Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

December 4, 2016

Why Do Children Need Glasses?

Why Do Children Need Glasses?
Kids can need glasses to correct common refractive errors that can blur their vision-like nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia or astigmatism, or they need glasses to help correct an eye muscle imbalance, or strabismus such as “crossed eyes’ or esotropia or provide help with a vision development problem such as “lazy eye” or amblyopia. The reasons children can need to wear glasses really depends on the nature of their vision development and eye coordination and focusing ability. The reasons can be somewhat different than for adults in certain cases. Depending on the problem they may have to wear the glasses through their developmental years and could “outgrow” the need in certain development instances.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about why kids need glasses or need to schedule a children’s eye exam please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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.

November 27, 2016

Dry Eye Discomfort Slows Reading

Dry Eye Slows Reading Speed
Anyone who experiences the symptoms of dry eye is familiar with dryness, discomfort, burning, light sensitivity and even watering that can mark the presence of dry eye disease. But, did you know that dry eye problems and disease can impact visual function? Researchers reporting in Cornea compared visual function using reading tests including the Radner Reading Test, the International Reading Speed Texts [IReST], and the Wilkins Reading Test and studied cognitive function, fatigue, dry eye symptoms, reading acuity, reading rate and blink rate. The results showed significantly lower reading rates in all reading tests in patients with dry eye and a significantly increased fatigue level when reading in dry eye patients.

If you suffer from symptoms of dry eye such as dryness, burning, light sensitivity or watering and have noticed an uncomfortable slowing of your reading ability and even greater eye fatigue or tired eyes when reading, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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.

November 14, 2016

Diabetic Eye Exams: Don’t Delay!

About Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye problems include an increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, neurological eye muscle problems and the potential for serious vision loss from diabetic retinopathy a retinal vascular disease. Vision loss from diabetic eye disease is manageable and in many instances preventable but requires early diagnosis and treatment to be effective. This means ALL patients with diabetes must be diligent in having eye exams at intervals recommended by their eye doctors and/or their primary care physicians, internists or endocrinologists.

About Diabetes

According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics 21.7 million U.S. adults aged 18 and over (9.2%) have been diagnosed with diabetes and this percentage increases with age. One in five adults aged 65 and over (20.5%, or 8.7 million) has diagnosed diabetes, compared with 11.0% (11.3 million) aged 40–64 and 1.9% (1.7 million) aged 18–39.

About Delay in Seeking Diabetic Eye Exams
There seems to be a trend in that the more recently you are in having your diabetes diagnosed, the longer you delay in seeking and annual diabetic eye exam. This is troubling in preventing vision loss and avoiding diabetic eye problems. Among all adults, the percentage who visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months increased with years since diabetes diagnosis. About half, 50% of those diagnosed with diabetes within the prior 5 years had visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, compared with 57.3% of those diagnosed 5-10 years ago and 61.2% of those diagnosed 10 or more years ago. Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, the percentage who had visited an eye doctor during the past 12 months increased with age: 38.2% for those aged 18–39, 53.8% for those aged 40–64, and 66.5% for those aged 65 and over. Thus, among adults with diabetes, both age and years since diagnosis may play a role in visiting an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, please take the time to schedule and eye exam in order to prevent the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease and diabetic eye problems-most of which are preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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.

November 6, 2016

Eye Problems from ADHD Medication


If you, your child or someone you know takes ADHD medication it is important to understand the possible side effects that might impact eyes, cause eye problems and alter vision. The most common prescription medication we see children and even adults taking for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is methylphenidate which has a number of trade names such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana. While the common side effects of loss of appetite, nervousness and difficulty sleeping are easily recognized, researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus raised some concern that this treatment may be associated with increased risk of angle closure glaucoma and a disturbance of eye refraction and optical prescriptions. They initiated a study to investigate the effects of methylphenidate treatment on refraction, intraocular pressure (IOP), and the anterior chamber in children with ADHD. This was a pilot study where children diagnosed with ADHD were examined before the start of methylphenidate treatment and again 3 and 9 months after the start of treatment. Their examinations included an eye exam with ordinary as well as cycloplegic refraction-one performed with eye drops and high resolution imaging study of the anterior chamber of the eye where the delicate structures related to glaucoma could be viewed and measured.

ADHD Medication Eye Study Conclusions
The researchers found that methylphenidate does not seem to affect refraction, or optical prescription in most children with ADHD. But, after 9 months of treatment there was a reduction in the eye anterior chamber depth, which has been described as a powerful predictor of angle closure glaucoma. As this was a pilot study more work is needed to really understand any increased risk.

What You Need to Know and Do
If you, your child or someone you know is taking methylphenidate of any type for ADHD, it would be worthwhile scheduling a routine eye examination so that we can measure the refraction, the intraocular pressure (IOP) and anterior chamber angle and depth. We do this regularly during your eye exam. BE SURE TO TELL US YOU ARE TAKING METHYLPHENIDATE. If your eye exam is normal we will most likely ask you to have a repeat exam in a year. BUT, if at any time there s a change in your vision, pain, redness, glare or light sensitivity we want you to call right away and schedule an immediate appointment for that day.

If you or someone you know is being treated for ADHD with methylphenidate medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana, it is important to have a routine eye exam to avoid any risk of eye problems, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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 23, 2016

Dry Eye Help with Punctal Plugs


Dry eye is a very common problem we talk to patients about almost every day. There are many causes of dry eye and we must carefully examine patients to find the cause and type of dry eyes. The good news is that there are many helpful treatment options we can prescribe. One of the most helpful and convenient ways to improve dry eye is with the insertion of tiny microscopic “plugs” into the tear ducts where your tears would normally drain. These tear ducts are located in the nasal area of your eyelids and are easily visible to us during your eye exam. The openings of the tear ducts are called a “puncta” and the tiny plugs are called “punctal plugs.” Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Ophthalmology confirmed the benefits of punctal plus with little risk of complications. Punctal plugs are a convenient treatment we can prescribe when necessary to help you with the symptoms of dry eyes.

If you or someone you know suffers from dry eye or wishes help for dry eyes please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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 16, 2016

Aging Eye Problems

About Aging Eyes
Aging eye problems are a fact of life for adults growing older just like wrinkles, slowing metabolism and graying hair. Eventually, your eyes are affected by age so it’s important to understand how your eyes change with age and what you can do to preserve your eye health and vision. Some aging eye changes and problems are expected and normal and others indicate the presence of eye diseases that need to be detected, diagnosed and treated or changes that need to be addressed to preserve vision. For these reasons having regular eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor is key-especially after the age of 40 years old.


Presbyopia
Beginning in the late 30s and early 40s, the crystalline lens in your eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus and read up close. Your “arms seem “too short.” This condition is called presbyopia, which literally means "aging eye", and is most often treated with reading glasses, progressive lenses or bifocals depending on how you need to use your eyes for various tasks throughout the day, for work or recreation.

Dry Eye
Dry eye often develops with age and is a common problem for women during pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal changes cause changes in the eye’s tear production. Certain medications can also cause dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may be prone to an eyelid irritation called blepharitis, a common cause of irritation or swelling of the eyelids. The cause of your dry eye-either too few tears being produced or too rapid evaporation of tears will need to be diagnosed and then your eye doctor can prescribe a range of treatments including eye drops that add artificial tears, prescription eye drops that help you make more of your own tears called Restasis®, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain more of your own tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops and many other treatment options to get you help for dry eye symptoms and discomfort.

Diabetic Retinopathy
People in their 50s, 60s and 70s with diabetes are most at risk for this disease. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely due to damage from elevated blood sugar levels. But, you can take steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy with tight control of blood sugar, low fat diets, regular exercise and controlling blood pressure levels. It is also critical to see your eye doctor regularly for diabetic eye exams as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be slowed and often prevented.

Cataracts
Cataracts are very common in older people. As you age, proteins in your crystalline lens begin to clump together and cause the lens to be cloudy. This is the development of a cataract where the lens has become less transparent, causing blurry, cloudy or dim vision and increased glare and haloes around lights. Many people with the condition describe it as similar to looking out of dirty windshield. Cataracts can interfere with daily activities like driving at night and distinguishing colors. While treatment of early cataracts with changes in eyeglass prescription may provide some benefit, the only really effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant which can correct the cataract as well as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that damages the fibers that transmit visual information to the brain. This damage often leads to loss of side vision or peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will certainly lead to progressive vision loss and ultimately total blindness. Glaucoma is most common in people age 55 and older. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially the most common type of glaucoma, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams at intervals that depend on your risk factors-such as smoking, sleep apnea, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, early menopause-as recommended by your eye doctor.

Floaters and Flashes
As people grow older, the gel, called the Vitreous-that fills the inside their eye starts to shrink, forming clumps, liquid or strands. These strands and clumps can appear as “floaters” that appear as small specks or lines moving in your field of vision. As it shrinks, the gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing you to see “flashes” which appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. While this is normally harmless, in some cases it can lead to retinal detachment and cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you experience new floaters and flashes, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are over age 45, are nearsighted or have had eye injuries in the past.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a senior eye problem that affects the central vision, limiting a person’s ability to read and recognize faces. This can be caused by a thinning and deterioration of the macula which is the center of the retina or by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. AMD can lead to blindness if not treated and it continues to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65. Fortunately with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, vision loss from AMD is preventable or at least manageable so that we can reduce vision loss and in many cases, recover vision.

If you or someone you know is concerned about ageing eye problems such as presbyopia, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts please call Center for Sight at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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 9, 2016

Dry Eye Disease and Hair Loss



About Dry Eye and Hair Loss
What do dry eye and hair loss have to do with each other? As it turns out, recent research suggests there may very well be a link through your immune system. Alopecia means hair loss. When a person has a condition called Alopecia Areata the hair falls out in round patches on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Alopecia is not contagious and it is not due to anxiety. Alopecia is actually caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles and resulting in hair loss. We now know that people with alopecia often suffer from dry eye disease. Researchers examined a series of patients who were previously diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and compared them to a control group who did not have hair loss. They had each patient complete an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and evaluated their tear film using a Schirmer Test for tear quantity, a tear break-up time test and corneal staining tests. Dry eye disease (DED) was diagnosed in 84% of Alopecia Areata patients and in 15% of the controls. They believe that a certain type of cell mediated autoimmunity plays a key role in both Alopecia Areata and dry eye disease and that the inflammatory mechanisms causing Alopecia Areata may trigger dry eye disease or vice versa. Based on this research it is recommended that all patients with Alopecia Areata be evaluated for dry eye disease.

If you or someone you know suffers from Alopecia Areata hair loss and wishes to be evaluated for dry eye disease and problems, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ 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.