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Why is the world becoming nearsighted?

Background

Myopia is frequently referred to as “nearsightedness” and is a very common form of visual impairment. In only a few decades, myopia has grown from affecting 25% to now 40% of the American population. By the year 2050, it is projected that this will grow to 50% of people being myopic. Researchers estimate that by 2050 – myopia will be the leading cause of vision loss worldwide.

Causes

What is causing this impairment to grow so rapidly? Researchers suspect it is due to lifestyle changes. As the population continues to spend more time indoors doing near work, myopia becomes increasingly more common. Additionally, individuals are more likely to develop myopia if their parents are myopic.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of myopia include:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
  • The need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Difficulty seeing while driving a vehicle, particularly at night

A person may be nearsighted if they:

  • Squint persistently
  • Need to sit closer to the television or at the front of the classroom
  • Are unaware of distant objects
  • Blink excessively
  • Rub their eyes frequently

Treatment

Nearsightedness can be treated by glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery, depending on the severity of the case.

Some of the best glasses for nearsighted people include high-index lenses, which can make glasses thinner and lighter, and an anti-reflective coating. Additionally, ask Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology Physician about photochromic lenses, these lenses help protect you from ultraviolet rays and blue light.

If it is necessary to correct your myopia through LASIK surgery, Beverly Hills Ophthalmologists Dr. Khodabakhsh or Dr. Hofbauer can discuss the different treatment procedures with you.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic disorder that affects the cells within the retina. These photoreceptor cells produce essential proteins that are required in order to see. Photoreceptor cells are responsible for color visualization, clarity of vision, and vision in the central visual field. These cells are found in retinal tissue and functions as a visual phototransduction i.e., it converts light into electrical signals for the stimulation of biological processes of the visual system. This genetic mutation sometimes makes these photoreceptor cells unable to produce this protein or create a protein that is unusable. This results in degeneration of the rods and cones in your eye. Photoreceptor cells consist mainly of three types, rods, cones and ganglion cells. Rods and cones are acting in contributing visual information to the eye for the representation of the visual sight. Retinitis Pigmentosa is rare and is estimated to affect about 1 in 4000 individuals.

What are the symptoms?
The early stage of RP is indicated by degeneration of the photoreceptor rod cells which results in decreased electrical signals for visualization, loss of night vision, gradual loss of peripheral or side vision, loss of central vision, problems in color vision and can eventually lead to blindness after several years. Sensitivity to bright light, sight difficulty in darkness and vision loss are commonly seen in patients affected by Retinitis pigmentosa. 

What can you do?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is advised to make an appointment with our physicians; Dr. James Khodabakhsh or Dr. John Hofbauer at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology.  Next, it is necessary to get a diagnosis. This can be done through Electroretinogram (ERG) testing, visual field testing, or genetic testing. If diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa there are many services available to those experiencing vision loss, these services help maintain independence.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss facing 10 million Americans today. Which is more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. Currently, this disease affects many people living in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and throughout Southern California. The disease is caused by deterioration of the central part of the retina. This area, called the macula, lies at the back of the eye and records the images we see. These images are sent through the optic nerve to then be interpreted by the brain. Although this disease is currently incurable there are ways to slow its effects.

Those highest at risk for age-related macular degeneration are over the age of 55, smokers, or those with a family history of AMD. In order to slow the effects of AMD, it is advised to avoid smoking and live a healthy lifestyle. AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness, with no ability to see. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house. It is possible to lower the risk of AMD or slow its progression by eating healthy, exercising, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light. For more information about AMD visit your local ophthalmologist

3 Common Workplace Eye Injuries – And How to Avoid Them

Workplace eye injuries are more common than you might think. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Each day about 2000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment”. These injuries can occur at construction sites, movie sets, manufacturing plants, and a number of other skilled labor workplaces. Many of these injuries can be easily avoided through simple safety precautions and the use of safety glasses.

Eye Injuries in the workplace can include:

  1. Flying Particles: The most common workplace eye injury is the result of small particles striking or scraping the eye.
  2. Tools: These penetration injuries can come from nails, wood, metal shards, etc. These objects can puncture the eye, sometimes resulting in permanent loss of vision.
  3. Chemicals: Industrial cleaning products and chemicals frequently cause damage to both eyes.

In order to prevent workplace eye injuries, it is necessary to take a few simple safety precautions. First protective eyewear should be worn during all potentially hazardous work. Dr. James Khodabakhsh at the Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology recommends using protective eyewear that is ANSI rated, signified by a Z87 marking on the lens. Additional care should be taken to reduce the risk of flying debris using safeguards such a protective shield and by keeping workspaces clean. If an incident should occur it is smart to have contact information for both the local emergency room and a trustworthy ophthalmologist on hand.

Cornea Transplant Procedure

Physicians use cornea transplants to treat vision loss due to scarring or disease. During the procedure, the surgeon replaces the damaged outer lens of the eye using tissue of a donor individual. The transplant helps to restore vision, improve the appearance of the eye and reduce pain associated with a damaged cornea.

The cornea is a clear tissue located in the front portion of the eye, through which light passes before it reaches the pupil. Infections, scarring, and degenerative and inherited conditions can damage the cornea and negatively affect vision, making a cornea transplant necessary.

During the cornea transplant surgery, you’ll be anesthetized. This is an outpatient procedure. After the procedure, your physician will provide antibiotic drops to the patient to ensure that infection doesn’t take place.

There are a few types of cornea transplant surgery. The most traditional that’s been around for more than 100 years is called penetrating Keratopathy (PKP) which is full thickness of the cornea. Newer procedures are DMEK Descement’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty and DSAEK Descement’ stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty are partial.

After the procedure and recovery, patients leave with their designated driver. Typically, they return the following day for a follow-up visit.Getting new corneas won’t mean that your vision will be an automatic 20/20. Vision continues to improve up to a year after surgery. After recovery, your vision might be worse than it was before while your eye gets used to its new cornea. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed. In fact, the healing process can take from several weeks to several months.

Eating Tips for Better Vision

Improving your vision and protecting your eyesight starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E may enhance your chances to ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Regularly eating these foods can help lead to good eye health:

♣    Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards

♣    Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish

♣    Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources

♣    Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

♣    Oysters and pork

Another good food is carrots as the food contains vitamin A needed for good vision. Another benefit to eating a well-balanced diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which makes you less likely to get obesity-related diseases as type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

To create a healthy diet, it is just as important to look at what to leave out of your daily diet. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks, regular tea and any caffeinated herb tea. Sugar is important to consume only in moderation and instead satisfy your sweet tooth by eating fruits which provide natural sugars that the body can easily deal with.

Good nutrition is important for healthy vision, but can’t stand on its own. A truly healthy lifestyle involves a healthy diet as well as providing exercise, fresh air with ample rest and sleep.

Rethinking Age for Lasik Eye Surgery

LASIK is FDA approved for people 18 years and beyond. Many young adults are encouraged to wait until their mid-20s when their prescription is more stable. When it comes down to it, eye surgeons perform laser eye surgery on patients at both ends of the age spectrum. Many young active adults start to notice that many of their friends and classmates are talking about the benefits of LASIK. A laser vision correction procedure can give young people high performance vision without the hassle of eye glasses and contacts. This is combined with the cost savings benefit by avoiding a lifetime of expense for glasses, contacts and solutions.

There is no reason a younger patient should not have the opportunity to see more clearly without having to wear corrective lenses. There are no concrete guidelines on refractive surgery for the younger generation. So, if you are considering LASIK Surgery in your 20’s and 30’s? The first step is to discuss your options with your physician and get a complete annual comprehensive eye exam.

Contact us for a LASIK Surgery consult.

Is Your Vision Clouded, It Could Be Cataracts!

Cataracts are one of the main causes of blindness and develops as a natural part of the aging process in older people. First it is very important to get an annual comprehensive eye exam and if it shows you have this condition, you need to know what to expect, and prepare for cataract surgery.

When you have a cataract, the lens of your eye becomes clouded. You can confirm the condition when whatever you are looking at appears blurry. Sensitivity to light is another common symptom. You may have less tolerance for bright light and glare. As a cataract affects the way light enters your eye, it can seem as if there are halos around any type of light. As your night vision can be affected, it is very unwise to drive at night.

Cataract surgery is the most common type of eye surgery and performed on an out-patient basis in a surgical center. The affected lens will be removed, and it will be replaced by a clear lens or a premium ocular lens to correct astigmatism. In most cases, the only anesthesia needed is a topical anesthesia and sedative to relax you during the procedure.

If you are experiencing problems with your eyes or eyesight, and notice you have symptoms of cataracts, it is in your best interests to see your eye physician for a comprehensive eye exam. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that can ultimately save your eyesight.

Contact us for a surgery consult.

Is your vision getting a little cloudy?

You may have cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens called an Intraocular Lens (IOL) The cataract surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist on an outpatient basis.

In modern cataract surgery, there is a choice in intraocular lens implants. The traditional or standard lens implant is generally covered by all insurance companies including Medicare patients. This implant is designed to give a patient good distance vision or near in those patients that do not have significant astigmatism.

There are several intraocular lens implants that are able to give a patient near and far corrected vision without glasses. Premium lens implants are typically not covered by insurance companies or Medicare.

When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:

  • Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
  • Do you have problems reading or watching television?
  • Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
  • Do you have difficulty seeing faces clearly?

Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully.

We recommend patients to be properly screened for other eye conditions prior to scheduling cataract surgery to reduce the risk of complications. It may be beneficial to treat other eye problems before proceeding with cataract surgery. For more information and schedule a consultation visit www.90210eyes.com

 

Not a Dry Eye in the house!

Dry eye syndrome is a common cause of eye irritation, mainly affecting older people. Artificial tears, gels and soothing ointments usually ease symptoms. Dry eye syndrome or simply dry eyes occurs when there is a problem with the tear film that normally keeps the eye moist and lubricated.

Dry eye syndrome can affect anyone, but it becomes more common with increasing age. Dry eyes affect about 15 to 35 in every 100 people or possibly as many as a third of older people and women are affected much more often than men. One of the big contributing factors with the aging process is that people tend to make fewer tears, as they get older. In particular, some women notice dry eyes developing after menopause. Another cause is having a low blink rate, often combined with opening your eyes wider than normal due to spending a long time looking at a computer or watching television.

The symptoms of dry eyes include eyes feeling gritty or burning and slight blurring of vision from time to time. Also, a person may feel discomfort when looking at bright lights and if a contact lens wearer can start to find wearing them causes discomfort.

A BHIO physician can usually diagnose dry eyes from the symptoms and perform a test to confirm the diagnosis of dry eyes. The treatment for dry eyes is usually eye drops and gels. These are good at relieving the symptoms. More information is available at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology or www.90210eyes.com