Optimal eye health is essential to your everyday living. It allows you to see clearly and enjoy everything in its entirety…But what happens when your ability to see, isn’t always clear? Cataracts are a common, age-related clouding of the clear lens that focuses the light in our eye. This can begin happening after the age of 40, with certain diseases like diabetes, and with the use of certain medications such as steroid injections or pills or chemotherapy.
With cataracts, your vision may:
Seem to be out of focus or “double”
Be less colorful
Be impaired at night
Be light sensitive
Create halos around lights
While cataracts are not dangerous or threatening, they can be a real inconvenience in your day to day tasks such as reading, driving, or watching tv. They tend to start small and evolve into larger vision obstructions over time. The risk of getting cataracts increases with age, but that doesn’t mean that younger people can’t be affected.
Initial treatment for cataracts usually begins conservatively using eyeglasses or simply turning on brighter lights. But as cataracts progress, they may require vision restoration surgery.
What Can I expect With Cataract Surgery?
Cataract removal surgery at South Shore Eye Care is performed at the Garden City Surgery Center. This same day operation takes 15 minutes or less and is performed in a state of art center equipped with a Femtosecond Laser.
During surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. That lens is called an intraocular lens (IOL). Your surgeon will measure your eye to determine the proper focusing power for your IOL. Oftentimes patients, just simply by having cataract surgery reduce or eliminate their need for glasses. At South Shore Eye Care, our Board certified surgeons offer the latest technology in IOL lenses including those that remove astigmatism, as well as that the can “Extend Depth of Focus” – allowing patients to see not only at distance, but also things at arm’s length like the dashboard in their car or a computer on a desk.
You will come in for a measurement with the cataract surgeon at South Shore Eye Care that will look at the shape and health of the eye. Our surgeons will then discuss with you what the best option is for your needs.
You may be prescribed eye-drops to start before and to continue after surgery. These medicines help prevent infection and reduce swelling during and after surgery.
Patients are asked to go for medical and/or cardiac clearance within 30 days of the procedures
Certain medications such as blood pressure medicines should be continued – however, if taking the day of surgery, should only be taken with a small sip of water
Blood thinners are handled on a case-by-case basis. Some patients will be told to hold their medications; however, others may need to remain on them. The ultimate decision is made by the cardiologist or internist.
Day of Expectations
Your ophthalmologist may ask you not to eat any solid food at least 6 hours before your surgery.
Your eye will be numbed using eye drops around the eye. You will also be given a medicine to help you relax through an IV placed by an anesthesiologist
Your surgeon will remove the cataract, oftentimes using a Femtosecond laser first to help optimize the shape of the eye and to soften the lens. The laser portion takes 30 seconds or so. Then the cataract is removed in the main operating room within 15 minutes.
The incisions made are 0.5 mm and 2-3 mm, so are self-sealing or “sutureless”
Once the surgery is finished, antibiotic drops and a clear shield will be placed over your eye to protect it while you heal.
You will rest in a recovery area for about 15–30 minutes prior to being discharged.
You will be asked to put a combination eye drop in your eye 4 times a day for 2 weeks then 2 times a day for 2 weeks
Avoid getting soap or water directly in the eye.
Do not rub or press on your eye. Your doctor may ask you to wear eyeglasses or a shield to protect your eye.
You will need to wear a protective eye shield when you sleep for 3-7 days
Your ophthalmologist will talk with you about how active you can be after surgery. They will let you know when you can safely exercise, drive or do other activities again.
Think you may be a candidate for cataract surgery? Contact our office and request an appointment at one of our locations. Call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment. Our ophthalmologists will talk with you about the risks and benefits of cataract surgery.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease that causes damage to the macula. The macula is the center most part of the retina and is responsible for central vision. AMD affects more than 16 million Americans and is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. Often times, people with AMD can experience blurriness or distortion of images and potentially lose their central vision. AMD is a progressive condition, that can get worse over time, however, changes are often gradual.
Who is at risk for developing Age-related Macular Degeneration?
The greatest risk factor for AMD is age, which increases significantly once you turn 50. Other risk factors include:
A diet high in saturated fat (meat, butter and cheese)
High cholesterol levels
UV (sun) exposure
A family history of AMD
Being of Caucasian ethnicity
What are the types of Macular Degeneration?
There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. 80% of people with AMD have the dry form. In this condition the tissues of the macula begin to thin with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen form beneath the retina. People with dry AMD typically experience less severe and slower vision loss. Unfortunately, there is no way to treat dry macular degeneration at this time. A recent large study suggests that a daily dose of nutritional supplements and vitamins can slow the progression of dry AMD by up to 25%.
The wet form of AMD develops in about 10-20% of people. This form is more serious and occurs when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These fragile vessels can leak blood and the blood causes scarring of the macula. Wet AMD progresses more rapidly than dry AMD and can potentially cause a complete loss of your central vision. Thankfully there are treatments for wet AMD. The most common treatment is an injection of anti-VEGF medication into the eye. These drugs help reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina and slow down leakage.
Because many conditions evolve over time, it is important to see your ophthalmologist regularly to check for any retina or vision changes. If you have any questions regarding AMD, contact our office or call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment.
When it comes to your vision, the cornea plays a critical role in your ability to see things clearly. Defined as the “windshield” to the eye, the cornea refracts and focuses light. What most people don’t realize is that the shape of your cornea affects the overall ability for it to function. Even a slightly misshapen cornea can result in reduced eye sight.
In some cases individuals are born with a tendency for “weak” collagen in their corneas and as they get older their corneas start to warp or become misshapen. This can happen as early as the teen years. Some individuals inadvertently induce these warped shapes by either rubbing their eyes too much (often due to severe allergies) or by receiving laser vision correction. The end result is poor quality vision that is NOT correctable with glasses or soft contact lenses. This is because patients have what is either called corneal ectasia or keratoconus.
In patients with an acceleration of keratoconus, their cornea warps even more quickly, resulting in a severe “cone” or even corneal scar when its inner layer breaks. These patients may end up needing a corneal transplant at a very young age. Because these disorders can affect young people, cornea surgeons were excited in 2013 when the FDA approved cornea collagen cross-linking which can help combat further degeneration of the cornea.
Cornea Collagen Cross-linking uses the vitamin Riboflavin in the form of eye drops to soak the cornea. The riboflavin is then activated by the doctor who focuses a UV beam directly on the cornea. This procedure, done in the doctor’s office, is the first treatment that may help to halt the progression of keratoconus and hopefully prevent corneal transplants in these patients.
To learn more about Cornea Collagen Cross-linking contact our office. We are one of the most trusted eye surgeons in New York. Call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment.
It’s easy to assume that workplace eye hazards only apply to industrial, medical, or lab related fields, but the reality is that desk jobs also pose a risk to eye safety.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the average American worker spends 7 hours a day on a computer or hand held device, which can lead to vision related problems such as Digital Eye Strain. The reason? Viewing a computer or digital screen is different than reading a printed page. Often the letters on the computer or handheld device are not as sharply defined, the level of contrast to the background is reduced, and the presence of glare on the screen may make viewing difficult, which in turn makes your eyes work harder.
Digital eye strain can be subtle and produce seemingly unrelated symptoms. Signs and symptoms include:
Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
Watery or dry eyes
Blurred or double vision
Sore neck, shoulders or back
Increased sensitivity to light
Feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open
Think you’re suffering from Digital Eye Strain? Contact our office and request an appointment at one of our locations. Call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment.
To help alleviate digital eye strain, experts say to follow the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
Simple additional lifestyle changes to your daily routine can greatly reduce your digital eye strain. Try the following tips for a healthier, more refreshed vision.
Adjust the lighting. When watching television, keep the room softly lit. When reading printed materials or doing close work, try to position the light source behind you and direct the light onto your page.
Limit screen time. This is especially important for children, who may not make the connection between extended viewing, eyestrain and the need to rest their eyes regularly.
Choose the right eyewear for you. If you need glasses or contacts and work at a computer, consider investing in glasses or contact lenses designed specifically for computer work (blue light glasses). By wearing blue light glasses, you can help increase screen contrast, making it easier to focus and subsequently reduce eye strain.
Blink often to refresh your eyes. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.
Adjust your monitor. Position your monitor directly in front of you about an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. It helps to have a chair you can adjust too.
Use a document holder. If you need to refer to print material while you work on your computer, place it on a document holder. Some holders are designed to be placed between the keyboard and monitor; others are placed to the side. Find one that works for you. The goal is to reduce how much your eyes need to readjust and how often you turn your neck and head.
Adjust your screen settings. Enlarge the type for easier reading. And adjust the contrast and brightness to a level that’s comfortable for you.
Workplace eye safety is becoming an increasing topic of conversation for many employees and employers. Historically, both have been unaware of the need for eye protection and more specifically, the need for the correct type of eye protection based on occupation and environment.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries, 90% of which could have been prevented by simply using the correct type of eye protection. A survey done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that nearly three out of five incurred injuries were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. The reason? They believed protection was not required for the situation.
It’s an alarming statistic that has garnered the need for more workplace education about safety protocols and proper personal protective equipment or PPE. So what exactly does that mean?
The most common potential eye hazards are:
Projectiles (dust, concrete, metal, wood and other particles).
Chemicals (splashes and fumes).
Radiation (visible light, ultraviolet radiation, heat or infrared radiation, and lasers).
Bloodborne pathogens (hepatitis or HIV) from blood and body fluids.
Some working conditions include multiple eye hazards and proper eye protection means taking ALL of them into account.
If you are working in an area that has projectiles, flying objects or dust, the proper PPE would be safety glasses with side protection (side shields).
If you are working with chemicalsor blood borne pathogens, the proper PPE would be goggles that create a seal around your eyes.
If you are working near radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics) the proper PPE includes special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed for that task.
It’s important to note that conventional (dress) glasses are not an acceptable alternative as they do not provide enough protection to meet the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirement for many work environments. Although safety glasses can look like normal dress eyewear, they are designed to provide significantly more eye protection and must be properly fit.
If you suspect an eye injury, do not hesitate to contact our office and request an emergency appointment at one of our locations. We treat a wide range of eye injuries and are one of the most trusted eye surgeons in New York. It’s important that you are seen as soon as possible to prevent any lasting damage or vision loss. Call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment.