Summit Eye Center Blog

Screens, Eye Strain, Blue Light...What's the Rub?

blue light

In today’s world, we are all looking at screens more than ever before. This screen time comes at all ages. Almost all jobs require more computer and technology use than 20 years ago. Grandparents are keeping up with their grandkids via mobile phones and computer screens. Students are on chromebooks or iPads issued from their school district. Toddlers are watching videos on their parent’s iPads.

With this increased screen time, a new condition has developed...computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. Studies show between 50-65% of adults report symptoms of digital eye strain. As you will see, this is a problem that involves more than just our eyes and visual system. It also is involves ergonomics and our muscular system.

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Why Do We Cry?

cry

Have you ever wondered why we cry? If so, you are not alone. People have asked this questions for hundreds of years.

One major breakthrough occurred in the 17th century when a Danish scientist discovered the lacrimal gland. The lacrimal gland is responsible for producing the watery or aqueous component of our tears. The tear film also contains a mucus component produced by goblet cells on the white part of the eye and an oily component produced from the meibomian glands at the edge of our eyelids. These 3 components are joined by enzymes, lipids, metabolites and electrolytes to make up the tear film that coats and lubricates our eyes.

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Live Well...Age Well...See Well

Aging 30

We have all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” It is easy for us to believe that eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables is better than a diet of french-fries and potato chips. Most of us also believe that getting some exercise is better for our body than spending the afternoon on the couch watching football...unless the Chiefs are playing! This week’s blog will focus on some of the things we can do to help our eyes maintain as good of vision as possible as we age.

Not smoking is probably the #1 lifestyle decision we can make for our eyes and our bodies as a whole. Smoking leads to earlier development of cataracts. Those who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from dry eye symptoms. There is a 3x risk of developing macular degeneration in smokers versus nonsmokers. If we break this down to women who smoke versus women who do not smoke, the risk of developing macular degeneration is 5.5x higher in those who smoke. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of vision loss. The incidence of diabetes is 30-40% higher in those who smoke. Those who smoke are 4x more likely to go blind in old age. It is never too late to quit! The following link from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides resources for those interested in breaking the habit. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/index.html

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The Aging Eye - Top 5 Conditions

old couple

 

September is Healthy Aging Month. We can’t think of a better time to discuss 5 of the most common eye conditions encountered, as we get older. In no particulare order, presbyopia, dry eye, cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are the most frequent ailments of the aging population.

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My Eyes Water...They Can't Be Dry

eye wiper

Dry eye is one of the most challenging conditions for both patients and doctors to manage. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from dry eye. However, less then half of these patients are actively treated for dry eye.

Why are so many patients with dry eye untreated?

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7 Tips for Dry Eye

Woman Eye

Dry eye is the most common thing that eye doctors see on a daily basis. Nearly 30 million Americans experience dry eye symptoms. These symptoms vary from patient to patient. Some patients complain a gritty feeling. Others have red, watery eyes. Still others will experience fluctuating vision throughout the day. As a result, one needs to treat each person’s signs and symptoms of dry eye on an individual basis. Therefore, a thorough evaluation with your eye doctor is important to determine the best treatment regimen to improve one’s symptoms. The following 7 tips are things that those who suffer from dry eye can do on their own to minimize their symptoms.

Blink

Whether you are engrossed in a good book or working on your computer, when we are focusing on near tasks our blink rate decreases significantly. Typically, we blink about 15-20 times per minute. When looking at a computer screen, our blink rate is reduced to 6-7 times per minute. Simply consciously blinking our eyes allowthe redistribution of the tear film over the surface of our eyes, improving dry eye symptoms.

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Makeup and Dry Eye...What do you need to know?

Cosmetics

Doctors and patients rarely discuss the relationship between cosmetics and dry eye symptoms. Despite the fact that here are very real health implications associated with everyday beauty practices. Doctors typically focus on the findings uncovered during the exam and appropriate treatment options. Patients often do not think about the potential affects their cosmetics can cause to their dry eyes. Hopefully, this blog will provide useful information for patients before they make their next trip to the cosmetic department at their favorite store.

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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.

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

Parenting 101JJJJ

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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True Tear

true tear

The doctors at Summit Eye Center are excited to be able to offer a new, innovative treatment for Dry Eye Disease, TrueTear from Allergan. This is a treatment that patients can do at home or on the go that does not involve eye drops or a medication.

TrueTear is a neurostimulation device that temporarily increases the production of your natural tears. The fact that it is your natural tears is important. The natural tear film is composed of lipids, mucins, proteins and salts that are vital to nourishment and protection of the cornea.

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Dry Eye

Dry Eye Disease is one of the most common reasons for patients to visit an eye doctor. A 2012 Gallup poll showed that over 26 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye. Another poll has found that over 45% of the population over the age of 18 in the United States regularly experience Dry Eye symptoms. Dry Eye is characterized by a breakdown in the stability of the tear film.

The tear film is critical in maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye. It is also important in providing clear vision. The cornea, which is the window into the eye, plays the largest focusing role in the eye. Wetting of the cornea by the tear film is critical to maximizing the quality of the images we see.

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