Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Much research has been done looking at nutrition and its role in the development and progression of AMD. One of these studies, published in Ophthalmology, demonstrated that people following a Mediterranean diet decreased their risk of late-stage AMD by 41%. There is also a decreased incidence of AMD in those who adhere to a Mediterranean diet. These reports build upon previous studies and suggest that everyone could benefit from a Mediterranean diet...whether you have AMD or are at risk of developing AMD.
Summit Eye Center Blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is dependent on what stage of disease you have, your level of vision and the doctor’s clinical decision.
For mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, the treatment is good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure. Control your blood sugar by watching your diet and taking the medication prescribed by your doctor. Controlling you blood pressure helps keep the eye’s blood vessels healthy.
When you have an eye exam, the doctor will state your vision is 20/20 or 20/something. What does that mean? Is 20/20 “perfect vision”? If not, what is “perfect vision”?
Let’s take a closer look at how your vision is assessed when you have an eye exam and what the terminology the doctor uses actually means.