Cataracts - June is Cataract Awareness Month!

June is Cataract Awareness Month!

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and it is the leading cause of blindness in the world.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens which causes your vision to become blurry when the cataract stops light from properly passing through to your retina. More than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old.

So how can you stop or slow down the progression of cataracts?

  1. Be examined yearly by your eye doctor.
  2. Quit smoking.
  3. Monitor your eating habits. A diet full of cold water fish, fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants is not only good for your body but also great for the health of your eyes.
  4. Protect your eyes from exposure to UV rays by wearing a quality pair of polarized sunglasses.

How do you know if you have a cataract?

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Double vision
  3. The feeling of a "film" over your eyes
  4. Lights feel too dim for reading
  5. It becomes more difficult to drive at night due to halos around headlights
  6. Blinding glare

The longer cataracts are left untreated, the more difficult it can be to successfully remove the cataracts and restore vision. Early detection and treatment of the cataracts is critical in preserving sight.

The good news is that cataracts are easily treated and the most commonly performed surgery in America. Our surgeons replace the cataract with a clear implant and our no-stitch technique means an extremely quick recovery. Generally no glasses are needed for distance vision after the surgery. Our doctors will evaluate and recommend the appropriate time to remove the cataract.  A cataract consultation and removal will completely transform your vision and improve the quality of your life.

So call our office today to schedule your eye exam. Spread the word to your family and friends about how important it is to have an annual eye exam.

Dry Eye-Get the 411 on it!

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye does not mean that your eyes stop producing tears.  What is means is that your eyes are not making the right quality or quantity of tears.  Dry Eye affects up to 34% of our population.  It affects women their thirties and older.  

How do I know I have Dry Eye?

Take our simple dry eye test?  If you answer yes to the following questions, you have dry eyes.  But don't worry help is on it's way.  Our Dry Eye Center of the Carolinas and our expertly trained eye doctor, Eric Schmidt lectures on dry eyes and trains other doctors on how to treat your eyes with non-invasive surgical procedures  to have the best success possible with eliminating your dry eyes.

Take the Dry Eye Test....

Are your eyes .....

  • Stingy
  • Irritated
  • Gritty
  • Occasionally blurry
  • Burning
  • Red
  • Feels like something is in them

If you have answered yes to any and all of the above, it is with all likelihood that you suffer from dry eye.  There are things you can do to help prevent the drying out of your eyes and that would be the following....get enough sleep, don't overwear your contact lenses, always wear sunglasses outside, take a break from the computers through out your day, use a humidifier and last avoid windy weather.

If you experience the above symptoms, please call our office to schedule a dry eye consult , relief is on it's way.  We are here to answer all your dry eye questions and concerns.

 

 

When Should Your Child Have An Eye Exam?

Childs year check list:  Physical, Dental exam, but no eye exam?

Did you know that only 31% of children ages 6-16 have had a comprehensive eye exam within the past year?

Even less under the age of 6 at 14%.

And studies show that 90% of kids that should be wearing glasses are not. Why such a discrepancy?

Experts believe that reliance on vision screenings by pediatricians or other primary care physicians could be a cause. These screenings alone may result in late detection of amblyopia and other vision disorders. This problem can translate to the classroom. Vision problems generally are not the direct cause of learning disorders; however, they can interfere with children’s abilities to perform to their potential.

 

The American Public Heath Association recommends eye exams at age 6 months, 2 years, 4 years and yearly after that.

What goes on during a comprehensive eye exam by a trained specialist? Your optometrist will evaluate the functional status of the eyes and visual system, taking into account each child’s level of development. They will also assess ocular health and related systemic health conditions. Once a diagnosis is established a treatment plan will be created.

March Madness-a great month for ball, make sure your athlete is game ready!

March Madness means basketball, baseball

March Madness-The month of balls galore-basketballs and baseballs.  Make sure your athlete is seeing the ball!

 

March is an amazing month for sports.  The NCAA tournament is in full force.  Major League Baseball begins Spring Training and all levels of school baseball begins their Spring Season.

 

The vision …is on the ball; whether it is a baseball or basketball you want to be seeing the ball.

 

To prepare for their season, most athletes incorporate a conditioning protocol that involves aerobic exercise and weight training but little thought goes into an examination of the eyes. 

 

Hidden vision problems can be holding your athlete back.

 

  Your athlete may see 20/20 but may not be seeing the ball.  The term 20/20 is a standard term for seeing contrasting black numbers/letters on a white background at a distance of 20 feet away.

The problem with the standard 20/20 in an examination room is that it doesn’t take in affect the subtle contrast of a ball in an arena or outdoor stadium with very little contrast to the sun.  It also does not take into account “functional vision”, such as focusing muscles of the eye and eye tracking.  An athlete with focusing issues and eye tracking issues can have depth perception problems.

 

Along with this, an athlete can be 20/20 and also have nearsightedness and/or farsightedness.  A player with farsightedness tends to hit the ball late and is not able to hit the ball dead on and loose his power to the bat.  An athlete that has slight nearsightedness, has eyes that tend to turn in and they get to close to the ball and tends to get ahead of the ball at the plate.  The ball seems closer than it actually is and he reacts to the ball to soon at the plate.  Even with 20/20 vision it can be difficult to correct your vision without proper eyeglasses to assist.

 

As a parent you buy your athlete the proper equipment to field the ball well and hit the ball well.  Your athletes body is a part of his equipment, you make sure he is in top physical shape, but do you make sure you are doing everything so your athlete can see the ball, have proper depth perception on the basket, proper depth perception in the field and at bat.  All the equipment in the world is not going to help if your athlete is not seeing the ball correctly.  Make it apart of your athletes conditioning to get an eye exam inclusive of focusing test and eye tracking test.

 

March is about seeing the ball-the basketball, the baseball, give your athlete the best chance, schedule your eye examination today.

And you thought you couldn't wear contacts, well think again....

Is a hybrid contact lens right for you?

 

Omni Eye Specialists is now fitting UltraHealth hybrid specialty contact lenses by Synergyes.  UltraHealth lenses have a rigid gas permeable center with a surrounding soft silicone skirt.  These lenses are designed to provide the crisp, clear vision of a hard lens with the all-day comfort of a soft lens.  This easy to handle specialty lens has high oxygen transmission, meaning it promotes healthy tear circulation and breathability to promote lasting comfort.  UltraHealth is also a UVA and UVB blocker, which is perfect for our specific proximity to the beach.

 

UltraHealth lenses are for almost everyone!  Anyone that has had difficulty with traditional soft and rigid lenses is a candidate.  These lenses are great for those patients that have astigmatism, corneal irregularities from disease or post refractive surgery, and those just in search of superior optics.

 

If you want better comfort and clearer vision consider UltraHealth hybrid contact lenses!

It's Dry Eye Season

As we turn the calendar to February we hit the deepest part of our winter – and the height of dry eye season. Our skin and our eyes are subjected to the heat running in our houses and offices and dry, cold , windy air when we go outside. These factors all contribute to drying of our ocular surface and irritated eyes.

 

Just like you can use lotion for your dry skin, there are drops available to help the symptoms of dry eye. There are a great variety of eye drops available both over the counter and as a prescription for the treatment of dry eyes. But BE CAREFUL, as many of the OTC drops have preservatives and other unwanted ingredients that actually can make the symptoms of dry eye worse.

 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye (itching, burning, tearing or gritty sensation and red eyes) please let one of our doctors address this with you so we can design the correct treatment for your particular case. We can design the treatment best suited for you to get rid of those annoying symptoms. Call us today at 9110-793-2010 to get started.
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Sports Vision Awareness Month

Do you or anyone in your family or any of your friends play sports?  If so, you really need to read on......

Over 100,000 people are injured yearly by sports- related eye injuries.  About 14,000 of these injuries result in permanent eye loss.  All of this can be avoided by simply wearing sports eye wear.  Eye protection is the key to saving your sight.

Whether you play soccer, lacrosse, baseball , basketball or football, protect your eyes!  Regular eye glasses do not do the trick.  You should invest in a quality pair of sports goggles with a supportive lens that is made out of polycarbonate.  This lens is a very tough lens that will withstand high impact blows and it also offers a thinner material, so your clarity and sight lines will be great with the sport in which you play.

Stop by and see Cindy Cirrillo and invest in a quality lens to improve your game, and make you a winner all around in your sport and sight.

March is declared ......Workplace Eye Wellness

Everyday at work and school we are exposed to technology that can wreak havoc on our eyes.   Computers,  small digital devices and power tools all wreak havoc on our eyes and long term exposure can cause damaging, irreversible effects.  

What can we do to protect our sight?

1.  Have your eye doctor prescribe a second pair of lenses for computer use only.  These lenses will reduce eye fatigue and eye strain, allowing the eye to not over work .  Long term eye fatigue can decrease your vision.

2.  All lenses should have blue light protection on the lens themselves.  We have all heard about UV rays but what about blue light?  This is the light spectrum that occurs at 400 nano degrees of the light spectrum.  It is also emitted from computers and small digital devices such as phones, gaming devices, iPads, etc. This light is extremely damaging to your Retina.  Exposure to this light has been directly linked to Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.  Ask for blue light protection and protect your children and your self.

3.  Polarized lenses- everyone should own a good quality pair.  Polarized lenses are the only lenses that will protect against surface glare, which is extremely damaging to the eye.

4.  Goggles-  prescription or non-prescription goggles with polycarbonate lenses will guard against debris and chemical spills to the eye.

Whether it is the work place , home or the outdoors, protect your eyes against the harsh damaging rays of the sun, of small digital devices, and/or power tools. .  The gift of vision is irreplaceable.  It is worth the investment of this new technology to protect your eyes everyday.

It's World Glaucoma Week!

This week is set aside to highlight awareness of glaucoma throughout the world. Glaucoma is a rather common disease and in fact is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Fortunately for those of us who live in the US, glaucoma is a very treatable disease. The key to controlling glaucoma is through early diagnosis. Glaucoma is highlighted generally by high intraocular pressure (IOP) that causes damage to the optic nerve (which is the main nerve that we see with). The optic nerve shows very certain characteristics when affected by high IOP and glaucoma. The diagnosis is often difficult and entails multiple detailed looks at the optic nerve and multiple special tests that can be performed right here in our office. With early detection, patients who are diagnosed with glaucoma should not go blind. We are very fortunate to have excellent eyedrop medications to lower IOP. And although some people have to use more than 1 drop, usually the drops control the disease. We also have the ability to use lasers or surgery to lower a person’s IOP and to help keep them seeing 20/20!

Glaucoma is a very real and serious condition but with the help of Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Sutton, it should be very treatable. Call us to set up an appointment to make sure that you are not one of the more than 12 million Americans with this disease

February is Age Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February; commonly known as the heart month.  Love is in the air with the celebration of Valentines Day, but did you know it is also Age Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month!

 

Educate the one you love on a disease that is the number one cause of blindness in people over the age of 50!  Age Related Macular Degeneration aka ARMD affects your central vision, making everyday tasks extremely difficult.

What are the symptoms?

 

    You notice a blurred / blind spot in the center of your field of vision

    You require more light when reading

    You find it difficult to adapt to low lit areas

    Printed words become slightly blurry

    Colors do not seem as bright

    Sometimes you have difficulty recognizing faces

    Your overall vision is becoming hazy

 

If you notice changes to your vision in the following areas you should speak with your eye doctor, particularly if you are older than 50.  Call your eye doctor or call Dr. Schmidt or Dr. Sutton at our offices for a thorough examination.

Now that you know the symptoms, share with a loved one!

What to do if your child suffers from an eye injury!

 

December is a wonderful month full of joy, family time and toys galore!  With all the excitement in the air, it is more important than ever, to be vigilant with toys around the eyes.  If your child should suffer an eye injury, please follow our doctors recommendations on what to do.  And of course call your eye doctor or us immediately to schedule an appointment to have your child's eye examined.

Cut to the Eye/Eye Puncture

•Avoid rubbing the eye or surrounding skin.

•Protect the eye by covering the eye with a rigid, circular object - cutting out the bottom of a paper cup will work.

•Avoid applying pressure on the eye while holding up the protective covering.

•Affix the protective covering over the eye using a piece of tape.

•Seek medical attention from an optometrist right away or go to the emergency room. 

Eye Trauma

•Apply a cold compress or ice pack against the eye without pressure.

•Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling.

•Seek medical attention from an optometrist or go to the emergency room if you experience pain, decreased vision, or light sensitivity.

Happy Holidays !

 

December is ...Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Each year more than 250,000 children are treated at hospitals for toy-related injuries. Most of these injuries affect children under the age of 15.   More than half of these toy  injuries happen to  the face.  December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month, Friends for Sight encourages parents to be aware of the toys, and the potential dangers of toys given to their children.

With so many toys being delivered on Christmas day, along with the excitement of the Holiday, it is in your best interest to be ever vigilant with your child and their toys.  Be aware of what your child is placing in their hands, choose toys that are age appropriate and ability appropriate.  Until your child is used to the toy, supervise the use of the toy, so to prevent an eye injury. 

Stay vigilant, but proactive and continue reading our blog section to see the steps you should take, if your child should encounter an eye injury this holiday season.  Stay tuned and Happy Holidays from our staff to your safe household!

 

 

Sleep Apnea...Who knew it causes Eye Issues!

Is Sleep Apnea A Risk Factor For GLAUCOMA? –

Sleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by multiple, brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. This can be lead to some functional impairments while the patient is awake.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a more severe type of sleep apnea that is characterized by brief interruptions of breathing.

OSA increases the risk for heart disease and can also cause hypertension and worsening diabetes. OSA has also been associated with daytime sleepiness, which can lead to automobile accidents.

 

Sleep apnea causes poor blood flow to many organs in the body, including the eye. For years doctors have been concerned that patients who suffer with sleep apnea may develop eye issues, mainly glaucoma or cataracts. A new study shows that this is indeed the case.

This recent study, published in the EYE journal, showed that over 26% of patients with severe sleep apnea developed glaucoma. That is more than triple the normal rate of developing the disease. It further showed that patients with sleep apnea severe enough to require a CPAP or breathing machine at night had an even higher risk for developing glaucoma.

So if you, or someone you know, suffer from sleep apnea it is important to get the eyes examined. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of glaucoma can prevent vision loss. The doctors here at Omni Eye Specialists are specially trained to diagnose and treat this potentially blinding condition.