Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

October 11, 2020

About Plaquenil, Your Retina & Side Effects

 


Plaquenil is a medication that was originally used to prevent or treat malaria, a serious but rare disease caused by bites from infected mosquitoes. It turns out that this drug is helpful in treating inflammatory diseases such as certain types of inflammatory disease. Inflammatory disease occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. Some diseases treated with Plaquenil include:

  • Lupus, which causes fever, rashes, skin problems, and other symptoms.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints of your hands and feet.
  • Sjorgren’s Syndrome, which causes dry eyes and dry mouth.

Plaquenil lowers your immune system’s ability to cause inflammation. This can help control symptoms like rashes, skin and mouth sores and joint pain. However, Plaquenil has side effects that can affect your eyes. A rare side effect of Plaquenil is damage to the eye's retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Using Plaquenil for a long period of time may harm the retina, causing serious vision loss. People with retinal damage from Plaquenil are not aware at first that they are losing vision. Unfortunately, once they lose a severe amount of vision loss, it is permanent.

If you take Plaquenil, it is very important to see an eye doctor who can examine your retina and provide any other testing and imaging, to check your retina for problems before serious damage occurs. Please schedule an eye exam with eye doctors at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

October 8, 2020

About Eyelid Twitches

If you have ever had an eyelid twitch for an extended period of time, you know how annoying it is. An eyelid twitch (or tic) is when you have a spasm or slight movement of your upper or lower eyelid. It comes on suddenly, and can last for a minute, hours, days or even longer. While it may feel as if everyone can see the twitch, most twitches are slight enough that they can’t be seen by someone simply looking at your face. Most common eyelid twitches are harmless, and do not affect your vision. However, there are some neurological problems that can make eyelid muscles contract, such as blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. These less common conditions generally tend to cause the eyelids to close more fully and for longer periods of time, limiting or completely blocking vision. Other muscles in the face may be affected as well. For the majority of us, the common eyelid twitch is a brief and minor annoyance. 

But when it lasts longer or occurs more frequently than usual, there are some steps you can take to make it go away:

Get Some Sleep!

Eyelid twitches often happen to people when they are overly tired. Get some restorative sleep.


Step Back From Stress!

Being under stress can lead to a twitch. If you can’t eliminate something causing you stress, find stress-reducing activities to help get rid of the twitch.


Cut Back On Caffeine!

As a stimulant, caffeine can cause eyelid spasms. Limiting your coffee, tea or soda intake may help to reduce eyelid twitching.


Moisturize Your Eyes!

In some cases, having irritated or dry eyes can lead to eyelid spasms. Get a dry eye exam if necessary or if you are bothered by dry eye problems.

If you or someone you know has ongoing eyelid twitching and gritty, uncomfortable eyes please schedule an eye exam at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

September 19, 2020

Senior Vision Changes after 60

 


As we age, even people who do not have age-related eye diseases and who have good visual acuity may experience vision changes or notice changes in the way their eyes function. A common change is that your eyes may take longer to adjust and focus or don’t adjust very well when moving from well lit to dimly lit area. This change in dark and light adaptation can make driving more difficult, especially at night or in the rain. Driving may be even more challenging for people with eye diseases that reduce their peripheral (side) vision such as glaucoma or increase their sensitivity to glare including cataracts. To be on the safe side, the National Traffic Safety Administration recommends that elders take a driving course designed specifically for seniors, drive during daylight hours, reduce speed and be extra-cautious at intersections. Another common senior vision change can be an increased difficulty in distinguishing an image from its background-particularly when subtle gradations of tone are involved. This is called “contrast sensitivity” and can also make driving in dim lighting more of a challenge.

If you or someone you know is over 60, it is important to have regular eye health and vision exams and for you to share any subtle difficulties with your vision so that we can help prevent eye problems and preserve your vision. Schedule a senior eye exam at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

August 17, 2020

Cataract Prevention in the Produce Aisle!

 

Did you know that regularly enjoying a piece of fruit and a side of vegetables can help prevent vision loss from cataracts? Many Americans don’t eat enough fresh vegetables and fruits. Most of us know that these foods are important for avoiding heart disease, stroke and cancer but don’t associate diet with cataract prevention. Studies from the United States, Japan and Sweden show that a diet rich in foods with substances called antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals. That damage is called oxidation. Free radicals in our bodies may come from:

Oxidation can lead to cataracts by causing changes to fats and proteins in the eye’s lens, making the lens cloudy. Antioxidants help slow down or prevent free radical damage. Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, certain substances in plants called flavonoids, and some minerals like selenium.

While you can take antioxidant supplements in the form of daily pills or capsules, these beneficial vitamins and minerals are best when they come from a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Loading up in the produce aisle and on your plate with fresh veggies and delicious fruits, knowing you are doing your eyes a favor!

A daily diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent cataract formation. If you or someone you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please schedule an eye exam at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

August 10, 2020

Nine Signs Children May Need an Eye Exam

 

Back-to-school shopping lists might include school supplies, new clothes, and even a haircut, but does it include an eye exam? It really should! Comprehensive eye exams can detect a variety of eye conditions that, left untreated in a child, could result in partial or complete loss of vision later in life. Common conditions include astigmatism and nearsightedness. Conditions such as amblyopia can cause serious problems if not addressed early in life. A screening at a pediatrician’s office is a great way to get referred for a vision or eye problem suspected in a child, but even a screening can miss eye problems that would be found during a full dilated eye exam. Here are nine signs children may need an eye exam:

·       Complaining of headaches: When children overly strain their eyes to focus, this causes headaches over extended periods of time

·       Becoming fatigued after reading: Eye fatigue is when eyes are burning, itching, or tired. It might be difficult to notice these symptoms in a child, but if a child is falling behind in reading comprehension or shies away from reading activities, this might be the culprit

·       Poor sports performance: If a child’s visual processing seems slower than it should, this might be a sign there is a vision issue at play. A child with an untreated vision problem might perform poorly in sports due to clumsiness, poor hand-eye coordination, inability to focus or skewed depth perception

·       Squinting or closing one eye: Squinting does not damage eyes, but it might be a sign that a child needs glasses. By squinting, a child is subconsciously attempting to make the pupil smaller, therefore letting in less light. This technique enhances a child’s focus that might be potentially blurry

·       Blinking or rubbing eyes: If a child rubs his/her eyes while trying to concentrate on an activity, particularly reading, or while being active, it could mean the child has a vision problem

·       Poor reading ability and comprehension: Good vision is essential for students of all ages to reach their full academic potential. If a child seems disinterested in reading, is sidetracked easily, does not understand material read, or reads the same sentence multiple times, it might be time to schedule an eye exam

·       Poor school performance: It is important for parents to remember that children do not have a concept of poor vision, so they might not always tell you when they cannot read something their teacher writes on the blackboard. As a result, his/her grades can suffer

·       Holding electronic devices or books too close to eyes: It is a myth that sitting too close to electronic devices can hurt your eyes, but if a child is sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close to his/her face, it might be a sign of a vision problem. Leaning closely in to read text or see images on the television might often mean a child is living with nearsightedness

·       Loss of place while reading: Using a finger to track the words can be typical behavior for a child who is learning to read, but pay attention to this behavior. He or she should eventually be able to focus on the words without losing place

To schedule a children’s eye exam please call Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

July 27, 2020

Sleep Problems & Glaucoma




A study of more than 6,700 people in the United States over age 40 who were previously diagnosed with glaucoma based on their optic nerve damage and visual field loss, responded to a survey about their sleep that revealed possible connections between glaucoma and sleep problems. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. Damage to this nerve-which is responsible for sending signals from the eye to the brain so you can see-often goes unnoticed until an eye exam reveals the nerve damage and related vision loss caused by glaucoma.
Patients were asked and responded to questions about a) amount of time slept, b) difficulties falling asleep, c) sleep disturbances specifically waking up during sleep, d) having diagnosed sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, e) use of sleep medication and f) problems with sleepiness during the day. The results revealed the following interesting information:
  • People who slept for 10 or more hours a night were three times more likely to have glaucoma-related optic nerve damage than those who slept 7 hours a night.
  • People who fell asleep in 9 minutes or less, or those who needed 30 minutes or more to fall asleep, were twice as likely to have glaucoma than those who took 10-29 minutes to fall asleep.
  • The odds of having missing vision were three times higher among people who got 3 or fewer or 10 or more hours of sleep per night, compared with those who got 7 hours a night.
  • People who said they had trouble remembering things because of daytime sleepiness were twice as likely to have visual field loss than those who said they were not sleepy during the day and did not notice memory problems.
  • People who said they had difficulty working on a hobby because they were sleepy during the day were three times more likely to have vision loss than people who reported no problems working on hobbies and no daytime sleepiness.
While it is unclear whether the sleep problems are a result of some glaucoma related phenomenon or perhaps whether these sleep problems might be early risk factors for glaucoma, it is important to mention to your eye doctor whether you experience sleep problems. Schedule an eye health exam beginning at age 40 at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

July 13, 2020

Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Safety Tips



Getting the right amount of UV light is important. Too much UV light exposure raises the risks of eye diseases, including cataractgrowths on the eye, and cancer. Strong exposure to snow reflection can also quickly cause painful damage called snow blindness and direct exposure to the sun can cause “solar retinitis” or really a retina sunburn!
Growths on the eye, such as pterygium, can show up in our teens or twenties, especially in surfers, skiers, fishermen, farmers, or anyone who spends long hours under the mid-day sun or in the UV-intense conditions found near rivers, oceans, and mountains.
Diseases like cataract and eye cancers can take many years to develop, but each time we're out in the sun without protection we could be adding cumulative damage that adds to our risks for these serious disorders. Babies and kids need to wear hats and sunglasses for this very reason. People of all ages should take precautions whenever they are outdoors.
As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. During sleep the eyes also clear out irritants such as dust, allergens or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate wake-sleep cycles. This may be more critical as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it's important that we protect our eyes from overexposure to UV light, our eyes also need minimal exposure to natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.
Follow these tips to protect your eyes from the sun all year long:
  • Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summertime, so be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats whenever you're outside.
  • Don't be fooled by clouds: the sun's rays can pass through haze and thin clouds.
  • Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun at any time, including during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, which is damage to the eye's retina from solar radiation.
  • Don't forget the kids and older family members: everyone is at risk, including children and senior citizens. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses.
  • Get a moderate amount of UV light for a good night's sleep
To learn more about your specific lifestyle and risks, as well as UV eye protection, please discuss your questions with our eye doctors when you schedule an eye exam at Center for Sight 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.