Struggling to Read Now That You are 45?...Welcome to Presbyopia

Presbyopia reading

Are you finding yourself moving your phone closer to you and further away trying to find the sweet spot where the text is clear? Do you have the text size on your phone set to the largest size? Do you have to pull your head back when your kid puts something in front of your face to read? If you answered yes to these questions you are likely developing presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a normal aging change of the natural crystalline lens, which sits right behind the pupil within the eye. When we are young, this lens is able to change shape to focus from distance to near. As we age, this lens hardens. At some point in our 40s, this hardening reaches a point that we find ourselves holding things further away to maintain clarity while reading. Eventually, things are still blurry when we hold things at arms length. This is when we move on to reading glasses or bifocals to help. As we continue to age the strength of these reading glasses or bifocals will need to increase in power until around age 60 when things typically will plateau.

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IPL, Intense Pulse Light, for Dry Eye

Dry Eye Cracks

Dry eye disease is a chronic, progressive condition. It has multiple causes such as contact lens wear, advanced age, medications, medical conditions and environmental conditions to name a few. As a result, patients often require treatment that is tailored to their specific signs and symptoms.

Being a chronic and progressive disease, what once worked for a patient may not do the job in the future. This is also a reason that you want to manage both the signs and symptoms aggressively from the beginning to stay ahead of the disease process, minimizing progression as much as possible.

One treatment that is beneficial to many with dry eye that goes beyond the use of artificial tears and medications is IPL, Intense Pulse Light. IPL is used in a variety of situations in skin care such as the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles and hair removal. It was observed that patients with dry eye that underwent IPL for such skin care conditions reported an improvement in their dry eye symptoms.

Dr. Roland Toyos of Memphis, TN spearheaded investigation into IPL as a treatment for dry eye. Summit Eye Center followed this research closely and was one of the first practices in Kansas City to offer IPL as a treatment to its dry eye patients.

IPL treats dry eye with a multifaceted approach. First, IPL heats the oil glands that line the lids, liquefying the hardened oils within. The doctor will then express these glands at the conclusion of the treatment to help restore normal oil flow into the tear film. This oil is an important component of our natural tear film. Also, IPL energy is absorbed by the blood vessels around the eyes. This shrinks abnormal blood vessels and minimizes the inflammatory cells that trigger dry eye. There is also a reduction in the microbial flora and Demodex mite loads at the eyelids, which improves dry eye. In addition, there may be some stimulation of the nerves that line the treatment area, which aids in the treatment of dry eye.

The IPL treatment is done in the office and consists of 4 treatments over a 4-month period. First, the doctor will place shields over the eyes to protect them from the light pulses. A thin layer of cooling gel is applied to the skin. A small device then applies the pulses of light to the treatment area around the eyelids. Finally, the doctor will express the oil glands that line the lids.

After the initial series of IPL treatments, most people will then have occasional maintenance treatments. The frequency of these maintenance treatments will depend on the severity of each individual’s dry eye. Your doctor may also recommend a combination of IPL treatments with other treatments such as punctal plugs or medications to provide the most effective management of one’s dry eye.

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Initial treatment for dry eye often begins with artificial tear use in conjunction with warm compresses and lid massage. The artificial tear use provides temporary relief of symptoms, but does not address the cause of dry eye. Warm compresses address one cause of dry eye, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), but are often not intense enough to break through with lasting relief. IPL addresses MGD more aggressively to provide both symptomatic relief as well as slowing the progression of one’s dry eye.

If you suffer from dry eye symptoms and traditional treatment with artificial tears combined with warm compresses and lid massage is providing minimal success, Summit Eye Center is available to help. The doctors at Summit Eye Center specialize in the management of dry eye and will customize a treatment to address your unique dry eye situation. Call Summit Eye Center at 816-246-2111 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Help is available for your dry eyes!

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5 Life Events to Consider LASIK

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When you reach different milestones throughout your life, LASIK is worth considering to enhance one’s lifestyle or simply as a reward. LASIK is a safe, effective procedure to reduce one’s needs for glasses and contact lenses. It can help provide you with hassle-free vision to better enjoy life visually. It can also be a reward for the hard work that was required to conquer a particular task. Why not relieve yourself of the need for glasses and contacts?

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Is LASIK Safe?

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One of the most common questions patients have about LASIK continues to be, “Is LASIK safe?” The answer to this question is a definite YES! They will then follow up with, “Is LASIK safe for my eyes?” The only way we can answer this question is with a thorough LASIK evaluation. The doctors at Summit Eye Center are available to perform this evaluation.

First, what evidence do we have that LASIK is safe?

The rate of safety for LASIK ranks among the highest of any medical procedure today. Both the safety and benefit of LASIK have been documented in a large number of scientific journals and clinical studies. In fact in the first ten years after LASIK’s FDA approval in 1998, there were over 300 published, peer-reviewed clinical studies.

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Cataracts...Now my Doctor Discussed Lens Options? Help!

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Glare around streetlights and headlights is making driving at night difficult and your overall vision just doesn’t seem to be as good it once was...your eye doctor tells you that cataracts are causing your problems.


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3 Facts to Know About Glaucoma

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It is Glaucoma Week. As a result, this week’s blog will feature three facts you should know about glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the optic nerve that can lead to vision loss or blindness. The optic nerve is a bundle of over one million nerve fibers that transports our visual information from the eye to the back of the brain where it is processed. In the early stages of glaucoma, there are often no visual symptoms. This has led to it being called “the silent thief of sight”. Studies have shown that up to half of the nerve tissue needs to be damaged before changes are noted in one’s vision. Unfortunately, once damage occurs, it is permanent. Thus, early detection is critical to preserving one’s vision. A dilated eye exam is critical to early detection. Some studies show that as many as 50% of those with glaucoma are unaware that they have glaucoma.

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So Many Choices...What Drops are Best for My Dry Eyes?

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If you suffer from dry eye, you have without a doubt used artificial tears at some point in the treatment of this condition. When you go to the pharmacy to purchase these drops, you likely experienced a stimulus overload with all of the various artificial tears on the market. Hopefully, this week’s blog along with direction from your doctor will help you better navigate the dry eye aisle at your local pharmacy.

Artificial tears are typically the first-line treatment for many causes of eye irritation, especially dry eye. They can be broken down into two major types – those that supplement the watery part of the tear film and those that supplement the oily part of the tear film. Depending on which component of the tear film is lacking, your doctor can direct you to the appropriate type of artificial tear. The majority of dry eye is caused by a deficit in the oily component of the tear film. Therefore, when in doubt those that help replenish the oily part of the tear film are a good choice.

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Top 10 Reasons to Get LASIK

top 10 reasons LASIK

#10) New Parents

Imagine not having to reach for your glasses before caring for your newborn in the middle of the night. Who doesn’t want to just go to bed when they are tired without the hassle of first removing your contact lenses?

#9) Sunglasses

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just grab that stylish pair of sunglass off the shelf and not have to worry if your glasses prescription can be put in those frames?

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6 Steps to Protect Your Eyes from Macular Degeneration

1. Get regular dilated eye exams

There are often no symptoms early on in AMD. Therefore, having your eyes dilated on a yearly basis is critical to diagnosing and managing AMD in its early stages.

2. Quit smoking

It has been shown through many clinical studies that smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration. It also increases the speed at which it progresses. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers.

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Macular Degeneration - What do I need to know?

ARMD

What is AMD, Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

AMD is a leading cause of blindness for Americans over the age of 50. There are greater than 11 million people in the United States who have AMD. It affects a person’s central vision, which can make activities such as driving, reading and recognizing faces difficult.

What causes AMD?

AMD affects the tissue that lines the back of the eye called the retina. The central portion of the retina is called the macula. The macula is the portion of the retina that is responsible for our sharpest vision. At this point, no one knows the exact cause of AMD. It is thought to be a combination of heredity and environmental factors such as smoking and diet.

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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty...What do you need to know as a patient?

SLT

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, SLT, is a laser procedure that is used to lower intraocular pressure, IOP, in patients with glaucoma. It can be used as an initial treatment for glaucoma or in conjunction with medication eye drops.

With SLT, the laser energy is applied to the drainage tissue in the eye, the trabecular meshwork. A biological change is induced in this tissue that allows better drainage of fluid through the tissue and out of the eye. The increased drainage results in a lowering of IOP. It may take 1-3 months to obtain the maximum result.

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Summit Eye Center Spotlight: Lisa Foote

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January’s “Summit Eye Center Spotlight” features Lisa Foote. She is the newest addition to the Summit Eye Center team, joining the practice in August 2018. Here are some fun facts about Lisa.

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Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

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A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when one of the blood vessels on the white part of the eye breaks. This blood then becomes trapped between the white part of the eye and the clear tissue above it. This is usually a benign condition that causes no visual problems and minimal, if any, discomfort despite its appearance.

Although we often don’t know what causes this bleeding, the following are some potential causes.

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Glaucoma Treatment

Damage to one’s vision from glaucoma cannot be reversed. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to slow and hopefully halt the progression of the damage. There are numerous treatment options available today.

Glaucoma is treated by lowering the pressure within the eye. This is accomplished by increasing the outflow of fluid from within the eye or slowing the production of fluid within the eye. The doctor will determine what eye pressure is appropriate for each individual patient based on the stage of disease the patient has, the level of eye pressure when they presented with glaucoma, as well as other factors.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is what carries the visual information from our eyes to the back of the brain where it is processed into the images that we see. This damage occurs from a combination of pressure from within the eye pushing on the optic nerve and hampered blood flow to the optic nerve.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, its incidence increases as one ages.

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Often called the “silent thief of sight”, glaucoma usually presents with no symptoms to make the patient aware they have a problem until permanent damage occurs. Because of this yearly, dilated eye examinations are critical in diagnosing the disease early in patients, with the hope of preventing damage that impacts one’s lifestyle. If it has been over a year since your last dilated eye exam, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to have your eye dilated.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Of those, only half know it due to its lack of symptoms early on. Everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma. The following groups are at an increased risk.

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Vision for a Person's Lifetime

How Our Vision Changes Over One’s Lifetime

 

Kids and Teenagers Age 8-17

It is important to monitor children’s eye health with annual eye exams. As their bodies are developing, vision changes can occur. Often, nearsightedness will develop during these years. Children will experience increased visual demands as their schoolwork becomes more advanced and they begin driving toward the end of this timeframe. During these years, children will participate in sporting activities that require optimal vision and sometimes eye protection. Having a comprehensive eye examination ensures that their eyes are healthy and seeing to the best they can. Common visual treatments during this stage are glasses and contact lenses.

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Nearsightedness

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What is Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, myopia, is the most common cause of vision problem in people under the age of 40. The number of people with nearsightedness continues to grow. Just a few decades ago, the number of Americans with myopia was about 25%. Today, over 40% of Americans are nearsighted. In fact, it is projected globally that 50% of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.

Signs and Symptoms of Myopia

Children who are nearsighted often struggle to see things on the board at school or are unable to see things like a clock or television clearly. Adults, typically struggle seeing road signs or recognizing faces across a room. Individuals may squint to see these distant objects. However, these people will be able to see well for near tasks such as reading and working on a computer.

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Hydrus Microstent: A New Approach to Glaucoma Treatment

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Summit Eye Center strives to provide the latest treatment options to our patients. Yesterday, Dr. Skelsey performed his first Hydrus Microstent procedures. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this innovative glaucoma treatment.

The Hydrus Microstent is the world’s first “intracanalicular scaffold” for the treatment of glaucoma. Roughly the size of an eyelash, it is made from a super-elastic, biocompatible alloy, which has been used in over 1 million implants in a variety of medical devices throughout the body.

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3 Common LASIK Questions

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How do I know if LASIK is an option for me?

LASIK is an excellent option for many people to improve their vision without glasses or contact lenses. The best way to determine if you qualify for LASIK is through an eye exam with your eye doctor.

Here are some general guidelines:
• You must be at least 18 years old
• You must have healthy eyes – no evidence of a condition that could affect the healing process
• You cannot be pregnant or nursing, as your hormonal levels can affect measurements

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