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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

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.

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.

DIABETICS – Preventing Eye Disease

Kick the smoking habit!

Diabetics have it hard enough without having to live with permanent vision loss.

The NUMBER 1 way for diabetics to prevent vision loss is to have an dilated eye exam EVERY YEAR. During the eye exam, your eye doctor will be looking at your retina for early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication from diabetes. Leaking blood vessels, retinal swelling and deposits on the retina are all early signs of eye problems related to diabetes. Remember early detection is the key to keeping your eye healthy for a lifetime.

OTHER FACTORS THAT DIABETICS CAN CONTROL:

  1. Know your ABCs…A1C (blood glucose), BP (blood pressure)  and cholesterol

2) Always take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t try to out-think your doctors.

3) Keep your blood sugar levels under tight control by testing yourself several times a day.

2) Get your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure can contribute to damaging blood vessels.

3) QUIT SMOKING. This should probably #1 on the list of things to do to keep your eyes healthy, whether you are a diabetic or not.

4) Maintain a healthy diet full of colorful vegetables.

5) Exercise regularly.

6) Maintain a healthy weight.

7) Follow-up with PCP regularly

Click here to request an appointment at The Eye Associates or call 1-866-865-2020.

NEW Sight Saving Test for Dry Macular Degeneration Patients

Do you have dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

The Notal Vision Home monitoring device for dry AMD patients.

Foresee Home AMD Monitoring Program

Studies show that up to 43% of dry macular degeneration patients progress to wet AMD. The progression can be so subtle that you may not even notice it at first. Since our brain can compensate for poor vision in one eye by filling in missing areas, often new visual distortions from wet macular degeneration are missed.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels in the eye start to bleed. This causes damage to the macula in the retina. Luckily there are effective treatments for wet AMD, but the success of these treatments depends on early detection and treatment.

The Eye Associates has always recommended that macular degeneration patients do a daily vision check at home with a amsler grid. It a simple way to detect vision changes that occur when dry macular degeneration becomes wet. Now there is a high-tech version of the amsler grid that can detect changes earlier so treatment can be started earlier. The ForeseeHome is the first FDA-cleared home monitoring device that is clinically proven to detect even the smallest changes in your vision.

This simple 3 minute test  that you do in the comfort of your own home detects early changes in your vision. You test one eye at a time by looking into the Foresee Home device. When used daily, ForeseeHome detects changes before you notice them yourself. This allows you and your doctor to monitor your vision for any changes between eye exams. Monthly reports are sent directly to your doctor and any changes will be an indication that you need to be seen immediately.

Click here  to view a video about Foresee Home.

How to get the Forsee Home

If you are interested in getting a Foresee Home, contact The Eye Associates. Your doctor will write an order for the device. Notal Vision, the maker of the Forsee Home, will contact you for your insurance information. Insurance will usually cover the cost. The device will then be shipped to your home with instructions on how to set it up, as well as a help line phone number. You do not need a computer to use it. It can be used with wi-fi, cellular service and a landline.

Remember early detection is key in saving sight. Call 1-866-865-2020 for more information.