Helping You See Better: June is Cataract Awareness Month
Presently, cataracts are considered the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. 24 million Americans, over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. This June, Optos joins Prevent Blindness America in observing Cataract Awareness Month to aid in the education surrounding cataracts, and what you should know.
What are Cataracts?
Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens refracts light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear, like the top lens in the illustration. With the presence of cataracts, the lens has become cloudy, much like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.
Vision changes you may notice if you have a cataract:
Having blurry vision Seeing double Extra sensitive to light Having trouble seeing well at night, or needing more light while reading Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead
What Causes Cataracts?
At the New England College of Optometry (NECO), preparing the next generation of optometrists requires equipping them with a comprehensive skill set for practice. Timothy Bossie, OD, the Director of Owned Clinics and Outreach Services at NECO, observes that such proficiency should encompass being comfortable with cutting edge diagnostic technology. Bossie, who serves as a preceptor for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students, shares that a recent implementation of the Optos California ultra-widefield™ (UWF) imaging system has proved to significantly enhance examination of the retina, as well as, improve productivity in the busy teaching clinic.
The NECO clinic provides multiple specialty services including primary care, contact lenses, myopia control, vision rehabilitation, post-concussion and low vision care. The California was quickly embraced by the providers at the clinic. The optomap imaging was integrated in a broad application, used primarily as a screening tool and for baseline images in the primary care setting, but also in the low vision clinic for documentation and diagnosis with the population that presents with a variety of preexisting retinal conditions. Bossie notes that being close to Boston University means that a majority of NECO patients are young students and college educators who are often pressed for time and …
It’s second nature to schedule your yearly physical, or routine dentist appointment, but what about your eye health? When was your last comprehensive eye exam? A yearly eye exam is just as important as any other routine appointments you make. This May, during Healthy Vision Month, NEI and Prevent Blindness urge you to take control of your vision, and decide what you want to see in the future. Learning how to protect your eyes is the first step in preserving eye health.
Most vision problems are in fact preventable. Take a look at some everyday tips in order to take the first step in preserving your eye health:
Wear sunglasses (even on cloudy days!) Sure, sunglasses are fashionable, but more importantly, they protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and help keep your vision sharp. Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet It is true, carrots are good for your eyes! Diets rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens— is important for keeping your eyes healthy. Get plenty of physical activity Regular exercise comes with a lot of great benefits. It can boost your mood, reduce stress, help you stay at a …
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s eye health and safety organization, declares May as UV (ultraviolet) Awareness Month. Many people are well aware about the damage that UV rays can have on the skin, but most are unaware of the damage it can cause to the eyes.
What is this invisible threat exactly? And how does it impact us? This ultraviolet radiation is measured in nanometers (nm). It is categorized in three basic terms and classified by the strength of the UV ray:
UVC: These rays are below 280 nm. The upper atmosphere absorbs these, so they do not reach us, therefore protection from these rays is not overly necessary.UVB: These are between 315 – 380 nm. These manage to make it to the earth’s surface and are notorious for damaging sight. They can cause snow blindness but are notably responsible for sunburn and several types of skin cancer. Research has shown that these rays are strongest during the summer and at higher altitudes.UVA: These are the most dangerous being 315 – 380 nm. They are known for causing chronic eye damage. Studies have indicated that these rays get absorbed by the lenses of our eyes leading to damage of the …
Dr. Roger Jordan of Gillette Optometric Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming, practices alongside four other doctors conducting nearly 900 exams, about 1200 patient visits. This team is no stranger to high volume and the need for efficient patient flow. One stop that all patients make is for optomap® imaging. The business model includes the screening in the exam price for all private-pay patients and is available at low cost for all managed care patients. According to Dr. Jordan, optomap has greatly enhanced the ability to diagnose conditions as well better the patient education experience across the board.
optomap allows Dr. Jordan to detect retinal detachments and tears multiple times a month in addition to routinely following cases of glaucoma and macular degeneration. Alongside these cases, there have been several unique and interesting discoveries. Once he saw a male patient about 40 or 50 who had symmetrical scars on both sides of his retinas, as a result of doctors using forceps to assist in delivery at birth. Another time, a female in her 20s came in for her first ever eye exam, Dr. Jordan found that a parasitic worm was curled up and dead in her eye that had been there …