Archive for Eye Care

What is the latest treatment for Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the main causes of vision loss in older people. It is an eye disorder that is usually treated with the use of medicated eye drops, but people often forget to take their eye drops as needed. As a result of this, new treatments are being looked at, but what is the latest treatment for glaucoma?

What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerves, and also causes visual field loss. The optic nerves are responsible for transmitting messages from the eyes to the brain, so thatyou can see images.  When the optic nerves are damaged, visual images cannot be transmitted, and this leads to vision loss. Damage to the optic nerves occurs as a result of high eye pressure, or intra ocular hypertension.

Latest treatment for glaucoma
The glaucoma ring is the latest treatment for glaucoma. It is a medicated time-release device that is placed on the surface of the eye, and delivers daily drops of medication. This is especially beneficial for older people, who often forget to take their medication as required.

How it works
The silicone ring is inserted into the eye below the eyelids, and it delivers the glaucoma drug over a period of 6 months. This helps to relieve internal eye pressure, thereby reducing possible vision loss from glaucoma. Lowering eye pressure is a very effective way to manage glaucoma.

Studies into the effectiveness of the glaucoma ring are continuing, and the device has not yet been approved by the FDA, so it is not yet available.

Patients in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC can contact Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths of the New View Eye Center, Reston, VA for more information on glaucoma. Call (703) 834-9777 today to set up a consultation.

Can You Have LASIK Twice?

Can You have Lasik surgery twice? This is one of the most commonly asked questions about Lasik surgery, especially by those contemplating the procedure. Patients generally want some assurance that the procedure can be safely repeated, if the results from the initial surgery are not satisfactory.

Lasik Surgery
Lasik surgery is done to correct refractive vision disorders such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and involves the removal of a portion of the corneal tissue, and the reshaping of the surface of the eye.

Can you have Lasik twice?
There are certain circumstances under which Lasik surgery can be repeated. This is commonly referred to as Lasik enhancement. Lasik may be re-done if there were shortcomings with the initial surgery, and a touch-up will help you achieve better vision. This is often recommended if your vision is poor after Lasik, or your distance vision has become blurry.

Patients will have to be thoroughly assessed by their ophthalmologist to ensure that a second procedure is warranted. The doctor will want to rule out the presence of any other condition or eye disease that may be limiting vision.

Your suitability for a second Lasik procedure will depend on several factors, including whether or not there is sufficient corneal tissue. For this reason, eye surgeons are careful to remove only a miniscule amount of tissue when performing Lasik. This is done using advanced lasers that are able to precisely target the cornea.

Lasik enhancement is not common, as most Lasik procedures achieve satisfactory results the first time around (learn more).

If you are in the Washington DC metro area and would like more information on Lasik, contact New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Call 703 834 9777 to schedule an appointment with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

Is Latisse safe for your eyes?

Latisse is the new eyelash enhancer that can grow your eyelids and make them longer and fuller. But is Latisse safe for your eyes? Latisse is an ophthalmic solution, therefore if any of the solution does get in your eyes it is not expected to cause any harm, but be sure to rinse the eye. Also, take careful note of the possible side-effects, and adhere to the safety instructions.

What is Latisse?
Latisse is a prescription drug that has been approved by the FDA for the thickening and lengthening of the eye lashes. The product should be applied to the base of the eyelashes using the approved applicator brush. The results with Latisse are not immediate, as the lashes grow gradually, but there is noticeable growth after about 4 weeks. The full results can take up to 16 weeks.

Is Latisse Safe?
If you are contemplating using Latisse for longer lashes, you should be aware of possible side-effects. On their website www.latisse.com, the manufacturer notes that there are some possible side-effects when using Latisse. These include eye irritation, dryness of the eyelids, redness of the eyelids, and darkening of the eyelid skin. These side-effects are usually temporary. A few cases of darkening of the iris have also been reported, and unfortunately this is not reversible .

Clients are further advised to avoid applying Latisse to the lower eyelids. Also, if you wear contact lens, be sure to remove them before putting on Latisse. In order to ensure the safety of your eyes, Latisse should be applied only as directed using the sterile applicator.

If you have any questions or concerns about Latisse, contact Envision Eye and Laser Center, Bowie, MD. Call 301-805-4664 today and schedule a consultation with Renee Bovelle, MD, to find out if you would be a good candidate (learn more).

Is it better to buy my prescription glasses online to save money?

Chances are you can save big and get a deal on your prescription glasses online, but is it  really a safe option. Ordering online often requires doing an online vision test, which is certainly not enough to provide accurate results. With this is mind; is it better to buy your prescription glasses online to save money?

Buying your prescription glasses online should not be your first option, but this can be done if:

1.    You are sure that the vendor meets the US standards. Do some checks to ensure the optical quality of the lenses and frames. This should include them having a return policy that allows you to return the glasses, if they are unsatisfactory.

2.    You are not at risk for eye disease: When you visit your ophthalmologist you are given a comprehensive eye exam, and they also check for any irregularities. This is not possible with an online vision test. So if you have a family history of eye disease, or wear severe corrective lenses, online prescription glasses is not for you.

3.    You already have a prescription from your ophthalmologist. Armed with this, you can check out reputable vendors for prescription eyewear, and shop around to get deals on lenses and frames.

You can certainly save on prescription eyeglasses by buying them online. Just be sure to remember these 3 simple tips.  However, if you are over the age of 39, it’s best to visit your ophthalmologist for an eye exam, to ensure you are not at risk of any of the eye diseases that occur due to aging.

Contact the New View Eye Center, Reston, VA, to learn more about buying prescription glasses online. Call703-834-9777 to schedule an appointment with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in men and women around the world, and it is also responsible for many cases of vision impairment. But what causes cataracts, and how is it normally treated.

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The condition hinders light rays from objects being viewed from passing through the lens, and focusing on the retina located at the back of the eyes.

What causes cataracts?
Changes to the tissue in the eye’s lens which is often the result of aging, is considered the single most important cause of cataracts. This explains why cataracts are common in people over the age of 60. Age related cataracts occur, because the protein fibers that make up the lens of the eye tend to clump together as you get older. This may cause small or large areas of cloudiness on the lens.

Cataracts may also be due to inherited genetic disorders or injury. In rare cases, babies may be born with cataracts. There are also certain risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, excessive drinking, and prolonged steroid use, which can make someone more likely to develop cataracts.

Cataracts are normally treated by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. After surgery patients are able to resume normal activities, as their eyesight is restored.

However, cataracts don’t always have to be removed. In cases where vision is not blurred and other symptoms do not affect everyday activities such as reading or driving, cataracts can be treated with new prescription eyeglasses.

If you are interested in learning more about the causes of cataracts, contact Dr. Renee Bovelle at Envision Eye and Laser Center, Bowie, Maryland. Call (301) 805-4664 today to schedule your appointment.

I’m African American: does eye care change as you age?

Monitoring the health of your eyes is just as important as monitoring other aspects of your health, regardless of your ethnicity. So an eye doctor may be asked, ‘I’m African American: does eye care change as you age.’  What’s the answer? Eye care matters at every age, but it gets more intense if you are at risk for eye disease.

Eye doctors generally recommend that you get your eyes checked every 2 years, but for people who are at risk, or have an existing eye disorder, this should be done annually.

Eye Care in Children
Eye care in children should begin by the age of 6 months, and this should be followed up by another visit when the child is about to start school. Thereafter checks can be made every 2 years, as long as there are no worrying symptoms such as squinting, sensitivity to light, or watery eyes.

Eye Care in Adults
A visit to the eye doctor every 2 years is fine for people without vision problems. However, most adults notice subtle changes in vision by the age of 40.  Some are affected by presbyopia, a condition marked by difficulty reading fine print, as well as blurry vision when doing near tasks such as sewing, or working at the computer.

There is a high rate of glaucoma and other eye problems amongst the African American population, so they should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at the age of 40. This type of exam allows the eye doctor to see through to the back of the eyes, and identify any sign of eye disease or eye damage.

If you are interested in learning more about eye care, contact the New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Please call 703-834-9777 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

Is there an alternative to reading glasses?

For many people over the age of 40, reading glasses is a necessary part of life. They often notice a marked decline in vision by the age of 40, especially when reading fine print. Reading glasses is generally recommended for dealing with this eye condition, but they may not fit in with your youthful image. So is there an alternative to reading glasses?

Why reading fine print gets difficult after age 40
As we get older, changes take place in the lens of the eyes, causing a reduction in vision. This happens because the lenses harden, and the eye muscles find it harder to focus on objects that are near to the face. This condition is known as presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a condition that is marked by blurred vision when viewing objects up close, and is a natural occurrence due to age. People with the condition have to hold objects at arm’s length in order to read them. Prescription eyeglasses has traditionally been the recommended solution for maintaining vision if you have presbyopia, but now there is KAMRA inlay treatment.

KAMRA Inlay Treatment
KAMRA Inlay is a revolutionary new treatment for presbyopia. It involves the insertion of a very small eye implant into the cornea of the eye. The implant is a mini-ring with a tiny opening at the center.

The corneal implant is inserted in one eye and provides natural vision, as it restores near vision, while maintaining distance vision. There are some notable side-effects of the KAMRA Inlay. These include difficulty with night vision, blurry vision, and double vision.

If you are interested in undergoing the KAMRA Inlay and tossing out your reading glasses, contact New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Call us today at 703-834-9777 and book an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

How to decrease your risk of developing AMD

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that is caused by the deterioration of the macula, which is found at the center of the retina. The macula helps the eyes to focus on small details, so that you can do tasks such as reading fine print or threading a needle. Since the condition is common in the over 60 population, it’s important that you understand how to decrease your risk of developing AMD.

Symptoms of AMD
AMD can lead to vision loss. Symptoms include blurriness of the central vision, as well as visual distortion.

Decrease your risk of developing AMD
Although AMD is associated with age, lifestyle choices can also lead to the development of the disease.  Research shows that people who smoke are twice as likely to develop AMD. The condition is also more common among Caucasians, as well as individuals with a family history of the disease.

Furthermore, experts believe that there is a link between some blood pressure drugs and AMD. There have been cases in which people that take particular medication to lower blood pressure, (such as Loniten), have developed early stage AMD.

In order to decrease your risk of developing AMD, you should avoid these risk factors where possible. In addition, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, and make sure to eat foods with nutrients that nourish the eyes. This includes fish and green leafy vegetables. Smoking should be avoided. You should also try to maintain a normal blood pressure level.

If you live in the Washington DC area and would like to learn more about how to decrease your risk of developing AMD, contact New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Call 703-834-9777 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.