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Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

Understanding Diabetic Eye DiseaseDiabetes is a growing concern on a global scale. Poor lifestyle choices are seeing more and more people being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes throughout the world than ever before. With this high number of diabetes sufferers comes an increased number of diabetic eye disease.

For many people who have recently being diagnosed with this blood sugar disease, they don’t understand why regular eye tests are recommended or how this disease can have such a negative effect on their eye sight moving forward.

Something you need to be aware of if you have been diagnosed with diabetes is that diabetic eye disease is the leading cause on blindness on a global scale for those under the age of sixty five. The main concern is the number of people that have no idea they have this disease. In most instances diabetic eye disease starts displaying signs and symptoms in those who have been struggling to manage their disease for a number of years.

The biggest issue is that this can lead to a wide range of eye issues from temporary blurred vision to permanent vision loss. It also increases the risk of cataracts and glaucoma in diabetic patients.

One of the biggest reasons why you may be diagnosed with diabetic eye disease is not managing your blood sugar levels effective. With proper management and medication, you can manage your blood sugar levels effectively to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with diabetic eye disease. For many patients they don’t even realise they have an issue with their eyes as progress is slow.

In order to reduce the risk of getting diabetic eye disease you need to monitor and manage your weight, follow a healthy and well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. In addition to this you should be monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly and if prescribed medication, take it as per the instructions to ensure you are doing everything you can to manage your disease effectively.

Some of the problems you may encounter when you find out you have diabetic eye disease includes the retina. Changes in the blood vessel walls can cause the blood vessels to balloon, this causes them to leak fluid and blood. This condition is often referred to as diabetic retinopathy.

In some cases new blood vessels will grow, this could potentially be more harmful in the long run, leading to retina detachment, glaucoma or cataracts in the long run. The good news is that these eye conditions are all treatable, but not all are as successful as others.

Blurring is one of the first signs that you may be suffering with diabetic eye disease if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes. Due to the millions of people around the world who are living with this disease every day and have no idea they have it, any blurred vision should result in a visit to the local optician or eye specialist, ruling out diabetic eye disease and giving you a diagnosis that you can rely on and trust.

Each of the diabetic eye conditions can be managed and monitored. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy your eyes will be monitored regularly to ensure the signs and symptoms are not getting any worse. This is a slow progressive disease, which means it could take years before the first symptoms show. Therefore in most instances, once you have been diagnosed with the disease, you will attend regular eye examinations to ensure that your eyes are not getting any worse.

Laser treatment, eye injections, and retinal surgery are often the best course of action when it comes to retina problems caused by diabetes or cataracts. Glaucoma is often treated with medication.

Questions to Ask Before Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, which is commonly known as blepharoplasty or an eye lift, is a plastic surgery where excess skin is removed from the eyelid area. It may be done for the patient’s desire to change the aesthetics of the face, or it can be done in some cases to correct a deformity or defect of the eyelid. Many people decide to get it done each year. Among those who’ve had the procedure are Julie Chen, Cher, and Harrison Ford. When someone is considering a blepharoplasty, they should ask a surgeon the following questions before continuing with the process.

Who Are the Best Candidates for Eyelid Surgery?

Candidates should be aware of the risks, people need to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure, and they need to be otherwise in good health. Those who have excess skin that obscures the upper eyelids’ natural fold are the primary candidates.

What Should My Expectations Be With Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty can be done on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. The surgeon who assesses the patient will give an in-depth explanation of the potential outcomes of the surgery, so that the patient isn’t left disappointed because of unrealistic hopes. A surgeon can show past before-and-after examples in photographs and also discuss the specific in-depth work that will be done to combat any problems the patient wants to eliminate.

How Long Will It Take for the Results to Appear After the Procedure?

After the surgeon performs the blepharoplasty, the patient can see some results, but bruising and swelling naturally result from the procedure. The final results only appear within several weeks after the procedure has been completed. In some patients, incision lines take about a year to become totally refined. Ultimately, one’s appearance will be rejuvenated, and a surgeon will be able to tell the patient what else they should expect towards their own personal aesthetic goals.

How Permanent Will the Results Be?

While a lower lid procedure almost never needs to be repeated, the upper lid surgery results last on average around five to seven years. Sometimes it can be for longer, but patients need to understand that the eye will continue to age after the blepharoplasty. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, protecting the eyes from the sun can help slow down further aging, so patients need to be vigilant about their postoperative care practices.

Will My Insurance Cover the Procedure?

Those who hope to receive blepharoplasty should gather complete information from their surgeon about the procedure before talking to their insurance company about the possibility of covering it. While not every surgery will be covered, some will, and the surgeon’s office and the person’s insurance company will be able to provide specific answers on whether the procedure can be partially or fully covered.

Eyelid surgery is something that many people decide is in their best interest. Addressing these questions empower patients to make the best choice for their health and well-being.

Simple Tips To Cope With Low Vision

If you have low vision, you may be finding it hard to do your routine activities, such as reading, cooking, watching TV and so on. Aside from this, you may be concerned about your job and various other matters. So, how can you cope with your low vision? Well, we have some great tips for people like you who are in the same boat. The tips below can help you get the most out of your remaining vision. Read on.

Label your stuff

First of all, you should put stickers or labels on the stuff you use on a regular basis. Besides, you can use puffy paint for giving texture to the labels you put on different things. This will help you identify objects with ease.

Make use of contrasting colors

For ease of identification, you can use dark pieces of clothing on the edge of table and bed edges. This way you won’t bump into tables and beds.

Use the right devices

You can use devices with bigger screens. For instance, you can go for a watch with a big face and big buttons. This will help you tell time, change channels and weigh yourself with ease.

Organize everything

You should put each of your items in the right place. This will help you locate them quickly when you need them. In the start, organizing your stuff will take some time. Once you are have taken a start, it will become a piece of cake.

Get help

Asking for help may be hard for you. But there are people out there who are ready to assist people with vision problems. Aside from this, many low vision groups are out there to provide support.

Look for a support system

Low vision is a common problem faced by aging adults. Feeling of loneliness is a kind of side effect of low vision. You can find a support system or a friend in your community. They can give you tips and tricks so you can cope with your problem in the best way possible.

Be patient

It’s not easy to cope with low vision. It will take you some time to get used to it and develop some tricks to manage. You should be easy on yourself and shouldn’t give up. In the end, you will be able to find many solutions that will work for you.

Practice

As soon as you have made a list of things you should do to cope with your low vision, you should practice them.

The takeaway

So, these are a few simple things you can do in order to cope with your vision problems. The crux of the matter is that you can deal with any problem as long as you are confident enough, and the problem of low vision is not a big one either. With confidence and encouragement from your family and friends, you can live with it happy. Plus, if you possible, you can also use some low vision aids.

How Much UV Protection Is Important While Choosing Sunglasses

The sunglasses of today work to protect from sun damage, reduce glares and give eyes a more relaxed vision. Originally, Sunglasses were invented to reduce glares and fatigue, and also to increase visibility in extreme conditions. For people who wear Prescription lenses, there’s the option to get RX Sunglasses too, but when buying Sunglasses what should be your top priority is to check the amount of sun protection it delivers.

Sunglasses are meant to protect your eyes from the sun. But only providing a tinted glass to reduce the intensity of the sunlight is not enough to save eyes. They need to be protected from the more damaging elements. Everyday, UV or Ultraviolet Radiations travel throughout the earth and penetrate the Ozone layer. These UV Rays are highly damaging for the eyes and can cause a multitude of eye problems:

Cataracts: UV Rays are thought to be an important factor in the formation of cataracts.

Pterygia: Commonly called the ‘”Surfer’s Eyes” that usually develops when people stay around water for hours in bright sunlight. The water reflects the UV Rays and creates this type of eye problem.

Photokeratitis: Also called snow blindness, this is the condition where the cornea is sunburned either due to the exposure to natural UV rays or artificial UV rays.

Pinguecula: These yellow bumps are formed due to exposure to UV rays as well as dust and wind.

Macular Degeneration: This type of painless and usually slow loss of vision is really serious. It can finally result in total loss of vision at an advanced age. This problem is also associated with being exposed to UV rays on a large scale basis.

To Fight these problems one must use proper protection, so it’s important to know how much protection your sunglasses actually provide. Today, we make you aware of the main features you need to keep in mind while choosing sunglasses.

UV Protection Value: It’s important to keep in mind that anything below UV 400 protection is not enough to keep your eyes protected from UVA and UVB rays. The sunglasses with no mention of this value indicate that there is no adequate protection from UV damage. The sunglasses labelled with UV 400 protection help stop all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers from entering. This includes all the UVA and UVB light rays.

Percentage of UV Protection: Always keep in mind that you will need to buy sunglasses that offer 100% UV Protection. It’s best not to take ones that offer 99% protection against UV radiation.

Polarization: This is the process by which light rays reflecting off surfaces and excessive sunlight can be blocked. The sunglasses with Polarized lenses reduce the glares and reflections and mostly increase the contrast of objects in view. This results in crisper, clearer vision with less stress to the eyes.

Important Eye Health Care Tips

Today’s hectic work schedule and unhealthy lifestyle has a detrimental effect on our body. Especially, our eyes which are the first ones to suffer. They become tired, puffy and sore by the close of the day. However, you can always prevent this stressful impact on the eyes by the means of learning and using a few simple yet healthy tips.

Some of such eye health care tips are:

• Once a year you should get your eyes checked by the ophthalmologist. Often people delay their visit to the doctor thinking that it has not yet been an year since their last visit to the doctor. However this can enhance the vision problems. Wearing glasses and contact lenses which are not suited for your developing visual problem increases the problem of uncorrected vision and causes severe headaches and vision problems. Therefore, if your glasses or contact lenses do not feel right or comfortable anymore, it is advisable to consult the doctor as soon as possible.

• You should always wear sunglasses in summer to protect your eyes. People wearing high quality contact lenses may think that they do not require sunglasses but little do they realize that contact lenses just protect the eye. And in reality the whole eyes need protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The harmful UV rays can cause serious damage to the eyes. Which is why, you should wear effective sunglasses to protect your eyes from damage. Though people have this popular belief that dark sunglasses offer more protection as compared to the light ones which might be true to some extent, in reality both dark and light sunglasses offer adequate eye protection. While purchasing sunglasses you should ask if it can block 98% of the UV radiation.

In fact the little known fact is that you require sunglasses even on cloudy days.Surprised?Well,not everybody realizes that clouds are form of mere water which are transparent and hence though they might provide shade but they do not block the UV rays in anyway.

Eat food which is nutritional and healthy to your eyes. Researches have shown that there is no food which is detrimental to the eyes. In fact, most of the foods that we consume do not have any impact on our eyes. Therefore if you are expecting that the healthy diet can restore lost eyesight, then you are wrong. However, a healthy diet will definitely slow down any kind of disease and also prevent further ones from afflicting. The right vitamins and minerals can do the trick.Vitamins, especially of the antioxidant group can prevent age related disorders like development of cataracts or macular degeneration.

Though the effects of most of the vitamins have not been determined yet, Vitamins C, A and E, folic acid, selenium and zinc are known to be effective and essential for the eyes. One thing you can be sure of that whatever is healthy for the body will be healthy for the eyes. Therefore instead of going through they thousand pages book written eye care in the market, it is advisable that you simply add carrots and grapes to your lunch box.

Managing Dry Eyes

Dry eyes (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca) can be a debilitating condition. It can range from very mild to extremely severe. Everyone who suffers from eye dryness, either mild or otherwise, will tell you how time-consuming, irritating and life changing it can be. There are a multitude of ways to help Keratoconjunctivitis sicca but at the moment there is no cure. Depending on the type of dry eyes will also depend on the treatment. This is why seeing an eye doctor who specialises in dry eyes is very important. As some types of eye dryness can be a secondary to other health problems, it is always best to have a thorough consultation with an eye specialist to determine the right treatment for you.

Initially we need to find out what type of dry eyes you have. This is done by an eye doctor performing tests but more so from listening to your experience and symptoms. It is also important for your eye doctor to learn as much as possible about your health and lifestyle as this can heavily affect the tear film health. Tears are made up of 3 parts; mucous layer, aqueous (watery layer) and oil layer. If one of these parts is missing, you will suffer with some form of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Once we are aware of what part is missing we can then move on. There are 4 levels of managing dry eyes after diagnosis. We start at level 1 and keep moving on if the previous level is not working well.

Level 1:

  • we must educate on environmental or dietary modifications as this can have a big impact on sufferers with eye dryness.
  • we must also eliminate any medication that is causing the dryness such as antidepressants or antihistamines and review contact lens wear if necessary.
  • use preserved artificial tears, gels or ointments and try eyelid therapy such as massage and cleaning.

Level 2 Added (if level 1 is not adequate):

  • non – preserved artificial tear film replacements.
  • anti – inflammatory agents.
  • tetracyclines for meibomian gland dysfunction or rosacea.
  • punctal plugs once inflammation is controlled.
  • secretagogues, which is a substance which promotes secretion.
  • moisture chamber goggles.

Level 3 Added (if level 2 is not adequate):

  • autologous serum or umbilical cord serum.
  • contact lenses.
  • permanent punctal plugs.

Level 4 Added (if lever 3 is not adequate):

  • this consists of the administration of systemic anti-inflammatory agents such as cyclosporine.
  • there are also a variety of surgeries that can help with dry eyes but this would be a last resort.

If you suffer from dry eyes or think you may have dry eyes please book an appointment with your eye doctor, eye specialist or optometrist for a thorough assessment.

How to Improve Your Vision Without Glasses Naturally

Do you wish to boost your vision without having to wear glasses or contact lenses? If you intend to bid farewell to glasses as well as contact lenses for good without having to pay for high-risk surgical procedures then this information is for you.

One of the first points is learning how to do eye conditioning and eye exercises that will improve your vision. If this is something you never considered before then you might be surprised to learn that this is one of the ways to improve your sight naturally.

Eyes Can Improve with Exercise

Like other muscles in the body your eyes can participate in exercises to not just enhance but as well as to decrease the deterioration of the eyes. Regrettably we cannot reverse the aging procedure but there are techniques that will improve the eyes naturally. These techniques allow one to boost vision without glasses or contact lenses.

Due to the amount of stress in our daily lives, both at work as well as play, there are lots of reasons why our eyes deteriorate. In fact they seem to deteriorate a great deal faster compared to what mother-nature would dictate.

Eyes Get Stressed

Activities such as working at a computer all day to enjoying the TV creates not just stress on our eyes but also weakens the muscular tissues. No doubt you have experienced eye strain, headaches or migraines.

Wearing glasses and also contact lenses is just a short-lived fix that causes your eyes to get weaker and lazier overtime. This is why you will often end up buying a new pair of glasses that have a stronger prescription.

You ought to do everything in your power to strengthen your eyes such as having a well-balanced diet. You diet should be rich in minerals and vitamins and as well the eyes need exercise. They also need to be relaxed to relieve stress and tension.

If you have every experienced blurry vision, gotten headaches or that gritty feeling in the eyes while using a computer or watching television your vision has been strained and needs to rest.

A Natural Way to Improve Vision

One of the most popular methods used today to boost your vision without glasses or contact lenses is the Bates Method. Initially developed in 1880 by Dr. William H Bates and refined over time, The Bates Method is based upon a series of eye exercises and also strategies performed daily.

Although there are some vision issues that cannot be fixed naturally, the huge bulk of vision issues can be cured utilizing the Bates Program.

Do not continue to spend your money on glasses or contact lenses or be lured to high-risk surgical treatments. Discover the Bates Method and improve your vision without glasses or contact lenses today.

Tips For Dry Eyes From Contacts

Dry, irritated eyes? Here’s a few tips on how to give your dry eyes the comfort they deserve.

As a Licensed Optician I love interacting one-on-one with clients. One of the most common complaints that I hear about is dry eyes from contact lens wear. I’ve got a few handy tips to help with this problem, but in order to get there I need to first tell you about the composition of tears and the role tears play in eye health.

Tear Ducts

Tears are made up of 3 layers: lipid, aqueous and mucin. These 3 layers each have a part to play in preventing dry eye. The lipid (fatty) layer prevents evaporation. The aqueous or lacrimal layer makes up most of the volume of the tear film. This layer carries nutrients, washes away unwanted or dangerous bacteria or foreign objects. The mucin layer is the glue holding the tears to the cornea. If there is a problem with any of these layers which prevents optimal functioning then you end up with dry eyes.

Movement

When I fit contacts, one of the key points to a good fit is good tear flow. I also need to make sure that there is good lens movement, this will ensure that the lens won’t inhibited tear flow over time. Without these it is unlikely that my client will be comfortable. It’s also really important to be aware of client’s history as they can have a big impact on comfort as it relates to dry eyes. Some key information includes: age, medications, environmental factors (a/c or heating systems, dry climates, smoke or dust), hormone fluctuations, blinking problems and diseases can all be problematic. Another way discomfort can arise is when contacts aren’t cared for properly.

Discomfort

Deposits and over wear can lead to discomfort which people interpret as dry eyes. Our eyes don’t have specific receptors to help us differentiate what is causing discomfort so what may feel like dry eyes can actually be caused by discomfort. There are a few variations in the way contacts are manufactured. High water lenses sound like they would be comfortable but one issue that may arise is osmotic shift. This is when the water content of the lens is absorbed by the eye. This will result in the lens sticking to eye.

Tips for Fixing Dry Eyes

Solutions depend on the issues that are causing the discomfort but some tips might include:

1) Using a wetting agent in the form of a drop to extend wear time can work for some, though I caution doing this without talking to your eye health practitioner as it can sometimes mask another problem and lead to more damage. A more frequent replacement schedule can help if the symptoms are a result of lens deposits.

2) Switching to a lens with lower water content or a rigid gas permeable lens if you are prone to dry eyes may help increase comfort.

3) Try a silicone hydrogel lens with a quality wetting agent, this can help those who are experiencing discomfort from lack of oxygen. Some of my top lenses for comfort are the silicon hydrogel lenses including (by order of my favourites)

* Acuvue Oasys -available in toric for astigmatism and multifocal varieties and is made up of 38% water.

* Biofinity by Cooper Vision which has a 48% water content. Only a toric and spherical option here.

* Air Optix Aqua and Air Optix Night & Day by CIBA Vision are also great. Air Optix come in a multi-focal and an astigmatic option, however, the Night and Day don’t have multi-focal or toric lenses

* Purevision and Purevision 2 by Bausch and Lomb are not my favourites for dry eyes but I know many fitters who do really well with the Bausch and Lomb lenses. They do have a great multi-focal lens for presbyopes and their toric lenses are easy fits for astigmatic patients.

See Your Optician

Food That Do Good To Your Vision

When at start we get our spectacles, we are super excited. Once a couple of months or years pass by, we realize our excitement has turned to a burden. You might be one of those who at least loves looking nerdy if not one in real life or maybe the one who used to love having to play around with specs just before? Or maybe one of those who used to envy others for specs. But as soon as you got them, you had that poker straight face and now you are in the hurry to get rid of them. You have tried your level best but it does not help. You’ve even thought of the laser treatment but let me guess, it’s either too expensive or you’re just too scared to get it or maybe you just want to keep it natural. Well now guess what? You can get rid of these specs by just eating right and stop thinking about how horrible the laser treatment going to or cost or else how otherwise are you going to try and reduce your number. Check out what do you exactly need to eat to reduce your vision number or to keep your eyes healthy.

• Carrot – We’ve heard about carrots being really good for eyes since a very long time and it is true. Carrots give a good amount of vitamins which help our eyes work good with the visions and be perfect and just the way they are.

• Leafy Green Veggies – Lutein and zeaxanthin are really good for our eyes and that’s what exactly these green lead vegetables give us. They help us make our eyes stronger and our vision proper. Though they might sound boring to eat, but if you really wish to have good eyesight you need to have them more often.

• Eggs – Now who does not love eggs? Eggs are like life! And if you are from one of those who do not like eating eggs, try having them. The yolk present in the egg is again present with a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin and also zinc; apparently making your eye vision stronger and better.

• Citrus and berries – Berries are yum and both of them have level of vitamin c present in them which will help you protect your eye and you will be safe enough. It will also reduce the risk of cataracts.

• Almonds – They have a lot of vitamin E in them and it slows down the macular degeneration. Have a handful of these daily. They aren’t even hard to digest.

• Fish – For those who love to eat fish, here is good news for you. You can now hog on fish and have a good time and maintain the health of your eye too!

• Whole Grain – this will provide you with a lot of vitamin E and zinc and niacin too! You can always switch to whole grain bread and pasta wherever you can.

Facts You Need To Know About Cataracts

Globally, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, accounting for no less than 51% of all cases of world blindness which represents at least 20 million people. Furthermore, it is rather unfortunate that about 54 million individuals, majority of whom are in developing countries suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment as a result of cataracts. But what is a cataract? A cataract refers to opacification or clouding of the eye lens leading to loss of vision as it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible for light rays from objects in view to pass through the opaque lens before being focused on the retina at the back of the eye. The lens of the eyes is essentially made of lens protein and water and several factors can cause denaturation of that protein and lead to opacification or whitening of the lens much similar to how egg albumin turns white when boiled. Highlighted below are some essential facts you probably never knew about cataracts.

1. Advanced age is the single most important risk factor for cataracts

Age-related or senile cataract accounts for most cases of cataracts. It is estimated that about 50% of people will have a cataract by age 65 years and nearly everybody over 75 years has some cataract.But why is it so? The natural lens of the eyes is made up of protein fibres arranged in such a way that it is crystal-clear and permits light to pass through. However, with increasing age, these proteins clump together and cloud small areas of the lens making it difficult to see.

2. It is possible to be born with cataracts

Unfortunately, some babies are born with cataracts. This type is referred to as congenital cataracts. It can occur as a result of some infectious conditions in the mother during pregnancy such as rubella, chicken pox, syphilis and cytomegalovirus, among other causes. Similarly, congenital cataracts can result from genetic disorders in Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Turner’s syndrome (Monosomy XO).

3. Cataracts cannot spread from one eye to the other

Some folks have the erroneous impression that cataracts can spread from one eye to the other. Scientifically, this is not true. However, cataracts can affect either or both eyes simultaneously or at different times.

4. Cataracts may manifest in several ways

If you have cataracts, you may notice a whitish area within the black of your eyeball. It’s actually an opacified cataractous lens behind the dark iris of the eye. Other common symptoms include a cloudy or blurry vision which may produce double or multiple images of the same object. Colours may appear faded and a glare is common in which case light sources appear too bright. Sometimes, a halo or rainbow may appear around light sources.

5. Several risk factors may predispose to cataracts

Certain diseases like diabetes, hypertension and malnutrition can make an individual more likely to experience cataracts. Also, dangerous habits like heavy alcohol intake and smoking may also contribute to cataract formation. It has also been shown that blunt trauma to the eyes leads to swelling, thickening and whitening of the lens fibres resulting in cataracts. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation and steroid use may induce cataracts.

6. Cataract surgery is one of the most perfected surgeries in the world

If you experience significant impairment in vision from cataracts and this interferes with your daily activities, why not opt for a cataract surgery and have the cataractous lens removed and replaced with an intraocular lens? In well-equipped centres, these procedures have remarkably high success rates and the patient can usually return home on the same day, although he is advised not to drive. Available surgical options include phacoemulsification, extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE), Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS) and intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE).

7. You can cut down your risk of cataracts

An individual is less likely to develop cataracts if he avoids risk factors such as excessive drinking, smoking and exposure to ultraviolet light. For instance, by wearing ultraviolet-protective sunglasses, you may slow down the development of cataract. In the same vein, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in powerful antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin as well as vitamins A, C and E may cut down your cataract risk.

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