Why is being dilated at your eye exam so important?

  Dilating the eyes means making the pupil “bigger” in order to allow the doctor to see more of the inside of the eye.  Think of  it this way – Your eye is small, round and very dark inside with a hole for viewing called the Pupil.  However, when you use  a bright light to try and see in that dark hole, the hole (pupil) gets smaller, so it is harder to see as much as the doctor  would want to see to be comfortable in knowing most of the inside of the eye is healthy.

Dilation drops typically take 2-3 hours to wear off, and affect near vision (reading vision) more than far vision.  However, dilation can cause general blurriness and light sensitivity so be careful when driving a car.  If you work in a near intensive  job (computers, accounting, attorney etc) you might want to schedule your dilated eye exam for later in the day as it will affect your ability to see at near.

Courtesy of the Doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving RockvilleGaithersburg andPotomac Maryland suburbs of Washington DC for over 40 years.

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Written by Dr. Mahtab Vaziri, Optometrist, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care

About the Author: Dr. Alan Glazier is founder and CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care.  Dr. Glazier is a graduate of the University of Maryland and The New England College of Optometry. Dr.Glazier is inventor on 4 issued and 9 pending patents in ophthalmology and computer science. He is founderand CEO of Vision Solutions Technologies, a company formed to forward his invention LiquiLens which restores reading vision to people blinded from macular degeneration. Dr. Glazier is a sought-after industry lecturer and consultant, author of two books and professional blogger. Dr. Glazier is founder of “ODs on facebook”, theindustries largest and most active social media group and founder of the Networked Eye Care Alliance, a conglomeration of well-trafficked social media industry groups.  In 2011 and 2012, Dr. Glazier was selected as one of the most influential optometrists in the US by the VisionMonday organization.

aglazier@youreyesite.com
draglazier@gmail.com

True or False; Carrots are Good for Your Eyes

Your body stores excess vitamin A, the vitamin in Carrots long believed to have a vision benefit. Unless depleted of vitamin A, excess vitamin A is of no particular benefit to your eyes or vision.

 

Supplemental vitamin A can have some negative health effects. It increases risk of lung cancer in smokers. Also, a higher incidence of lung cancer was seen in those who took 50mg of synthetic beta-carotene, plus 25,000IU of pre-formed vitamin A retinol, in the Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET)

 

Courtesy of the Doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians serving RockvilleGaithersburg andPotomac Maryland suburbs of Washington DC for over 40 years.

Follow Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care’s tweets @Eye Info

“Like” us on facebook

Connect on our Google + and check out our fun and informative videos on our youtube channel

Ask our doctors questions on Quora

Pin us!

read our informative dry eye blog and for more information on eye and vision care issues visit our practice website youreyesite.com

About the Author: Dr. Alan Glazier is founder and CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care.  Dr. Glazier is a graduate of the University of Maryland and The New England College of Optometry. Dr.Glazier is inventor on 4 issued and 9 pending patents in ophthalmology and computer science. He is founderand CEO of Vision Solutions Technologies, a company formed to forward his invention LiquiLens which restores reading vision to people blinded from macular degeneration. Dr. Glazier is a sought-after industry lecturer and consultant, author of two books and professional blogger. Dr. Glazier is founder of “ODs on facebook”, theindustries largest and most active social media group and founder of the Networked Eye Care Alliance, a conglomeration of well-trafficked social media industry groups.  In 2011 and 2012, Dr. Glazier was selected as one of the most influential optometrists in the US by the VisionMonday organization.

aglazier@youreyesite.com

draglazier@gmail.com

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent progression of AMD, according to studyp

Jun 22, 2009
Ophthalmology Times

Medford, MA—Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as tuna and salmon may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The benefits, however, seem to depend on the stage of the disease and whether certain supplements are taken, report researchers at the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research (LNVR), Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University.

Researchers calculated intakes of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from dietary questionnaires administered to 2,924 men and women, aged 55 to 80 years, participating in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) of the National Eye Institute (NEI).

The AREDS trial results suggest taking supplements of antioxidants plus zinc prevents progression of late-stage AMD. AREDS study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or supplements containing the antioxidants vitamins C and E and beta carotene, the minerals zinc and copper, or a combination of both.

“In our study, we observed participants with early stages of AMD in the placebo group benefited from higher intake of DHA, but it appears that the high-dose supplements of the antioxidants and/or the minerals somehow interfered with the benefits of DHA against early AMD progression,” said senior author Allen Taylor, PhD, director of the LNVR at the USDA HNRCA. Taylor also is a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts and Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM).

The antioxidant supplements did not seem to interfere with the protective effects of DHA and EPA against progression to advanced stages of AMD. Participants who consumed higher amounts of DHA and EPA appeared to have lower risk of progression to both wet and dry forms of advanced AMD.

“Data from the present study also shows the supplements and omega-3 fatty acids collaborate with low-dietary glycemic index (dGI) diets against progression to advanced AMD,” said corresponding author Chung-Jung Chiu, DDS, PhD, a scientist in the LNVR and an assistant professor at TUSM. “Our previous research suggests a low-GI diet may prevent AMD from progressing to the advanced stage. We hypothesize that the rapid rise of blood glucose initiated by high-GI foods results in cellular damage that retinal cells cannot handle, thus damaging eye tissues.”

“Taken together, these data indicate that consuming a diet with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and low-GI foods may delay compromised vision due to AMD,” Dr. Taylor said. “The present study adds the possibility that the timing of a dietary intervention as well as the combination of nutrients recommended may be important.”

Column stresses importance of rubbing as well as rinsing contact lenses.

In the Health Answers column in the Boston Globe (6/30), Judy Foreman answers a question from a reader who asked, “Do you have to rub contact lenses to clean them if your cleanser is ‘no rub?’” Foreman explains that, “according to a new consumer ‘reminder’ from the” FDA, the agency “is now advising lens wearers to rub as well as rinse lenses, a policy supported by the…American Optometric Association.” The FDA’s “recommendations apply even if” a “product is advertised as ‘no rub,’ and also include throwing out cleansers by the discard date, washing…hands when handling lenses,” and letting the “lens storage case to dry (upside down, so water can drain) when lenses are removed.” Just “this month, the FDA wrote to the nine companies allowed to market ‘no rub’ lenses,” asking them to “‘come in’ to discuss the new data on lens cleaning,” according to “Dr. Dan Schultz, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health.”

Segment explains computer vision syndrome.

On its website and on the air, KPIX-TV San Francisco, a CBS affiliate, reported that with “more than four billion mobile devices, and a countless number of computers…now in use around the world,” many with small display screens, a “high-tech eye problem is staring right back.” According to a survey by the California Optometric Association, “10 million patient visits” may result annually “from problems occurring with the use of high-tech devices.” In fact, optometrist Dennis Fong, OD, of the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Optometry, “has seen an uptick in a condition called computer vision syndrome, or CVS for short, the symptoms” of which include “headaches, tired eyes, blurred vision, double vision, and/or loss of eye focus.” Dr. Fong pointed out that “human eyes are not designed to look up close at anything for eight hours a day. In addition, high tech devices emit light…that causes eye strain.” He recommended that patients “invest in a pair of computer glasses” which allow people to “have an even larger area through which to see a display screen clearly.”

Use of inhaled corticosteroids may increase risk for cataracts in dose-dependent manner, research suggests.

MedWire (8/7, Cowen) reports that, according to a meta-analysis published online Aug. 2 in the journal Respirology, “the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may increase the risk for cataracts in a dose-dependent manner.” For their analysis, researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand “searched MEDLINE for the years 1950-2007 and EMBASE for the years 1988-2007 for all case-control studies of cataracts and ICS use.” Data from “four studies involving 46,638 cases and 146,378 controls” were used. Their “analysis…revealed a significant association between ICS dose and the risk for cataracts.” In fact, “the risk for cataracts increased by 25 percent with each 1000 µg per day increase in the dose of beclomethasone dipropionate, or equivalent.” The authors concluded, “These findings reinforce the importance of prescribing the lowest effective dose of ICS therapy in both asthma and COPD,” adding that “screening for the presence of cataracts could usefully be undertaken in older subjects with asthma and COPD.”

Article details how eye exams can detect serious diseases elsewhere in body

The UK’s Daily Mail (8/4, Lambert) reports that “research from the” UK’s “College of Optometrists suggests that a quarter of adults have gone for more than two years without having their eyes examined, while 18 percent have left it more than three years.” Putting off an eye examination may be risky, since “optometrists are trained not just to pick up vision defects, but also to spot symptoms in the eye that are a sign of a dozen serious diseases elsewhere” in the body. The article goes on to detail the experience of five patients ranging in age from 23 to 72 whose optometrists discovered ulcerative colitis, pilocytic astrocytoma, myasthenia gravis, type 1 diabetes, and dangerously high blood pressure during routine eye examinations

Survey suggests nearly two-thirds of children under six have never had an eye examination

HealthDay (8/3, Preidt) reported that, according to a survey conducted by Prevent Blindness America and VSP Vision Care, “more than 20 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 have trouble seeing the classroom chalkboard.” Specifically, “of the nearly 1,500 children in the survey, more than 25 percent of the teen age group complained of headaches, even though 45 percent of them wore some type of prescription eyewear.” Approximately “25 percent of children aged six to 11 wear prescription glasses.” Children’s eye problems also increased with age, with myopia being “the most common vision problem in older children.” Notably, the survey indicated that “more than 66 percent of those under the age of six have never had their eyes examined by an eye doctor.” Prevent Blindness America urged parents to have their children’s “vision checked regularly.”

Researchers developing new understanding of glaucoma.

In the New York Times (7/15) Times Essentials: Reporter’s File, Peter Jaret observed that “a new paradigm for understanding glaucoma has emerged. Glaucoma isn’t simply an eye disease, experts now say, but rather a degenerative nerve disorder, not unlike Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.” While “researchers still recognize high pressure within the eye as a leading risk factor for glaucoma,” it is becoming clear that the condition “begins with injury to the optic nerve as it exits the back of the eye. The damage then spreads, moving from one nerve cell to adjoining nerve cells.” Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto, explained, “In glaucoma, we’ve shown that when your retinal ganglion cells are sick, the long axons that project from the eye into the brain are also affected, resulting in changes that we can detect in the vision center of the brain.” This “phenomenon, called transynaptic damage, occurs in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well.”

Glaucoma surgeries increasing while Medicare reimbursement decreases, study suggests. MedPage Today (7/15, Fiore) reported that, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, “the number of glaucoma surgeries is on the rise, but Medicare reimbursement for the procedures has been decreasing.” For the study, researchers from Exponent, Alcon Research, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed “Part B Medicare data for 100,000 beneficiaries from 1997 to 2006.” The team “found that from 1997 to 2001, there was an overall decrease in both the number of procedures and the amount of annual payments, but there was an increase in the number of procedures in the following years, reaching a total of 414,980 in 2006.” The investigators attributed the increase to “advancements in technology and a change in calculating the global period for reimbursement purposes.” The authors also “noted that payments for trabeculectomies decreased over time, while annual payments for newer procedures, such as cyclophotocoagulation and shunt-related procedures, have increased.”

Optometrist advises parents to protect children’s eyes against UV rays.

Utah’s Standard-Examiner (7/17, Park) reported that “July is ‘UV Awareness Month,’ and besides protecting children from sunburns, adults also need to protect the eyes of children from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.” Optometrist Renny Knowlton, OD, advised parents to exercise “good judgment and common sense.” Children who “spend a good deal of time in the sun” need to “protect their eyes with sunglasses coded for UVA and UVB rays, he said. Some children will not wear sunglasses for long, so have them wear a hat with a brim to help shade their eyes.” According to Whitney Johnson, health educator with the Utah Cancer Control Program with the state health department, “parents should buy sunglasses with a UV rating,” and should consult with “an eye doctor” to find out which sunglasses are best. And, “to protect children’s eyes while playing in the water or swimming outside, Johnson said, children should wear sun goggles that also have UV protection ratings.”

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