Tips on Fighting Eye Allergies

Tips on Fighting Allergies from El Niño

Many people suffer from springtime allergies. If you feel like you have allergies that won’t quit, that’s because the El Niño weather pattern has an effect on seasonal allergies.

El Niño is a climactic change in which there is a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures occurring across the equatorial Pacific region. As a result, developments from El Niño include warmer-than-average temperatures across western and central Canada, and western and northern United States. The El Niño weather phenomenon also features a massive amount of rainfall. Weather is one of the main contributors to how much pollen gets produced in the air.

Tree and grass pollen can contribute to red eyes, itchiness, and sneezing, and depending on the severity, you may want to consult a doctor. Otherwise, you can try fighting allergies as a result from El Niño with the following tips.

Rock the Shades

Wearing sunglasses has many benefits that can help with your eye health, and to prevent allergies from worsening. If you wear sunglasses during the daytime, it is a great way to control pollen and dust from getting in your eyes. Plus, it is highly recommended by eye professionals to wear sunglasses during the day as a way to protect your eyes from the powerful UV light from the sun.

Stay Inside

If your allergies are quite severe and all else fails, it’s a smart idea to stay indoors and to avoid the outdoors as much as possible. Even closing the windows in your home can go a long way in preventing an allergy flare up.

Keep It Clean

Cleanliness is key when fighting off allergies made worse by El Niño. Be sure to wash your hands and face after being outdoors, and take a shower before bed so you don’t get pollen on your pillows or sheets, which can cause allergy attacks overnight.

Another great strategy in eliminating allergies is the use of HEPA products. You can add a HEPA filter to your air conditioning system if you have one in place. If not, you can buy a portable one for your home or add it to your vacuum to reduce dust and pollen.

Stock the Medicine Cabinet

These days, there are countless over-the-counter solutions for allergy symptoms. Many brands of antihistamines are available, and if your condition is particularly severe, you can even try allergy shots. When you’re at the drug store, be sure to fill your medicine cabinet with extra nasal sprays and tissues.

We Care about Your Eye Health

When our patients are having trouble with seasonal allergies or eye troubles, we want to help them any way we can. At Dr. Ghosheh Advanced Eye Medical, our staff is knowledgeable in everything related to eye care, and would be happy to talk to you about any questions or concerns you may have. Get in touch with us today, and we will speak to you about your eye care needs.

Prescription Sunglasses For Modern Living

Prescription Sunglasses Designed for You

If you’ve ever found yourself driving directly into the sun, you can relate to this experience – the sun is in your eyes, you’re struggling to get the visor in the right position, and you’re squinting at the cars passing you by. Most drivers keep a pair of sunglasses handy, but most sunglasses don’t work for you. What you need is a pair of prescription sunglasses so your eyesight isn’t compromised.

People who normally wear eyeglasses or contact lenses have a tendency to put off purchasing prescription sunglasses until it becomes an absolute necessity. A word of advice? If you wear prescription lenses on a daily basis, prescription sunglasses are worth that extra investment.

Prescription Sunglasses Benefits and Options

Available in photochromic lenses: these are eyeglasses that are clear indoors and become dark when you are outdoors in the sunlight. Transition Lenses are similar although they don’t always fully clear when indoors and may not darken enough when you’re in those uncomfortable driving situations.

If you are a patient with contact lenses, you may also want to consider prescription shades for outdoor use, as there is no Transition option for contact lenses. You may not always want to wear your contact lenses to places like the beach where you are up against sand, wind, and water, which could make your eyes itchy and/or even infected.

Additionally, you can wear your prescription sunglasses the same way you like to wear your regular prescription eyeglasses out at the lake (or ocean), for example. Contact lenses could be exposed to bacteria close to the water and cause an eye infection upon contact.

Wearing non-prescription sunglasses over your prescription glasses may not provide enough UV protection for your eyes, and that’s never a good idea. With prescription sunglasses you are doing your eyes a favor.

Patients who choose contact lenses as their every day option will have an outdoor and active option to avoid uncomfortable or possibly infectious situations for their eyes, and patients with prescription eyeglasses can swap their pairs for an option more amendable to sunlight.

Individual eye prescriptions must be tailored to the person wearing the sunglasses. Prescription sunglasses can be made to fit any prescription, from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), bifocal lenses and progressive lenses, to astigmatism.

If you have presbyopia and you use your lenses to help you read a magazine or book at the beach, there are options available for you as well. Prescription swimmers’ goggles have also been made available for those who like to see underwater.

Prescription Sunglasses Frame Styles and Options

Similar to non-prescription sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses come in a variety of frame styles, from all of your favorite fashion designers and celebrity brands. However, if cost is a concern, it is not necessary to buy the designer, fashion, and celebrity brands. For the budget minded, they can also be bought at discount prices from discount brands online and in-store.

You may also want to consider polarized, as opposed to tinted, lenses in your prescription sunglasses. Regular sunglasses diminish the amount of horizontal and vertical light that filters through the lens from the sun. With polarized lenses, there is a chemical filter that absorbs and filters out horizontal light and only allows vertical light to pass through the lens. This function eliminates the glare that can be experienced with traditional sunglasses.

If you are a prescription eyeglass or contact lens wearer who isn’t happy with what you’ve had to use up until now, you may want to spend the extra money on prescription sunglasses or even polarized prescription sunglasses. You won’t have to sacrifice style and you can save on the cost if you look in the right places.

Contact Your Eye Specialist Today | Dr. Ghosheh

If you think prescription sunglasses are right for you, schedule a visit with Dr. Ghosheh of Laser for Eyes. You can have a comprehensive eye exam and find out what prescription is right for you. You will also be able to choose the frames that fit you the best.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy Stages

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness or vision loss throughout North America. People with this disease can develop a condition called diabetic retinopathy. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, then you are 25 times more likely to experience vision loss from diabetic retinopathy than people who do not have diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy develops when there is a change of blood vessels in the retina. In its earliest stages, people won’t often notice any symptoms. However, as it progresses, vision loss can take place, and when it gets to that stage, it cannot be reversed.

If you are at risk for having diabetic retinopathy, there are many steps you can take to prevent this disease from occurring.

More on Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy has two different types:

• Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR)
• Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)

NPDR is the earliest form of the disease. In this stage, the retinal blood vessels leak fluid or blood, and this can cause swelling of the macula (macular oedema). If this takes place, central vision can be damaged.

PDR is the more advanced stage of the disease. During this form of the disease, the blood vessels in the retina vanish and are displaced by new vessels that bleed easily. As a result, vision loss can occur quite suddenly.

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

There are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Unfortunately, there likely won’t be signs of vision loss until the disease is more advanced. However, if you have late stage symptoms, these include the following:

• Eye strain
• Blurred vision
• Headaches

Diabetic Retinopathy Causes

All people with diabetes are at risk for developing this condition, and diabetic retinopathy usually results from a diabetic complication. Here are other risk factors of this disease:

• Race (Hispanics and African Americans are at greater risk)
• Medical conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
• Pregnancy (pregnant women can develop gestational diabetes, which could increase the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy)

Getting a Handle on Diabetic Retinopathy

If you are worried you are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your vision is protected. Here are some strategies that can help with prevention:

• Maintaining control of your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol
• Getting regular eye exams (it is especially important to have eyes tested once diabetes is first diagnosed)
• Taking diabetes medication regularly
• Sticking to a healthy diet
• Regular exercise
• Avoiding alcohol and smoking

If you do develop diabetic retinopathy, the proper treatment for this disease is extremely important. If diabetic retinopathy is not treated, vision loss or blindness can occur.

A family doctor, optometrist, or specialist can help provide treatment. This may include laser treatment to prevent vision loss (for macular edema and proliferative retinopathy). This type of procedure seals leaking blood vessels and can also shrink new vessels and prevent them from growing.

If the case is severe and a patient does not respond to the laser treatment, they can undergo surgery. The surgery is called a vitrectomy and entails removing the vitreous gel in the patient’s eyes. This surgery is particularly helpful in improving vision in people who have bleeding in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage), retinal detachment, or a severe case of scar tissue formation. However, a vitrectomy will not cure the disease, but it will drastically improve the symptoms.

Contact Dr. Ghosheh Today!

Dr. Ghosheh and the staff at Advanced Medical Care is dedicated to providing every patient with the gift of clearer eyesight. Clearer vision can give you a better quality of life, so if you have any concerns regarding your vision health, please do not hesitate to call.  Contact Dr. Ghosheh today for a consultation.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration and Aging

The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina, the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. It is made of millions of light-sensitive cells that communicate information about central and defined vision.

The macula aids us in seeing objects that are straight ahead. If damaged, the information the macula sends to the retina, which in turn is sent to the optic nerve to produce the images we see, appears dark and distorted.

Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the most common cause of vision loss among individuals over 50. It is a degenerative condition. Depending on the patient, AMD can progress slowly or quickly and can appear in one or both eyes.

Objects may appear less bright, and central vision will become more damaged over time, that is, you will have spots in the center of your eyes that grow progressively.

While AMD does not cause complete blindness, it affects quality of life (reading, driving and other daily tasks become more difficult or impossible).

AMD Diagnosis and Risk Factors

An eye exam for AMD may include a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, an Amsler grid, a fluorescein angiogram or an optical coherence tomography. The early signs of AMD are often not apparent.

Although AMD usually appears after the age of 60, it can occur earlier. There are other risk factors. Smoking could double the risk of AMD; AMD is more is more common for Caucasians; and family history and/or genetics can affect your risk of AMD.

Treatment for Different Stages of AMD

There are three stages of AMD, depending on how much drusen are under the retina:

In early AMD medium-sized drusen, lay under the retina and typically there are no symptoms associated with the AMD. Additionally, there are no current treatments for early AMD. However, you should have your eyes examined regularly and live a healthy lifestyle (avoid smoking and eat well).

Individuals with intermediate AMD have large drusen under the retina, and possibly changes in pigment. It may cause vision loss for some, however there are typically no noticeable symptoms and it can be detected with an exam only. Treatments include taking nutritional supplements such as beta-carotene, although this solution is debated amongst eye professionals.

In late AMD drusen is accompanied by vision loss because their macula is damaged. Late AMD comes in two types, geographic atrophy or dry AMD, and neovascular AMD or wet AMD.

In patients who have geographic atrophy or dry AMD, the light-sensing cells and tissue in the macula that transmit information to the retina, and in turn the optic nerve and brain, break down. This is what causes the loss in vision.

In patients with neovascular AMD or wet AMD, blood vessels are stimulated to grow underneath the retina. These blood vessels are abnormal and hemorrhage (leak fluid and blood). This leads to damage to the macula via swelling of the blood vessels and retina.

Geographic atrophy is not as rapid or severe as neovascular AMD. Treatments for Advanced AMD may not stop progression of the disorder, but they are an attempt to help stop the profression. Different types of treatments may be used such as, injections, photodynamic therapy and laser surgery. Neovascular AMD usually results in vision loss that is severe and rapid.

Worried About Macular Degeneration? Call Dr. Ghosheh Today.

More research is currently being done about AMD, but at present the progression usually ultimately results in vision loss over an indeterminate period of time. Depending on what type of AMD you have may depend on the effectiveness of the treatment you receive and what treatment your doctor recommends.

If you are over the age of 50, it is important to maintain regular visits to your eye doctor to ensure you do not have early AMD and can attempt to prevent severe progression.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Ghosheh of Laser for Eyes. If you have more questions about AMD or other eye conditions that may be affecting you, you can also take a look at Dr. Ghosheh’s medical blog for further consultation.

What Is Amblyopia, also Known as Lazy Eye? Symptoms and Treatment

Amblyopia also known as lazy eye, is often commonly found in children. As the most often recorded visual impairment, it is often treatable and many tend to go on and live their lives with healthy vision. If you feel like your child is suffering from amblyopia, there are options for them to receive care and to live a normal life.

Causes

When a child’s brain is developing, it is extremely sensitive to how often the eyes are used. Amblyopia is often developed when one eye is not used enough and the other tends to compensate. As a result, the brain tends to rewire itself to not need the unused eye. While it is most common for young children to develop this condition at six to nine and professionals agree that attempts to correct it should be made before adolescence, those older than nine can still benefit from care.

Symptoms

Other eye conditions can often lead to amblyopia. Glaucoma has been known to damage vision and can often lead to the use of one eye over the other. Strabimus can also lead to a lazy eye since the eyes are already often crossed. Cataracts are also another issue that tends to cloud the lens of the eye and can make it difficult to see.

Many patients find out they have amblyopia once they visit their eye doctors. A routine exam is an important factor in determining whether or not your child might have problems with his or her vision. It might also be noticed by friends or family as the child gets older.

Treatment

Treatment is often easy and requires only patching the stronger eye, forcing the weaker one to do most the work and to make it easier to see through use. While your child might have difficulty seeing at first, it often doesn’t take long before the problem eye starts to adjust. Drops made of atropine are sometimes also recommended. This dilates the pupil in the good eye and makes vision fuzzy, requiring the bad eye to do most the work of seeing.

Because children are unlikely to know that there is something wrong with their vision, visiting an eye doctor at that critical age is incredibly important. Children should have an eye exam once a year in order for you to know that there aren’t any problems.

Fortunately, amblyopia is very treatable and most can go on to see well in their adulthood.

What To Do When Your Child Develops Crossed Eyes

Many newborns experience the occasional wandering or crossing of their eyes when they are first born. But once they reach four to six months of age, their eyes should straighten out on their own. However, in some cases, a condition called strabismus can cause a newborn’s eyes to continue to cross or wander after the first four to six months. Fortunately, strabismus is easily treatable and can be cured through a variety of tried and tested treatment options. With that in mind, here are some ways in which you can treat strabismus in your newborn so that they do not develop any sort of permanent vision loss.

How Strabismus Occurs

In order to understand how to treat strabismus, it’s important to know how it occurs and what it effects in your child. Strabismus simply refers to the misalignment of the eyes, and although the cause is unknown, a family history does pose an increased risk. When strabismus occurs, a child’s eyes can either wander inward, outward or upwards and downwards. This is refereed to as esotropia, exotropia and hypertropia respectively.

How To Treat Strabismus

Once you notice the onset of strabismus in your child, you should immediately notify your medical professional to determine what treatment options are available. Treatment options are ultimately determined by your medical professional, and recommendations will depend on the severity of the disorder and the underlying cause. For example, if your child also suffers from farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and astigmatism (blurred vision), this may be the cause of their crossed eyes. In this case, your medical professional will refer you to a pediatric optometrist, who can fashion a prescription grade level of glasses for your child to correct their crossed eyes.

In rare cases, and if other methods have been tried and have failed, eye muscle surgery may be recommended course of action. This surgical procedure involves the loosening or tightening the muscles that cause the eye to cross. While this is considered an invasive procedure, surgery is considered safe and effective and usually does not require an overnight hospital stay, especially for children of 6 years old or under.

The best thing you can do for strabismus in your child is to inform your medical professional, as they will be able to take the necessarily steps to cure this vision disorder in your child so that it will not effect them into adulthood and they can a normal and full visioned life.