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Harmful UV Rays – The Effects of Sunlight on the Eyes

The right amount of sunlight is a powerful asset to our overall health, but getting too much sun can be harmful

The harmful effects of UV rays can pose a problem any time of year (even in winter). That said, right now is as good a time as any to explain how our eyes can be affected. When dealing with this issue, let’s keep in mind that the right amount of sunlight is a powerful asset to our overall health. But getting too much sun can be harmful (to say the least). According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), “exposure to UV radiation is a major risk factor for most skin cancers. Sunlight is the main source of UV rays (along […]

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Managing Dry Eye Disease – Treatment Options (Update)

As 2017 nears it's end, I'm confident that help is on the way for the vast majority of dry eye sufferers

The last year has been an exciting one in terms of dry eye disease. The new medication Xiidra made its debut and DEWS2 officially updated the dry eye definition. If that’s not enough, Shire (the parent company of Xiidra) started a public health campaign called MyEyeLove, which increased the overall awareness of dry eye. This marked the beginning of celebrity endorsements in the eye care industry, which has definitely been a game changer. I say this because many new (and existing) patients have been asking me: “Do I have what Jennifer Aniston has?” Personally, I didn’t realize the impact would […]

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Malignant or Benign – Advice for Dealing with Eye Floaters

Eye floaters go unnoticed most of the time, but sometimes they're too large to ignore

This week, I’m going back over a story that was published in the Washington Post last year. Exploring the topic of eye floaters, black spots, and flashes, writer Jill Adams explained how Patrick Muffler (a retired geologist from Palo Alto) almost went blind. To paraphrase the article, Mr. Muffler’s eye health emergency developed over the period of about five days. On a Thursday he noticed “funny v-shaped floaters” in his eye. When he woke up on Friday, the floaters were still there along with several more “black dots.” Over the course of the weekend, he “developed a cloudy area in […]

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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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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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Preventing Vision Loss from Glaucoma – (Part One)

Glaucoma is one of the most harmful eye diseases, and it can take you by surprise if not detected early

Out of all the major eye diseases, glaucoma is as harmful as any, and it can certainly take you by surprise. To put it in perspective, think of glaucoma like a heart attack. You can go a long time without thinking or feeling anything is wrong, then one day it hits you. And when it does, it’s too late to reverse the damage. As an eye care provider, my personal experience in treating glaucoma has been nothing short of an eye opener. Some of my hardest days at work were early in my career. Since I’m only human, it would […]

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Preventing Vision Loss from Glaucoma – (Part Two)

The most important thing to understand when dealing with glaucoma is that it can be treated

For now, I’ll use an analogy to explain glaucoma in simpler terms (bare with me). Since glaucoma is the result of pressure buildup in the eye, it’s applicable to think of your eye like a tire. When you add air pressure to a tire, a certain amount is recommended and safe. Now I’m no mechanic, and this isn’t an article about cars, but normal tire pressure is typically between 32 and 36 pounds per square inch, or PSI (give or take). If tire pressure exceeds normal PSI, it may result in problems like premature wear & tear and/or overheating, which […]

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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 […]