A New You

Contact Lenses For Aging Eyes

Being a senior doesn’t mean that you have to wear glasses the rest of your life. Your eyes may need a special prescription, but in many cases, contact lenses will fit your needs. If you frequently lose your glasses, or are tired of having a pair of glasses hanging around your neck on a chain, ask your eye doctor about contacts. Here are a few situations where contacts are an option for you. Bifocal Contacts Presbyopia, the loss of ability to refocus from far away objects to near objects, is a common vision problem. Then it becomes hard to focus on far away objects at all. Bifocal contacts, like their eyeglass counterparts, have both the near and distance prescriptions built into them to correct these two vision issues. There are a variety of types of bifocal contacts and your ophthalmologist at a place like Brooks Eyecare can recommend the right ones for you. The Monovision Approach In some cases where bifocal contacts won’t work for you, or you can’t get used to them, an option called monovision might work. This involves wearing a contact to correct distance vision in one eye and one to correct near vision in the other. It will take some time to get used to, but people develop the ability to favor one eye when reading or working on the computer and the other eye when focusing on objects far away. The downside is that this affects your binocular vision, which makes depth perception difficult. This can make driving very hard to do. People have even compensated for the issue of depth perception by wearing a bifocal contact in one eye and a single-vision contact in the other. This is called modified monovision. Contacts to Correct Astigmatism If you have blurry vision due to astigmatism, special contact lenses are available to correct that. Called toric lenses, these compensate for the curvature of your cornea that makes it hard to focus on single objects. There are a variety of types of toric contact lenses available. Each lens includes two prescriptions, one to correct the astigmatism and another for near or distance vision. Contacts and Cataracts During cataract surgery, your eye doctor removes the old, cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). In the rare cases where an IOL won’t work for you, contact lenses are available to allow you to see without needing to […]

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What You Should Know About How Hypothyroidism Affects Your Vision

Hypothyroidism is known to be a condition that affects your body’s ability to produce and regulate thyroid hormone levels. What many people don’t understand until a visit with an optometrist is that hypothyroidism can also affect the condition of your eyes. Understanding your underlying condition and treating your poor thyroid function is essential to treating any side effects that may affect your eyes. Here’s a look at some of the things that your optometrist may notice if you have hypothyroidism.       Swelling When you suffer from hypothyroidism, you may develop some swelling in your face and around your eyes. This is often caused by protein accumulation under your lower layers of skin. When you treat your hypothyroidism, you’ll find that those proteins typically dissipate. This will ease the swelling around your eyes. Eyelid Drooping Another common eye-related problem for people with hypothyroidism is drooping eyelids. It occurs because your thyroid hormones also influence your nervous system function, including that of your eyelid control. When you have hypothyroidism, you may find that your eyelids droop slightly until you get your thyroid hormone levels balanced out. Eye Dryness and Bulging When your body’s antithyroid antibodies, typically produced due to an autoimmune disease that’s caused your hypothyroidism, attack the soft tissue of your eye, it can lead to dryness and bulging. Your eyes may seem to bulge because the tissue in your eyes will become inflamed and swollen due to the antibodies attacking it. Over time, this pushes the eyeballs forward slightly. In severe cases, your eyelids may not be able to close all the way, which leaves your eyes prone to dryness. Nerve Damage When the soft tissue of your eye is attacked by the antithyroid antibodies, sometimes this can even affect the optic nerve. Since this nerve is the primary path of communication between your brain and your eye, this can be serious. In some cases, this damage caused to the optic nerve may even cause permanent damage or complete loss of vision in the affected eye. Sometimes, thyroid conditions are detected when you experience nerve problems and vision loss that lead you to a visit with your optometrist. He or she can identify the inflammation and other problems in your eye, and may recommend that you see your primary care doctor for testing. It’s important to understand that some vision problems may not be directly related to your […]

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9 Tips For Recovering After Advanced Cataract Surgery

Advanced cataract surgery usually restores vision in most people who undergo the procedure. The recovery time can take up to a month. During that time period, it is important that you take every precaution you can to protect your eye health. Here are some tips to help keep your recovery on track.  Use the antibiotic eye drops prescribed for you. It is customary for patients to be given antibiotic eye drops after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. It is important that you use them exactly as your doctor has recommended.  Avoid bending over. The first few days following surgery, it is important that you do not bend over. When you bend over it can increase pressure in your eye and lead to complications.  Do not swim. You also need to avoid swimming in the first week following surgery. The water can contain contaminants that could lead to infection. Never rub your eye. When you rub your eyes, you could inadvertently transfer dirt, bacteria, or other harmful substances into your eyes. To avoid the risk of infection, you should avoid rubbing your eyes the first couple of weeks after surgery. Avoid heavy lifting. Heavy lifting can cause you to strain and put pressure on your eyes. Even lifting small items, such as a full laundry basket, is too much the first few days.  Wear sunglasses. Keep your eyes protected when you have to go outside. This can help avoid unnecessary pressure on your eyes from wind and also protects your eyes in case you accidentally bump into something. Be wary for signs of complications. If your vision is very cloudy after the first week or worsens after a few days, call your doctor. You should also seek help if you have nausea and vomiting because your eyes could possibly be infected. Keep your follow-up appointment. Your doctor should schedule a visit within a few weeks of the procedure to check your progress. It is important that you make the appointment even if your vision has improved or is back to normal. Wear your glasses. At some point, your eye doctor might recommend that you start wearing prescription glasses. The glasses help to improve your vision after the surgery.  Talk to your eye surgeon about other things you should be wary of after your surgery. Remember, once the surgery is complete and you have recovered, you can return to your […]

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Do You Need A Corneal Transplant?

There are certain medical conditions and diseases of the eye that require you to get a new cornea. This procedure is called a corneal transplant. It is performed by removing your damaged cornea and replacing it with new cornea, in order to improve your eyesight. Here are some different reasons you might need the corneal transplant. Does your cornea look like a cone? Another reason you might need a corneal transplant is if your cornea is shaped like a cone. If it bulges out of your eye and comes to a point, you have a condition called keratoconus. This can have a negative effect on vision, and also make it difficult to wear glasses or contacts. The vision loss from this condition can also worsen over time, so it is likely that you will need the transplant at some point. The eye doctor will remove your dome-shaped cornea and replace it with brand new cornea that restores your vision. Do you have Fuch’s Dystrophy? You may also need a transplant if you have an eye condition called Fuch’s Dystrophy. This occurs when you have swelling and clouding of your cornea. It is a condition that tends to start subtly, and gradually worsen as you age. With this condition, there is a layer of cells in the cornea called endothelium that get excessive fluid build-up. When this happens, it causes your vision to become clouded and blurry. A transplant will help correct your vision. Have you burned your cornea? A severe corneal burn could also require you to get a corneal transplant. If you have come into contact with chemicals that burned your eyes, this is likely to happen. The extent of the burn will determine if you need a transplant or if other treatments will be effective. The most damage is typically done by alkaline chemical burns since they can bypass the top layers of your cornea. Do you have an infection? If you have recently had an infection in one or both of your eyes, you might end up needing a corneal transplant. This is the worst case scenario, but it does happen. You might have an infection in your eye and you don’t get it treated right away, which could cause the problem to escalate. Infections of the eye come from many different sources, including a virus, bacteria, or amoeba. The infection can scar your cornea when it […]

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Improve Your Vision With Cataract Surgery And Lens Implants

Are you extremely nearsighted to the point that, if your glasses were to break or your contacts fall out of your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a person and a chair in a room? Have you been developing cataracts as well? If so, then you could be a candidate for fixing 2 eye problems with a combined procedure. Surgery and Implants With today’s technology, you can get your cataracts removed and improve your eyesight to the point that you won’t rely on glasses or contacts for vision correction. New lenses make it possible for you to see at both near and far distances. The surgery goes something like this: Cataract Removed: First, the cataract is removed. This is done by making small openings in your cornea and removing the cataracts. Either ultrasound or laser technology is used to ensure that the incisions are miniscule and the cataracts are completely eliminated. Then your natural lens is removed from your eye so cataracts won’t grow back. Artificial Lens Placed: Once your lens is removed, an artificial one is inserted through the cornea. Typically, a monofocal lens is attached where your lens had been. These lenses are known to maintain or improve distance vision, but most people rely on reading glasses for short distances following cataract surgery. However, for individuals with severe nearsightedness, another options is available. Multifocal lenses (also called implantable contacts) offer both near and far distance correction. There are a variety to choose from, but all are designed to improve overall vision. Benefits and Risks The benefits of cataract surgery are clear – without it, you will eventually lose all your eyesight. You may experience discomfort as cataracts grow and harden on the surface of your eye, as well. The main risk of cataract surgery is retinal detachment if your surgeon scratches the retina during the procedure. The benefits of contact lens implants include decreased reliance on glasses or disposable contacts, minimal recovery time, and that it is a procedure that you are a candidate for even if you don’t qualify for other vision correction options (such as laser surgery). The main risk with multifocal lenses is that the lens lies close to your cornea and could potentially damage it. Developing cataracts on top of extreme nearsightedness might seem like an unfair setback. If you approach it right, however, it could actually result in improved vision. You […]

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Preparing To Have Cataract Surgery

You’ve scheduled an appointment with your ophthalmologist to have your cataracts removed and you’re a little nervous about the procedure. No one likes the thought of having surgery. But this procedure is so common that it’s done right in your doctor’s office. You’ll experience no pain during the surgery and you’ll see the results in a couple of days. You’ll be excited to get your clear eyesight back and glad you had the procedure done. Here is what to expect from your upcoming cataract surgery. Planning Ahead You’ll need someone to take you to the appointment and take you home afterwards. The eye drops the doctor uses will cause you to be sensitive to light, making it difficult to drive. Plan to spend a couple of hours in the eye clinic. The procedure doesn’t take long, but you’ll spend some time in the recovery area resting until you feel like going home. Have a light meal the night before or morning of the surgery to help with any queasiness you may experience during the procedure. The Day of the Surgery If you’re having a lot of anxiety about the procedure when you arrive at the eye clinic, a place like Alta View Eye Care Center, your doctor will give you something to help you relax. This may require you to stay a little longer in the recovery area as the medication wears off before you go home. The procedure is done while you sit back in a reclining chair, much like the one in a dentist’s office. Your doctor will look through a microscope into your eye as they do the procedure. Your doctor will put drops in your eye to anesthetize it. You’ll feel a little pressure during the procedure but no pain. Once your eye is numb, the doctor will remove the old, foggy lens and replace it with a plastic, acrylic or silicone artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL).   Once the procedure is done, you’ll be lead into a recovery area where you can sit and relax before going home. At this point, your eye is still dilated so your vision will be blurry and you’ll be sensitive to light. Your doctor will check on your eye and, once they are satisfied that the incision looks good, you can leave. After the Surgery Your eye may itch slightly as it heals. Your doctor will give […]

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Does Your Child Really Need Glasses?

When your child tells you he or she is having trouble seeing, your first instinct might be that the child needs glasses, or you might wonder if the child is just faking that he or she cannot see. Many kids pretend they cannot see well simply because they want glasses, so how do you know if the child really needs them or not? The answer is to take the child to an optometrist and let the doctor make this decision. Why kids fake this When kids are young, they may get the idea that having glasses is cool, fun, or special. There might be kids at school that recently got glasses, or the child may have watched a movie that had a character with glasses. When kids get the idea that this is really neat, they may decide to fake vision problems, simply so they can get glasses. As a parent, you might have a hard time knowing how to handle this, but there are symptoms you can watch for that may help you determine what is going on. Symptoms to look for If your child suddenly claims he or she cannot see well, you might want to start watching the child’s behavior for symptoms of eye problems. Eyesight generally does not diminish overnight, so be wary of sudden eyesight loss complaints by your child. If your child really does have trouble seeing, you might notice some of these symptoms: Squinting when trying to read things close or far away Rubbing his or her eyes a lot Changes in pupil size or color If you are not certain whether your child really has eyesight problems, the best thing to do is take him or her to an eye doctor. Eye doctors can help determine if children really do have vision problems or not. How eye doctors know Eye doctors use a variety of techniques to tell if a person needs glasses. One technique used with kids is placing a clear lens in front of the child’s eyes. If the child can instantly see better, the doctor will know the child is faking the condition. Eye doctors can also tell simply by looking at the child’s eyes with instruments and eye equipment. These tools help eye doctors determine the health of a person’s eyes, and this can help the doctor rule out or diagnose eye conditions. For more information, contact Linden […]

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Dealing With Post Cataract Surgery Recovery

Advanced cataract surgery isn’t a one-and-done process. You will have to deal with post-surgery recovery. Recovery happens in stages, and you have to make sure you do what you’re supposed to so that your eyes can heal properly. Here are some things to consider about your recovery. The Possible Complications Before learning about the post-surgery procedures, it’s important you know why these procedures are important. Many things can happen after cataract surgery if you’re not careful. Smaller issues can turn into larger problems if you ignore your post-surgery procedures. One of the most prevalent issues is the eye infection. After surgery, almost anything getting into or close to your eye can cause an infection. Usually, your doctor will give you eyedrops or some other form of medication to mitigate the possibility of an eye infection. You should also do your part by: Not touching or rubbing your eye Not applying any makeup close to your eye Staying away from others with confirmed eye infections Keeping yourself and your surroundings clean It’s also possible for you to develop other complications post-surgery. For example, there’s a condition known as posterior capsular opacification, which is a cell buildup behind the newly inserted lens. No matter what, if you’re experiencing any symptoms that cause you pain or irritation, you should contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will make sure you’re aware of possible complications and how to deal with them. Never avoid communication with your eye doctor. What to Expect Immediately After Surgery Immediately following your surgery, you should rest.  The main purpose of this rest period is for you to gather yourself and to let the effects of any medication or anesthesia wear off. This is one of the reasons why it’s not okay to drive immediately after your surgery. You will need a ride. But once home, you should continue to rest. Follow whatever directions you’re given by the facility and the doctor. You may experience some irritation, but you should definitely avoid touching your eye or using any product around it. If you do, you risk infection. From Day one to the Last Day In the first week after your surgery, you will find your eyesight improving. You will have the ability to enjoy things you’re used to such as reading, watching television, and generally being able to use your eyes as normal. You may want to employ sunglasses to block […]

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4 Reasons To Get A Routine Eye Exam

If it has been awhile since you have had a routine eye exam, now is probably the time. Whether or not you currently wear contacts or eyeglasses, you still need to get an exam. Here are the top reasons to get an annual eye exam. Test Your Vision A common mistake people make is assuming they still have perfect vision, when they might not. Not only that, your vision might have changed since the last time you had an eye exam and now need new contacts with an updated prescription. It is a good idea to have your vision tested routinely, usually about once a year, just to check if your vision has been altered at all. You might be surprised when you put in your new contacts, how well you can see now and didn’t realize before how bad your vision had gotten. Aside from your vision, the eye exam also tests your focus and light sensitivity. This looks for possible conditions related to the way your eyes focus, such as eye strain or computer vision syndrome. It can also look for signs of double vision. Look for Signs of Eye Diseases People with 20/20 vision should still get an eye exam because it also helps to look for signs of different eye diseases. Some eye conditions are age-related, while others are genetic. The optometrist will look into your eyes and perform a series of tests to look for signs of glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. If you are advancing in age, they might also want to look for signs of age-related macular degeneration. Find Out Why You Are in Poor Eye Health Your current eye health can say a lot about your health overall, and it may just be a sign of other medical conditions. Optometrists know the links between eye health and related medical conditions that you might not be aware of. For example, an eye exam can show signs of some cancers, brain tumors, high cholesterol, and hypertension. While they can’t diagnose such conditions, the eye doctor like one from South Jersey Eye Physicians might notice early warning signs by looking at your eyes.  Developmental Problems There are also benefits of eye exams for children, including showing signs of developmental problems. If a child has reading or learning difficulties, it might actually be due to their vision or other eye-related conditions. They may have focus issues, vision […]

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The Cliche Says ‘Wearing Glasses Makes You Look More Intelligent.’

For years, people have watched movies and seen intelligent characters almost always portrayed as wearing glasses. As a result, the cliché of “wearing glasses makes you look more intelligent” has been born. Before you pick out your next pair of glasses, you deserve to know whether or not this cliché has any truth to it. What the Cliche Says Our perception of reality is heavily shaped by what we see on television and in the movies. And these media forms have come to the conclusion that people who wear glasses are much more intelligent than those who do not wear glasses. This cliché can be seen across dozens of movies and is considered something of a TV trope. Just think of the 90s teenage comedy “She’s All That” for a perfect portrayal of this cliché. The rather attractive Rachel Leigh Cook is shown to wear glasses early in the movie. As a result, people think of her as rather bookish and intelligent when compared to her peers. Of course, when she later loses her glasses, she becomes attractive and “normal” again. Which leads us to the negative angle of the glasses cliché: people with glasses are less attractive. The Dark Side of the Cliche While it’s definitely nice to be thought of as intelligent and thoughtful, the cliché surrounding glasses has a dark side. That dark side can be broken down into the negative connotations surrounding the word “nerd” and the way they are portrayed. An essay written by Eddie Deezen, who played “nerds” in dozens of movies in the 80s, explored the negative connotation of glasses. He mainly explored the way that people wearing glasses i.e. nerds, are represented in Hollywood movies and how that perception has shaped reality. What he found wasn’t very kind: people wearing glasses were often perceived as outsiders, weirdos, weaklings, cowardice, and sexually unattractive. Deezen, a life-long wearer of glasses, undoubtedly knows this feeling all too well, as he was quickly typecast into those kinds of roles throughout his career. The Truth Behind the Cliche The intriguing thing about this old cliché is that multiple studies have somewhat confirmed the perceptions behind both the parts of the cliché (smart people wear glasses) and the bad (they are less attractive). One study, published in the Swiss Journal of Psychology, found that rimless glasses resulted in less distinction in facial features i.e. less immediate attractiveness. However, […]

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