When to take your Child to an Eye Doctor

According to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school-age children.

“Vision plays an important role in children’s physical, cognitive, and social development. More than one in five preschool-age children enrolled in Head Start have a vision disorder. Uncorrected vision problems can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss; early detection and treatment are critical. Visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school-age children, and vision disorders of childhood may continue to affect health and well-being throughout the adult years.”

Aside from an annual eye examination, there will be times when you should take your child to an eye doctor to see if there are serious conditions or problems evolving.  Children are more at risk for eye […]

Phacoemulsification Surgery for Cataracts

Created by Charles Kelman in the late 1960’s, Phaco also referred to as phacoemulsification is used to restore vision in patients whose vision has become cloudy from cataracts.  Kelman created phacoemulsification surgery as a variation to extracapsular cataract extraction to remove the cataract with a smaller incision, less pain, and a shorter recovery time.

In traditional cataract surgery, during phacoemulsification, the eye’s internal, cloudy lens is emulsified (broken up) with an ultrasonic hand piece and aspirated from the eye.  Once the fluids are aspirated from the eye, they are replaced with irrigation of balanced salt solution that maintains the eyes anterior chamber.  In most cases, the insertion of an intraocular lens immediately follows phaco surgery.

With today’s technology, lasers are used in addition to ultrasound to soften and break up the cataract.  With laser cataract surgery, a skilled surgeon first takes […]

What is an External Eyelid Stye?

A stye (hordoleum) is an inflamed area of the eye.  External eyelid styes are more common in children.

There are two types of styes in relation to its location:

external – resides on the base of an eyelash
internal – resides on the inside surface of the eyelid

An external eyelid stye is a red, painful bump on the surface of the eyelid.  Stye’s are often mistaken for pimples and are tender to the touch.  Although an external stye can appear anywhere on the eyelid, they are more likely to form near the edge of the eye, where the eyelashes meet the eyelid.

The primary cause of an external eyelid stye is infection as a result of a clogged oil gland.  Our eyelids have numerous oil glands that help to maintain the moisture levels in the eyes and eliminate foreign particles in the eyes […]

Diagnosing Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa, also known as “RP”, is a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina’s ability to respond to light.  RP causes a slow loss of vision that begins with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral vision that eventually leads to blindness.  RP is usually hereditary.  If you have retinitis pigmentosa, or your partner has the disease and you plan on having children, there may be up to a 50 percent chance that you pass it along to your children.

If you have RP, the amount of vision you will lose and rate of progression of the disease will vary from person to person.

Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Decreased night vision
Slow loss of vision
Loss of peripheral vision
May experience difficulty identifying colors

Diagnosis of RP is performed by an ophthalmologist with a comprehensive eye examination that includes dilating your eyes and using […]

Clear Lens Extraction

Clear lens extraction (CLE or CLEAR) is the process of removing a non cataractous natural lens of the eye with intraocular lens placement as a refractive procedure; and is also known as RLE (refractive lens exchange).

CLE has been around for decades and is the same procedure used to remove cataracts except there is no cataract present therefore the lens is clear versus cloudy.  CLE is usually performed on those who no longer wish to wear glasses or contact lenses; and patients over 40 years of age that are considered less than ideal candidates for LASIK.  Other indications for clear lens extraction include correction of vision loss due to mild cataracts, hyperopia (farsightedness), and patients with high myopia that is not easily managed by other refractive procedures.  Your ophthalmologist will be able to tell you whether or not CLE is […]

Healthy Eating for Healthier Eyes

What you put into your body effects the health of everything from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes.  Many times we overlook (no pun intended) the effects of nutrition and what role healthy eating habits play when it comes to issues related to our eyes and vision.  Our eyes are vascular; meaning they are composed of vessels and ducts that convey fluids like blood.  Most foods that are good for your heart, are also good for your eyes.  Foods low in trans and saturated fats play an important role in keeping the blood vessels of your eyes healthy and lessen the chances of developing serious eye diseases – especially diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  Some foods that have been linked to healthier eyes and their benefits:

Lutein & Zeaxanthin: eggs, broccoli, lettuce […]

Punctal Plugs for Dry Eyes

A punctal plug is a very tiny, bio-compatible device that is inserted into the tear ducts to block drainage.  Once inserted into the tear ducts, punctal plugs increase the eye’s tear film and surface moisture to relieve dry eyes.

No larger than a grain of rice, punctal plugs are also known as; punctum plugs, occluders, and lacrimal plugs.

There are two types of punctal plugs:  semi-permanent and dissolvable.  Semi-permanent punctal plugs are typically made of long-lasting materials such as silicone; whereas dissolvable plugs are made of materials that eventually absorb such as collagen, and usually last from a few days to several months. Dissolvable plugs are typically used to prevent dry eyes following LASIK surgery or are used to determine whether a patient can benefit from plugging.

Intracanalicular plugs are another class of punctal plug that are inserted into the canaliculi and […]