if this is an option for you.
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), is the most popular refractive surgical procedure. In this procedure, laser is used to permanently change the shape of the cornea (the clear covering on the front of the eye) to correct common vision problems such as; nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. This improves vision and reduce a persons need for glasses or contact lenses.
LASIK uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue, giving the cornea a new shape, so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina.
In case of nearsighted people, the goal of LASIK is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. LASIK can also correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure, no need stay at the surgery center overnight. It will take 10 to 15 minutes to perform for each eye.
The procedure is done while the patient is awake, patients may also request mild sedation. The only anesthetic used is eye drops that numb the surface of the eye. LASIK can be done on one or both eyes during the same session.
Before LASIK eye surgery, the eye surgeon will evaluate patient’s medical history and will perform a full eye examination, including measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, eye pressure, and pupil dilation. Afterwards, the surgeon will discuss what to expect during and after the procedure.
On the day of the surgery, eat a light meal before going to the doctor and take all prescribed medications, if any. Do not wear eye makeup, cream, perfumes or lotions on the day before and the day of surgery, or have any bulky hair accessories that will interfere with positioning head under the laser.
Contact lenses shouldn't be worn for at least three days prior to the evaluation. In case of, rigid gas permeable contact lenses, they should not be worn for at least three weeks before. Patients should arrange for a ride home from the place of surgery, as vision might be blurry.
A refraction test is usually performed as a part of a routine eye examination. It may also be called a vision test. The purpose of this test is to determine whether a person have a refractive error, which means a need for glasses or contact lenses.
A value of 20/20 is normal (optimum) vision. This means that, individuals who have 20/20 vision are able to read letters that are 3/8-inch (1 centimeter) tall from 20 feet (6 meters) away. The normal uncorrected vision (without glasses or contact lenses) refractive error is zero (plano). Individuals who don’t have 20/20 vision, have what is called a refractive error. A refractive error means that the light is not bending properly when it passes through the lens of the eye. The refraction test will tell the doctor what prescription lens should be used in order to have 20/20 vision.
For people over age 40 who have normal distance vision but difficulty with near vision, a refraction test with a small type size is used to determine normal near vision and the right power of reading glasses.
The test is performed by having the patient seated in a chair that has a special device (called a phoroptor or refractor) attached to it. The patient looks through the device and focus on an eye chart 20 feet (6 meters) away. The device contains lenses of different strengths that can be moved into the patient’s view. The test is performed one eye at a time. If the patient is wearing contact lenses, they should be removed before the test.
In case the final vision is less than 20/20 even with lenses, then there is probably another, non-optical problem with the eye. The vision level achieved during the refraction test is called the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).
Abnormal results may be due to:
Astigmatism (abnormally curved cornea causing blurred vision)
Presbyopia (inability to focus on near objects that develops with age)
Other conditions under which the test may be performed:
Corneal ulcers and infections
Loss of sharp vision due to macular degeneration
Retinal detachment (separation of the light-sensitive membrane (retina) in the back of the eye from its supporting layers)
Retinal vessel occlusion (blockage in a small artery that carries blood to the retina)
Retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited disorder of the retina)
There is an art to refraction, the ophthalmologists always discusses the patient’s answers and their findings and based on the results they can determine the amount of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, etc..
Amblyopia, also known as a “lazy eye”, is described as reduced vision in one eye compared to the other. There are rare forms of amblyopia that involve both eyes. Amblyopia is the most common cause of partial or total blindness in one eye in children.
The term lazy eye is misleading because the eye is not lazy, in fact, it is a developmental problem in the nerve connecting the eye to the brain, affecting the brain’s ability to use both eyes together. It is not a problem in the eye itself, the brain actively ignores the visual input from the misaligned eye, leading to amblyopia in that eye.
In addition to poor visual acuity, people with amblyopia are more prone to having difficulties with depth perception, eye movements related to reading, and visual decision making while driving.
Amblyopia develops in childhood due to:
Significant differences in the prescription (refractive) status between the two eyes due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism;
Constantly misaligned eyes or crossed eyes (strabismus);
An obstruction of vision in early childhood i.e. cataract, ptosis (droopy eyelid)
It is important to note that, because amblyopia typically is a problem of infant vision development, symptoms of the condition can be difficult to find out, symptoms may include noticeably favoring one eye than the other, an eye turn (either upward downward outward or inward) or a tendency to bump into objects on one side.
The best way to identify children who are at risk for or already have amblyopia is performing comprehensive eye examinations.
Amblyopia can be treatable at any age, although the earlier the problem is found and treated, the more successful the outcomes tend to be.
Our eyes are one of our most defining features, but many of us are unhappy with them for one major reason – our lashes. Lashes are not only a practical feature, but a cosmetic one. Unfortunately, we have not all been blessed with long, curly, dark and luscious lashes that frame our face. In fact, many of us feel that our lashes are a little lacklustre and are missing the fullness and definition that they can bring. Thankfully, there is now a solution – Latisse.
Latisse is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis (shorter, thinner, less or otherwise inadequate eyelashes) that can support your lashes to grow longer, darker and fuller than before. It is the only product of its kind to be FDA-approved.
It is believed that Latisse works by increasing the length of the anagen phase of your eyelash hair cycle, which is the growth phase. This means that your eyelashes grow for longer, giving them chance to thicken and lengthen.
Latisse is only available on prescription to ensure that it is only used by people who suffer from hypotrichosis, and so that your doctor can monitor your treatment.
Millions of patients are diagnosed with eye diseases and conditions every year, some of these eye diseases may not display symptoms until there is an irreversible damage to the patient’s vision. The outcome of eye disease can range from temporary discomfort to total loss of vision, that is why all eye problems and diseases should be taken seriously and regular eye check-ups are absolutely essential.
The main causes of eye problems can be divided into five groups:
Inflammation of the eye and surrounding structures caused by bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infection.
Injuries to the eye and surrounding structures, either as a result of trauma or an object in the eye.
Genetically inherited eye diseases, many of which may only manifest later in life, they affect the structures and the functioning of the eye and therefore can impair visual abilities. In some cases, children are born with these conditions).
Diseases or conditions, such as migraine or diabetes , which can affect other organs of the body, such as the eyes.
External causes, such as allergies or eye strain due to over-use, or as a side effect of medication.
The three symptoms indicative of eye disease are changes in vision, changes in the
appearance of the eye, or an abnormal sensation or pain in the eye.
Changes in vision can include the following symptoms :
Nearsightedness is caused by an elongation of the eyeball over time, making it difficult to clearly see objects far away.
Farsightedness is caused by the shortening of the eyeball, making it difficult to see objects that are close-by clearly.
Blurry or hazy vision, or loss of specific areas of vision, which can affect one or both eyes and is the most common vision symptom. Any sudden changes in vision, should be a cause of concern.
Double vision means a single clear image appears to repeat itself. This could be accompanied by other symptoms as headaches, nausea, a droopy eyelid and misalignment of the eyes.
Floaters are specks or strands that seem to float across the field of vision. These are shadows cast by cells inside the clear fluid that fills the eye. These are usually harmless,
Routine eye exams are an important part of maintaining overall health. As with annual physical or dental exams, it is extremely important to have you your eyes examined regularly, regardless of how keen your eyesight is, scheduling regular eyeexams according to the American Association of Ophthalmology recommendations, is a great way to stay on top of your overall health.
Adults should have an eye exam every 1-2 years, depending on any existing vision problems, eye conditions or being diagnosed with significant risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease or previous eye injuries or family history. The doctor will recommend a frequency for routine follow-up exams based on the patient’s medical history, for instance, a diabetic person needs a dilated eye exam every year, contact lenses wearers need exams every year, to look for changes that might affect lens fit and eye health.
Regular eye exams will also ensure that glasses prescriptions or contact lenses are current, and offer an opportunity for checking early signs of diseases. Adults older than 60 years, should have an eye exam each year, as age-related eye problems are more common.
It may be important to see a doctor more frequently in case of experiencing any of the following:
Blurry vision or loss of vision. If it’s more difficult to see things near and/or far away, and perform basic tasks.
Flashing light in eye.
Eye floaters, or small spots that appear in vision.
Eye exams aren’t important just for the sake of vision, routine eye exams can help identify a variety of problems ranging from cognitive decline to diabetes. Since, the eye is an extension of the brain, and the only part of the body where blood vessels and tissue are visible. This allows an eye doctor to detect other types of warning signs or the early stages of different health problems, such as diabetes signs as bleeding in the eye or swelling in parts of the retina.
Besides diabetes, there are several other health problems that may be detected during an eye exam, including; brain tumors as a brain tumor may cause swelling of the optic nerve, rheumatoid arthritis, as one sign of rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders may be dry eyes, which can be detected during a routine eye exam.
Also, eyelid skin cancer as eyelid is very sensitive to ultraviolet rays, it may be one of the first places affected by different types of skin cancers. Thus, any spots or affected areas may be detected before skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
n addition to high blood pressure, where blood vessels in the back of the eye may appear bent or leaking, narrowing of the vessels in the retina, and swelling of the optic nerve. In addition to, hypertensive retinopathy in its earliest stages. Some progressive eye diseases are not immediately apparent, and should be tested for during regular eye examination. These include:
Glaucoma; a chronic progressive eye disease, it has no early symptoms or pain in the initial stages. Glaucoma is the buildup of pressure within the eye which causes damage to the optic nerve and can lead to a loss of peripheral vision or a complete loss of vision.
Macular degeneration; an eye condition that causes damage to the eye retina.
Cataracts; are the most common cause of blindness in the world. They occur when the lens of the eye becomes less flexible with age. Blurred or foggy vision and sensitivity to light are common symptoms. Cataracts are easily corrected with outpatient surgery.
Vision changes can have a profound effect on a person’s day-to-day life. Early,treatments can help slow or stop vision loss, so regular eye exams can help ensure a lifetime of clear sight.
Astigmatism is a relatively common eye disorder that causes the vision to be blurred or distorted. It occurs when the lens part of the eye, known as the cornea, isn’t perfectly curved and instead resembles a football rather than a soccer ball. This means
that the light entering the eye come through at a distorted angle, making the object appear blurry and out of focus. There are several ways in which it is possible to treat astigmatism, including laser eye surgery and corrective lenses. However, another possibility is a solution referred to as limbal relaxing incisions.
Limbal relaxing incisions are microscopic cuts to an area in the eye known as the limbus. This helps to relax the curve in the cornea and improve its ability to focus light correctly. It can significantly improve your astigmatism and the overall quality of your vision.
If you have astigmatism, are over 18, in good general health and have no major eye conditions, then chances are you are a good candidate for limbal relaxing incisions. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your candidacy further.
While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.
Before we delve into more serious dry eye treatment options, here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are best.
Take supplements with essential fatty acids; these may decrease dry eye symptoms.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect. See if you can take an alternative.
For mild cases of dry eyes, the best option is over-the-counter eyedrops. Here are a few tips for selecting the right one:
Low viscosity – These artificial tears are watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision. But their effect can be brief, and sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get adequate relief.
High viscosity – These are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting lubrication. However, these drops can cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes. For this reason, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended at bedtime.
There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.
Contact Lenses – There are specialty contact lenses that deliver moisture to the surface of the eye. They’re called scleral lenses or bandage lenses.
Antibiotics– If your eyelids are inflamed, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
If you are one of the thousands of people considering LASIK laser eye surgery, then you will probably be gathering as much information as possible about the treatment. By this point you are probably aware of the benefits that LASIK offers, such as a reduced or eliminated need for glasses or contact lenses and greater convenience in your day to day life. However, for many patients, despite the advantages of LASIK, the thought of surgery on their eyes is still a cause of anxiety and fear. One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to find out more about what the procedure entails.
Before you can be approved for any form of laser vision correction, including LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment with your surgeon. During consultations, we will perform an examination of your eyes and use your medical and ocular history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also speak to you about the expected outcome from your surgery, making you aware that while LASIK will dramatically improve your eyesight, there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear glasses in some situations, such as while driving in the dark.
LASIK uses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light to reshape the patient’s cornea. Doing so will more accurately focus the light that enters the eye on to the retina, thus improving the patient’s vision.
The way in which the cornea needs to be reshaped will depend on the visual needs of the patient. For example, a patient who is far-sighted will need their cornea reshaping to be steeper to experience better eyesight. Alternatively, a patient who is near-sighted will require their cornea to be flattened in order to improve their vision. LASIK can also smooth an irregular cornea into a more standard shape, meaning that the procedure can also be used to correct astigmatism.
The LASIK procedure is very fast and straightforward. Although you will probably be in the surgical suite for around half an hour, the actual process only takes a couple of minutes per eye. The rest of the time will be spent preparing and ensuring that
you are comfortable. Anesthetic eye drops are given to patients before their procedure so that the entire process is pain-free. If you are particularly anxious, it may also be possible for you to be slightly sedated – this should be discussed with your doctor at your consultation appointment.
Once you are in position, we will use a femtosecond laser to cut a thin, circular flap into the outer cornea. This can then be pulled back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, known as the stroma, so that it can be reshaped using the laser. The exact path that the laser needs to take, known as the topography, will have been pre-programmed ahead of the procedure, and can be followed with completely precision and accuracy.
Once the reshaping is complete, the flap can be replaced back over the eye and the surgery is complete. There is no need for sutures or bandages as the cornea will start to heal immediately and without any medical intervention.
Macular degeneration, commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the single largest cause of sight loss in the developed world and affects more than 10 million Americans. It usually affects people over the age of 60, but has been known to affect those who are younger. It is a painless condition that usually affects both eyes, and the loss is experienced in the central vision. It does not affect the peripheral vision, meaning that it doesn’t cause total blindness.
The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina and is responsible for our central vision and what allows us to see fine details with clarity.
Wet AMD is one variety of the condition in which abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula, leaking blood or fluid which then causes scarring and a rapid loss of central vision. Wet AMD can develop suddenly and rapid referral to a specialist is essential as it can be treated if caught quickly.
Dry AMD is the most common variety of age-related macular degeneration, and is a gradual deterioration of the retina as the cells die off over time and are not regenerated. Up to 15% of people with dry AMD go on to develop wet AMD, and so any sudden changes in your vision should be followed up with your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
The eye emergencies cover a range of incidents and conditions such as; trauma, cuts, scratches, foreign objects in the eye, burns, chemical exposure, photic retinopathy, blunt injuries and to the eye or eyelid. Since the eye is easily damaged, serious complications can occur from an eye injury thus, any of these conditions without proper treatment, can lead to partial loss of vision or even permanent blindness. Likewise, certain eye infections and other medical conditions, such as blood clots or glaucoma, eye problems as a painful red eye or vision loss, that are not due to injury also need urgent medical attention.
Bleeding or other discharge from or around the eye
Loss of vision, total or partial, one eye or both
Pupils of unequal size
New or severe headaches
Redness or bloodshot appearance
Sensation of something in the eye
Sensitivity to light
Stinging or burning in the eye
One eye is not moving like the other
One eye is sticking out or bulging
Nausea or headache occurring with the eye pain (this may be a symptom of glaucoma or stroke).
A black eye is usually caused by direct trauma to the eye or face, causing a bruise resulting from bleeding under the skin. The skin around the eye turns black and blue, gradually becoming purple, green, and yellow over several days. Swelling of the eyelid and tissues around the eye may also occur. The abnormal color usually disappears within 2 weeks.
A blow to the eye can potentially damage the inside of the eye. Trauma is also a common cause of a hyphema, which is blood inside the front of the eye and is often due to a direct hit to the eye from a ball. Besides, certain types of skull fractures can cause bruising around the eyes, even without direct injury to the eye.
A chemical injury to the eye can be caused by a work-related accident, common household products such as cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, solvents, or other types of chemicals. Fumes and aerosols can also cause chemical burns. With acid burns, the haze on the cornea often clears and there is a good chance of recovery. However, alkaline substances such as lime, lye, drain cleaners, and sodium hydroxide found in refrigeration equipment may cause permanent damage to the cornea. It is important to flush out the eye with large amounts of clean water or salt water (saline).
Low vision is a term for conditions which result in reduced sight and cannot entirely be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicines or surgery. Several eye diseases or conditions can cause low vision. Let’s learn more about the four most common causes of low vision and their risk factors.
Macular degeneration is a disorder that affects the retina. This is the light sensitive tissue lining the inside of the eye. Within the retina, the area responsible for sharp central vision (called the macula) deteriorates, causing blurred vision. This can cause a blind spot in the central area of vision, which leads to low vision.
There are two types of macular degeneration – non-exudative (or dry form) and exudative (or wet form). The dry form usually progresses slowly, while the wet form causes more rapid and severe vision loss. Abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak fluid and blood. The biggest risk factor for macular degeneration is age. Other risk factors include genetics, race, smoking, and high blood pressure.
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects the eyes. High blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak (called macular edema). Sometimes they close, stopping blood from passing through (called macular ischemia). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. However, over time, it can severely damage the retina, leading to low vision. Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. The risk increases for those who have had diabetes longer, as well as those with poor control of blood sugar levels, high blood pressure or cholesterol. Smoking can also increase the risk.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. This clouding can block the light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in general loss of vision. In some cases, a cataract can be surgically removed. Cataract surgery has a high success rate in otherwise healthy eyes. However, cataract surgery is not always possible for people who also have other eye diseases. The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors include diabetes, smoking, alcohol use and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet sunlight.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. Most commonly, this occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. There are four types: open angle, normal tension, angle closure, and secondary.
People will often experience some type of eye disorder during the course of their life. While the majority of these are minor and don’t require treatment, even minor problems can have significant adverse impacts on your vision, and you should seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional.
We’ve compiled some of the most common eye disorders, their causes and their treatments below. This guide is meant to be educational. Not all of the disorders listed below require medical attention, but if you are concerned, you should contact your medical provider immediately.
Eyestrain is a prevalent eye disorder. Most people have experienced this at one time or another. This optical issue can be caused by placing excessive strain on the eyes. It often occurs when reading, viewing a screen or driving for too long. The eyes may begin to feel tired, or a mild burning sensation can occur. Simple rest is often enough to correct this issue. If you continue to feel discomfort for a few days, its time to visit your doctor.
Eye redness can often be a minor issue that is caused by the inflammation or irritation of blood vessels near the eye’s surface. This can be caused by an irritant, lack of sleep, or allergies. If the redness in your eyes is linked to some type of a traumatic injury, then you should see a doctor. Typical treatments for this condition may be using eye drops to help lubricate the eye, resting your eyes, or taking medication to treat your allergies. Eye redness can also be a warning sign for conjunctivitis, pink eye, or sun damage. These conditions should receive medical treatment from a licensed professional.
Some people find that they have difficulty navigating in darker areas like movie theaters, dark rooms, or driving at night. Several possibilities could lead to night blindness. Some may have been born with this condition, or it could be the result of a degenerative retina. These issues cannot be resolved by a medical professional. However, night blindness can also be caused by nearsightedness, vitamin A deficiency, cataracts, or keratoconus. All of these issues can be corrected by a doctor.
Crossed eyes are not a condition that you can fix by yourself. This issue is seen in the eyes not properly lining up with each other. However, an ophthalmologist may be able to help correct this issue, so it’s worth scheduling an appointment.
Nystagmus is the constant shaking of the eyes, and the patient will have no ability to control it. Medical professionals have several options for treatment at their disposal. Sometimes vision therapy is enough to strengthen the muscles and correct the issue. If this doesn’t work, surgery can also correct the problem. Your doctor can discuss your best options with you.
Red and green colorblindness is the most common form of colorblindness, although other types may affect your ability to see different color combinations. Color blindness is caused because the eyes lack the appropriate “cones” that help to interpret and differentiate these colors. This makes certain colors appear identical to colorblind individuals. Very severe forms of colorblindness only allow individuals to see shades of gray, but this is very rare.
While there is no current treatment for the correction of color blindness, special contact lenses or eyeglasses can be prescribed to help.
This condition is the inflammation of the uvea. There are several potential causes of uveitis that can be very serious. Uveitis is an umbrella phrase that covers all causes that create inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.
Some of these causes can be compromises of the immune system, like AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis. If you have light sensitivity, blurred vision, eye pain, and eye redness that lasts more than a few days you should see your eye care professional.
Your eyes are a sensitive and critical organ for your health. Small injuries or damage to your eyes can have lasting impacts. For these reasons, if you sense that something is wrong with your eyes, it’s always a good idea to visit your eye care professional. Additionally, make sure to get your regular annual eye exams. These exams can help detect any issues that your eyes may be having and get you the appropriate care more quickly.
LASIK is the number one elective surgical procedure today, and more than a million American’s have had the procedure since its inception. The main reason for its popularity is the great deal of benefits that it offers, including minimizing or in some cases even eliminating the need for the patient to use eye glasses or contact lenses after the procedure.
Let’s take a look at why LASIK is taking the ocular world by storm.
Clearly the biggest reason for choosing LASIK is improved vision. While some patients have relatively mild problems with their eyesight, others experience major disturbances in their vision that makes functioning day to day almost impossible without the use of visual aids. LASIK can dramatically improve the quality of your vision, reducing the need to wear visual aids, or in some cases, completely eliminating it.
Eyesight is also notoriously inconsistent, with the majority of people finding that their vision marginally improves or deteriorates with each visit to their optician. When this happens, it is necessary for the optician to recommend a different prescription, and this means expense as the patient finds themselves purchasing new eyeglasses or contacts to reflect their new visual requirements.
Although there is no guarantee that you will be able to completely prescription-free after LASIK, most patients find that eyesight is so improved that any changes to their prescription are much less frequent.
Eyeglasses and contacts are known for being fiddly and fragile, and the need for maintenance and replacements are a common complaint. However, with less need for such devices, the cost of caring for them is also reduced.
LASIK surgery can be performed in one, very short procedure. You should expect to spend around 30 minutes in the surgery suite, but the actual time it takes can be as little as 10 minutes – for both eyes! The remainder of the time will be spent preparing you and ensuring you are comfortable afterwards. The entire process is carried out after anesthetic drops have been placed into your eyes, so you can rest assured you will feel absolutely no pain throughout. If you are particularly anxious about the process, it may be possible to be given a sedative to help you relax.
I know it is common knowledge that exercise plays a very important role in a healthy living. From cradle you must have been made aware that exercises help in the improvement of energy level, lowering blood pressure, losing weight, building muscles, etc. but little did we know that exercises can have a profound impact on your eyesight. Sounds quite strange, right?
According to recent research, eye conditions are usually as a result of one health issue or the other like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol level, etc. These diseases can be avoided by exercising regularly. By so doing, the eyes are kept healthy. More so, there are some eye exercises that can bedone to keep a healthy vision. Examples of such eye exercises are focusing, heating, rolling the balls, writing with the eyes, etc.
According to a study in 2003 and another in 2006, a relationship was discovered between exercise and a decrease in cataract. It emphasized that there is a greater chance for cataract if there is the absence of physical activity. This implies that taking a light walk or jog around your house or on a field track consistently can contribute to the fight against cataract.
According to a study, exercising three times or more on a weekly basis reduces ones’ chances of developing exudative macular degeneration. Exudative macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels that are not needed to grow beneath the retina, leaking fluid and blood into the eyes.
One major cause in the development of glaucoma is an increase in ocular perfusion pressure. Very light exercises like jogging, walking around about three times weekly helps reduce the intraocular pressure, improving the flow of blood to the optic nerve and retina. The study discovered that light exercises help reduce pressure in the eyes.
Protects against dry eyes Eye exercises help maintain and improve the fluid level in the eyes, thus eliminating the possibility of dry eyes. This is possible because as the eyes are being exercised say by rotation, there is the tendency that fluid is produced. At times, it would seem like you are crying
Reduces eye strain and tension Exercising the eyes daily helps in reducing the strain and tension that has been placed on the muscle. Exercises like rolling the balls, writing with the eyes help in the contracting and relaxing of the eye muscles. Long hours of study or use of a computer can cause blurry vision. Through exercise, clarity can be achieved, eliminating tension and unnecessary pressure.
Makes the eye muscles flexible Exercises like shifting and swinging the muscles of the eyes help promote flexibility in the muscles of the eyes. Just like exercises helps the body muscles, the same thing applies to eye exercises. This way, vision is enhanced, and clarity is achieved
If you already rely on wearing glasses or contact lenses to be able to see clearly, you may be frustrated with the effect that they have on your life. Regular vision tests, finding glasses to suit your face shape, having to remember to take eyeglasses with you wherever you go, prescription sunglasses, fiddly contact lenses… the list of inconveniences associated with conventional ocular solutions is extensive.
LASIK is a modern, minimally-invasive procedure that can substantially reduce or eliminate your need to use eyeglasses or contact lenses, allowing you to enjoy life without limitations or inconvenience. The popularity and success of LASIK laser eye surgery has helped to make it the number one elective surgery across the globe.
LASIK has an extremely high success rate. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, it’s high success rate doesn’t make LASIK automatically the right solution for everyone.
Candidacy for LASIK is assessed by our Doctors on a case by case basis, so that you be certain that whatever treatment is recommended for you, it will give you the very best opportunity to improve your vision. During your consultation, our Doctors will perform a thorough examination of your eyes and vision, ask you about your general health and talk you through both the procedure and aftercare.
The general guidelines for LASIK candidacy state that patients must:
be at least 18 years of age
have had stable vision with no prescription changes for a minimum of 12 months
have a current prescription for eye glasses or contact lenses that falls between specified parameters (Our Doctors will be aware of what these parameters are)
have no significant medical or eye-related problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
have no history of corneal disease
not be pregnant or nursing at the time of the procedure
We all want to look out best, and the last decade has seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking cosmetic services in order to enhance their appearance. Our eyes are our most distinguishing feature and as such, we want to make the most of them. Thankfully there are now a range of cosmetic services that can help to rejuvenate our eyes and the area around them to keep them fresh, young and wrinkle free.
Let’s take a look at some of the services on offer.
The brown pigment spots that appear on the face are often referred to as age spots, and are a result of sun exposure. With age, the repeated exposure to UV rays causes melanin, a compound that is responsible for pigmentation and protecting the skin, begins to clump together to form an area of hyperpigmentation. Whilst they aren’t any cause for concern, many people feel that they look unsightly. However, there are a number of different treatments that you can get to remove them including topical creams, laser therapy and chemical peels.
If you are suffering from darker pigmentation then we strongly recommend that you make an appointment with a qualified dermatologist who will recommend the best course of treatment for you, based on your specific needs.
You might be surprised at how many tests eye doctors use to diagnose glaucoma. A proper diagnosis requires careful evaluation of many aspects of your eye’s health – from eye pressure to cornea thickness to the health of your optic nerve. This blog describes how your eye doctor assesses your risk and all the tests needed to properly diagnose glaucoma.
Your eye doctor will begin by assessing your risk level for developing glaucoma. This will help determine the frequency and extent of testing needed. Through a family history and medical questionnaire, the eye doctor is looking for the following risk factors:
Over age 60
Ethnic background is African or black Caribbean descent, Hispanic, or Asian
Family history of glaucoma, such as a sibling or parent with glaucoma
History of eye conditions, injuries or surgeries
Prolonged corticosteroid use (eyedrops, pills, inhalers or creams)
Chronic conditions that affect blood flow, such as migraines, diabetes, low blood
pressure or hypertension
Current or former smoker
If you’ve already had a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will also consider these risk factors:
Eye pressure higher than normal (above 21 mm Hg)
Thin corneas (less than 0.5 millimeters)
Your type of eyesight is also important. People with farsightedness are more at risk for narrow- angle glaucoma, which is a more serious type that can advance quickly. Nearsightedness isassociated with open-angle glaucoma, which progresses slowly with no symptoms.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will always check for glaucoma, regardless of risk level. This provides a baseline for comparison as you age. There are two tests: tonometry and ophthalmoscopy.
When you were a kid, did you experience your eyes get all reddish and all of a sudden, someone close to you also got to suffer from it? Your eyes, as well as those who contacted it, got itchy and swollen right? Then it must have been that you suffered from pink eyes.
Pink eye is well known as conjunctivitis and it is the infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva or the transparent membrane that serves as a covering for the white part of the eye called the sclera and lines the eyelid. More so, there is usually a tear in the eyes that emits a sticky discharge which develops into a crust while sleeping making it difficult for the patient to open the eyes in the morning.
One thing about the pink eye is that it is highly contagious and it could affect both eyes or just one eye at a time. While it is more common in children, adults are also victims of this eye condition. There are 3 major causes of pink eyes namely:
Streptococci and staphylococci are bacteria types that are most responsible for pink eyes. However, chlamydia and gonococci can also cause pink eye. It is accompanied with serious eye pain, itching, swelling, redness, discharge of colourful substance. The spread of bacterial pink eye is usually as a result of using personal items of infected parties, use of makeup materials that have been infected with bacteria, putting dirty hands in the eyes. If not treated, it can last for more than 10 days but if treated, in less than 3 days, it would be resolved.
Pink eyes caused by allergies are followed by serious itching and tearing of the eyes. Pain is minimal here, although, it comes with a lot of discomforts. Most times, pink eyes happen with the company of sneezing, coughing, etc. Allergens that trigger pink eyes include grass, dust, pollen, mould, ragweed, etc. Allergy based pink eyes are usually not contagious.
The virus is the most common cause of pink eyes and such viruses are known as adenoviruses and herpes virus. There is usually a lot of teary discharge when it is caused by viruses. It is accompanied by nasal congestion, puffy eyelids, runny nose and sharp pain. It is usually contracted from a cough and sneeze droplets from an infected individual. It can take as long as 2 weeks to get it treated depending on how serious the infection is.
General Symptoms of Pink Eyes
Scratching of the eyes
Redness of the sclera
Hazy or blurry vision
Oversensitivity to light
Visian ICL, or “implantable Collamer lens” is an alternative procedure for patients who may not be ideal candidates for Lasik or other alternative corrective eye surgery]. Visian ICL is typically used for patients who do not want to remove portions of their cornea, have thin corneas, or that have excessively high levels of nearsightedness (myopia).
This procedure makes a small incision and then implants a personalized prescription lens over the cornea to allow for corrected vision. If your vision then changes due to aging or other natural processes, the lens can be replaced by another lens with an updated prescription.
Typically, patients that would benefit from ICL are between the ages of 21-45. This age represents a slight increase from the base age of 18 for Lasik. This procedure is also not well suited for geriatric or elderly individuals. Patients may also have mild or severe myopia, and they have a prescription that has been relatively unchanged. While the age requirements are more stringent for ICL than Lasik, there are other less stringent qualifications. This means that even if you aren’t an ideal candidate for Lasik, that ICL could be a good option for you.
ICL is considered an outpatient operation. This means that you will be in and out of your chosen facility on the same day. Patients are given some numbing drops for their eyes. Individuals that are more hesitant or uncomfortable may also be given a sedative. The procedure only takes about 30 minutes to complete.
The surgeon will make several micro-incisions in the eye to insert and place the lens. When the lens has been inserted, it will be unfolded, and the edges of the lens will be placed behind the iris. After this is completed, the operation is considered complete. Your physician may give you some eye drops for postoperative care and then sent home. There may be a follow-up appointment scheduled 24 hours later.
After your operation, you will be required to have somebody else drive you home. Anytime that you have an operation that may impair your vision or ability to operate a vehicle, you should plan to have somebody else drive you home. Surgery results are typically noticeable 24 hours after the operation.
Recovery time is minimal, and some patients experienced mild discomfort or a gritty feeling in their eyes. Your doctor may require you to stay out of the swimming pool and avoid activities that make you heavily perspire. If sweat gets into your eyes, it may aggravate the microincisions and cause additional discomfort.
While there are some potential complications both during and after the operation, they are typically minimal. The chances of impairing your vision or causing long-term damage are very low with this operation. However, you should make sure to talk about potential side effects with your physician. If you experience any abnormality, you should seek medical attention immediately.
The eye is a very delicate part of the body yet, it is very fragile. According to a study on distance vision, about 188.5 million individuals are said to suffer from mild vision impairment, 217 million individuals suffer from moderate and severe impairment while 36 million individuals are blind 1 . For near vision impairment, there are about 826 million individuals suffering from it 2 . In all, there are about 1.3 billion persons living with one of these impairments.
While a lot of people are aware that the eyes are an integral part of the body system, most of them do not pay very close attention to taking care of their eyes. In essence, taking it for granted. As a saying goes, “You do not know the worth of a thing until you lose it”. While we cannot sit back here, waiting for such nemesis, we have decided to take the necessary steps to keep you informed on how best to take care of your eyesight. Below are ways to keep your eyes safe:
1. Eat Healthily
While this might sound like a cliché, it is a very integral part of keeping the eyes healthy. Nutrients like lutein, vitamin E & C, omega-3 fatty acid and zinc help in solving eye related problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. These nutrients can be found in vegetables like collards, kale and spinach, fish like tuna, salmon and halibut. It can also be found in beans, nuts, eggs, oranges, pork and oysters.
Asides eating meals rich in nutrients, it is equally important you eat well-balanced diets. Obesity causes diabetes and other medical conditions, leading to blindness or glaucoma. In fact, obesity is regarded as the chief cause of blindness across the globe which raises a red flag to watch your weight. You can always visit your doctor to help with drafting an eating plan.
2. Know the eye history of your family
Eye issues are usually hereditary which is why you need to inquire from your family members to know
their eye history. Knowing this would help determine how susceptible you are to having an eye
condition. Once you discover the possibilities, visit your eye doctor immediately for further actions.
3. Avoid Smoking
Smoking is generally bad for your health. As regards your eyes, it can cause macular degeneration, destroy the optic nerve and also cause cataracts. In the worst case, it can lead to loss of vision 3 . So if you have been smoking before, it is high time you stopped. If you are yet to smoke, do not indulge in it as its disadvantages far outweigh its advantages.
4. Where are your sunglasses?
Sunglasses also called shades are more than just fashion accessories as its role is to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. UV rays can cause macular degeneration and even cataracts so it is important you go for sunglasses that protect against 99% -100% of UV rays.
1 Bourne, RRA; Flaxman, SR; Braithwaite, T; Cicinelli, MV; Das, A; Jonas, JB; et al; Vision Loss Expert Group.
Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2017 Sep; 5(9): e888-97
2 Fricke, TR; Tahhan, N; Resnikoff, S; Papas, E; Burnett, A; Suit, MH; Naduvilath, T; Naidoo, K; Global Prevalence of Presbyopia and Vision Impairment from Uncorrected Presbyopia: Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Modelling, Ophthalmology. 2018, May 9
3 Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. Risk factors associated with age-related nuclear and cortical cataract. Ophthalmology:2001; 108(8): 14001408. Even if you have a contact lens on, wearing a sunglass would only strengthen the force against UV rays.
5. Obey workplace safety precautions
Most times, we are found of taking little things for granted. It is important we wear protective eye gears when engaging in sporting activities or jobs that could be harmful to the eyes. Such eye gears include safety goggles, glasses and shield, eye guards, helmets, etc. Most of these protectors are from polycarbonates, a much stronger material than plastics. Always indulge your self to make use it of it. Do not assume nothing would happen.
6. Your eyes need rest
The eyes also need as much rest as it can get. If you deprive yourself of adequate sleep/rest, it can have an adverse effect on the eyes. So, it is necessary you rest your eyes as much as you can. During the use of the computer, endeavour to rest the eyes for at least 20 seconds after every 20 minutes by looking away from the screen. This way, eyestrain is reduced.
7. Visit your eye doctor regularly
This is the most important of them all as every other tip leads back to visiting your doctor. Never assume your eyes are doing just fine, endeavour to get a detailed eye test as that’s the only way you can be sure you are all fine. Conditions like glaucoma are much easier to treat if they are discovered early so don’t stay far from your doctor. You can either visit ophthalmologists or optometrists based on your need.
While it is not impossible for you to get injured on your eyes during your daily activities, it is good you are aware of how to attend to such emergency before reaching the doctor.
If you get hit on the eyes, you should put a shield like a Styrofoam cup on the bone of the eyes. Avoid putting pressure on the eye
If something enters your eyes, avoid removing it as it may lead to the tearing of important tissues in the eyes. A Styrofoam cup would also do the job here.
In a case of black eyes, put a pack of ice over your eyes
If it’s a chemical burn, rinse the eyes with clean water for about 30 minutes, holding your head beneath the tap. While rinsing, keep your eyes wide open, rolling your eyeballs so as to ensure the water gets to every part.
In all, make sure you visit the doctor as soon as you can. It is important you don’t joke with your eyesight. Always remember prevention is a much better alternative to cure.
Generally, we tend to take the care meant for our eyes for granted despite knowing how important its role is in our day to day functioning. Just close your eyes for a minute or you put a non-transparent cloth across your eyes and try to walk around your home or workspace. It is quite difficult, right? That is how indispensable the eyes are.
While it is common knowledge that eye issues are a result of eyestrain or ageing, most people are ignorant of the fact that wrong diet and deficiency in certain nutrients can also facilitate eye issues. This implies that eating healthy means that there are certain nutrients that can help reduce the risk of eye issues. Some of these nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, copper, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin E, A, C, and beta-carotene. For healthy eyes, there are foods that should be part of your diet daily. They include:
1. Fish Fishes are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, most especially oily fishes. Oily fishes have oil inside their body tissue and guts. They are regarded as the major source of omega-3 fatty acids. omega-3 fatty acids help in improving the immune system and brain function. More so, it helps in the development of the eye and retina, keeping the eyes from dryness. It is therefore important to incorporate fish into your diet about 3 times a week. Fishes very rich with this needed nutrient are salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, etc. You can grill or broil your fishes with fresh vegetables, and seasonings.
2. Eggs The yolk part in the egg contains a combination of nutrients like zinc, vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein. The cornea is safeguarded by vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein reduce the chances of suffering from cataracts and macular degeneration while zinc keeps the retina healthy and aids night vision. The egg is a very complementary food as it can go with other foods and can also take various forms based on your taste.
3. Carrot This is the most common food for eye health. It contains beta-carotene and vitamin A. These nutrients protect the eyes surface and prevents against infections and other infections. Beta-carotene helps in the creation of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a form of protein known as rhodopsin and it is tasked with the responsibility of aiding the eyes in absorbing light. Carrots are easy to get and very affordable. More so, it can serve as snacks. It can also be sliced or diced into salads. It is a very versatile and important food. A lack of vitamin A is the reason why there are about 500 thousand blind children every year.
4. Legumes and Nuts Legumes and nuts have a lot of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids which guard the eyes against age- related disorders. Brazilian nuts, peanuts, walnuts, lentils and cashews are perfect examples of legumes and nuts. It can be eaten as a form of dessert or taken as snacks based on your choice.
5. Citrus Fruits Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which is an essential nutrient for healthy eyes. Vitamin C helps in keeping the blood vessels in the eyes healthy. It also stands against cataract, and with other nutrients, it helps against macular degeneration. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc. The good thing about this food is that it can be consumed as a fruit or turned into fruit juice. Whichever way you decide, just make sure it is a part of your diet.
If you dislike wearing glasses and you are not a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery, then implantable contact lenses (ICL’s) may offer the permanent vision correction that you require.
Implantable contact lenses basically work in exactly the same way as standard/external contact lenses do. ICL’s alter the shape of the cornea in order to correct refractive errors such as near and far-sightedness, and astigmatism. However, unlike non-permanent contact lenses, ICL’s are surgically placed inside the eye rather than over the top of it.
Implantable contact lenses are also sometimes known as phakic intraocular lenses (IOL’s). The reason for this is because the two share a number of characteristics. IOL’s are seen in cataract surgery where they take the place of the affected natural lens after it has been removed. However, when used as implantable contact lenses they work in conjunction with the natural lens of the eye in order to correct your vision.
The procedure requires your surgeon to make a tiny incision in to the cornea to allow access to the natural lens underneath. The ICL is then inserted through the incision and placed either in front of or behind the iris which is the colored part of your eye, and in front of the natural lens. The incision into the cornea is able to heal naturally without stitches, and the entire process is extremely quick.
Your surgeon will give you anesthetic, usually in the form of eye drops, ahead of the procedure and as such you should experience very little, if any, discomfort.
Regular eye exams are important for children, because their eyes can change significantly in as little as a year as the muscles and tissue develop. Good eyesight is critical for a child’s life and achievements; success in school is closely tied to eye health. School demands intense visual involvement, including reading, writing, using computer and blackboard/smartboard work. Even physical activities and sports require strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, have problems in school and have difficulty playing their favourite games which may affect their quality of life.
According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a child should have initial screening between 6 and 12 months of age, and then routine eye health and vision screenings throughout childhood to help detect any abnormalities as their eyes develop and unless otherwise recommended, every two years thereafter until the age of 18.
For a newborn, an ophthalmologist should examine baby’s eyes and perform a test called “red reflex test” which is a basic indicator that the eyes are normal. In case that, the baby is premature or at high risk for medical problems for other reasons, has signs of abnormalities, or has a family history of serious vision disorders in childhood, the ophthalmologist should perform a comprehensive exam.
A second eye health examination should be done to infants between six months and the first birthday. This examination includes tests of pupil responses to evaluate whether the eyes pupil opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light, fixate and follow test, to determine whether the baby can fixate on an object; such as a light and follow it as it moves. And preferential looking test, by using cards that are blank on one side with stripes on the other side to attract the gaze of an infant to the stripes thus, vision capabilities can be assessed. Infants should be able to perform this task well by the time they are 3 months old.
For a Preschooler, between the ages of 3 and 3½, a child’s visual acuity and eye alignment should be assessed. If the child is diagnosed with misaligned eyes (strabismus), "lazy eye” (amblyopia), refractive errors (astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia) or any other focusing problems, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure successful vision correction and life-long benefits.
At School age or upon entering school, child’s eyes should be screened for visual acuity and alignment. In this age group, nearsightedness (myopia) is the most common refractive error and can be corrected with eyeglasses.
Understanding PRK: Is It Right for You?
PRK or photoreactive kerectomy is a surgical procedure that was the precursor for the surgery known as Lasik. The biggest difference between the two procedures is how the first portion of the operation is conducted. Additional variability between the two procedures exists in recovery, risk factors, and the patient’s overall needs. Understanding these differences can help you decide if PRK is an appropriate solution for your vision issues.
PRK utilizes a laser to correct farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and astigmatism. During a PRK operation, a laser is used to remove the exterior epithelial cells from the cornea. This procedure uses an excimer laser to remove the cells which are then discarded. A contact “bandage” is placed over the eye, and the cells can heal over the course of a few days. Your doctor will then remove the contact lens when the eye has healed enough to be exposed.
While the results are like that of Lasik, PRK does take some additional healing time. This is due to the time that must be allowed for the epithelial cells to heal and regrow on the eye. Additionally, Lasik patients generally experience less discomfort and faster results. PRK results can take a few weeks to fully materialize.
This isn’t to say that PRK doesn’t have its own benefits too. This procedure is well-suited for patients that have had previous eye surgeries and may have thin corneas. Because PRK does not make an incision into the cornea and only removes the epithelial cells, it leaves more of the stromal tissues which underly the epithelial tissue. PRK does not run the risk of “flap” issues that can arise from Lasik, and the risk of removing too much of the cornea is reduced. However, if you are considering PRK, you should consult with your medical professional to identify the right procedure for your specific case.
When you meet with your eye specialist to discuss your options, there are several factors that they will consider. Your potential surgeon should conduct a thorough eye exam. During this exam, they will measure your eye moistness, pupil size, corneal thickness, and the corneal curvature. Your doctor should also review your medical and family history to identify any possible concerns about your suitability. Make sure that you take a list of your medications and previous operations. Finally, you may be required to stop wearing contact lenses for a period before the operation. This can allow your cornea to return to its natural shape before the operation.
The actual PRK surgery is a short procedure that will only take about 15 minutes. The patient will not be sedated during the operation but may be given an oral sedative that helps to relax the eye. Numbing drops are applied to your eyes. A small speculum is also used to hold the eyelids open for the procedure. The excimer laser is programmed for your exact eye prescription. Patients are instructed to look at a certain object or target while the laser is operating. The surgeon will watch the procedure through a microscope and can stop the procedure at any time. Most patients do not report discomfort, although there may be some pressure.
You will be held for a short time after your operation to make sure that you don’t have any severe immediate reactions. After this observation, you will be sent home. It is important to have someone else drive you after any procedure that may impact your vision or ability to drive safely. You should make sure to follow all of the doctor’s recommendations to facilitate a speedy recovery. You should also expect several follow up appointments to make sure that the operation was successful and that there are no additional concerns.
Your full results may take several weeks, but almost all patients have vision that is 20/40 or better. Over time, as the eye ages, vision may naturally degrade. At this time, you should consult with your medical professional to see if an additional operation is a good option for you.
Premium IOLs or intraocular lenses are lenses that are placed in the eye during cataract surgery. The lens placement is designed to restore the natural lens shape. These lenses can also be placed as a vision correction device. When this procedure is used, it is called refractive lens exchange. Premium IOLs offer advanced features beyond the single vision IOL’s that are also offered. These features include aspheric, toric, accommodating, and multifocal IOL’s.
These lenses closely match the natural curve of the eye. Typical lenses were uniformly curved. While this is easier to manufacture, it can cause imperfections in vision. Aspheric lenses help to reduce imperfections and improve clarity, especially at nighttime.
These lenses are specifically designed to help correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Accommodating IOL’s can tilt slightly forward when you look at objects that are close to the eye. This helps to improve visibility when you are performing actions like reading a book. While they are not necessarily as sharp as bifocals, patients have a reduced need to use reading glasses, while they still maintain excellent distance vision.
If you require a bifocal or trifocal lens in your glasses, this may be a likely choice for you. Different portions of the lens allow for better vision at different ranges. There are some overall sacrifices with vision clarity at a distance.
Premium IOLs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the 1980’s. Prior to FDA approval, when patients had cataract surgery, they were required to wear very thick eyeglasses or specialized contact lenses to correct their vision. New technologies in the optical world have allowed for a wide variety of available premium IOLs. The specific type that suits you best will depend on many different factors.
Physicians are careful to discuss the realities of this procedure with their patients. After recovering from cataract surgery, many patients expect that their vision will be completely restored to their peak performance.
Doctors are careful to warn against this and let patients understand the realities of the issues and likely expectations that will result from the surgery. For this reason, surgeons are likely to have some initial concern about the desired outcome for the patient to make sure that their hopes are grounded.
Surgeons will also have an eye toward the patient's desire to not wear eyeglasses. If the patient does not mind wearing corrective lenses without the need for surgery, this may be the best option. These lenses may also not be an ideal fit for the elderly population. Eyes in the geriatric population are often rapidly deteriorating requiring a lens replacement more quickly than would be recommended.
Patients with certain medical histories may also be poor candidates for premium IOL surgery. Some of these conditions include:
Advanced macular degeneration
Anterior basement membrane dystrophy
Post-refractive surgery patients
This list is not comprehensive, so it’s important to consult with your physician and bring a detailed medical history for their review.
Finally, patients may also want to consider their careers when weighing the value of this surgery. Patients who are required to read on computer screens for extended periods of time (i.e., print editors, office jobs) may be ideal candidates.
In contrast, individuals that require long distance acuity like truck drivers, pilots, or even photographers may find that some of the issues with these lenses are not suited to their needs. Individuals often complain of “halos” during the night when looking toward a light, glare, or general acuity issues at longer distances.
While premium IOLs do have some limitations, they offer an excellent choice for many individuals. However, it is important to meet with your eye care professional to fully discuss any of the available options to see what the best fit for you is. You should also make sure to understand all of the potential risks and restrictions that this operation poses.
If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, you’re probably already familiar with the typical options in glaucoma treatment – eye drops, laser treatment or traditional surgery. While these are certainly effective, especially when glaucoma is diagnosed early, researchers have been working hard to offer new glaucoma treatments. Their goal is not only to improve outcomes but also reduce the treatment’s side effects and frequency of use.
Before we dive into the new options, it’s important to understand the goal of any glaucoma treatment. At present, glaucoma is not curable. However, treatment can significantly slow the progression of the disease. Glaucoma damages your eye's optic nerve. Extra fluid builds up in the front part of your eye (cornea), which increases the pressure in your eye. Reducing this pressure is the primary objective of any glaucoma treatment. This is often referred to as intraocular pressure or IOP.
Eye drops for glaucoma treatment seem like an easy option but there are several challenges that can reduce its effectiveness. It can be difficult to get all the medicine in the eye, especially for older adults with less of a steady hand. In addition, since it must be applied daily, individuals may forget. Since the drops have no perceivable benefit (early stages of glaucoma have no symptoms), patients might make it a lower priority. This is understandable since it may also have unpleasant side effects like burning, red eyes.
Laser surgery is a less invasive option beyond eye drops. The laser opens clogged tubes and drains fluid. It can take a few weeks to see the full results. If laser surgery or drugs don’t relieve your eye pressure, you may need a more traditional operation. You’d have to go into the hospital and will need a few weeks to heal and recover. Although usually effective, glaucoma surgery can make you more likely to get cataracts later. It can also cause eye pain or redness, infection, inflammation, or bleeding in your eye.
Alternatives or Improvements to Eye Drops
The Glaucoma Research Foundation reported several new developments on the horizon. These technologies focus on reducing patient error in applying eye drops. This makes the medication
Eye disease that is caused by diabetes is currently the number one cause of blindness and vision loss. Due to the increased risk in diabetic patients, doctors recommend that people over 30 with diabetes get an annual dilated eye exam. Diabetic patients under 30 should get this exam five years after they have been diagnosed.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is caused by damage to the retina. Patients that have diabetes may also have experienced extended periods of time where their blood sugar was elevated. The high levels of blood sugar damage the retina’s walls and leave them susceptible to leaking. When fluid accumulates in the retina or macula, it causes vision loss.
To make these matters worse, if prolonged high blood sugar levels are seen again, the retina will be oxygen depleted. This causes the abnormal growth of new blood vessels. This condition is called neovascularization. This blood vessel type is weak and prone to leaking. As these blood vessels leak, they introduce blood into the eye. Excessive bleeding into the eye can cause blindness.
While a healthy diet and exercise can be beneficial to your optical health, diabetic retinopathy is a condition that is caused by damage to the retinal wall. While this damage can sometimes be corrected, simple diet changes won’t reverse the effects.
It is essential to catch the condition in the earlier stages to reduce the effects. This can also help patients understand the importance of monitoring their blood sugar so that repeat events can be limited. Treatment options are even more successful when diabetic retinopathy is caught early. These options include vitrectomy, scatter photocoagulation and focal photocoagulation.
During both scatter, and focal photocoagulation ophthalmologists will use lasers to help alleviate the condition. The lasers make small burns on the retina aimed at the blood vessels. These burns will help to seal the blood vessels to prevent more leakage and stop them from growing larger.
When using scatter photocoagulation, hundreds of small burns are made in a specific pattern during two additional appointments. Scatter coagulation should be used on patients who do not have advanced diabetic retinopathy.
Focal photocoagulation specifically targets the leaking blood vessels that are in the macula. Unfortunately, this procedure is not aimed to correct the blurry vision associated with diabetic retinopathy, but it does stop it from progressing further. Once the retina has detached, neither form of photocoagulation can be used.
Vitrectomy is a surgery that helps to remove scar tissue and/or the fluid that is clouded with blood that has been leaked into the eye. This operation is the most successful when performed before the disease has progressed too far. When the operation only targets removing the fluid, success rates are very high for the procedure. When the procedure also aims to reattach the retina, the failure rate is around 50%.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you may wonder if cataract surgery is right around the corner. Not to worry. There are many preventive steps you can take to slow the progression of cataracts and preserve your vision. That doesn’t mean you won’t eventually need surgery. But you can delay the need for quite a while.
The National Eye Institute recommends protecting your eyes from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) and high-energy visible (HEV) rays by always wearing good quality sunglasses while outdoors. Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays and absorb most HEV rays. Consider one pair of sunglasses with large lenses or a close-fitting wraparound style. Bear in mind – the peak hours for sun exposure are between 10am and 3pm, or 11am and 4pm during daylight savings time. And remember that the sun’s rays will pass through clouds, so you need your sunglasses every day.
Steroid eye drops are routinely prescribed to treat dry eyes and arthritic flare-up in the eyes. Unfortunately, they can also speed up the progression of cataracts. Talk to your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist about how you can manage both conditions without inadvertently making your cataracts worse – and hastening the need for surgery.
There are over 300 commonly prescribed medications with side effects that may impact cataract progression. Since your primary care physician may not have access to your eye doctor’s medical records, be sure to ask your doctor if your current medications will affect your cataracts. If you must stay on the medication, it’s even more important to avoid sunlight during peak hours and wear sunglasses.
If you thought that just laser eye surgery was impressive then prepared to be astounded by the arrival of iDesign custom Lasik. iDesign is the most advanced wavefront guided laser treatment available. The system creates a uniquely accurate measurement of the entire optical system that can be relied upon completely with no guesswork. This is then used to create a highly detailed topography or map of your eye, making it easier for your surgeon to pinpoint the areas that need addressing with pinpoint precision.
iDesign is extremely accurate and the diagnostic equipment is able to determine 1,257 different micro eye prescriptions. Each one of these will measure the eye prescription to 0.01 of a dioptre strength – 25 times more than what a regular glasses or contact lens prescription is measured to.
While iDesign Custom Lasik can benefit almost any patient with refractive problems, it is particularly beneficial for people who have unusual corneas or have had eye surgery in the past.
Laser eye surgery is generally considered a pain-free procedure by the majority of patients. Anesthetic eye-drops are used to numb the outer area of the eye during the course of the surgery. Once these have worn off, some patients do experience some mild discomfort during the days following the procedure, but over the counter pain relief is usually sufficient to relieve this.
If you’ve had a vision screening recently, you might say, “My vision is fine! I don’t need a comprehensive eye exam.”
But a vision screening provides a limited perspective on the overall health of your eyes. It’s a bit like getting your blood pressure checked and not getting the rest of your annual physical. You’ll have useful information. But it’s not the whole picture.
Vision screenings only test your ability to see clearly in the distance. This is called visual acuity. Its just one factor in your overall vision. Others include color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception. The screening also doesn’t evaluate how well the eyes focus up close or work together. Most importantly, it doesn’t give any information about the health of the eyes.
Vision screenings are conducted by individuals untrained in eye health.
Vision screenings are offered in many places – schools, health fairs, as part of a work physical or for a driver’s license. Even if your physician conducts the screening, he/she is a generalist and only has access to a certain amount of eye health training. Most individuals don’t have the tools or knowledge to give you a complete assessment of your vision or eye health.
Vision screenings use inadequate testing equipment.
In some cases, a vision screening is limited to an eye chart across the room. Even when conducted in a physicians office, they won’t have the extensive testing equipment of an eye doctor. They also won’t be aware of nuances such as room lighting and testing distances. All these factors can affect test results.
Comprehensive eye exams evaluate all aspects of your vision and eye health.
The comprehensive eye exam looks at your eye externally and internally for any signs of eye disease, then tests your vision in a variety of ways.
If you’ve never worn contact lenses, it can feel a bit intimidating. You’re inserting something into your eye, after all! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This blog will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.
Your eye doctor will first determine your overall eye health and vision. This includes a discussion of your health history and then a series of standard eye tests. These tests will evaluate eye focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and response of pupils to light. The doctor will also measure your eye’s fluid pressure to check for glaucoma, evaluate your retina and optic nerve, and test your vision with different lenses to assess whether contact lenses can improve your vision.
If contact lenses are appropriate for you, it’s time to talk about your contact lens preferences. For example, do you want to enhance or change your eye color? Would you prefer daily disposable lenses or overnight contacts? Ask about the benefits or drawbacks of each, so you make the best decision. If you’re over 40, your doctor will likely discuss age related vision changes and how contact lenses can address these issues.
Contact lenses require precise measurements of your eyes to fit properly. Using an instrument called a keratometer, your doctor will measure the curvature of your eyes clear front surface. This is your cornea. Next, the size of your eyes pupil is measured using a card or ruler showing different pupil sizes. This is held next to your eye to determine the best match.
If you have dry eyes, your eye doctor will perform a tear film evaluation to measure the amount of tear film on the surface of your eye. If your tear film is insufficient or you have chronic dry eyes, contact lenses may not be a good option for you. However, some newer contact lenses deliver moisture to the surface of the eye, making them a better choice for individuals with dry eye issues.
The final step is to fit you with a trial pair of contact lenses. Once inserted, your eye doctor will examine the lenses in your eyes to ensure a good fit. He/she will check the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eye. If the fit looks good, the last step is to ensure the prescription is correct with several tests.
Your contact lens exam is over, but you’ll need to come back. Your doctor will usually have you wear the trial lenses for a week. Then you’ll have a short follow-up exam to confirm that the lenses are working well for you. You can then order a supply of contact lenses.
The parts of a comprehensive eye examination vary according to the patient's age, date of last exam and other factors. Not all parts of the eye exam may be needed or performed. The first part of eye exam will include documenting medical history. Here are eye and vision tests that are likely to be encountered during a comprehensive eye exam:
Visual acuity tests measure the sharpness of vision, and are usually performed using a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity and a hand-held small acuity chart to measure the near vision (for reading).
A screening test that checks the color vision is often performed early in a comprehensive eye exam to rule out color blindness.
A test used to assess strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia ("lazy eye"). Ocular Motility (Eye Movements) Testing Ocular motility testing is performed to determine how well eyes can follow a moving object and/or quickly move between and accurately fixate on two separate targets.
Is used to test perception of depth and 3-dimensional structure obtained on the basis of visual information deriving from two eyes by individuals with normally developed binocular vision.
This test is used to estimate which lens powers will best correct distance vision. Based on the way the light reflects from the eye, the doctor is able to obtain an approximation of the eyeglass prescription. This test is useful for children and patients who are unable to accurately answer the doctor's questions.
This is the test uses to determine the exact eyeglass prescription.
Although you’re probably not looking forward to cataract surgery, keep in mind that modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries performed today. There are over three million cataract surgeries in the United States every year. The vast majority have excellent outcomes and greatly improve quality of life.
Being prepared for your upcoming surgery will ease your mind. Know what to ask your eye doctor, understand your options, and be sure you’re ready for recovery.
You’ll need an ophthalmologist to perform cataract surgery. Ophthalmologists treat eye diseases, prescribe medications, and perform surgery to improve eye and vision-related conditions. In addition to four years of medical school and one year of internship, all ophthalmologists have three years of residency. Here are some ways to identify the best provider for your needs:
Your Regular Eye Doctor – Even if your eye doctor is an optometrist, he/she will be knowledgeable about ophthalmologists in the region and can advise on their specialties.
Family and Friends – If they had a positive experience, you can hear personal stories to really know if the doctor is right for you.
Go Online – Find eye surgeons in your area by using the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Find an Ophthalmologist tool.
Once you find the right doctor, you’ll have a consultation before proceeding. You'll undergo a comprehensive eye exam and a preoperative exam to determine the level of correction needed and confirm you're healthy enough for surgery.
Your doctor will also need to take measurements of your eyes before the procedure. This will determine the curvature of your cornea and the length of your eye. They need this information to choose the right size and power of intraocular lens (IOL). This artificial lens will replace the cloudy lens inside your eye.
There are a variety of IOLs with different features available. Before surgery, you and your eye surgeon will discuss which type might work best for you and your lifestyle. Bear in mind that insurance companies may not pay for all types of lenses. Some of the types of lenses available include:
When it’s time to select a new pair of eyeglasses, it can be challenging to find the frame that feels the best for you. Eyeglass makers have become increasingly aware of their clients’ desire to customize frames and offer a variety of colors, designs, and frame shapes. Understanding more about your face shape and the types of frames that would look best on you can help to reduce the amount of time you spend trying on frames that don’t complement your face shape. Here are a few helpful tips to knowing what will be best for your face shape.
While there are thousands of different frame shapes, there are only seven different face shapes.
This face type is as wide is it is long. There are no specific or well-defined angles to this face type. Most people with this facial type look for frames that will elongate their face and draw out their natural features. A good choice is often to select a frame that is angular and narrow. This will also give your face the appearance of being thinner.
If you imagine the shape of a traditional heart, this face shape is easy to identify. The top 1/3 of the face is wider, and the face tapers to a narrow chin. Individuals with this face shape will often seek frames that are wider at the bottom of the lens. This helps to balance the face and give the appearance of a narrower face at the top. Additionally, rimless frames are also a good fit for this face type.
This face type contains wide cheekbones and jaw but is narrow at the forehead. Cat eye type frames are great for this face type, as are frames that are heavier near the eyebrow.
This face type is the rarest. The diamond face is like the base down triangle but differs because it has a narrow chin, thus appearing like a diamond. When selecting eyeglasses, look for oval shaped frames, or frames that have more detail along the brow line.
This face type looks like an oval, but these individuals have a straight cheek line. This face is fuller than it is long. Frame types that add some depth are ideal for this face. To do this, try frames that have decorative pieces along the temples or that have more depth with a reduced width.
Oval faces are the most common face type. They are considered to have balanced proportions so that most frame types will work well. An oval face is longer than it is wide and includes plump cheekbones. Walnut shaped eyeglasses are an ideal choice or frames that are as wide or wider than the broadest part of your face.
These individuals have a broad forehead and jaw that gives the appearance of the face coming having equal and straight sides. These face types usually do well when attempting to soften their features, so eyeglass frames that are narrow or have an oval shape will suit you best.
Your hair color may play a role in the best frame color for you. Individuals with warm hair colors (brown or black hair) do best when choosing lighter frame colors to add contrast. People that have hair on the lighter end of the spectrum can pick just about any frame color that they would like and may look to other features like eye color or skin tone.
Skin tone has the opposite effect from hair color on the best choices for eyeglass frame color. Those with lighter skin hues do best with similar frame colors, and those with warmer skin tones can pick and choose options that they enjoy the most.
Above all, the choice of a frame is something that you should enjoy yourself. There may be additional factors to consider when choosing the right frame for you. Perhaps the most important factor is your overall happiness and comfort.
Seasonal allergy is a medical condition, just like the other forms of allergies, which occurs when the immune system of the body reacts to an external material in the environment during seasonal periods like summer, fall or spring when plants and trees pollinate. Seasonal allergies are terrible as it has a tremendous effect on millions of individuals yearly with terrible effect on our eyesight, making them itchy, watery and red. This is regarded as seasonal eye allergies
In medical terms, it is regarded as allergic conjunctivitis. There are a lot of allergens that can make our eyes go sour, itchy and very red some of which include dust, pollen, smoke, etc. However, these allergens vary from one person to another i.e. while dust can cause itchy eyes for me, it might not be the same for you as it all depends on our immune system and the way it reacts against such substances. It creates a gritty sensation around the eye region, accompanied by a burning feeling and discomfort in the eyes.
Allergens are regarded as a dangerous substance by the eye and as such, a chemical response is elicited in the eye to fight against such substance which is what leads to the itchiness, redness and soreness. All of these effects are therefore as a result of a change in seasons, mostly when its spring as this is the time plants and tree pollinate while during the fall, we have the ragweed pollinating.
As mentioned earlier, allergens affect people differently, there are however general ways through which everyone reacts to these allergens. You would know an individual is suffering from allergies through the following symptoms.
Since the eyes perceive substances like dust, smoke, pollens as harmful to the normal conditioning of the eyes, there is an automatic release of water for the cleaning of the eyes. This is more of a defence mechanism against these foreign items.
After the entry of these foreign items, it is very natural to feel itchy and want to scratch the affected eyes. During the cause of scratching, the skin covering the eyes would become swollen due to continuous friction.
Dry eyes occur most times during winter seasons and not because of allergens like dust or pollen. Whenever there is extreme cold or when it is snowing, the eyes tend to become dry which further leads to soreness and redness
Allergens are carried by air and could end up being stuck in your eyes any time. If you react to these allergens, this means that you would feel irritated from inside your eyes and would demand that you scratch it.
Redness of the eyes is usually accompanied by other symptoms. For instance, itching your eyes would make your eyes swollen and very red. There are capillaries inside the eyes and whenever one is faced with an allergy, the capillaries become very visible and red.
It can be very difficult to prevent allergens considering the fact that they are carried around by air. However, there are some things that can be done by you to reduce your chances of being exposed to allergens. One of the first precautions is to remain indoors whenever the day is going to be windy. This is important as on windy days like this, more allergens are carried around and at a faster pace. You really might not have a chance against them. If it is necessary you go out, ensure you wear a pair of sunglasses, preferably one that covers the eyes well. More so, when working in the yard, it is safer you wear pollen masks. Avoid anything that could blow the pollens into your eyes. You could also use a pair of glasses too.
Whenever you have an allergy, you should better take in a lot of water so as to avoid dehydration. Also, if you have your eye drops (as recommended by your doctor) you can apply it to reduce the irritation and if you use contact lenses, you might just have to switch to a pair of glasses as contacts make the eyes easily penetrable. Avoid itching your eyes as much as possible so as to avoid complications.
Just a few decades ago, computer vision syndrome (CVS) was not known or understood. With an increase in the role of computers in our lives, it has become increasingly common. Researchers believe that 50-90% of people who use computers in their daily lives have experienced CVS to some degree. The amount of time that many people stare into a computer screen is increasing, and this puts significant strain on our eyes.
CVS is not considered a single specific problem. A suite of issues may be assigned to this syndrome. Additionally, with the increased use of school computers, tablets and smartphones, children are also susceptible to CVS.
This syndrome is like many other repetitive motion type conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem can start because our eyes move in the same way throughout the day (reading text on a screen). Once an issue has started, it can get worse as we continue the same behavior. While reading alone causes the same motion, screens are considerably harder for our eyes to view. Digital screens add flicker, contrast, glare, and light that all puts additional strain on our eyes.
If you should use some type of corrective lens but don’t, these issues can only accelerate due to the additional strain put on your eyes.
As we age, these problems can also progress. Around the time that people turn 40, the lenses of their eyes begin to harden with a disease called presbyopia. This hardening affects your ability to see objects that are closer to you.
There is currently no proof that CVS causes long-term vision impairment or blindness. Continuing to use a computer or any other type screen can continue to be an annoyance or reduce your ability to see properly. Some of the warning signs of CVS are:
Red or dry eyes
If you don’t properly treat CVS when these symptoms occur, you may begin to notice that you suffer from a decrease in overall quality of life or job performance.
The Demodex mite is a type of parasite that lives on humans, and can reside in hair follicles and sebaceous glands. These mites are arachnid (eight-legged), invisible to the naked eye, varying in size from 0.1mm to 0.4 mm long, they live on the face and in the hair follicles of the eyebrows, eyelids, roots of the eyelashes, facial hair, and around the ears, and associated with various skin problems of the eyes and face, such as blepharitis and acne rosacea.
Demodex can affect humans at any age, and their presence increases in prevalence with increasing age. Usually, when the immune system is weakened and the parasitic population has colonized, this disease can badly damage the skin. Besides age, immunity compromised patients such as diabetics, patients on long-term corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or patients who have HIV/AIDS also have increased risk and prevalence of Demodex infection.
For transmission of mites from one person to another, direct contact of hair and sebaceous glands on the nose, or dust containing eggs is required and the disease processes begin when there is an overpopulation of Demodex. In the vast majority of cases the mites go unobserved without any adverse symptoms. However, in certain cases, the mite populations migrate and multiply in the eyelashes.
There are two existing types of Demodex mites: the longer kind, Demodex folliculorum, which live in the hair follicles and the short ones, Demodex brevis, which live in the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin.
In the early stages, there are often no noticeable symptoms, but if left untreated Demodex can progress. Symptoms vary among patients and may include dry eye, red eyes, severe itching along the eyelid margin and eyebrow specially in the morning, eyelid irritation, burning sensation, foreign body sensation that seems to originate beneath the eyelids, heavy lid, and blurry vision. One of the earliest signs of mite infestation is cylindrical dandruff (CD), which is accumulation of fine, waxy, dry debris that collects at the base of the lash and extends up to 2 mm along the length of the lashes and is most noticeable on the upper lashes.
As our bodies age, it is normal to notice that there are decreases in our ability to complete certain functions that may have been natural for us in our youth. Just like our physical strength, the strength of your eyes can also weaken over time.
Several different factors influence how each of us will experience aging. Your genetics can play a pivotal role. Understanding your family history and making sure to communicate this with your health professional can be a great way to monitor changes and spot early signs and symptoms. Exposure to certain chemicals or environments or specific trauma to our eyes can also have an impact on how our eyes age. While the eyes can often recover from traumatic injury or exposure, they may have a detrimental effect on your vision as you age.
If you know what age you start to have an increased risk of certain diseases or eye conditions, it can help you be prepared when you meet with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Here are some of the most common ailments that people experience when they age.
Once you are over 40 years old you may experience a loss in vision at close range. Presbyopia is a normal condition that occurs due to the hardening of the lens in your eye. In the early stages, you can often compensate for small changes to your vision, but as the condition progresses, you will likely need a corrective lens, or you may opt for a surgical procedure. These procedures include Lasik, corneal inlays, refractive lens exchange, and conductive keratoplasty.
Cataracts are technically a disease of the eye. However, they are so frequently seen in patients as they age, that they are classified as a normal part of aging. Almost half of the people have cataracts at age 65, and that number increases even more by age 70. While it can be frightening to begin losing your vision, cataract surgery is extremely successful and can restore up to 100% of the lost vision. If you notice even small changes to your vision, it is smart to talk to your doctor. Cataract surgery is best performed when the cataracts are small and can be more easily removed.
This disease is the leading cause of blindness in senior citizens in the United States.
The risk of developing glaucoma generally begins when you are in your 40’s and increases throughout the decades. The chances begin near one percent but increase to twelve percent by the time you are in your 80’s.
Individuals who have diabetes may be affected by diabetic retinopathy. This disease occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated for an extended period that causes damage to the eye. This damage may lead to permanent vision loss. Americans with diabetes over the age of 40 are at an increased risk, with about 40 percent of people with diabetes over this age displaying some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
Eyelid rejuvenation surgery is a medical procedure that is designed to reduce the appearance of bagginess from the lower eyelids and sagging from the upper eyelids. This operation is often used for cosmetic surgery to reduce the appearance of aging.
This surgery can also be considered when the eyelids are interfering with a patient’s ability to see. Sometimes a sagging upper eyelid can partially obscure the eyeball or interfere with a person’s ability to look in certain directions. It can also interfere with their peripheral vision.
As our skin ages, it often loses its elasticity. This doesn’t allow the skin to rebound back to its original shape and we see the appearance of wrinkles and bulges that aren’t due to weight gain. While these wrinkles can occur all over the body, they typically first appear in the face and eyes. Any additional skin on or near the eyelids can cause the eyelid to sag or droop over the eyelashes and into the frame of vision.
The eyelids also contain some fat to protect and cushion the eyeball. The fat is held in place by a thin membrane. As we age, the membrane can weaken and will no longer keep the fat in place. This fat can create bulges in the upper and lower eyelids.
There are several non-surgical treatments on the market to help treat sagging skin or reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is important to use additional caution when applying any product near the eyes. Always make sure that the product is designed to be used in the predetermined area. If you have questions about a specific product, you should contact your health care provider.
Many individuals find that non-surgical options don’t have enough or any effect on their eyelids. In these instances, they can consider working with a licensed medical professional to weigh their options. Eyelid rejuvenation (blepharoplasty) is also commonly called an eye lift.
There are several different methods for achieving your desired results. Typically, an incision is made into the eyelid, and then the excess skin or fat cells are removed by laser or scalpel. Additionally, your surgeon may suggest that you also get laser resurfacing done in combination with your surgery.
Eyelid surgery can be done in a local office or a surgery center. If you are completing the operation in an office environment, you can probably expect that you will be treated with a local anesthetic and an oral sedative. If you are in a surgery center, it’s likely that you will receive an Intravenous anesthetic. The surgery takes about two hours to complete if you are getting all four eyelids done (upper and lower lids). When you are getting all four eyelids correct, the surgeon will likely opt to work on both upper eyelids first and then move to the lower eyelids. While the upper eyelids will have three to six stitches, the lower eyelids may not have any. The stitches should remain in place for three to six days.