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Cataract Awareness Month

examining-eye

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens that filters light in your eye. Cataracts can interfere with your vision and can slowly develop over time or can enlarge quite suddenly. Cataracts are often diagnosed on routine eye exams, but sudden changes in vision should be reported to an eye doctor.

Symptoms of a Cataract

Signs and symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the size of the cataract and how far advanced at is. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems with glares
  • Frequent eyeglass and contact lens prescription changes
  • Clouding of the middle part of the eye
  • Halo effect when looking at lights
  • Double vision in only one eye
  • Needing increased light to do activities such as reading, sewing, or puzzles

A cataract may start as a small spot of blurry vision in your eye and get noticeably worse as time goes on. Regular check-ups with your doctor will help to track the development of the cataract and come up with a proper treatment plan.

What Causes Cataracts?

While cataracts typically develop as you age, there are other issues that can lead to cataracts. Injuries to your eye or surgical procedures can damage the lens of your eye leading to cataracts later in life. Genetics and long-term medical conditions such as diabetes also increase your risk of developing cataracts.

Types of Cataracts

There are four different types of cataracts that you may be diagnosed with. These usually differ by how they develop as well as their location.

  •      Nuclear Cataracts

A nuclear cataract usually begins with a disturbance in your near-sighted vision. As the cataract develops, it will become yellow and more cloudy before becoming brown and will eventually cause a disturbance in both close and far vision.

  • Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts will begin as white streaks throughout the lens that will eventually spread to the middle, causing more vision disturbance as more light is blocked.

  • Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

This type of cataract typically starts a small opaque area towards the back part of the lens that sits directly in the pathway of the light trying to come through. Posterior subcapsular cataracts will often spread quicker than most and tend to affect reading vision and vision in bright lights. It often creates halos and glare issues.

  • Congenital Cataracts

Congenital cataracts are ones that a child is born with or they develop sometime during their childhood. This can often be the result of genetics, infection in the uterus, trauma, or medical conditions such as rubella or myotonic dystrophy.

Cataract Surgery

If your cataracts begin to interfere with your ability to read, drive, or perform routine daily activities, cataract surgery may be the best option for you. During the cataract surgery, the doctor will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a new clear lens that will significantly improve your vision.

Cataract surgery is very safe and is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits or surgery with you if it is the recommended course of action.

While cataracts can cause significant problems with everyday life, they are most often treatable with surgery. If you have any vision disturbance or think that you may have a cataract, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

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Proper Care of Contact Lenses

Healthcare And Medicine. Eye Hygiene Care.

Image is from 1800contacts.com

Contact lenses can be incredibly convenient if you are someone who needs corrective lenses but hates having to worry about having glasses or sunglasses on hand. You simply put the contacts into your eyes at the beginning of the day and you can remove them whenever you wish; often at the end of the day before you head to bed. Millions of people use contacts as a way to improve their vision but there are some risks involved with wearing contacts whether it be once in awhile for a special event or every single day. Infection is just one problem that you can develop.


Causes of Contact Lens Issues

There are a number of reasons people will develop an infection or have problems with their contacts. It can be as simple as not washing your hands properly before touching your lenses or you may be using the wrong type of lens. Many people use extended wear lenses that can be left in the eye for days at a time (you do not need to remove them at the end of the day each day). The eye can become quite damaged this way and not a lot of doctors recommend this type of product. Some people have dry eye issues and when you place a contact on the surface of the eye, you can damage the eye. It can take time and diligence to correct this problem.


How To Prevent A Problem

When you obtain contact lenses for the first time it is likely that you eye care professional will spend some time with you, educating you on how to properly care for not only your lenses but also your eyes. You will learn how to properly clean your lenses using a rub and rinse process and you will learn about cleaning the lens case that you will be using. Properly inspecting your lens before placing it into your eye each day can prevent a corneal scratch or infection. Some other tips include:

-Washing your hands anytime you need to remove your lens or put them back in.
-Dry your hand on a lint free towel. You don’t want to introduce fabric fibers to your eyes or your lenses.
-Try not to come into direct contact with water while wearing your lenses. Plain water can dry out contact lenses, which is why you need to use specially formulated contact solution.
-Saline solution should never be used to clean your lenses. Storage in saline is fine, but there are special formulations for different uses.
-Clean your lens case each time you remove your lenses and leave it open to air dry for the duration of the day while you are wearing your lenses.
-Do not reuse solution in your contact lens case. Dump the used solution each day and refill it when you are going to be taking out your lenses.
-If you haven’t used your lenses in a number of days, you may want to clean them an additional time before using them.

Keep in mind, there are different types of lenses and each variation has its own method of being taken care of. Some lenses are designed to be worn once and then thrown away while others are long term lenses that are not thrown away unless they are damaged or defective. Follow your eye care professional’s advice and take care of your lenses how you were told to do so. If you have any questions or your contact lenses are no longer feeling comfortable like they normally do, seek attention from a doctor before continuing to wear your lenses.

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Importance of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

 

Image result for children’s eye health and safety month 2017

Image is from Specialty Eye Institute

Not many people are aware it exists, but August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. This is an important month because nationally, information is promoted that explains just how important it is to pay attention to a child’s eye health. Most people just wait for their child to come home from school with a note from their teacher explaining their child failed the school’s eye test and needs to obtain glasses. When really, there are a number of different conditions that can occur to the eye as a child develops and it is important to make sure regular checkups are scheduled either with an eye doctor or a pediatrician to ensure optimal eye health is being achieved.

Proper Vision


Not being able to see the chalkboard or smart board in school can make for a challenging school year, but more importantly, vision should be checked to rule out other issues that could be going on. For example, many developmental delays and learning disabilities can be due to vision disturbances rather than brain development. A simple pair of glasses can sometimes be the fix that is needed and this is much simpler than needing additional tutoring or separate class instruction. There are some signs that parents can watch out for that indicate vision issues may be present and this includes:


-The child squints when trying to focus on something far away like the television or the road ahead while in the car.
-The child squints when trying to read a book or something that is close to them.
-The eyes seem very bloodshot or irritated after the course of a normal day.
-Eyes may appear watery.
-Headaches are very common amongst children who are having trouble seeing. –They can occur from squinting or simply from trying to focus on something that is giving them problems.
-One or both eyes may appear crossed.

Eye Safety


In addition to making sure your child’s eyes are healthy and strong, making sure the eyes themselves are safe is also very important. When a child is playing sports or doing certain activities, protective eyewear can be beneficial to protect the eyes from harm. Physical injury to this very sensitive part of the body can be very hard to correct and can often lead to lifelong problems with one or both eyes. Eye surgery is not something you want your child to have to undergo. Physical injury to the eyes can occur not just during sports of activity but even during play at home. A small child can greatly damage the eye by tripping or falling while improperly holding an object as they move along. This is especially true with small toddlers who are just learning to navigate their way around and like to toddle around with their toys. While accidents happen, you want to prevent these situations from occurring as best as you can.


Eighty percent of education occurs by way of sight. With the new school year rapidly approaching, now is the time to ensure that your child’s eyes and healthy, safe and ready to be used for reading, learning and absorbing information. Don’t forget that once school starts, illnesses are usually on the rise and conditions such as pink eye are often running rampant. You want to make sure your child knows the importance of washing their hands and not touching their eyes. If you suspect there is an eye problem of any sort, you will want to make an appointment to have your child’s eyes examined. Infection can be present as well as refractive errors, astigmatism, strabismus and even color blindness.

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What to know about Contact Lens

Frisco-Texas-eye-contacts

Millions of people have trouble with their vision. Some cannot see far away and some cannot see close up. Many of these people don’t like the idea of wearing eyeglasses to correct their vision, therefore, they choose to wear contact lenses. If you are considering getting contacts, there are a few things that you should know.

You Still Need Your Glasses

Just because you are going to be getting contact lenses, it doesn’t mean that you can get rid of your glasses. When you take your contacts out, you will need to have your glasses. If you develop an eye infection, you won’t be able to wear your contact lenses, therefore, you will need to have your glasses for backup. When you visit your eye doctor each year, you should bring your glasses to have the prescription checked.

You Need To Be Fit For Contacts

Contact lenses come in a variety of sizes, based on the size of your eye. Many people believe that they can just use their eyeglass prescription to order contacts, however, that is not the case. Your eye doctor would take measurements to determine which size contacts would best fit on your eyes.

There Are Different Types Of Contact Lenses To Choose From

Most people know that there are different brands of contacts, but what you may not know is that there are a few different types of contacts to choose from as well.

  • Daily Lenses: Daily contact lenses are worn for just one day and then they would be thrown away and replaced with a fresh pair.
  • Bi-Weekly: Bi-weekly lenses would be thrown away every two weeks and replaced with a new pair.
  • Monthly: Monthly lenses are one of the most common types. They can be worn for a month straight before you need to replace them with a new pair.
  • Yearly Lenses: Years ago, yearly lenses were the only lenses that were available. Today, they are not very popular because they are expensive. If the lens gets torn, it would cost you a lot of money to replace the torn lens.
  • Colored Lenses: If you want to change the color of your eyes, you can get colored lenses. Colored lenses come in daily, bi-weekly, monthly, and yearly lenses. You can also get colored lenses without a prescription if you don’t need any vision correction.

A Contact Lens Check Every Six Months Is Recommended

Because your contact lenses fit right over your eye, most eye doctors suggest that you go in for a check every six months. During this check, the doctor would check the prescription, the size, the health of your eyes, and answer any questions that you might have regarding your contact lenses.

You Need a New Prescription Every Year

Some people order their contacts through their eye doctor and some order them online. However you choose to order, you should understand that you need a new prescription each year to get new contacts, even if your vision has not changed. This is a policy of almost all contact lens distributors.

Cleaning Your Lenses

Each night, you need to take out your lenses and soak them in contact lens solution, unless you are wearing long wearing contacts. This is important to get any debris off of the lens that can be harmful to your eyes. Before you put your lenses in each day, you should wipe them clean with your finger and contact lens solution.

There is more to know about wearing contact lenses than most people think. To keep your eyes healthy, you should understand the care involved when wearing them.

 

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Understanding Cataract

examining-eye

Image is from Medical News Today

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens that filters light in your eye. Cataracts can interfere with your vision and can slowly develop over time or can enlarge quite suddenly. Cataracts are often diagnosed on routine eye exams, but sudden changes in vision should be reported to an eye doctor.

Symptoms of a Cataract

Signs and symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the size of the cataract and how far advanced at is. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems with glares
  • Frequent eyeglass and contact lens prescription changes
  • Clouding of the middle part of the eye
  • Halo effect when looking at lights
  • Double vision in only one eye
  • Needing increased light to do activities such as reading, sewing, or puzzles

A cataract may start as a small spot of blurry vision in your eye and get noticeably worse as time goes on. Regular check-ups with your doctor will help to track the development of the cataract and come up with a proper treatment plan.

What Causes Cataracts?

While cataracts typically develop as you age, there are other issues that can lead to cataracts. Injuries to your eye or surgical procedures can damage the lens of your eye leading to cataracts later in life. Genetics and long-term medical conditions such as diabetes also increase your risk of developing cataracts.

Types of Cataracts

There are four different types of cataracts that you may be diagnosed with. These usually differ by how they develop as well as their location.

Nuclear Cataracts

A nuclear cataract usually begins with a disturbance in your near-sighted vision. As the cataract develops, it will become yellow and more cloudy before becoming brown and will eventually cause a disturbance in both close and far vision.

Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts will begin as white streaks throughout the lens that will eventually spread to the middle, causing more vision disturbance as more light is blocked.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

This type of cataract typically starts a small opaque area towards the back part of the lens that sits directly in the pathway of the light trying to come through. Posterior subcapsular cataracts will often spread quicker than most and tend to affect reading vision and vision in bright lights. It often creates halos and glare issues.

Congenital Cataracts

Congenital cataracts are ones that a child is born with or they develop sometime during their childhood. This can often be the result of genetics, infection in the uterus, trauma, or medical conditions such as rubella or myotonic dystrophy.

Cataract Surgery

If your cataracts begin to interfere with your ability to read, drive, or perform routine daily activities, cataract surgery may be the best option for you. During the cataract surgery, the doctor will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a new clear lens that will significantly improve your vision.

Cataract surgery is very safe and is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits or surgery with you if it is the recommended course of action.

While cataracts can cause significant problems with everyday life, they are most often treatable with surgery. If you have any vision disturbance or think that you may have a cataract, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

 

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How Important are Your Eyes?

Image is from Think About Your Eyes

Although we at times take it for granted, seeing is undoubtedly one of the most important functions of the human body. The role played by your eyes cannot be underestimated at all since the eyes are helpful in almost all the aspects of your life. In many cases, the eyes have been referred to as the camera of the body. They have been likened to a camera for reasons such as:

  • Both devices perceive images
  • After gathering light, they both focus and transmit it through the lens
  • Both help in creation of images of the surrounding environment

Taking care of your eyes begins with knowing how important they are and the specific functions they have. Below is an outline of the importance of your eyes.

  • Color and Image Perception

As a sense organ, the eyes help in distinguishing different images and colors. The eye’s retina is a part that contains millions of light-sensing neurons called cones and rods. They are responsible for the perception of color details after which they convert the light into electrical impulses. The converted impulses are then sent to the brain for interpretation. The eyes give the vision needed for activities such as driving, reading and making decisions when you are required to choose from various things.

  • Production of Tears

Many people think that tears are only useful when they need to express their emotions like when they are happy or sad. Tears, however, have many other functions such as nourishment of the eyes, vision maintenance, washing away debris and lubrication. Your eyes have a tear system that involves three parts: the glands that form tears, the openings through which tears flow from the eyes and ducts that drain tears into the nose. The eyes are therefore very essential to the production of tears.

  • Keeping us safe

Sight is essential for safety and self-preservation. Life is full of dangerous obstacles, and the eyes help us avoid them. It would be very dangerous to walk around or do different things without the eyes. They are therefore very instrumental in ensuring your safety and provide awareness of any danger within our environment.

  • Connecting with the surrounding

You would never get to connect with the many things that happen in the immediate surroundings. Even if you hear about them, it would not be as good as it would be if you witnessed them occurring. Your eyes give you the ability to perceive movements as well as assess the intentions for different forms of motion. Eyes help in bringing out the beauty of the world around us. Most of our preferences depend on what we see. We like the things which are more appealing to our eyes.

  • Sensing

Other than perceiving images, your eyes help in sensing. There are times when one of your senses could be missing. When you have a cold, for instance, you tend to lose the sense of taste and smell. It, therefore, becomes very different to detect rotten foodstuffs which upon consuming would cause digestion problems. In such a scenario, the eyes take over this work. The only way to distinguish what is edible from the inedible would be by carefully scrutinizing the foodstuffs to identify traces of molds or any other indication of food spoilage.

Due to this, it is important to take care of your eyes. The best way of looking after your eyes is by visiting an optician regularly to get checked. Through this it will be easy to detect any issues and correct them before it is too late, maintaining your quality of life.

 

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