Q: I’m 49, nearsighted and my glasses keep fogging up with wearing a mask during COVID. I can’t wear contacts and want to get LASIK. Is that the best surgical vision correction option for my age?
A: Yes, wearing a mask and glasses can be a problem as they fog up. At 49 years of age, it’s likely you also have presbyopia, which almost everyone gets around 40-45 years old. Presbyopia is the loss of near vision/reading vision and can only be treated by wearing reading glasses or bifocals. If you are OK with readers, LASIK will most likely be the best surgical vision correction option for you. If you don’t want to wear readers, then a procedure called refractive lens exchange might be best. Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE is basically the same procedure as cataract surgery, as where the surgeon removes your eyes natural lens and replaces it with a new lens. These days, surgeons have options such as multifocal and trifocal lenses that may allow patients to see at all distances, even up close, with little or no dependence on glasses. Patients that get RLE, never have to get cataract surgery in the future, as the surgeon is removing the lens that will most likely turn into a cataract after the age of 65. Schedule a consultation today to find out which option would be best for you!
Q: My eyelids are always swollen and crusty when I wake up. What could this be?
A: You most likely have a condition called blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid. It can cause sore, red eyelids and crusty eyelashes. This condition can also occur at any age. Blepharitis can be caused by a bacterial eyelid infection, dry eyes, a fungal eyelid infection or even little parasites called demodex eyelash mites! Many times patients that have blepharitis also have dry eye. Common treatments include eyelid scrubs, warm compresses, medicated drops or ointments and in-office treatments such as BlephEx and Intense pulsed light or IPL. Blepharitis typically is a chronic condition, meaning it can come back frequently and be a recurring problem. The best way to keep it from returning is to practice proper lid hygiene, such as non-prescription lid scrubs.
Q: My grandmother is 82, and started to have issues seeing details such as letters and faces. She had cataract surgery years ago. What could this be?
A: It could be a serious condition called age-related macular degeneration — or AMD or ARMD. It’s caused by a deterioration of the macula, which is the small central area of the retina of the eye that controls central vision and visual acuity.
The health of the macula determines our ability to see details such as the ability to read, recognize faces, watch television, and use a computer or phone. Common risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, inactivity and having a family history of the disease. Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration. There are treatments for the wet form of AMD that involves an injection called anti-VEGF into the eye. This reduces the amount of new blood vessels that grow and cause swelling in the retina.
Q: My 5yo son was swimming and was bitten by a mosquito close to his eye. The next day the entire area around his eye was red and swollen. What could this be?
A: There are several reasons this could happen, but since he was bitten by a mosquito, there is a good chance he had preseptal cellulitis, also known as periorbital cellulitis. It’s caused by insect bites or the spread of another infection, such as a sinus infection. The most common course of treatment is oral antibiotics such as Augmentin or Bactrim. It’s important to start treatment right away as it can turn into a more serious issue called orbital cellulitis, which requires immediate IV treatment. Make sure you contact us right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan!
This month is Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month and Precision Vision would like to take this opportunity to discuss the importance of practicing good eye safety and wellness in the workplace. Eye injuries at work are so common that nearly 2,000 people injure their eye at work every single day. However, the majority of those eye injuries could be prevented if proper eye safety precautions were taken.
If you work in an environment with hazardous materials such as tools, flying or floating material particles, or chemicals, you must take proper precautions and safety measures to prevent injury from a potential incident. Dependent on the work environment, safety glasses, goggles, or shields must be worn to protect the eyes and/or the face.
It is also a good idea to have emergency procedures put in place in the event that an incident does occur. This way, everyone will be prepared and will be able to take the proper steps to deal with an eye injury. If necessary, an eyewash station could be beneficial in environments that contain hazardous chemicals or airborne particles or materials. In these cases, gently flushing the eye can help remove any debris. Also, contrary to a common myth, if a foreign object lands on the eye it cannot get “lost” back behind the eyeball, but it can cause corneal scratches. In the event that a foreign object actually penetrates the eyeball, it would require emergency medical attention.
Even if you do not work in a hazardous setting, there are several ways that you can do to help prevent tired and strained eyes at an office or desk job. Nearly everyone in this day and age spends a considerable amount of time in the computer. Studies have shown that computer use does not result in permanent damage to the eyes or vision. It often does, however, lead to significant eye strain. There are some simple steps that can be taken in order to alleviate some of the stress and strain to your eyes. The key is to remember to look up from your screen every 15-20 minutes. Be sure to look into the distance, across the room, or out of a window. You should also ensure that your workstation is correctly structured and illuminated. Ideally, the center of your computer screen should be about 4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away.
For any questions or to learn more about workplace eye safety, please contact Precision Vision at any of our OKC offices today.
February is AMD & Low Vision Awareness Month! Precision Vision wants to bring awareness to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), its symptoms, and the treatments that can help prevent vision loss from progressing. Age-related Macular Degeneration the leading cause of vision loss in the country for those over the age of 60, affecting over 2 million people in the United States.
AMD is the breakdown of the macula, which is a small spot in the retina that is responsible for our central vision and allows us to have sharp and clear vision. The primary cause of AMD is age. However, the condition can occur at any age, and certain factors can increase the chance of developing AMD. These risk factors include smoking which doubles your risk, genetics, and race in which Caucasians are more susceptible.
The symptoms of AMD are usually gradual, painless, and can vary from person to person. Most of the time, people will not realize they have AMD until vision loss has already begun. This is why it is critical to see your ophthalmologist regularly in order to catch early warning signs of the disease. The visual symptoms of AMD include blurry central vision, distortion of straight lines or objects, difficulty reading, difficulty recognizing faces, and decreased brightness of colors.
Although there is no “cure” to reverse the vision damage caused by AMD, there are a few therapies and treatments that can help stabilize or reduce the rate of vision loss. Antioxidant vitamins and zinc supplementation, and consuming dark leafy greens and colorful fruits and vegetables are beneficial steps than can be taken in your everyday lifestyle. Also, keeping an Amsler-Grid at home will help alert you if your vision might indicate a potential problem. For severe vision loss, there is treatment option available called an Anti-VEGF injection. This injection is designed to block a molecule called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) which can help those with the wet form of AMD. Another treatment option is called Photodynamic Therapy that utilizes a cold laser to treat areas of the retina, as well as traditional laser therapy that utilizes a hot laser.
Early detection is the key to slowing vision loss associated with AMD. It is important to constantly monitor the symptoms and make sure to see an ophthalmologist regularly. To learn more about AMD treatments, call Precision Vision at any of our Central Oklahoma area locations or click here.
Because cataracts are often the result of aging, over half of all Americans will develop a cataract by the time they reach the age of 80. But it is important to keep in mind there are also some behaviors and factors that could increase the risk for developing cataracts. These include smoking, high blood sugar, and too much sun exposure without eye protection.
As for the symptoms, cataracts typically start out small and might not have much effect on the vision. But the initial and most obvious symptom is blurry or cloudy vision. An example of this could be certain objects may appear blurred or you may notice certain areas of your vision are fuzzy. What starts out as just a minor visual issue will eventually develop into full-blown cataracts and can negatively affect your everyday activities, making everything around you seem cloudy or dim.
As cataracts progress, they start to darken in color. When this happens, night vision is impacted, often making driving and other nighttime activities extremely difficult. In addition to poor night vision, sensitivity to light is also a common cataract symptom. The clouded lens diffracts the light that enters the eye, causing a glare and halo to appear around light sources such as lamps and streetlights. This symptom is not particularly noticeable during the daylight hours but is significant at night when lights appear even brighter against the dark sky.
If your lifestyle is significantly affected by your cataracts and you find it difficult to complete daily tasks such as reading, writing, or driving, you may consider learning more about cataract removal surgery that takes place at our fully-accredited, ambulatory Surgery Center.
To learn more about cataracts and cataract removal surgery at Precision Vision in Oklahoma, call our Midwest City office at (405) 679-3785 or click here.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make gift shopping an intimidating and hectic task! After all, how can you choose the perfect gift for your loved one, when you feel that they deserve the world? Why not give them the gift of clear vision at Precision Vision! LASIK, refractive lens exchange, and laser cataract surgery are all incredible gifts that can last a lifetime! Just imagine your loved one no longer having to rely on their glasses for everyday tasks. To learn more about these procedures, please call our Midwest City office at (405) 733-4545, our Oklahoma City office at (405) 636-1508, or our Shawnee office at (405) 3275-2900.
There are also several charitable ways to give the gift of sight this season. One way is to donate your glasses to help give the gift of sight to those who are less fortunate. If you no longer need glasses after a vision correction procedure or if you have gotten a new pair, your old glasses can be cleaned up and repaired. They are then given to those with the same or close prescription that are not be able to afford glasses. If you want to learn more about glasses donation, visit www.lionsclub.org or www.onesight.org.
Another way to give the gift of sight is through organ donation. Eye donation involves just the cornea, which is the front protective layer that allows us to see, and not the actual iris. Whenever you sign up to be an organ donor, you can also opt to be a tissue donor as well which has less restrictions than standard organ donation. By becoming a donor, you can leave behind the gift of sight for someone else in need. To learn more about cornea donation, visit www.organdonor.gov.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve as a result of a build up of pressure within the eye. It is currently the leading cause of blindness, which is why everyone in the ophthalmology world also knows it as the “Thief of Sight”.
Three types of glaucoma can develop within the eye: open-angle, angle-closure, and normal tension glaucoma. Though there is no cure for glaucoma, there are ways to prevent it from getting worse. Think of glaucoma as a fever that never goes away, so you must learn to manage it before it worsens. The most popular treatments to manage glaucoma involve having surgery to lower eye pressure, take prescribed medication to help lower the production of aqueous liquid in the eye, or MIGS.
There are no visible signs that appear when one has glaucoma, which makes your annual eye exams that much more important. If a Precision Vision opthalomologis notices someone has unnatural high eye pressure (ocular hypertension) yet no signs of eye damage, they label these patients as “glaucoma suspects”. These glaucoma suspects have a higher risk of developing glaucoma later on in life and should be carefully monitored by your Precision Vision eye doctor.
Yearly eye exams are extremely important because, on top of the new aches and pains that come with getting older, you are also prone to developing more health problems; the eyes are no exception.
Annual eye exams are an easy and low-stress way to keep tabs on your eyes as well as your overall health. They increase your chances of catching chronic eye disorders and significant health problems early on. For eye conditions, such as glaucoma and diabetes, early detection is critical before it permanently damages your vision. Both of these conditions do not present symptoms until it’s too late. During your eye exam, your doctor at Precision Vision will look for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and any refractive errors.
Annual eye exams can also reveal health problems such as carotid artery blockages, hypertension, and high cholesterol to which your Precision Vision doctor will refer you to your primary care doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Vision changes and usually worsens with age, so take steps to keep by vision sharp by eating well, wearing protective eyewear, and avoid staring at your phone or computer for too long.
Precision Vision’s locations are convenient for patients across Oklahoma. Our south Oklahoma City location in convenient for people in Moore, Norman, Tuttle, Newcastle, Mustang, and Yukon, while our Shawnee location serves Shawnee, Harrah, Tecumseh, Prague, and Seminole.