Back to School Means More Than Backpacks and Lunch Boxes – Don’t Forget the Eye Exam!

Posted on August 6th, 2018 by

While to some it may feel as though summer has just begun, others are already feeling the pressures of checking off every item on their back to school lists.  With all the hassle of stocking up on school supplies or finding the perfect pair of shoes, there is often one important item that gets left off every parent’s list – a comprehensive eye exam.  Although schools generally do some basic testing of children’s vision, there is no doctor to perform a comprehensive exam or diagnose problems with your child’s eyesight.  According to experts, nearly 90 percent of what is taught in school is done so visually, therefore without excellent vision, children are left at a disadvantage.  Those with poor eyesight may struggle with school and learning, leaving them unable to reach their maximum potential.  A yearly comprehensive eye exam can not only ensure your child’s vision is healthy or corrected, but also rule out diseases that can potentially lead to vision loss.

Just as their bodies are rapidly growing, children’s eye are also changing. The slightest change in vision can cause eye strain, headaches or blurred vision which can be very distracting in school.  Myopia and hyperopia, also known as near or …
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The Retina – A Window to Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on July 20th, 2018 by

In a novel study from Queen’s University Belfast, researchers demonstrate that the eye could be a window to the brain. The results of the study, recently published in the Journal of Ophthalmic Research, show how degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can be monitored via ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging.  The retina is a part of the central nervous system and shares structural and functional features with the brain. Altogether 59 AD patients and 48 controls were entered into the study.  They were imaged utilizing ultra-widefield imaging from Optos.  This advanced technology, using red and green lasers, captures a 200 degree, high-resolution digital image of the retina in less than ½  second, reaching regions of the retina that have been previously inaccessible with other methods of imaging.

Measuring biomarkers, such as drusen and vasculature width gradients in delineated quadrants of the retina, the researchers found that these changes, particularly in the peripheral retina, could be associated with degenerative brain conditions such as AD. Specifically, the markers that were chiefly considered were drusen and vasculature changes. Drusen are deposits of fats, minerals, and proteins and are normal symptoms of aging that appear as yellowish spots in the layer beneath the …
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July is Fireworks Safety Month – Leave the Shows to the Pros!

Posted on July 12th, 2018 by

Although July 4th, or Independence Day, has come and gone, there is a good possibility that some of us have a few extra sparklers, or an “All the fireworks are gone, kids – time for bed!” stash of leftovers hidden behind the stale pretzels in the top cupboard.  July is Fireworks Eye Safety Month, and because fireworks sometimes become a part of many year-round celebrations, it is an excellent opportunity to clarify our understanding of the do’s and don’ts of pyrotechnic use.

While the thrill many of us derive from the thunderous booms and brilliant blooms of fireworks is undeniable, so are the sobering statistics that accompany these displays.

In recent years, in June and July alone, over 6000 fireworks related injuries occur and over 20% of those are eye injuries.  These injuries can range from temporary or more superficial issues to severe, life altering injuries including burns and bleeding in the eye, retinal detachments, and even a ruptured globe or blindness.  Many of these injuries occur to those who are not even handling the fireworks and, even more distressing is that frequently these injuries afflict children.Prevent Blindness America and the American Academy of Blindness sponsor July as Fireworks Eye …
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optomap Efficiencies in the Refractive Arena

Posted on June 26th, 2018 by

As the US population ages, the rate of cataract procedures has correspondingly increased.  By 2050 an estimated 83.7 million people in the US will be 65 and over. Due to the improvements in safety, speed and refractive outcomes of cataract surgery, the number of procedures has dramatically increased over the last 30 years.  Additionally, there has been a significant increase in the incidences of patients opting for cataract procedures before the age of 65. The expanding longevity of this aging demographic results in higher expectations that premium intraocular lens will provide continued good vision for decades.

A recent paper from Assil Eye Institute and Batra Vision in California reviews the role of ultra-widefield imaging as a standard assessment tool in cataract procedure.  This review demonstrates the value of UWF imaging as a complement to standard approaches for a comprehensive evaluation of retinal health prior to and following cataract surgery.  Evaluating the retina prior to, and after, surgery is critical for optimal outcomes. Being able to identify any pathologies before that might adversely affect or delay surgery, as well as, the high expectations for sustained positive visual outcomes from the younger demographic opting for surgery, makes a thorough …
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optomap Screening Reveals Cataract in Unsuspecting Doctor

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by

While the exact causes of cataracts are still not entirely understood, annual eye exams are still important for the diagnoses and treatment of their formation.  Even with precautions and regular exams, by the year 2020, more than 30 million Americans are expected to develop cataracts.

Most cataracts occur gradually as we age and don’t become bothersome until after age 55. However, cataracts can also be present at birth (congenital cataracts) or occur at any age as the result of an injury to the eye (traumatic cataracts). Cataracts can also be caused by diseases such as diabetes or can occur as the result of long-term use of certain medications.  While typically forming in both eyes, cataracts may not grow at the same rate. They can develop slowly or quickly, or progress to a certain point, then not get any worse. As a result, one may not notice substantial changes in their sight. Sometimes they can significantly precede symptoms and can be so subtle as to go unnoticed without a comprehensive eye exam.

When Vince Young, OD introduced Daytona, into his practice, he volunteered to be the imaging guinea pig while his staff trained on the device.  He was unnerved …
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