on Friday, November 16, 2012
November is American Diabetes Month. A lot of diabetic eye conditions do not have early warning signs, so it helps to be aware of what can affect a diabetic patient. However, with early detection and treatment with an eye doctor, diabetic eye patients can control diabetic eye disease. But what eye conditions can affect diabetic patients? Here is a helpful list that patients can look over and discuss with their eye doctor:
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In others, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Both can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Glaucoma is an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. It is sometimes referred to as the "sneak thief of sight" as there are generally no symptoms or warning signals in the early stages of the disease. Annual eye exams are important for adults as they may help detect diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes in the early stages.
A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. It typically occurs in aging patients, but cataracts can occur in patients after an eye trauma, eye surgery, or even exposure to some types of radiation. One of the major risk factors is diabetes. Diabetic patients should have an eye exam by an eye doctor if they have symptoms like cloudy or blurry vision, colors that look dull, double vision, glare, or poor night vision.
on Thursday, November 15, 2012
How often do you replace your contact lenses? Your replacement schedule is the length of time your contact lenses can be worn before they need to be replaced with new lenses. Do you know what replacement schedule your eye doctor recommended for you? Typically an eye doctor prescribes a specific contact lens replacement schedule based on lifestyle and vision correction needs. As we have written about in a previous post, there are different replacement schedule options that you can discuss with your eye doctor.
However, no matter that your replacement schedule is, it is important for you to be consistent about replacing your contact lenses. Some of the benefits of being compliant with your replacement schedule include:
- Comfort: Compliance with a replacement schedule, regardless of modality, is associated with better comfort and vision at the end of the day and at the end of the wear cycle. When you replace your contact lens according to its replacement schedule, you are less likely to encounter discomfort due to build up from lipids, proteins, and microorganisms.
- Lowers Infection Risks: Poor contact lens hygiene, including not being compliant about contact lens replacement may contribute to infections such as microbial keratitis
- Better Vision: If a patient sticks to a regular contact lens replacement schedule, there is less likelihood of contact lens build up which can affect visual acuity.
No matter what your replacement schedule is, always follow it to keep your eyes healthy, unless otherwise directed by your eye care practitioner.
on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
As the days get shorter during these winter months, eye care patients will have to drive in the dark earlier. Driving at night can be a challenge because the human eye’s field of vision is much smaller without the help of natural light. There are also patients such as older patients, patients with dry eye, and patients who have higher order aberrations (optical imperfections that can’t be corrected with contact lenses or glasses) that may have a more challenging time driving when it is dark out. Here are a few important things that patients should know about their vision and night driving:
- Make Sure Your Prescription Is Up to Date: One way motorists can overcome visual challenges while driving at night safely is making sure their prescription is current. Getting regular eye exams is one way to ensure that. An eye doctor can also check and let patients know if fading night vision could be a problem.
- Older Patients Should Get Tested More Often: Older patients may struggle to focus on the road at night, where lighting is poor and more complex visual tasks are required. There are also eye conditions that can cause vision loss as patients age. These conditions include: cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. By getting regular eye exams, older patients can check with their eye doctor about the risks of driving at night.
- Be Prepared: Before patients go for a drive, it can help to check and see if the windshield and mirrors are clear of any debris.
- Talk To Your Eye Doctor: If a patient notices that his or her vision seems to be worse at night, talking to your eye doctor can help. An eye doctor can recommend tips and steps that a patient can take in order to stay safe on the road at night.
on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. While people with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes, most patients who have diabetes have nothing more than minor eye conditions. With regular checkups, patients can work with their eye doctor to keep their eyes healthy. And if diabetic patients develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away. Here are some tips for patients to keep their eyes healthy:
Get Regular Eye Exams: Diabetic patients should get an annual eye exam by an eye doctor. Patients can even find eye doctors who specifically treat diabetic patients. Eye exams may include dilating the eye so that the eye doctor can see the blood vessels in the entire retina. This will allow an eye doctor to see if there is diabetic retinopathy, a condition where diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina.
Work With A Doctor To Control Blood Sugar: Patients who work with their doctor to control blood sugar levels may lower their risk of having eye problems. According to the American Diabetes Association, having high blood sugar can make your vision blurry temporarily.
Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can make eye problems worse.
Quit Smoking: Patients can ask their physician for help if they need it.
Know When To Call An Eye Doctor: If patients have any issues like blurry vision, trouble reading, seeing double, eye pressure, or any other vision problems, they should make sure to see an eye doctor immediately.