How Much of our Vision is Genetic?

Problems with vision can be caused by a wide array of factors. Many individuals with impaired vision suffer from impairment caused by a pre-existing genetic condition. Understanding your family history of problems with vision can best prepare you for potential outcomes in your own life. Listed below are the most common types of genetically linked vision impairment.

Strabismus

Strabismus, or the misalignment of the eyes, is a vision impairment linked to genetics. This is what most people commonly refer to as being cross eyed. It is a fairly common condition, and manifests in over three million Americans each year. If you suffer from this condition, take a look at your family history, chances are the condition can be traced back through your past. If you are worried about the effectiveness and general health of your eyesight, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Advanced Eye Medical to best determine your plan of action can be set up. Most commonly corrective eyewear is a viable solution.

Color Vision Deficiency

Color deficiency or what is most commonly refer to as being color blind, is vision impairment that is closely linked to genetics. The gene responsible for this is carried on the X chromosome. Because the gene is on the X chromosome, men are at higher risk for genetic color deficiency than women. There is currently no treatment for reversing color vision deficiency.

Myopia & Hyperopia

Myopia and hyperopia, nearsightedness and farsightedness, are linked to genetic inheritance. While these conditions are common, they appear more frequently when there is a family history. Both conditions can easily be remedied via multiple treatments options. LASIK in Orange County can be a lasting fix for the impairment and allow you to operate on a day to day basis without the assistance of visual aid.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is another condition linked to genetics. If both or one parent has this condition, the child will have an increased risk of also having the same vision impairment. A medical professional can help you determine whether or not this is the specific eye condition from which you suffer. There are a variety of treatments for the condition, varying from prescription drops to glasses or in some cases, surgery. Consult a professional to determine the best course of action for you.

LASIK Treatment in Orange County

If poor vision is impairing your daily life and you want more information on potential treatment options, contact Advanced Eye Medical today. Our office specializes in vision correction and our staff of professionals can determine a plan to best assist you. We take pride in welcoming each and every patient as part of our family and hope to get you on a path to seeing crystal clear today!

 

 

How to Protect Your Eyes This Summer

The skin around your eyes are the thinnest on the body and is the most susceptible to ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to excessive amount of UV radiation over a short period of time can cause extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. It can be painful and feel like a sunburn to the eye. The longer the eyes are exposed to UV radiation, the greater the risk of developing eye disorders such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Fortunately, Summer eye protection and preventative options are available to offer UV protection.

Why Is Summer Eye Protection Important?

Short and long term exposure to UV radiation can harm the eyes, affect vision and compromise eye health. Eye diseases and conditions caused by exposure to UV radiation include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye
  • Skin cancer in and around the eyelids
  • Photokeratitis, also known as corneal sunburn

3 Tips to Protect Your Eyes This Summer

Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection

Sunglasses are essential for protecting eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses should be worn whenever you are outdoors during the daytime and this should be a practice that comes as second nature.

For the best protection, choose sunglasses with 100-percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. To be sure your sunglasses adequately protect your eyes, follow these tips from the AOA, which can also be found in the AOA’s Sunglasses Shopping Guide. 

  • Be sure your sunglasses block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. While some contact lenses also offer UV protection, these should still be worn with sunglasses to maximize protection.
  • Your sunglasses should screen out 75 to 90% of visible light.
  • The frame of your sunglasses needs to fit close to your eyes and contour to the shape of your face. This prevents exposure to UV rays from all sides, even from behind.
  • Pick lenses that are perfectly matched in color and are free of distortion and imperfection. Lenses should also have a uniform tint, not darker in one area from another. The AOA suggests a gray tint, which is particularly helpful when driving as it offers the best color recognition.

Sport a Wide-Brimmed Hat

While sunglasses prevent overexposure to UV rays, they do not block them from every angle. To ensure full protection and overall eye health, wear a wide-brimmed hat in addition to your sunglasses to protect all sides of your eyes.

Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated

Eye health starts with a good diet. It’s not just carrots that help your eye sight — dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and dark-colored berries all contain essential nutrients and antioxidants that will do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin A, for example, is commonly found in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Fruits like strawberries, oranges and mangoes provide vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help fight eye disease. Salmon and other cold-water fish are also high in omega 3s — good for tear production, which relieves dry eyes.

In addition, it is important to stay hydrated. During the summer, you are more likely to become dehydrated, which can make it harder for the body to produce tears, leading to dry eyes and other vision problems. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water each day can prevent negative effects of dehydration.

Let Us Help

For a consultation towards healthy vision, or to clear up any questions you may have regarding Summer eye protection, contact Laser for Eyes today. We are standing by to answer any of your concerns, and to help you get your vision back to where you want it. Join our growing family of happy customers who trust us with their eyes.

 

Children’s Eye Safety Tips for This Summer

doctor explaining children’s eye safety

Eye care is vital to our children’s health, especially in the heat of the summer. As the weather warms up, children spend more time outdoors – leaving them exposed and vulnerable to harmful UV-rays.

It is important to ensure children are protected from sun exposure, humidity and dehydration to help reduce the risk of vision loss. It is also important for parents to understand that proper eye care includes UV protection year around. Be sure to look for UVA and UVB protection in sunglasses and goggles.

If your child plays any contact sports this summer, they are also at risk for eye injuries. For example, sports-related head injuries that could lead to concussions and vision problems such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Pain in or around the eyes
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Sensitivity to light

If you need help instilling the importance of eye health into your children’s daily routine this summer, here are 5 of the best children’s eye safety tips to promote healthy eye care habits.

Take You Kids for Regular Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are essential for making sure your children’s eyes are healthy. Not only does this give any indicators you need for prescription glasses, it also builds in a healthy routine for your kids. It will encourage them to be more mindful of the way they look after their eyes.

Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection

Sunglasses are essential for protecting eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses should be worn whenever children are outdoors during the daytime and this should be a practice that comes as second nature to the whole family. Among the best children eye safety tips, it’s important for parents to set a good example — even during the winter time.

For the best protection, choose sunglasses with 100-percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to wear them every day, even on cloudy days.

Wear Googles at the Pool or Beach

Chlorine and other chemicals used to sterilize the pool can wash away the moisture in your eye. Without goggles, eyes are exposed to harmful pool chemicals and lingering bacteria. Chlorine can cause the surface and edges of your eyes red, itchy, watery and uncomfortable. Bacteria lingering in the pool can lead to an eye infection.

Salt, microorganism, bacteria, and debris from sand and pollution at the beach can cause eye irritation and infection. Goggles minimize the amount of sea water that your eyes are exposed to.

Encourage Cleanliness and Hygiene

Proper cleanliness and hygiene is something that most parents are vigilant about, but it’s important to remember this mentality extends to the eyes as well. We all remind our kids to brush their teeth but washing their hands is the best way to protect from the spread of communicable diseases such as conjunctivitis.

Before your child applies any sunscreen or topical treatment to or near the eye, make sure they wash their hands and avoid rubbing their eyes.

Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated

Eye health starts with a good diet. It’s not just carrots that help your eye sight — dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and dark-colored berries all contain essential nutrients and antioxidants that will do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin A, for example, is commonly found in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Fruits like strawberries, oranges and mangoes provide vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help fight eye disease. Salmon and other cold-water fish are also high in omega 3s — good for tear production, which relieves dry eyes.

In addition, it is important to stay hydrated. During the summer, children are more likely to become dehydrated, which can make it harder for the body to produce tears, leading to dry eyes and other vision problems. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water each day can prevent negative effects of dehydration.

Safer Vision

For a consultation towards healthy vision, or for more children’s eye safety tips, contact Advanced Eye Medical today. We are standing by to answer any of your concerns, and to help you get your vision back to where you want it. Join our growing family of happy customers who trust us with their eyes.

 

 

Top Causes of Blindness

There are several causes of blindness but the leading causes include ocular complications of diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and traumatic injuries. Other causes of blindness include vitamin A deficiency, retinopathy of prematurity, blood vessel diseases involving the retina or optic nerve including stroke, infectious diseases of the cornea or retina, retinitis pigmentosa, primary or secondary malignancies of the eye, congenital abnormalities, and hereditary diseases of the eye.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur 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.

Common symptoms are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that seem faded
  • Glare
  • Not being able to see well at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eye wear

<h2> Glaucoma <h2>

Glaucoma usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve. There are no symptoms at first, but a comprehensive eye exam can detect it.

People at risk of glaucoma should get eye exams at least every two years, especially among African Americans and Hispanics over age 40, people over age 60 and people with a family history of glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of blindness. It is a disease that destroys the sharp, central vision needed to see objects clearly. This affects the ability to read, drive, watch television, and perform daily routine tasks.

AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but causes cells in the macula to die. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice minimal changes in vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to blindness in both eyes.

There are two kinds of AMD – wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down.

What Can You Do

Small preventative measures, like wearing sunglasses and eating greens, can help protect your eyesight and prevent vision problems later in life. Here is a list of five eye care tips that will help you protect your eyes and your vision for years to come.

Eat for Your Eyes

Eye health starts with a good diet. It’s not just carrots that help your eye sight — dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and dark-colored berries all contain essential nutrients and antioxidants that will do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin A, for example, is commonly found in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Fruits like strawberries, oranges and mangoes provide vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help fight eye disease. Salmon and other cold-water fish are also high in omega 3s — good for tear production, which relieves dry eyes.

Get Regular Eye Exams

It’s important to get regular checkups to catch any eye problems such as glaucoma or diabetic eye disease.

Apply the 20:20:20 Rule

Another tip for computer or any digital-screen users. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise encourages the eyes to relax the muscles inside the eye to reduce fatigue. Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds then gaze at something up; close for 10 to 15 seconds. Do these 10 times. This exercise will help reduce the risk of your eyes locking up after prolonged computer use.

Protect Your Eyes

Remember to always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays when you’re outdoors during the daytime. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye disorders.

Don’t Smoke

The many dangers of smoking have been well documented, especially when it comes to eye health. Smokers or people highly exposed to second hand smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis and other eye problems.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have further questions regarding the causes of blindness, do not hesitate to join us at Laser for Eyes for an expert consultation on our services. We will discuss and review your options to help you find the perfect fit for you. Schedule a consultation with us today, and join our many satisfied patients.

 

 

How Do Mirages Work?

When we hear about a mirage, our minds picture an image of a dehydrated individual stumbling through the desert and thirsting for water. In their delusion, they see what looks like a section of water in the vast sand. When they finally muster up their last reserves of energy climbing towards that vision, they are crushed to find only more sand ahead of them. Why is this and what is it attributed to? When you see a mirage, you are actually seeing a reflection of the sky on the ground. But how to mirages work?

How Does Light Travel Through Air?

To understand how a mirage forms, we must first understand how light travels through air. Light travels in a straight line when the air is the same temperature – a constant of cold or hot. If a steady variation in temperature exists, however, light will refract and therefore bend towards the cooler air.

The explanation for this phenomenon is that cold air is denser than war air, and therefore has a higher refractive index. This means that light will bend more easily as it passes through a medium with higher index. Because the particles of light bump into more matter, it slows down and bends. As light passes from hot air to cold air, the light bends towards a line perpendicular to the medium boundary.  Similarly, when light travels from cold air to hot air, the light bends away from this line.

What’s the Connection to Mirages?

So, how do mirages work? And how does this make use see a reflection of the sky, as mentioned above? A mirage has everything to do with refraction. Normally, light waves from the sun travel straight through the atmosphere to your eye. But, light travels at different speeds through hot air and cold air.

When we see a mirage, the ground is typically very hot and the air is cool. The hot ground warms a layer of air just above the ground.

When the light moves through the cold air and into the layer of hot air it is refracted. A layer of very warm air the ground refracts the light from the sky into a U-shaped bend, tricking our brain to think that the light has travelled in a straight line.

Our brain, however, doesn’t see the image as bent light from the sky. Instead, our brain processes the imagery and thinks the light must have come from the ground.

Combining all this together, refracted light from the sky is interpreted a straight, which makes us see an image of the sky on the ground. This is also why many mirages appear as blue water. We think we have stumbled on a section of water when in reality we are seeing a reflective image of the blue sky.

Let Us Help

For a consultation towards clear vision, or to clear up any questions you may have, contact Laser for Eyes today. We are standing by to answer any of your concerns, and to help you get your vision back to where you want it. Join our growing family of happy customers who trust us with their eyes.

 

 

Avoid These Bad Eye Habits

Your eyes are an important part of your body that you need in order to function every single day. If you were to lose your eyesight, just think about how different your life would be than it is today. Big things like your job or driving, but also everyday things, like getting up and around your house, or taking a walk outside with your dog. Bad eye habits can be more damaging than you think.

It’s extremely important to take care of your vision—and the sooner, the better. You may not be aware of some of the most common unhealthy habits people have that can affect the long-term health of your eyes.

Reading in Poor Lighting – Reading in poor lighting can cause a lot of strain on your eyes. Similarly, staring at your smartphone and reading tiny text for extended period of times is one of the most common bad eye habits and can also cause a great deal of strain on your eyes.

Sleeping with Your Contacts – If you’re sleeping with your contacts in, it’s time to stop this bad eye habit. You are not only at risk of infection, but you can also permanently damage your eyes. Further, outside of sleeping, wearing your contacts for extended period of time anywhere can cause a plethora of problems, so take your contacts out and let your eyes take a break whenever you can. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one million people in the U.S. have gone to the eye doctor to treat infections from wearing contacts.

Using Cheap or Expired Eye Makeup – Think about all of the things that you apply near your eyes—mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, eyelashes, creams, and more. Anytime you put products near your eyes, you risk certain infections or damage to your eyes. This risk is even greater when you use products that are cheap or expired. Further, sharing eye makeup with others is also a potential risk for increased infection or damage to your eyes. It’s recommended that you replace your eye makeup products after 3 months.

Not Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun – Everyone knows that the sun can cause a great deal of damage to your body. It’s why so many people lather up in sunscreen when they go outside for extended period of times. This is why it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun. First, you should never look directly at the sun for any reason. Grabbing a hat or sunglasses (particularly sunglasses with UV protection) will help to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Swimming Without Goggles – If you’re going to out at the pool, make sure that you grab a set of goggles. There are a lot of chemicals and unknowns often found in pools, so it’s important that you protect your eyes by swimming with goggles.

Rubbing Your Eyes – Your eyes are itchy, so what do you do? The immediate response is to rub your eyes, but what you are forgetting is that your hands and fingers contain countless germs and by rubbing your eyes, you risk causing an eye infection. Further, rubbing your eyes vigorously or frequently can scratch and damage the surface of the eye.

Smoking and Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke –The chemicals found in cigarette smoke can cause macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss, as well as damage the eye tissue.

Not Seeing Your Eye Doctor – Last, but certainly not least, not seeing your optometrist to regularly check your eyes is a recipe for disaster. It’s not just for your vision, but it’s also a way for your doctor to check for any other eye diseases or problems.

So, how did you do? You might not be guilty of all of these bad eye habits, but you can certainly see how doing a few of these habits over time can add up to a lot of strain and risk of damage to your eyes. Take some time to put together an action plan on how to better care for your eyes today! For any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact Advanced Eye Medical today to ensure crystal clear vision. Your eyes will thank you!

Eye Protection for Sports

Although protective eye gear may not look all that cool when you’re in action on the court or in the field, it often times gets the job done when it comes to shielding those precious eyes from harm’s way.

When it comes to safety in sports, most wouldn’t think twice about wearing a helmet to cushion their head or putting on enough pads and braces to support the bones and the joints. Athletes of all sorts take extra caution to prevent the onset of bumps, bruises, and other unnecessary injuries—so why not do the exact same thing to hinder a scratched cornea, a fractured eye socket, or in more serious cases, a loss of vision?

Aches and broken bones more often than not will heal over time, but any serious eye injury can be detrimentally disabling. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting ready for your next big game.

The Scoop on Sports Eye Injuries

An alarming 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year, according to Prevent Blindness. Even non-contact sports such as badminton sometimes can present inherent dangers to the eyes, which is why hospital emergency rooms treat more than 40,000 eye injuries annually caused in some way or the other by sports.

Most of these inquires, however, can be easily prevented with the use of proper safety goggles such as lensed polycarbonate protectors, or by wearing professionally approved helmets and face shields. It is also important to remember that regular glasses do not and will not provide enough protection for the eyes, since protective eyewear, which is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, is ten times more impact resistant and does not reduce vision.

Types of Eye Protection for Sports

In order to reduce the risks of hazards such as out-of-control balls, flying equipment, and unwanted pokes or jabs from other players’ protective eyewear should be made a regular part of any sports uniform.

There are numerous types of protective eyewear available on the market with various lenses each with various thicknesses depending on specific activities or special eye conditions. Those with only one functional eye should wear sports eye protectors under their sport face mask (such as a football helmet) for added protection.

Be sure, though, that for ultimate impact resistance, the sports goggles or glasses used are approved by ASTM International and adhere to all sports standards. Sturdy glasses or sunglasses with impact-resistant polycarbonate frames should be used for lower-impact sports such as cycling and running to help protect the eyes.

The Best for Each Sport

If you’re having trouble picking and choosing which exact protective gear to make use of, review the list of sports below to help you choose the best options for protecting your eyes while engaged in each sport:

  • Badminton (sports goggles)
  • Baseball (batting: face guard attached to helmet; fielding: sports goggles)
  • Basketball (sports goggles)
  • Cycling (cycling eyewear)
  • Fencing (full face cage)
  • Field hockey (goalie: face mask; others: sports goggles)
  • Football (face shield attached to helmet)
  • Handball (sports goggles)
  • Ice hockey (helmet with full face protection)
  • Lacrosse — men (helmet and full face protection)
  • Lacrosse — women (minimum: sports goggles; recommended: helmet and full face protection)
  • Racquetball (sports goggles)
  • Shooting sports (shooting glasses)
  • Soccer (sports goggles, eye guards)
  • Squash (sports goggles)
  • Street hockey (goalie: full face cage; others: sports goggles)
  • Swimming (swim goggles recommended)
  • Tennis — doubles and singles (sports goggles)
  • Water polo (swim goggles recommended)

The weather is warming up and everything from baseball spring training to basketball March Madness are in full swing. Stay active this season while keeping those eyes free from harm.

For more ways to protect your vision or to schedule a consultation to help lead towards clearer sight when engaged in sports, contact Laser for Eyes today. You only have one pair of eyes and our goal is to help keep you happy and it healthy!

 

 

 

What are Eye Floaters?

Small spots that drift across your field of vision are known as eye floaters.  They become more noticeable when you are looking something bright.  They may be annoying but they will not interfere with your sight, but just what are eye floaters?

A larger floater may cast a slight shadow over your vision.  This tends to happen only under certain light conditions.  Some people learn to live with floaters and they ignore them.  You will probably notice them less as you get used to them.  However, on occasion, they may get bad enough to require treatment.

Symptoms of Eye Floaters

Floaters are so named because they move around in your eye and tend to move if you try to focus on it.  They come in different shapes:

  • black or gray dots
  • squiggly lines
  • threadlike strands
  • cobwebs
  • rings

They will not usually go away on their own, though you will notice them less over time.

What Causes Them?

Most floaters are comprised of collagen.  They are part of a substance in the back of your eye called the vitreous.  As you get older, protein fibers that make up the vitreous tend to shrink down and clump together.  The shadows that they cast on your retina are floaters.

These changes in your eye can happen at any age but are common between the ages of 50 and 75.  If you are nearsighted or have had cataract surgery, you are more likely to get floaters.

Though rare, floaters can also result from eye disease, and injury to the eye, diabetic retinopathy, and eye tumors.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice a few floaters and they do not change over time, there is no need for concern.  However, you should go to a doctor as soon as possible if you notice a sudden increase in the number of floaters, flashes of light, a loss of side vision, eye pain, or any changes that come quickly and get worse instead of better.

How are Floaters Treated?

If floaters are benign they do not require medical attention.  If they are annoying you, you can try to get them out of your vision by moving your eyes around; this will move the fluid around.  Looking up and down tends to work better than looking side to side.

If you have a multitude of floaters and they are blocking your vision, your eye doctor may recommend a vitrectomy (eye surgery).  The vitreous will be removed from the eye and replaced with a salt solution.  There are few risks involved with the procedure but there is the possibility of a detached or torn retina or cataracts.

A vitrectomy is performed by an ophthalmologist who has special training to treat problems with the retina.  The doctor will use small tools to remove the vitreous gel and at the end of the surgery he may inject an oil or gas bubble into the eye to lightly press the retina into the wall of the eye.  If oil is used, it will need to be taken out once the eye has healed.

Sometimes the surgery is done as an outpatient surgery and sometimes you will be required to stay at the hospital for the night.  Surgery lasts about 2 to 3 hours and the doctor may use a local or general anesthesia.  Once home you may have to keep your head in a certain position to help the gas or oil bubble push against the detachment.

If you’ve ever wondered what eye floaters are and would like a consultation, you can contact Laser for Eyes in the Orange County area.  They will be able to answer questions you may have about floaters and give you further advice on how to deal with them.

Can Reading Vision Be Improved by Lasik?

Maybe you happen to be one of the many who are tired of wearing glasses or corrective lenses and believe that surgery may be the right option to help correct your vision. Or perhaps you are in the group that actually does not wear glasses but has passed the age of 40 and are now struggling to read small print after having developed a need for lenses to read or to see things up close.

Whether you’re in the former or latter group, many often turn to the option of LASIK surgery, a type of refractive eye surgery to a very delicate part of the eye that helps most people achieve 20/25 vision or better to help with better engagement with daily activities.

Millions have had LASIK done with success and the surgery itself has had a compelling track record. Most of the time, complications that result in any loss of vision are rare, with minor side effects to include dry eyes and temporary visual disturbances which typically clear up after a few weeks or months. Very few people consider LASIK to be a long-term problem, with those affected by mild nearsightedness having had the most success in the past. Individuals with a high degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness along with astigmatism have less predictable results. Is LASIK for reading a worth-while investment?

Understanding the Eyes

In order to see clearly, the cornea and the lens must bend — or refract — light rays so that they can focus on the retina, which then converts the light rays into impulses that are sent to the brain where they can be recognized as images.

If the light rays do not focus on the retina, the images are seen as blurry. These refractive errors occur with conditions such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism, which cause images to end up focusing elsewhere, resulting in blurred vision. The use of glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery helps reduce these errors by making light rays focus on the retina.

The Basics of LASIK

Although there are many different variations of laser refractive surgery, LASIK is the best known and most commonly performed. Shorthand for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusi, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea. Before making a decision, however, here are some important factors to consider:

  • As with any surgery, there are risks and possible complications, as the surgery is done to a very delicate part of your eye and cannot be reversed. Though millions of people have had LASIK– many very successfully– it is not for everyone.
  • LASIK may not give you perfect vision and cannot completely correct or prevent presbyopia (the age-related loss of focusing power for seeing near objects). Those over the age of forty are still likely to need reading glasses as the years pass.
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reported that 9 out of 10 patients achieved somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision, but 20/40 vision may not always be sharp enough for certain work or leisure activities.
  • Benefits of the LASIK procedure diminishes over time, with more than 10 percent of LASIK patients in the U.S. requiring a second surgery, called “retreatment,” to restore the desired vision correction. This is most common for those who were formerly nearsighted or farsighted, or had higher astigmatism.

What to Expect

Before a LASIK procedure, eye surgeons will normally assess detailed measurements of your eye and then use a special type of cutting laser to precisely alter the curvature of the cornea. With each pulse of the laser beam, a tiny amount of corneal tissue is removed, allowing surgeons to flatten the curve of the cornea or make it steeper. A flap in the cornea is created and then raised up to reshape the cornea.

There are also variations in which a very thin flap is raised or no flap is used at all or no flap at all is raised. There are several surgical alternatives to LASIK, each with their own advantages and disadvantages including:

  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): In surgery using PRK, including Epi-LASIK and LASEK, rather than forming a flap, surgeons scrape away the top surface (epithelium).
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK): A thermal refractive surgery procedure used to correct mild to moderate farsightedness (hyperopia) in people over age 40 by using a tiny probe that releases controlled amounts of radio frequency (RF) energy– instead of a laser– to apply heat to the peripheral portion of the cornea.
  • Phakic Intraocular Lens (IOL): An IOL is a form of implantable contact lens that is surgically put inside the eye in front of the lens. This is routinely done as part of cataract surgery and is something to consider instead of LASIK for older adults who may need cataract surgery in the future. Certain types of IOLs, such as Multifocal or accommodative lenses, not only improve distance vision but also eliminate the need for reading glasses.Younger people with high degrees of nearsightedness that cannot be satisfactorily treated with corrective lenses may also be offered implantable lenses, though it is not a common alternative for most individuals.

Let Us Help: LASIK for Reading

It is important to remember that different eye surgeons specialize in specific types of laser eye procedures. The differences among them are generally minor and none are clearly better than any others, as it all ends up depending on individual circumstances, wants, and needs

For more information about LASIK for reading and other vision correction procedures, contact Laser for Eyes today. The human eye is marvelously complex and our goal is to help you keep it happy and healthy!

 

How 3D Entertainment Affects Our Vision

There’s no denying that all things 3D has surged in popularity through the roof in recent years, especially within commercial movies, video games, and other forms of popular entertainment. The rise and expansion of three-dimensional technology, however, raises various concerns about the possible adverse side effects on viewers. Is 3-D healthy for your eyes? Do the increased rating of symptoms of nausea, oculomotor, and disorientation or the studies claiming that the viewing of 3D stereoscopic stimuli can cause vision disorders to manifest in previously asymptomatic individuals actually hold true? Here is all you need to know about how 3D glasses work and how 3D entertainment affects our vision.

How 3D Glasses Work

So, while there are die-hard 3D moviegoers all around, it seems that many do in fact struggle to see the images shown come to life and leap off the screen. The American Optometric Association estimated that 3–9 million Americans have problems in binocular vision and, consequently, in viewing 3D movies. Because 3D films attempt to imitate how we see things dimension-wise, the toll it takes on our vision is definitely something worth taking note of.

In the theater (as well as in television and gaming systems), the use of 3D aids the events on the screen to feel more real, putting the audience right in the middle of the action. Yet, because our eyes are several inches apart from one another and each have a different perspective, each eye actually holds a slightly different view of the world. It is the brain that learns to fuse the two images, allowing one 3D image to form– and since 3D movies are filmed using two lenses spaced about two to three inches apart (like the eyes), most 3D films appear fuzzy or blurry when looked at without special glasses. The filters on 3D glasses allow one image to enter each eye, helping our minds create the illusion of a three-dimensional image, just as they would in the real world.

3D Movies and Headaches

For 3D entertainment to work and actually be enjoyed, good binocular vision is needed. If both eyes are not in complete coordination with one another, the proper three-dimensional effect cannot be attained.

Unfortunately, 30% of the population suffers from marginal binocular vision, meaning that their visual coordination is slightly off, making them more susceptible to negative side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea while watching 3D films.

How to Protect Those Eyes

If you’re an avid 3D fan but suffer from monocular or borderline binocular vision, ways to help reduce the effects of engagement with 3D entertainment might include vision therapy or a series of special techniques that help people learn how to better coordinate the eyes. Many eye doctors specialize in binocular vision therapy and techniques used in the past have often extended to viewing of 3D images.

Also make sure to apply the 20-20-20 rule when enjoying 3D entertainment. A regular habit of taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to stretch, breathe, and focus on something 20 feet away not only allows for a chance to rest and relax, but also for lessened chances of red eyes, headaches, and squinting. Basically, as with the use of anything, moderation is key.

Let Us Help

If you are experiencing negative side effects while watching 3D movies, or simply have trouble viewing them, it is time to get your eyes checked. To learn more about the effects of 3D on vision or to schedule a consultation to help lead towards clearer sight, contact Laser for Eyes today. The human eye is marvelously complex and our goal is to keep it healthy!