Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 29 million Americans, 20 or older have diabetes and almost one-third does not even know they have the disease and are at risk for losing their vision.
Early symptoms of diabetes can often go undetected and vision may not be affected until the disease is more severe and even harder to treat. Some symptoms that are usually quick to detect include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss/weight gain
- Increased hunger
- Lack of focus
- Numbness in the hands or feet
A group of eye problems can arise due to diabetes. Cataracts and glaucoma are only a couple of vision stealing side effects. If you have diabetes you may get cataracts at a younger age, and your chances of developing glaucoma doubles.
Early diagnosis of diabetes and maintaining a strict control of blood sugar and hypertension through a balanced diet, exercise and medication can help reduce your risk of developing eye disease that is associated with diabetes. Eye doctors are often the first to detect diabetes, so setting up annual appointments with your doctor can be life saving.
Halloween is a great time to dress up and enjoy the night with friends and family, but every year, hundreds of adults and children are treated in emergency rooms because of eye-related injuries. These injuries can be prevented by following some of our easy tips and ensure a fun and safe Halloween..
HALLOWEEN EYE SAFETY TIPS:
Never buy cosmetic contact lenses without a prescription from an eye care professional, because it is both illegal and dangerous. Improper use of cosmetic contacts can result in serious eye conditions including bacterial infections, swelling, eye pain, sensitivity to light, pink eye and loss of clarity.
Avoid pointed props such as swords, spears or wands, which can be a danger to children’s eyes.
When using makeup or face paint, be sure that it is hypoallergenic to avoid undue reaction around your eye. Don’t paint eyebrows or eyelashes, because sweating can cause the paint to drip into your eye.
Make sure your mask or accessories fit properly and do not obstruct or block vision.
Carry a flashlight to illuminate dark paths and walkways. Daytime trick or treating is always a safer option.
Rand Eye Institute wishes everyone a thrilling Halloween weekend. Stay safe!
Eye injuries come in all shapes, ways and forms, they occur when you lease expect it. Cleaning your home, playing catch with your children or even sitting at your work desk. Staring at a computer screen monitor for hours on end has become a norm in modern workdays, but inevitably, all that staring can put a real strain on your eyes.
Computer Eye Strain
Computer eye strain also known as, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is not specifically one type of eye problem, but a whole range of eye strain and pain experienced by computer users. Working adults aren’t the only ones who are vulnerable to CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome). Kids who stare at portable gaming devices or use computers throughout the day at school and home also experience eye problems.
How Can Computer Screens Affect Vision?
Computer Vision Syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other stress-related injuries. It happens when the same motion is done over and over again and can worse the longer the activity is continued.
Working at a computer requires the eyes to stay in continuous focus and acquires a lot of effort from your eye muscles and is more strenuous than reading a book or looking at a piece of paper due to the elements of screen contrast, flicker and glare. Computers slow down the blinking rate, so eyes can dry out easily. Computer related eye injuries are more likely to occur if you already have an eye problem – such as nearsightedness or astigmatism.
What are the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dry eyes
- Red eyes
- Neck and/or back pain
- Stinging and itchy sensation
- Temporary myopia (can’t see distant objects clearly right after computer use)
Tips on How to avoid Computer Vision Syndrome?
- Sit about 25 inches away from the computer screen and position your screen so your eyes gaze slightly downward.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rules! Every 20 minutes shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly.
- If your eyes start to feel dry, use artificial tears to keep them feeling fresh.
- Don’t forget to blink!
Children are prone to injuries, whether it’s a scraped knee or bruised elbow. Eye injuries, in particular, are extremely dangerous and very avoidable. When children participate in sports, recreation, crafts or home projects it is important for them to know eye safety practices and use the appropriate protective glasses. Here are some tips to keep your child away from eye-related injuries.
- Children should wear sport eye protectors, made with polycarbonated lens when playing.
- All chemicals and sprays should be kept out of reach of small children.
- Be a role model for your child and use approved eyewear during potentially dangerous yard work and household repairs and projects.
- Avoid projectile toys such as darts, bow and arrows and missile firing toys.
- Look for toys that are marked “ASTM”, which means the products meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Do not allow your children near fireworks, especially bottle rockets. An adult should always handle fireworks.
- Make sure children are properly secured in baby carriers or safety seats while on the road. Children under the age of 12 should never ride in the passenger seat. Store all loose items, as any loose object can become a dangerous projectile in the case of a crash.
Rand Eye Institute’s Rick Elya has made it to the news for his heroism! We are proud of our employees who take pride in serving the community and doing what’s best for our patients. Good job, Rick!
Read Full Article and Watch the Video on WSVN 7 News!
Choosing the right protective eye wear can stave off eye-related injuries at work and at home, for both adults and children alike. Wearing the proper protection, especially among people who wear contacts or have had corrective eye surgery can be invaluable when it comes to preserving sight and preventing eye trauma.
Shopping for these glasses does not need to be such a difficult task.
- All lenses should be made of polycarbonate, since that is the strongest lens material available. All polycarbonate lenses absorb ultraviolet light and are scratch resistant, which is also a plus in protecting your eyes.
- Be sure to only use lenses that are approved by the American National Standards Institute. The ANSI sets the safety standards for lenses based on their performance and what they are designed to be used for.
- Be sure to try on the glasses while shopping to make sure they fit properly.
- There are different types and styles of glasses depending on what you will be using them for. Whether it’s for work, sports or at home, ask a specialist to help you find a pair that is right for you.
Some Do’s and Don’ts for Proper Use of Eye Protection
- Do clean your eye protection regularly. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- DON’T use goggles if they are scratched, don’t fit properly or the elastic band is frayed.
- DO inspect your eye protection each time before use.
- DON’T use safety spectacles if they are scratched, bent or don’t fit properly.
- DON’T use eye protection that is not designed to protect you from the actual hazards you will encounter while performing your job duties.
- DO make sure you actually use your eye protection.
- DON’T use eye protection equipment if it doesn’t fit properly, obstructs your movement or blocks your vision.
Over 2 million people in the United States suffer from eye injuries, annually. Many of these injuries are caused during accidental occurrences, such as car accidents or falls, while others occur due to the negligence of not wearing proper protective eye wear.
As safe as we feel in the comfort of our own home, half of all eye-related injuries happen here. Ninety percent of these injuries could have been prevented or reduced simply by wearing protective eyewear. You can never be too safe when it comes to preserving the health of your eyes and preventing injuries from occurring.
Always take caution while partaking in household activities and chores.
- In the House – When using household chemicals and bleach always read instructions and labels carefully. Be careful while pouring or spraying, because if these chemicals get into your eye it can cause anything from minor irritation to a chemical burn. If this does happen, flush the eye by putting your head under warm running water and rinse the eye out for 15 minutes. Always use these products in a well-ventilated area.
- In the Garden – Wearing protective eyewear while operating a lawnmower, power trimmer or any other type of machinery will prevent objects like grass, rocks and stones from getting into your eye. Also be sure to warn bystanders when using these machines so they are aware of the dangers and take protective measures, as well.
- In the Workshop – Keep your eyes safe by wearing safety goggles while working to prevent flying fragments, fumes, dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals from entering your eye.
Did you know that 3 million people in the United States have Glaucoma and half of those people don’t even know they have it?
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. The risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma increases if you, have a family history of the disease or are over 65.
There are several types of glaucoma, but they all have one thing in common; damaging the optical nerve in the back of the eye. Normally, fluid called aqueous humor flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel becomes blocked, fluids build up and cause pressure. The high pressure can “push” against the optic nerve and damage it. The peripheral vision is affected first, followed by a reduction in central vision and if not treated in early stages, blindness can occur. This disease gradually destroys your vision so you will hardly notice it is even occurring.
Because glaucoma sneaks up on its victims with no early symptoms or pain, visiting an eye doctor every one or two years is essential for your eye health. Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, blindness from glaucoma can be through early detection and appropriate treatment.
Eye drops, laser therapy and surgery are the conventional treatments and are required if peripheral vision continues to worsen. There are also other ways to aid in the management of this sight stealing disease:
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
- Maintain a healthy diet rich in carotenoids (especially lutein and zeaxanthin), antioxidants (such vitamins C and E), vitamins A and D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids which all contribute to better vision.
- Exercise 30 to 40 minutes daily
- Lower your insulin levels
- Quit smoking
- Take deep breaths, which will affect your blood pressure and heart rate positively.
- Loosen your tie! A tie that is on too tight compresses the jugular veins, raising interocular pressure and can eventually increase the risk for glaucoma in men.
- Be aware of the medicine you are taking! Prescription drugs for bladder control, seizures, or even certain over-the-counter cold remedies, can increase glaucoma risk.
- Protect your eyes from the sun and during sport activities.
Cataracts are a natural aging process of the eye. By the age of 65 about half of all Americans have developed some degree of a cataract. Most people believe a cataract is a film that grows on the surface of the eye, but in actuality it’s the clouding of the natural lens. Over time and with age, the lens becomes cloudy, causing images to look blurred or fuzzy. At the beginning phrases of a cataract development all that is needed to correct the blurred vision is a pair of glasses or a new prescription. If you experience clouded vision, fading or yellowing of colors, double vision in a single eye, difficulty seeing at night, halos around light or frequent changes in eyeglass prescription, a cataract may have developed in one or both or your eyes.
If the cataract causes bothersome vision problems and interferes with your daily routine, your ophthalmologist may recommend undergoing surgery to have it removed.
How Can Cataract Surgery Help You?
Today, modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most successful procedures. The surgery provides patients with both clarity and color of vision, increased independence, an improved quality of life and less dependence on corrective eyewear. Cataract surgery is permanent. In other words, it is impossible for a cataract to come back, because the lens of the eye, where the cataracts grows has been replaced with a new lens that will last a lifetime. During the surgery, the lens in your eye that has become cloudy is removed and replaced with an artificial lens or an IOL to restore clear vision. Your eye doctor will help you choose which IOL is the right fit for you.
What Types of Cataract Surgeries are Available?
Custom Laser Cataract Surgery with LenSx Procedure- The FDA has approved laser cataract surgery as both safe and effect. It works by using optical coherence tomography (OCT) with near infrared light, to produce a digital analysis and computer driven femtosecond laser application. All of the eye structures are displayed in (3D) digital representation continuously, which provides 3D mapping, enabling exact placement within the eye for precise laser application. Doctors can customize the procedure to your unique visual needs to result in better visual outcomes.
Refractive Cataract Surgery- An additional level of care that brings together the latest technology in eye surgeries to help obtain the best possible vision. Refractive cataract surgery can be customized specifically to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and the reflective aging changes that happen in your eye, all done with the precision of laser.
All eye surgeries are done on-campus in the Rand Surgical Pavilion, a state-of-the-art surgical facility approved by the State of Florida Health Care Administration.
As you age, so do your eyes. You might have trouble reading fine print or need brighter lights in your workspace. Some age-related eye changes are very common and do not signify any sort of disease. Other changes, although still common among senior citizens, can indicate a problem.
1. A cataract is a clouding of the lens, a transparent, layered structure that is found behind the iris. A cataract may begin to form as early as the age of 40 or 50 and can go unnoticed. By 60, the cataract may have advanced enough to cause lower vision. In most cases, people with cataracts can undergo surgical treatment to restore adequate vision.
2. Age-related-macular degeneration destroys the macula, which is a cluster of light-sensitive cells in the center of the retina. The macula is responsible for crisp vision and fine perception of detail. Over 15 million Americans have AMD and it is the leading cause for low vision in those over age 60. Early diagnosis and follow-up appointments with your doctor are essential for preserving vision in people with AMD.
3. Glaucoma is a group of diseases in which the optic nerve begins to damage due to excessive fluid pressure in the eyeball. In people with open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, fluid drainage fails to keep pace with the output. Then, pressure builds on the optic nerve as fluid levels continue to rise. This process occurs so gradually that it may only be noticeable once vision loss has occurred. In some cases, the optic nerve can become so damaged that it is unable to send complete signals to the brain. Those over 60 are at a greater risk for developing glaucoma. Treatment includes medication, laser therapy or surgery.
4. Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and contributes to the leading cause of blindness in elderly Americans. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels swell and leak fluid. In other cases, new vessels may grow on the surface of the retina. At first, the changes can go unnoticed, but over time diabetic retinopathy can worsen, causing vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
5. Presbyopia refers to the farsightedness that develops when the lens of the eye and its surrounding muscles lose their elasticity, causing the muscle fibers to become too rigid to contract or relax properly. As a result, they can no longer focus light well enough to produce clear and crisp vision images. This condition can easily be corrected with reading glasses, bi- or trifocals, contact lenses or surgery.
6. Ptosis describes the droopy, hooded eyelid characteristics that occur with aging. If the drooping becomes too extreme that it causes obscure vision, surgery can be considered.
Rand Eye Institute can assist you in delaying these problems and find the right solution for you.