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Pink, Stinging Eyes?

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.

 

Welcome to our New Website

We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.

Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.

Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!

Are you at an increased risk for macular degeneration?

A patient called in to an IALVS doctor’s office concerned their mother lost vision from Macular Degeneration before she died and now that the patient was age 65, she was concerned she may get it.

There is an increased risk if a parent or sibling has the disease by three to four times. But the good news is there are things you can do to protect your eyesight, and a number of treatments that are available if you do happen to get it. Here’s what you should know.

What is AMD?

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 50, affecting about 10 million Americans.

AMD is a progressive eye disease that damages the macula, the part of the eye that allows us to see objects clearly, causing vision loss in the center of your vision. This affects the ability to read, drive, watch television and do routine daily tasks, but it does not cause total blindness.

There are two types of AMD — wet and dry.

Dry AMD, which affects about 90 percent of all people that have it, progresses slowly and painlessly over a period of years. Wet AMD is much more aggressive and can cause severe vision loss in a matter of weeks or months.

Factors that can increase your risk of getting AMD include age (60 and older); smoking; excessive exposure to sunlight especially if you have light-colored eyes; certain genetic components; a family history of AMD; high blood pressure; obesity; and being Caucasian.

For anyone over the age of 60, it’s a smart idea to get your eyes examined by an every year – especially if you are at a higher risk, or are showing symptoms of vision loss. Early signs may include shadowy areas in your central vision or unusually fuzzy or distorted vision. If you are experiencing any early signs, it is a good idea to have a specific low vision exam performed by an IALVS trained optometrist.

Preventing AMD

While there’s currently no cure for AMD, there are some things you can do if you’re high risk.

One option is to talk to your IALVS doctor about taking a daily dose of low vision vitamins and minerals known as AREDS — vitamins C and E, plus copper, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc. Studies by the National Eye Institute have shown that AREDS can reduce the risk by about 25 percent that dry AMD will progress.

Other lifestyle adjustments that may help prevent or delay AMD include eating antioxidant-rich foods such as dark green, leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish for their omega-3 fatty acids; protecting your eyes from the sun by wearing UV protective sunglasses; controlling high blood pressure; exercising regularly; and if you smoke, quit.

Helping with Vision Loss

People who have vision loss commonly experience depression, anxiety, and confusion. The consequences of vision loss however, often extend beyond the person who has low vision. The family members, friends, and caregivers of people experiencing vision loss also are affected.

When a loved one becomes visually impaired, you are likely to feel overwhelmed. You also may experience a range of feelings, from sadness to guilt, and there are many day-to-day adjustments to make. You may find yourself putting aside your feelings and needs to focus on helping your loved one cope. Yet, in many cases, you may feel alone and at a loss about what to do or how to help.

You and your loved one are not alone. You may have been told “nothing more can be done,” but that simply is not true. Something can always be done.

Many people with low vision already have an eye doctor who is treating them for an eye disease such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa or other genetic diseases. However, if your eye doctor doesn’t specialize in low vision, he or she may have only a limited knowledge of the many choices that exist in low vision aids and treatment options.

The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists consists of intensively trained Low Vision Optometrists that have extensive experience in providing customized low vision devices and low vision prescription glasses enabling patients to achieve maximum functional vision and independence.

Take the first step to a Better Life with Low Vision and call an IALVS low vision optometrist today. 888 778 2030.

Lower Risk of Macular Degeneration

You may want salmon, mackerel, herring or tuna on your menu at least once a week if you want to reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers at Brigham and Women” s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed up on 38,022 women during the 10 years after data had been collected on them for the Women’s Health Study.

After adjustments for factors including age, they found that women who consumed the most DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish) had a 38 percent lower risk of developing AMD than those who consumed the lowest amount of DHA. They found similar results for EPA, another omega-3 fatty acid, as well as for consumption of both acids together.

Low Vision Optometrists who are members of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists are trained to assist those with vision loss in a variety of ways including nutritional counseling. They agree with the study, having one or more servings of fish per week produced a 42 percent lower risk of AMD, compared with less than one serving per month. Canned tuna and dark-meat fish were the primary types of fish that produced this lower risk.

The omega-6 fatty acids linoleic acid and arachidonic acid were also evaluated. Higher intake of linoleic acid, found in many fruit and vegetable oils such as safflower oil, grapeseed oil and corn oil, was associated with a higher risk of AMD, but not significantly so.

If you are unsure what to take, how much to take or how ofter, consult contact the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists today to find a Low Vision Optometrist in your area and schedule a phone consultation.

Peripheral Vision Loss (Tunnel Vision)

Peripheral vision problems mean that you don’t have a normal, wide-angle field of vision, even though your central vision may be fine. Moderate and severe cases of peripheral vision loss create the sensation of seeing through a narrow tube, a condition commonly referred to as “tunnel vision.” Symptoms of peripheral vision loss also can include difficulty seeing in dim light and decreased ability to navigate while you are walking
What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss?

A common cause of loss of peripheral vision (also called a peripheral field defect) is optic nerve damage from glaucoma. Eye “strokes” (occlusions) that block normal blood flow to the eye’s internal structures, including the optic nerve, also can lead to loss of peripheral vision. A stroke or injury also may damage portions of the brain where images are processed, leading to blind spots in the visual field.

Exercise for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

People with low vision can be active in many ways! Before you start an exercise routine, however, talk with your medical doctor and your eye doctor, since bending, lifting, or rapid movement can affect some medical and eye conditions.

Sometimes the rules are modified, sometimes adaptive techniques are used, and other times adaptive equipment may be required. It is important to continue to exercise.

New Survey: Less than Half of United States Adults with Diabetes Understand Their Risk for Vision Loss

A new survey released this month by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reveals that less than half of recently surveyed United States adults with diabetes recognize their risk for vision loss. Regeneron is a science-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions.

[Please note: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which commissioned this survey, is also the developer of the injectable drug EYLEA, approved by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.]

Side Vision Awareness Glasses Help Those With Loss of Visual Field Due to Brain Injury

Hemianopsia and Neglect

Patients who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury, may lose one half of their side vision to the right or left. This type of side vision loss is called” Hemianopsia” (hemi field loss). Patients who just have a hemianopsia are aware of the side vision loss and often can be easily taught to scan their eyes in the direction of the hemianopsia, in order to compensate for the field loss. This allows them to not miss things on the side of the hemianopsia.

“Neglect” is the inattention to, or lack of awareness of visual space to the right or left and is most often associated with a hemianopsia. The lesion in the brain causing neglect usually occurs in the right frontal-parietal lobe, resulting in a left side neglect. Some patients just have a hemianopsia with no neglect, but others may experience a lot of “neglect” and may be unaware that they can not see to the affected side.

Signs and Symptoms of Hemianopsia and Neglect

· Can not or does not readily/spontaneously scan into the area of the hemianopsia.

· Bumps into things on side of the hemianopsia but doesn’t learn to compensate for the problem

· Says doesn’t see out of the eye (on the side of the neglect)

· No awareness that a hemi field loss exists

· Misses parts of words on the side of the neglect when reading

· Misses parts of eye chart line on the side of the neglect

· Tendency to orient head or body turned away from the neglect, and the patient may ambulate/drift in direction away from the neglect.

Treatment for Hemianopsia

IALVS optometrists have successfully treated hundreds of patients who have hemianopsia. These custom made “Side Vision Awareness Glasses” allow an immediate increase of about 15° in side vision awareness. This helps reduce hemianopsia-related safety issues and enhances the patient’s performance of many activities of daily living. “Side Vision Awareness Glasses” were developed by, Dr. Errol Rummel, IALVS member.

Is Macular Degeneration Hereditary?

A patient called in to an IALVS doctor’s office concerned their mother lost vision from Macular Degeneration before she died and now that the patient was age 65, she was concerned she may get it. There is an increased risk if a parent or sibling has the disease by three to four times. But the good news is there are things you can do to protect your eyesight, and a number of treatments that are available if you do happen to get it. Here’s what you should know.

What is AMD?

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 50, affecting about 10 million Americans. AMD is a progressive eye disease that damages the macula, the part of the eye that allows us to see objects clearly, causing vision loss in the center of your vision. This affects the ability to read, drive, watch television and do routine daily tasks, but it does not cause total blindness.

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