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Archive for the ‘Eye Health’ Category

Frequently Asked Questions about Floaters

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Floaters and Retinal Detachment

Sometimes a section of the vitreous pulls the fine fibers away from the retina all at once, rather than gradually, causing many new floaters to appear suddenly. This is called a vitreous detachment, which in most cases is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

However, a sudden increase in floaters, possibly accompanied by light flashes or peripheral (side) vision loss, could indicate a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment occurs when any part of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue, is lifted or pulled from its normal position at the back wall of the eye.

A retinal detachment is a serious condition and should always be considered an emergency. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent visual impairment within two or three days or even blindness in the eye.

Those who experience a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light in peripheral vision, or a loss of peripheral vision should have an eye care professional examine their eyes as soon as possible.

Article Source https://nei.nih.gov/

What is Blepharospasm?

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

What is Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm is an abnormal, involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids.

What causes Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm is associated with an abnormal function of the basal ganglion from an unknown cause. The basal ganglion is the part of the brain responsible for controlling the muscles. In rare cases, heredity may play a role in the development of blepharospasm.

What are the symptoms of Blepharospasm?

Most people develop blepharospasm without any warning symptoms. It may begin with a gradual increase in blinking or eye irritation. Some people may also experience fatigue, emotional tension, or sensitivity to bright light. As the condition progresses, the symptoms become more frequent, and facial spasms may develop. Blepharospasm may decrease or cease while a person is sleeping or concentrating on a specific task.

How is Blepharospasm treated?

To date, there is no successful cure for blepharospasm, although several treatment options can reduce its severity.

In the United States and Canada, the injection of Oculinum (botulinum toxin, or Botox) into the muscles of the eyelids is an approved treatment for blepharospasm. Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, paralyzes the muscles of the eyelids.

Medications taken by mouth for blepharospasm are available but usually produce unpredictable results. Any symptom relief is usually short term and tends to be helpful in only 15 percent of the cases.

Myectomy, a surgical procedure to remove some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids, is also a possible treatment option. This surgery has improved symptoms in 75 to 85 percent of people with blepharospasm.

Alternative treatments may include biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, chiropractic, and nutritional therapy. The benefits of these alternative therapies have not been proven.

Article Source https://nei.nih.gov/

Why Eye Screening is Important for School-Age Children

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Happy kids photoFrom the time that we are born, our eyesight slowly develops until adulthood. Babies and children, for instance, do not have fully formed vision centers in their brains yet. Good nutrition, regular visits to a health care practitioner and healthy habits are important in ensuring that a child’s vision develops normally. This is why eye screening is very important in key stages of development. Eye screening in children allows for potential problems to be detected and corrected in the early stages.

At the Beach Eye Medical Group, we recognize the importance of early assessment, detection and correction of any vision problems in children. We believe that good vision is important to help young people achieve their dreams. This is why we are committed to helping children living in and around Huntington Beach and Irvine, California, get their vision checked during key life stages.

When should eye screening be done?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye screening during the following ages:

  • Newborn: All newborn babies should undergo a professional eye examination by a licensed health care professional. For babies who belong to the high-risk population (i.e. premature, or have signs of other abnormalities, etc.) a pediatric ophthalmologist should be called in for a more comprehensive assessment.
  • Infant: Babies should be re-assessed between the 6th and 12th month of life to check that their eyes are developing normally.
  • Pre-School: Before a child enters school, it is recommended that he/she be seen by a pediatrician or ophthalmologist to check the following:
    • Visual Acuity Test. The child’s ability to adjust to distances (near, middle and far) is assessed. At this stage, some children may be diagnosed as far-sighted but do not necessarily require corrective glasses or intervention.
    • Refractive or Alignment Test. If misaligned or refractive errors are detected by an ophthalmologist, early treatment is recommended to prevent vision deterioration.
  • School-Age: As children are expected to fully utilize their eyesight, it is crucial for them to undergo eye screening just before starting formal school. A common finding is nearsightedness or myopia, which can be easily corrected with eyeglasses.

While some schools do offer vision screening, these screenings are not as thorough as a comprehensive eye examination like the ones we offer at Beach Eye Medical Group. More often than not, a routine vision screening only assesses the child’s ability to read small letters on a chart. This is simply not enough to detect other, potentially more serious eye conditions that may affect a child’s ability to read, track or focus.

Comprehensive eye screenings for children

The expert eye care team at Beach Eye Medical Group offers comprehensive eye and vision screening at any of the crucial childhood stages mentioned above. Our team of licensed ophthalmologists, optometrists, and eye surgeons are trained in handling and assessing any eye-related diseases found in children.

At Beach Eye Medical Group, we strongly believe that prevention is better than cure. Visit either of our facilities in Irvine or Huntington Beach, California, to find out more about our school eye screening procedures.

Preventing Pink Eye

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Man sick eye photo
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is one of the most prevalent diseases of the eye. Although it is commonly associated with childhood, pink eye can also occur in adults. Pink eye is highly manageable, especially with the help of the expert team at Beach Eye Medical Group in Irvine and Huntington Beach, California. Our eye care professionals have helped hundreds of patients safely treat this eye infection.

As part of Beach Eye Medical Group’s campaign to promote eye health by educating the community, here are common questions and tips regarding pink eye:

What is pink eye?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines conjunctivitis as “inflammation of the conjunctiva.” The conjunctiva is the clear tissue that lines the inner eyelids as well as the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be further classified depending on the primary cause of inflammation: viral, bacterial and allergic.

How did I get pink eye?

Viral and bacterial pink eye are both highly contagious, but rarely dangerous. They are spread through direct contact with an infected person (such as shaking hands) or after touching an object that has been in direct contact with someone with viral or bacterial pink eye. In some cases, transmission can still happen even after symptoms have subsided.

My eyes are irritable and sensitive to light. Is that normal?

Yes. Irritability and light sensitivity are commonly experienced by patients with pink eye. Other symptoms include:

  • Itchiness
  • Tearing
  • Redness
  • Blurring of vision due to increased secretions
  • Eye discharge

What do I do now that I have pink eye?

Your doctor may prescribe some antibiotic drops (for bacterial conjunctivitis) or anti-inflammatory drops to help reduce the irritation. Viral conjunctivitis goes away on its own. If you have pink eye, no matter how itchy, try to avoid touching your eyes. You can also try covering your eyes with a wet washcloth to make you feel more comfortable. If you wear contact lenses on a daily basis, switch to wearing your glasses for the remainder of the treatment. In addition, it is best not to wear eye make-up as it can further irritate the eye.

How long does pink eye last?

Symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 weeks. You may be advised to take a leave from work or school, especially for the first few days in order to prevent the spread of infection.

How do I prevent pink eye?

Overall, the best way to prevent the spread of pink eye is to practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water. Sharing personal items such as towels and pillows should also be avoided while the conjunctivitis is being treated.

When preventing the spread of pink eye, quick assessment is key. If someone close to you is having similar symptoms, advise them to make an appointment at Beach Eye Medical Group Clinic immediately to prevent the spread of the infection. We are located in Irvine and Huntington Beach, California – do not hesitate to give us a call!

Understanding Keratoconus

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Normal cornea and keratoconus photoKeratoconus is an eye disorder that affects the cornea and can cause a series of vision difficulties.

The disorder occurs when the small protein fibers in the eye (collagen) that help hold the cornea in place become weak, allowing the cornea to bulge. Once that happens, the cornea can slowly take on a cone shape and create a number of potential vision problems. The corneal changes, which usually begin in one eye and later the other, can happen quickly or take a few years to develop and can result in the appearance of halos around lights at night and blurred vision. While the disorder will affect both eyes, the degree to which the eyes are affected is not always the same.

The corneal changes can potentially make it impossible for the eye to focus without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. LASIK surgery is not recommended for anyone with even a mild case of keratoconus.

The degenerative disorder is usually detected in a couple ways. When the cornea takes on a cone appearance instead of a ball shape, the corneal surface becomes wavy, creating an irregular astigmatism.

As the cornea changes from a ball shape to a cone shape, the smooth surface becomes slightly wavy, creating an irregular astigmatism. The expansion of the cornea forward into the cone shape also causes nearsightedness.

Other symptoms that might become apparent are:

Sudden change of vision or double vision in just one eye

The appearance of triple ghost images

Near and far objects look distorted

The appearance of halos around bright lights or lights streaking

For your eye care professional to determine if you have keratoconus, a measurement of the curvature of your cornea is required. A keratometer, which shines a light pattern onto the cornea and its reflection provides a measurable image of the curvature of the eye, is often used. There are also computerized instruments that can create a 3-D map of the cornea offering eye care professionals even greater ability to accurately assess the potential for keratoconus.

Keratoconus treatment often begins with glasses, but contact lenses might be used if the glasses do not deliver satisfactory adjusted vision. In advanced cases of the disorder a corneal transplant will be necessary.

Wash Your Hands

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Hand washing photoStop rubbing your eyes!

We’ve all done it, whether it’s in the morning or after waking up or even after an exhausting stretch at the computer, but be careful about how often you are rubbing your eyes. Has it become a habit? For many people rubbing their eyes has become an almost an unconscious reflex to relieve minor eye irritation.

What we tend to forget is that over the course of the day, especially while at work, our hands are exposed to all kinds of dust and dirt. Touching and rubbing your eyes with your hands can transfer harmful germs quickly to your eyes. It’s the easiest way allergies and infections are spread.

While the simplest prevention is to stop rubbing your eyes, it’s often a natural reflex that’s hard to control when eyes feel irritation.

With that in mind, a great way to reduce the risk of germs coming in contact with your eyes is to periodically wash your hands. It’s a small thing that can have a big impact on your health.


5 Tips to Save Your Vision

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Millions of people suffer every day from vision loss and while not all diseases are preventable, there are many that are. The things people do everyday can have a major affect on their vision. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your healthy eyesight!

1. Eat Right: What you eat has a major impact on your body as a whole. Vitamin deficiencies can impair the retina resulting in vision loss. Its important to eat a varierty of vegetables, ones high in vitamin C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating healthy will lower your risk of eye diseases.Vegetables photo

2. Don’t Smoke: Tobacco smoke has been proven many times to be linked to multiple different diseases and illnesses. Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts and age-related  macular degeneration.Quit smoking cigarettes photo

3. Shielding your eyes: It’s incredibly important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. UV rays can increase your risk for cataracts, retinal damage and skin cancer. Make sure to look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.Happy girl wears sunglass photo

4. Contact Lens Care: Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for the care of your contact lenses. Sleeping in lenses not approved for extended wear, using expired solution or water to clean them can lead to corneal ulcers, pain and sometimes vision loss.Contact lenses care photo

5. Baseline eye exam: Adults 40 or over should get a baseline eye exam. This is the time when early signs or diseases and changes in vision start to occur. With a baseline exam doctors are able to detect changes in your vision allowing them to notice a disease in its earlier stages.Eye exam photo