Beverly Hills Ophthalmologists

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.

Return to Sports After Lasik Eye Surgery

LASIK is a great option for many athletes. The inconvenience of glasses or contacts can be eliminated through LASIK surgery. Without these annoyances, athletes can focus on the game.

One consideration that many athletes may have when looking into LASIK surgery is, how long until I can return to my sport?

While it depends on the type of surgery you had, and how severe your eye condition was prior to surgery, there are a few basic rules we suggest for all patients to follow. For the first 48 to 72 hours, we request that a patient shouldn’t rub their eyes or do anything that puts pressure on them. We also recommend avoiding anything that causes sweat to enter the eye.

After 72 hours, light exercise is allowed such as going to the gym, playing tennis or golf, but all with caution. As for more active sports, patients are normally allowed to play again after a little more than a month.

Damage to the eye after LASIK can result from pressure, trauma, or contaminants. This is why recovery is essential in helping reduce the risk of infection or damage to the corneal flap.

For athletes, having to deal with glasses in a contact sport is out of the question and the sweat and dirt of other sports make contacts extremely difficult. Of the professional athletes who have had LASIK surgery, professional male and female golfers of all ages make up a large percentage but other famous athletes have as well.

If you are looking to improve your game and overall enjoyment of your favorite sport, consider LASIK surgery. From the recreational weekend warrior to a professional athlete, many sports enthusiasts can benefit from a LASIK procedure.

Consider scheduling a meeting with Dr. James Khodabakhsh or Dr. John Hofbauer to see if LASIK is right for you.

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.

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.