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What You Need to Know About Optic Neuritis

Your optic nerve plays a significant role in your ability to see. It carries images to your brain, where the information is deciphered. If the optic nerve becomes inflamed and swollen, it is called optic neuritis, and it can cause pain and temporary vision loss. Optic neuritis is often the first symptom of multiple sclerosis, this is because the optic nerve is part of the central nervous system which is often the first area of the body to be affected by the disease.

Signs and symptoms

Optic neuritis usually occurs in one eye, though it is possible to have it in both eyes at the same time. The most common symptom of optic neuritis is pain. The inflammation typically causes sufferers to experience pain when moving their eyes. Another symptom of optic neuritis is temporary loss of vision which may last for a couple of hours to a few weeks. Because of the severity of these symptoms it is critical to seek medical attention immediately. Once an ophthalmologist diagnoses you with optic neuritis, it is necessary to see a neurologist to get a full MRI scan to determine if you have multiple sclerosis. It is important to understand that just because you develop optic neuritis does not mean that you automatically have MS but an MRI I can help your doctor assess your risk. It is also best at this point to discuss the possibility of using disease-modifying drugs to reduce your risk of developing MS or lessen its severity.

Causes

MS is not the only disease that causes optic neuritis.
Other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Behcet’s disease, and sarcoidosis can also cause optic neuritis. In addition, respiratory, viral, fungal, and bacterial infections may lead to optic neuritis as well. B12 deficiency has also been linked to the disease.
Since optic neuritis has so many causes, it is important to seek medical attention so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Additional Information You Should Know

-About 50% of all people with multiple sclerosis experiences optic neuritis.

-Recurrences are not uncommon, though it is unknown why some people experience recurrences while others do not.

-Optic neuritis may go away on its own after a few weeks, but it clears up faster when treated with IV steroids.

-While IV steroids help to return your vision faster, they don’t eliminate the possibility of some slight changes in vision.

-However, many studies have shown that taking oral steroids does not help to rid patients of the disease and can actually increases their likelihood of developing at again.

-Most people regain 20/20 vision after having experienced optic neuritis. However, the disease may affect ability to distinguish between colors. And some people have reported being able to see better in dim rather than bright light.

Now that you have some more information about optic neuritis be sure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghosheh if you suspect you have this disorder. If you have any further questions about optic neuritis and MS feel free to reach out to us. To schedule a free consultation, visit laserforeyes.com.

9 Serious Eye Symptoms to Watch Out For

Routine eye exams are critical to maintaining your vision health. Early detection is crucial to avoiding serious and permanent damage from correctable eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. While annual eye exams can detect and treat these progressive eye conditions, you may experience symptoms that require immediate attention such as blurry vision or eye pain.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention immediately:

Eye Floaters, Flashes, or Shadows in Your Vision

Beware if you experience a gray shadow in your peripheral vision, a gray curtain that appears across your line of sight, a sudden onset of flashing lights, or a significant increase in the amount of eye floaters: these could all be signs of a detached retina. The retina is the thin nerve layer at the back of the eye that sends images to the brain via the optic nerve. Physical injury to the eye, diseases like glaucoma, and nearsightedness can all lead to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment needs to be surgically treated, or else it can lead to blindness.

One Red Eye

If both of your eyes are red, you have most likely contracted a cold or conjunctivitis, which is a relatively harmless inflammation. However, if just one of your eyes is red, it may be an indication of a more severe eye infection such as scleritis or uveitis. Scleritis is the inflammation of the outer protective barrier surrounding the eye. Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle coating of the eye. Both of these infections are serious, and require antibiotics or medicated eye drops to clear up.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision can signal numerous eye disorders, from a torn retina to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, blurred or loss of vision in one eye can be an early indicator of a stroke. Blurred vision in one eye can also indicate that the carotid artery, which is a major supplier of blood to the eye, is blocked.

Any Loss of Vision

Sudden vision loss could be a sign of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While this is usually considered a progressive disorder, it can develop quickly in some cases. The loss of vision can also indicate a certain kind of glaucoma.

Eye Pain

Eye pain may be a symptom of glaucoma, dry eye, eye injury, and even eye cancer.

Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses

Contact lenses that are not cared for properly can lead to serious eye infections. If you experience eye discomfort while wearing contact lenses, consult your eye care professional.

Eye Injury

Any eye injury should be examined by an ophthalmologist, especially if you experience redness or pain for longer than 20 minutes thereafter.

Persistent Irritation

If you experience persistent eye irritation after exposure to harsh chemicals, such as when cleaning, see a doctor immediately.

Eye Surgery Complications

If you experience any redness, pain, or blurry vision after having an eye surgery, contact an eye doctor immediately for an evaluation.

If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, schedule an examination with Dr. Ghosheh immediately.

How Head Injuries Lead To Serious Vision Problems

There are many vision problems associated with head injuries. Millions of Americans suffer traumatic head injuries each year. Luckily the vast majority of these head traumas only cause minor brain injuries such as concussions. It is common to experience vision problems after suffering a head injury. Even minor injuries like getting Whiplash from a car accident can cause vision problems. Sometimes this is due to injuries the eye sustained during the head trauma, but in other cases, it may be caused by brain damage. This is why if you experience any vision related issues following a head trauma, no matter how minor it is important to seek medical attention. In cases of severe eye damage due to head injury, you may require an optical surgery.

Some symptoms you may experience are double vision, sensitivity to light, nausea, blurry vision, headaches and words on a page may appear to move. You may also experience dizziness, disorientation, difficulty walking and balancing.

Retinal Detachment

The retina is a small layer of cells located at the back of the eye that helps convert images entering the eye into signals that travel to the brain along the optic nerve. When head injuries are sustained, particularly those from car accidents, you may experience bleeding that detaches the retina from one or both of your eyes. Retinal detachment is a serious medical condition, and you should seek emergency treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated you may be at risk of developing permanent blindness. This injury will require surgery to be corrected.

Vitreous Hemorrhage

All eyes contain a clear, jelly-like substance called the vitreous humor. Light passes through the pupil then the vitreous before hitting the retina. When you sustained a head injury, it is possible for blood vessels to bleed into the vitreous. Most Vitreous Hemorrhages clear up on their own, however you may need medication to speed your recovery and prevent serious complications.

Optic Nerve Damage

Head injuries may cause increased pressure inside the skull and in turn pressure on the optic nerve. This pressure can choke the optic nerve and cut it off from the blood it needs to nourish itself and work properly. This injury is serious enough to cause severe vision loss and possibly permanent blindness.

Other Issues

A head injury may weaken or damage the muscles that move the eye, which can decrease your field of vision. Hairline fractures to the eye socket can also cause other issues:
-Impaired visual memory.
-Right-left discrimination problems.
-Involuntary eye motion.

Now that you know how head injuries can lead to serious vision problems, be sure to speak to an eye care professional as soon as possible after sustaining a head injury. No matter how minor the head injury is you have may sustain some significant damage to your vision. And if you have any further questions or concerns about head injuries and vision problems feel free to contact us. And to set up an appointment, please visit laserforeyes.com.

Blurred Vision? You Could Be Having Ocular Migraines

Although migraines are typically thought to manifest in the form of headaches, ocular migraines also exist. Also known as retinal migraines, ocular migraines take the form of temporary visual disturbances, and can blur the vision in either one or both eyes depending on the severity. Fortunately, ocular migraines are usually harmless, and will resolve themselves without treatment in about 20 to 30 minutes. However, if you experience ocular migraines frequently, there may be an underlying cause which requires treatment.

Ocular Migraine Symptoms

Ocular migraines typically present a variety of visual symptoms. One major indicator is a blind spot in your vision that becomes increasingly larger. This is called a scotoma, which may also result in a partial loss of vision temporarily. If the symptoms worsen, you may also see flashing or flickering lights, also known as scintillations. This can cause the blind spot to move across your field of vision, blurring your eyesight.

This episode may only last a few minutes, and can be signalled by a migraine prodrome. A migraine prodrome is usually subtle, and can cause mood swings, spontaneous cravings, or fatigue. This will typically occur days or even weeks before the onset of an ocular migraine. If you feel you experience migraine prodromes frequently, it may be time to seek medical treatment.

Ocular Migraine Treatment

Fortunately, ocular migraines are generally harmless. They usually resolve on their own and will not require further treatment. However, if your symptoms worsen, preventive treatments for headache migraines such as tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure medications may be beneficial. Aspirin and beta blockers may also be helpful for the pain associated with ocular migraines.

Behavioral changes, such as relaxation techniques and stress reduction, may help to lessen the severity of ocular migraines. Regardless, it is important to be examined by an eye care professional to best determine the state of your eye health and your recommended course of treatment. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghosheh today, and feel free to contact us with any eye health questions and concerns.

How Daily Aspirin Is Putting Your Eyes at Risk

Studies have found that regular aspirin usage over extended periods of time can significantly increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In fact, it has been shown that adults who use aspirin regularly over a ten-year-period are 63% more likely to develop AMD. Considering that 20% of adults take aspirin regularly, this increased risk affects a significant amount of the population.

What is AMD?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disorder that affects the central part of the retina. The main part of the eye affected is the macula, with the damage resulting in the progressive loss of central vision. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry type accounts for nine out of ten AMD cases diagnosed and progresses slowly over a number of years. However, wet AMD is more serious. Between 10% and 15% of AMD patients are diagnosed with wet type. Wet AMD progresses rapidly and can cause bleeding under the macula. It is severe and needs to be treated immediately in order to minimize vision loss. Aspirin usage increases the risk of developing both wet and dry AMD.

Treatment

Visudyne photodynamic therapy and laser surgery have been proven effective in treating wet AMD. Dry AMD can be successfully treated with dietary and vitamin supplements, such as zinc, beta carotene, lutein, copper, and vitamins C and E. In addition, studies have found that eating a diet high in antioxidants (particularly those found in leafy greens such as kale and spinach) can lessen the effects of AMD. You should also incorporate a serving of fatty fish or fish oil supplements into your diet at least once a week, since a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids also slows the onset of AMD.

Even though regular aspirin usage may increase your risk of developing both dry and wet type AMD, that does not mean that you should discontinue your aspirin regimen. It’s important to consult both your health and eye care professionals before making any changes to your aspirin intake. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghosheh today for a detailed exam and consultation, and feel free to contact us with any of your eye care concerns.

Lazy Eye: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is often found in children. As the most common visual impairment, lazy eye is often treatable, with most patients continuing their lives with healthy vision. If you feel your child may be suffering from amblyopia, there are treatment options available so that they can go on to lead healthy, normal lives.

Causes

When a child’s brain is developing, it is extremely sensitive to how often the eyes are used. Amblyopia develops when one eye is not used enough, and the other tends to compensate. As a result, the brain rewires itself to not need the under-used eye. While it is most common for young children to develop this condition around the ages of six to nine, with professionals agreeing 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. Strabismus can also lead to a lazy eye since the eyes are already often crossed. Cataracts are 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 has problems with his or her vision.

Treatment

Treatment is often easy and requires only patching the stronger eye, forcing the weaker one to do most of the work. While your child may have difficulty seeing at first, it doesn’t take long for the weak eye to adjust. Drops made of atropine are sometimes also recommended. This dilates the pupil in the strong eye to blur its vision, requiring the weak eye to do most of the work.

Fortunately, amblyopia is very treatable and most patients maintain strong vision through adulthood. However, children are unlikely to know that there is something wrong with their vision in the first place, therefore visiting an eye doctor from a young age is incredibly important. Children should have an eye exam once a year to ensure healthy vision and optimal eye care.

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from lazy eye, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghosheh today. For any vision-related questions or concerns, contact us for expert medical advice.

Eye Floaters and Flashes: Should I Be Concerned?

Eye floaters are specks, flecks, spots, and cobwebs that appear in your field of vision. Eye flashes are flickers of light or the appearance of lightning bolts that are not actually there. Both are quite common: in fact, 7 out of 10 people have experienced either eye floaters or flashes. While eye floaters and flashes are generally harmless, they can sometimes be a warning sign of a medical emergency.

Eye Floaters

The eyes are filled with vitreous gel which helps maintain the eyes’ shape and allows light to pass through. The gel is fluid when we’re young, but it begins to thicken as we age. As the gel thickens, particles can become trapped inside of it, casting shadows as light passes through the eye. These shadows move with the gel around the eye, which creates the appearance of floating. Eye floaters are more visible when staring at light, clean backgrounds such as a white wall or an overcast sky.

These shadows can be caused by:

-Protein clumps in the gel: These clumps stay in the gel permanently and usually appear as squiggles, cobwebs, or circles.

-The gel shrinking and pulling on the retina, causing blood vessels to burst: This occurs when there’s a small hemorrhage in the eye. It can appear as black dots, a cloud of gnats, or smoke. The floaters will eventually dissipate when the blood is reabsorbed, but can last for several months.

-Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD): PVD occurs when the vitreous gel actually pulls away from the retina. The debris that is formed because of the dislodgement can be seen as floating specks and flecks.

Eye Flashes

Eye flashes are caused by the retina being physically touched or tugged, creating an electrical impulse which appears as a flash or a bolt of light.

When To Be Concerned

In most cases eye floaters and flashes are not dangerous and will dissipate over time. However, a sudden onset of floaters and flashes can indicate a retinal tear or detachment, which is a medical emergency.
When the retina is dislodged from the inner eye, it can create a small tear which may cause the vitreous gel to enter and push the retina even further away. If left untreated, it can cause significant and permanent vision loss. Other possible symptoms of retinal detachment are the loss of peripheral vision, the appearance of a shadow moving towards the middle of the eye, and blurred or distorted vision. Surgery is the only treatment for retinal detachment: if you experience any of these symptoms you should consult an eye doctor immediately. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances are of having your vision saved.

Treatment

In most cases eye floaters and flashes do not require any further treatment. However, in some cases they can become so irritating that medical treatment is warranted. The vitreous gel can be replaced by a saline solution through a procedure known as vitrectomy. Laser vitreolysis is also a new, safer, and highly effective treatment for floaters and flashes.

If you experience persistent eye floaters and flashes, consult an eye care professional today to determine if you need further treatment.

Dry Eye Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Relief

You may believe that tears are only for crying, but they are actually a necessary component of your overall eye health. Tears are your body’s way of relieving stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration. Moreover, healthy tears keep your eyes lubricated, remove external irritants, reduce stress hormones in your body, and release antibodies that ward off pathogens in your eyes.

However, when your tears fail you can develop a condition known as dry eye syndrome. While dry eye syndrome isn’t dangerous, it is a painful condition that causes irritation, reddening, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Dry eye is usually caused by inadequate moisture in your tear glands and tear ducts. This can lead to inflammation and the production of excessive tears and mucus in your eyes. Here are some ways that you can develop dry eye syndrome, as well as the symptoms to look out for:

Dry Eye Causes

Healthy tears contain a robust combination of oil, water, and mucus. The oil in your tears prevents them from evaporating before they have properly lubricated your glands. This occurs when you cry, but also when chemicals irritate your eyes in order to flush them out. The mucus helps spread the tears evenly across your eyes, lubricating every part of the glands and the eyes themselves. An insufficiency in either oil, mucus, or water in tear production can cause dry eye syndrome.

The most likely culprit is age. In fact, dry eyes are largely considered a normal part of the aging process. It is widely estimated that dry eye syndrome affects nearly 5 million Americans aged 50 years or older. Dry eye syndrome is much more common in women after menopause. It disproportionately affects women at about twice the rate as men, and can be damaging for women who go through premature menopause.

Other contributing factors include taking certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and blood pressure regulators. Other medical conditions can also induce dry eye syndrome, particularly ones which attack your immune system. These include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders. Dry eye syndrome may also be triggered by environmental factors, such as excessive smoke exposure, wind or dry air, or even long-term contact lens use or laser eye surgery.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from dry eye syndrome, consult with our trusted medical professionals today to begin treatment.

Dr. Ghosheh: Trusted Ophthalmologist of the Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks Take Eye Care Seriously

Hockey isn’t exactly the safest sport: twelve players darting around on skates after a small puck, body-checking opponents. With a puck measuring only three inches in diameter, clear eyesight is essential for any hockey player. But all the action—not to mention the velocity of the puck combined with the sharpness of the skates—make hockey players prone to a bevy of injuries. The eyes in particular may suffer from cuts, lacerations, or blunt force trauma. For these reasons, NHL teams monitor the health of their players’ eyes very carefully, and trust only the most qualified professionals with the well-being of their players. That’s why Head Coach Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks relies on Dr. Ghosheh to treat not only his athletes’ eyes, but his own as well.

“These guys are the best,” Boudreau said of Dr. Ghosheh and his practice. Boudreau was immediately impressed by Dr. Ghosheh’s expertise. “If he says something, I’m doing it,” Boudreau said, “because I believe he knows what he’s talking about.”

The 2015-2016 Ducks Season

As for Coach Boudreau and the Ducks’ season so far, it’s been fascinating to say the least. The Ducks had a horrific start to the season, prompting an uproar from fans and analysts clamoring for a tanking season. (Tanking refers to hamstringing a team’s roster in order to build up as many losses as possible, thus improving draft positioning). Since then, the Ducks have tightened up their defense with a trap in the neutral zone, and have been getting better shots at the net on offense. Now, they’re on a nine-game winning streak, vying with the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division.

A tremendous trade season has helped cement the Ducks’ success so far. The Ducks’ first move was trading Carl Hagelin—who was performing far below expectations—in exchange for left-winger David Perron. The move for Perron paid off immediately, as the left-winger has scored six goals and eight assists in his young Ducks career so far. Perron connected instantly with center Ryan Getzlaf, who praised Perron for his excellent handling and aggressive scoring mentality.

As if Perron wasn’t enough, just before the deadline the Ducks’ front office made even more trades, adding quality depth to an already solid roster. They even managed to keep their young, talented defensemen together, giving up only two players and late draft picks in the process. The first player, Tim Jackman, had only played two games for the Ducks, and was traded with a 2017 seventh-round pick in exchange for Corey Tropp. The other trade was Patrick Maroon, who was exchanged for defenseman Martin Gernat and a fourth-round draft pick. In other words, the Ducks gave up very little to build a roster with a very real shot at the Stanley Cup.

Replacing Maroon is former Buffalo Sabre Jamie McGinn, who was exchanged for a 2017 second-round pick. McGinn represents a clear upgrade over Maroon, playing with a similar physical style with more experience.

The Ducks also obtained Brandon Pirri from the Panthers by trading away a 2016 sixth-round pick. Pirri is a finesse player who will fit in nicely with the Ducks’ fast-paced offense, assisting with play-making and finishes on the left wing.

The additions of Pirri and McGinn together with David Perron puts the Ducks in a great position to make a run for the Stanley Cup. While they didn’t make a splash by acquiring an excellent prospect like Loui Eriksson, they did make smaller moves that significantly improved what was already a very successful team.

Look out for the Ducks potentially taking the Pacific Division lead on March 3, as they face off against the Arizona Coyotes. Fortunately for the Ducks, the Coyotes have had an awful series of games, and face the very real possibility of losing their playoff spot. They are currently on a six-game losing streak after dropping their last game to Pittsburgh. Making matters worse for the Coyotes, they have since traded their third leading point-scorer, Mikkel Boedker. Their goalie Louis Domingue will also have to improve on his 4.04 goals-against average, if they want to stop a hot Ducks offense boasting a 33-18 scoring advantage over the course of their win streak.

These are exciting times for Ducks fans. Here’s to hoping for a ten-game winning streak and a Stanley Cup. Go Ducks!

Take some advice straight from the highest-level athletic professionals, and visit Dr. Ghosheh today for the best eye care in the industry.

Macular Degeneration: A Sign of Aging Eyes

Aging is an undeniable part of life. It takes its toll on the body in many ways, from wrinkles to gray hair to diminished physical strength. In addition to all of these things, time can negatively affect the performance of the eyes. Most of us aren’t surprised by this revelation. In fact, we often come to expect certain common vision changes such as presbyopia, which causes blurred vision when reading or focusing at around age 40. However, other age-related conditions are more serious and can have a greater impact on your life. This includes a disease called macular degeneration.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss for those roughly 60 years or older. It involves the deterioration of central vision, which is due to damage of the macula (the central part of the retina). While AMD remains incurable, visiting an eye doctor for treatment is the best way to slow its progression and help you make the most of your vision.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are 2 main forms of this age-related eye disease. The first and most common type is referred to as “dry” macular degeneration. In these cases, the yellow protein called drusen forms in or around the macula. Eventually the protein accumulates and causes the macula to thin, leading to central vision loss. The loss of vision is usually a gradual process.

The second, less common form is “wet” macular degeneration. Abnormal blood vessels can grow beneath the retina and leak fluids which distort central vision. With this form of the disease, the progression of vision loss is faster and more severe.

Symptoms & Risk Factors

In a lot of cases, AMD comes on slowly and does not produce any initial symptoms. Due to the fact that it’s also painless, this doesn’t necessarily give you a warning that something is wrong. However, this does shine light on how important routine eye exams can be for detecting problems as soon as possible.

When symptoms do begin to occur, the most prevalent sign is blurry vision. Additional symptoms can include:

-Shadowed central vision
-Blind spots
-Impaired depth perception
-Difficulty seeing in low light
-Trouble seeing details and/or colors
-Straight lines appear wavy

What causes AMD? Well, the exact cause is still unknown. However, advanced age is the biggest risk factor. Other links have been made to genetics and family history, blue eye color, gender (women are more at risk than men), and race (Caucasians are more likely to develop it than other races). Despite this, there are some risk factors that can be controlled. These include:

-Smoking
-Obesity
-High blood pressure
-High cholesterol
-Sun exposure
-Poor diet

Treatment

As previously stated, AMD cannot be cured at this time. Certain methods and steps can usually be taken to decrease the rate that it progresses or lower your risk of developing it in the first place. Examples of these actions include avoiding smoking, protecting your eyes from the sun, and maintaining a healthy diet that doesn’t consist of processed foods or artificial fats. Your eye doctor may also recommend certain vitamins, nutritional supplements, or FDA-approved medications or laser treatments, depending on the form and stage of AMD.

There are also a range of low vision devices that can help AMD sufferers cope with the vision loss. Things like computer aids, magnifiers, and large print reading materials can possibly prevent AMD from completely stopping you from participating in the things that you love.

Experienced Vision Care

If you are having an issue with your eyes, or would like to set up a vision screening, please contact us at Advanced Eye Medical Group in Mission Viejo today. Our skilled team of eye doctors offer services that extend from eye exams to iLASIK, and we feel that it’s a true privilege to help patients with their vision needs.