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Possible Causes for the Recent Surge in Dry Eye Cases

Dry eye disease is quite common in older patients, but the number of young sufferers is clearly on the rise

According to the American Optometric Association, “Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.” This one sentence sums up dry eye in a nutshell, but finding adequate treatments can be much more difficult. Symptoms of dry eye disease include: Burning or stinging of the eyes Redness of the eyes or eyelids Itching Light sensitivity Eye fatigue Contact lens irritation Here in the world of health and eye care, we’re currently experiencing a dry eye surge. The condition has always been quite common in older patients, but the number […]

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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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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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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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Fifty Percent of the Battle is Just Getting There

If half the battle is won just by showing up, you've only got half way to go on your own

Fifty percent of the workout is just getting to the gym. Think I’m kidding? Hear me out. When you decide to workout, do you tough it out and make it happen? Or does the earth’s gravitational pull start working mysteriously against you? Is this you? “I went to the gym today because it makes me feel energized.” “I went to the gym today because I always loosen up once I get moving.” “I went to the gym today because I want to get better at jumping rope,” (or pushups, or hand stands, or whatever). OR is this you? “I want […]

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“Turning Off the Faucet” – The Importance of Prevention

It's extremely important for a doctor and patient to work as a team, especially when it comes to chronic disease prevention

In my opinion, it’s best for a doctor to get to know his/her patients and to work as a team (with any given patient). Moreover, no matter where a patient stands on the healthcare spectrum, the topic of prevention should always be a priority. Understandably, we live in the “real world” and “real world problems” need to be solved with “real world solutions”. But keep in mind that healthy habits usually lead to healthier results, and the sooner those healthy habits can be incorporated, better outcomes can be expected. “Mopping the Floor” Cardiologist, Dr. Steven Lome, recently wrote an inspiring […]