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Category Archives: Health

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

The problem with homemade concoctions is that these will lack anti-bacterial efficacy – harmful bacteria will continue run rampant on contact lenses and can cause serious medical complications if the eyes become infected.

A corneal ulcer is an open sore or non-penetrating erosion in the transparent area at the front of the eyeball – the cornea – and is associated with infections caused by bacteria. This is exactly the kind of bacteria that freely grows on contact lenses when homemade solutions are substituted for commercial cleansing solutions. Corneal ulcers can also be precipitated by wearing soft contact lenses overnight.

Those who attempt to use their own homemade cleaning solutions also run the risk of contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis, Acanthamoeba is a water-borne, microscopic parasite that can wreck havoc in the form of an infection when it invades the cornea. While using homemade solutions are often the cause, swimming in lakes and swimming pools while wearing contacts can also trigger the condition.

The symptoms that accompany this infection are intense pain and redness, and those afflicted with the infection are often hospitalized. If corneal scarring results, a cornea transplant may be necessary. Treatment and therapy may last a year or more, and sometimes severe vision lost can be the outcome of a bout with Acanthamoeba keratitis.

It’s crucial to remember that accessories like the lens cases for contact lenses must also be kept clean in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions will specify what cleansing solution to use or may even specify that the use of hot tap water to clean the lens case is permissible. A case that isn’t properly cleaned can be a breeding ground for bacteria in the same way that improperly cleansed contact lenses can be. Eyecare professionals suggest discarding cases every three months or so and replacing them with new ones.

The good news is that the risk of contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis can be minimized by adopting these simple measures:

# Avoid the use of homemade cleansing solutions

# Make sure you use commercial cleansing solutions

# Msure you clean the cases for your contacts; discard and replace the cases every three or four months

# Be aware that sometimes wearing soft contact lenses overnight can cause infections for some people

# Be aware of all factors that may cause infections and medical complications, such as wearing contacts while swimming in lakes, pools or the ocean

Don’t allow destructive bacterial to build up on your contact lenses and in your cases. Eye-damaging conditions like A keratitis can be held at bay by following a simple set of hygeinic procedures that will help to ensure that your eyes stay healhly and infection free.

 

Caring for Sunglasses

Benefits of Sunglasses – Properly manufactured sunglass lenses absorb harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun which can cause permanent eye damage over time; such as cataracts, photokeratitis (snow blindness), or pterygium (eye growths). Purchasing a pair of discount eyewear can be troublesome if the lenses do not block UVA and UVB rays. These tinted glasses cause your pupils to dilate letting in even more damaging ultraviolet light.

Choosing the Right Pair – While the color of lenses may influence your selection, as they can change your perception of brightness and contrast, color is not an indicator of the how much ultraviolet light will be blocked. It’s imperative that you always check the label to ensure an OSHA rating of at least 99% protection from UV rays. Most eye care clinics and shops will have a machine on hand which can measure the amount of UV rays a lens can absorb.

There are also UV rated contact lenses now available but doctors recommend that sunglasses still be used as the entire eye and eyelid should be covered. Sunglass lenses can be made of glass or plastic and may be treated to provide specific features.

– Mirrored glasses have a thin layer applied to lens which reduces visible light reaching your eyes, but does not block UV rays.

– Polarized lenses cut the glare from smooth surfaces such as water or snow and are often used by athletes and outdoor sports buffs.

– Anti-reflective coatings help prevent halo effects and reflections on the lenses themselves which helps with driving, as well as give a more attractive appearance.

– Photochromic lenses are sun-sensitive and transition from light to dark shade according to conditions.

– Ground lenses minimize distortion and are preferable to punched lenses.

There are a number of materials that can be used for sunglass frames, from plastic and basic metal to specialty lightweight metals such as titanium and stainless steel. You’ll want to select a frame that fits comfortable on your face, or one that can be adjusted by tightening the screws or reforming the side arms. A close fitting pair of wrap around glasses provides the best protection.

Fashion stylists recommend that you choose a frame that is the opposite shape of your face. For instance, an angular or thing face looks better in a rounder frames while a round face looks best in angular and square shaped glasses.

Cleaning Methods – Sunglasses can be damaged easily while cleaning but it’s not necessary to purchase any special tools or products to do a proper job.

To avoid scratching your lenses never rub your them with regular fabrics which may contain abrasive fibers. Always wash lenses with a mild soap and warm water first, and then dry with a lens cloth or nonabrasive soft cotton towel. You want to remove any debris or dirt that could cause scratches. It’s best to do this daily to prevent heavy buildup. There are a number of professional lens clothes and gels on the market which can also be used.

While cleaning hold your sunglasses by the eye frame with one hand and use the other to gently buff in a circular motion. Do not press too hard on the lenses or try to hold the frame by the end of the side arms which could cause the hinges to bend.

Be sure to wash your lens cloth periodically to keep it clean. Use mild soap without fabric softener or other additives. Some cleaners may contain or recommend vinegar, but this should never be used on plastic lenses. Use vinegar on glass lenses only. To achieve a final crystal clear finish use a small dab of alcohol and a second nonabrasive buffing cloth to remove any soap spots.

Always keep your glasses in a hard case when not in use. This will protect them in case they might be dropped or rub against other items inside a drawer or purse.

 

Contact Lenses Safety

Many people choose to wear disposable contact lenses because they require no cleaning and do not carry the potential for bacteria presence, which is a common problem with reusable contact lenses. In an effort to prevent this occurrence, wearers must regularly clean and disinfect their contact lenses in order to maintain both a sanitary surface and clear vision.

Along with most prescriptions, an optometrist will provide advice on cleaning, wear time and maintenance. The reason is because some cleansers are to be used exclusively with certain types of contact lenses, which makes it very important that the wearer read the labeling on any solution prior to applying it to his/her contact lenses. One thing that all solutions have in common is that their container should remain closed while not being used.A number of individuals may be sensitive to certain ingredients, which are sometimes included in cleansers used on contact lenses. If an individual suspects that they must have any such sensitivity, they should inform their doctor in order to avoid possible complications.

Just as medication is prescribed individually, contact lenses are no different. Therefore, individuals should not share their lenses or use the lense of another wearer. As one may expect, this can cause serious damage and possible infection. In severe cases, the contact lenses may have to be professionally removed if they are inserted into the eye of anyone other than the intended wearer. Severe swelling, infection and eye damage are all possibilities of this action.

As a final thought to caring for contact lenses, wearers should wash their hands thoroughly prior to touching the lense or their eyes. The soap should be free of moisturizers or allergens, both of which may cause complications with contact lenses and sensitivity to the eye.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for the intended use of contact lenses. If necessary, individuals should consult a optometrist or qualified physician for a proper fitting for contact lenses and additional information on their use and benefits.

 

Types of Eye Surgery

Refractive surgery

The goal of refractive surgery is to improve a patient’s vision. An individual who is either nearsighted or farsighted has a refractive error in the interior of their eye. Light entering the eye does not properly focus on the retina, instead focusing in front of the retina in nearsighted individuals or behind the retina in farsighted individuals. The result is that viewed images appear blurry and out of focus. Refractive surgery corrects this error, allowing light to focus directly on the retina, thereby improving vision and eliminating the need for corrective lenses.
There are numerous methods of refractive surgery, the most popular of which are LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis), LASEK (laser assisted sub-epithelial keratomileusis) as known as Epi-LASIK, PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy), CK (conductive keratoplasty), and ICRs or Intacs (Intracorneal rings).

Corneal surgery

Corneal surgery is any surgery that involves manipulation of the cornea of the eye. This encompasses nearly all types of refractive surgeries since the cornea is modified in order to improve the individual’s vision. It also includes corneal transplant surgery, a procedure by which a damaged or diseased cornea is removed and replaced with a clear cornea from an organ donor. Other types of corneal surgery are PK (penetrating keratoplasty), PTK (phototherapeutic keratectomy), and Pterygium excession.

Glaucoma surgery

Glaucoma is a disease that attacks the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision and a rise in intraocular pressure. Glaucoma surgeries assist in combating the disease by lowering intraocular pressure. This may be accomplished by decreasing the amount of aqueous produced in the eye or by encouraging the release of excess aqueous humor from the eye.

Cataract surgery

Cataract extraction is the most common eye surgery performed. Age, illness, or trauma to the eye can sometimes cause the crystalline lens of the eye to become cloudy and opaque. This cloudiness, called a cataract, interferes with the eye’s ability to focus a clear image on the retina, resulting in loss of vision. The presence of significant cataracts requires the removal and replacement of the lens through cataract surgery. Although there are a number of different types of cataract extraction, the two most popular procedures are called ICCE (intracapsular cataract extraction) and ECCE (extracapsular cataract extraction).

Oculoplastic surgery

Oculoplastic surgery is a type of eye surgery that concerns the reconstruction of the eye and its surrounding structures. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, removes excessive fat, muscle and skin from the eyelid to correct sagging or puffy eyes. Browplasty, often referred to as a brow lift, is the reconstruction of the forehead and brow bone. Oculoplastic surgery can also involve the removal of the eye itself. Enucleation involves the removal of the eye itself, leaving the muscles surrounding the eye and all orbital contents in place. Evisceration occurs when the eye and all of its contents are removed, leaving just the shell of the sclera in place. Finally, exenteration involves the removal of the entire orbital content. This includes the removal of the eye itself, any extraocular muscles, surrounding fat, and all connective tissues.

 

Headaches and Sunglasses

What most people don’t already realize is that many migraines and headaches can be prevented through the regular use of a good set of sunglasses! Regardless of whether it’s the summer solstice or the frigid depths of winter, a high quality pair of sunglasses is a very useful preventive health item as well as a fashion accessory. Since bright light can trigger migraines, headaches, and contribute to tension and other disorders, a good pair of sunglasses can significantly improve your quality of life, as well as preventing serious eye degeneration that can eventually lead to blindness.

An effective pair of sunglasses should block both UVA and UVB rays, but new research suggests that High Energy Visible (HEV) light may also contribute to eye disorders, particularly in children. There is still insufficient data on this subject, but some manufacturers now design to block UV rays as well as HEV light, reducing your changes or visual damage from light sources.

It’s very important to note that dark glasses are not the same as UV-exclusive glasses. Check to make sure that your shades are made by a reputable manufacturer, and that they’re certified to block out UVA and UVB at least – if they don’t do this, it’s very possible that they’re worsening your exposure to harmful light by tricking your eyes into.

Since damage from UV exposure is cumulative, it’s important to regularly wear a high-quality set of sunglasses, and to start young. If you teach your children at a young age about the value of wearing good sunglasses, you may save their eyes from damage later – and besides, everyone knows how cool a good set of shades look.

 

Tips to Improve Your Eyesight

Food and Diet

– Consuming good amount of apple and grapes helps in improving your eyesight.

– Vitamin A is very good for enhancing your eyesight. Carrots have good quantity of vitamin A which proves to be one of the useful natural treatments.

– Cucumber juice does wonders for your eyesight as it tries to improve it immensely.

– Add spinach in your daily diet as Spinach contains iron, vitamin A, B and C. It purifies your blood, increases the hemoglobin and improves your eyesight.

– You can find good source of vitamin A in turnip, milk cream, fresh milk, cheese, butter, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, soya beans, green peas, oranges and dates.

– An ayurvedic medicine name Triphala is considered to work immensely in favor of your eyes.

– Consuming blueberry juice also considered to be very useful for your eyes.

Exercises

– Close both the eyes very tightly by shutting the lids firmly. Open them suddenly which allows you to feel the stretch. Once open arch your brows and stretch your face. Repeat this several times a day.

– Look as far as possible and inhale then look down as far as possible and exhale. Blink your eyes more than dozen times. Do the same procedure by turning to your left and right then diagonally up to left, down to right, up to right and down to left followed by rapid blinking.

– Rotate your eyes in all the directions. Slowly and steadily concentrate one eye at a time. Do this exercise more than dozen times and try doing this with your eyes shut.

– By using palming which can be stated as a revised version of the thousand-year-old yoga tradition known was Hatha Yoga. It relieves strain and stress from your mind and eyes which needs the required break. For this you have to warm your hands by rubbing them together vigorously. Once it’s warm cover the eye without touching the eyelids. This relaxes the nerves and helps in blood circulation.

– You can also try sunning which means to use sun’s light for your eyes. Move your head from side to side for the heat to benefit the eyes. After a while try stretching the eyes to allow more sunlight to your eyes. Directly looking at the sun is never good. It is great method to reduce light sensitivity.

– Perform Netra Basti which is bathing your eyes with clarified butter to reduce eye strain and to improve eyesight.

 

Laser Eye Surgery Risks And Complications

In order to understand the complications, there has to be a simple understanding of the procedure of Lasik eye surgery. Lasik eye surgery involves the cutting of a small flap in the front covering of the eye or cornea. The flap is lifted so that the laser may reshape the eye and then the flap is replaced as a type of bandage.

The flap is cut using a type of bladed instrument called a “microkeratome” or else with a laser. The surgeon’s preference determines what technology is used. Using a laser to perform this portion of the procedure allows for more precision and, therefore, fewer complications are likely to arise.

Now, if the flap is not cut correctly it may fail to form properly to the surface of the eye. The flap might also be cut too small or thin, which would cause wrinkling upon the attempt to adhere the flap to the surface of the eye. These complications can lead to an irregularly shaped eye surface and in time may lead to astigmatism or blurry vision.

Vision Loss

After the procedure, a very small percentage of all patients experience a vision loss which cannot be corrected with glasses, contacts or a second surgery. This is a very rare, but very serious laser eye surgery risk.

Debilitating Visual Symptoms

Some patients experience halos, glare or double vision after surgery. This causes serious night vision problems. Even if they have a good vision on the vision chart, they may not see well at night, in fog or in other situations of low contrast. They may even see worse in these situations than they did before treatment.

Under Treatment or Over Treatment

This is a very frequent laser eye surgery risk. Only a small percentage of patients obtain 20/20 vision after surgery without glasses or contacts. You may need additional treatment to enhance vision, but this is not always possible. Even if you used to wear very weak prescription glasses before treatment, you may still need glasses or contact lenses afterwards. If you used to wear reading glasses before, you might still need them after surgery.

Severe Dry Eye Syndrome

Another laser eye surgery risk is to develop serious dry eye syndrome. After surgery, your eyes might not be able to produce enough tears for keeping moist. This not only produces discomfort, by can also reduce quality vision due to permanent blurring and other problems. This eye condition may be permanent. It is usually treated with intensive eye drop therapy, but other procedures can also be used.

Results Diminishing with Age

Another laser eye surgery risk is for results to decrease over time, especially in patients with farsighted vision. If your manifest refraction (an exam with lenses before using dilating drops) differs from your cyclopegic refraction (another exam with lenses after applying dilating drops), the chances of getting this side effect are higher.

For newer technologies, there is not enough research data available. As some of them have been developed only a few years ago, long-term effectiveness and safety cannot be determined yet. Even though they are more advanced, they might have some unknown long-term side effects.

As with any surgical procedure, there are a variety of complications. Care must be taken to select the right Lasik eye surgeon for your specific needs and also to decide of Lasik eye surgery is the right procedure for you. The most important factor in successful surgery is to find an experienced surgeon, who will monitor your follow up care, and be there with you if you find yourself having any of these complications.

 

Things To Consider Before And After Laser Eye Surgery

Before Surgery

If you have already taken the decision of undergoing laser surgery, first get your eyes evaluated by a doctor to know whether you make a good candidate at all. In case you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them at least two to three weeks before the consultation to get the right measurements.

Inform the doctor about all your medical history and the medications you are currently on, and the medicines you are allergic to.

After the initial examination is over, the doctor will let you know whether you are good candidate and what you should expect before, during and after the surgery. At this stage, you also ask the doctor questions to clear al your doubts and queries.

On the day before surgery, stop applying the cosmetics like creams, lotions, makeup or perfumes, as the residue of these cosmetics increase the chances of infection. Doctors generally ask to keep the eyelashes clean by scrubbing for a period of time.

An important thing is to arrange for a companion who would accompany you or drive you back to your home after the surgery is over. This is because, after surgery you will be under nerve soothing medication, that will impair your driving ability and also your vision may be slightly blurred just after the surgery.

After surgery

Immediately after the surgery the common sensation that most people experience is an itchy feeling, as if something has gone inside your eyes. The patients tend to rub their eyes in reflex, but be careful not to rub them. Your vision may be slightly hazy and your eyes may water. In some rare cases patients feel pain in their eyes. You may also experience sensitivity to light but that only lasts a matter of a few days. If things do not improve within a week, consult the doctor. You have to revisit your doctor within forty eight hours and the doctor will remove the eye shield, in addition to testing your vision. For at least six months, you have to see the doctor at regular intervals.

At this stage you will be prescribed eye drops to prevent infections. For some time you have to keep away from putting on make up and also refrain from swimming and hot baths.

It is a matter of three to six months for your vision to stabilize after surgery. The most important point to remember is if you notice any unusual symptoms, go to the doctor without any delay, otherwise it may lead to loss of vision.

 

About Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a medical procedure consisting of the use of laser for reshaping the surface of the cornea. It is used to improve shortsightedness, long sightedness or astigmatism. The first information on laser eye surgery dates back from over twenty years ago, and the FDA approved excimer laser eye surgery in 1995.

During laser eye surgery, an excimer laser, controlled by a computer is used to remove tiny amounts of corneal tissue. The aim of the procedure is to restore normal vision, eliminating the need for glasses or contacts. Although laser surgery has risen in popularity in the past few years, only about 20% of ophthalmologists have been trained to use it.

In one type of laser eye surgery, the outer layer of the cornea, also called epithelium, is removed and an excimer laser is used to reshape underneath tissue. This procedure is called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

In a newer procedure, a microkeratome is used to cut a flap in the corneal tissue, which is then lifted and an excimer laser is used to reshape underlying tissue. In the end, the flap is put back to its place. This type of laser eye surgery is called laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Nowadays, it is more commonly used than PRK.

What Happens During Laser Eye Surgery Procedure

The surgery should take less than 30 minutes. You will lie on your back, reclining in a chair, or on a table. You may be given a sedative before the procedure, to help you relax.

Local anesthetic eye drops are used before the surgery. The procedure takes a few minutes per eye. The actual time when the laser is used for reshaping the corneal tissue is generally less than a minute. An instrument called a lid speculum will be used to hold your eyelids open. A ring is placed on your eye, and the cutting instrument is attached to the ring. A microkeratome, the cutting instrument, is used to cut a flap in your cornea. A laser is positioned over your eye, and you will be asked to stare at the light. This light is to help you keep your eye fixed in one spot when the laser comes on.

Once your eye is in the correct position, the doctor will turn the laser on. Pulses of laser energy vaporize the corneal tissue, and then the flap is placed back into position

You will need to wear an eye shield for protection after the procedure. This will prevent you from rubbing your eyes, and protect your eye from being accidentally hit or poked until the flap has healed.

After laser eye surgery, you should expect some minor discomfort. However, you should be able to see, although not very clearly. You won’t be able to drive on your own, so you need to have someone drive you home or take a cab. You should see your doctor within the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, and then at regular intervals for about six months. You will have to wait for up to two weeks before using make-up, creams or lotions, to prevent infection or irritation. You should also avoid swimming and hot tubs for about 6 weeks.

Although you should see well the day after surgery, your vision will continue to improve over the next several months. As the eye heals, your vision will continue to improve. It is important to keep all your follow-up appointments with your doctor, to make sure that everything is going according to plan.

 

Contact Lenses Types

There are two types of general contact lenses. Soft lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses are the two types of lenses. The rigid gas permeable is also known as RGP’s.

Soft contact lenses are easier to wear because they are more moveable than that of RGP’s. This makes them more comfortable to have in your eyes. The soft lens also allows oxygen flow freely to your cornea leaving your eyes feel better.

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are sturdier and give you better sight making things look clearer. They have a longer life expectancy than that of a soft lens because of their durability.

The soft lens and rigid gas permeable both come in a disposable lens. The more popular of the two for disposable contacts is the soft lens. A disposable lens can have a life of seven to thirty days depending on the type and brand of the contact. However, disposable contacts are usually given to those that wear soft contact lenses.

There is also another category of lenses for those of you have a busy lifestyle and need your contacts almost all of the time. They are called extended wear lenses. These lenses are soft contact lenses because of the high demand of oxygen your cornea needs. There are however, a few RGP’s that can be worn as extended wear contact lenses.

There is one last category of contact lenses. These are known as specialized contact lenses and there are two of these. Orthokeratology-K, which is known as Ortho-K, helps to change the curve in your cornea helping them with temporary improvement with how your eyes see objects. Ortho-K is not a permanent fix. Without the Ortho-K lenses as a treatment your eyes would still and always keep the curvature of the cornea.

The second type of specialized contacts is decorative contacts. These contacts change the color of your eyes. They are also used for Halloween to make your eyes look creepy or weird to go along with the theme of your costume. These contacts do not help or change any type of eye problem you may have., but they still have the same risk factors as corrective lenses.

Anyone who wears contact lenses knows there is everyday care for your contacts and for your eyes that you should follow. Always have a pair glasses around to fall back on just in case you would lose a contact or the contact would start irritating your eyes. Washing your hands before putting your contacts in helps with reducing infection.

Another thing to do that can help ensure the safety of your contacts and eyes is to clean out your contact case every time lenses are out of their case. The cleaning of your case will help keep bacteria from growing where you store your lenses. These are just a few important ways to care for your contact lenses and especially your eyes.

Before getting any type of contact lens you need to see your eye doctor for an examination and a prescription for lenses. This will help you decide what types of contacts are best for you.