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Are Electronics Affecting Your Kids’ Eyes?

Phones, tablets and other electronic devices

How does electronics affect kids’ eyes?

Electronic devices. Our kids were raised with them. They can’t imagine life without them. And neither can we. But how are they affecting our kids’ eyes? We know first hand the strain that we feel after a long period at the computer. But what about our kids? According to the American Optometric Association, 83 % of our kids between 10 and 17 are using electronic devices 3 hours or more a day. Most parents are surprised to hear that. While we accept that we are using smart phones and computers for hours at work, it’s hard to imagine that our kids are spending so much time on them as well.

Another study published in Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus found that smartphones and tablets could be contributing to increased dry eye problems in kids’ eyes. Dry Eye symptoms such as burning, tearing, eye fatigue are common complaints that we hear everyday at The Eye Associates, and increasingly so in kids. Gaming glasses, computer glasses and digital eyeglasses are being prescribed more and more in order to offer symptom relief as well as protection against harmful bluelight emitted by electronics. The American Macular Degeneration Associations has suggested a link between bluelight and macular degeneration. Let’s start protecting our kids’ eyes early from macular degeneration.

The difference between kids and adults is the self awareness of symptoms. Adults feeling eye strain will take a break and give their eyes a rest. We find that children, especially when playing a game, will continue using the electronic device. That is why it is important for the parent to step in and institute rules about electronic use. We recommend taking a break every 20 minutes. Also remind your kids to blink. So often computer users forget to blink.

Adults are also susceptible to digital strain. Some common symptoms are tired eyes, stiff neck and headache.

http://www.zeiss.com/vision-care/en_de/better-vision/better-vision-with-zeiss/your-individualized-zeiss-lens/digital-lenses-spectacles-for-users-of-mobile-devices.html

Click here or call 1-866-865-2020 for a comprehensive eye exam with one of our Board Certified Eye Physicians.

Dark skin people need skin cancer checks too!

Dark skin people can have skin cancer too.

 Dark skin people can have skin cancer too.

According to SkinCancer.org, here are some statistics that you should keep in mind, no matter what your skin color.

-Melanomas in African Americans, Asians, Filipinos, Indonesians and Hawaiians most often occur on non-exposed skin with less pigment. These melanomas are often discovered on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.

-Skin cancer represents 1 to 2 % of all cancers in African Americans and jumps to 2 to 4 % in Asians.

-While melanoma is more uncommon in African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is frequently fatal for these ethnicities. Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among these patients than Caucasian patients, resulting in the 5 year melanoma survival rate for African Americans being only 77 % when compare to 91 % for Caucasians.
All skin types should always apply sunscreen 30 minutes before they go out into the sun, and then reapply every 2 hours. Of course, if you sweat or go in the water, it is necessary to reapply more often. Avoid peak burn hours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Clothing, unless specifically treated for sun protection, is not enough to give you the sun protection needed. Be safe by wearing sunscreen.

What to do next!

Click here to make an appointment our Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Paul Stevenson, or call 1-877-816-DERM (3376).

Olive Oil – Good for Dry Eyes

Dry Eye solution

Chocolate Infused Olive Oil

Right behind the Omega 3 fish oils as part of your dry eye treatment is extra-virgin olive oil. That is why it should be on the top of every dry eye patient’s cooking list. It is a member of the “short list” of foods that offer our body assistance in reducing inflammation in our joints, but it also helps with the inflammation in our tear producing glands of eyes.

The next time you travel to the Napa Valley, do your Dry Eyes a favor. Visit the wonderful OLIVE OIL tasting rooms. Yes, there are now several excellent olive orchards producing extra-virgin olive oil, some describe as “liquid gold”, right here in the good ole’ US of A.

Use olive oil as often as you can for cooking or take it straight. I call it the “dry eye shot”. Pour out the tequila and fill your shot glass with olive oil (flavored, if you would prefer). The chocolate-infused oil is said to be great over ice cream. Wow, we can now enjoy our ice cream AND feel good because we are improving our dry eye condition at the same time.  From one ice cream lover to another, Richard Hector.

Another favorite oil we recommend as part of your dry eye solution is Omega 3 fish oils is Omega Cure by Omega3 Innovations. It is made with wild cod caught off the coast of Norway, eliminating the fishy taste while still achieving the omega 3 health benefits. The super food can also be used in juices, smoothies and even salad dressings to help you get your daily servings. Omega3 Innovations even has breakfast cookies, chocolate cookies and tasty dark chocolate truffles that surprisingly containing omega 3 fish oil. You can find out more information on Omega Cure at https://www.omega3innovations.com/omega-cure/

Schedule your Dry Eye Evaluation today to be seen by our Fellowship Trained Dry Eye Specialist, Richard Hector MD, or one of our board certified eye physicians.

      

Van Gogh’s Eyesight and Paintings

There ha100 dpi 2in hi starry nights long been speculation by the eyecare community about Van Gogh’s eyesight and why he used so much yellow in his paintings. Some have suggested that he may have been over-treated with a medication called digitalis. In toxic yet non-lethal doses, digitalis is known to cause Xanthopsia, commonly referred to as ‘yellow vision.’ The extensive list of disorders treated with the medication during that period include headaches, mental illness, nausea, melancholy and inflammation of the eyes, just to name a few. We know from Van Gogh’s own letters that he suffered from mental illness and that he often complained about his eyes, so digitalis causing the yellow vision is entirely possible.

Another theory about his yellow vision is that it could have been caused by absinthe, a known side effect from excessive drinking of the potent liquor. Absinthe was very popular in France at that time, with bars actually hosting ‘the hour of absinthe’.

Maybe, just maybe, none of this is true. Perhaps Vincent Van Gogh just loved the color YELLOW.

Another visual effect in Van Gogh’s paintings is the halo swirling effect as seen in his painting, The Starry Night. It has been suggested that he may have suffered from lead poisoning, caused by the use of lead-based paints used at that time. One visual symptom of lead poisoning is the swelling of the retina, causing a halo effect around lights. Others have suggested that Van Gogh suffered from narrow angle glaucoma attacks which can also cause colored halos. Of course, cataracts cause halos around lights at night but since Van Gogh committed suicide at the early age of 37, it is unlikely that he had cataracts.

Van Gogh was also quite famous for his multitude of Self Portraits. He painted over 30 ‘selfies’, but his choice of his eye color varied from portrait to portrait. Some have hinted that he might have had 2 different colored eyes. Or perhaps he was just colorblind and didn’t really know the true color his eyes.

Whatever is the case…he certainly had an eye for beautiful paintings.

If you want to see better, click here or call 1-866-865-2020 for a comprehensive eye exam today.

 

Who has a higher risk for glaucoma?

Glaucoma

 

Aging is one of the risk factors for glaucoma and every birthday make you at higher risk for the disease.

Birthday seniors

Birthdays increase the risk for glaucoma

Unfortunately, the older you are over 65, the higher your risk for this disease. It affects over 3 million Americans, and it is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. Fortunately, if it is detected early and properly treated, most vision loss is preventable.

What Is Glaucoma?

It is a disease that is often linked to a buildup of pressure in the eye. The increased buildup can cause damage to your optic nerve, thereby causing a loss of vision. The two most common types of glaucoma are Open Angle  and Narrow Angle.

 

Why is it called the “Silent Thief of Sight”?

Glaucoma can slowly steal your eyesight without your even realizing that anything is wrong. The damage is usually painless, it progresses slowly and most often it is without noticeable symptoms.

How do you know if you have it?

This disease is usually discovered during a routine eye examination. Since it tends to run in families, it is important for the entire family to have regular eye examinations, especially if there is a family history of glaucoma. Even though the chance for developing it increases with age, it can strike at any age. The Eye Associates tests for glaucoma at every visit, even our younger patients.

What is the difference between Open Angle and Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

Open Angle

Our eyes have a constant flow of fluid that drains through the “angle” of the eye. In Open Angle, this drainage system becomes clogged, causing a slow buildup of fluid pressure in the eye. When this happens, it reduces the blood supply to the optic nerve, causing a loss of peripheral vision, most times without notice because of the gradual nature. Often it is only after irreparable damage has occurred that a person becomes aware they even have this disease. Since open-angle glaucoma is a chronic condition, it must be monitored for life.

Watch this animation to help you better understand Open Angle Glaucoma.

Narrow Angle (or Closed Angle)

Narrow Angle results from a sudden, complete blockage of fluid drainage, causing a rapid and painful rise in pressure. It can occur at any age, and can cause blindness in a day or two if no treatment is given. Narrow Angle occurs more frequently at night, during emotional stress and even with the use of some over-the-counter medicines such as Dristan, Contac, or Benadryl.

To learn more about this eye disease, go to our YouTube channel for more information:http://bit.ly/1U8k3ci

If you would like to be evaluated by our Fellowship Trained Glaucoma Specialist, Robert Friedman, MD, or one of our board certified eye physicians, please call toll free 1-866-865-2020 or contact The Eye Associates.

 

 

True or False: Everyone Knows What Glaucoma Is

Everyone knows what glaucoma is. –  That is FALSE – A Prevent Blindness America Survey found that 50% had heard of glaucoma, but weren’t sure what it was. Another 30% of people had never even heard of glaucoma. The ones that had heard of glaucoma thought it was easily cured and did not lead to blindness.  In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. And it is often called the ‘silent thief of sight’ because vision loss can occur gradually, without pain and without symptoms. Fortunately, if glaucoma is detected early and properly treated, most vision loss is preventable.(15) 27894850 senior couple cropped

The two most common types of glaucoma are open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma, sometimes referred to as narrow angle glaucoma.

Our eyes have a constant flow of fluid that fills the front chamber of the eye and then drains into the bloodstream. It drains through the ‘angle’ of the eye which is located between the cornea and iris. In primary open angle glaucoma, this drainage system does not function properly, causing a slow buildup of fluid pressure. When this happens, optic nerve damage may occur. As the optic nerve deteriorates, there is a loss of peripheral vision, most times without notice because of the gradual nature in which the deterioration progresses. Often it is only after irreparable vision loss has occurred that a person becomes aware they even have this disease.

Narrow angle glaucoma results from a sudden, complete blockage of fluid drainage from the angle of the eye, causing a rapid and painful rise in pressure. It generally occurs in people over 40 and may cause vision loss rapidly if no treatment is given. Patients may experience severe eye pain accompanied by nausea, redness, swelling of the eye, loss of peripheral vision as well as blurred vision and halos. These symptoms usually last until the eye pressure is lowered. It is important to reduce the pressure quickly because permanent vision loss can occur if the pressure is not reduced in a timely manner.

GET THE FACTS ON GLAUCOMA  at http://www.theeyeassociates.com/services/glaucoma-services/  so everyone knows what glaucoma is. # glaucoma

If you have glaucoma and would like to be evaluated by our Fellowship Trained Glaucoma Specialist, Robert Friedman, MD, or one of our board certified eye physicians, please call toll free 1-866-865-2020 or contact The Eye Associates.

5 REASONS TO HAVE AN EYE EXAM

Call 1-866-865-2020.

Eye exams save sight.

1) Even if You Don’t Wear Eyeglasses, You Still Need an Eye Exam.

Some sight-threatening eye diseases do not have early warning signs, and many can only be detected during a dilated eye exam. Some cataracts affect vision in such a gradual way that you do not notice the decreased vision. Half of all people with glaucoma are unaware that they even have the disease. Also, diabetics with diabetic retinopathy often do not experience symptoms when the disease is at its most treatable stage. Remember, the key to keeping good vision for a lifetime starts with early detection during an eye exam and early treatment.

2) Eye Exams Detect Other Health Problems Too

Most people don’t know that many general health problems are often first detected during a routine comprehensive eye exam. The reason is that the eye is the only place where blood vessels can be viewed in their natural state without a surgical procedure. Changes in the blood vessels of the eye or fluctuations in vision sometimes lead to the first diagnosis of common diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high cholesterol. Graves’ disease is often first noticed as protruding eyes and double vision. Neurologic diseases such as MS may be first suspected when an eye doctor finds changes in the eye and the optic nerve. Even cancer and brain tumors, although rare, are sometimes detected during an eye exam. Our board certified physicians are always looking out for your overall health and well-being; not just your vision.

3) Good Vision Increases Safety

Poor vision can have an adverse effect on many life issues, such as depression, increased car accidents, and drug-related errors, but none of these are more concerning to life than a fall. Falls are among the leading cause of death of people age 65+, and people with low vision are at even greater risk. Reduced contrast sensitivity, decreased depth perception, and a reduction in the field of vision can inhibit balance and one’s ability to detect environmental hazards. Increased safety is one of the most compelling reasons to have an annual eye exam.

4) Vision Affects a Child’s Success in Life

Did you know that 80% of all learning is through the visual system, and decreased vision can significantly affect educational success, athletic ability and even social interaction? Countless children are receiving poor grades simply because they cannot see the blackboard; causing them to lose a desire to learn, and even stunting their social skills. While most parents recognize the value of routine dental care, they often underestimate the importance of testing a child’s vision.

5) Changing Eyecare Technology

We are living in a time when sight-saving technology is changing at an astonishing rate. Conditions once considered untreatable are now able to be corrected with cutting-edge technology. Just a few years ago, someone with wet macular degeneration would have lost most, if not all of their vision, but now we can help them with sight-saving medications. A cataract surgery patient who has worn glasses their entire life now has a choice of a high tech lens implant so they never have to wear glasses again. These are just a couple of examples of what we are able to offer patients today. So even if you’ve been told in the past that your condition was untreatable, technology may have changed all that. Only with a comprehensive eye exam can you know for sure.

You Only Have 2 Eyes! Sight does more than let you see what is in front of you. It allows you to safely live your life to the fullest with the ones you love. Schedule your yearly eye exam today!

Call 1-866-865-2020 for an appointment today!

Power Blink! Help for your Dry Eyes.


<img alt="man with eyes wide open for start of the power blink"

This is the starting point of a POWER BLINK.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I put a lot of weight into good quality blinks. Want your eyes to feel better? Start by practicing the POWER BLINK on a regular basis! When you are reading, driving, and especially when you are on the computer, you actually blink less. It is estimated that during those activities, your blink rate is reduced by 70%. Yes, I said 70%. And remember that not blinking is to your eyes like not breathing is to your lungs.

What is a POWER BLINK?

A strong, full blink wipes away the old tear film and distributes a nice fresh tear lake full of nutrients and relief.

More Information about the Power of Blinking and Dry Eye Disease

We know from previous studies that people with dry eyes do not blink well, but a recent study revealed two interesting facts about blinking. Many do not close their eyes completely nor do they blink as often as those without dry eyes. The length of their blinks were also measured, and not surprisingly, when they do blink, they hold their eyes closed 2.5 times longer. So, is it the chicken or the egg? Do you develop dry eyes because you do not blink as often, or do you not blink as often because you have dry eyes? Do dry eye patients avoid blinking because when they do blink, they have to hold their eyes closed longer which is disconcerting when you are reading, on the computer, driving or even trying to carry on a conversation with someone?

So start practicing your POWER BLINK right now. Give your eyes a full, strong, eyes-completely-closed BLINK.

Richard Hector, MD

Fellowship Trained Corneal & Dry Eye Specialist

 

 

 

Women & Dry Eyes


<img alt="young woman rubbing her dry eyes"

Do your eyes burn, itch and feel scratchy? It’s probably Dry Eyes Disease.

Dry Eye Disease is among the most common eye conditions in the United States.

Did you know that over 60% of menopausal women are affected by Dry Eyes Disease (DED) and don’t even realize it? Yes, they know that their eyes burn and are dry, red and irritated. And they know that sometimes their eyes even water excessively. This is your eyes way of trying to soothe they eye irritation. But they don’t know that women are two to three times more likely to be affected by DED than men.

In healthy eyes, a thin layer of tears coats the outside surface of the eye, therefore, keeping it moist. It also washes away bits of debris that might fall into the eyes. Dry Eye Disease occurs when the eye doesn’t make enough tears, or it makes tears that evaporate too quickly. This leaves the eyes dry and vulnerable. Dry Eye Disease may sound like more of a nuisance than a serious problem, but if left untreated, DED can inhibit your everyday lifestyle, and in severe cases, can even result in permanent loss of sight.

If you think you might have DED, call 1-866-865-2020 for dry eye treatment in Bradenton. We can help you find relief!