Independence Day, often referred to as America’s birthday, is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Fourth of July is usually full of parades, picnics, concerts, and of course fireworks. The year of 2020 has given us many reasons to celebrate and be thankful we are overcoming COVID-19. As Americans we come together to celebrate our victories from sparklers and fountains in the driveway to fireworks that light up the night across the nation. This year we will have smaller shows and often a highlight of everyone’s personal celebrations.
Some Fun Facts About the 4th of July:
- The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
- In total, 56 men representing the 13 original colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.
- As president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock was the firstto sign the Declaration.
- At 70 years old, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence.
May this 2020 celebration be one to remember!
“With our new OCTA technology, we can non-invasively scan our patients and produce high-quality images in seconds”, said Dr. Masden of InSight Eyecare.
OCTA technology from Optovue brings valuable new information to our doctors worldwide. For the first time, your Eye Care Specialists are able to view individual layers of the retinal vasculature, non-invasively,by a laser scan to isolate specific areas of interest and reveal microvasculature. Previously, the only way to visualize these blood vessels used fluorescein angiography, a lengthy procedure requiring injections of contrast dye associated with a wide range of side effects and limited imaging results. With OCTA, high quality images are available in seconds, without the use of dye injections.
Thank you for our community outreach for the purposes of Patient Benefits, reaching new patients, public relations with existing patients, and the benefits our local hospitals and referring doctors. We are an extension of our local physicians, sharing in all our patients care.
For more information, please visit Optovue’s Facebook Page.
Whether you live in a climate with cold winter weather or you are planning a ski trip up north, winter can be a challenge if you suffer from dry eyes. Dry, cool air, cold winds and even drier indoor heating can cause eye irritation, burning, itchiness and redness, and sometimes even excessively watery eyes as more tears are produced to compensate for the dryness. Many people have a chronic feeling that they have something in their eye and some even experience blurred vision. These symptoms can be debilitating!
Dry eyes is one of the most common complaints eye doctors get from patients during the winter season, especially in the cooler climates. That’s why we’d like to share some tips on how to relieve dry eye discomfort, and how to know when your condition is serious enough to come in for an evaluation.
Tips to Relieve Winter Dry Eyes:
- Keep eyes moist using artificial tears or eye drops. You can apply these a few times each day when the eyes are feeling dry or irritated. If over-the-counter drops don’t help or if you have chronic dry eyes, speak to your eye doctor about finding the best drops for you. Since not all artificial tears are the same, knowing the cause of your dry eye will help your eye doctor determine which brand is best suited for your eyes.
- Use a humidifier to counteract the drying effects of indoor heaters or generally dry air.
- Point car vents or indoor heaters away from your face when the heat is on. Try to keep your distance from direct sources of heating, especially if they blow out the heat.
- Drink a lot! Hydrating your body will also hydrate your eyes.
- Protect your eyes outdoors with sunglasses or goggles – the bigger the better! Larger, even wrap-around glasses as well as a hat with a wide brim will keep the wind and other elements out of your eyes. If you wear goggles for winter sports, make sure they fit well and cover a large surface area.
- Soothe dry eyes using a warm compress and never rub them! Rubbing your eyes will increase irritation and may lead to infection if the hands are not clean.
- Give your eyes a digital break. People blink less during screen time which is why extensive computer use can lead to dry eyes. Follow the 20/20/20 rule by taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds and make sure you blink!
- For contact lens wearers: If you wear contact lenses, dry eyes can be particularly debilitating as the contact lenses can cause even further dryness and irritation. Contact lens rewetting drops can help your eyes feel better and may also allow you to see more clearly. Not all eyedrops are appropriate for use with contact lenses, so ask your optometrist which eyedrop is compatible with your contacts and cleaning solution. If rewetting drops don’t help, consider opting for glasses when your dry eyes are bad, and speak to your optometrist about which brands of contact lenses are better for dry eyes. Many people find dry eye improvement when they switch to daily single use contact lenses.
Chronic Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tear film, or do not produce the quality of tear film needed to properly keep the eyes moist. While winter weather can make this condition worse, it is often present all year round. If you find that the tips above do not alleviate your discomfort or symptoms, it may be time to see a optometrist to see if your condition requires more effective medical treatment.
The macula is the central portion of the retina, which is the film that records the images we see for the brain to interpret. Macular degeneration causes that central retina to deteriorate which, in turn, can affect vision. The macula is responsible for our most fine-tuned vision and is the center most focus point for the eye. When working correctly, the macula takes very detailed images and communicates them to the brain via the optic nerve. When the cells of the macula get sick and begin to deteriorate, it cannot record those images correctly, resulting in vision changes. Initially, those changes are minor to none but as the disease progresses, vision may be wavy or blurred, and in later stages of the disease, central vision may be lost altogether. However, even with advanced macular degeneration, peripheral vision remains intact. Peripheral vision is not as sharp as the central vision of a healthy macula so in advanced stages, macular degeneration can be devastating.
Macular degeneration is detected through a comprehensive, regular eye examination. Your eye doctor not only checks your visual acuity, but also examines the macula and retina during the dilated portion of the exam, looking for any pigment changes or drusen present in the macula. Early AMD does not require treatment although healthy lifestyle choices as discussed above are recommended by your optometrists. In intermediate to late stage AMD, specific nutritional supplements are recommended based on studies at the National Eye Institute which found that taking certain high-dose vitamins every day can slow progression of the disease in people who have intermediate stage AMD.
Advanced neovascular AMD typically results in severe vision loss. There are treatment options available to attempt to minimize that vision loss in advanced cases. These treatments are not a cure and the AMD may progress even with treatment. Injection therapy is the most-used treatment for “wet” macular degeneration. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is injected into the eye, typically monthly, in a series of injections. In addition your optometrist will guide you on coping with vision loss.
Up to 80 percent of learning is visual, because children in school spend so much time reading the white board, studying textbooks, and writing. This means that an undiagnosed vision problem puts a major roadblock in the way of a child’s learning. In fact, many children with these problems end up misdiagnosed with a learning disability!
What Are The Symptoms Of An Eye Problem?
Symptoms to watch for in your child include a lazy eye, eyes crossed or turned outward, difficulty completing schoolwork, difficulty with reading comprehension, shortened attention span (particularly for close work), frequent headaches, fidgeting, a habit of covering one eye, and frequent blinking and eye rubbing. If you notice these symptoms and your child haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam, schedule an appointment with us.
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye infections, especially in children. The infection is an acute inflammation which causes redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, which is the clear mucous membrane that lines the eyelid and the surface of the eye. Pink eye can be caused by a virus, bacteria or even allergies such as pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Some forms of pink eye can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home.
Symptoms of Pink Eye
Pink eye develops when the conjunctiva or thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eye becomes inflamed. Symptoms can occur in one or both eyes and include:
- Redness in the white part of the eye
- Itching or burning
- Swollen eyelids and
- Crusty eyes in the morning
Pink Eye Prevention
In all cases of pink eye, practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent from catching and spreading the infection. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and don’t touch your eyes with your hands, especially if you work with or around small children.
If you have allergies, try to stay indoors on days with a high pollen count and to keep doors and windows closed. Inside the house, clean air duct filters, vacuum and dust frequently to reduce the presence of allergens.