“Enhancing vision today…to help reach goals for tomorrow” is more than a motto. It is the essence of our practice.—Dr. Wylie

Have you ever tried to look into a room by looking into the keyhole? You only see part of the room... right? Well, that is what it would be like for your eye doctor to look into your eye through an undilated pupil. They would only see a partial view of your retina, with the possibility of missing vital information about the health of your eyes.

That is why it is important to have your eyes dilated for your exam, whether through traditional eyedrops which will wear off in several hours, or through new technology that can take a panoramic digital picture of the inside of your eye without dilation. Either method will provide your eye care professional valuable insight into your ocular and systemic health. Here are the top 5 reasons to have your full retina evaluated through a dilated view:

  1. To have the health of your retina evaluated. The retina is like the film of the camera of your eye that processes the vision accurately. The central retina contains cones for your color and detail vision, and the peripheral outer retina contains rods for your night vision.
  2. To detect ocular and systemic diseases early. Ophthalmic diseases such as glaucoma, and macular degeneration need to be caught early and treated for optimum vision. Furthermore, the saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”, is true. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol can be detected sometimes before they show up in the rest of your body. Your eye care practitioner can coordinate care with your family physician to ensure optimal health.
  3. Dilation can help your doctor get an accurate glasses prescription, especially for children. In the pediatric population the eye muscle can contract extensively more than adults, so their muscles work harder, thus fatiguing the visual system. Dilated exams can ensure a more accurate glasses prescription.
  4. To give you peace of mind, and also provide a baseline for your eye doctor for future examinations. If you move or relocate with a new doctor, have your records transferred for maximum eye health benefits.
  5. Lastly.......A dilated exam could save your life! Numerous reports show that cancers such as lung, or breast cancer metasticize to the eye and can be detected in the retina during an eye exam. In children up to age 15, there is a 3% chance of an aggressive cancer in the eye called Retinoblastoma. Symptoms of this in a child’s eye are a “White Pupil “ reflex in a photo. When detected, this cancer can be caught early by dilating the eye.

Overall, the benefits far outweigh the risks in a dilation of the eyes. The side effects are blurry vision, and sensitivity to light for several hours following the exam (so bring a driver with you). The benefits, however, could be larger than life!

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

CHEERS to your ocular health.

Did you know that nutrition plays a vital role in your ocular health?

Cardiologists stress lean meats, red wine, and exercise for your heart health. But what about your eyes? Well, studies show there are distinct food groups that show extreme benefit to the well being of your vision.

Lutein, found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli create an added insulation in your retina against macular degeneration. Yellow vegetables and fruit (squash, yellow watermelon) as well as Omega III supplements (fish oil or flax seed oil) also help boost the pigment cells in the macula to promote crisp vision. As a side note, it is best to purchase molecularly distilled fish oil, and take the pills at night to prevent unwanted GI effects or “fish burp” which occurs with less expensive, non distilled fish oils. Remember, not all fish oil pills are created equally.

What about preventing cataracts you ask? Well, studies have shown that vitamin C found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and kiwi can slow down cataract formation. Cutting your UV exposure by wearing sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection will also help, as well as smoking cessation. You see, cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that causes symptoms such as dim vision, glare at night, decreased focusing, and blurred vision.

Macular Degeneration is a condition of the retina in the back of the eye that causes symptoms of loosing the fine detail vision we have been used to, replacing it with a central scotomas or blind spots. Your central vision gets destroyed by this disease. Macular Degeneration is an inherited disease, as well as some cataract formations, so check your family history to see if you are at greater risk.

It behooves you to be aware of these conditions that affect millions of people worldwide, and do your best to incorporate preventative care such as good nutrition, regular check ups with your eye care practitioner, and preventing sun exposure as well as not smoking. Additionally, cooked food devalues the precious live enzymes, so these foods are best eaten raw.

Remember, you can play a vital role in your ocular health. After all, remember Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who said: "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food".

And lastly if you don’t have time to eat all those fruits and vegetables in a day consider a fruit or vegetable smoothie and then drink to your good ocular health!

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

Did you know that early intervention in children's vision is the key to success?

  • 80% of learning comes through vision.
  • In the first year of life, then by at least age 3 or 4, the child needs a comprehensive eye exam.
  • 6 months old is not too early.

Even though a school vision screening, nurse evaluation or Pediatrician screening is important, it doesn't take the place of a comprehensive eye exam by an eyecare professional. Some symptoms of an undetected vision problem include: Decreased performance in school, aversion to reading, excessive blinking, rubbing eyes, headache or inability to see 3-D movies.

This could indicate conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism, or farsightedness (hyperopia) that can be corrected with glasses.

More serious conditions may need surgery such as Esotropia, where the eye turns in, or Exotropia where the eye turns out.

Although school screenings, nurses, and pediatricians are extremely valuable, they don't take the place of a comprehensive eye exam by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

In fact, school screenings can give a false sense of security. There are visual skills necessary for reading beyond just reading an eye chart. If kids frequently lose their place while reading, they may benefit from glasses or vision exercises or therapy.

Vision Therapy is training of the eyes that help problems glasses alone do not.

A comprehensive exam can also reveal more serous threats to vision and health in children. A more rare but life threatening condition is a fast growing eye tumor called retinoblastoma. It is life threatening because the proximity of the eye is so close to the brain that fast intervention is critical. This is a condition that parents might notice by looking at pictures of the eyes and noticing a "white pupil."

Parents also need to also be aware of social issue, Shaken Baby Syndrome that is on the rise. It causes brain and retinal hemorrhage, as well as detachment and even death. Children up to age 3 do not have strong enough neck muscles to protect the vital organs from damage.

It is fine to bounce a baby on your knee in a playful manner, but Shaken Baby Syndrome happens when a forceful angry shaking occurs by an adult.

Resources to find out more information on children's vision can be found through your local eye care provider or websites such as American Optometric Association .

Also look for the InfantSEE program. It is a no cost public health program for early detection in the first year of life.

Don't Shake is the National center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

And American Academy of Pediatrics

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

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