Summit Eye Center Blog

Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

ARMD

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is an eye disease that impacts the macula. The macula is the central part of the retina in the back of the eye that is responsible for the detailed, central vision. In individuals with vision impacting ARMD the central vision is hindered in varying degrees. This vision loss can impact a person's ability to recognize faces, read books, drive, and complete daily tasks.

ARMD is characterized by drusen in the macula. The cells of the retina produce waste products from their cellular functions. Aging causes the body’s process of packaging and eliminating this waste to be less effective over time. The waste product, made of proteins and lipids, accumulates and develops into what are called drusen. Drusen occur naturally with age, but when they become large clumps or clusters they are characterized as a sign of ARMD.

There are two types of ARMD; wet and dry. The dry type of macular degeneration is generally slowly progressing and is characterized by drusen. The wet type of macular degeneration develops when dry ARMD begins to bleed. This type progresses more quickly and causes a decrease in vision over a short period of time.

Risk factors for developing ARMD include:

- being over the age of 60
- have a family history of ARMD
- smoking
- having high blood pressure
- being overweight or obese

Knowing the risk factors of ARMD allows individuals to make lifestyle choices that can help reduce their risk of developing the disease. Avoiding smoking and smoking cessation can greatly reduce your risk of developing ARMD. Additionally, eating a healthy diet with many colorful fruits and vegetables, while remaining physically active is beneficial in reducing the risk of developing ARMD.

If a person has a family history of ARMD or has early signs of the disease an ophthalmologist or optometrist may recommend the AREDS-2 vitamin formulation. The 5 year study of the AREDS-2 vitamin formulation determined that in individuals diagnosed with ARMD, taking the vitamin slowed disease progression. While the vitamin is safe to take even if a person has not been diagnosed with ARMD, there is no evidence to suggest that it prevents ARMD from occurring.

Currently there is no cure for ARMD, but there are treatments. In individuals with dry ARMD, taking the AREDS-2 vitamin, and modifying lifestyle choices to reduce risk factors are recommended. Medication treatment options are available for individuals with wet ARMD, and certain types of advanced dry ARMD.

Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams are important to monitor for changes related to ARMD. Sudden changes or decrease in vision should be reported immediately to your eye care provider. The costs of diagnosing and managing macular degeneration are covered under medical insurance including Medicare and other commercial insurance plans.

Summit Eye Center physicians Dr. Skelsey and Dr. Kleinsasser are skilled in diagnosing and monitoring ARMD. To learn more or schedule an appointment contact Summit Eye Center at 816-246-2111 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This blog is authored by Taylor Oswald, ophthalmic assistant and University of Missouri Kansas City- Health Sciences Intern.

Citations

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, September 21). Treatments for wet macular degeneration. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wet-macular-degeneration/in-depth/treatments-for-wet-macular-degeneration/art-20538639?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAoKeuBhCoARIsAB4WxtdpxuEAk5dVgh4j1u17QiRkMkqu6sSNQ3sg4XDSD126HreQvemD6E4aAhwLEALw_wcB
Medeiros, S., & Hazanchuk, V. (2021, January 11). Lower your risk of macular degeneration. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/top-5-risk-factors-amd
Porter, D. (2023, April 26). What are Drusen?. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-drusen
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, January 9). Age-related eye disease studies (areds/AREDS2). National Eye Institute. https://www.nei.nih.gov/research/clinical-trials/age-related-eye-disease-studies-aredsareds2

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Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma Awareness Month

There are 80 million people worldwide diagnosed with glaucoma, and this disease is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world.¹

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve. The optic nerves connect each eye to the brain and are responsible for sending visual messages from the eye to the brain to help you see. Glaucoma develops as a result of damage to the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve occurs gradually as a result of intraocular pressure.

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Cataract Surgery Lessens Dementia Risk

Cat Dementia

“The world only exists in your eyes,” was a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald. This statement is very relevant when we think of our senses such as sight and hearing and their impact on the aging process and dementia.

Numerous studies have demonstrated an association between sensory impairment and cognitive decline. There are a number of reasons that loss of sight and hearing could contribute to an increased risk of dementia. Many of these involve increased social isolation or decreased cognitive stimulation as a result of the sensory impairment.

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Be Careful When Open Your Bottle of Bubbly

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As we ring in the New Year, many will pop open a bottle of bubbly in celebration. The popping of the cork comes with some risk. A champagne cork can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph. If this projectile cork hits an eye, it can cause a hyphema (bleeding within the eye), cataract and even glaucoma.

To safely pop a champagne, follow these 3 rules...


Chill the champagne


Champagne is filled with gas bubbles that expand when warm. Chill you bottle in the refrigerator or on ice prior to opening.

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Light Adjustable Lens

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Summit Eye Center is proud to offer the first lens that can be customized after a person has cataract surgery, the Light Adjustable Lens from RxSight. This is the only available lens that allows optimization of a patient’s vision after healing from the surgery. This allows each patient to have customized vision based on his or her unique visual needs.

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Herpes Keratitis

HSV K

Herpes keratitis is a viral infection in the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two main types of the virus:

Type I is the most common and primarily infects the face, involving one of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. The result is the familiar “cold sore” or “fever blister.”
Type II is the sexually transmitted form that infects the genitals

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Tips to Minimize Eyestrain during March Madness

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March Madness is upon us. Many will be spending a great deal of time over the next few weeks cheering on their favorite team or simply enjoying the nearly nonstop basketball action on TV.

It has long been a concern of people, especially our mothers, that watching too much TV was bad for our eyes. Studies have shown that watching TV causes no damage to our eyes. A person may experience some eye fatigue or eyestrain, but no physical damage to our eyes or eyesight.

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4 Tips to a Safer Celebration with Champagne

champagne

Although New Year’s celebrations may not be as large as typical years, they still plan to be festive as everyone looks forward to moving on to 2021. New Year’s Eve and champagne go together like baseball and hotdogs. Hopefully, these tips ensure a safe celebration for all.

First a few facts about champagne corks. The average bottle of champagne holds 90 psi of pressure. That is about 3 times the average car tire. This pressure can shoot a cork at speeds up to 50 mph and for a distance of up to 40 feet.

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5 Common Conditions of the Aging Eye

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As we get older, our risk of developing an age-related eye condition significantly increases. In fact at least 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 65 have some form of an eye condition. The five most common conditions are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

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Diabetes and Your Eyes

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Over 34 million Americans have diabetes. About 1 in 5 of these individuals do not know they have diabetes. In addition there are nearly 90 million Americans with prediabetes.

Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in our body. This damage to our blood vessels is what leads to blindness, kidney problems and cardiovascular problems.

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Headache Behind the Eyes

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Headaches are something we all experience from time to time. Some headaches feel as though they are right behind our eyes.

If we have frequent headaches, especially those that seem to originate behind our eyes, we often wonder if our eyes are causing the pain and discomfort. The quick answer is...most likely no, our eyes are not responsible for the pain and discomfort we experience.

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Cross-Linking for Keratoconus

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As we discussed in our previous post, Keratoconus is a corneal condition that results in a progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea. This results in irregular astigmatism, which produces blurry or distorted vision. It is typically diagnosed in childhood and progresses into adulthood.

How keratoconus has traditionally been treated?

Initially, glasses or soft, toric contact lenses may correct a person’s vision. As keratoconus progresses, increased distortion and irregular astigmatism is noted. When this occurs, glasses and soft contact lenses no longer adequately correct one’s vision.

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Keratoconus

KC vs normal copy

Keratoconus (KC) is a condition that affects the cornea. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue that sits above the iris, the colored part of the eye, and the pupil. The cornea focuses light as it enters the eye and then travels through the pupil to be focused on the retina in the back of the eye.

With KC, there is a progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea, which results in irregular astigmatism. This irregularity in the curvature of the cornea causes blurry or distorted vision that can affect one’s ability to read or drive.

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4 Tips to Minimize Foggy Glasses with Face Masks

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It used to be that foggy lenses were something we only experienced during the winter months. It was a common frustration for those wearing glasses coming indoors after being out in the cold. In the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation of wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19, foggy glasses are more common than ever.

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COVID-19 Info

COVID-19 Update

Effective Monday, May 11, Summit Eye Center will return to normal business hours to attend to the medical and surgical eye care of our patients.

In addition to our normal disinfection and sterilization practices, several new protocols have been implemented:

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4 Tips for Glaucoma Patients

treatment tips

The following tips are a great resource to help patients overcome treatment challenges that can come up from time to time.

1. Be honest and up front with your doctor about any problems you have with your medications

Missing a dose may seem like no big deal, but studies have shown that skipping doses can lead to vision loss over time. Ask your doctor what to do if you miss a dose. Should you take the drop when you remember? Should you wait to use the medication at its next scheduled time?

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Computer Vision Syndrome

CVD Blog

As we are all living through these unprecedented times of COVID-19, we are likely spending even more time using our eyes for a variety of near tasks. Many are working from home, our kids are continuing their education online and people are reading books that they had been putting off. We are also simply surfing the web and looking at social media on our phones more than ever. These increased near tasks make managing Computer Vision Syndrome all the more important.

Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, pertains to a group of vision-related symptoms that are associated with near tasks. These symptoms result from prolonged use of digital devices like computers, tablets and cellphones. Also, extended periods of reading, sewing and knitting, i.e., non-digital near tasks can lead to similar symptoms.

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Macular Degeneration: Top 3 Questions

AMD

 

February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. So, this is a great time to answer three of the most common questions we hear from our patients regarding macular degeneration.

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Glaucoma - What is it? Am I at risk? How is it treated?

Glc

 

Glaucoma Awareness Month is drawing to a close. This blog will provide some information on what glaucoma is, how it is tested for, who is at increased risk and how it is treated.

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Dry Eyes? Fine Lines & Wrinkles? ThermiEyes® Can Help Both!

Thermi

 

ThermiEyes® is an innovative, non-surgical treatment that can improve your dry eye and reduce fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. This quick and painless procedure uses radio frequency technology that has been around for years.

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