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Dealing with Age-Related Macular Degeneration 101 – (Part One)

Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans

Moving forward, I’ve wanted to talk about Macular Degeneration (AMD) for quite some time. Without question, it’s one of the most debilitating eye diseases an eye care professional will come across. A person suffering from AMD might realize a loss of central vision, which is critical to recognizing faces, or driving a car, or reading a book. AMD can progress quickly and suddenly so it needs to be addressed accordingly and treated as soon as possible. On a personal note, my 97 year old (great) uncle is a WWII veteran who suffers from AMD. He’s legally blind as a result, […]

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Cataracts – Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatment

If cataracts eventually become an issue, a surgical procedure may indeed be the best treatment option available

In the world of health and eye care, cataracts are well-known as one of the major causes of vision loss. However, in nature, a cataract can also be defined as a waterfall, especially a large, cascading one (hence the pic). Needless to say, this pairing of terms seems quite odd. I’m not too sure where the similarity exists, but it could be because visual cataracts seem to make light scatter, similar to the way water scatters at the bottom of a nature cataract (waterfall)? Now, I could be totally wrong on this assumption. However, if anyone knows the correct association, […]

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Examining the Role of Today’s Optometrist

When a given retina is examined, optometrists can gain an inside look at the overall health of the person

The role of an optometrist seems simple enough. Determine the best vision option for patients. Check for diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Assess for dry eye, allergies, and inflammation. So on and so forth. But does it stop there? In all actuality, the eyes are very complex organs which connect to the rest of the body. When a given retina is examined, today’s optometrists can gain an inside look at the overall health of the person to which the retina belongs. Early signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other diseases can be detected through […]

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Minimizing Myopia – Confronting an Oncoming Epidemic

It's important to remember that your eye doctor knows best, especially if/when your vision starts to fade

It’s 2017 and the world is going blind. Well, not figuratively, but the evidence seems to be piling up. According to most of the research taking place, upwards of ten million adults in the United States are myopic (they can’t see far away). Add in the rampant use of smartphones and that number is likely on the rise (along with a whole host of other problems). Luckily for us, our daily choices make a difference. Now, the writing may be on the wall, but the future is still in our hands. We can either turn a BLIND eye and accept […]

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Correct Contact Lens Care for Optimum Eye Health

A very large percentage of contact lens wearers do not properly follow contact lens care instructions

I’m not biased or anything, but I think it’s safe to say that contact lenses are a pretty amazing modern invention (maybe just a little biased). We can’t be absolutely sure when the very first contact lens was invented, but we do know major advancements have been taking place since the 1970’s (soft lenses, disposable lenses, material upgrades, etc.). In the last 30 years, a vast majority of the visually impaired shifted out of glasses and into contacts lenses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Contact lenses are used by more than 30 million people in the United […]

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OcularPrime (Update) – 100th Post

I've never felt more engaged with my profession and the surrounding landscape, than I do right now

Today’s a special day (in my eyes, at least). As soon as I hit the publish button (for this post), it’ll mark 100 posts on OcularPrime. This may or may not seem like much (depending on how much YOU like to write), but it’s the result of a lot of hard work (trust me). So a quick review of the paragraph I just wrote. You can probably notice my liberal use of parentheses (?). It’s like saying more than actually NEEDS to be said. The sentences still work without the parentheses (try the first paragraph), but the extra words give […]

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Eye Healthy Foods – Not Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential to supporting your immune system and living a healthy life

My first post about eye healthy foods starts with vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin, or more specifically, a hormone building block. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is necessary for the body’s ability to absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. As a health care provider, I’m exposed to viruses and bacteria on a daily basis. When I first started seeing patients, I found myself getting sick quite often. Then I decided to get my blood work done. As a result, I learned I was extremely deficient in vitamin D. This was the reason I was getting […]

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Systemic Health Intro – Ocular Manifestations of Diabetes

Maintaining tight control over your blood sugar is the best way to prevent diabetic changes in the eyes

I typically do my best to be as positive as I can be, but sometimes it’s important to consider negative information so we have a chance to position ourselves against it. By now, we all know diabetes is a major disease not only in this country, but all over the world. Chances are you know of someone who’s been affected by the disease, or you may even be affected yourself. There is hope because exercise and weight loss has been shown to significantly reduce Type 2 diabetes. Just like with any other physical condition, an ounce of prevention is worth […]

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Sugar Consumption is “the New Smoking”

The cost of obesity/diabetes related complications is set to overwhelm the healthcare industry in the near future

In my last post, I made a case against the phrase “Sitting is the New Smoking.” Personally, I don’t think it’s a reasonable conclusion. However, I do see several similarities between sugar consumption and smoking. In my opinion, if anything’s the new smoking, it’s sugar consumption. Let me explain: Just like the tobacco industry did in the 60’s & 70’s, the sugar industry used deceptive marketing in the 80’s to push their products (think kid’s cereal commercials). When folks started to catch on, the sugar industry got called out. But to cover up, big sugar relied on it’s wealth & […]

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Eye Healthy Foods – Curbing Your Sugar Cravings

The body processes ALL forms of sugar in the same way, and ANY large amount can contribute to unwanted weight gain

In my last post, I briefly touched on the concept of fatty liver. It’s quite interesting and rather simple to explain. A person’s liver gets “fatty” when it becomes overloaded with sugar (specifically fructose). It can also be the result of too much drinking since the liver breaks down fructose & alcohol in the same way. It’s reasonable to assume that fatty liver precedes metabolic disorders (such as diabetes). It’s also an early sign of sugar toxicity. Some signs & symptoms of fatty liver include: Fatigue Abdominal Pain Jaundice (yellowing of the skin & eyes) Weight Gain But here’s the […]