Currently, there are more than 3 million people in the United States and over 60 million worldwide living with glaucoma, otherwise known as “the sneak thief of sight”. It is estimated that half of those with glaucoma, do not know they have it. The disease presents no symptoms and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, taking as much as 40% of sight without notice. January has been deemed National Glaucoma Awareness Month and is an important time to spread the world about this sight-stealing disease.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually progress, stealing sight, without symptom. Glaucoma can affect people of all ages but is most prevalent in middle-aged adults and the elderly. While there is no cure, surgery or medication can slow its affects and help to prevent further vision loss. The word ‘glaucoma’ is actually an umbrella term for a group of eye diseases that damage the delicate fibers that run from your eye to your optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries information about the images your eye sees to your brain. This damage is often the result of high fluid pressure inside the eye.
What can you do?
Top Tips for Eye Safety this Holiday and Winter Season
With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to note the extra care we need to take to make sure the toys and gifts our children receive are safe and age-appropriate. For this reason, Prevent Blindness America has declared December “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month”.
In 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in United States hospital emergency departments, with an estimated 80,100 of these injuries on children younger than five. 45% of the total injuries were to the head and face area. These statistics show that consumers should keep eye safety in mind when shopping for kids this holiday season. To help them do that, Prevent Blindness has complied some important tips for ensuring safety while shopping.
Look at every toy before you buy it. Is the toy durable? Can it stand the wear and tear of everyday use without breaking, cracking or coming apart? Does it shoot objects or have sharp edges? Toys that fail these tests should be reconsidered.
Before you purchase a toy:
For as long as Dr. David Way, OD, has been in practice, he has endeavored to employ frontline technology in the care of his patients. He explains that it was because of this he was an early adopter of optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging technology. Way is a big proponent of thoroughly examining the retina and aims to help patients understand the importance of comprehensive retinal exams. “I help them to understand that the eye is the only part of the body that we can observe nerves and blood vessels without doing a CRT or an MRI; and that when I am examining them, I am checking ocular health, as well as, indicators of issues such diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration or hypertension”, explains Way.
Patients often refuse to be dilated because they are in a hurry, or simply want to avoid the discomfort. An optomap image, which can be obtained in a fraction of a second through an undilated pupil, allows them to receive a retinal exam without the perceived inconvenience. Over the years at Way’s practice, Spring Klein Vision Center, the acceptance rate for optomap is over 70% which has proved to be a revenue generator and a boon …
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes and approximately 1.25 million American children and adults had type 1 diabetes. These numbers are on the rise and the disease manifests with deleterious and deadly impact throughout the body – including the eye. An understanding of the disease, early detection and treatment are more imperative than ever.
A recent study cooperatively funded by the National Eye Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases and the US Department of Health and Human Services concluded that optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging is a useful diagnostic tool for detection and assessment of severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The study published recently in JAMA Ophthalmology demonstrates that optomap UWF imaging can be used reliably in place of Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) 7-Field imaging in clinical use and future clinical trials. The paper, which builds off recent single site studies that found moderate to perfect agreement between the modalities, supports these findings through data acquired over a two-year period from multiple sites.
November is recognized as American Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month aims to increase awareness of diabetes and diabetic eye disease and encourage people with diabetes to seek treatment for related vision problems. According to Prevent Blindness America, Diabetes is now the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults, and all people with diabetes are at risk for vision loss and blindness.
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that diabetic persons may face as a complication of this disease including: Diabetic retinopathy – A leading cause of blindness in American adults, it is caused by damage to the small blood vessels of the retina – the seeing layer of the eye. Diabetic macular edema (DME) – A complication of diabetes caused by leaking blood vessels, which leads to fluid accumulation in the macula, the center of the retina used for central vision. DME can cause central vision to become blurry. Cataract – The clouding of the lens in the eye, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Cataracts can cause vision to become blurry. Glaucoma – Optic nerve damage and possible loss of …