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Have You Heard of Serum Tears for Dry Eye Treatment?

By Dr. David Rubin

If you have chronic dry eyes, you know the discomfort and the stress associated with this eye condition. Because of aging, or because of medication, or because of some diseases like Sjogren’s, but mostly for unknown reasons, almost 5 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye Disease.

You may have tried over-the-counter artificial tears at the first sign of symptoms and they may have worked for a while, but then the tearing, itching, irritation and fluctuating vision returned. The problem could be with your tear film. Tears are made with a perfect balance of water, mucus, oil, and other vital biologically active elements. If any of these components gets out of balance, then the quality of the tears is reduced.

The Eye Associates is one of the few practices that has the technology to actually measure the quality of your tears. We take a small sample of a patient’s tears, and then using the TearLab Osmolarity System, we are able to determine quantifiably the quality of the tears. Treatment is then prescribed based on the finding from the TearLab.

One way to address this problem is with the use of Autologous Serum Tears. Again, The Eye Associates is one of the few practices in this area to offer Autologous Serum Tears treatment. Since over-the-counter artificial tears lack the biologically active elements found in your natural tears, eye drops made from components from your own body have been found to be highly effective for most patients. These customized eye drops are made by separating components of your own blood. The red blood cells and clotting factors are removed, leaving behind blood serum which is used to make customized eye drops for you. The benefit is that these man-made tears possess the same biological nutrients naturally found in your own tears, giving natural relief for dry eyes and other corneal-related conditions.

I have many patients successfully finding dry eye relief with serum tear treatment. I got a call recently from a patient that had been unable to drive due to pain and fluctuating vision. After a few weeks of treatment with serum tears, she is now able to drive her husband to his twice weekly medical treatments. She is so thankful for the help.

As an Accredited Dry Eye Center of Excellence, the doctors at The Eye Associates have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of Dry Eye Disease. Good vision makes all the difference to our lives. That is why saving sight is The Eye Associates’ most important mission. Click here to request a dry eye consultation. Or call 1-866-865-2020.

Is Astigmatism a Disease? Can it be corrected?

astigmatism

Could astigmatism be inhibiting her learning?

Astigmatism is often incorrectly thought of as an eye disease or eye health problem. It is simply a very common focusing problem that is caused by an irregularity of the curvature of the cornea (the front of the eye). Often in layman’s terms, the astigmatic eye’s curvature is compared to the shape of a football as opposed to a basketball.

Astigmatism is a refractive error just like nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). When light enters the eye, it is not evenly distributed on the retina. This causes your eyes to have blurry vision.

Most people are born with some degree of astigmatism. Both children and adults can have it. In children, it can affect their school work and learning. The higher the amount, the worst the vision. You may just have it by itself, or in conjunction with nearsightedness and/or farsightedness.  Some common symptoms of astigmatism include headaches, blurred vision both near and far, eye fatigue, and eye strain.

Can I have Astigmatism and not know it?

Vision screenings, especially school screenings, often do not catch small amounts of astigmatism. It may only be found during a comprehensive eye examination. The reason is because there may be such a small amount and the person doesn’t realize that he/she is not seeing the best they can. Astigmatism is very treatable with glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, Clear Lens ReplacementBladeless LASER Cataract surgery and high tech lens implants.

Astigmatism and Cataract Surgery

If you have astigmatism, it is very important to consider it during the cataract surgery decision process. It can be corrected during upgraded cataract surgery and give you clearer, more crisp vision. Your choice of standard vs upgraded cataract surgery cannot be changed after the surgery. That is the reason it is a decision that should be carefully considered before surgery. Even those with nearsightedness and farsightedness have more vision correction options than ever before. This makes the decision process for cataract surgery more important than ever.

Be sure to ask your eye doctor during your eye exam if there are recommendations relating to astigmatism correction for your eyes. Call 1-866-865-2020 for a comprehensive exam appointment.

 

Tear Osmolarity Testing for Dry Eyes

Accredited Dry Eye Center logo

Accredited Dry Eye Center Logo

Dry Eyes

Did you know that the human eye has over 2 million working parts?  Imagine all those 2 million parts working beautifully, and then suddenly there is a poor tear film covering the cornea, preventing a clear image from being formed for your brain’s vision center to use when you read, drive and text, causing dry eyes.

Achieving the right volume and mixture of lubricating fluids to be available for delivery with each blink is no easy task. To better analyze your tear film, we now can do a simple and quick in office test (called a tear osmolarity test) that not only helps us diagnose Dry Eye Disease, but also allows us to monitor the progress patients are making in their treatment programs. In the past, we were not able to objectively quantify the quality of a patient’s tears. Now we can do that with the Tearlab equipment.

When the tear osmolarity (salt content) test first came out, the results were not very consistent.  This was at first felt to be a deficiency in the machine.  Now we understand that this variability is the hallmark of Dry Eye Disease. Those of us who suffer from dry eyes are very aware of this variability.  We have our good days, and sometimes only a few good hours in the day. Many days are filled coping with the familiar battle of fluctuating vision and discomfort.

What cannot vary, though, is your dry eye treatment program. Maintain your fluid intake; do not over indulge in caffeinated beverages; apply your warm compresses, follow your lid hygiene regimen; and take your Omega 3 and Vitamin D. Do everything you can to give those 2 million parts in your eyes a clear image to work with!

Your Dry Eye Coach, Richard Hector

Blindness – a Major Fear


<img alt= "blindness would inhibit bikers taking an early morning ride"

Blindness causing fear of losing the active lifestyle that you now enjoy.

Blindness – Third Biggest Fear

A Prevent Blindness America Survey found that blindness ranked third as a major fear. Number 1 and 2 were cancer and heart disease. Of course, there are ways to prevent vision loss. The best way is to have a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam. Being proactive always has positive benefits on your health and your eye health.

Common Causes of Blindness

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Cataract surgery is a very common surgery in the United States, but in less developed countries, people often go blind. This is due to the inaccessibility of eyecare. But even here in the US, we find that since cataracts are slow growing and they usually affect the vision in such a gradual way. Often people are unaware they have them and don’t realize they have such poor vision.

Diabetic retinopathy is another common cause of blindness in people under age 65. Diabetes affects your entire body, including your eyes. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, diabetics are 25 times more likely to lose vision than those without this disease. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is that you’ll develop diabetic retinopathy.Many patients with this condition are asymptomatic at its most treatable stage, so diabetics are strongly advised to have routine yearly comprehensive dilated eye examinations.

Another cause of vision loss is glaucoma. Half of all people with glaucoma risk permanent damage because they are unaware that they have it. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to determine whether these problems are present so appropriate treatment can be initiated.

As you can see, serious and sight-threatening eye diseases do not always present symptoms, but they can be diagnosed during a eye exam. Often treatment can be given before damage occurs. Vision is your most valued of all senses, for everyday activities and even your safety. An eye exam should be part of your yearly schedule. It could save your sight!

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