True or False: Reading in Low Light Can Damage Your Eyes

FALSE – Reading in low light can cause extra strain on your eyes and you may not be able to see as well, especially if you have a cataract or macular degeneration, but it won’t cause long term damage.

Are You at Increased Risk for Glaucoma?

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If your mom has glaucoma, there could be a good chance you will get glaucoma.

Do you have a family member with Glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs twice as much among people who have a blood relative with the disease. Ask your family members if they have glaucoma, as it may not be a general topic of conversation. The only way to know for sure that you do not have this sight threatening disease is to have a comprehensive medical eye examination. So if you have a family member with this eye disease, you should consider glaucoma treatment at our ophthalmology clinic located in Sarasota.

Risk Factors

Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly and painlessly steals away your sight. It does this by destroying the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the all-important connection between your eye and the brain. It carries visual data to be translated into the images you see. Damage to the optic nerve is permanent. The cause of this condition is unknown, but several factors increase the risk. These include being over age 60, being of African-American or Hispanic descent, having a family history of glaucoma, having certain medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, and being nearsighted. Anyone with one or more of these risk factors should get yearly eye exams.

A dilated eye exam is the only way that this eye disease can be diagnosed. If a glaucoma diagnosis is given, there are several kinds of treatment available to lower IOP and stop nerve damage. These include prescription eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery. A treatment plan must be followed for the rest of a patient’s life in order to keep the progression at bay.  Some eye drop medications are expensive, may have side effects, and it’s easy to forget to take them on a daily basis. Therefore, in some patients, laser therapy or a surgical procedure is recommended instead. Although there is no cure for this disease, combining medical treatment with regularly scheduled eye exams can reduce the risk of vision loss. Schedule your comprehensive dilated eye exam today.

True or False: Window Film is a “Must Have” For Cars

TRUE – Most people think of seatbelts and airbags when thinking of car safety, but a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that almost 53% of skin cancers occur on the left side, also known as “driver’s side” of the body. This may be related to the increased exposure to UV radiation while driving. The good news is that quality transparent window film can screen out almost 100% of UVA and UVB without reducing visibility. Just another way to protect you and your kids from skin cancer.

True or False: Quitting Smoking Can Benefit Your Eye Health

TRUE – Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking has long been known to cause heart disease and lung cancer; however many people don’t realize that smoking can lead to loss of your precious vision. Studies show smoking increases the risk of Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Dry Eye Disease. Doesn’t it make you wonder why anyone would start smoking?

Macular Degeneration affects 15 million American and is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Age and genetics are two of the risk factors, and unfortunately you can’t change either of those. But you can stop smoking. Smoking is the single more important environmental risk that you can modify to decrease your risk for Macular Degeneration. Multiple large, well-controlled, cross-sectional and prospective studies in the United States, Australia, France and the Neth­erlands have demonstrated a 2.5 to threefold increase in the risk of all forms of AMD in smokers. (Courtesy of Review of Ophthalmology)