Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center

All About Vision – Seeing More Clearly

Sight Unseen: Glaucoma Can Take Sight without Warning

It’s a brand new year, what are you going to do differently? Take better care of yourself? Will you exercise more, eat healthier, or make an effort to see the doctor as often as you should? Finding time in your busy schedule to implement those resolutions often proves challenging.  Don’t underestimate the importance of those doctor visits and more specifically, visits to your eye doctor.

A quick trip to your optometrist may not only be sight saving, but potentially life saving. Optometrists can evaluate the health of your eyes as well as the clarity of vision and they can also detect chronic and systemic diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes and even hypertension.   Glaucoma affects more than three million Americans, but over half of them don’t even know that they have it, according to Prevent Blindness America. Glaucoma begins by attacking  the peripheral vision.  At first, it is possible to compensate by squinting or turning the head to focus better.  Initially, these changes may seem minor, but glaucoma can accelerate quickly; causing eyesight to rapidly and irreversibly deteriorate. Like many diseases, some factors can increase the risk of developing glaucoma, such as age, race or genetics.  Glaucoma usually affects one in 200 people by age 50, but as many as one in 10 people by age 80. The risk of developing glaucoma is much higher among African Americans: four to five times higher. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Not only do African Americans usually develop glaucoma 10 years earlier than Caucasians, they are also six to 15 times more likely to be blinded by the disease.

Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early, it can be controlled. This reinforces what the National Optometric Association and the AOA already recommend: adults need regular, comprehensive eye exams. Fortunately, Medicare covers annual glaucoma screenings for people considered at heightened risk of developing glaucoma, such as individuals with diabetes, those with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans age 50 and older and Hispanic Americans age 65 and older.

So start off the new year right: set up an appointment with your eye doctor  and maybe hit the gym and grab a salad on your way home.

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What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia (say this: “am-blee-oh-pee-ah”) commonly known as lazy eye, is the eye condition noted by reduced vision not correctable by glasses or contact lenses and is not due to any eye disease. The brain does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic eye. This almost always affects only one eye, but may manifest with reduction of vision in both eyes. It is estimated that three percent of children under six have some form of amblyopia.

Causes of Lazy Eye Anything that interferes with clear vision in either eye during the critical period (birth to 6 years of age) can cause amblyopia. The most common causes of amblyopia are constant strabismus (constant turn of one eye), anisometropia (different vision/prescriptions in each eye), and/or blockage of an eye due to cataract, trauma, lid droop, etc. Amblyopia is a neurologically active process,the loss of vision takes place in the brain. If one eye sees clearly and the other sees a blur, the brain can inhibit (block, ignore, suppress) the eye with the blur. The brain can also suppress one eye to avoid double vision. The inhibition process (suppression) can result in a permanent decrease in the vision in the blurry eye that can not be corrected with glasses,  contact lenses, or lasik surgery. 

An eye exam by a pediatrician or the 20/20 eye chart screening is not adequate for the detection of amblyopia (and other visual conditions). The most important diagnostic tools are the special visual acuity tests other than the 20/20 letter charts currently used by schools, pediatricians and eye doctors. Examination with cycloplegic drops can be necessary to detect this condition in the young. Since amblyopia usually occurs in one eye only, many parents and children are unaware of the condition. Many children go undiagnosed until they have their eyes examined at the eye doctor’s office at a later age. Comprehensive vision evaluations are highly recommended for infants and pre-school children. If not detected and treated early in life, amblyopia can cause perminant loss of vision and depth perception.

If you have concerns or questions about your child and amblyopia please contact us here at Family Eye Health. 

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Study: Buyer beware -online spectacle orders may not meet compliance

That's the name for this thing that you look t...

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The Journal of American Optometric Association and the Vision Council recently conducted a study to evaluate 10 of the most popular online eyeglass vendors sites, to see how they performed within the industry standards. The study involved 10 participants who ordered two pairs of prescription glasses, including pairs for both adults and children. These orders were then evaluated in terms of sphere power, cyl power, axis, add power, horizontal prism imbalance and impact resistance testing. Of the 154 pairs evaluated 28.6% had at least one lens fail tolerance standards for at least one optical parameter, 22.7% had at least one lens fail impact testing based on center thickness. Overall, 44.8% of the spectacles failed at least 1 parameter of the optical or impact testing according to the study. Patients do not receive the benefit of ensuring an accurate prescription or proper frame fit. It was noted that patients who purchase eyewear without the assistance of a trained professional may not receive a product of equal performance, value or safety. Even though online retailers may effectively market the cost savings associated with the online purchase of eyewear, consumers should beware, as this study points out. The lack of oversight and quality control can lead to inferior products that could be potentially harmful. These important quality checks are performed on eyewear products when dispensed by licensed professionals to assure the safety and accuracy of the prescription.

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DriveWear Lenses, are they the right fit for you?

English: Author's own creation. Oakley Half Wi...

DriveWear lenses in an Oakley frame

DriveWear is a wonderful sun lens technology that not many people know about. As part of the Transitions family of products, it is a little different than Transitions; it is polarized to provide the wearer with the appropriate visual solution!  DriveWear lenses are capable of sensing and reacting to varying light conditions both outside and also behind the windshield of your car. From bright sunlight accompanied by intense, blinding glare, to overcast inclement weather conditions.   Theses lens provide amazing glare protection through polarization and enhanced to protect your vision through photochromatics, which respond to both visible and UV light. By combining the strengths of two of the most important technologies in eyewear today, DriveWear has developed the lens of tomorrow.  In overcast and low light conditions the lens is a soft green color which is designed to maximize useful light and cut through fog and haze. In daylight or behind the steering wheel of your car the lenses turn amber brown which is designed to remove excess light and provide great traffic signal recognition highlighting the reds and greens, it also allows the wearer great depth perception when looking down the road. Outside in the bright sunlight conditions  the lens will saturate to a dark brown giving maximum filtration of excess light,  providing high contrast color to provide maximum comfort in high light conditions while protecting your eyes from the harmful UV rays.

If you have any question about DriveWear please contact us.

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