Top Myths About Our Eyesight

Just like any health checkup, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly. Making sure you are doing all you can to keep your eyes healthy is important but there are many myths out there that can make this difficult. Read on to put some of the top eyesight myths into perspective.

For more information about eye health and Orange County LASIK eye surgery, contact Advanced Eye Medical today for a consultation!

Wearing the Wrong Glasses Will Hurt Your Eyes

This is only a true statement for a very small percentage of people. For example, children who have corrective eye problems should definitely wear the proper glasses. However, it is important to understand that corrective glasses and contacts are used to improve eyesight. Not wearing your glasses will not do further damage.

Reading in Low Light Hurts Your Eyes

Reading in light that is too low or dim, will cause your eyes to become fatigued, but it will not damage your vision permanently. Reading in dim light is not a great idea because it can cause you to have a slight headache, and as your eyes become tired your vision may become a bit blurry. However, this is not permanent.

Eating Carrots Improves Vision

Carrots are definitely a great source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. However, just a small amount of Vitamin A is actually necessary for good vision. It doesn’t matter how many carrots you eat, it will not drastically improve your eyesight. But they are part of a healthy and well-balanced diet.

An Exam is Only Necessary if You Are Having Problems

As with any potential health issue, everybody should get regular eye exams, even if they are not having any noticeable problems. It’s just like going to the dentist. If you wait until you have a cavity or an infection, then the issue becomes painful and expensive. Regular eye exams can help to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Watching Too Much TV Can Damage Your Eyes

There is absolutely no proof that watching television for too long or sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes permanently. You may notice your kids sitting close to the television and this is not something you should be overly concerned with. Children are able to focus on objects that are closer more easily than adults. As an adult, if you have to hold a book at arm’s length or examine that restaurant menu from across the table then you understand what we’re talking about here. However, if you find yourself needing to sit close to any object to see it better, you might be nearsighted and you should definitely talk to your doctor.

There is Nothing You Can Do to Prevent Losing Your Sight

It is true that as we age, our eyesight can naturally deteriorate. However, you can slow this process down through eating a healthy diet, wearing protective eye gear, such as goggles or sunglasses and by having regular eye exams.

Crossing Your Eyes Will Make Them Stay That Way

This is something you may have told your kids to get them to stop crossing their eyes to get a laugh out of you. But, this is actually not true. Your eyes will naturally return to their normal placement and no permanent damage will be done.

Staring at the Computer All Day Will Ruin Your Eyes

Staring at anything for an extended period of time typically causes us to blink bless frequently which can cause dry eyes and fatigue, however, it won’t permanently impact our vision. Experts recommend taking “breaks” regularly where you take your eyes off the computer screen a focus on something else for a few seconds. This will help you blink more and get some moisture back into your eyes and help reduce strain and fatigue.

Orange County LASIK

If you are suffering from prolonged eye issues, visit Dr. Ghosheh and his team at Advanced Eye Medical. Don’t let issues with your vision become a more serious health problem. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about Orange County LASIK eye surgery.

The Dangers of Neglecting Our Eyes

As age begins to creep up on all of us, the inevitable aches and pains start to become more prevalent. Our joints don’t work quite as well as they used to. We wake up with back, shoulder or neck pain we never noticed before. And around age 40, many of us notice that our eye sight isn’t as sharp as it used to be.

If you have further questions or concerns about your eye health and options for treatment, Advanced Eye Medical takes pride in providing state of the art procedures such as custom cataract surgery in Orange County.

Age brings with it its own set of health challenges and without proper care your eyes can really deteriorate as you age. Read on to learn what signs to be aware of and how to prevent problems before they start.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a common problem and happen when our tear glands can’t produce enough tears or produce low-quality tears. Symptoms include itching, burning and red eyes. If left untreated, vision loss can occur. Common treatments include using a humidifier and special eye drops that simulate tears.

Tearing

The opposite of dry eyes is tearing, when your eyes produce too many tears. This can happen if you are sensitive to light, wind or temperature changes. Common treatment includes wearing sunglasses to shield your eyes. If not addressed properly, you can develop an eye infection or you may suffer from a more serious issue like a blocked tear duct. Check with your eye doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Floaters

Ever notice any tiny spots or specks that drift across your field of vision? These are called floaters and you are most likely to notice them in well-lit rooms or outside on a very bright day. Floaters are a normal occurrence but if you notice them along with a flash of light, it be a more serious issue, such as your retina being detached from the back of your eye. Keep an eye (no pun intended) on the number of spots or flashes you see and if you notice a difference, check with your eye doctor.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is what happens when you can no longer read that restaurant menu or see any other close objects or small print clearly. This is perfectly normal as we age and is easily treated with reading glasses or contacts.

Cataracts

Many older adults suffer from cataracts or cloudy areas that cover all or part of the lens of the eye. Cataracts form slowly, without pain, redness or tearing and will begin to block the lens of your eye making it difficult to see. Some cataracts stay small but those that don’t require surgery to remove.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma happens when there is too much pressure inside your eye. If not caught early, permanent vision loss and blindness can occur. Symptoms and pain may not be present until it is too late so make sure you get your eyes regularly checked. Treatment includes prescription eye drops, other medication or surgery.

Other Disorders and Symptoms

Retinal disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vessel occlusions and a detached retina all affect the thin lining on the back of the eye. Another reason to get regular eye checkups as early detection and treatment of these issues can help you keep vision loss to a minimum.

Conjunctivitis is common and happens when the tissue covering your eye gets inflamed. This inflammation can come from an infection, allergies or exposure to chemicals or other irritants. Symptoms include burning, itching, red eyes or the feeling that something is actually in your eye.

Corneal disease is much more serious and can happen from disease, infection, an injury or exposure to toxins. The cornea is what allows the eye to focus light. Symptoms include pain, redness, reduced vision, watery eyes or a “halo” effect. Treatment includes glasses, medicated eye drops or surgery for more severe cases.

As we get older, drooping or twitching eye lids can cause all kinds of problems. If you eyelid isn’t functioning the way it should, it can’t properly protect your eyes, spread out your tears and limit the amount of light. You might experience pain, itching, tearing and the outer edges of your lids might become inflamed. Treatment options include medication and surgery in more severe cases.

Eye Exam & Custom Cataract Surgery in Orange County

Just like any health checkup, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly. If you are suffering from any of the issues mentioned above, visit Dr. Ghosheh and his team at Advanced Eye Medical. Don’t let issues with your vision become permanent. Schedule your consultation today to find out more about custom cataract surgery in Orange County.

7 Signs You May be Developing Cataracts

As we age, the proteins inside the lens of your eye can clump together, turning the lens from clear to cloudy. Certain behaviors like overexposure in the sun without eye protection, smoking, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or use of steroid medications may put you at higher risk for a cataract (or cataracts) to develop.

Over 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts in one or both eyes, and 6 million have had corrective surgery. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your eye doctor immediately.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are when clouding occurs in the lens of the eye. This interferes with light reaching the retina, potentially causing blurry vision and other vision problems. The mechanics are explained below.

The lens is the clearer part of the eye that’s located behind the iris and pupil. It helps focus light onto the retina, which allows us to see clearly. The retina then converts light to electrical signals for the brain to decode into images. When a cataract begins to form and the lens is no longer clear, visual disturbances occur.

What are the Types of Cataracts?

The three main types of cataracts are as follows:

A subcapsular cataract, commonly seen among people with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications, occur at the back of the lens.

A nuclear cataract, commonly associated with aging, develops deep in the nucleus of the lens.

A cortical cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which surrounds the central nucleus. It is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that develop in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center.

7 Common Symptoms of Developing Cataracts

Blurry Vision. When the proteins in your eyes clump together, it can cause blurry vision and glare issues, making it difficult to see at night. This effect will likely increase over time.

Color Distortion. As the cataract progresses, the lens takes on a yellow or brown tint. This decreases the amount of light that can reach the retina and distorts color perception. This tint degrades your ability to detect the blue end of the color spectrum.

Poor Night Vision. As cataracts become more advanced, your vision can begin to become darker with a yellow or brown tint. This makes it harder to distinguish lighting and affects night vision. If you suspect you have cataracts, be very careful at night and avoid driving when your vision is compromised.

Halo Effect. The clouding of the lens can result in diffraction of light entering the eye. This can cause a “halo effect” to appear around light sources, creating rings around every light and sometimes in a variety of colors. Other eye conditions that can cause halos around lights include swelling of the cornea, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and strokes.

New Prescription. If you find yourself frequently needing to renew stronger prescription for your glasses or contacts, you many have cataracts. If your eyesight is changing rapidly, see an eye doctor.

Double Vision. Diffraction from the lens clouding in a cataract can lead you to see two or more images of a single object. While many things can cause double vision — brain tumor, corneal swelling, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or cataracts, double vision can be a sign of serious health concerns. As the cataract grows larger, this effect may go away.

Light Sensitivity. The glare of bright lights can be painful for many people with cataracts, especially those with posterior subcapsular cataracts. Light sensitivity is a strong early symptom of subcapsular cataracts, and can be used to diagnose cataract before vision changes become more advanced.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts develop when proteins in a small area of the lens clump together, clouding that area of the lens. While it is most commonly associated to aging, your risk of getting a cataract increases with each decade after the age of 40. The following may increase your risk of developing cataracts or speed their formation:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • A family history of cataracts
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nutritional deficiencies, such as low intake of antioxidants

Cataracts may also develop after surgery for other eye disorders such as glaucoma, an eye injury, or exposure to radiation.

Schedule a Consultation

Join us at Advanced Eye Medical for an expert consultation. We will discuss and review your options in order to help you find the best way to treat your cataracts.

Vision Correction Surgery: 5 Signs it May be Right for You

Deciding whether vision correction surgery is right for you can prove to be a challenging task. When you start researching, there seems to be an endless stream of information about why you should elect to get vision correction surgery.  This is why it is important to discuss your desire to learn more about vision correction surgery with your eye care professional.  Here is a list of five signs that indicate that you may need vision correction surgery.

1. You Hate Your Eyeglasses

Many people who wear glasses can become frustrated by how easy they are to lose or break, or how they can sometimes feel uncomfortable or obstructive.  This is particularly the case for those who enjoy contact and water sports.

If you’re someone who consistently finds themselves replacing their glasses, you should consider vision correction surgery. This is also true for people who find it annoying when they have to switch between their prescription glasses and their sunglasses, or those who have trouble finding eyeglass styles that they like.

2. Lenses are Not Right for You

Contact lenses are a popular choice for those who need vision correction. However, they do require a lot of maintenance to keep your eyes healthy and can be easy to lose. In addition to this, some people may find that their eyes are agitated by the use of contacts. People who continually lose their lenses and are tired of paying for replacements, or those who find contacts uncomfortable, may be good candidates for vision correction surgery.

3. You Love Outdoor Activities

Glasses and contacts can become quite cumbersome to a large number of outdoor activities. So if you’re tired of your glasses fogging up when you’re out bird watching or your contacts are causing your eyes to itch on the ski slopes, then vision correction surgery is an excellent solution to consider.

4. Your Eyes are beginning to Show Their Age

People over the age of 40 may find that focusing on near objects has become difficult. Losing the ability to see near objects clearly is a natural part of the aging process.  However, if you feel that constantly carrying around reading glasses in order to read menus, paperwork, ingredient labels, etc. is not something you want to deal with later in life, then vision correction surgery could be a better avenue to correcting your vision without impeding your life.

5. Your Career is not Eyeglass or Contact Friendly

Many careers, particularly those in the industrial and manufacturing fields, can make it difficult to wear eyeglasses or contacts. For example, if you’re in a field that requires that you wear protective goggles or masks, having to wear eyeglasses underneath can be quite cumbersome and may negatively affect your work.  In addition, careers such as those in construction where there can be a lot of dust or debris in the air can make wearing contacts dangerous.  If your career makes it difficult to wear either eyeglasses or contacts, then corrective eye surgery is an ideal choice for you.

If any of the above factors apply to you and you want to learn more about the vision correction surgery options available to you, which may include iLASIK, then get in contact with Advanced Eye Medical. We operate in the Orange County area, and are happy to help out local and visiting patients.

Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in those aged over 50. It causes a gradual loss of central (but not peripheral) vision. While painless, AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking.

In some people, AMD advances so slowly that it does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As it progresses, the blurred area near the center of the vision surfaces. It may grow larger over time, and objects may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.

What are the Causes?

While there is no exact cause to age-related macular degeneration, it may be related to a combination of heredity and environmental factors, including smoking and diet. The disease develops as the eye ages with tissue breakdown.

Factors that may increase your risk include:

  • This condition is most common in people over 65.
  • Family history and genetics. This disease is hereditary.
  • Most commonly diagnosed in Caucasians than others.
  • Regular exposure to smoke or smoking cigarettes significantly increases your risk.
  • Obesity can increase the likelihood of early or intermediate AMD progressing to a more severe disease.

What are the Symptoms?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration can cause a variety of symptoms that can affect your daily life. These symptoms, as noted by the BrightFocus Foundation, include:

  • Visual Field Defect: Visual field is the wide angel of vision that a healthy eye can see. As AMD progresses, the center of a person’s visual field may become smudged, distorted or lost. This leads to problems with reading, driving, watching TV and recognizing faces.
  • Contrast Sensitivity: As AMD progresses, it may become more difficult to see textures and subtle changes in the environment. Patients may be at risk of falls if their contrast sensitivity is lost. Difficulty in distinguishing between two colors of a similar hue when placed side by side may arise.
  • Poor Tolerance for Changing Light Levels: AMD patients may find it difficult to adjust their eyes when driving and walking at sunset or when going from a darker room to lighter one.
  • Need for Higher Light Levels: AMD patients may find the need for bright light levels for activities such as reading, cooking, and taking on day-to-day tasks.
  • Impaired Depth Perception: As AMD progresses, patients may have difficulty in properly judging distance, which can make walking harder and cause patients to be more susceptible to missteps and falls.

What are the Treatment Options?

If your condition is diagnosed early on, you can take steps to help slow down the progress, such as taking vitamin supplements, eating healthily, and not smoking. Other treatments options include:

Low Vision Rehabilitation

AMD doesn’t affect your peripheral vision and usually doesn’t cause total blindness. It can, however, reduce or eliminate your central vision, which is necessary for everyday tasks such as reading, facial recognition, and driving. Consult a low vision rehabilitation specialist, occupational therapist and your eye doctor to discuss rehabilitation options to help you adapt to your changing vision.

Surgery to Implant a Telescopic Lens

For patients with advanced dry macular degeneration in both eyes, one option for improving vision may be surgery to implant a telescopic lens in one eye. This will look like a tiny plastic tube, which is equipped with lenses that magnify your field of vision. It may improve both distant and close-up vision, but also narrows field of view.

How to Live with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Even after receiving a diagnosis of AMD, you can take steps that may help slow vision loss.

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can increase the progression. Consult your doctor for help.
  • Healthy diet. Antioxidant-high fruits and vegetables contribute to eye health. These include kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and other vegetables with high levels of antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Foods containing high levels of zinc may also be particularly beneficial, along with high-protein foods such as beef, pork, and lamb.
  • Healthy weight and regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly helps reduce health risks and improves overall health.
  • Routine eye exams. Schedule routine follow up exams. In between appointments, assess your vision using an Amsler grid. This will help identify if your condition develops into a more advanced stage of AMD, which can be treated with drugs.

If you believe you could be in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration, seek the help of an eye care professional. Dr. Ghosheh and the caring team at Advanced Eye Medical can help diagnose your condition and determine the next steps to treatment.

Why Do I Have Eye Floaters?

Eye Floaters: The Causes and What You Can Do

Ever experience small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision? These are called eye floaters. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank white wall or blue sky. They can appear as black or gray dots or threadlike stands that drift about when you move your eyes and appear to dart away when you try to look at them directly.

Symptoms of Eye Floaters

Once you develop eye floaters, they usually do not go away, though they tend to improve over time. Eye floaters can appear in many different shapes, such as:

  • Black or gray dots
  • Squiggly lines
  • Threadlike strands, which can be knobby and semi-transparent
  • Cobwebs
  • Ring shaped

Contact an eye specialist immediately if you notice:

  • Many more eye floaters than usual
  • A sudden onset of new floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Darkness on the sides of your vision (peripheral vision loss)

Causes of Eye Floaters

Eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eye becomes more liquid. As you age, the vitreous and its millions of fine collagen fibers shrink and become shred-like. As it shrinks, this attachment to the optic nerve may release, and this former attachment floats within the eye. As a result, the back surface of the vitreous that floats within the eye casts a shadow onto the retina, producing eye floaters.

These changes can occur at any age, most often between ages 50 and 75 and for those who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery.

Rarely, but still possible, eye floaters can result from other eye surgeries or eye diseases, eye injuries, diabetic retinopathy, or crystal-like deposits that form in the vitreous among others.

Treatment of Eye Floaters

Benign eye floaters never require medical treatment. If they are bothersome, you can move them away from your vision by shifting your eyes. This move shifts the fluid in your eyes, and looking up and down is usually more effective than looking from side to side.

If eye floaters are so dense that they impact your vision, consult your eye doctor about a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy. During this procedure, the vitreous and its floating debris are removed and replaced with a salt solution. Risks associated with this procedure may include: retinal detachment, retinal tears, or cataracts. The likelihood of these risks is rare, but if they occur they can result in permanent damage. For this reason, most surgeons do not perform a vitrectomy unless eye floaters are causing an extraordinary visual handicap.

An alternative procedure is laser vitreolysis, a much safer alternative to a vitrectomy for eye floater treatment. In this in-office procedure, a laser beam is projected into the eye through the pupil and is targeted on large floaters. During this process, the laser beam breaks the floaters apart and vaporizes them so they disappear or become much less bothersome. Consult your doctor to determine whether this procedure is right for you. Considerations may include age, how quickly your symptoms started, what your floaters look like, and where they are located.

For patients under age 45, the floaters may be located too close to the retina and can’t be safely treated with laser vitreolysis. Patients with sizable eye floaters located farther away from the retina are ideal candidates for the procedure.

What Types of Doctor Should I Consult?

If you develop eye floaters, schedule an appointment with a professional trained in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. These include ophthalmologists and optometrists.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. They can deliver total eye care, including performing a complete eye examination, prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, and performing surgery on the eyes and areas around the eye.

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry. Licensed by the individual states to practice optometry, optometrists can perform an eye examination and can determine the presence of vision-related problems. They can also prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Depending on the state they are licensed in, they may be allowed to treat eye diseases and prescribe eye drops for various conditions, but they are not trained or licensed to perform surgery.

No matter your eye health issue or the help you’re seeking, the team of ophthalmologists and optometrists at Advanced Eye Medical can help. Get in contact with us today.

Reversing Eye Damage with Eye Exercises

Eye Exercises: Can They Help Reverse Eye Damage?

We use our eyes for everything on a daily basis. Whether it’s reading or using a computer, our eyes are constantly hard at work. Because our eyes work so hard, they can get exhausted and strained often, which can lead to overall eye damage. It is important to relax and rest your eyes so your vision can perform at its best. Relaxing and remaining calm with your eyesight is a great strategy that will help your eyesight for years to come, but it is also important to engage in exercises. There are many eye exercises you can do to improve your eyesight. It only takes a few exercises to break bad habits and reduce eye pain, injury and irritation.

It Starts with Prevention

Before we delve into exercises, it is crucial to take these preventative steps. Following these precautions will reduce eye damage that can lead to permanent issues with your vision:

  • Take adequate breaks. If you’re at work, take an eye break from your computer every hour. You could walk around your office or get up from your desk to take a break.
  • Blink often. This keeps your eyes lubricated and healthy. Try opening and closing your eyes and rolling them around – this will give you eyes a much needed rest.
  • Try a yawning stretch. Yawn as much as you can, even if you don’t feel the urge. This relaxes your jaw and will prevent tension and headaches.
  • Make sure the lighting on your computer screen is gentle on the eyes. If you can, ignore that glare that comes from your monitor, and reposition your computer if you can.

Exercise Those Eyes

These adjustments will help a great deal, but it is crucial to engage in eye exercise to strengthen the muscles and lessen eye strain. Here are three exercises that can help a great deal:

  • The dot exercise – Grab a piece of paper that has a period or comma on it. Focus on this image until it becomes the central focal point. When you attempt this exercise, odds are that the period or comma will become sharper and less blurry. Do a relaxation exercise by closing your eyes and letting them rest. After a minute, look at the dot again without straining, and then move your eyes around the page. Keep repeating this, and this should improve your vision.
  • The word exercise – Find a page with a word comprising five letters or more. Make sure you stare intently so you can see all the letters, and keep your eyes still. Focus on the word in its entirety and this should cause the letters to blur. Following this, take a moment to relax your eyes and move them around slowly. Take the time to blink so when you look at the word again, it should appear clearer than it did before.
  • The double vision exercise – Having both of your eyes work together is essential to your overall eye health and function. With the double vision exercise, your eyes work in harmony to prevent strain that occurs from squinting too much. To practice this exercise, relax your eyes, softening them when you look at an object, and ensure you use both eyes to do so.

Getting into a routine and engaging in healthy habits can benefit your vision in the long-term. At Dr. Ghosheh’s Advanced Eye Medical, we want our patients to see clearly for the entirety of their lives. We offer all the best advances in eye care, and have the knowledge to make sure you are looking after you eyesight. Come visit us today and meet with our friendly team!

Living with Macular Degeneration

How to Manage Living with Macular Degeneration

As we age, our vision degrades, affecting our ability to read, drive, use a computer, watch television, and even make out faces. Symptoms of age-related vision degradation include the need for more light, difficulty reading or doing close-up work, problems with glare, changes in color perception, and reduced tear production.

Cataracts and glaucoma are common age-related eye disease, but macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60, affecting more than 10 million Americans, more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also called age-related macular degeneration or AMD, specifically refers to the deterioration of the retina, the nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye and detects light. Though common, macular degeneration almost never leads to total blindness.

There are two types of macular degeneration:

Wet

The wet form involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid, the vascular layer between the retina and the white of the eye. These abnormal blood vessels leak into the retina, leading to distortion of vision, blind spots, and the loss of central vision; this can eventually lead to the formation of a scar, causing permanent loss of central vision.

Dry

Dry macular degeneration refers to the presence of drusen, small yellow deposits, in the macula – the small, oval-shaped area near the back of the retina that aids in clear, detailed vision. These deposits generally don’t hurt vision as long as they are small and few in number, but growth in the size and number can lead to dimmed or distorted vision. These changes are most noticeable during reading. In more advanced stages, the light detecting layer of the macula can thin, leading to atrophy, causing blind spots and even the loss of central vision.

The dry form of the disease is more common than the wet form, which only affects about 10 percent of macular degeneration sufferers; but the dry form can lead to the wet form, and sufferers of the wet form make up the majority of macular degeneration sufferers who experience severe vision loss.

How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but there are a number of treatments that can be used to offset AMD’s effects. Vitamins, laser treatments, vision aids, and medications can all be used to treat macular degeneration.

Vitamins

Research shows that for some patients with moderate to severe dry macular degeneration, vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper can decrease vision loss. Lutein and zeaxanthin can improve the effectiveness of these vitamins and minerals in patients who do not already get the daily recommended amount from their diet.

Laser Treatments

High-energy laser lights can sometimes be used to eliminate abnormal blood vessels. Another type of laser treatment is photodynamic laser therapy. To conduct this procedure, a doctor first injects a medication into the patient’s bloodstream where it is absorbed into the abnormal blood vessels in the eyes. After absorption, the doctor activates the medication by shining a cold laser into the patient’s eyes, damaging and eliminating the abnormal vessels.

Vision Aids

Patients can also use aids that utilize lenses or electronic means to produce larger images of objects. Of course, these aids don’t improve vision, but they can help patients see better with the vision they do have.

Medications

Anti-angiogenic drugs are injected directly into the eye to prevent the growth and leakage of the abnormal blood vessels that lead to the wet form of macular degeneration. Many patients regain vision following treatment, but the treatment may need to be repeated during follow up appointments.

How Can Living with Macular Degeneration be Made Easier?

In addition to the above treatments, patients can also take steps to make living with AMD easier. A healthy diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to the vitamins listed above, can delay the onset of macular degeneration and can help prevent further vision degradation, while high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol can worsen AMD. Doctors may recommend that they check their vision regularly using an Amsler grid to check for vision distortion.

The use of brighter lights around the home and magnifying tools when reading or doing other detailed work can help patients to continue the hobbies they love. Macular degeneration patients can be at higher risk for depression because of their vision loss. While feeling sad about vision loss is normal, if these feelings are prolonged or make you feel hopeless, talk to your doctor, who may refer you to someone who can help you transition and handle your vision loss. Talking to friends and family can help patients handle feelings of sadness, but is not a substitute for professional aid if a patient is feeling depressed.

What Should I Do to Start Handling My Macular Degeneration?

If you or someone you care about suffers from macular degeneration or any other eye disease, don’t wait to act. Doctors R.K. Ghosheh and Faris Ghosheh at Advanced Eye Medical are experienced ophthalmologists with a passion for helping patients manage their vision. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and start getting a handle on your macular degeneration.

Eye Care Tips for Elderly Patients

The Age of Eye Care: Tips for Elderly Patients

It’s no secret that as we age, our vision begins to suffer. If you are an elderly person who is struggling with their vision, these tips can help make things easier on you.

It’s All about Nutrition

We can’t stress enough how a nutritious diet is a key factor in improving eye health. Foods that are especially beneficial are those that contain antioxidants and vitamins (leafy greens, vegetables, fish). Fish also has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that strengthen the macula, which is the area of the eye that controls central vision.

If you are lacking in vital nutrients, and have taken up bad habits like drinking too much alcohol or consuming a diet high in saturated fats, this could deeply harm your vision.

Say No to Cigarettes

Smoking is a bad habit that not only damages your overall health, but your eye health as well. Smoking can increase the risk of developing several detrimental eye conditions, and exposes your eyes to a wide variety of chemicals. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and there are resources out there that can help you put your health first.

Exercise Daily

Exercising is good for your heart, your mood, and it even helps improve your vision. Exercise stimulates blood flow, which increases oxygen levels to your eyes. As a result, toxins are removed from the eyes, enhancing vision. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, and you will notice vast improvements to your health.

Get in Quality Sleep

Getting proper sleep is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. People struggle with these sleep patterns constantly, and notice how it interferes with their wellbeing. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is also linked to eye health. When we go to sleep, our eyes go through a process of clearing out common eye irritants such as dust, smoke, or particles that our eyes have collected throughout the day.

If you’re worried about your sleep, there are several things you can do. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, you can create a bedtime ritual, avoid drinking caffeine during the day, and try to stick to a sleep schedule. There are also certain apps that can help track the quality of your sleep to make sure you are getting the sleep your body needs.

Don’t Forget Your Sunnies

It’s hard to resist those sunny summer days. All you want to do is be outside and enjoy every minute of it. However, being outside too long in the sun can harm your eyes. Invest in a pair of sunglasses that blocks harmful UV rays to get the best protection possible. You can also buy a wide brimmed hat, which can block the UV radiation that the side of your sunglasses can’t prevent.

Be Mindful at the Computer

Staring at a computer screen for too long can tire out your eyes. If you stare at a computer screen for two hours, that eye strain is the equivalent of the strain your wrists would feel for typing for two hours. The following tips should help with eye stress that results from staring at the computer for too long:

  • Place the top of the computer screen below eye level
  • If your eyes become very irritated, use eye drops
  • Make necessary adjustments to lighting
  • Take breaks every 15 minutes and let your eyes rest away from any computer screens (this includes smart phones and tablets)
  • Blink as often as you can

Take Steps to Avoid Injuries

Eye injuries do happen, but there are preventative measures you can take to avoid these types of injuries. Approximately half of eye injuries happen around the home, especially during home improvement projects. If you are taking on a new project, always wear protective eye wear and make sure you own a pair of certified safety glasses.

Falls are another way in which eye injuries take place. As we age, falls become more commonplace as a result of changes in vision and difficulties with balance. To avoid falls, here are some tips that should keep you safe:

  • Make sure all railings are secure
  • Only purchases rugs, shower and bath mats that are slip-proof
  • If there are sharp corners and edges throughout the home, add some cushioning around them

We hope these tips will help improve your lifestyle and vision! The staff at Dr. Ghosheh Advanced Eye Medical, Orange County, values its elderly patients, and wants their eye health to be the best it can be. If you have any concerns regarding your eye health, do not hesitate to contact us.

Eye Floaters

What are Eye Floaters?

As you grow older, your eyes inevitably age with you. Any vision damage will no doubt take a significant toll on your life, so it is critical to schedule routine eye exams and to consult your eye care specialist whenever you suspect something is amiss.

Among these aging anomalies are eye floaters. Eye floaters are usually harmless, though they can be annoying. You will likely notice them most when glimpsing something bright, and they usually resolve on their own. They may even cast a slight shadow over your field of vision. It is common to experience eye floaters over time without incident.

However, if they are a persistent problem, you should consult your eye care specialist to rule out any other potentially dangerous underlying issues.

When are Eye Floaters Serious?

Most of the time, eye floaters are simply a sign of aging. However, if they increase in incidence, it is time to consult your eye care professional. If you have noticed symptoms such as a loss of peripheral vision and flashes of light, it could be a sign of a medical emergency. Eye floaters may indicate a retinal detachment, a retinal tear, or bleeding within the eye. Eye disease or an eye injury can also cause eye floaters.

Treatment of Eye Floaters

Benign eye floaters do not require treatment, and will resolve on their own. However, if the floaters are bothering you, try eye exercises such as looking up and down to have the floaters drift out of your field of vision. If the floaters are obscuring your vision, your doctor may recommend that you have a vitrectomy. Floating debris will be removed with saline solution.

Ask the Experts

If persistent eye floaters are ruining your quality of life, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Ghosheh today. For this and all other eye-related questions and concerns, consult the specialists at Advanced Eye Medical Group.