See The New Year Crystal Clear!
Happy New Year! We hope you SEE happy times ahead in 2017 and we have some vision advice to help make that happen.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is called “The Sneak Thief of Sight” because it occurs so gradually that you may not even be aware that you’re developing vision loss due to glaucoma.
Glaucoma occurs when pressure in the eye becomes higher than normal resulting in increased pressure on the optic nerve, pinching the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve.
While many people schedule a baseline screening every year or so, the BEST way to prevent glaucoma is with a comprehensive dilated eye exam. In a comprehensive eye exam, your eye pressure will be tested as well as the front part of your eye, retina and optic nerve.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Early testing and prevention are extremely important, especially since there is no known cure. There are three procedures that can help to stop or regulate glaucoma in its tracks. If diagnosed, your doctor can explain these options thoroughly and choose which is best suited for your condition:
- Prescription eye drops
- Laser surgery
- Filtration surgery
You don’t have to be elderly to be at risk from glaucoma, everyone from babies to senior citizens can be at risk, in fact, 1 out of every 10,000 babies born in the U.S. are born with glaucoma.
Here’s the key: When glaucoma is diagnosed early and treated adequately, it rarely ends in blindness. That’s why it’s so important to have regular eye exams. Click here to schedule an appointment at Rand Eye Institute.
Whether you’re saying “Au Revoir” to 2016 or getting ready to welcome in 2017, we want to make sure you remember “safety first” when planning to be around fireworks this New Year’s Eve.
Practice fireworks eye-safety during your celebration: Keeping it safe and fun for the entire family.
- First and foremost, do not use illegal explosives, professional fireworks, or any fireworks that you did not obtain from a licensed retailer in your city. Unlicensed fireworks can be dangerous to you and your eyes, which may lead to eye trauma and blindness.
- Make sure the area where you will be lighting fireworks has a safe perimeter between you and the spectators, that it’s free of overhead obstructions and away from dry grass or flammable materials, including automobiles. Look out for flaming embers flying through the air that could land in your eyes.
- When igniting approved fireworks, always wear safety gloves and protective eyewear and never allow children to assist in engaging fireworks. You can easily obtain small, non-igniting battery-operated lit toys that the kids will enjoy.
- If you’re attending a professional fireworks display, like the ones hosted by your local city or town, remember, THEY’RE THE EXPERTS. Don’t bring your own fireworks, which in fact is usually against park rules.
The National Council on Fireworks has more tips here to help you safely ring in the New Year.
Have a safe celebration and a happy & healthy New Year from the Rand Eye family.
Watch this inspirational story about Bella a rescued dog at Rand Eye Institute.
Bella and Rocco were found wandering on Rand Eye Institute’s parking lot, with broken chains and old collars.
Instead of taking the dogs to a shelter, Rand Eye Institute received them with open arms.
Rand Eye Institute sponsored their stay at Clint Moore animal hospital and pet resort, until they would be adopted.
Santa’s busy in his workshop, so while he and the Elves are getting ready for Christmas deliveries, we “present” a list that YOU might want to check twice before heading out to complete your side of the shopping, because December is:
Safe Toys and Celebration Month
The public safety non-profit, which has been keeping an eye out for our kids since 1973, is W.A.T.C.H., which stands for “World Against Toys Causing Harm”. They’ve done the legwork for parents all over the country with their list of the “10 Most Dangerous Toys of 2016”, designed to help moms, dads and Santa pick out the perfect and safest gifts this holiday. Please take a moment to look it over. You might even want to share this link with friends and family, to ensure that their gift giving choices for your kids are in line with toy safety. Check out the list here.
Luckily the “bad” list is small and we can browse through a very long “good” list on Good Housekeeping’s website “Good” toys for 2016. Their experts vetted 500-plus new toys for safety, quality and skill-building and compiled their list of Toy Award Winners, they then asked the toughest critics of all- kids – to name the “bestest” of them all. Click here to start making your list.
Have a SAFE and Happy Holiday Season.
‘Tis the season when gift giving is (almost) as much fun as receiving, and because it’s Safe Toys and Celebration Month, let’s do our best to make sure that the gifts our children SEE on Christmas and Hanukkah are safe and fun for them all year long.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 252,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2014, and almost half of those affected the head or face. The commission reports that 1 in 10 of those children’s eye injuries treated in the ER trace back to toys. Some propelling toys like paintball guns and darts have the potential to cause serious eye injuries and even permanent vision loss.
When choosing a toy for a child consider these Top Toy Safety Tips:
- Avoid toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts that could end up in their eyes.
- Make sure children are supervised by an adult when playing with toys or games that could cause an injury, especially to the eyes.
- Always provide children with the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses if recommended by the manufacturer of the toy or sporting equipment. Click here to learn which protective eyewear is recommended for your child’s sport.
- Keep toys made for older children away from younger children, who may accidentally hurt themselves, or suffer an injury to their eyes or face.
If your child does experience an eye injury during playtime, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist or medical eye doctor.
Have a safe and happy Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year.
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month, a good time to update your Rand EYE-Q.
If you have diabetes, you should know that it can affect the retina, when that occurs the result is Diabetic Retinopathy, the number one cause of blindness in the world. Even patients with well-controlled diabetes can develop diabetic changes in their retina over the years.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:
- Transient blurred vision, often linked to blood sugar level fluctuation
- Floaters and flashes of light
- Gradual or sudden loss of vision or blind spots in the vision
Over time, diabetes can affect the circulatory system of the retina. In this phase, the arteries in the retina become weakened and leak, forming small dot-like hemorrhages. If the disease progresses, leaking vessels can lead to swelling (edema) in the retina and decreased vision.
There is treatment depending upon the stage of the disease and the specific problem that requires attention. Prevention comes about when those with diabetes are able to maintain “normal” blood sugar levels more often. Diet and exercise play important roles in the overall health of those with diabetes.
Diabetics should continue this discussion with their ophthalmologist. Schedule regular eye examinations and learn their options. More than 26 million children and adults in the U.S. alone are affected by diabetes but it doesn’t have to be vision changing. Follow some simple suggestions:
Stay on T.R.A.C.K. with your diabetes by:
- Taking your medications.
- Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Adding physical activity to your daily routine.
- Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Kicking the smoking habit.
Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Rand Eye Institute to stay ahead of vision problems.
As we celebrate with friends and family this Thanksgiving, whether near or far, we wish to give thanks for being part of our Rand Family of patients and ophthalmic community. We thank you for the privilege of serving you this year and look forward to seeing you again soon.
From the Rand Eye family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s Diabetic Eye Disease Month and Rand Eye is LOOKING out for you. DYK that diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the United States and the most common cause of blindness in people younger than age 65?
It doesn’t have to be that way if you know your Rand EYE-Q. There is a test commonly known as “A Report Card for Diabetes Control” called The Hemoglobin A1C Test, an important test that measures your blood sugar intake levels providing your true average.
The Hemoglobin A1C Test can tell you just how well you’re controlling your diabetes. By keeping your diabetes under tight control, you can significantly reduce the risk of losing your vision to diabetic eye disease. Think of the hemoglobin A1C test as if it were averaging all of your blood sugar readings from the previous three months. You should have the test three to four times a year so that you can monitor and modify your diabetes management plan.
Your Hemoglobin A1C Test reading should be 7.0 or less. Hemoglobin A1C readings above 8.0 are not as good. When the readings are 9.0-12.0 or above, the risk and severity of diabetic complications increases proportionately.
Don’t become a statistic. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 86-million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes and 9 out of 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Without working to prevent it, 15-30% of will develop type-2 diabetes within a year, which could lead to permanent vision loss. Diabetes can also increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, so do your best to feel your best. In our next blog, we’ll share the facts on diabetic retinopathy. #RandEYE-Q #diabetes #diabetesawarenessmonth
November is designated as Diabetic Eye Disease Month and if you have diabetes or are newly diagnosed; know that you’re at risk of vision loss. What is the cause and who is most at-risk? Let’s take a look at these important facts and outline ways for you to keep from becoming a statistic.
Diabetes Could Lead to Vision Loss
Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body. Unfortunately, diabetic damage in the eye, also known as diabetic retinopathy, leads to vision loss when these blood vessels leak fluid or bleed. There is laser treatment that can help control the swelling or growth of abnormal blood vessels, and another treatment that involves injections either in or around the eye. It is recommended that you see your eye care specialist to help you decide which treatment is right for you.
Who is most at risk?
African Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Hispanic/Latinos and older adults with diabetes are at an especially higher risk of developing diabetic eye disease.
How will EYE know?
Be proactive when it comes to your vision by scheduling a comprehensive dilated eye exam, performed by an ophthalmologist at least once or year. Early detection and timely treatment are extremely important in preventing vision loss to those highly at risk. Diet and exercise also play an important role in the overall health of those with diabetes.
Beat Diabetes by Doing This
If you are diabetic, be sure to monitor and control your blood sugar, it’s the most effective way to avoid damage and loss of vision as well as damage to the rest of your body. A hemoglobin A1C test will assist you and your physician in keeping a report card on your blood sugar control. Read more about this in our next blog.
Nothing says, “Welcome to Fall” like the orange glow of a pumpkin patch. Time to pick out a healthy, robust pumpkin for your Fall Halloween decorations, and carve out some fun by adding your own decorative design to his mesmerizing mug.
Have fun with your pumpkin this Halloween, but please observe these Halloween Safety Tips first before carving ol’ Jack, courtesy of Rand Eye Institute and The American Academy of Pediatrics.
While carving the pumpkin is a fun family activity that has so many layers, (design, baking pumpkin seeds, carving and construction), remember, small children should never carve pumpkins, let the adults do that. Children can draw his face with markers, or using a paper template, have them suggest where to poke the holes through the paper, so an adult can do the carving.
Consider using a flashlight or glow stick, instead of a real candle to light the inside of the pumpkin. Try using a small battery-operated LED candle, they’re inexpensive, reusable, come in a variety of colors and they flicker just like real candles. A candle left unattended is not only dangerous, but the heat from the candle melts the pumpkin prematurely, no one likes a floppy pumpkin.
So in the 35-year tradition of Rand Eye Vision safety-first tips, use your Rand EYE-Q this Halloween to keep your little ghosts, ghouls and goblins safe!