Age-related eye problems

Age-related eye problems

Not only does ageing contribute to vision problems such as presbyopia, it also increases risk for eye health problems.

What eye problems are associated with ageing?

Age increases risk for many eye diseases and conditions, including:

  • Age-related macular degeneration

Based on research by Singapore Eye Research Institute in 2009, age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 50 years of age.

Glaucoma is the cause of about 40% of blindness in Singapore. Based on research by Singapore Eye Research Institute in 2009, around 3% of people above 50 years old have glaucoma, while this figure is higher at 10% for those above 70 years of age.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

  • Retinal detachment

Those over the age of 40 are at higher risk of retinal detachment.

Normal, harmless floaters are often caused by age-related changes to the vitreous fluid in our eyes. Sudden onset of or increase in floaters can be indicative or retinal detachment.

As we age, our tear production decreases, resulting in dry eyes.

How to counter age-related eye problems

Comprehensive eye exams should be taken every 1-2 years for people 40-64 years old and annually for those 65 years old and above. If you have other risk factors for eye diseases, such as diabetes or family history of eye diseases, you should get a comprehensive eye exam more often.

This allows your optometrist/ophthalmologist to monitor your eye health and detect any eye diseases early. Early detection of eye diseases is important in treating the condition before it has irreversible consequences or results in blindness.

Have not had a comprehensive eye exam before or in the past year?

Book an appointment here.


Sources:

  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/age-related-macular-degeneration
  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/glaucoma
  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/retinal-detachment
  • https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/age-related-eye-issues.html
Correcting presbyopia with contact lenses

Correcting presbyopia with contact lenses

Myth: Only eyeglasses can correct Presbyopia

Fact: It is well-known that progressive spectacle lenses help you to see clearly, but did you know that presbyopes now have multifocal contact lenses that allow excellent vision at all distances? 

Contact lenses are great for those who do not like the feeling of wearing eyeglasses, do not like the look of eyeglasses, or those who lead a more active lifestyle.

The NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses are a great option to correct Presbyopia, as these lenses offer excellent vision at all distances1 – at near (reading your phone), intermediate (computer distance), and far (trees and road signs) – without using readers. 

In a clinical study1, people with presbyopia gave higher ratings to NaturalVue Multifocal for vision in everyday situations vs. their current correction. NaturalVue® Multifocal Contact Lens wearers can perform 92% of daily activities without reading glasses, even in low light.

People prefer NaturalVue™ Multifocal 1 Day contact lenses over some options for better vision1, like reading very small print or using a cell phone:

Why NaturalVue® Multifocal?

  • See clearly like spectacles2 with little compromise
  • No need for readers – Clear vision near, far, and everywhere in between
  • Superior overall vision – 89% found better vision for everyday activities.1
  • Daily disposability for a fresh new pair every day
  • Added UV protection for your busy outdoor days**

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

1. VTI Data on file, 2015. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear. Preference based on those who expressed a preference among brands tested. p<0.05.

2. VTI Data on file, 2015. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear. Of those who expressed a preference of mode of vision, 79% preferred NVMF vs. select tested brands. Attribute ratings based on subjective ratings from patients vs. select brands (100-point scale, 0=extremely poor and 100=extremely good/no problem).

**UV absorbing contact lenses aren’t substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear – for example, protective UV absorbing goggles or sunglasses – because they don’t completely cover the eye and surrounding area. Patients should continue to use UV absorbing eyewear as directed. Note: Long term exposure to UV radiation is a part of risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is according to a number of factors, for instance, environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV absorbing contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV absorbing contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye problems.

5 biggest myopia myths

5 biggest myopia myths

1. Myopia can be cured or reversed with eye exercises.

FALSE: While eye exercises may relieve eye fatigue temporarily, there is no scientific evidence that myopia can be reversed or its progression slowed down with eye exercises.  

2. Contact Lenses are unsafe for kids

FALSE:  Daily disposables provide decreased inflammatory adverse events (12.5x less) as compared to reusable contact lenses1

In fact, children may be safer soft contact lens wearers than teens with more  

parental supervision and support. 

3. Soft multifocal contact lenses are not effective in reducing myopia progression. 

FALSE:  The NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses are indicated to reduce myopic progression in children.  NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day soft contact lenses utilize patented optics to move the light rays inside the retina so that the signal for the eye to grow and elongate is reduced (addressing Peripheral Hyperopia). 2,3

NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact LensesProven to Decrease Myopia Progression in 98% of children studied.

  • 81% of children’s progression stopped completely, with some showing reversal. 4
  • 0.82D average dioptric decrease per year in children ages 6-194*

4. Wearing glasses that correct their vision is sufficient for myopic kids

FALSE:  Data has shown that routine correction of myopia in eyeglasses or contact lenses increases myopia by signaling the eye to elongate or grow.  This occurs when routine correction moves images behind the retina (known as peripheral hyperopia) which may signal the eye to grow.5

Data suggests that the optimal correction should bring the image inside of the retina.5 The patented optics of NaturalVue® Multifocal contact lenses focus peripheral light rays in front of the retina to remove peripheral hyperopia, thus reducing the signal for the eye to grow.2,3

5. It is better to be undercorrected so that our myopia will not worsen.

FALSE:  Undercorrection of myopia may lead to the stimulation of eye elongation due to the presence of blurred vision at any distance and accelerate the progression of myopia. Instead, a full distance correction for myopia with a progressive reading addition is suggested to reduce the progression of myopia.6

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

  1. Chalmers et al. Multicenter Case-Control Study of the Role of Lens Materials and Care Products on the Development of Corneal Infiltrates. Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 89, No. 3, March 2012.
  2. Dillehay S, Woods J, Situ P, Payor R, Griffin R, Tyson M, Jones L. (2014). Comparison of Three Power Levels of a Novel Soft Contact Lens Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of Juvenile Onset Myopia. ARVO Poster, Poster #A00863637; Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3637
  3. Payor R, Woods J, Situ P, Dillehay S, Griffin R, Tyson M, & Jones L. (2014) Feasibility Testing of a Novel SCL Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of JuvenileOnset Myopia. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3638. Retrieved from http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2269075.
  4. Cooper J, O’Connor B, Watanabe R, Fuerst R, Berger S, Eisenberg N, Dillehay SM. Case series analysis of myopic progression control with a unique extended depth of focus multifocal contact lens. Eye & Contact Lens. 2018;4(5):e16-e24.

*Both eyes combined; On an annualised basis in children 6-19. Retrospective analysis of 32 children, ages 6 to 19, across 10 different practice locations who wore the lenses for 6-25 months.

5. Peripheral Hyperopia explanation summarized from: Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science, 93(4), 336-343. Smith EL., Kee C, Ramamirtham R, Qiao-Grider Y, & Hung L. (2005). Peripheral Vision Can Influence Eye Growth and Refractive Development in Infant Monkeys.
 Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 46(11): 3965. Cooper J, Schulman E, Jamal N. (2012). Current Status on the Development and Treatment of Myopia. Optometry. 83(5):179-199.

6. http://reviewofmm.com/does-the-undercorrection-of-myopia-inhibit-myopia-progression/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20undercorrection%20of%20myopia%20may,reduce%20the%20progression%20of%20myopia.

Myopia – Risks and Management

Myopia – Risks and Management

What is myopia?

Myopia is a very common eye health condition. Often called “short-sighted,” a child with myopia can see clearly up close but has blurry vision when looking at objects in the distance—like a smartboard.

Myopia happens when the normal eye grows too long from front to back. 

Light rays have trouble reaching the right spot on the back of the eye (the retina) to achieve clear distance vision.

It’s more than just stronger, thicker glasses. Myopia in kids can get worse as they grow, increasing the risk of serious eye conditions.

What causes myopia?

  • Myopia can be inherited from one generation to the next. If mum or dad wears glasses, chances are their child will too.1
  • Lack of time spent outdoors in the sun has been linked to the development of myopia.1, 2,3
  • Spending more time reading close-up on digital devices may also contribute to a child’s myopia.2,3,4
  • And there’s the routine correction of myopia – resulting in Peripheral Hyperopia – that has also been shown to signal the eye to grow, thus causing myopia.2

What are the eye health risks?

The number of kids with myopia is growing at an alarming rate around the world.  The younger your child develops myopia, the greater the risk of serious eye conditions like retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and even blindness.5

Beyond the eye health risks, myopia can negatively impact your child’s performance in school and other activities.

There is NO SAFE level of myopia.5  Practitioners and researchers do not know which child will progress to what degree.  Each prescription (diopter) increase can have a significant impact and the impact can occur anywhere – in low to high myopia ranges.6   Earlier intervention may be ideal, but any intervention is a potential benefit.   If we can reduce the level of progression, data suggests that the impact could be significant:

  • 20% reduction in retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, and overall visual impairment.6
  • 40% reduction in macular degeneration. 6

This means – ½ to nearly 1 year of visual impairment could be saved. 6

What are some evidence-based ways to slow down myopia progression?

Your eye care practitioners may be able to help slow or control your child’s myopia with specially designed glasses, eye drops, or contact lenses. All of these solutions have been shown to have various levels of effectiveness.  Talk to your eye care practitioner for more information like how each works, effectiveness rates, benefits, and limitations. 

  • Specially Designed Eyeglasses
  • Pharmaceutical Eye Drops (Atropine)
  • Specialty Contact Lenses
    • Hard contact lenses (or Orthokeratology or Ortho-K lenses) that physically re-shape the cornea at night during sleep.
    • Soft multifocal contact lenses like NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses. 
      • NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day soft contact lenses, by comparison, utilize patented optics to move the light rays inside the retina so that the signal for the eye to grow and elongate is reduced (addressing Peripheral Hyperopia). 16,17
      • These lenses provide excellent vision by day.18
      • These lenses are daily disposables, which means comfortable daily wear with no cleaning or maintenance.
      • Clinically effective for myopia progression control.19  
        • 98% of children showed a decrease in myopia progression19
        • 81% of children’s progression stopped completely, with some showing reversal. 19
        • 0.82D average dioptric decrease per year in children ages 6-1919*

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

  1. Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science. 93(4): 336-343.
  2. Enthoven CA, Tideman JWL, Polling JR, Yang-Huang J, Raat H, Klaver CCW. The impact of computer use on myopia development in childhood: The Generation R study. (2020) Mar;132:105988. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.105988. Epub 2020 Jan 15.
  3. Grzybowski A, Kanclerz P, Tsubota K, Lanca C, Saw SM. BMC Ophthalmology (2020) Jan 14;20(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12886-019-1220-0.
  4. Huang HM, Chang DS, Wu PC. The Association Between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children – a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE. 2015 Oct; 10(10): e0140419
  5. Flitcroft D. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2012;31(6):622-660.
  6. Bullimore MA, Brennan NA. Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters. Optom Vis Sci 2019 Jun.96(6):463-465
  7. Huang J, et al. (2016). Efficacy Comparison of 16 Interventions for Myopia Control in Children. Ophthalmology. 123(4): 697-708.
  8. Cooper J, Schulman E, Jamal N. (2012). Current Status on the Development and Treatment of Myopia. Optometry. 83(5):179-199.
  9. Cope j., et al. (2016). Acanthamoeba Keratitis among Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens Wearers in the United States, 2005 through 2011. Ophthalmology. 123(7): 1435-1441.
  10. Nichols, J. (2017). Contact Lenses 2016. Contact Lens Spectrum. 32(January 2017): 22-29.
  11. Chalmers RL, Keay L, McNally J, & Kern J. (2012). Multicenter Case-Control Study of the Role of Lens Materials and Care Products on the Development of Corneal Infiltrates. Optometry and Vision Science. 89(3): 316-325.
  12. Tan D, Tay SA, Loh, K, & Chia A. (2016). Topical Atropine in the Control of Myopia.  Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology. 5(6): 424-428.
  13. Liu Y M, & Xie P. (2016). The Safety of Orthokeratology—A Systematic Review. Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice. 42(1): 35-42.
  14. Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science. 93(4): 336-343. 
  15. Lam CSY, Tang WC, Tse DY, et al. Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomized clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 May29, e pub.
  16. Dillehay S, Woods J, Situ P, Payor R, Griffin R, Tyson M, Jones L. (2014). Comparison of Three Power Levels of a Novel Soft Contact Lens Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of Juvenile Onset Myopia. ARVO Poster, Poster #A00863637; Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3637
  17. Payor R, Woods J, Situ P, Dillehay S, Griffin R, Tyson M, & Jones L. (2014) Feasibility Testing of a Novel SCL Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of JuvenileOnset Myopia. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3638. Retrieved from http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2269075.
  18. VTI data on file. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear.
  19. Cooper J, O’Connor B, Watanabe R, Fuerst R, Berger S, Eisenberg N, Dillehay SM. Case series analysis of myopic progression control with a unique extended depth of focus multifocal contact lens. Eye & Contact Lens. 2018;4(5):e16-e24.

*Both eyes combined; On an annualised basis in children 6-19. Retrospective analysis of 32 children, ages 6 to 19, across 10 different practice locations who wore the lenses for 6-25 months.

Nearsighted vision – What are the 2 main causes of myopia?

Nearsighted vision – What are the 2 main causes of myopia?

What is Myopia (Nearsighted vision)?

Is it hard to read signs in the distance but reading a book or a menu seems fine? Chances are you’re myopic, also known as nearsightedness. Read on to find out more about the causes of Myopia.

Myopia (nearsighted vision) is one of the common refractive errors in which you can view objects near to you clearly, but things further away are blurry.

Nearsighted causes and risk factors

Myopia occurs when your eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved. This causes light that enters your eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on its surface.

Nearsightedness is usually tied to genetic factors such as ethnicity, age, and parental myopia. However, there are other reasons for nearsightedness development as well. Remember how your parents told you not to look at the computer screen for too long? Environmental factors such as the amount of near work could play a part as well.

Nearsighted Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is that distant objects may appear blurry. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Squinting of eyes to see clearly
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Eye fatigue when trying to see distant objects

Blurry vision at a distance does not automatically mean you have myopia, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Myopia

Genetic factors are one of the causes of myopia in a child. Nearsightedness often begins in childhood and your child may have a higher risk if you are myopic. As a parent, you should make sure to watch for the following signs:

  • Sitting closer to the television 
  • Moving closer to objects to read them
  • Having trouble seeing the whiteboard in the classroom
  • Unaware of distant objects
  • Squinting persistently
  • Blinking excessively

If your child has nearsightedness, you can learn more about managing myopia progression in children here.

Nearsighted treatment

When you have myopia, your prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses will be a negative number. The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are, i.e. -2.00 is stronger than -1.50. Nearsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for nearsightedness is one way for a clearer vision at a distance. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. 

Speak to the nearest eye care professional today about the different eyeglasses and contact lens options for you. Book an appointment

Refractive Surgery

If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

There is also a non-surgical procedure for Myopia where you wear a custom made, special gas permeable contact lens overnight, allowing it to reshape the cornea of your eyes as you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, the shape of your cornea is temporarily retained, allowing you to see clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Refractive surgery and Ortho-K treatment depend on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it. 

Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about such treatments. Book an appointment


Sources:

Hyperopia – Causes of Farsightedness

Hyperopia – Causes of Farsightedness

What is Farsightedness?

Are you having trouble reading a book or focusing on objects near you but you are able to see distant objects clearly? You could be experiencing symptoms of farsightedness. Read on to find out more about the causes of farsightedness.

Farsightedness, also known as Hyperopia or Hypermetropia is one of the common refractive errors in which distant objects may be seen more clearly than near objects.

Causes and risk factors of Farsightedness

Farsightedness occurs when your eyeball is shorter than a normal person. This causes light entering your eyes to focus behind the retina, instead of directly on its surface.

While there are different causes for farsightedness, family history or heredity is usually the main reason. Hyperopia usually occurs at birth but can still develop in adulthood.

Farsightedness symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is blurry vision when looking at objects up close. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Squinting of eyes
  • Eye discomfort or headache when performing tasks that require focus up close
  • Difficulty reading

Blurry vision when focusing on near objects does not automatically mean you have farsightedness, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Farsightedness

Genetic factors are one of the causes of farsightedness in a child. Children may not be aware of their vision problems. As a parent, you should make sure to watch for the following signs:

  • Eyestrain or headache when reading
  • Difficulty reading and writing
  • Rubbing of eyes and blinking frequently
  • Esotropia (Common type of crossed eye in which one of the eyes is turned inwards)

Farsightedness treatment

When you have farsightedness, your prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses will be a positive number. The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are, i.e. +2.00 is stronger than +1.50. Farsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for farsightedness is one way for a clearer vision. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. 


Refractive Surgery
If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Refractive surgery depends on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it. Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about refractive surgery.


Sources:

Astigmatism – Causes and Correction

Astigmatism – Causes and Correction

What is Astigmatism?

Do you have trouble looking at objects both near and in a distance? Does the object appear blurry and stretched out? If this describes your blurred vision, you could be experiencing astigmatism symptoms. Read on to find out more about Astigmatism causes and correction.

Astigmatism is one of the common refractive errors in which near vision and objects at a distance appear blurry and wavy. 

Astigmatism causes and risk factors

Astigmatism occurs when the lens or the front surface of your eye (Cornea) has an irregular curve. This changes the way light passes to your retina and it is not refracted evenly.

While there may be different causes for astigmatism, the main reason is usually heredity. If you have a family history of astigmatism or other eye disorders (Keratoconus), you could be at a higher risk of having astigmatism.

Astigmatism Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is that both vision up close and far away appears blurry and distorted. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Squinting of eyes to see clearly

Blurry vision does not automatically mean you have astigmatism, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Astigmatism

A family history of astigmatism is one of the causes of astigmatism in a child. Your child may not realize that their vision is blurry, so they need to have their vision tested by an eye care professional. As a parent, you should make sure to watch out for the following signs:

  • Closing one eye to read or watch television
  • Frequent complaints of headaches or eyestrain, especially after reading
  • Squinting persistently
  • Tilting or turning the head to see better
  • Shielding their eyes or signs that they are sensitive to light

Astigmatism Treatment

Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for astigmatism is one way for a clearer vision. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. If you have astigmatism, you will probably be prescribed a special type of soft contact lenses called toric lenses. 

Refractive Surgery
If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

There is also a non-surgical procedure for Astigmatism where you wear a custom made, special gas permeable contact lens overnight, allowing it to reshape the cornea of your eyes as you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, your cornea temporarily retains the shape, allowing you to see clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Refractive surgery and Ortho-K treatment depend on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it.

Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about such treatments.


Sources:

Persistent Eye Floaters – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Persistent Eye Floaters – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What are eye floaters?

Floaters are small dark shapes that float across your vision. They can resemble dots, specks or lines.

Most people experience temporary floaters that do not require treatment as they go away on their own. However, for more severe or persistent cases, eye floaters may obstruct vision and require removal.

EYE FLOATERS: Causes, symptoms and treatment / COC

Causes of floaters

Floaters are caused by the gel-like fluid in your eye (vitreous) becoming more liquid as you age. As you age, small strands of the vitreous clump together and cast shadows on your retina, which are the tiny specks or dots that you see. As floaters are largely age-related, people 60 years old and above are more likely to experience floaters.

Most people experience floaters at one point or another, but in most cases, the floaters end up sinking and settling at the bottom of the eye, below the field of vision. Hence, the floaters are no longer noticeable.

However, some people experience more serious cases of floaters. Such cases include:

  • Eye infections
  • Eye injuries
  • Eye inflammation
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal tear
  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Some people are also at higher risk for floaters than others, due to:

  • Being nearsighted
  • Having diabetes
  • Having previous surgery to treat cataracts

Symptoms of floaters

Floaters look like tiny shapes such as dots, specks, rings, cobweb shapes or other irregular shapes. Floaters seem to float across your vision when your eyes are not moving, but move when your eyes move. Trying to look directly at a floater usually results in the floater moving in the opposite direction.

Floaters are likely to be more noticeable when looking at something bright like a clear blue sky or a sheet of white paper. Floaters may appear as darker or lighter than the rest of your field of vision. Other times, the area where the floaters are located may appear more blurry than the rest of the field of vision. 

When should you be concerned?

Most cases of floaters are not causes for concern as they occur naturally. However, in certain instances, an eye doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. These situations include:

  • A lot more floaters than usual
  • Sudden increase in number of floaters
  • Flashes of light in the same eye as the floaters
  • Darkness on any side of your vision in the same eye as the floaters (peripheral vision loss)
  • Persistent floaters that interfere with your vision

When consulting an eye doctor, they will perform a dilated eye exam to check for floaters and other eye problems such as retinal tears. This exam is done by administering eye drops that widen (dilate) your pupil, allowing the eye doctor to examine your eye. This exam is typically painless. You may only experience some discomfort if the doctor presses on your eyelids to check for retinal tears.

Treatment of floaters

In most cases, the best way to deal with floaters would be to ignore them. Overtime, they will either disappear to the bottom of your eye or your brain will learn to ignore them, making them no longer noticeable.

In more serious cases, where the floaters are caused by an underlying eye problem, the eye doctor will treat that eye problem.

For rare cases where the floaters require removal, the most common treatment is a vitrectomy. During the procedure, the eye doctor will surgically remove the vitreous gel that is causing the floater and replace it with a solution to maintain the shape of your eye. This procedure is usually only used for severe cases of floaters as it comes with risks.

An alternative to the surgical method would be laser vitreolysis, where lasers are aimed at the floaters to break them up or dissolve them, making them less noticeable. However, this method is not preferred as it is still experimental. Discuss the options with your eye doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms of eye floaters.

Reducing risk of floaters

There is no guaranteed way to prevent eye floaters. However, maintaining good eye health can help reduce risks of getting floaters. One can adopt good lifestyle habits such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating leafy greens, salmon and citrus fruits
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wearing protective eyewear when necessary to protect your eyes from injury
  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors during the day
  • Taking breaks to rest your eyes

Sources:

Diabetic Retinopathy – High Blood Sugar Blurry Vision

Diabetic Retinopathy – High Blood Sugar Blurry Vision

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetes retinopathy is an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision and blindness. It affects people who have diabetes. People with either diabetes 1 or 2 are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer one has diabetes and the less well-controlled their diabetes is, the higher their risk for getting diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, you should go for comprehensive eye exams regularly, at least once every year.

The main way to lower your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy, if you already have diabetes, is by managing your diabetes well—by controlling your blood sugar level through dietary changes and medication.

Other factors that increase a diabetic’s risk of getting diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Duration of diabetes: the longer you have had diabetes, the greater the risk
  • Poor management of blood sugar level
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking or tobacco use

Can high blood sugar cause blurry vision?

The reason why diabetes can affect the eye is that having excessive amounts of sugar in your blood can eventually damage your retina. The retina is the part of the eye that light is refracted onto and which sends the information to your brain through the optic nerve.

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Diabetes affects blood vessels all over the body, including the small blood vessels that go to your retina. Overtime, the sugar blocks these blood vessels, which causes them to leak or bleed. Although your eye can grow new blood vessels to compensate for the blocked blood vessels, these new vessels can leak easily as they cannot develop properly.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy

Initially, diabetic retinopathy may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, overtime, it can eventually lead to blindness.

As diabetic retinopathy progresses, symptoms may become more apparent. Symptoms include:

  • Floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Impaired colour vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Dark of empty spots of vision

Diabetic retinopathy typically affects both eyes.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is best to go see an eye doctor immediately. If you have diabetes, you should go for annual comprehensive eye exams even if you do not experience any of the above symptoms.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy

Typically, during early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctors may just monitor how your eyes are doing every few months.

However, during later stages, treatment may be necessary to stop your vision from worsening. Treatment options include:

  • Injections of medication (anti-VEGF drugs) that can slow down diabetic retinopathy. Other medication such as corticosteroids may also help.
  • Laser treatment that stops the blood vessels going to your retina from leaking.
  • Eye surgery

Consult your eye doctor on the various treatment options available if your diabetic retinopathy has started to affect your vision.

Diabetes can increase one’s risk of developing various eye diseases other than diabetic retinopathy, such as glaucoma and retinal detachment, that can also lead to blindness. Hence, if you have diabetes, it is important to keep it under control and also to go for regular comprehensive eye exams, so that any changes to your eyes can be detected as soon as possible.


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Glaucoma – Causes, Signs and Symptoms

Glaucoma – Causes, Signs and Symptoms

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma, often termed the “silent thief of sight”, is an eye disease that affects your eye’s optic nerve, usually caused by a pressure buildup in the eye due to poor drainage. Each eye has an optic nerve that relays information on things we see to our brain. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that is often asymptomatic and should be treated as soon as possible to slow down or even halt its progression.

There are two types of glaucoma:

1. Open-angle glaucoma

This is the most common type of glaucoma that occurs when the eye is not draining as well as it should be. This type of glaucoma progresses gradually. It is painless and has no symptoms at first. However, this type of glaucoma can be detected early with regular eye exams.

2. Angle-closure glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs when the iris is too close to the drainage angle of the eye, so the iris ends up blocking the drainage angle. When the drainage angle is completely blocked, eye pressure rises rapidly, resulting in sudden and severe symptoms. Such cases are considered an emergency and an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately.

Causes of glaucoma

Our eyes constantly produce fluid called aqueous humour. New aqueous should flow in while the same amount flows out to maintain normal eye pressure. However, if the drainage angle is not correct, the fluid cannot flow out and will build up in the eye. This results in eye pressure increasing, which may damage the optic nerve.

Some people are at higher risk of getting glaucoma than others. Such risk factors include:

  • Age (Risk of glaucoma increases from 50 years of age onwards)
  • Asian, Hispanic or African descent (due to genetic predisposition)
  • Existing medical conditions eg. diabetes, hypertension
  • Eye conditions eg. previous eye injury, high myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Long-term use of steroid medications

There are no specific lifestyle activities or diets that are linked to glaucoma, nor are there any definite ways to prevent glaucoma. The best thing that can be done in cases of glaucoma is early detection and treatment.

Signs and symptoms of glaucoma

The two types of glaucoma have differing signs and symptoms.

1. Open-angle glaucoma

One may not notice any vision loss until glaucoma is in its advanced stage. As the disease progresses, blind spots develop in one’s peripheral (side) vision. As this type of glaucoma tends to not show symptoms until damage is severe, it is important to go for regular eye exams, as eye exams are able to pick up on the abnormal eye pressure or any damaged optic nerve before you experience any symptoms.

2. Angle-closure glaucoma

One typically does not experience symptoms before an attack. Early symptoms of an oncoming attack include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches or eye pain.

During an attack, one may experience:

  • Severe eye pain, typically associated with headache 
  • Redness of eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting

People with such symptoms should see an ophthalmologist immediately.

How often does glaucoma lead to blindness?

Statistically, about 15% of glaucoma patients lose ability to read in one eye. However, glaucoma progresses at different rates for different individuals, the majority of glaucoma patients never reach blindness. If left untreated, glaucoma causes  one’s peripheral vision to start becoming blurry. Overtime, their central vision will be blurred as well, which leads to the person going blind.

Early detection of glaucoma is crucial in preventing any adverse consequences. With early detection, glaucoma is highly treatable. However, if glaucoma is left untreated until the optic nerve is damaged, the damage cannot be reversed, although further possible damage can still be prevented by visiting an ophthalmologist. Hence, it is important to go for regular eye exams to detect such eye diseases as early as possible, especially if you are at higher risk for them.

Treatment of glaucoma

Glaucoma is a progressive disease. While it cannot be completely cured, its progression can be slowed down or even halted through treatment.

1. Medication

Glaucoma is usually controlled with eyedrop medication. Some of these eyedrops help by reducing the amount of fluid (aqueous humour) your eye produces, while others may help fluid flow better through the drainage angle, thereby reducing your eye pressure.

As these eyedrop medicines are absorbed into the bloodstream , they may cause some side effects, such as stinging or itching sensations. Any side effects should be reported to your ophthalmologist.

2. Surgery

This option is usually undertaken if medical treatment with the eyedrops are not effective. The most common surgery is trabeculectomy, where an opening is created for the fluid in the eye to drain out. The fluid is absorbed by tissue around your eye and eye pressure is relieved.

There are other types of surgery used to treat more complicated cases of glaucoma.

3. Laser treatment

This is usually used for patients with angle-closure glaucoma. Iridotomies involve using a laser to create a tiny hole in the iris to help fluid flow to the drainage angle.

Book an eye exam to make sure your eyes are safe from the “silent thief of sight”.


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