Hyphema

Hyphema is a result of a high impact trauma to the eye and can also appear in in children with sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, or other medical conditions. A pooling of blood between the cornea and iris (the anterior chamber) partially or completely blocks the patient’s vision.

Due to the amount of pain and discomfort caused by a hyphema, immediate medical attention is required. Failing to do so can result to permanent vision loss, a spike in IOP (intra-ocular pressure), retinal detachment, etc.

How do you avoid a hyphema? DUCK!!! As there’s no absolute prevention for trauma, eye protection such as goggles and safety glasses may help. Treatment and prognosis will vary depending on how long a patient took to seek treatment. Moral of the story; do not take eye injuries lightly however mild or severe.

Oh My HIPAA

Don’t hate your healthcare provider. We’re just trying to comply with federal law. HIPAA is designed as a mean to protect patients private information and give patients control over the use of their information. As healthcare providers, we’re required to document document document and ask you for documents.

When sending your under aged children (under 18 years of age) to their doctors appointment, you MUST send them with a letter allowing the provider to proceed with treatment. Without this letter in hand, we, by law, cannot proceed with treatment. Same rule applies even if the child is accompanied by grandparents or another adult. Intake forms also need to be filled out by the parent.

To be on the safe side, call your healthcare provider’s office to inquire about their policy.

Keratoconjuctivitis Sicca

Stop looking it up on Web MD, you’re not dyeing. Keratoconjuctivitis Sicca (KCS) is a big expensive word for dry eye disease (DES). This is typically caused by tears evaporating too quickly and/or you’re not producing enough tears. So if you work on computers all day, you have dry eyes. If you work near the air conditioner or heater, you’ll have dry eye. If your so into this blog and you’re not blinking as you read it, YOU HAVE DRY EYE.

KCS/DES is the most one of the most common eye disease. Symptoms include but not limited to; blurred vision, photophobia (light sensitivity), discharge, foreign-body sensation, burning, irritation, and excessive tearing.

Lucky us, there’s a treatment for that. Although progress from treatment can sometimes feel long, it does pay off. If you’ve visited your local favorite drug store lately, you’ve notice the plethora of eye drops available to you. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure all eye drop that works on everyone. The key is using the right one for you. With the help of an optometrist who’s well verse in treatment for KCS, you’ll be on the path of better comfort and better vision.

Lenses Lenses and More Lenses

In all my years in optometry, one question comes to mind. “What lenses do I need?” Let’s break this down. If you’ve read the previous blog, “What Does Your Prescription Mean”, it tells you what kind of prescription you may have. By understanding what you have and figuring out what you like to do, it pretty much reveal what you’re going to need.

Single vision lenses will give you the same power through out the whole lens. This is ideal for distance only or reading only. If you like to read, tie flies, draw, knit, sew, etc., this is the lens for you. Lined bifocal lenses are used if you’re needing correction for distance and reading. Lined trifocal lenses are beneficial if you’re in need of correction for distance, reading, and computer. Progressive lenses are no line bifocal or trifocal lenses. This is a great lens if you want to be able to see at multiple distances. Computer lenses would benefit people who spends a lot of time with their digital devices. If you’re lucky enough for your eyes to serve you well thus far, take care of them and treat them to a nice pair of prescription polarized sunglasses. Not only does it block out UV rays, it also protects you from damaging glare. Think of it as sunblock for your eyes.

How do you weed out what you truly want? Think of what frustrates you the most or what you wish you can do with your current eyewear. Keep in mind it’s okay to have more than one pair of glasses. In most cases, you’ll want another pair to use as a spare or as sunglasses. If you take care of your eyes, they’ll take care of you.

What does your prescription mean

After your eye exam you’re given a sheet of paper with a heck of a lot of numbers. Yay??? That piece of paper actually reveals all sorts of information about your eyes.

There’s a few parts to your prescription.

  1. Nearsighted (Myopia) and/or Farsighted (Hyperopia)

    A nearsighted prescription will be indicated by a (-) while a farsighted prescription is indicated by a (+). This tells us how much power you would need to bring the focus on the back of your eye.

  2. Astigmatism (Cylinder)

    When the dome shaped structure in front of the eye (Cornea) is not perfectly round, it creates a 2nd focus. This can be corrected to create a single image by adding a cylinder power to the lens.

  3. Axis

    The axis gives the orientation of the astigmatism.

  4. Add power

    For those us, by us I mean you, who have the pleasure of having “maturing” eyes or short arm syndrome, an add power will help with reading.

  5. Prism

    Prism(s) are used to align the eye. So lets say you have an eye that wonders, pulls to one side, and/or higher than the other. This can result to headaches, eye fatigue, and double vision. Prism lenses will help keep them straight, relaxed, and allow you to see a single image.

Not all glasses are created equal. Relying on your optician’s experience, expertise, and quality products plays a huge roll in getting the best pair of glasses that can provided excellent vision. So when the time comes, shop reputation, shop reliability, shop proficiency, and shop quality.

LASIK vs. Femtosecond vs. PRK

Fortunately, we live in the world of technology where new advances are constantly being made. In the realm of Refractive surgery, many options are available depending on your needs. Lets dummy this down!

Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis, LASIK, is a type of refractive surgery preformed by an opthalmologist to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and/or astigmatism.

A Femtosecond laser was developed with the intent of being used as alternative to the laser being used for LASIK surgery. The results from it was a little less than desirable. With further testing, researchers found the Femtosecond laser was better used in the creation a corneal flap. In years prior, a microkeratome, which essentially is a blade, was used to create the flap.

Photorefractive keratectomy, PRK, in a nutshell is LASIK without the flap.

After gathering data, your eyecare provider can guide you to select which type of procedure will give you the optimal result.

New way of detecting Alzheimer’s

Keith Black, MD, Department of Neurosurgery of Cedars-Sinai, suggested the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, beta-amyloid plaque changes in the brain, are detected at the late stages of the disease. A new, non invasive, optical imaging being developed may help detect Alzheimer’s 15-20 years prior to diagnosis.

The retina, unlike other structure of the eye, is part of the central nervous system, sharing many characteristics of the brain. A few years ago, we discovered at Cedars-Sinai that the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease occur not only in the brain but also in the retina. By ‘staining’ the plaque with curcumin, a component of the common spice turmeric, we could detect it in the retina even before it began to accumulate in the brain. The device we develop enables us to look through the eye – just as an ophthalmologist looks through the eye to diagnose retinal disease – and see these changes.”

Although it’s AMAZING science, an interesting question was raised. What good will it do to know 15-20 years before a formal diagnosis of an incurable disease? The only reason I can think of is preparation…