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How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Created on: Friday, October 06, 2017

how does diabetes affect your eyes?

If you have diabetes, you probably know by now that uncontrolled blood sugar can wreak havoc on your health. People with diabetes are at risk for a multitude of health problems spanning many different parts of the body, including the eyes. How exactly does diabetes affect your eyes, you ask? In more ways than you may think!

Uncontrolled Diabetes and Your Eyes



It’s not surprising that your overall health tends to dictate your eye health. If your body isn’t functioning the way it should, it makes sense that your eyes will take some of the brunt of that. Uncontrolled diabetes is an example of this. Diabetes can have a profound effect on your eye health.

When your blood sugar is not under control, over time the tiny blood vessels in your retina can begin to swell and leak. This disease is called diabetic retinopathy and can cause vision loss as time goes on. Other eye diseases that are more common in diabetic patients include glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic macular edema. “Diabetic eye disease” typically refers to all of these conditions as a whole.

Let’s dive in a little deeper and talk about all four of these diseases and what diabetic patients can do to avoid them.

Diabetic Retinopathy



Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive patch of tissue that lines the back of the eye. The retina is an essential part of your vision, turning light into brain signals to send through the optic nerve. Any damage to the retina can lead to permanent vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels in the retina begin to swell and leak fluid and blood. As the disease progresses, new abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the retina. These new blood vessels are weak and leak fluid easily, compounding the issue. This fluid and blood leaks into the eye cavity, obscuring vision.

Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. To avoid diabetic retinopathy, diabetic patients should be diligent about controlling their blood sugar levels. Eating well and staying active will help reduce your risk of developing this disease.

Diabetic Macular Edema



Diabetic macular edema is a disease that affects patients who already have diabetic retinopathy. The macula, a piece of tissue at the center of the retina, is responsible for sharp, central vision. As fluid and blood from swollen blood vessels fill the eye cavity, it is possible for some of the fluid to get underneath the macula. This causes the macula to swell and will negatively impact vision. Left untreated, this condition can cause blindness.

Cataracts



Cataracts are extremely common regardless of diabetes. While it’s likely that patients without diabetes will get cataracts at some point, diabetic patients tend to develop cataracts earlier than non-diabetic patients. Diabetes is a common risk factor for early onset cataracts.

Non-diabetic patients typically develop cataracts sometime after the age of 60. For diabetic patients, cataracts can develop as early as age 40. In addition to developing earlier, cataracts tend to progress faster in diabetic patients.

There is not much you can do to prevent the onset of cataracts, but controlling your diabetes and leading a healthy active life is a start!

Glaucoma



Glaucoma is a disease caused by high intraocular pressure (pressure inside of the eye). Glaucoma can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, leading to irreparable vision loss. Uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to this disease. There is no known prevention method for glaucoma, but keeping blood sugar levels at a normal level should help. Glaucoma does not usually have symptoms, so regular eye examinations are necessary to prevent vision loss.

If you have diabetes, you should be coming into our office each year for a routine eye examination. Diabetes can have a huge impact on the quality of your vision, so be proactive! Our experts here at Eye Surgeons and Physicians of Arizona are here to help keep your eyes healthy. Give us a call to schedule your eye examination today!

 

Glaucoma: Can It Be Prevented?

Created on: Monday, September 18, 2017

glaucoma
 

Vision loss due to glaucoma is frightening as well as frustrating. The damage that is done to the optic nerve can't be treated. In some cases, if the glaucoma is detected early, you can protect yourself against serious vision loss. Now the question is, “Can I prevent glaucoma altogether?”

Can you prevent glaucoma?

The answer is no, and there is no guarantee that you will not experience vision loss due to glaucoma. However, you can detect it early, and attend routine eye examinations to help limit vision loss. That is what we do here at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona, we specialize in detecting glaucoma at our offices in Glendale and Scottsdale.

Am I at risk?

If you are under the age of 40, you should be screened for glaucoma every two to four years. For ages between 40-55 you should be checked every one to three years. If you are older than 65, the screenings should become more regular, at least once per year. It is also good to know if you are at increased risk due to a family history of glaucoma. Those who are at high risk include people of African descent, people with diabetes and people who have family history of glaucoma. People with these risk factors will likely be asked to come in for glaucoma screenings more often.

What else do I need to know?

The most common type of glaucoma is primary open angle glaucoma. The loss of vision is progressive but slow. It usually affects side vision first (peripheral vision) and then central vision deteriorates as it progresses, until it is lost. Medications slow the progression of glaucoma by relieving intraocular pressure (IOP) to prevent damage to the optic nerve.

How can I be proactive?

Eye pressure is extremely important regarding glaucoma, that is why it is recommended that people with increased risk exercise moderately, and regularly. If you are prone to high eye pressure, take prescribed eyedrops regularly, even if you have no symptoms. Although accidents happen and serious eye injuries occur, one way to prevent damage is by wearing protective eyewear in active situations. If you are at high risk for glaucoma you should be tested every year after the age of 35.

If you are worried about glaucoma, or have any questions, give us a call at our offices in Glendale and Scottsdale. We are here to help!

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A Definitive Guide to IOLs

Created on: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

iols

If you’re considering cataract surgery, you’ve probably stumbled across the term “IOL” a few times by now. Any cataract information you come across is bound to speak on the importance of choosing the right IOL, and how your post-surgery vision hinges on this decision. No pressure!

In reality, your cataract surgeon will be there to help you decide which IOL is right for you. With so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow it down on your own. So, what exactly is an IOL? And what role do they play in your cataract removal?

What is an IOL?

First thing’s first. “IOL” stands for intraocular lens. An intraocular lens is an artificial device meant to mimic your eye’s natural lens. When your eye’s natural lens is removed during cataract surgery, an IOL will be implanted in its place.

The IOL will work just like your natural lens, but can provide better refractive power. There is a different IOL meant to correct each refractive error. If you have astigmatism, there’s an IOL for that. If you have myopia, there’s an IOL for that too! This means that your post-cataract surgery vision may be better than your pre-cataract vision. Some patients say that after cataract surgery, their vision is better than it’s ever been!

IOLs are not only used for cataract surgery, however. They can be used during Refractive Lens Exchange as well. This surgery is often performed on people who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery, or as part of reading vision restoration. In both surgeries, the natural lens is removed and replaced by an IOL.

Different Types of IOL and Their Jobs

Now, for the specifics. The world of IOLs is diverse and it can be difficult to narrow it down to one that best fits your needs and lifestyle. Our cataract experts at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona will be able to sit down with you in person and make IOL suggestions. However, it is a good idea to get a handle on what’s what before going in for your consultation. Be sure to keep any IOL-related questions in mind during your cataract surgery consultation.

Monofocal IOLs

Monofocal IOLs are often referred to as “standard” IOLs. They are the most popular IOL used during cataract surgery because they are the lowest price. Monofocal lenses are available only in one distance - near, intermediate or far. For this reason, monofocal IOLs are most often recommended for people with cataracts in both eyes.

This way, your surgeon can implant one lens for distance vision and one for near vision. You eyes will work together to provide clear near and distance vision! While this improved vision greatly, many people still need to use glasses after

Multifocal IOLs

Also known as bifocal lenses, these lenses allow multiple focal points. No need to choose! Multifocal lenses are often chosen by those who are nearsighted or farsighted. Most people who choose multifocal lenses are able to live without eyeglasses, or extremely reduced dependency.

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Because this irregularity is unique to each eye, each toric IOL will be unique to each patient.

Toric IOLs work by placing different “powers” in different “meridians” of the lens. This basically means that the lens is designed to align with the refractive errors in your eye. Other IOLs are able to freely circle around in the eye without causing blurred vision because the refractive power is the same throughout the lens. With the toric IOL, the lens cannot move from its original place without causing blurred vision.

Presbyopia IOLs

If you have experienced presbyopia, you know how frustrating it can be. Reaching for reading glasses every time you want to read your favorite book, a text message or a label at the store is no one’s idea of fun. There is currently one IOL on the market that can fix this problem - the Symfony IOL. Many patients say that they are less dependent on reading glasses after cataract surgery with the Symfony IOL.

Which is right for you?

Want to know which IOL is right for you? That’s what the professionals are for. Call Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale and Scottsdale, AZ today to schedule your cataract surgery consultation.

Eye Problems That Cause Headaches

Created on: Wednesday, July 26, 2017

eye headaches

If you get a lot of headaches, it might not be all in your head. In reality, your eyes could be causing your headaches. Once your Glendale, Arizona, eye doctor addresses your eye problems, you can finally say goodbye to those painful headaches. Check out some common causes of headaches, and then head to your local eye doctor for a checkup.

Astigmatism

Many people suffer from headaches because they have astigmatism. This disorder occurs when the corneas aren’t the proper shape. You have to squint to focus when looking at objects, and that causes headaches. Fortunately, you can correct your astigmatism with corrective lenses. Once you start wearing glasses or contact lenses, you won’t have to squint any longer, so the headaches should go away.

Farsightedness

If you have hyperopia, or farsightedness, you are likely to suffer from headaches. This is a common refractive error that makes it easy to see far off objects but difficult to focus on objects that are up close. Just like astigmatism, this condition can be treated with corrective lenses.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a condition that allows you to easily focus on items that are up close. At the same time, you will have a hard time focusing on objects that are far away. You will squint to see the objects, and that will cause you to experience headaches. You will need to get an eye exam and corrective lenses to fix this problem.

Presbyopia

If the lens in your eye becomes inflexible and hard, your eye doctor will diagnose you with presbyopia. This condition makes it hard to focus, and that can lead to headaches. Your risk for getting presbyopia will increase as you age. Many patients are able to correct this problem through corrective lenses. As soon as they are able to see again, the headaches stop.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma can also cause headaches. If you have glaucoma, your eye cannot drain fluid properly. This causes pressure to build up in the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve over time. The vision will often blur from this, which will cause headaches. While there is not a cure for glaucoma, your eye doctor can treat the condition. The treatment will prevent the glaucoma from progressing. Once the glaucoma is under control, your headaches should go away.

Cataracts

Cataracts cause the eye’s lens to become cloudy. That cloudiness makes it hard to see. Your eyes have to work overtime to compensate for the vision problems, which can lead to headaches. Fortunately, cataract surgery will get rid of the cataracts, which will cause your headaches to finally go away.

If you suffer from headaches, you need to get to the root of the problem. Schedule an eye appointment with your Scottsdale eye doctor to see if your eyes are causing your headaches. If they are, fix the problem before it gets out of hand. Once your headaches go away, your quality of life will dramatically increase. You will suddenly be ready to participate in life like never before.

Everything You Should Know About Glaucoma Treatment Options

Created on: Monday, June 26, 2017

glaucoma treatment options in pheonix
 

Getting diagnosed with glaucoma can be frightening, especially since there is not a cure for the eye disease. Fortunately, though, there are treatment options that stop glaucoma in its tracks. Your Glendale eye doctor might not be able to make the disease go away, but he or she can stop the progression. That way, you can live a great life even if you have glaucoma. Check out your treatment options so you will know what to expect when dealing with glaucoma. Then, you will be able to fast track your treatment and prevent the disease from getting worse.

Eye Drops for Glaucoma


Eye drops are a common treatment option for people who are suffering from glaucoma. The eye drops are absorbed into your eyes and bloodstream and help regulate your eye pressure. The key is to make sure as much of the medicine is absorbed into your eyes as possible. You will notice some slight burning when you close your eyes, but it will go away shortly. In fact, the burning sensation will likely be gone by the time you open your eyes.

Prescription Medication


In many cases, eye drops are all that people need to manage their glaucoma. Sometimes, though, the eye drops fail to regulate the eye pressure. When that is the case, your eye doctor will prescribe medication. The pills reduce fluid production in the eyes, and they lower pressure. You must be careful about how they interact with your other medications. Your doctor will make sure that you can take the pills with your other medications.

Surgery for Glaucoma


If medication doesn’t prevent the glaucoma from progressing or if the side effects are too much to bear, you can undergo surgery. Laser surgery is a popular option. This painless procedure changes the eye’s drainage system to prevent the vision loss. There are various laser options available. Your eye doctor will go over your options and help you choose the right one.

Traditional surgery is another option. This also changes the eye’s drainage system in order to keep the condition from progressing. Surgery is typically very effective, and around half of patients can stop taking their glaucoma medications for quite some time after undergoing a procedure.

It’s important to note that you have a lot of traditional surgery options. Your eye doctor will need to look at your specific symptoms and needs when determining which one is right for you. 

These are just some of your glaucoma treatment options. If you have glaucoma, you need to talk to your eye doctor to determine which option is right for you. Once you explore your options, you can begin getting the treatment you need for your glaucoma. Call our Glendale location today to schedule your appointment!

Taking Charge of Your Eye Health at Home

Created on: Monday, May 22, 2017

 



When you think of routine eye care, you probably think of going to the eye doctor. That is definitely a part of caring for your eyes, but routine eye care should start at home. Follow some tips for caring for your eyes at home and then keep regular appointments with your Glendale eye doctor. When you do both things, your eyes will stay healthy for the long term.

Eat the Right Foods



Your mom probably told you to eat fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins so you could stay healthy. Eating the right foods won’t just keep you at a good weight and keep your blood pressure down. Eating right will also help your eyes. Your eyes need nutrients, vitamins, and healthy fatty acids to stay sharp. Start with a diet full of leafy green vegetables such as kale. Add in some oily fish, non-meat protein, and citrus fruits. Eat these foods on a daily basis so your eyes will stay sharp even as you age.

Put Some Shades On



Sunglasses don’t just make you look cool. They also keep your eyes healthy. Put your shades on so harmful UV rays won’t hurt your eyes. Your shades should block at least 99 percent of UV rays. Consider going the extra mile with wraparound sunglasses so all of those dangerous rays will stay out. Your eyes will thank you for it.

Stop Straining Your Eyes



If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time on the computer or on your phone. That can actually lead to eye strain. Look away from time to time so you don’t strain your eyes and end up with blurred vision. Looking away from time to time will also help you avoid getting dry eyes. As a general rule, you need to rest your eyes every 20 minutes. When 20 minutes pass, look away for 20 seconds. During that time, focus on something that is 20 feet away. This will help your eyes rest and relax. Then, you can resume your activity on your phone or computer.

Snuff out Your Cigarettes



Cigarettes have a bad reputation, and for a good reason. They are bad for your overall health, including your eyes. Smokers have an increased risk of developing cataracts. Smoking can also damage your optic nerve, so snuff out your last cigarette and don’t pick the habit up again. You will feel better immediately, and your eyes will be healthier as well.

Protect Your Eyes



It is a lot easier to damage your eyes than you might think. If debris flies into your eyes, you could end up with a serious problem. Wear safety eyewear when playing contact sports or doing a dangerous job. For instance, if you are mowing the lawn, put on some safety eyewear. Then, if rocks or other debris get in the air, they won’t get in your eyes.

Your eyes are important, so you need to protect them at all times. Follow these tips and keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your Scottsdale, Arizona, eye doctor. Then, your eyes will stay in great shape from one year to the next.

 

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Getting Ready for Cataract Surgery

Created on: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Couple enjoying life after cataract surgery
 

When your parents had cataract surgery, it was a big deal; they had to undergo a major procedure, and there were lots of potential risks involved. Now, cataract surgery is easier than ever before. The low-risk procedure takes less than an hour and restores vision almost immediately. Still, you do need to do a few things to get ready before you head to a Glendale, Arizona cataract surgeon for the procedure.

Undergo Some Tests

Your cataract surgeon needs to measure your eyes before removing your cataracts. The surgeon will use an ultrasound test to get the measurements approximately a week prior to the surgery. That way, the surgery will go off without a hitch.

Take Antibiotic Eyedrops

Cataract surgery can cause an infection if your eye isn’t properly treated beforehand. Your surgeon will prescribe antibiotic eyedrops that you will take before the surgery. This will greatly reduce your risk of infection so you can have a successful surgery.

Check Your Medications

Before you undergo surgery, your Scottsdale surgeon will ask for a list of your medications. Some of your medicines might interfere with your surgery, so you might have to go off them for a week or two prior to the procedure. Then, after your surgery is complete, you can start taking your medications once again.

Arrange for a Ride

Even though this is a simple outpatient procedure, you will not be allowed to drive afterward, so you will need to arrange for a ride prior to your surgery: Someone will need to go to the procedure with you and take you home. The person who drives you home will also need to sign your discharge papers, so make sure it is someone you can trust. You don’t want to choose someone who you don’t feel comfortable with, as this person will go back with you after the procedure.

Follow Fasting Instructions

Many surgeons require that patients stop eating and drinking 12 hours before the procedure. You will need to follow the instructions so you can get your cataracts removed without any issues. If you fail to follow these instructions, your surgeon will likely have to reschedule your procedure.
Then, you will have to live longer with your cataracts. That is not something that you want to do so follow all of the instructions exactly as they are given.

Make Arrangements to be Down for the Day

You might have a busy life, but you need to arrange to have a day off when you have your cataracts removed. Set aside the day so you can relax without going to work or out with friends. The more you relax the day of your surgery, the easier it will be to recover.

Cataract surgery is a simple process, and you can make it even easier by preparing for it. Follow these tips and your surgery will be smooth and painless. Then, the day after surgery, your bandage will come off and the world will look bright and new. You will be amazed by how well you can see after your surgery.

How is Glaucoma Detected?

Created on: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Visual Acuity & Visual Field tests are important in determining if you have glaucoma
 
 

Most people have a fear of the unknown, which is why they get nervous when visiting the eye doctor. The best way to squash that fear is to educate yourself. It is so important to learn about glaucoma testing before you arrive at the eye doctor. If your Glendale, Arizona eye doctor thinks that you might have glaucoma, a series of tests will be run to confirm a diagnosis. Look through the various tests so you will not experience any surprises during your visit.
 
Visual Acuity Test
 
Your exam will begin with a visual acuity test. This test measures your vision at various distances to determine any compromise. While this test cannot diagnose glaucoma on its own, it provides the eye doctor with important information.
 
Visual Field Test
 
Because Glaucoma goes after people’s peripheral vision first, your eye doctor will perform a visual field test. If you have lost some of your peripheral vision, that is a sign that you could have the eye disease. However, your eye doctor will need to run additional tests to be certain.
 
Tonometry Test
 
This common eye test delivers a warm puff of air into the eyes, which your eye doctor will use to determine how your eyes handle the pressure. Some eye doctors use numbing drops for this test while others do not. It all depends on the patient’s level of sensitivity.
 
Pachymetry
 
Eye doctors must also measure the thickness of the cornea to determine if you have glaucoma. During the process, your eye doctor will put numbing drops in your eyes and then use an instrument to see how thick your corneas are. This might sound frightening, but you will not feel a thing.
 
Eye Exam
 
A thorough eye exam is necessary, as well. Your eye doctor will begin by dilating your eyes. This is a simple process whereby your eye doctor will place dilating drops into your eyes. Then, a magnifying lens is used to get a closer look at your optic nerve and pupils. Not only will this allow your eye doctor to look for signs of glaucoma, it helps identify eye problems.
 
Why Are There So Many Tests?
 
Most eye conditions require a single diagnostic test, but glaucoma is complex. Simply checking a patient’s eye pressure does not provide enough information to diagnose this disease. That is why eye doctors use a series of tests when diagnosing glaucoma. These tests provide them with all of the information needed to make a firm diagnosis of the condition.
 
Early detection is important when dealing with glaucoma. If you think you might have the disease, contact a Scottsdale, Arizona eye doctor so that you can go through the necessary tests. If your eye doctor rules out glaucoma, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you do not have the disease. However, if your eye doctor determines that you do have glaucoma, you will be put on a treatment plan to slow down its progression.

Simple Tips to Lower Your Risk for Cataracts

Created on: Friday, February 24, 2017

Middle aged man showing audience ways to be active.
 

You have a natural lens inside of your eyes. When the lens is clear, it is easy to see through. If you develop cataracts, though, the lens will become cloudy, making things look hazy and blurry.

You can reduce your chances of getting cataracts by following a few tips. These simple lifestyle changes will keep your eyes healthy, even as you age.

Eat Right

You always hear that you need to eat your vegetables, and it really is true. Eating the right foods in the first step in maintaining your health. That includes your eye health. Eat a diet rich in yellow and dark-green leafy vegetables so you can take in lots of lutein and zeaxanthin. You also need to load up on vitamins A and C. These antioxidants and vitamins do a great job of preventing cataracts. The foods taste good, too.

Put Down Your Vices

Do you like to have a few cigarettes during the day or imbibe in alcohol on a regular basis? If you answered “yes,” you are setting yourself up to get cataracts. Smokers have twice the risk of developing cataracts, and heavy drinkers also increase their risk. Put the vices down and pick up a healthy hobby, such as exercising or playing sports. You will be much healthier, from your eyeballs all the way down to your feet.

Get Some Sun…But Not Too Much

Excessive sunlight exposure can lead to cataracts, regardless of your age. With that in mind, you might want to wear sunglasses all the time. That is also a problem. Light nourishes your eyes, so if you block off all of the UV rays, your eyes won’t be very healthy. Find a healthy balance by wearing a wide-brimmed hat if you’re going to be out in the sun for long periods of time. Your eyes will still get some light, but you won’t have to squint to see.

Keep Your Blood Sugar at a Healthy Level

Diabetes creates a broad range of health issues, including cataracts. You can avoid this problem by keeping your blood sugar under control. Take your prescribed medications and eat the right foods. That way, your blood sugar will be in check and your eyes will stay healthy. Then, you won’t have to worry about scheduling cataract surgery in the near future.

Get Active

New research shows that physical activity might reduce the risk of developing cataracts. The key is to engage in regular physical activity. Don’t just go through bursts of exercising. Develop a routine and follow it every day. You will look and feel better, and you will cut down on your risk of developing eye problems.

Along with following these tips, you need to keep regularly scheduled eye appointments. Our clinic serves patients in the Glendale and Scottsdale areas, and our professionals are trained to detect cataracts early. Let us examine your eyes to make sure you don’t have early stage cataracts, glaucoma, or another issue. With our help, the world will always look bright.

What Are the Most Common Types of Glaucoma Tests?

Created on: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

glaucoma phoenix

 

Protecting your vision from glaucoma damage starts with a regular or complete eye exam so it can be caught early. If you haven’t had a routine eye exam for a while, it is time to have one because glaucoma doesn’t make itself evident until it is too late.

When Your Eyes Should Be Tested

An annual eye exam is ideal. However, your eyes should be tested for glaucoma based on the following schedule:

  • Every two to four years before reaching the age of 40.
  • From the ages of 40 to 54, your eyes should be tested every one to three years.
  • Between the ages of 55 and 64, your eyes should be tested every one to two years.
  • Over 65 years of age, your eyes should be tested every 6 to 12 months.
  • Those that are high risk should be tested every one to two years starting at the age of 35.

While glaucoma is commonly associated with individuals more advanced in age, it can occur in younger people, which is why testing starts at an early age. This testing usually comes in the form of an inner eye pressure test.

Types of Testing

A comprehensive glaucoma exam involves checking inner eye pressure (tonometry), performing a dilated eye exam to check the optic nerve’s shape and color (ophthalmoscopy), a complete field of vision check (perimetry), a check of the angle of the eye where the cornea and iris meet (gonioscopy), and corneal thickness (pachymetry).

Here is a breakdown of each of these glaucoma tests:

  • Tonometry involves using a tonometer to apply slight pressure to the eye with a puff of warm air. If the pressure exceeds 20mm Hg, then there is a chance glaucoma is present.
  • Ophthalmoscopy involves the use of eye drops to dilate the pupil so the doctor can see into the eye and see the color and shape of the optic nerve.
  • Perimetry maps out a patient’s complete field of vision by using a light that passes the peripheral vision while looking straight ahead. Indicating when the light passes side vision helps map out the field of vision.
  • Gonioscopy also uses eye drops to check the angle where the cornea and iris meet. The eye is numbed and a handheld contact lens that contains a mirror is gently placed on the eye. This shows the doctor if the angle is open or closed. If it’s closed, it indicates glaucoma.
  • Pachymetry is painless as the doctor measures cornea thickness. A pachymeter is placed on the cornea to take the measurement.

You may be perplexed as to why there are so many tests, but patients in Scottsdale, Glendale, all throughout Arizona, and across the country can show different results on different tests and have the same diagnosis. Many times, the result that shows depends on the person. Plus, all of the tests help make sure that a person adequately protects his or her eyesight by enabling doctors to look at many factors so that the right diagnosis can be made.
 

Overcoming the Challenges of Glaucoma and Cataract Surgery

Created on: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Glaucoma Care Phoenix
 

It’s no secret that complications can arise during any kind of surgery. The goal is to overcome those challenges and give patients the best possible quality of life possible. It is very important to review every possibility so that cataract surgery can be as successful as possible for a glaucoma patient.

Taking a Straightforward Approach

It’s important to take a straightforward approach all the way from the routine eye exam to the conclusion of surgery. This means being honest about the effects of surgery in certain situations. For example, a patient who has had glaucoma surgery followed by cataract surgery may experience inflammation that causes glaucoma surgery to not be as effective. You can review this risk with your surgeon.

Other issues include glaucoma surgery worsening a cataract and cataract surgery causing eye pressure to increase. Although these things can seem frightening, it’s about the surgeon understanding the patient’s unique ocular situation so that options can be presented. Together, the surgeon and patient can determine what will most likely produce the best result. Here are possibilities:

  1. Cataract surgery can be performed alone.
  2. Glaucoma surgery can be performed alone.
  3. Glaucoma surgery and cataract surgery can be combined.


To determine the surgical route, it needs to be considered whether the cataract is causing more issues than glaucoma. Cataract surgery may be performed by itself with the possibility that medications will control eye pressure after surgery. It is also possible for cataract surgery to lower pressure, which is good for a glaucoma patient. If glaucoma medication has to be continued after surgery, it may be best for glaucoma surgery to be performed as well if the medications can cause complications.

Benefits of Surgery

There is a lot to consider when it comes to cataract and glaucoma surgeries. However, there are benefits that can be experienced, such as the restoration of central vision from cataract surgery and peripheral vision from a reduction in eye pressure. Usually, eye pressure improves after a combined cataract and glaucoma procedure. It is also possible for a person to not have to take glaucoma medications. Other times, medications can be eliminated completely. It is very important to discuss the expected risks and benefits when deciding which route you want your surgeon to take based on evaluation-based recommendations. It’s amazing how not being able to see properly can affect the quality of your life.

If you are in need of cataract or glaucoma surgery, or if you suspect you may have cataracts or glaucoma, be sure to contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Our highly trained and knowledgeable surgeons at Arizona Eye are here to help. Call our Glendale or Scottsdale locations today!

How Cataracts Can Affect Your Daily Life

Created on: Thursday, November 17, 2016

www.eyesarizona.com/glendale/cataract_treatment.htm

Cataract Treatment Phoenix
 

Your vision is a priceless tool that helps you navigate the world around you. Reading your favorite book, taking a walk, driving, and working can all be nearly impossible with bad vision. Cataracts is the number one cause of preventable blindness in the world. Fortunately, cataracts are treatable at all stages of development. Here are some examples how cataracts can affect your daily life, a reality for many people around the world today.
 

Color Distortion



As cataracts progress, they cause the lens inside of the eye to become discolored. People with cataracts may notice a slightly yellow hue to their vision over time. This can cause affect similar to color blindness, and colors may look dull and less vivid than before.
 

Difficulty with Driving



Night driving is generally one of the first things to go when a person develops cataracts. Low-light situations are not ideal for people with cataracts, making driving at night quite dangerous. As cataracts progress, driving at any time becomes dangerous. It can be difficult to see street signs and lights. This is a big loss for many people, who depend on driving to go to work or travel to see family. It can also be frustrating to lose independence in this way.
 

Limited Activities



Reading magazines, watching your favorite show, or doing any detailed work becomes difficult over time, even with the aid of contact lenses and glasses. Household chores like cooking and cleaning may become more frustrating as well.
 

Need for Increased Lighting



As stated before, low-light situations are difficult for those with cataracts. People who have cataracts tend to need brighter lights in order to see at night.
 

Sensitivity to Glare



Although people with cataracts need more light in order to see, light sensitivity is not uncommon in those with cataracts. People with cataracts may be more sensitive to glare, making driving during certain times of day difficult.


While cataracts certainly pose a threat to independence, it’s important to keep in mind that cataracts are treatable. Cataract surgery is advanced and quite safe, making removal a quick and painless process. If you are someone you love is dealing with cataracts, Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona is here to help. Contact us today for your cataract surgery consultation!

Glaucoma 101: What Are The Different Types of Glaucoma?

Created on: Monday, October 24, 2016

Glaucoma Phoenix

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of permanent blindness in the world today. Glaucoma is not understood by many people, and many do not know that there are actually several types of glaucoma. At Arizona Eye, we believe that knowledge is power. Learning as much as you can about a disease helps you prevent it and spread awareness.

So, let’s take a minute to discuss the two main types of glaucoma and how to catch them before they do any damage.

Types of Glaucoma 

 

  • Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma


Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, representing about 90% of all glaucoma cases. This type of glaucoma is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals inside of the eye. These drainage canals are responsible for moving fluid in and out of the eye. When these drainage canals become unable to move fluid in and out of the eye fast enough, fluid begins to build up inside of the eye. This causes a spike in intraocular pressure.


Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma occurs slowly, and does not have symptoms. As intraocular pressure rises, the eye begins to compress the optic nerve, causing irreversible vision loss. Usually, people do not experience any symptoms until vision loss has already occurred.
 

  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma


This rare form of glaucoma is caused by the sudden, complete blockage of the eye’s drainage canals. This form of glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. Unlike Open-Angle glaucoma, Angle-Closure glaucoma does present some symptoms.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
 

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive tearing


Angle-Closure glaucoma causes a sudden spike in intraocular pressure, causing rapid vision loss if not treated immediately.

 

Diagnosis

Open-Angle glaucoma is diagnosed through eye examinations. Since there are no obvious symptoms, patients generally don’t know that they have glaucoma until they attend their comprehensive eye exams, or until they’ve already experienced vision loss. This is why eye examinations are extremely important to your eye health and vision. When caught early, out doctors are able to save you from the vision loss caused by glaucoma.

 

Treatment

Our glaucoma experts at Arizona Eye are highly trained and skilled in the correction of glaucoma. Treatments are focused on lowering intraocular pressure to reduce or eliminate further vision loss. It is important to remember that any vision lost before treatment is irreparable, which is why early detection is so important.

  • Aqueous  Shunt Surgery

There are patients with glaucoma who experienced failure from their previous glaucoma surgery, and this surgery is best recommended for these patients.

  • Canaloplasty

Canaloplasty is non-penetrating and focuses mostly on restoring the usual outflow rather than creating a new one.

  • Express-device Assisted Trabeculectomy

This surgery has a small steel device that gives a standardized opening and minimizes inflammation of the eye.

  • Trabeculectomy

 This is the most commonly performed glaucoma treatment procedure. The procedure allows fluid to drain from the eye to decrease intraocular pressure.

  • Titanium-Sapphire Laser Trabeculoplasty

This procedure targets the trabecular meshwork by altering it without any scarring or damage to the tissue.

  • Diode Laser

With Diode laser surgery, intraocular eye pressure is decreased by shrinking the glands of the eye that produce fluid.
 
At Arizona Eye, our doctors will be able to determine which course of treatment is best for you. If you are due for an eye examination, call Arizona Eye today for your appointment! If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma and are looking for the perfect place for treatment, look no further than Arizona Eye!

Eye Exams for Diabetics: Why are they Important?

Created on: Thursday, September 15, 2016

www.eyesarizona.com/glendale/contact-us.htmwww.eyesarizona.com/glendale/cataracts.htm

eye exams Phoenix

Diabetes is a complicated disease that can cause a multitude of serious complications in the body. If left untreated, it can adversely affect many important organs in the body, including the eyes. Regular checkups are crucial in preventing diabetic eye disease. Here is some information on common eye afflictions that may develop as a result of diabetes.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by chronically high blood sugar. High blood sugar is a result of uncontrolled diabetes. It damages the sensitive blood vessels in the retina, leaving them weak and prone to leakage. The blood and fluid that leaks into the eye can eventually lead to total blindness. The severity of this disease is measured on a scale ranging from mild, moderate, or severe non-proliferative retinopathy to proliferative retinopathy. At the earliest stage (mild non-proliferative) small blood vessels in the retina start to swell and leak fluid. A build up of this fluid may also cause a condition known as macular edema. This is associated with loss of vision and blindness.

The disease eventually progresses to proliferative retinopathy, which occurs when the eye begins to generate new, weaker blood vessels that are damaged faster and easier. The scar tissue that builds up puts the eye at risk for total retinal detachment which will also cause permanent vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy generally shows few or no symptoms in its early stage. This makes it extremely difficult to detect, and unless it is treated early on, there is always a risk of permanent damage to the eyes. Undergoing regular eye exams, especially patients with diabetes, would allow our ophthalmologists to discover the issue before it can progress and treat it before irreversible deterioration occurs. The doctors at our facilities in Glendale and Scottsdale provide only the highest quality of care, and are committed to detecting these issues as early as possible so that treatment can begin immediately.
 
Cataracts

Cataracts, which can also be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, cloud the lens of the eye resulting in blurry vision. In the past, it was generally only older adults that were affected. However, now that diabetes is becoming more and more commonplace among younger generations, cataracts are starting to appear sooner and more often.

Diabetic cataracts will also progress and worsen faster. Once the cataract has worsened, the most effective method to deal them is surgery. If you are in Arizona, our physicians are competent, trustworthy, and reliable. They perform these types of surgeries at in Glendale and Scottsdale safely and quickly, so that you can get back to doing and seeing the things that you love!
 
Glaucoma

Glaucoma is another eye disease that may start with little to no warning signs. The most common form of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma) is caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye, which results in optic nerve damage. Left untreated, this will cause permanent vision loss, and in extreme cases, total blindness. Research shows that diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. There is no cure for glaucoma, or for damage already done by glaucoma. Only early detection and subsequent treatment can slow or stop progression.
 
Stop Eye Disease Earlier

Regular eye exams can help prevent serious damage. If you have diabetes, an annual exam is vital to staying healthy and keeping your vision intact. Contact us now or visit our offices in Glendale or Scottsdale to schedule an eye exam!
 

Age Doesn’t Always Matter: Cataracts in Young Adults

Created on: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

cataracts phoenix arizona

Long gone are the days when cataracts were exclusively tied to seniority. When people think cataracts, they usually think of elderly people. This isn’t completely inaccurate - the vast majority of people with cataracts are over the age of 65. However, we now know that cataracts are not only a consequence of age, but can also result from injury or other medical conditions.

Cataracts are characterized by a clouding of the natural lens behind the pupil. Cataracts are extremely common, and are the leading cause of blindness throughout the world. While we don’t know the exact cause of cataracts, we understand that there are many factors that go into their development. These factors are not always synonymous with old age.

Cataract Risks

Aside from age, these are some of the factors that increase the risks of cataract in younger people:

Diabetes

Diabetes is a very common chronic disease in which the pancreas does not create enough insulin, leading to dangerously high blood glucose levels. Without proper management, diabetes can cause a host of different health problems, including diabetic eye disease and an increased chance of cataract development. Diabetes can affect anyone at any age, and with cases at an all time high, it is easy to see why younger people may be more at risk for cataracts now than ever.

So, how exactly does diabetes contribute to cataract formation? Simple, it’s because of glucose. The lens of the eye gets its nutrients from aqueous humor, the fluid found in the front portion of the eye. Poorly-controlled diabetes causes glucose levels to rise in both the fluid and in the lens of the eye. Swelling of the lens occurs as a consequence. In addition, an enzyme in the lens converts glucose to sorbitol. Sorbitol causes the lens to become more opaque than transparent.

Well-controlled diabetes can keep cataracts in check - although, once formed, cataracts will need to be removed through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery in our Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale locations is safe, effective and quick.

Injury

Cataract formation due to an injury is usually called “traumatic cataract”. This type of cataract is secondary to an blunt or penetrating ocular trauma. These cataracts can develop within weeks of the injury, while some take years to develop. When working in an environment where eye trauma is possible, it is very important to wear the proper safety gear. Take extra care when playing sports or doing any other activity in which your eyes may be susceptible to injury.

Other Risk Factors

Other than the two factors listed above, there are many things that can increase your risk of cataract development, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Use of steroid medications
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • A family history of cataracts
  • Eliminating Vision-Stealing Cataracts

Cataract generally develop slowly, over a period of several years. Any hint of blurry, distorted or discolored vision should be reported to an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. When found early, our doctors at Arizona Eye can counsel you on how to slow the progression, and when it will be best for surgery. Cataract surgery is an extremely common procedure. Our doctors here in Phoenix, Glendale and Scottsdale have been performing this procedure for years with amazing success. If you are dealing with cataracts, call us today for a consultation!

Foods that Lower Your Risk of Glaucoma

Created on: Monday, July 25, 2016

lower your risk of glaucoma

 

An estimated 60 million people worldwide are living with glaucoma. A large portion of that number is unaware that they have glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. While there are risk factors that make you more prone to glaucoma, it can happen to anyone.

Although many studies have been done, and are continuing to be done, we are still unsure of the main cause of glaucoma. We do know that glaucoma is a result of high intraocular pressure, but what remains unknown is what exactly causes the intraocular pressure in the first place. However, we do know that a healthy lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of glaucoma

Saved by the Plate

Here are specific foods thought to lower your risk of glaucoma:
 
1. Flavonoid-rich foods

Among all flavonoid-rich foods, green tea, red wine, and cocoa occupy the first three ranks on the list. Flavonoid-rich foods have been proven to help people with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Studies show that flavonoids, polyphenol compounds present in plants, have effective neuroprotective functions and thereby improve and slow the progression of visual field loss. Glaucoma surgeons in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale advocate dietary management as part of glaucoma prevention. 
 
2. Eggplant

It has been found that eggplant can significantly reduce intraocular pressure by as much as 25 percent, for a period of time. Incorporating eggplant into your diet when possible may keep your glaucoma risk low.
 
3. Goji Berries

Aside from compressing the optic nerve, the elevated pressure inside the eye can also destroy light-sensitive cells or retinal ganglion cells. An animal study showed that goji berries can save these cells from deteriorating independent of elevated pressure.
 
4. Kale

A few servings of kale per week can reduce the risk developing of glaucoma by a significant amount. High level of nitrates in food act as a precursor to nitric oxide. This helps reduce the risk of glaucoma by promoting optimum circulation of blood to different parts of the body.

While these food have been shown to be beneficial in lowering the risk of glaucoma, there are still many factors that put people at risk for this disease. Previous eye injury, family history and existing health issues such as diabetes can all contribute to glaucoma development. Talk to your doctor to determine your risk of glaucoma and ways in which you can lower your risk.

In general, a healthy lifestyle with plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best for the health of our eyes and the rest of our bodies. Our glaucoma specialists in Glendale, AZ recommend a healthy diet along with regular eye examinations for glaucoma prevention. For more information, call us today for an appointment!



 

 

Keep Your Eyes Safe: Understanding Traumatic Cataracts

Created on: Monday, June 13, 2016

traumatic cataracts

Approximately 2.5 million eye injuries occur in America annually. One of the most common complications of eye injury is traumatic cataract development. Its incidence remains high up to this day. In fact, trauma is the leading cause of blindness in people younger than 45.

Traumatic cataracts may develop immediately or gradually over months after injury. This can challenge cataract detection and provision of prompt intervention to prevent blindness. Cataract treatment in Phoenix provides top of the scale eye care to individuals in Glendale, Scottsdale, and nearby areas who are at risk of developing traumatic cataracts.

What are Traumatic Cataracts?


While most cataracts develop as a result of aging, cataracts can also develop from both blunt and penetrating eye traumas. Our cataract surgeons in Scottsdale are expertly shaped by years of experience in providing patients the best traumatic cataract treatment.

The types of opacities of the cataracts formed from each type of trauma differ. Blunt traumas are a combination of coup (direct) and contrecoup (distant) impacts. Also, a rapid shortening of the eye happens when the anterior surface is bluntly struck. This shortened diameter can disrupt the lens capsule, zonules, or both. This combination is responsible for traumatic cataracts following blunt eye traumas.

On the other hand, individuals who suffered penetrating traumas can develop lens disruption which can lead to opacification at the site of injury. If it is large enough, the entire lens rapidly develops cataracts. Otherwise, it can seal itself off. Nevertheless, the aim of traumatic cataract treatment in Phoenix is preventing blindness through the best cataract surgeons in the area with the most advanced laser cataract surgery in Glendale and Scottsdale.

Other causes of traumatic cataracts include infrared energy, electric shock, and ionizing radiation.

Laser Cataract Treatment


Eye physicians and cataract surgeons of Glendale, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, Arizona are pleased to offer a bladeless, computer-controlled laser technology called Alcon’s LenSx laser which makes individualized treatment plans possible.

The LenSx® laser makes cataract removal easier by softening the cataract. An intraocular lens (IOLs) is then placed after removal of clouded lens. It determines the focusing ability of the eye. A variety of IOLs are available to accommodate unique individual needs.

The advantages of laser cataract surgery in Glendale, Scottsdale, and Phoenix include:

  • the chance to correct pre-existing refractive errors such as astigmatism at the same time,
  • less energy use in cataract removal,
  • provision of effective and safe treatment for hard or mature cataracts,
  • and facilitating consistent and precise implant placement.

Protect Your Vision


Your vision is priceless. Accidents happen, but it it is important that we take all measures possible to protect our eyes from injury. Wearing the proper safety glasses when doing high-risk activities such as using a power-saw, playing sports or even riding a motorcycle can prevent eye injury. Actively protecting your vision is the best way to prevent traumatic injury and cataracts! Call Arizona Eye today if you have had a traumatic eye injury, or if you suspect your are developing cataracts.
 

Understanding Glaucoma: Preserve Your Vision

Created on: Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Just like any part of the body, the eyes need regular health maintenance. As we age, we become more susceptible to many different vision issues, from cataracts, to presbyopia, to dry eye syndrome. These conditions often make themselves known and are treatable, but not all are so simple. Glaucoma is a common eye disease that causes irreparable damage to vision, with little to no symptoms until it is too late.

Glaucoma is not preventable, and although we know of some risk factors, it is unknown what the actual cause of glaucoma is. Glaucoma may not be preventable, but the vision loss caused by glaucoma is. By attending your regular eye examinations, you are taking the proactive approach to finding glaucoma before damage has been caused. Our glaucoma specialists here in Scottsdale recommend that those with risk factors attend an examination every year.

Catching glaucoma in its early stages is the only way to prevent vision loss. It is important to understand how glaucoma causes vision loss, and why catching it early is imperative to healthy vision.

The Drainage Mechanism of the Eye


Aqueous humor, a watery substance that creates pressure to give the eyes its shape, is normally constantly flowing in and out of the eyes.This drainage system is referred to as the trabecular meshwork, and is responsible for allowing this fluid to travel throughout the chambers of the eye. To maintain the correct pressure, it is produced in the same rate that it goes back to the bloodstream.

When the trabecular meshwork becomes blocked, effective drainage is impaired and glaucoma forms slowly. Fluid builds up, causes increased intraocular pressure, and compresses the optic nerve. The optic nerve is an essential part of vision, and once damage has been caused to it, there is no correcting it. With a damaged optic nerve, the retina is unable to send signals to the brain when you are looking at something.

Risk Factors of Glaucoma


There are individuals who are more likely than others to develop glaucoma. These individuals include those of African and Asian descent, those who have medical conditions like hypertension or metabolic resistance (e.g. diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.), those who are over age 60, as well as those who have a family history of the disease. Glaucoma care specialists at Arizona Eye in Scottsdale suggest frequent eye check-ups so referrals can be made to local glaucoma surgeons for possible surgical interventions. Our practice provides a wide array of surgical glaucoma treatment in Scottsdale, Glendale, and Phoenix, Arizona including Canaloplasty, Trabeculectomy, and laser surgeries like Titanium-Sapphire Laser Trabeculoplasty (TSLT), Laser Iridotomy, and Diode Laser.

Love Your Eyes


Though it is not known currently what can prevent glaucoma, there are precautionary steps and healthy habits that may ward off the disease. As mentioned, the most important step is regular eye care - comprehensive eye exams detect glaucoma in its early stages before any vision loss occurs. Exercise can also prevent high blood pressure and metabolic resistance, which can lead to glaucoma. Other preventative steps include protecting the eye from injuries, knowing your family’s history, and sufficient dietary intake of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E found in green leafy vegetables and fish.

Glaucoma Management and Treatment


If you’re concerned about the possibility of having or developing glaucoma, a visit to an eye doctor will requires very little time, and could potentially save your vision. Our glaucoma care specialists in Scottsdale take pride in offering state-of-the-art equipment and evidence-based medical experience to address your eye health needs, especially when it comes to preventative care.

For early-detected glaucoma, medications in the form eye drops and oral drugs are prescribed to reduce the pressure and halt the progression of glaucoma. More advanced cases would need surgical interventions. One of our glaucoma specialists will help decide which treatment option is best for you.
 
Glaucoma is a very common eye condition and given the circumstances that favor its progression, everyone can be considered at risk. If you are experiencing symptoms like headache, eye pain, eye redness, and difficulty seeing objects in your periphery, we encourage you seek medical help urgently to properly address your symptoms, as these can be signs of a rare, more severe type of glaucoma.

Love your eyes - contact Arizona Eye Physicians & Surgeons and make us your partner in preventing vision loss today!
 

 

 

Are You At Risk for Glaucoma?

Created on: Thursday, April 14, 2016

When discussing glaucoma, you may very well hear it affiliated with blindness. This is because glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Unfortunately, glaucoma is incurable, but at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona we make the treatment and management of glaucoma a top priority for our patients, and we help those who are at risk for glaucoma manage their risks and monitor their eye health. Glaucoma care in Scottsdale makes prevention of complications a top priority.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve due to increased pressure inside the eyes, medically called intraocular pressure (IOP). The rise in this pressure is primarily caused by blockage of the flow of fluid in the front chamber of the eyes called the aqueous humor.

One type of glaucoma (open angle) takes years to gradually lessen the visual field and it is the most common within elderly populations. However, the other form of glaucoma (closed angle) can happen any time, such as when a person sustains mechanical and chemical trauma in the eye.

Manifestations can appear late in the development of the disease, as it may be difficult to notice the gradual loss of vision. Manifestations of glaucoma include seeing halos, blurring of vision, and eye pain. Glaucoma treatment in Scottsdale involves regular check-ups, drops or oral medications that help to lower intraocular pressure, and we offer a variety of glaucoma surgeries to assist our patients in maintaining their vision.

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

It is important to remember that glaucoma can happen to anyone at any given time. It is not exclusive to the elderly, although increasing age is one risk factor itself. Here are some factors that increase a person’s chances of having glaucoma:

History of Glaucoma in the Family

Studies show that having a family history of glaucoma increases an individual’s chance of having the same condition by four to nine times, as compared to those who do not have family history glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is hereditary.

Age

With age comes deterioration of body’s physiological functions. Increased age is directly correlated with a higher risk of glaucoma. The more the person ages, the higher their chances of developing vision loss due to glaucoma. Older people are six times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than those in the younger population.

Ethnicity

Glaucoma is more common in African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Chronic glaucoma is common in African-Americans. On the other hand, Asians have angle-closure glaucoma. People of Japanese heritage in particular are at risk for normal tension glaucoma.

The threat glaucoma poses to the quality of vision is a serious matter that needs to be dealt with critically. It is important to schedule regular eye exams with your If you have the mentioned risk factors, it is wise to meet with your eye doctor in Scottsdale or Glendale. Contact us now for the best glaucoma treatment in Arizona that your vision deserves best!

Top Causes of Glaucoma in Elderly Population

Created on: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Characterized by ocular nerve damage, glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world. According to The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only 50% of them are aware that they have the disease. It is also the culprit behind 10 million doctor visits annually. If you have or are experiencing symptoms of Glaucoma, Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona are happy to see patients in Scottsdale and Glendale. 

The optic nerve is a light-sensing nerve that carries the images from retina to vision centers in the brain. In cases of glaucoma, optic nerve damage occurs when it is compressed by congestion of aqueous humor in the eye. Aqueous humor is a fluid that continuously bathes the cornea and lens, and is then drained to the venous circulation through the angle between the iris and the cornea. A block in this pathway slowly raises intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eyes). Consequently, the nerve suffers from loss of blood supply and nerve fibers. It shrinks and gradual loss of vision characterized by visual field defects follows thereafter.

While glaucoma may occur any time, its risk increases with age and the elderly are a vulnerable group. Here are the top causes of glaucoma in the elderly population:

Diabetes


Diabetes is characterized by increased glucose in the blood because the cells can’t take it in, either due to lack of insulin or diminished cell receptor sensitivity for glucose. It is a chronic disease that is often more prevalent in older age groups. Those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as non-diabetics.
Too viscous blood leads to sluggish blood flow causing the vessels to receive low blood supply. One of the affected areas is the eyes. Retinal blood vessels suffer from damage and this is replaced by newly-manufactured abnormal blood vessels. These abnormal blood vessels can grow on the iris and can block the drainage of aqueous humor leading to increased intraocular pressure. This type of glaucoma is called neovascular glaucoma.

Mechanical Injuries

As we age, our risk for injury caused by falls increases.  Trauma sustained by such injuries, especially on a repeating basis, can cause excess plasma and debris in the eye, eventually blocking the drainage canal or the aqueous humor. Intraocular pressure may begin to climb at this point, causing the onset of Glaucoma. The same chain of events can occur when penetrating eye injuries occur.

Medications

Secondary glaucoma can occur from prolonged use of certain drugs like steroids and those prescribed for conditions like depression, Parkinson’s disease, and allergies. They have the property to dilate the pupils, narrowing the angle between the iris and the cornea.

Hypertension

Systemic hypertension is characterized by increased pressure inside the vessels caused by the moving blood. Continuous elevated pressure, especially in the eyes, can damage optic nerve and glaucoma occurs as a result.
We believe that everyone in Arizona should be having regular eye exams to take care of their ocular health. This is especially important if you find that you are experiencing symptoms of Glaucoma or have prerequisites that may put you at higher risk for the disease, such as African-American heritage or a family history of Glaucoma.

Glaucoma workups are established for diagnosis and formulation of glaucoma treatment plan. The major goal of glaucoma treatment in Scottsdale is to prevent damage of optic nerve because glaucoma still has no cure up to this day. The damage may not be reversed but further damage can be controlled. If are experiencing symptoms of Glaucoma in Glendale or Scottsdale, schedule an appointment with the Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona today!
 

Cataracts Affect More Than Just The Elderly

Cataracts Affect More Than Just The Elderly

Created on: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Author: George R. Reiss

Cataracts are the number one causes of blindness in the world. The first thing you probably think of when you hear the word “cataracts” is the elderly. It is understandable why that would be the case, because cataracts are most commonly seen in the elderly, but you don't need to be elderly to develop them—in fact, babies can be born with cataracts.

While rare, cataracts have been seen in newborns—it is estimated that between 3 and 4 children per every 10,000 are born with or will develop congenital cataracts. There are multiple causes for this, but the most common include: trauma, metabolic dysfunction, and infections developed while in utero.

In a healthy eye, light enters the eye through the cornea and passes through the lens, which then focuses the light onto the retina, which finally relays the information through your optic nerve into your brain. A cataract is the clouding of your eyes natural lens. The cataract blocks light coming into the eye thus not allowing the eyes lens to focus the light properly, which in turn causes blindness.

There are a multitude of reasons why you might develop cataracts before the age of 45. The most common reasons people develop cataracts at a younger age are: diet, medication usage, other health issues, physical trauma, and over exposure to UV rays. It is important to protect your vision, because it can be damaged easier than you think.

Detecting cataracts early in those who begin to develop them early is essential in protecting their vision for the future. If left untreated, your eyes will not develop correctly and you will have vision problems the rest of your life. Make sure to schedule regular eye exams with your eye doctor to ensure your eyes are in good health.

5 Things You Should Avoid Doing If You Are A Contact Lens User

5 Things You Should Avoid Doing If You Are A Contact Lens User

Created on: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Author: George R. Reiss

If you are a contact lens user, then you might be at risk of developing an eye infection if you are not practicing good hygiene with your contact lenses. It is easy to cut corners when your contacts seem to become just another part of your daily routine. If you are going to continue using contacts, then here are 5 Things You Should Avoid Doing:

1. Putting You Contact Lenses In Your Mouth: Believe it or not, licking your contact lenses does not “clean them off,” it actually does the opposite. Our mouths are a haven for bacteria that have no business being near your eye!

2. Overwearing Your Contact Lenses: Make sure to not overwear your contact lenses. It is a great idea to have a schedule for when you need to remove your contact lenses so that your eyes can rest. If your eyes don't receive enough oxygen your corneas can begin to swell, which can lead to more serious conditions such as corneal abrasion and potentially dangerous infections.

3. Sleeping With Your Contact Lenses: This is another form of overwearing your contact lenses. You might notice that if you decide to take a quick nap with your contacts in, that you wake up to find your eyes are red and irritated and potentially even a bit swelled. This is because you are starving your eyes of oxygen and sealing harmful bacteria that could be on your lens in with your eyes when you close your eye lids. You could actually end up going blind if you continue to do this.

4. Getting Makeup On Your Contacts: Don't under any circumstance allow for makeup to remain on your contact lens. If you accidentally get some eye liner on your contact, then you need to take the lens out and give it a proper cleaning or you risk irritating your eyes.

5. Continuing To Wear Your Contact Lens Even Though Your Eyes Are Irritated: If your eyes are red and irritated after putting your contact lenses in, that means something is wrong with the lenses and they need to be cleaned properly before being put back in. If the redness in your eyes wont clear up then you might already have an eye infection, if this is the case don't put your contacts in and make an appointment to see your eye doctor.

Vision: A Look At All The Moving Parts

Vision: A Look At All The Moving Parts

Created on: Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

Vision is a beautiful thing, thanks to your eyes you are able to see colors and perceive depth. You can focus your vision up close or looks far off into the horizon. All of these functions of the eye happen automatically when you open up your eyes similarly to how your camera can autofocus on your phone. 

Your eyes work in conjunction with your brain to process the images you see into one picture. The point of seeing your eye doctor for an eye exam is so that they can be sure each of the individual parts of your eyes are working properly and are healthy.

The parts of your eye your eye doctor is checking are as follows:

  • Sclera – What is normally called the “white of the eye” consists of a tough membrane that helps protect the sensitive parts of the eye. It is composed of collagen and elastic fibers.
  • Cornea – The surface at the front of the eye that acts as a protective layer for the pupil and iris. Aside from protecting parts of your eye, it focuses incoming light into other areas of the eye. You could certainly draw a comparison between the cornea and a camera lens as it has a similar function. The cornea does not require blood for it to operate properly, and is kept healthy by tears and aqueous humor (a type of eye fluid).
  • Pupil – The big dark spot that is Located in the center of your eye that lets all the light into the inner parts of your eye.
  • Iris – This is the pretty colored portion of your eye that surrounds your pupil. The iris changes its shape around the pupil to let in as much light as is necessary.
  • Anterior chamber – Located behind the cornea, the anterior chamber is a cushioned area filled with aqueous humor. Glaucoma is caused by blockage that is formed in the anterior chamber that prevents fluid from flowing in and out of the eye which creates pressure that can lead to blindness.
  • Lens – Positioned deep inside your eye is the lens! Light that comes through the cornea then enters the pupil and hits the curved surface of your lens where it is then focused on the retina in the back of your eye. What happens when someone is suffering from having cataracts is that this inner lens has become clouded. This can be corrected with cataract surgery by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear lens implant.
  • Vitreous chamber – Behind the first layer of the human eye is layers of vitreous humor—a gel-like organic compound which gives the eye its shape.
  • Retina – This part of your eye translates all the visual information it receives from your eyes into electrical impulses so that your brain can digest them.
  • The optic nerve – The optic nerve takes the information from the retina and transmits it to the brain. You would think that there would be some input lag, and you aren’t necessarily wrong, but it is nearly instantaneous.

The eye is an impressive piece of biological engineering with many different moving parts. With such an intricate design, it is easy for something to go wrong, which is why it is important for you to continue scheduling routine eye exams with your doctor. If you haven’t had a routine eye exam yet, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today!

Top 5 Signs You Need Vision Correction

Top 5 Signs You Need Vision Correction

Created on: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

A vast amount of the activities we do in our daily lives is dependent on our ability to see clearly. Approximately 4.2 billion people around the globe suffer from some type of visual affliction, 80% of which could be avoided and/or cured with proper vision correction. Being visually impaired affects your work productivity and makes simple tasks take more time to complete. In the United States alone 283,000 years of time were collectively lost in 2013 due to visual impairment. It is hard to fathom what might have been accomplished during that lost time.

Vision impairment is wide spread globally and the odds that you might develop some type of vision loss is quite high, so here are 5 of the top signs you need vision correction:

1.     Eye Strain and Fatigue – You might find that your eyes quickly feel very tired and you need to rest them often when focusing on something. Sensitivity to bright colors and light is also common.

2.     Prominent Visual Defects – This could potentially be the most telling sign that you need to pursue vision correction. Make sure to contact an eye doctor if you see “halos” around lights, suffer from light sensitivity, or begin to notice you are seeing shadows appear on books or screens. It is also important to mention if you are having trouble seeing at night while driving as this could lead to a potentially more serious eye problem.

3.     Blurring Vision – This will probably be the first thing you pick up on if you are developing issues with your vision. Generally, things will either be blurry in the distance (nearsightedness) or up close (farsightedness). It is important for you to figure out when you are having the most trouble seeing and reporting this immediately to your eye doctor.

4.     Recurring Headaches – In most cases vision degrades over long periods of time and these subtle shifts in your vision can be difficult to notice, making you strain your eyes trying to focus your vision without even realizing it. This constant struggle with your eyes to focus can cause headaches. It is common for those who suffer from visual impairment to suffer from recurring headaches.

5.     Reduced Productivity at School or Work – Poor performance at work or school might be an indicator that you need some form of vision correction. Monitor feedback on your performance, particularly when it involves spreadsheets or reports that you put together. If you are making typos regularly there is a good chance you could be farsighted.

If your vision suffers from any of these 5 visual afflictions, it is recommended that you schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to determine what the best method of vision correction would be.

What is a Pterygium? And What are my Treatment Options?

What is a Pterygium? And What are my Treatment Options?

Created on: Monday, October 26, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

People generally describe a pterygium as a “whiteish-yellowish, wing-shaped growth” that grows over a part of your cornea, but what is it exactly? Medically speaking, a pterygium is an overgrowth of fibrovascular tissue and conjunctiva on the surface of the cornea.

In most cases, a pterygium begins as a pingueculae (try saying that ten times fast)—An elevated “whitish-yellowish growth” on the white of the eye. Pingueculae are most commonly located nasally, or temporally, on the interpalbebral fissure—located in the area between your upper and lower eyelid. A pingueculae becomes known as a pterygium when it starts to grow in a wing-like shape more centrally over the cornea.

By themselves, pterygium aren’t harmful and most commonly are caused by an over exposure to the sun, dust, or high winds. It is important to wear protective eyewear, like sunglasses, to protect your eyes when you are outside. An interesting fact—Cases involving pterygium become more common as you get closer to the equator.

Never fear though, there is medical treatments for pterygium. In fact, most commonly pterygium can be treated with lubricating eye drops or anti-inflammatory eye drops. In some cases, removing pterygium can require surgery, but this is far less common than the aforementioned removal using medical eye drops. Surgery only becomes necessary if the growth: starts inhibiting the visual axis, is unresponsive to medical eye drop treatment and becomes excessively irritating, or you begin to develop a serious astigmatism (caused by corneal surface irregularity).

Should a pterygium or pingueculea be removed using surgical methods, it should be sent to a pathologist to analyze. In rare cases, precancerous lesions can masquerade themselves as pterygium.

If you find that you are developing, or have developed, a pingueculae or pterygium make sure to have it checked out by your eye doctor so that future treatment can be planned!

Top 4 Myths About Your Eyes

Top 4 Myths About Your Eyes

Created on: Thursday, September 17, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about our eyes. I'm sure you've heard of the old myth where if someone hits you in the back of the head while you are crossing your eyes they will get stuck. Well, that is just one of the many silly myths that have come up over the years. The American Academy of Ophthalmology publishes a list of these myths on their website, but here is our “Top 4 Myths About Your Eyes.”

1. “Reading in dim light can damage your eyes” - Reading in a dim light will most likely cause you to strain your eyes, which creates discomfort, but it doesn't necessarily cause harm to your eyes.

2. “Children can outgrow having crossed eyes” - If left untreated, young children that suffer from strabismus, or “crossed eyes,” can develop poor vision in one eye. Many of those who suffer from strabismus will require the use of surgery, eyeglasses, patches, or a combination of all of them to correct their vision.

3. “Wearing corrective lenses or contacts will make you dependent on them” - This myth can be dangerous because children who suffer from high refractive errors require corrective lenses or they run the risk of never developing normal vision. If contacts are worn over extended periods of time without being taken out, it can cause damage to the cornea and increase your risk of eye infection.

4. “Being visually impaired can cause learning disabilities” - While it is true that learning disabilities are generally caused by how the brain processes what it sees, they are not related to vision problems. Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two learning disabilities that influence your concentration which affects your ability to learn. Children who have vision problems do have a difficult time learning because they can't see what is on the board, or read their school books.

It is important to know what is truth and what is myth, because some of these myths can do more harm than good. If you ever have any questions about these eye myths, it is best to see your eye doctor.

Could a Cure for Blindness Exist? Scientists Believe so

Could a Cure for Blindness Exist? Scientists Believe so

Created on: Thursday, August 20, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

Your ability to see isn’t magic, it is the product of all the rods, cones, and photoreceptors within your eye working together to translate light into electrical signals that are sent to your brain. The brain, then interprets the electrical signals and what you see today is the product of that interpretation. We call that interpretation “vision.”

What causes blindness?

There are certain types of genetic and non-genetic diseases that can cause damage to photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells. When these get damaged they begin to function improperly and eventually die, at that point we lose our ability to see.

In developed countries around the world, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of damage and death to the photoreceptors in the human eye. The human body has limited abilities to repair damage to nerve cells, and unfortunately lacks the ability to grow new ones. Without these photoreceptors, the eye has trouble converting light to electrical signals for the brain, causing your vision to grow darker.

Cataracts are another major issue, and are the leading cause of blindness around the world. If you are over the age of 40 and are having issues with vision loss, then there is a good chance you are beginning to develop cataracts. The damage done by cataracts is at the front of the eye, and can be corrected fairly easily with LASIK surgery.

Issues with dying cones, rods, and photoreceptors are located at the back of the eye, so they are unreachable by current LASIK technology.

Is there a cure for blindness?

Currently there aren’t a ton of options in place. There are some bionic eyes available, but the technology is a bit crude and will only provide you with the most basic ability to see. The good news is that there are scientists looking for a way to cure blindness. One possible cure that is currently being tested is called “photoswitch.”

The ganglion cells in your eyes remain intact despite damages to your photoreceptors. The issues is that without those photoreceptors, your ganglion cells are just sitting there with nothing to do. Photoswitch takes these dysfunctional ganglion cells and infuses them with photoswitch molecules.

These molecules are designed to change shape in response to light. This gives the ganglion cells the ability to sense light on their own. This essentially makes your ganglion cells self-sufficient vision producing machines!

The animal testing of the photoswitch molecule has thus far given off positive results, but we won’t know for sure if this technology is a viable option for humans until more tests have been completed. If results are positive after human testing then photoswitch can improve vision for those suffering blindness beyond anything that the current bionic eye technology offers.

Via

Two Effective Methods of Battling Digital Eye Strain

Two Effective Methods of Battling Digital Eye Strain

Created on: Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

 We live in a world where digital devices are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives every year. We spend many hours of our day staring at digital devices at work or at home and we rarely think to give our eyes a break every once in a while. As one would expect, this isn’t very healthy for our eyes.

The reason this isn’t healthy is that digital devices produce a certain type of light called “blue light.” Blue light has the highest wavelength of visible light, this allows it to penetrate all the way to the back of the eye, through the eyes’ natural filters causing your eyes to get strained quicker.

Digital Eye strain is becoming increasingly common among people of all ages. Have your eyes ever gone blurry after prolonged computer use? If you answered “yes,” then you have experienced digital eye strain. There are many other symptoms of digital eye strain: recurring headaches, dry or tired eyes, etc… If you regularly experience these symptoms, then it is time to start taking precautions to mitigate this issue.

First off there is the “20-20-20 Rule,” perhaps you have heard of this one? It is fairly simple! Every 20 minutes of digital screen use, you look approximately 20 feet off into the distance, for 20 seconds. You might be thinking “what could something like that do to help?” It actually does quite a bit! What it helps your eyes do is engage your distance vision, which essentially resets your eyes for the next 20 minute hurdle.

Over increasingly long periods of digital screen usage the “20-20-20 Rule” won’t always solve all your eye strain problems, and this is where I recommend the use of special lenses that filter out blue light. You can buy glasses especially made for the filtering of blue light for a relatively low amount of money. Preventative eye strain glasses can cost as little as $15, naturally if you need a prescription you will be spending quite a bit more.

Both of these preventative measures is recommended if you spend a lot of time staring at digital screens. A combination of both the “20-20-20 Rule” and blue light filtering glasses is your best option to protect your eyes from digital eye strain.

 

The Danger Diabetes Presents to the Health of your Eyes

The Danger Diabetes Presents to the Health of your Eyes

Created on: Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

Diabetes is a growing issue throughout the world, with an estimated 382 million people suffering from it in 2013. If not treated, diabetes can lead to serious medical complications such as: ischemic heart disease, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke—but did you know that diabetes can also affect your eyes?

According to the American Optometric Association, diabetic retinopathy is a condition that “causes progressive damage to the retina.” The leading cause of blindness in the United States is attributed to this disease.

If you have diabetic retinopathy it is very difficult to regulate and requires a lot of extra care. Properly adhering to a good diet will help to mitigate the damages to your eyes, but a good diet alone will not be enough to ensure healthy eyes. Just because you aren’t suffering from eye pain, does not mean you don’t need medical attention.

Diabetic retinopathy is unpredictable, making follow-up care all the more important to maintain good visual health. Always be sure to regularly go in for checkups with your eye doctor as symptoms aren’t always easily detected.

 

Proper nutrition and healthy habits promote good eye health

Proper nutrition and healthy habits promote good eye health

Created on: Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

We all know that proper nutrition is crucial in maintaining long-term wellness, and as more and more Americans tackle issues associated with obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even premature death, it is becoming more evident that poor nutrition has a negative effect on health. Proper nutrition isn't just essential for your overall health, it's also important for the health of your eyes.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish such as salmon as well as sardines, are keys to preventing eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They're also known to boost the health of your brain and heart.

Vegetables

Vegetables also play a vital role in protecting your eyes and contributing to good nutrition. The nutrients zeaxanthin and lutein can be found in spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Just like omega-3 rich foods, these veggies don't just safeguard against eye problems, but they help protect your body from cancer. They're loaded with nutritional value that can also serve to boost your immune system.

Smoking

When you eat unhealthy goods, the implications of such decisions become obvious. The fact is that when the body doesn't get proper nutrition, maintaining both proper eye health and good overall health becomes much more difficult. There are other steps that should be taken in order to protect your eyes. For example, if you smoke you are at a far greater risk of developing eye problems than people who do not. The eye can actually absorb toxic substances directly from cigarette smoke. Most alarmingly, studies have shown that people who smoke are four times more likely to go blind as they reach old age than those who do not smoke. In addition, if you're looking to get the most nutritional value from your food, smoking actually works against you. Studies have shown that a smoker's body cannot absorb the same level of nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium, as a non-smoker. One of the fastest ways to improve your overall eye health is to stop smoking.

Eye Conditions Caused By Stress

Eye Conditions Caused By Stress

Created on: Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Author: George R. Reiss

Have you ever experienced an irritating eye twitch that just won't seem to end? How about dry eyes or blurred vision? Have you ever thought that these issues could be caused by stress? It's true, our eyes are an extension of our brain so whatever affects the various parts of our brain can actually interfere with our vision.

Eye Twitching

Possibly the only thing more irritating than an itch you can't scratch is involuntary eye twitching, or myokymia, which is a feeling that many of us are familiar with. Stress is actually one of the leading factors of involuntary eye twitches. Some other causes of myokymia include spending too much time on a computer and insufficient amounts of sleep. The condition itself is usually temporary, but persistent eye twitching may be a sign of a serious genetic disorder, which should be addressed by your eye doctor.

Dry Eyes

When our body experiences heightened levels of stress, it naturally increased and thickens blood flow to protect us from injury. In turn, the heart has to work even harder than usual and blood circulation to the extremities in our bodies, such as our skin, brain, and eyes, is decreased. This causes eyes to become dry and irritated.

Blurred Vision

Stress can also cause blurred vision and, ironically, experiencing a vision problem can create more stress. Stress affects your body in many ways, so blurry vision may be a secondary symptom. Sometimes stress causes your body to react as though its facing something dangerous and, as a result, your pupils dilate. This allows more light to enter the eye to help you better assess the situation, but a larger pupil also decreases your depth of focus - hence the blurriness.

Even though these eye conditions caused by stress can prove to be disruptive and irritating, they can be controlled with exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques such as meditating and deep breathing. If your symptoms persist, be sure to visit your eye doctor to determine whether there may be an underlying cause for their occurrence.

Global blindness

Global blindness

Created on: Monday, October 13, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

Nearly 34 million people in the world are blind, 51% of which is due to reversible blindness from catarcts! 80% of the blindness in the world is preventable - through glasses, cataract surgery and medication usage. Learn more about global blindness

Choosing wisely - punctal plugs for dry eyes

Choosing wisely - punctal plugs for dry eyes

Created on: Monday, August 25, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

The final part of our Choosing Wisely campaign in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Internal Medicine discusses dry eyes and its treatment options. For most patients, environmental modifications (sunglasses, avoid fans, humidifiers) and artificial tear supplementation is often enough - and is the best first step. The use of punctal plugs increases tear volume by obstructing the drainage of tears - and should be reserved for more advanced cases. Talk to your EyeMD about your options for dry eyes. Learn more about dry eyes

Choosing wisely - treating pink eye

Choosing wisely - treating pink eye

Created on: Thursday, August 07, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

The next topic in the CHOOSING WISELY campaign is in regards to "pink eye" and the use of antibiotics for its treatment. "Pink Eye" is an umbrella term for conjunctivitis - which includes bacterial, viral, and allergic conjunctivitis. Of the three types, only the bacterial type benefits from antibiotic treatment. Excessive use of antibiotics can breed resistant bacteria over time, making future infections more difficult to treat. If you have "pink eye" talk to you eye care provider before using any antibiotics.

Choosing wisely - preoperative testing

Created on: Monday, July 28, 2014

Preoperative testing is sometimes required to prepare for surgery. However, with modern cataract surgery, such testing is often not required. Testing is often only needed if a patient has heart disease, diabetes, or takes certain medications that may alter electrolyte levels in the body. This makes the cataract surgery process even simpler for the patient. This is an important aspect of care to discuss with your eye doctor. Learn more about the choosing wisely initiative

Choosing Wisely Campaign

Choosing Wisely Campaign

Created on: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

The Choosing Wisely campaign was started by the American Board of Internal Medicine to better inform patients of diagnostic and therapeutic options to better ensure appropriate, rather than excessive, testing and treatment. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has joined this initiative and we will see how this initiative applies to our eyes over the next few blog posts. Learn more about Choosing Wisely

Eye Care America

Eye Care America

Created on: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

One in six Americans over the age of 65 have vision impairment that can not be corrected with glasses or contacts. As we age, causes of vision impairment increases over time. An annual eye examination starting around age 50 will help detect any early issues to aid in prevention and lifetime of the best vision possible. EyeCareAmerica is a foundation that helps individuals obtain Eye exams through affiliated providers from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

May 19th, 2014

May 19th, 2014

Created on: Monday, May 19, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

The Centurion vision system is the latest phacoemulsification (modern technique for removing cataracts) technology from Alcon Inc. So far, our experience has shown as a few benefits that will translate into better patient outcomes.

Of the many benefits, we have found that we use less energy to remove the cataracts (called CDE - or cumulative dissipated energy), which results in less damage to intraocular structures - such as the corneal endothelium (the back surface of the cornea, which when damaged can lead to blurring of vision).

Talk to your eye surgeon about the Centurion system and learn more about phacoemulsification technique

Reducing risk of blindness from glaucoma

Reducing risk of blindness from glaucoma

Created on: Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

In a recent study from the Ophthalmology journal, it was shown that the probability of going blind from glaucoma has been halved in the last 20 years. The study was conducted in Olmstead county and showed that the 20 year probability of blindness in 1 eye from open-angle glaucoma had been reduced from 25.8% (1965-1980) to 13.5% (1981-2000). It is thought that improved diagnostic and treatment options have resulted in this reduction. However, the rate is still too high - and continued efforts are being made to reduce that risk even further. Discuss with your eye care provider regarding glaucoma diagnosis and risk.

Google and ophthalmology

Google and ophthalmology

Created on: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Author: George R. Reiss

Google has recently developed new products that are closely integrated with ophthalmology and our vision. Google Glass projects relevant information, takes video, allows video conferencing, reads emails/texts, provides navigation, and takes pictures all in a small display just outside your central vision. Google is also developing contact lenses that are able to measure a patient's blood sugar. Both innovations are exciting and have many broad applications that are yet to be developed.

Learn more about Google Glass . Learn more about Google contact lenses

VOte for orbis

VOte for orbis

Created on: Monday, December 16, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

Orbis is a non-profit organization that works in developing countries to save sight. Orbis provides hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quailty eye care and advocacy and partnerships with local health care organizations. Currently, United Airlines is donating 10 million miles to whichever charity gets the most votes.

Please vote for Orbis! Learn more about Orbis!

Omega 3 Fatty ACIDS and DRy eyes

Omega 3 Fatty ACIDS and DRy eyes

Created on: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

A recent study showed that post-menopausal women with moderate-to-severe dry eyes may benefit from dietary supplementation with Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The study showed an improvement in tear film measurements commonly used to measure tear quality. Omega-3-fatty acids may be obtained as a supplement, in salmon (and other fish), walnuts, and chia seeds to name a few!

Cosmetic contact lenses

Cosmetic contact lenses

Created on: Monday, October 28, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

A recent trend of using cosmetic contact lenses to enhance halloween costumes is unsafe - and can lead to significant loss of vision. One of my own patients required an urgent corneal transplant that resulted in loss of vision long-term -- she was only 14. Please avoid use of any contact lenses that were not prescribed by your optometrist or ophthalmologist!

Glaucomatocyclitic Crisis

Glaucomatocyclitic Crisis

Created on: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

Also known as Posner - Schlossman syndrome, glaucomatocyclitic crisis is associated with increases eye pressure in one eye with associated inflammation inside the eye. Often times, it can be treated with drops alone, but sometimes, may require surgery. While we aren't sure exactly why it happens, many viral causes have been proposed.

Learn more about Posner - Schlossman syndrome.

Common Myths about cataracts

Common Myths about cataracts

Created on: Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

Many patients ask us about how cataracts develop and what options there are for treatment. While some cataracts develop due to a specific cause (injury, diabetes, steroid use, prior surgery), in general, cataracts are a natural process of aging. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, which leads to blurriness of vision and glare than can not be corrected with glasses and/or contact lenses. Most often, the only solution is cataract surgery, which is a relatively simple and routine outpatient procedure. Talk to your eye doctor if you have any questions regarding cataracts.

Learn more about common cataract "myths"!

Happy 4th! Protect those eyes!

Happy 4th! Protect those eyes!

Created on: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

July 4th is a great American holiday with plenty of fun festivities. While watching the fireworks, be sure to keep your eyes safe. 1 in 6 fireworks related eye injuries results in permanent vision loss or blindness.

Read more about how to protect our eyes for the Fourth

Dua's Layer

Dua's Layer

Created on: Friday, June 14, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

A new layer of he cornea, Dua's Layer, was recently identified. Previously, there were 5 distinct layers, now there are 6. The discovery of this new layer will give doctors and patients new surgical options that previously didn't exist!

Learn more about Dua's Layer.

Alternative therapies for glaucoma.

Alternative therapies for glaucoma.

Created on: Thursday, June 06, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

Many patient ask us about alternative treatments for glaucoma. While much research has been done, there is still alot to learn! We know that aerobic exercise, bilberry extract, curcumin (found in turmeric), meditation, and good dietary practice are all beneficial to our health. Research continues to develop to help guide us. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or suggestions.

Learn more about alternative therapies and glaucoma.

Summer time is here - protect your eyes from UV light!

Summer time is here - protect your eyes from UV light!

Created on: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

As summer time is upon us, we all start spending more time outdoors - exposing our eyes to some potentially harmful UV rays. Using sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV light protects your eyes from sun-related damage. Enjoy the summer - and protect your eyes!

Learn more about sunglasses and eye health

Exercise and Eye Health

Exercise and Eye Health

Created on: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Author: George R. Reiss

Aerobic exercise is great for many health conditions, including retinal disease and glaucoma. Patients with diabetes can gain better control of their blood sugars through exercise, which will reduce the chance of development retinal problems in the future. Also, aerobic exercise lowers intraocular pressure and may reduce the risk of glaucoma.

Learn more about exercise and your eye health!

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