FAQ

Facts and Questions

Eye Disorders
Cataracts
Contacts “Do’s and Don’ts”
Retinal Detachment
Diabetic Retinopathy
Dry Eye
Refractive Conditions
Macular Degeneration

Eye Disorders

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the natural ocular lens becomes cloudy. This cloudiness prevents light from passing through a normally clear lens, causing some decrease or loss of vision. Cataract surgery, which is safe and effective, involves replacing the clouded lens with an intraocular implant. Cataracts are still the number one cause of blindness worldwide today.

Contact Lens News!

Contact lens wearers can experience a many conditions that include allergic reactions and potentially dangerous infections. Contact lens sufferers often experience red, swollen, stinging sensations in the eye. It’s also common for contact lens wearers to experience dry eye, a condition that is equally causing irritated eyes. Recent advances in contact lens materials like Silicon Hydrogel and contact lens solutions are improving the comfort of wearing contacts.

Detached Retina

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina layers become separated from each other or from the wall of the eye. The most common cause is attributed to the vitreous gel shrinking and separating from the retina. The can result in a mild to severe vision loss in the affected area of the retina. Surgical treatment is available to repair the retina and is usually successful.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious ocular condition suffered by diabetes, type I and type II, which damages the small blood vessels in the retina and cause retinal hemorrhages. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Preventative measures can be taken to slow the progression of the disease. It is very important to have regular eye check to detect early changes for those who suffer diabetes.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a condition that results in red, itch eyes as the result of a dry cornea. It’s a common condition in contact lens wearers, people who spend many hours on a computer screen or reading a book, or people exposed to dry environment. It was once common for artificial tear treatments to cause blurry vision, but recent advances have been made to minimize or alleviate this side effect while still effectively relieving the symptoms of dry eye. There are now therapeutic treatments for dry eyes so see your eye care professionals.

Eye Allergies

An allergy is the overreaction to a substance that the bodies think is harmful. Allergies of the eye often manifest as red, and itchy eyes, but prevention is sometimes possible and pharmaceutical treatments are available to help with symptoms. These treatments can be simple as putting one eye drop at night time.

Eye Infections

Eye infections are commonly known as “pink eyes”, “red eyes” or “styes”. Symptoms range from a swollen, red, irritated eye that discharges liquid to an inflamed eye lid or eye lid with a red, swollen bump, as is the case with a stye. An eye infection is usually a condition that is caused by bacteria, virus or other microbiological agent. Eye surgery is another common way to contract an eye infection. Therapeutic treatments of eye infections are safe and effective if treated early.

Eye Inflammation

Inflammation can often be associated with red and painful eyes. Inflammation of the eyes can be due to trauma or surgery, but can also be caused by bacterial, viral or severe allergies. It’s important to treat eye inflammation early to avoid possible permanent vision loss due to tissue scarring. Anti-inflammatory agents are available to treat eye inflammations.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which generally develops when too much fluid pressure occurs inside the eye. It tends to be inherited and have few symptoms and may not show up until later in life. Fortunately, advanced treatment is available for glaucoma, but early detection is needed for greater success. It is important to have a comprehensive eye exam which includes eye pressure check, visual field, and a thorough evaluation of the optic nerve.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration occurs when the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates, which results in loss of central vision. As the leading cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 60 in the developed world, aggressive treatments are underway to slow the progression and ultimately cure the disease. Early detection is crucial in treating and managing macular degeneration.

Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism, & Presbyopia

Commonly referred to as refractive disorders, these conditions are among the most common eye conditions and may require corrective eye wear to improve blurred vision. Also known as near sightedness or far sightedness, myopia and hyperopia symptoms manifests as blurred vision due to the retina’s inability to focus at varying distances. The same symptoms occur as a result of astigmatism. Presbyopia is a condition of the aging eyes where people lose the ability to focus at a near object. This is usually treated with reading glasses or multifocals lenses. Advances in LASIK surgery have occurred in the last decade, and often means less dependency of eyeglasses or contacts.

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Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eyes. The lens is like a camera. It can focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye by varying the shape of the lens and allowing people to see things far and near. The loss of this ability to focus is commonly called presbyopia.

The lens is made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a manner that allows light to pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein gets disrupted and the lens begin to get cloudy. This is basically the beginning of all cataracts.

  • A nuclear cataract is the most common type of cataracts. This cataract forms in the center of the lens, and is due to natural aging changes.
  • A cortical cataract forms in the lens cortex.
  • A sub-capsular cataract forms in the center capsule of the back of the lens. This type is more commonly cause by medication such as steroids.

Cataract Symptoms and Signs

  • A cataract begins slowly and progresses more with advance age.
  • A cataract can cause glares at night along with an overall decrease in sharp vision. Colors may appear darker and less distinct.

If you think you have a cataract, see an eye doctor for an exam to find out for sure.

Cataract Surgery

When your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision, you may need to talk to your eye doctor about cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a simple and painless.

In fact, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States.

During surgery, the surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear intraocular lens (IOL).

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Contacts “Do’s and Dont’s”

Information from the American Optometric Association

DO’s:

  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by your optometrist. If recommended, rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens.
  • Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace the case at a minimum of every three months. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never Re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.
  • Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your optometrist.
  • Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.
  • Avoid tap water to wash or store contact lenses or lens cases.
  • See your optometrist for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye examination.

DONT’s

  • Use cream soaps. They can leave a film on your hands that can transfer to the lenses.
  • Use homemade saline solutions. Improper use of homemade saline solutions has been linked with a potentially blinding condition among soft lens wearers.
  • Put contact lenses in your mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.
  • Use tap water to wash or store contact lenses or lens cases.
  • Share lenses with others.
  • Use products not recommended by your optometrist to clean and disinfect your lenses. Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.

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Retinal Detachment

What is a Detached Retina?

The most common type of detachment occurs when a tear or hole forms in the retina, allowing fluid to flow underneath. This causes the layers of the retina to separate and leading to detachments. This causes vision loss in the affected area.

What are the symptoms of a Detached Retina?

Vision loss from retinal detachment can range from very mild to total blindness. Symptoms may include:

  • Floaters in your field of vision. Floaters are thick strands or clumps of solid vitreous gel that develop as the gel ages and breaks down. Floaters often appear as dark specks, globs, or strands.
  • Flashes of light or sparks when you move your eyes or head. These brief flashes occur when the vitreous gel pulls on the retina.

Who does a Detached Retina affect?

If you have a family history of retinal detachment or have experienced a previous retinal detachment in one eye, you are at an increased risk. Age can be a factor for people over 50 years old. Other factors include:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia). The shape of a nearsighted eye results in more pressure on the retina. Higher nearsighted are more likely to developed retinal detachment due to lengthening of the eye.
  • Diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy and detachment.
  • Cataract surgery can induce retinal detachment.
  • Blunt injury or blow to the head, such as car accident or trauma.
  • Blunt injury to the eye and globe.

How to avoid a Detached Retina?

Diabetes puts you at greater risk for developing retinal detachment. If you have diabetes, you can help control and prevent eye problems by having regular eye exams and by controlling your blood sugar levels.

Some eye injuries can damage the retina and result in detachment.

  • Use safety goggles when you use fireworks or firearms.
  • Wear special sports glasses during sports in which you might receive a blow to the eye.
  • Wear safety glasses when you use a hammer, work with power tools or yard work to prevent small objects flying into your eye.

How is a Detached Retina treated?

Only surgery can repair retinal detachment. It is usually successful and, in many cases, restores good vision.

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Diabetic Retinopahy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease affecting the retina which is a complication of diabetes. Diabetes damages the small blood vessels in the retina and can lead to poor vision and even blindness. The blood vessels develop small bulges that may burst and leak into the retina and into the gel-like fluid inside the eye called the vitreous gel. As the condition progresses, new fragile blood vessels called neovascularization grow on the surface of the retina. This is called proliferative retinopathy.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can occur with any visual symptoms until significant damage have developed. This is why it is important to have annual eye check to detect early changes.

  • Symptoms may include:
  • Blurred or distorted vision.
  • Floaters or flashing lights.
  • Partial loss of vision or a shadow over your field of vision.
  • Pain in the eye.

Who does Diabetic Retinopathy Affect?

The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy depends largely on two factors, how long one has had diabetes and what type of diabetes one has. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop retinopathy. People with Type I diabetes (juvenile onset) are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than people with Type II diabetes (adult onset).

How to avoid Diabetic Retinopathy?

Good blood sugar control is the key factor in preventing diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment are the key to healthy eyes so annual comprehensive exam is very important. You must see an eye doctor immediately if any sudden vision changes occur.

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

Laser treatment (photocoagulation) can be very effective at preventing vision loss if it is perform early.

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Dry Eye

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a general term used to describe a group of conditions that result from a dry cornea. Dry eye normally manifests as dry, irritated eyes. It can occur as a result of the normal aging process, medications, exposure to air pollution or other environmental factors, or in conjunction with other diseases. People who wear contact lenses are also more likely to experience dry eye.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Redness is very common but it may include itchiness or grittiness, burning or stinging in the eye or sensitivity to light. It feels like there’s something in the eyes that cause discomfort.

People with dry eye commonly remark that their eyes tire easily, making it difficult for them to read or watch television. A clear reason for this difficulty is that the frequency of blinking typically decreases during activities that require concentration. As you blink less, there is more evaporation which leads to dryer corneal tissues.

Contact lens intolerance can also be a symptom of dry eye. A person with mild to moderate dry eye may not experience symptoms until contact lenses are fitted. The placement of a contact lens can upset the delicate balance of tear film production and distribution, leading to lens intolerance. It is important to ask your doctor about the latest advances in contact lens technology.

Who Does Dry Eye Affect?

While outdoor pollutants are common causes of dry eye, symptoms may also develop in response to indoor environmental quality. Symptoms are most likely to occur when the air’s humidity drops, which commonly occurs in centrally heated or air-conditioned rooms and on airplanes. Dry eye symptoms are also relatively common among workers whose jobs involve looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time. People working at computers don’t blink as often as they would if they were changing focus away from their activity more often.

How to Avoid Dry Eye?

Take breaks between activities that require intense eye focus such as reading or working on the computer. Other tips include:

  • Avoid heavily polluted areas whenever possible.
  • Consider using humidifier indoor.
  • Drink more water daily to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t smoke.

How is Dry Eye Treated?

Dry eye can typically be treated artificial tears that contain ingredients to mimic natural tears. Artificial tears help hydrate and restore the health of the eye’s surface. There are pharmaceutical treatments for severe dry eyes. Ask your eye care professional about the new treatments.


Refractive Conditions

Myopia

The main symptom of myopia is blurred vision. If you are myopic, you have trouble viewing things at a distance such as the blackboard, television or street signs. People often “squint” to see well. The blurred vision can be worse at night and poor lighting conditions. It can also contribute to headaches and eyestrain.

Hyperopia

The main symptom of hyperopia is blurred vision, especially when viewing near objects. If you have hyperopia, you may also experience frequent headaches; aching eyes or eyestrain; blurred vision, especially at night; and difficulty performing tasks up close, such as reading or using computer. Kids who often see well but who do not perform well during reading or near activities may have hyperopia. It is important for all kids to have an eye exam before starting school.

Astigmatism

Most people with astigmatism experience distorted vision at all ranges. If you are only slightly affected, you may not notice that much is wrong with your vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism include blurring of small print causing difficulty in reading and the inability to see both near and far without squinting. Astigmatism is can be inherited and is more common in certain ethnic populations.

Presbyopia

As with all of these conditions, a common symptom of presbyopia is blurred vision due to an inability to focus on objects at different distances, but especially up close. If you notice yourself needing to hold a book or newspaper farther from your face to focus on it, you are probably developing presbyopia.

Most refractive error can be treated with glasses, contacts lens, or surgery. Eyeglasses are the primary choice of correction for persons with nearsightedness. Generally, a single vision lens is prescribed to provide clear vision at all distances. However, for patients over about age 40, or children and adults whose nearsightedness is due to the stress of near vision work, a bifocal or progressive lens (often called no line bifocals) may be needed. These multifocal lenses provide different powers or strengths throughout the lens to allow for clear vision in the distance and also clear vision up close.

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Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States among those who are age 65 and older. Vision loss from macular degeneration is expected to grow due to the aging population living longer.

ARMD is degeneration of the macula, which is the part responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive.

More than 1.5 million Americans currently have advanced age-related macular degeneration with associated vision loss and that number is expected to grow in the next decade.

Who gets Macular Degeneration?

Besides affecting older populations, ARMD occurs in whites and females in particular.

Some evidences suggest smoking is a high risk factors for macular degeneration. Other factors for macular degeneration include having a family member with ARMD, high blood pressure,lighter eyes and obesity. Over-exposure to sunlight may also may be a contributing factor in development of macular degeneration. High cholesterol may also be a risk factor for developing ARMD.

Commonly named risk factors for developing macular degeneration include:

  • Aging. Significant vision loss accompanying more advanced age.
  • Obesity and Inactivity. Obese patients with macular degeneration are more likely to developed wet ARMD.
  • Heredity. Family history of ARMD increases the risk of developing macular degeneration.
  • Smoking. Smoking is a major ARMD risk factor.
  • Lighter Eye Color. Macular degeneration tends to occur more often among Caucasian populations, particularly in people with light skin color and eye color. Darker eyes may act as protective factor during normal sun exposure.

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