Most Americans Unaware of One of the Leading Causes of Blindness

Most Americans Unaware of One of the Leading Causes of Blindness

Most Americans Unaware of One of the Leading Causes of Blindness Among Seniors

Scottsdale Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds the public that a simple eye exam is key to saving sight against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness among seniors, affecting approximately 2.1 million people nationwide[1]. By 2050, it is expected that the number will more than double to 5.4 million[2]. People may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk of vision loss by neglecting to have sight-saving eye exams. Throughout February, Scottsdale Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing AMD awareness and encouraging those who are most at risk to ensure the health of their eyes by getting an eye exam from an ophthalmologist – a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

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Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious eye diseases, yet most do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study. This is especially timely as Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons joins the Academy in reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month.

 

Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia have found that more than half of patients with the disease skip these exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and those with less severe diabetes and no eye problems – were most likely to neglect having these checks.

 

The researchers collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the charts of close to 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams. Their findings over a four-year period revealed that:

 

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams
  • Those with less-severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams

 

One in 10 Americans have diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment due to the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. The disease also can lead to other blinding ocular complications if not treated in time. Fortunately, having a dilated eye exam yearly or more often can prevent 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss.

 

Eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, enabling timely treatment. This is why the Academy recommends people with diabetes have them annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care.

 

“Vision loss is tragic, especially when it is preventable,” said Ann P. Murchison, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and director of the eye emergency department at Wills Eye Hospital. “That’s why we want to raise awareness and ensure people with diabetes understand the importance of regular eye exams.”

 

The Academy has released a new animated public service announcement to help educate people about the importance of regular exams and common eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy. It encourages the public to watch and share it with their friends and family.

 

“People with diabetes need to know that they shouldn’t wait until they experience problems to get these exams,” Rahul N. Khurana, M.D, clinical spokesperson for the Academy. “Getting your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist can reveal the signs of disease that patients aren’t aware of.

 

American seniors 65 and older may be eligible to get a medical eye exam at no cost through Eye Care America, a public service program of the Academy. For more information about diabetic eye disease, visit the Academy’s EyeSmart website.

If you have not have a comprehensive eye exam recently call our office at 480-994-1872 to make an appointment!

 

Get the Facts on Contact Lens Hygiene

Get the Facts on Contact Lens Hygiene

Contact lens wearers need to step up to the plate when it comes to contact lens hygiene!  A Study done by the The CDC found 99% of contact lens wearers reported at least one bad habit and a third of them had eye pain or symptoms!  These numbers are through the roof!

When it comes to contact lens hygiene we were all taught the basics like changing out our contact case every 3 months, not sleeping in them, and taking them out before we hit the pool, but do we actually take care of our lenses like we should?

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5 Dangerous Risks of Costume Contact Lenses!

5 Dangerous Risks of Costume Contact Lenses!

Ophthalmologists Warn of Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Scottsdale Eye Physicians and Surgeons, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology share patient stories, urge Halloween revelers to avoid over-the-counter costume contact lenses

 

Zombie or devil costume contact lenses may elevate a Halloween costume’s fright factor, but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. Scottsdale Eye Physicians and surgeons joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in urging Halloween shoppers to understand the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses.

 

While it is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, they can still be easily purchased at many places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops and on the web. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” these lenses can cause serious eye damage. One girl became partially blind in her left eye, the top layer of her cornea having been ripped off, after a mere four hours of wearing non-prescription contact lenses she bought at a jewelry booth.

 

Ophthalmologists – the physicians and surgeons that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – are reminding people of five frightening consequences of ignoring the warnings:

 

  1. Scratches to the eye – If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called a corneal abrasion, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage. Just ask Laura Butler, who was in severe pain due to corneal abrasions 10 hours after putting in non-prescription lenses, which “stuck to my eye like suction cups.” Treatment often involves medication and patching, but in some cases damage cannot be reversed. Butler now lives with a corneal scar, vision damage and a drooping eyelid.

 

  1. Infection – Research shows wearing non-prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times.[1] Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary. Robyn Rouse had to have that surgery after she got an infection after wearing non-prescription lenses she bought at a local store. Twelve years later, she still has blurry vision in her left eye and uses daily drops to combat dry eye.

 

  1. Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes antibiotic drops.

 

  1. Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.

 

  1. Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss. Julian Hamlin has had more than 10 surgeries and is now legally blind in his left eye after wearing contacts to change his eye color, a mistake he’ll live with forever.

 

“One night of the perfect Halloween costume isn’t worth risking your vision,” said Thomas L. Steinemann, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If you must have contact lenses to complete your costume, avoid over-the-counter ones at all costs. Protect your vision by getting prescription lenses from an eye health professional.”

At Scottsdale Eye Physicians and Surgeons we want to stress the importance of eye safety and remind all this Halloween to take the proper steps in ensuring the proper contact lenses!

 

The Academy encourages the public to watch and share its “No Prescription, No Way” public service announcement that shows the serious damage that these non-prescription costume contact lenses can inflict on the eyes.

Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website to learn more about contact lens safety.

 

 

 

[1] Sauer, A., & Bourcier, T. 2011. Microbial keratitis as a foreseeable complication of cosmetic contact lenses: A prospective study. Acta Ophthalmologica 89 5, pp. e439-e422. DOI:10.1111/j.1755-3768.2011.02120.x

Exercise is good for your eye health

Exercise is good for your eye health

Exercise and eye health

We all know that exercise is beneficial but did you know that hitting the gym could actually be preserving your vision and eye health?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye diseases are often times linked to other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even high cholesterol.  So, as we work out to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure we could be also lowering our risk for eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Studies have proven that people who exercise are less likely to develop serious eye disease than people who chose not to participate in physical activity.  One study in particular proved that people who exercised for 30 minutes were 25 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than those who were inactive.

A study performed in 2016 shows evidence of exercise lowering the risk for cataracts, so taking a brisk walk or jog around the park could significantly help lower the risks of age related cataracts.

People with glaucoma have greatly benefited from exercise.  In fact, research shows that participating in moderate physical exercise can actually lower your intraocular pressure (IOP) and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve.  This includes an activity as simple as a brisk walk around your neighborhood several times a week.

Eye diseases are on the rise

A study performed in 2016 shows that visual impairments and blindness is on the rise in the United States and around the world.  It is expected that by the year 2050 the number or people will visual problems will nearly double!  As these findings come to light we must do all we can do to protect and preserve out vision.

 

What can you do?

  1. Visit your eye doctor for regular eye exams.  From as young as 6 months of age is when one should start having their eyes checked and this should continue every year or two on average.  If you have a family history of eye diseases or impairments you may need to be seen more often.
  2. Make eating right and exercising a priority!  As we know diet and exercise are a great recipe for maintaining over all health and well being.

 

Start making exercise a priority for your overall health and well being and reap the benefits in more ways than one!  If you haven’t been in for an eye exam recently or are suffering from vision impairments call 480-994-1872 to make an appointment Today!

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams and Screenings

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams and Screenings

As Scottsdale ophthalmologists, we urge our patients to have regular eye exams to maintain healthy vision. But do you truly understand the importance of regular eye exams? From 6 months old through your final years, every age, every race, and every gender needs to maintain regular eye exams.

Why Do I Need Eye Exams?

Even if you have no family history and have seemingly perfect vision, eye exams are still a necessity to evaluate your eyes for a variety of conditions, many of which are not hereditary. Children should have their vision checked at 6 months, 3 years and before first grade. Adults should see an eye doctor every 2 – 3 years. Seniors over the age of 60 should visit their eye doctor every 1 – 2 years. If you have diabetes or a family history of eye conditions, your eye doctor might recommend more frequent exams.

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Healthy Aging: Are you taking care of your vision?

Healthy Aging: Are you taking care of your vision?

Ophthalmologists Encourage Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, the Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PC joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs [i]. Ophthalmologists – the physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

Eye Exam

U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended
The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

  • difficulty seeing at night
  • blurry vision
  • reading up close
  • flashes of light
  • red, watery eyes
  • double vision

Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an ophthalmologist.

How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?
The Academy recommends that a healthy adult get a baseline eye exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

Your vision is your most valuable asset so don’t wait, call 480-994-1872 or click here to make an appointment!

[i] https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/aging_eye

 

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Did You Know? Vision Problems are Common in Children with Hearing Loss

Did You Know? Vision Problems are Common in Children with Hearing Loss

Did You Know?? Vision Problems are Common in Children with Hearing Loss

About one-fifth of children who have a particular type of hearing loss also have visual disorders, according to a recent study. An estimated one to three children per 1,000 has some degree of sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs as a result of abnormalities in the inner ear or in the auditory center of the brain. Half of all cases in children result from environmental causes and half from genetic causes; one gene accounts for a large proportion of sensorineural hearing loss cases in Caucasian patients. Because children with hearing loss rely heavily on their other senses, undiscovered visual problems could have further harmful effects on their development. Eye examinations for all children with sensorineural hearing loss can lead to early diagnosis and to help minimize visual problems.

If your child suffers from hearing loss call us today and make an appointment for an eye exam!

This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart™ campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).

Four Tips to Make Sure Your Kids Vision is ‘Grade A’ This School Year

Four Tips to Make Sure Your Kids Vision is ‘Grade A’ This School Year

Four Tips to Make Sure Your Kids Vision is ‘Grade A’ This School Year

A Kids Vision is the best asset they can have for school With back-to-school upon us, parents will be scrambling to buy new school supplies and clothes. As they tick off their long list of school to-dos, ophthalmologists are reminding moms and dads not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes!  

Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Scottsdale Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PC joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of healthy vision to academic success during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month in August.

 

Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier problems are identified; the sooner they can be addressed. For healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, here at Scottsdale Eye Physicians we recommend the following four tips:

 

1. Get regular childhood vision screenings – Kids vision changes rapidly, making regular vision screenings an important step in detecting and correcting eye problems early. In addition to screenings for infants, the Academy recommends further vision screening for children when they are:

 

  • Pre-school age, between age 3 and 3 and a half
  • Entering school
  • Experiencing a possible vision problem

 

For school-age children, a vision screening, which is less comprehensive than a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist, can be performed by a pediatrician, family physician, nurse or trained technician during regular checkups. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist — an eye physician and surgeon – or other eye care professional.

 

2. Know and share your family eye health history – Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss in one eye.

3. Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.

4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage to your kids vision, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear.

 

Good vision is your child’s best asset for going back to school, make sure and be scheduling regular exams and taking the best steps to ensuring good vision!

 

At Scottsdale Eye our doctors are trained to offer care for children of all ages! Call 480-994-1872 today to make an appointment!

 

Visit the Academy’s website to learn more about common childhood eye conditions and how to care for your kids vision!