Archive | September, 2010

Baby Steps Towards Eye Care

30 Sep

Eye care is an extremely important aspect of your health, and yet it seems that many people do not take precautions to preserve their sight until it is too late. This article is for parents, to encourage them to take their children to the eye doctor soon and often.

According to VSP, “eye care experts say children should have their first eye exam when they are only 6 months old.” However a recent study found that nearly 85% of pre-schoolers in the United States have not received one by age five.

For some suggestions, VSP spoke with Dr. Nick Brattis, a veteran optometrist from Casper, Wyo. “He echoes other vision experts with a suggested timeline for early childhood eye exams:

  • At 6 months. It’s best to find a specialist in treating young children. This exam mostly checks basic working order and structure of the eyes – to make sure they’re developing properly. The doctor will also check that the eyes are working well together. And, that they’re free of rare but serious problems — such as cataracts and tumors — that could hinder vision.
  • Between 2 and 3 years. The doctor will check for signs of developmental eye problems, like “lazy eye,” crossed eyes (strabismus), nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If the doctor finds a problem, helpful therapy can usually start right away. This is important, so kids may avoid wearing corrective items, such as an eye patch, when they go to school.
  • Pre-K. Just before kindergarten, the doctor will check for visual acuity and prescribe glasses if needed.”

For more information, view the source article Baby Steps: Make Sure Some of Them are to the Eye Doctorat VPS

“In general, children should have an eye exam if:

  • There is red eye, with or without discharge.
  • They squint their eyes to read or see small things.
  • They complain of blurry distant vision.
  • They blink excessively.
  • They have headaches or double vision.”

Source: VSP

Eye Opening Discoveries

24 Sep

New Hydrotherapy Discoveries

By Sharon Kleyne, Research Director, Bio-Logic Aqua Research

“These new hydrotherapy discoveries, for the first time, enable individuals to take control over dry eyes through a simple and safe daily (or even hourly) moisture supplementation regimen.”

It’s called “dry eye,” “dry irritated eyes,” “ocular dehydration,” “eye strain,” “eye fatigue” or even “jet lag,” and it is experienced by nearly everyone. Within the next 20 years, dry eye problems, and dehydration related eye diseases could become a global health crisis. Recent research indicates that the immediate cause of dry eye is moisture loss in the eyes’ tear film. Numerous wider causes include lifestyle choices, environmental degradation, forced air heating and cooling systems, and global drying.

Dehydration and re-hydration.

In recent decades, dehydration related health issues, such as dry eye, dry skin, dry mouth, computer eye irritation, contact lens dryness, allergies, increased viral and sunburn sensitivity, adult acne, dermatitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, and cancers of the skin and eyes, have increased dramatically. Bio-Logic Aqua Research attributes this to multiple causes:

  • “Global drying,” resulting in a decrease in unpolluted and health promoting humidity in the air. Global drying is caused by rapid population growth, air and water pollution, loss of fresh water as land is developed, and ozone depletion.
  • Forced air heating and cooling systems, insulated walls and windows, low indoor humidity and other increasingly common adverse indoor conditions.
  • Smoke, dust, wind, extreme heat and cold and other outdoor conditions.
  • Contact lenses, allergies, extreme sports, caffeine and alcohol, not drinking enough water and other health and lifestyle situations.

The amazing tear film.

Dry eye mainly occurs in the tear film that covers the eyes’ exposed portions. Though only about five microns (millionths of a meter) thick, the tear film is amazingly complex.

Tear film layers:

Lipid layer. This outer layer is a thin film of fatty oils (over 100 different fats and oils have been identified), that lubricate the eyelid and slow moisture evaporation from lower layers.

Aqueous layer. The middle and thickest layer contains most of the tear film’s moisture (water). It also contains electrolytes, beneficial proteins and enzymes, and bacteria-fighting antibodies.

Mucin layer. This bottom layer glues the tear film to the ocular surface.

Dry irritated eyes.

Dry eye are experienced as itching, burning, irritation, eyestrain, headache, and/or a “grainy” sensation. The ultimate cause is over-concentration of salt (electrolyte), due to moisture (water) loss in the tear film’s aqueous layer. When moisture is depleted, electrolyte and other substances become over-concentrated and discomfort results. When the electrolyte is properly diluted, the discomfort vanishes.

Soothing dry eyes.

Researchers have long known that the simplest and most natural way to soothe dry irritated eyes is to add two-to-five-billionths of a liter of moisture (water) to the aqueous layer. However, a commercially viable method of achieving this was not developed until 2002. In that year, Bio-Logic Aqua Research developed a system that emulates the air’s natural humidity by applying moisture as an ultra-fine, pH-balanced (<7.0) water mist around the face rather than in the eyes. The mist droplets penetrate the lipid layer like vinegar penetrates salad oil: The oils parts, the droplets pass, and the oil closes. This new hydrotherapy discovery, for the first time, enables individuals to take personal control over dry eyes through a simple and safe daily (or even hourly) moisture supplementation regimen.

Formulated Eye Drops.

Prior to 2002, the solution to dry irritated eyes had been formulated eye drops delivered with an eye dropper. Eye drops pose several drawbacks: (1) They are artificial chemical formulations, (2) eye droppers may be difficult to use, unsanitary and even dangerous, (3) eye droppers place far too much liquid into the eye, (4) drops are ineffective for many people, and (5) eye drops lack the pure, titratable (minute dosage) water required by a dehydrated aqueous layer.

The best of both worlds.

The primary benefit of formulated eye drops is trapping and sealing existing tear film moisture to slow moisture loss. Drops accomplish this most effectively when the tear film’s moisture content is at full capacity. For best results, therefore, an ultra-fine water mist should be applied immediately before eye drops. A good eye mist may also be applied between eye drop applications, or when eye drops are not convenient.

Bio-Logic Aqua Research has developed a new category hydrotherapy product that is (1) the only eye care product applied as a mist, and (2) the only eye care product containing 100% pure and safe, all natural, pH-balanced (6.49), minerally correct, tissue culture grade water ideal for tear film penetration.

Courtesy of Bio-Logic Aqua Research- http://www.biologicaquaresearch.com

The Basics of LASIK Surgery

2 Sep

Dr. Marguerite McDonald is a pioneer in the field of LASIK eye surgery and Professor of Ophthalmology at Tulane University in New Orleans. She helped build the first excimer laser for vision correction and performed the world’s first refractive eye surgery using lasers. She moved to New York after hurricane Katrina.

Dr. McDonald referred listeners to the EyeSmart campaign at www.GetEyeSmart.com for a wealth of information about vision care, especially for those over 40. Chronic dry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic vision problems and macular degeneration are very real, can be dangerous and are all treatable.

Sharon noted that visual development is critical to learning and relationships and that eye care education for parents can be critical. According to Dr. McDonald, some hospitals now have all newborns checked by an ophthalmologist. Retinal blastoma is a fairly common eye cancer in newborns and can be life threatening. She recommends a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist at six weeks to check on eye development. One infant in 250 is born with cataracts.

LASIK surgery is by far the most popular elective surgery in the history of medicine. Although it can be expensive, benefits are high and risk is low. With LASIK, they cut a flap in the corneal membrane with an oscillating blade, reshape the cornea with an excimer laser and close the flap. They now cut the flap with a second laser, which his much easier and safer. The results are so good that NASA is now accepting astronauts who have had all-laser LASIK.

There was some discussion about children wearing glasses. Kids these days spend most of their time indoors staring at a high-intensity screen. That is very bad for visual development and can induce myopia. The youngest LASIK patient is 18 or 20, after their vision is stabilized. However, Dr. McDonald once operated on a 15 year old who wanted to be a Navy SEAL.

Sharon then asked about dry eye. Dr. McDonald replied that everyone get situational dry eye. We normally blink about 20 times per minute but when we’re intensely occupied with something, the rate can drop to three times per minute. Dry eye symptoms are the number one reason for visits to the eye doctor. Contact lenses wearers are especially vulnerable. And keeping your eyes healthy improves your candidacy for LASIK surgery.

Longtime contact lens wearers are good LASIK candidates but excessive contact lens use can reshape your cornea. With Wave Front surgery, this can now be corrected. The doctor noted that contact lenses tend to be badly abused. People wear them too long, don’t take them out at night, don’t clean them well enough. This can cause severe dry eye and corneal ulcers.

There was considerable discussion about the tear film, which Dr, McDonald described as “the interface between the eye and the environment.” It is also the eye’s most important refractive surface and it protects they eye from infections.  Moisture is extremely important to vision and dry eye is the most common reason for eye doctor visits. Lack of moisture can cause physical discomfort, depression, poor learning skills, lowered productivity and poor appearance.

Dry eye is easily treatable.