3 Reasons You Should Have Included Your Eyes in Your New Year’s Resolution

January 1st, 2016

With the New Year just beginning, we often feel the need to change and do something different. Resolutions are the focal point of our thoughts but we seldom add our vision care as something we focus on.

Most people think of losing weight, quitting smoking, and other health-related changes for their resolutions but thinking of your eyes early can prevent many conditions from arising in your future and improve the quality of your life now.

Below are 3 reasons to include your eyes in your New Year’s resolution:

Discover the Benefits of an Annual Checkup:

When considering a New Year’s resolution maybe it should be something as simple as getting your annual eye exam. This resolution is a simple appointment that is often overlooked or pushed back. This one day commitment can help you prevent future problems and identify additional health issues you may have that have not been discovered yet such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even some types of cancer.

Avoiding Rapid Vision Loss:

If you have other underlying health conditions they can affect your vision quickly. You may not even realize it until it is too late. Getting an annual or bi-annual eye exam can lead to early detection of these problems and prevent them from getting worse.

Improving Your Quality of Vision:

There are several new treatments for various eye conditions that can improve your overall quality of vision. Treatments like Fortified LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL, CK and RejuvaVision can improve your quality of vision, and reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses.

Common Symptoms of Eye Conditions:

  • Frequent Changes in Prescriptions

  • Blurred Vision

  • Frequent rubbing of the eye

  • Halos/Glares around lights

  • Poor or decreasing night vision

  • Eye Pain

  • Dry Eye

To hear Dr. Brian talk with Dr. Drew about these and more conditions on his daytime T.V. show Lifechangers click below.

Dr. Brian and Dr. Drew Talk About Eye Exams

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Discovering the Signs of Keratoconus: A Progressive Condition

December 1st, 2015

You be wondering, what are the signs or symptoms of Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive condition that causes vision to decline over time. The key to slowing its progression comes from early detection and treatment of the condition.

It is important that you have annual eye exams and report all changes in vision.

If Keratoconus is left untreated it can have a great impact on overall vision. Keratoconus can decreases the ability to see well with contacts or glasses and causes great difficulty when driving at night.

Keratoconus leads to distorted vision due to the change in the cornea, the clear window over the eye.

Typically the cornea is spherical shaped. When properly shaped light enters the cornea and provides clear distinct images. Keratoconus causes the cornea to become misshaped and distorted, this leads to distorted images may not be able to be improved with glasses or contacts.

Signs and symptoms of Keratoconus:

 Frequent blurred vision
 Increased blurred vision
 Glasses or Contacts do not improve the vision
 Frequent rubbing of the eyes
 Frequent changes in prescription
 Seeing halos or glare around lights
 Decreased night vision

One of the most important things about treating this condition is understanding the early signs. Paying attention to the eyes is not something most of us do until our vision is compromised. Knowing what signs to look for and asking your eye care professional questions is top priority.

While these are just a few of the signs and symptoms of Keratoconus, be sure to speak to your eye care professionals when you have difficulty with your vision.

Learn how early treatment change the life of 12 year old Jake:

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7 Important Facts You Should Know About Keratoconus

November 17th, 2015

Keratoconus is an eye condition that affects about one in every 2,000 people. While the disease is not very common, it is important to learn about the condition and treatment options available in case you or a family member is diagnosed with Keratoconus. The cause of Keratoconus is unknown, but many experts believe that genetics plays a large role.

The condition is mistaken for causing complete blindness. Although it can impair your vision, it is not something that will make you go blind, and the progression of Keratoconus varies from one patient to the next. Keratoconus is usually first diagnosed during a person’s teenage years, but it can be unpredictable in how fast it progresses.

It is important to remember to avoid rubbing your eyes as this can contribute to the progression of the disease. Specialized contact lenses can help with your vision, but be sure to see your eye doctor every six months to keep track of the progression of the condition. Learn more about Keratoconus and talk with your doctor about symptoms and treatment options.

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Why are my RGP Lenses so Uncomfortable is There Another Option?

November 10th, 2015

Contact lenses and eye glasses are usually the first treatment option recommended for Keratoconus. However, as Keratoconus progress contacts become very, especially RGP contact lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable lenses).

Increasingly doctors are now recommended Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) as the first treatment and contacts as a secondary treatment. Holcomb C3-R® helps to stabilize Keratoconus and will help keep you comfortable in lenses longer.

But, what do you do if your Keratoconus has progressed to the point that even after Holcomb C3-R®, RGP lenses are uncomfortable. There are several other specialty Keratoconus contact lens options.

These options include:

Hybrid Contact Lenses (SynergEyes)

What are Hybrid Lenses? They are a mixture of soft lenses and RGP lenses. They provide you with the comfort of a soft lens but the crisper vision of an RGP. Many report these provide a great edge to contact for all day wear without the harsh edge of the RGP lenses.

Scleral Lenses

What are Scleral Lenses? These are similar to RGP lenses only they are larger in diameter. They almost look like a bowl that you fit over your eye. The advantage is they do not rest on the cornea, so they provide increased comfort. In addition, prior to insertion the lenses are filled with saline, so basically all day your eye is bathed in saline, which can help keep your eyes moist and lessen the concerns about dry/irritated eyes.

RGP, Hybrid lenses, or Scleral contact lenses can provide the best option for improved clarity, comfort, and stability. However, the most important benefit to Keratoconus treatment today is the Holcomb C3-R® which will preserve your vision and stop the deterioration of your vision so you can maintain good vision and comfort in contacts and avoid the painful cornea transplant.

There are many benefits of using specialty Keratoconus contact lenses for the treatment of your Keratoconus. Take the time and get the facts. Ask your eye care professional about contact lenses for your Keratoconus Treatments today!

Watch Michael explain how he is now living life all over again thanks to specialty Keratoconus contact lenses.

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Diabetes & Keratoconus: Steps to Change Your Life

November 3rd, 2015

Diabetes can wreak havoc on your vision alone. However when you are diagnosed with both diabetes and Keratoconus it can cause many more problems. The truth is that Keratoconus changes the shape of your cornea and diabetes damages the blood vessels throughout your eyes. With so much damage these conditions cause the risk of severe vision loss is possible. Ensuring that you are being monitored and seeing your doctors regularly is extremely important.

When having more than one chronic condition it is important to have proper treatment management. Checking with your doctor regularly about what treatment options are best, and what tests need to be done is important. Visiting your eye doctor every 6 months can help prevent further damage and catch things early.

 

Below are some signs & Symptoms of Diabetes & Keratoconus:

Symptoms of Diabetes:

 

Increased Thirst

Frequent Urination

Increased irritability

Frequent Infections

Blurred Vision

Tingling & Numbness in Feet & hands

Unusual Weight Loss

 

Symptoms of Keratoconus

 

Blurred Vision

Frequent Prescription Changes

Frequent Headaches

Seeing Halos & Glares

Decreased Night Vision

For more information regarding diabetes visit WebMD.com.

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Encouraging Early Detection For the Treatment of Keratoconus

October 20th, 2015

Knowing your family history is an important step in early detection, and early treatment of Keratoconus. Understanding that knowing how progressed your condition is will help determine how aggressive your treatment needs to be. Finding the symptoms, signs, and your family history can help keep a better quality of vision throughout your life.

Taking care of your vision is not just important to you but it is important to your family as well. Making sure that you are comfortable and can talk with your eye care professional should be at the top of your list when locating the right doctor. Below are a few tips that can help you with developing a sound treatment plan for your Keratoconus and your life.

It is also important that you report all your symptoms, and family history to your eye care professionals. They can help you with the diagnosis of several conditions before they compromise the quality of your vision.

Below are a few reasons to get early treatment for Keratoconus:

Early Detection can improve your chances of treatment

Early Detection can slow the progression of Keratoconus by getting treatment early

Early Detection can save/preserve your vision

Early Detection can give you more treatment options for Keratoconus

The doctors are a very important part of your treatment but so are you! Ensuring that you assist in your own treatment plan will improve your chances of a successful recovery.

Learn more about treatment options for Keratoconus visit the American Academy of Opthamology.

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Patient Education: Significant Causes of Keratoconus

October 13th, 2015

Keratoconus is a frustrating disease. It effects the lives of the patients significantly and understanding the cause can often help us understand the disease. Here are a few under laying causes of Keratoconus that can help you get started.

Genetics: Though genetics plays a part in keratoconus so does the environment. Keratoconus in a family typically effects more then one family member. The chances of keratoconus is higher in first degree relatives however it is unlikely that one will pass keratoconus to their children. There is only a 6% chance that the disease can be passed from parent to children. However there are precautions you can take to catch keratoconus in your children early. Treatments are available to help stop the progression of early keratoconus.

Generally at the ages of 8-10 a baseline mapping of the eyes or a Topography can be taken. Additional topography’s can be taken each year after to compare results. If changes are found steps to stop the progression can be made before the problem increases.

Free Radicals: Free radicals are the byproducts of the cell metabolism. Unfortunately most of our bodies tissues create byproducts and our bodies defend against them daily. There is a barrier or wall that protects against damage to your corneal fibers by the byproducts called anti-oxidants. Keratoconus develops because the anti-oxidants are not working properly to protect the cornea against the byproducts. The collagen fibers in the cornea are attacked by the byproducts breaking down the fibers like a hammer on a brick wall. As the fibers weaken you develop a bulge in the cornea that creates vision changes, and other complications.

Keratoconus generally develops slowly over time and if you are evaluated properly the damage can be minimal. It is important to find a doctor who is familiar with early stage keratoconus and obtain treatment before it gets too bad. With the new technologies and mapping you can keep ahead of the disease.

For more information about keratoconus visit Wikipedia

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Keratoconus Evaluation and Confirmation

October 6th, 2015

There are several things you can do if you feel you are suffering from Keratoconus. The professionals will help not only evaluate your physical status but also take a thorough examination of your medical history.

The Visit:
When visiting the Ophthalmologist or Optometrist they will gather important medical and vision history. It is important to tell them everything you can about your history as well as family history. They will pay attention to your vision complaints to understand better what you have been going through. They will also ask you several questions about your history to try and determine if you have had an eye injury.

The Ophthalmologist or Optometrist will also give you tests to check your visual acuity. This means reading letters from an eye chart much like a general eye evaluation. It can also include measuring the curvature of the corneas using a topographer. Having an irregular curvature could mean possible Keratoconus.

Keratoconus Diagnosis:
Once you get to this point of the evaluation the doctor may conduct several tests to confirm the diagnosis. Retinoscopy is one test the doctor can preform to confirm Keratoconus. This would involve focusing a light beam on the retina. The Reflex or (Reflection) is observed. If there is a scissor reflex, more tests will be needed to confirm Keratoconus.

One additional test that is often performed is a cornea ultrasound(Pachymetry). This will measure the cornea thickness. A thin cornea can be a sign of Keratoconus.

Another test examines your cornea with a slit lamp(Microscope). More advanced cases can be determined right away with this test, because of the yellow-brown or olive-green rings or a (Fleischer ring)

Fleischer Ring-

Seen in 50% of patients with Keratoconus. Also caused by Iron Oxide Hemosiderin that is deposited in the Corneal Epithelium.

Vogt’s Striae- These are fine lines or (stress lines) caused by stretching and can be seen on the front of the cornea.

Munson’s Sign- is another give away of Keratoconus. This is a V-shaped indentation and sometimes seen in the lower eyelid when the sufferer moves their line of sight in the downward direction. Most signs are detected before this stage and is seldom used for diagnosing keratoconus.

It is important to get a definitive diagnosis for keratoconus. Many times it requires several tests to make an absolute confirmation. There are numerous other conditions that have similar symptoms of keratoconus. Make sure you are being seen by a specialist in diagnosis of keratoconus and ask questions if you do not understand your diagnosis. After all it is your health at stake.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Academy of Opthamology

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Keratoconus: Daily Life….

September 22nd, 2015

Understanding that Keratoconus is a progressive disease and causes stress on the patients should be important to your health care provider. The use of our vision is something we often take for granted until something like this happens. Although we learn the signs, symptoms, and treatment for Keratoconus the medical side of the disease is not the only area we need to manage.

As human beings we are emotional. Our feelings and emotions can play a big part, especially if the disease progresses and how we take care of our disease. Learning to cope with Keratoconus and not let it break us down in our daily life is equally important. We need to know how this can effect us at home and where to look for help.

Below are a few tips to help keep you focused and cope:

Tip 1: Remember we are not alone- There are several places that provide support Online and off to Keratoconus patients. The American Keratoconus Association is a great resource and provides lots of support and information on this disease. Also the Global Keratoconus Foundation provides support groups and activities to help Keratoconus patients. Turning to family and friends to support you and talk to you also helps relief the stress of this progressive disease.

Tip 2: Enjoy yourself- Spend some time pampering yourself. Doing the things you enjoy doing. If you aren’t as able to do the things you have always done…remember you can always try some new ones. Finding activities to occupy your time will help you focus on the happy times and deal with your situation with a clear mind….remember you must not dwell on what can’t be changed.

Tip 3: Participate in your treatment- One thing we take for granted is that we can be our own advocate. You can learn more about your options, ask questions, and decide who your doctor is going to be. The important thing is to make sure you are comfortable with them. That they have your best intentions at heart.

Know that you are not alone. That there is help for you and others going through the same things you are. Reach out for them…share your experiences you maybe able to ease someone else’s pain while you are at it. Keratoconus is progressive but there is help and remember to take it one day at a time!

For more information visit the American Academy of Opthamology

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Signs of Keratoconus

September 8th, 2015

The eyes are a complex organ with all its layers and parts having an examination regularly is important. However knowing the signs of serious eye conditions can help it be detected and treated early. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder. It changes the shape of the cornea and damages the vision severely if not treated.

Below are some signs of Keratoconus:

There are many ways to tell if your eyes are in distress. It is important to see an eye doctor as soon as these signs make themselves apparent. Below are a few signs to look for:

  •  Itchy eyes
  • Poor vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  •  Blurred vision with new glasses or contacts
  •  Ghost images
  • Difficulty seeing far away
  •  Flares and streaks around light
  • Eye strain

Keratoconus doesn’t usually cause pain so you should be getting regular checkups. There are several symptoms related to keratoconus so you should consult your eye doctor at the first sign of symptoms, so treatment can be determined and started.

Treatment for Keratoconus:

After you have been diagnosed with keratoconus there are many treatment options that can relieve the symptoms you and your doctor can discuss. Typically in the early stages glasses are worn to help improve the patients vision. However as the disease worsens the use of glasses to correct vision isn’t enough. At that stage it is usually recommended use of special contact lenses.

The special contact lenses will help smooth out the cornea so vision can improve. This is done when the tear fluid fills gaps that keratoconus causes, between the cornea and the lens. If the lenses are not properly removed and replaced they can create more damage to the cornea and hinder the vision more. Once contact lens become uncomfortable for patients many option for corneal implants (INTACS) surgery or insertable contact lenses surgery. Many patients prefer the insertable contact lens and they require less care and are easier to maintain. A new procedure C3-R (Corneal Collagen Crosslinking)which involves one at a time application of a special solution to the eye, supervised by an eye doctor, is showing promise on stopping the progression of the disease. Many patients are apt to have this treatment to avoid the need for surgery and stop the loss of vision.

Lasting Effects of Keratoconus:

Diagnoses of the disease is usually in adolescents however it seems to worsen the most in the 20’s and 30’s. Keratoconus is unpredictable and can vary from patient to patient. How fast or slow the disease progresses will depend on the patient. When the disease progresses to both eyes it is difficult for the patient to live normally. It is harder for the patient to drive or even read. The implants are a good relief at this stage, in some severe cases a cornea transplant is needed to relieve the patient. Though this condition is a serious disease if you are seen regularly the disease can be managed and treated. If left untreated it can severely impair your vision. Seek a doctor immediately if you feel you may suffer from this condition, and protect your sight!

For more information about keratoconus visit Wikipedia

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