Eyes on 40 is thrilled to once again carry the latest Kevin Durant eyewear:
The KD Limited Edition Collection!
It’s a cross between athlete and fashion, but we’d also say it’s simply about lifestyle!
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose, a form of sugar meant to be used by the body for energy to perform various bodily functions. As a result, this sugar accumulates in the bloodstream and causes one’s blood sugar level to rise to higher than normal levels. This can cause many complications throughout the body, especially in the eyes. Proper diabetic eyecare involves comprehensive eye exams at least once a year in order to minimize the risk of diabetes related eye conditions going undetected and untreated.
Dr. Ann Gallagher in Ellicott City, Maryland states, “Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74. Between the years 2005 and 2008, 4.2 million diabetes patients in the United States developed a serious diabetes related eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. This is an eye condition in which high blood sugar levels cause blood vessels in the eye to begin leaking fluids or to become completely closed off. Without proper care, this condition can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. People with diabetes have also proven to be at increased risk of glaucoma and early development of cataracts. Despite this, 1 in 4 people with diabetes fail to follow their optometrist’s recommendation to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, leading to irreversible loss of vision and other dire consequences.”
Since many diabetes related conditions show no symptoms until significant damage has already been done, early detection is essential. Early detection of diabetes related eye conditions is most successful for people who follow their eye doctor’s recommendation to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam once a year. This specialty eye exam consists of dilating your eye so that the pupil is enlarged, allowing your optometrist a wider window through which to inspect the retina for signs of retinopathy and other eye damage that could be caused by your diabetes. The comprehensive exam also includes a tonometry test, in which a quick puff of air is blown into your eye or a pressure-sensitive tip is gently placed near or against it. This measures your internal eye fluid pressure. If your eye doctor detects that your internal eye fluid pressure is higher than normal, this may be an indication of glaucoma. Statistics show that early detection through a dilated eye exam, timely treatment and appropriate follow-up can reduce your risk of significant vision loss from these conditions by as much as 95%.
Although it is recommended to see your optometrist once a year for an annual check-up, there are a number of symptoms that you need to keep an eye out for that indicate that you should not wait for your annual appointment before seeing your eye doctor. Dr. Gallagher explains, “If your vision becomes blurry, you are seeing double, or one or both of your eyes hurt, it is recommended that you call your eye doctor immediately. If your eyes get red and stay that way, you feel pressure in your eye, or you consistently see spots or floaters in your vision, these can also be symptoms of an underlying eye problem related to your diabetes.”
For more information or to schedule your comprehensive dilated eye exam, contact Dr. Gallagher today!
Preventing Dry Eyes During Air Travel
It is quite common to experience very dry eyes after long flights.
The temperature- and pressure-controlled cabin of an airplane
produces an extremely dry environment that can easily effect
The good news is that eye doctors have come up with a number
of steps that a person can take to minimize the risk of experiencing
these unpleasant symptoms that arise – otherwise known as
“travelers’ dry eye.” See below for a few tips to help you avoid
dry eyes when traveling:
Dehydration can cause dry eye symptoms to worsen.
Hydrate yourself all the time, especially before, during and after
your flight. Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like tea
or coffee could increase the likelihood of dehydration and if you like
these kinds of beverages in-flight then be sure to drink extra fluids
to account for this possibility.
Artificial tears can also help combat dry eyes. Have a bottle of
artificial tears with you during your trip and they can really help.
If you have chronic dry eyes then speak to your doctor before your
flight to discuss the possibility that you may need a more
effective lubricant for the flight.
Sleeping during your flight can also dry out the eyes. If you tend to
nap while in the air, try wearing an eye mask. This will help reduce
the dry air that reaches your eyes while you sleep, minimizing
the chances of dry eyes.
Contact lenses can also increase the possibility of dry eyes, even
under normal conditions. This is especially the case in the particularly
dry air of the airplane cabin. If you wear contact lenses then think
about switching to a pair of glasses during the flight to eliminate
this increased risk.
The air conditioning vent above your seat blows dry air directly onto
your eyes. Close this vent and you will feel the difference in
of dry eyes.
For more on how to prevent dry eye discomfort on your next plane
trip, talk with your eye doctor at Professional Vision today.
Macular degeneration is a very dangerous and all-too-common eye condition that robs a person of their central and detail vision by destroying the small part of the retina, called the maucla, that is responsible for this type of vision. Consequently, detail work such as threading a needle or activities such as reading a book, become very difficult or even impossible. Dr. Ann Gallagher of Professional Vision, in Ellicott City, Maryland adds, “Macular degeneration can sometimes be a heart-wrenching ordeal, as the blank or blurry spot in the center of a person’s field of vision often blots out faces, making it hard even to recognize close friends and loved ones. Macular degeneration usually comes on very slowly and is easily overlooked without routine eye exams, causing a significant loss of sight before detection. Especially for those over the age of 40 and/or with a family history of the disease, these routine eye exams are indispensable as a means of early detection and treatment, ensuring long term eye and vision health.”
Two types of macular degeneration exist, dry and wet. Below, Dr. Gallagher gives an outline of both:
Dry Macular Degeneration is a much more common condition than it’s wet alternative. Symptoms include blurry distance and/or reading vision, colors seeming much less vivid and difficulty seeing in dim lighting. Macular degeneration that affects only one eye is often more difficult to detect without an eye exam. This results from your good eye making up for the short-comings of the vision in the bad eye. In this case, eye exams become even more important to detect and monitor the progress of this single-eye macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration is much more rare, and considered considerably more dangerous. This is because wet macular degeneration displays a tendency to worsen drastically over an alarmingly short amount of time. Symptoms of this form of macular degeneration are similar to the dry form, with the addition that you may also notice that straight lines seem to be bent or crooked.
Macular degeneration, once it has already developed, has no federally approved treatment options, and sight which is lost through damage caused by macular degeneration is non-reversible. Preventing macular degeneration altogether, is therefore a person’s best defense. Besides regular eye exams for early detection, a number of expert studies have shown a link between certain health supplements and reduced risk of macular degeneration. Those who took Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other healthy supplements appeared to reduce their long-term risk of developing macular degeneration or of their dry macular degeneration getting worsening or developing into wet macular degeneration.
For more information, contact Dr. Gallagher today!
The most well-known part of a comprehensive eye exam is the basic vision test. When you have a general vision test, one of the main conditions the eye care practitioner is checking for is a refractive error. A refractive error means there is an abnormality in the shape of the eye, changing the eye’s ability to focus light directly onto the retina.This causes blurred vision and can usually be corrected by wearing prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and possibly, alternate treatments such as vision therapy, ortho-k, LASIK or refractive surgery such as LASIK.
The term, “refractive error” refers to a problem with the process of refraction that is responsible for sight. Normally, light rays that enter your eye are refracted or bent through the cornea and the lens, and ultimately converge or are focused onto a single point on the retina. From the retina, messages are sent through the optic nerve to the brain which then interprets these signals into the image that we are seeing.
In order for this process to work effectively, the anatomy of the eye including the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea and the lens must be just right to be able to focus the light onto the retina. When this is not the case, a refractive error will occur.
There are several different types of refractive errors, depending on which part of the eye is affected, and it is possible to have multiple refractive errors at the same time:
Myopia or nearsightedness:
In myopia the length of the eyeball is too long which results in light coming to a focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina. This allows the individual to see well when objects are close but not clearly when looking at objects at a distance.
Hyperopia or farsightedness:
Hyperopia is when the eyeball is shorter than normal and can result in near objects being blurry. However, people experience hyperopia differently. Sometimes distant objects are clear while other times people may experience overall blurred vision near and far or no problems at all. In children particularly, the lens may accommodate for the error allowing for clear vision but may cause fatigue and sometimes crossed eyes or strabismus. Hyperopia causes eyestrain or fatigue especially when looking at near objects for a period of time. Often people with 20/20 vision may still need glasses at their desk to relax their eyes and improve concentration.
Astigmatism is usually the result of an irregularly shaped cornea (although it can sometimes also be due to a misshapen lens). The cornea, which is normally round, is more football-shaped in an eye with astigmatism, resulting in multiple focus points either in front of the retina or behind it (or both). People with astigmatism usually have blurred or distorted vision to some degree at all distances, near and far.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition which usually begins to appear sometime after 40. As the eye begins to age, the lens stiffens and can no longer focus clearly on objects that are close.
It’s important to note that presbyopia is often confused with hyperopia, as both cause problems focusing at near distances. However, high hyperopia can also cause blur at far distances as well, especially in dim lighting, and depth perception problems can result in motor vehicle accidents. In these instances people with hyperopia could use glasses at any distance.
If you are having trouble seeing, it is important to have an eye exam to determine the cause of the problem and to effectively correct your vision. Even if your vision is fine, you should schedule a routine eye exam on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that any potential problems are caught early.
Sometimes a person is unable to produce enough tears or their tears do not possess the right qualities to keep eyes healthy and comfortable. This can cause a consistent lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, known as dry eyes.
Normally, the eye constantly lubricates itself with tears by producing them at a slow and steady rate, keeping itself moist and comfortable. Usually these tears consist of three layers, an oily, a watery, and a mucus layer. Each layer has a specific role in lubricating your eyes. The oily layer is outermost. It’s main purpose is to slow evaporation of the tear. The watery layer is in the middle. This makes up the majority of what a person normally thinks of as tears. This layer cleans the eye and helps to wash away small foreign objects and particles. The inner layer consists of mucus. This mucus allows the watery layer to stick to the eye and spread evenly over the eye in order to keep it lubricated. In a person with dry eyes, either hormonal changes, side effects from medication or some other factor causes the eye to either not produce enough tears, or leave out parts of the tear that make proper lubrication possible.
Dr. Ann Gallagher, of Professional Vision in Ellicott City, Maryland explains, “Symptoms of dry eyes include stinging or burning in the eyes, scratchiness, and excessive irritation from smoke or wind. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the eyes’ response to the consistent irritation caused by dry eyes may also cause a person to experience excessive tearing. In this case, the eye is attempting to flush and lubricate itself by producing more tears, but is unable to do so successfully due to the rate of evaporation or inability to spread the tears properly.”
Although dry eyes are not always curable, your optometrist may prescribe artificial tears to help with some of the symptoms. Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops that may help with dry, scratchy feeling eyes. Different artificial tears work in different ways. Some help replenish parts of the tear that your eyes are not producing on its own, others help to produce more tears overall. Your eye doctor will assist you to choose which will help you most. Dr Gallagher cautions, however, “These artificial tears should not be confused with eye drops that are advertised to ‘get the red out.’ These eye drops may indeed reduce the appearance of redness in your eyes, but this is accomplished by making the blood vessels in your eyes smaller rather than actually lubricating your eyes. As such, these drops can sometimes actually make your symptoms worse. One should also be aware that if you wear contacts, some eye drops require you to take them out before using the drops and wait 15 minutes or more before reinserting your contact lenses.”
Some cases of dry eyes are seasonal, such as those which occur as a result of cold, dry winter air. In this case, your eye doctor may recommend wearing sunglasses or goggles when outdoors to reduce your eyes’ exposure to the sun, wind and dust. For indoors, your optometrist may recommend an air cleaner and humidifier to take dust out of the air and add moisture to air which is too dry.
Studies have also shown that nutrition may have a part in helping to relieve some symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor may recommend nutritional supplements such as omega-3. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish, cod, herring and salmon, as well as flaxseed oil. Mild dehydration can make symptoms worse too, so be sure to drink plenty of water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.