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.
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?
We are fast approaching the end of 2019. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on things in your life that need to be addressed, whether it is fixing that leaky faucet or addressing a nagging health problem. It seems fitting that in the year 2020 we should strive to maximize our vision and eye health. Below are 4 eye related conditions to address in 2020.
Dry eye affects up to 50% of the adult population according to some studies. It presents with numerous symptoms from blurry or fluctuating vision to red, irritated eyes. What we think of, as eyestrain from working on a computer usually is actually dry eye. Just as there are numerous symptoms and presentations of dry eye, there are also numerous treatment options. There is no reason to continue to suffer. Your eye doctor will take an individualized approach, providing treatment that is unique to your particular situation.
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
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.
There has been a lot of discussion and research lately about glaucoma and sleep disorders. Factors such as sleep apnea, sleep duration and the length of time it takes a person to fall asleep have all been linked as a risk factor for developing glaucoma or a consequence of having glaucoma. This blog will delve into the relationship between sleep and glaucoma. First, we will give a brief description of what glaucoma. We will then discuss why we sleep, followed by discussion of circadian rhythm. Finally, we will discuss how all of this is intertwined.
First what is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. This is the nerve in the back of the eye that is responsible for carrying all the visual information from the eye to the back of the brain, where it is processed into the pictures that we see. Glaucoma typically begins without any symptoms, making yearly eye exams important for anyone over the age of 50 or with a history of glaucoma in their family. Glaucoma often affects portions of our peripheral or side vision early on. When it affects larger or more central areas of our vision, we become symptomatic. Unfortunately, once symptoms occur they are likely permanent. If it is determined that you have glaucoma, there are numerous treatment options both medically and surgically that can help treat the disease. Learn more about glaucoma here: https://www.summiteyekc.com/blog/what-is-glaucoma
Summit Eye Center continues to provide the most current treatment options to our patients with Dr. Skelsey’s first Glaukos iStent inject cases being preformed last week. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this exciting new glaucoma treatment.
The iStent inject is the smallest medical device known to be implanted in the human body. It is a heparin coated titanium stent that facilitates the outflow of fluid through the eye’s natural outflow pathway. With this procedure, two stents are placed in the eye in conjunction with traditional cataract surgery.
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.
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.
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.
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.