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Beware of Similar Looking Bottles

Take few minutes right now and separate your artificial tear/eyedrop bottles from ALL other similar containers. There has been a recent increase in patients reaching for their eyedrops, or what they thought was eyedrops, but instead placing a drop of nail cleaner, ear wax remover, super glue or whiteout into their eye. Some of these solutions can be easily rinsed out, but some cannot and are very dangerous, such as super glue.

If you do inadvertently put the wrong liquid into your eyes, immediately rinse the eye with lots of plain water or saline solution. This is one of those times where the old eye cups would be useful. When you are done rinsing, use a thicker artificial tear solution, such as a gel, to re-lubricate your eyes. If you have persistent pain, redness or blurred vision, by all means call the office. There is a doctor on call 24/7 who can advise you if immediate attention is needed.

If something more toxic, such as drain cleaner, battery acid, ammonia based cleaning products, dry wall or concrete dust, gets into your eyes, a trip to the emergency room or eye clinic nearest to you is recommended. A full 20 minutes of continuous, thorough rinsing and pH testing are needed to completely remove these products. BUT before you go to the emergency room, do an immediate rinse wherever you are. I do not care if you rinse with a garden hose… one patient used a can of 7-Up (that is all she had to help her son after the car battery exploded in his face). The faster your eyes are washed out and the toxic solution diluted the better. Even a 5 minute ride to the hospital can be more than enough time for potentially blinding damage to occur if these solutions are present full strength. It is common to be concerned if the word acid is in a description of the fluid, but solutions with the opposite pH called bases, such as ammonia, can cause much more rapid and severe damage to your eyes.

By Richard Hector, MD

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

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.

 

 

Glaucoma drops-Can I get rid of them?

Is it possible to get rid of expensive glaucoma drops?  YES!

Denny was always afraid of losing his eyesight due to open angle glaucoma. And then when he got a cataract, he thought ‘Oh boy. Just another thing going wrong.’ But then his ophthalmologist, Dr. Brian Foster, a Bradenton glaucoma treatment specialist, explained that it might actually be good news. Now there is a NEW procedure for glaucoma patients having cataract surgery that may reduce or eliminate the need for expensive drops. The iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. It is so small that that it can’t be seen or felt, and it adds almost no extra time to the surgery. By implanting this tiny titanium device in the eye during normal cataract surgery, a permanent new channel is created for excess fluid to drain; thereby lowering the eye pressure.  The IStent is the only FDA approved device for the treatment of mild to moderate open angle glaucoma.

Listen to what Denny had to say about having glaucoma, and how he feels after having cataract surgery with the IStent.

Have cataracts and want more information about iStents? Click here to make an appointment with one of our award winning cataract surgeons at The Eye Associates or call 1-866-865-2020!

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!