Amniotic Membranes to Treat Corneal Trauma and Disease

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Acid Burns, Alkali Burns, Amniotic membrane, Chemical Burn, Cornea, Eye Diseases, Eye Injuries, Homepage

Amniotic Membranes to Treat Corneal Trauma and Disease

Most people recognize the term amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is the fluid surrounding a fetus while in the womb during pregnancy. For over a hundred years, scientists have been aware of the healing properties existent within this fluid; however, it is only within the past few years that these healing properties have been made available to help treat ocular conditions in the form of sutureless amniotic membranes.

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Eye Care Technology

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Annual Eye Exam, Diabetic Eye Disease, Eye Conditions, Eye Diseases, home, Homepage, Technology

At Okaloosa Eye Care, we strive to keep up to date with the latest technology to ensure quality care for our patients. Here is an example of some of the computerized technology that we have in our office as well as information on how each piece of equipment can enhance your eye care experience.

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Save Your Vision Month

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Comprehensive Eye Exam, Eye Diseases, home, Homepage, Save your vision month, Uncategorized

SAVE YOUR VISION MONTH The American Optometric Association has named March as Save Your Vision Month.  In honor of this month, we want to give you a list of ten important ways to help you save your vision. 1.  Have an annual eye examination with dilation.  Annual exams help to keep your prescription up-to-date and provide you with the best possible vision.  In addition, dilated eye examinations can detect many diseases, both within the eye as well as the rest of the body.  Early detection and treatment of disease can help prevent permanent vision loss, and even blindness. 2.  Eat your veggies.  Recent research has found that a healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables (especially leafy greens, like spinach and kale) can delay the progression of many diseases including macular degeneration and cataracts. 3.  Protect your eyes from the sun.  Ultraviolet damage from the sun can cause pinguecula and pterygium (growths on the white portion of the eyes), cataracts, macular degeneration, and skin cancer along the eyelids.  Make sure to protect your eyes from this damage by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. 4.  Stay active.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by staying active can help prevent diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure which can cause significant eye disease.  Staying active has also shown to be beneficial for glaucoma and macular degeneration patients as well, so get moving now! 5.  Take visual breaks from computer and handheld devices.  Long hours on the computer or handheld devices can cause eye strain and dryness so make sure to take frequent breaks.  We often recommend the 20/20/20 rule.  Every 20 minutes, take a break and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  This rule applies to kids and teens too so make sure to limit their screen use. 6.  See your primary care provider on a regular basis.  Many diseases that affect the body can affect the eyes as well so make sure to see your primary care doctor on a regular basis and to follow his or her advice. 7.  Don’t smoke.  In addition to the known effects on the body, smoking also damages the eyes.  Smoking increases dry eye disease, worsens glaucoma, and can double the rate of progression of macular degeneration.  If you already smoke, talk to your primary care doctor about options to help you quit. 8.  Follow safety protection guidelines.  If you are working with potential eye hazards around the house or work, make sure to wear the appropriate eye safety protection.  Don’t forget eye safety for sports too.  Eye injuries can cause blindness and most eye injuries can be prevented with the proper protection. 9.  Don’t overwear or abuse your contact lenses.  Many contact lens wearers have a bad habit of overwearing their lenses.  Don’t wait until your contacts get uncomfortable to remove them or replace them.  Wearing your contacts longer hours than recommended or not replacing them on the recommended schedule can significantly increase your risk for vision-threatening infections. 10.  Don’t ignore warning signs.  If you experience a sudden change in vision, visual distortion, or floaters or flashing lights,...

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Dry Eyes

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Dry Eyes, Eye Diseases, home, Homepage, Uncategorized

DRY EYES Do your eyes burn?  Are they frequently red?  Do they feel scratchy and irritated?  Do your eyes feel dry?  Do your eyes water frequently, especially after reading or working on the computer?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from dry eye syndrome. What causes dry eyes? Dry eye syndrome is caused by a deficiency in the tear film.  People  naturally produce “tears” that lubricate the front surface of the eye and work to keep the eye comfortable while also assisting in providing clear vision and fighting off infection.  This natural tear film, as we call it, is actually comprised of three layers: The innermost layer, the mucin layer, is produced by cells in the conjunctiva, the white portion on the front of the eye.  This layer helps the tears adhere to the front surface of the eye. The middle layer, the aqueous layer, is the watery layer and comprises the majority of the tear film.  This aqueous layer is produced by the lacrimal gland. The outermost layer, the lipid layer, is an oily layer that is actually produced by meibomian glands within the eyelids.  This layer helps to keep the tears from evaporating into the air.  Since the tear film will eventually evaporate, the eyelids periodically blink to smooth the tear film over the eye’s surface. Many people assume that dryness is always a result of decreased production in the watery (aqueous) layer of the tear film; however, that is not always the case.  A deficiency in any of the layers of the tears, as well as a problem with insufficient blinking, can cause dry eyes. What are the treatment options for dry eyes? The treatment options for dry eyes are numerous and can vary significantly based on which layer of the tear film is deficient. Treatment for dry eyes can include artificial tears, gel, or ointment.  These over-the-counter options work primarily to increase the watery component of the tears; however, some newer options also replace the outer lipid component as well.  Since these treatments only temporarily increase the tear film volume, they do need to be instilled on a regular basis for good results, similar to repeatedly putting moisturizer on your skin.  It is important to avoid using OTC drops that claim to “get the red out” on a regular basis because if used too frequently, you can become dependent on these drops and develop “rebound redness”. Another treatment option is a prescription medication, called Restasis.  Rather then simply providing moisture, this medication works to help your eyes produce more of their own tears.  Some auto-immune and inflammatory conditions can cause dryness.  In these cases, anti-inflammatory drops may be beneficial as well. Punctal plugs can also be used to help slow down the drainage of tears into the tear ducts, thereby allowing the tears to stay on the surface of the eyes longer.  Punctal plugs can be placed by an eye doctor into your tear duct in a simple in-office procedure. Treatment for dry eyes can also include treating any eyelid inflammation, infection, or clogged eyelid glands.  These can include...

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AMD: Treatment

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Eye Conditions, Eye Diseases, Homepage, Low Vision, Macular Degeneration, Uncategorized

What are the Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration? Treatment and management options vary based on both the severity of the macular degeneration and the type of macular degeneration, dry or wet.   Dry Macular Degeneration Patients with dry macular degeneration usually experience a gradual loss of central vision while maintaining peripheral vision.  Although dry macular degeneration can not be cured, treatment is usually aimed at trying to slow down the disease process.  Common recommendations include: Regular Follow-up Examinations: Regular follow-up examinations are necessary to monitor for progression into the wet form of macular degeneration.  They are also important to continually update your glasses prescription to help provide the best vision possible.   Vitamins/Supplementation: Your eye doctor will generally recommend a formulation of vitamins to help slow down the progression of macular degeneration.  A study called the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) showed a significant reduction in progression of macular degeneration for patients who ate a specific formulation of antioxidant vitamins and zinc.  An expansion of this study, AREDS 2, is currently being conducted to further evaluate the concentration of  these vitamins as well as supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and lutein and zeaxanthin.   Certain formulations of these vitamins may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers and may interact with other vitamins or medications, so it is important to ask your doctor before starting any nutritional supplementation.   UV Protection:  Some evidence suggests that there may be a link with AMD and exposure to the sunlight.  Patients with macular degeneration also tend to be more light sensitive.   Quitting Smoking:  Studies suggest that smoking seems to increase the progression of Macular Degeneration, so stopping smoking is one of the best ways to lower your rate of progression.   Wet Macular Degeneration Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula.  Treatment for wet macular degeneration includes all of the above recommendations for dry macular degeneration plus additional treatment aimed at attacking the abnormal blood vessels.   Traditionally, lasers were used to treat these abnormal leaky blood vessels.  These lasers did work to destroy the blood vessels; however, they also destroyed the surrounding tissues, resulting in poor vision.   In the past 10 years,  treatment options for wet macular degeneration have greatly improved.   Medications, such as Lucentis, Macugen, and Eyelea, are now available to attack these blood vessels without destroying the tissues, thereby resulting in much better vision outcomes.     If you have macular degeneration or have a family history of macular degeneration, it is important to have regular comprehensive eye examinations.  The doctors of Okaloosa Eye Care want to help you maintain the best vision possible.  Please call our office at (850)683-0221 to schedule your eye exam...

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AMD: Diagnosis

Posted by on Feb 12, 2013 in Dilated Eye Exam, Eye Conditions, Eye Diseases, Homepage, Macular Degeneration, Uncategorized, Vision Problems

How do I know if I have Macular Degeneration? Macular Degeneration (AMD) can only be diagnosed with a dilated comprehensive eye exam.   During this exam, we check your visual acuity (measure your vision) and dilate your eyes.  Dilation drops are used to dilate (or enlarge) your pupils, thereby, allowing us a view into the inner portion of your eye, called the retina.    If any signs of macular degeneration are found, additional testing can be performed to determine the severity of macular degeneration and also to serve as a baseline to monitor for progression. Some of the additional tests that we perform in our office include: Retinal Photography – Our retinal camera allows us to take photographs of the inner portion of the eye, including the macula.  Therefore, we can have a photograph depicting the severity of macular degeneration at the date of the exam.  This instrument is very useful for monitoring for progression of macular degeneration, as well as other eye conditions. Optical Coherence Tomography(OCT) – Optical coherence tomography is a relatively new technology.   The OCT works similar to an ultrasound; however, it uses reflected light, instead of sound, to construct an image.  The OCT allows us to get a cross-sectional image of the macula, revealing swelling or new blood vessel growth underneath the surface.  This device is very useful in detecting early wet macular degeneration. Genetic Testing – We now also offer genetic testing for macular degeneration (Macula Risk).  Once a patient has been diagnosed with any stage of macular degeneration, we can get a DNA sample from a cheek swab and send it to the laboratory for processing.  This test then predicts the patient’s likelihood of developing advanced AMD within the next 5 years.  Having this knowledge allows us to develop a better follow-up and management plan for our patients with AMD. At Okaloosa Eye Care, we strive to provide quality, thorough eye examinations for all of our patients.  If you would like to schedule an appointment for an examination in our office, call (850) 683-0221....

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