Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are your glasses dirty or is it just cataract?

It may not seem funny at the time, but many patients unintentionally spend a lot of trying to clean their glasses because they are seeing blurry. However, sometimes certain conditions such as cataract can cause blurriness that isn't correctable by cleaning or changing your glasses!

Dr. Rob Levy is an associate practitioner at our practice who shares this story:

A cataract patient of ours had a big old town car, and he took pride in washing his whitewall tires every day, although he never could seem to get them clean. He had his cataracts removed, and went home and saw that his whitewall tires WERE white - and had been all along! He had been washing clean tires every day, thinking they were yellow because of his cataracts. But as happy as he was to see his tires finally as the shining white color that they were, he then lamented that we had taken away his "hobby", and NOW what was he going to do with all his time?

Moral of the story: cataract removal may help you see things correctly, but you may be surprised at what you see!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How far can the human eye see?

Under completely perfect conditions, the human eye is capable of viewing a candle at 14 miles away. How amazing. There are about 1.5 million nerve fibers that transmit the information from the eye to the brain, allowing us to see. The eyeball is an awesome creation that we often take for granted, so let's be thankful for what we can see - even if it isn't exactly 14 miles away!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The secret to instilling eyedrops in a toddler

Patients tell me quite frequently that they are 'scared' of eyedrops. Perhaps they were traumatized when younger by a huge eyedrop bottle lunging towards their eye. Now they may have that wonderful blink reflex that doesn't allow anything to come near their precious eyes!

I found out the secret to instilling eyedrops when I had to give my own 2-year old daughter eyedrops:

First, always wash your hands whenever you touch anyone's eyes. Then, get a treat (we use chocolate-covered raisins) and a tissue. Lay the child down flat on their back (on either a changing table or a bed). Hold the treat up and let them know they will get the treat if they stay nice and still. Then, calmly pull down on their lower eyelid and quickly place a drop right into the lower eyelid area (the pink area). Try not to touch the dropper tip to the eye, or it may contaminate the bottle. Immediately give them the treat to distract them and reward them. They should not cry, or this will wash out the eyedrop and you must do it again. They may keep their eye closed and you can then blot it with the tissue. Always give positive reinforcement after the eyedrop and praise them for being so good.

My daughter now loves getting eyedrops and she has even started to help by pulling down on her eyelids when I need to put the eyedrop in.

It is very important that children develop positive associations with eyedrops so that they will not be scared of them in the future.

Proven once again: chocolate is the answer to any problem!!

PS - adults can benefit from this treat reward system as well! It is easy to instill eyedrops - just lean your head back, pull down on your lower lid, and place a drop in the lower eyelid. Do not touch the dropper tip to the eye, and if you miss, just try again! You'll love that chocolate reward...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The eye is the window to your body's health

Did you know that many diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure can show up by looking into the eye?

The small blood vessels that are all over the body are the same type that line the inside of the eye. Therefore, if a person is being affected by bodily conditions, they may show up by changes in the retina (the tissue lining the inside of the eye).

One of the most common diseases that affects the inside of the eye is diabetes. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults under the age of 60. If a person has uncontrolled diabetes, it can cause their blood vessels to leak blood inside their eye and cause blurry vision. It is estimated that approximately 650,000 Americans have vision loss due to diabetes. If it is caught early through a comprehensive eye exam, it can be treated. However, if it progresses, retinal scarring and permanent vision loss can develop.

It is important to have a yearly eye exam not only to check on your glasses or contact lens prescription, but also to check your overall eye health. Dr. Amanda Paull and Associates offers special retinal photography to detect early stages of disease. You may schedule appointments online at www.RichmondOptometry.com or call the office at 272-0848. We look forward to helping you check your eyes!