Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Today many of us celebrated Memorial Day with cookouts,  family and friends. But we need to remember the reason we celebrate memorial day is to honor the men and women who have given their lives fighting for our country Thank you for your service and sacrifice.


Glaucoma is a common eye disease that can cause blindness. It occurs when pressure inside the eye increases and damages the optic nerve. Vision that is lost from glaucoma can never be restored. But when glaucoma is caught early, sight can be saved.

Having an eye exam is the only way to determine if you have glaucoma. During the exam, your eye doctor measures the pressure inside your eye with a tonometer which blows a puff of air onto your eye. Your doctor will also check the health of the optic nerve and the drainage angle of your eye. Your field of vision may also be tested. 

Glaucoma is more common in people who are:
(1) older
(2) are African Americans, Asians or Native Americans
(3) have a family history of glaucoma
(4) have diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure
(5) are long term users of steroids or cortisone

Treatment is aimed at reducing pressure inside the eye. Eye drops or pills may be prescribed alone or in combination. Medications must be continued for life. Surgery may also be suggested.

Light enters the eye through the clear cornea. The colored part of the eye, the iris, controls the amount of light that enters through the pupil. The lens then focuses the light onto the retina, the inside lining at the back of the eye. Signals from the retina travel through the optic nerve to the brain turning into images you see.

Fluid flows into the eye and drains at a spongy outlet where the cornea and iris meet. This area is called the drainage angle. When the outlet is open and the drainage angle normal, fluid drains normally and eye pressure is healthy.

Pressure rises when the drainage angle is narrowed. As the pressure increases, nerve fibers in the optic nerve are killed leading to a vision loss. Side vision is often affected first.

When medication does not reduce pressure in the eye laser treatment or eye surgery may be suggested.

Monday, May 5, 2014


There are other eye problems. One of the most common are cataracts which is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Normally the lens is clear and allows light to enter the eye. But when a cataract forms, the eye is less able to see clearly. Cataracts are a common vision problem that is highly treatable.

Causes of cataracts--changes within the protein material of the lens are responsible for cataracts. These changes, are a natural part of aging. But some people are born with cataracts. Cataracts can also be due to.
 Long term exposure to sunlight
.Injury to the eye
.Long term use of steroid medications

Symptoms of cataracts--early stages of cataracts cause little or no visual problems. They often develop in both eyes. The rate  of progression varies with each eye. Left untreated, cataracts can result in loss of vision. As cataracts develop, symptoms may include:

Cloudy or blurry vision
Seeing glare or halos around lights
Trouble seeing at night
Distortion of colors
When the lens is clear light enters the eye through the clear cornea. The colored part of the eye, the iris, controls the amount of light that enters through the pupil. The lens then focuses the light onto the retina at the back of the eye. Signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to  the brain where they turn into images you see.

When the lens has a cataract the lens is cloudy with a cataract, light can't pass through easily and is scattered. The imagine that is cast on the retina is blurry. That is why having a cataract is like looking through a foggy window. cataracts can form in different parts of the lens, the center, the side, or the back.

An eye exam is needed to find out if you have a cataract. During the evaluation your eye doctor will do the following.
Ask questions about your health and vision. Tell your doctor about any other eye problems. Also mention any medications, vitamins, or herbs
Test your vision to check how well you see and rule out other problems. Bring your glasses or contacts to the exam so your doctor can check the prescription.
Examine your eyes. Eye drops are used to dilate your pupils. This allows the doctor to use instruments such as a slit lamp and ophthalmoscope to look inside each eye. If you will be having cataract surgery, an A-scan or a laser interferometer is used. These are special tools that measure the length of your eyeball to determine the new lens that will replace your old one.