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Archive for January, 2014

Refractive Lens Exchange Improves Vision

Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

A refractive lens exchange is a lens replacement surgery that uses an Inraocular Lens Impant (IOL.) This procedure is similar to a cataract surgery, the only difference is that the natural lens being taken out is clear, not cloudy. There isn’t a cataract present. The same surgical process, high success rate, and minimal risk for side effects still apply.

The 15 minute process begins with numbing the eye with droops. The natural lens is then destroyed and removed. Then the artificial lens is set in place. Minimal discomfort can be expected, including scratchiness, burred vision, and sensitivity to light.

There are three types of replacement lenses that can be used in the procedure:

  • Mono-focal. These lenses offer clear vision at any distance, near or far, just not simultaneously.
  • Multi-focal. These lenses offer clear vision at various distances simultaneously.
  • Accommodating IOL’s. These lenses allow patients to see at various distances as long as the eye position changes.

Refractive lens exchange is used for patients with presbyopia and extreme farsightedness. It’s especially useful for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK eye surgery. It is ideal for older patients, but the preferred candidate is at least 21. It is not ideal for those with diabetes or autoimmune diseases. Glaucoma and other eye problems can also worsen after a reflective lens exchange, so it is not recommended. An ophthalmologist can confirm if the surgery is right for a specific candidate or not based on a recent eye exam and their medical history.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Diabetic Retinopathy is the damaged retina that is closely associated with diabetes. It’s more likely to occur in those who have had diabetes for a long time. With each year of living with the disease the risk factors go up. It is preventable with early detection though.

In the beginning stages if Diabetic Retinopathy there aren’t really any symptoms other the some occasion blurry vision. As the disease progresses other symptoms may appear:

  • Dark spots
  • Blurred vision on a more regular basis
  • Poor color perception
  • Vision loss

There are three types of treatment for this condition:

  • Laser surgery is the first option. It’s used to slow vision loss by reducing the retina’s demand for oxygen. It’s used to prevent further damage, but is not a cure for Diabetic Retinopathy.
  • The second treatment option is corticosteroid injections. Though these can also slow the process of vision loss down, steroids can present other eye problems, so these should be used with caution.
  • Virectomy is the third option. This is the process of removing the clear gel in the eye and replacing it with a saline solution.

The main causes of Diabetic Retinopathy are the sugar spikes and poor blood sugar from consuming high fructose foods and not controlling diabetes. Managing diabetes is the key to preventing Diabetic Retinopathy. This means increasing fiber, grains and protein, balancing carbohydrate intake, getting exercise, reducing fat intake and losing weight. Controlling diabetes is the key to preventing blindness.

Ocular Melanoma Difficult to Diagnose

Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Cancer of the eye, ocular melanoma, occurs in the uvea, which is behind the retina. It’s difficult to diagnose because it can’t be seen on the outer layer of the eye. It begins in the pigmentation cells that are responsible for the color of hair, skin, and eyes.

Though they can’t be seen, there are some symptoms that can be cause for concern:

  • Developing a dark growth
  • Seeing flashing lights
  • Noticing pupil changes
  • Having poor vision in one eye
  • Loss of side vision
  • Seeing floaters
  • Watering eyes
  • Having a moderate level of pain

Also regular eye exams are necessary for those at higher risk. That includes people who have a combination of the following:

  • Light colored eyes
  • Caucasian
  • Elderly
  • Have a skin disorder
  • Have been exposed to UV light from tanning beds

Ocular melanoma is an aggressive cancer that grows quickly. Early detection is key to saving the eye. Once diagnosed, treatment depends on the size of the growth. Smaller ones can be removed through surgery. It can also be treated with radiation, laser treatment, or cryotherapy to kill the cancer cells.

Larger growths can be more problematic. Surgery may be required to replace the entire eye with an implant. In these cases, which are rare, patients are still high functioning and rely more on the good eye.

When limited to the eye, melanoma has a high survival rate. According to Melanoma.org, “6 people per 1 million are diagnosed with ocular melanoma in the U.S. Every year.”

Presbyopia is Common and Treatable

Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Presbyopia is a gradual loss of the ability to see things close up. It happens naturally to almost everyone as they age. The risk of getting presbyopia is higher and premature in those who are farsighted, have diabetes, or have heart disease. Taking prescription medicines such as antidepressants, antihistamines, or diuretics also increases the risk of getting it earlier than normal.

What happens is the lens on the outer part of the eye hardens with aging, as sure as people get wrinkles and gray hairs. The lens loses some of it’s elasticity and it changes how the light is refracted. The condition commonly starts in the mid to late 40’s and gets worse well into the 60’s.

Though treatment isn’t always necessary, there are three common treatments that are used for presbyopia:

  • Corrective lenses, which can include bifocals or trifocals
  • Refractive surgery
  • Replacing the natural lens with a synthetic one

Aside from these treatments, there are some things that can be done at home. The first line of defense is to pay close attention to eye sight and note any changes in vision. Have regular eye exams to promote early detection and device a treatment plan. Also be sure to control symptoms of diabetes, avoid too much exposure to the sun, and use bright lighting in the home.

Also pay close attention to diet and overall health. Increasing antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamin A to protect eye health and maintain clear vision for as long as possible.

Omega-3’s Fight Age-Related Eye Diseases

Monday, January 6, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are known for improving and maintaining heart health, but they are helpful with vision problems as well. It’s said that fish oil improves fluid in retina cells, therefore, preventing retina detachment and slowing retinopathy.

There are three types of omega’s:

  • ALA – Alpha-Linolenic Acid is found in plant oils, such as walnuts, soybeans, and olive oil.
  • DHA – Docosahexaenoic Acid is found is fish oil. The easiest way to get it is to supplement with krill oil.
  • EPA – Eicosapentaenoic Acid is also found in fish oil.

Don’t confuse omega-3’s and omega-6’s. While cutting back on heart-clogging omega-6 fatty acids, experts advise on increase omega-3 fatty acids because they are the “good” fats. These good fats promote heart heath and protect vision.

Omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce chronic inflammation, promote normal retinal functioning, treats dry eyes, reduces pain, turns light into energy, and prevents oxidant damage. Much like it works for preventing heart disease, omega-3’s are able to maintain healthy blood vessels in the eyes.

The main sources of omega-3 include:

  • Fish
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Legumes
  • Flax
  • Oils

These days, many foods are enhanced with omega-3’s. Supplementation is another option for increasing good fats, but just any over-the-counter omega-3 won’t be sufficient. They vary in the amount of DHA and EPA and can contain other vitamins as well. Read labels careful and make sure that it has a minimum of 600 mg DHA for best results.