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

AMD sufferers will likely encourage family members to get their eyes checked more frequently to ensure early detection

When it comes to advanced macular degeneration, there aren’t many positive things to say. It’s a sad subject with more questions than answers. I can usually think of something positive to write about most other eye health topics, but not this one. The best way to deal with AMD is to avoid it altogether. When AMD reaches an advanced stage, it not only affects the individual patient, but family members as well (due to loss of independence). Advanced AMD sufferers need to be supported (by family members) and introduced to low-vision aides (such as handheld magnifiers) as soon as possible. […]

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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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Smartphone Overuse & Eye Health Risks in Teenagers

Many young teens just don't understand the consequences of smartphone overuse

An interesting eye health story recently made its way onto NBC Nightly News. The segment entitled Kids’ Eyes Aged by Intense Use of Tablets & Phones tells of a Minnesota teenager who spends nearly 8-hours a day using a smartphone. As a result, this particular teen has been having trouble taking exams at school and has developed Dry Eye Disease (DED). In describing the effects of smartphone overuse, Dr. Ralph Chu states (in the video), “… you see this (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a […]

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A Healthcare Moment with Malcolm Gladwell

Patient engagement is extremely important, especially in this time of nonstop information

You may not be able to tell, but I’ve been very busy over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been on-the-go nonstop in places such as Boston, Texas, and California. One highlight of my recent travels (and there were many) was a layover at the American Academy of Optometry medical conference in Anaheim. Our industry conference takes place every year (in different cities), and it’s something I absolutely look forward to. Attending academy provides a chance to gain new clinical insights and interact with the world of optometry. Moreover, it’s also a chance to catch up with some old friends […]

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Recipes – Cold Brew Coffee (Stirred then Shaken)

If you love coffee and you can't get enough, try this do it yourself cold brew method

If you’re a coffee drinker (like me), you typically fall into one of the following three coffee drinking categories: You like to dabble here and there (on a lunch date or after dinner) One cup (or two… or three) gets you through the day You absolutely love coffee and you can’t get enough of it Maybe there’s somewhere in between? As for myself, I might come off like I belong in the third category, but I’m actually in the second. One or two cups will get me through my day. Now, this may have something to do with the rising […]