COA Vision Blog


November 21, 2017 Uncategorized

diabetes-eye-disease-monthDid you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and very rarely has early warning signs? With November being Diabetic Eye Disease Month, we wanted to give our patients some insight on diabetic eye disease.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. By 2030, it is estimated that 11 million people will have diabetic retinopathy. Patients’ understanding of the many factors that influence control as well as knowledge of long term complications is vital to reducing the side effects from what can be devastating to vision. Education is vital. The first thing to understand is that insulin, which is created by the pancreas, is what controls the blood sugar in our bodies. An average blood sugar should be under 100 and when it consistently is above that range, it is due to cells in the pancreas losing their ability to produce insulin. Physicians can treat this with oral medications, especially in adult onset diabetes, or injections of insulin which is most often necessary when diabetes occurs in children. The goal is to keep the blood sugars at a safe level in order to prevent damage to the delicate blood vessels in the body.

Diabetes affects the eye by causing leakage of the vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that receives the visual image and creates the “picture”. These vessels provide nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the retina and if they start to leak fluid and blood, those cells become damaged. This is called diabetic retinopathy and leads to loss of vision that can be permanent. Treatment includes laser to help seal the leaking vessels and, in severe cases, surgery called vitrectomy where the blood has to be removed from the back of the eye. It is smart to schedule a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam as that will increase the likeliness of early detection. Even after a diabetic diagnosis, a yearly eye exam is part of the comprehensive management of the disease to ensure any changes are detected early. Diabetic patients are prone to developing cataracts at an earlier age so these yearly exams are extremely important to maintaining good health.

The most important thing a patient can do to help control their blood sugar is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest changes a patient can make is to stop smoking as smoking can accelerate damage to the blood vessels. Most hospitals, community centers, and other agencies offer diabetic classes where patients can learn how to eat and cook foods that are low in simple sugars and carbohydrates while being high in protein. In addition, these classes can provide information on exercises such as walking and biking to help burn off calories and reduce body fat which further helps control blood sugar. Education and “being part of the process” are vital to avoiding complications with diabetes.

Now is the time to speak with your ophthalmologist about your eye health if you have questions about diabetic retinopathy. Early detection is the best way to potentially save your vision if it is jeopardized by diabetes. Nearly 95% of diabetic eye treatment is successful in preventing blindness if detected early. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help you in your journey of having the best vision for life. Click here for more information on Diabetic Eye Disease.



November 9, 2017 Uncategorized

It’s beginning to look a lot like…the end of the year! Where did 2017 go? We’re beginning our preparation for end-of year holidays and scheduling LOTS of eye exams prior to December 31st! November is the beginning of so many fun activities to do with your families and friends, holiday celebrations, outdoor excursions, and creative indoor festivities. We’re here to bring your November Eye Care Tips top of mind so you can continue to have healthy eyes, no matter the season! As as a reminder, don’t forget to constantly wash your hands. While that is good advice throughout the year, it is especially important right now as we’re in the middle of flu season. Soap and water is your best bet against the spread of bacteria and viruses. You can also carry a small container of hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t use soap and water. Take advantage of the sanitizing wipes that stores offer and always wipe down your cart. You never know who has touched it or what germs they may have had. Take care of your body and protect it and you will spend more time enjoying the holiday season and less under the weather!

 

November Eye Care Tips



November 3, 2017 Uncategorized

We are on our final post in this series on cataracts and premium IOL’s. The last IOL we’re going to highlight is the Astigmatism IOL. This IOL isn’t for everyone but a good number of Americans may be eligible for this IOL if they are in need of cataract surgery. Let’s take a look into the reason a patient may need the Astigmatism IOL.

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea — the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil — or in the shape of the eye’s lens. Under normal circumstances, the cornea and lens are smooth and equally curved in every direction. This helps to focus light rays directly to the back of the retina at the back of the eye. When the cornea or lens is not smooth or evenly curved in every direction, the light rays do not sharply focus on the back of the retina. Instead, they are more scattered. This causes blurry or distorted vision for both near and far objects.

You can see the difference between a normal eye and an astigmatic eye below:

LASIK Astigmatism_1

This where the Astigmatism IOL comes in.

View Video
“The Astigmatism IOL is one of the greatest advances in lens implants,” says Dr. McHale, managing partner and ophthalmologist. Astigmatism is so common that it is present in 25-30% of the population so the creation of this lens has helps hundreds of thousand of Americans to regain their sight. Prior to cataract surgery, patients with astigmatism often have to wear thick glasses or hard contact lenses to treat their astigmatism. With the Astigmatism IOL, there is no need for that. You will have clear vision at a single point and a reduced dependency on glasses or contacts. Your ophthalmologist can set that clear vision point to near or far depending on your interest.

Are you affected by astigmatism and also have a cataract? The Astigmatism IOL may be the solution for you! Give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists and we will be happy to help you regain the confidence that comes with restored vision!




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