Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60, and it is growing at an alarming rate all over the world. Join us in raising awareness of the importance of frequent vision screenings and retinal health checks.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has recognized February as Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people ages 60 and older in the United States. The most recent statistics show that over 10 million Americans have AMD.

According to a study funded by the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were as many as 9.1 million people living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the U.S., and it is estimated that 17.8 million people will have AMD by the year 2050. That’s a 95% increase—8.7 million more people who may be at risk of losing their vision, and they have no idea it’s even happening.

AMD is characterized by a loss of central vision due to damage to the retina. Although there is currently no cure available for this disease, recent advancements in treatment options for AMD are allowing for more and more patients to save their vision. Early detection is crucial when it comes to diagnosing, treating and managing Macular Degeneration. Our doctors at Beyer Eye Associates want to urge you to be aware of the risk factors associated with AMD and remind you to get your eyes checked on a regular basis.

The greatest risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Age (people over the age of 50)
  • Family history of AMD
  • History of smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of vitamins found in a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Obesity

In order to reduce your risk of developing AMD, our doctors recommend the following:

Be sure schedule your annual eye exam. Early detection is key!

Eat a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (lots of fruits & veggies!!)

Exercise regularly

Control your blood pressure and cholesterol

Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays

Here at Beyer Eye Associates, our doctors are able to diagnose, treat and manage AMD. We use the latest technology and have all the resources available to help you preserve your vision. Contact our office today to learn more about AMD and to schedule an exam with one of our doctors.

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Eyelid Surgery- BLEPHAROPLASTY

The eyes are the most expressive feature of the face, and the upper and lower eyelids have a large effect on the appearance of the eyes. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is an effective procedure that has the potential to dramatically affect our facial appearance and make us look more youthful and rested.

Drooping eyelids, puffy eye bags, and dark circles under your eyes are common issues. They are often hereditary and part of the aging process. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is designed to turn back the clock.

The procedure tightens or removes sagging skin around the eyes, resulting in a younger, well-rested look.

What is eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.

Surgery can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids or both.

Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.

Eyelid Surgery Candidates

If the eyelids are stretched, wrinkled, or baggy, the eyes can appear tired and older. Patients sometimes desire improvement in the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Similarly, upper and lower blepharoplasty can be performed separately or together. These surgeries are designed to remove excess skin (wrinkling) and fat (puffiness) and lead to wider, brighter eyes, which convey youth and alertness and more accurately reflects one’s vigor and energy level. You may be a candidate for eyelid surgery if:

What eyelid surgery can treat

  • Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
  • Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid

You have excess skin or fat in the upper or lower eyelids

You have vision problems secondary to excessive skin on the upper eyelids

You have laxity of the lower eyelids and desire a tightening procedure

Eyelid surgery recovery

During your eyelid surgery recovery, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze, after your procedure is completed.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your eyes, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation, dry eyes and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment. Irritation at the incision sites is also possible.

Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

Eyelid surgery results

The results of eyelid surgery will be long lasting. While there usually is little pain involved in this surgery, there can be swelling or bruising. Most patients are presentable to the public in 10-14 days. However, it may take a few months before final healing is completed.

While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Ongoing sun protection will help to maintain your results.

Dealing with Dry Eyes

Have you ever experienced stinging, burning or scratchiness in your eyes? Are your eyes sensitive to light, irritated, red, or watery and do you find yourself rubbing them more than normal?  This may be a sign of Dry Eye. Dry eye can occur when your basal tear production decreases, your tear evaporation increases, or the tear composition is imbalanced. When the quantity and/or quality of tears does not keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Yes, watery eyes are a sign of dryness too, your body produces excessive tears in response to the dryness. The condition is uncomfortable, but it can also cause blurry vision and eye fatigue, especially at night.  This can impact your safety behind the wheel.

Tears are from glands around your eye and are made of fatty oils, water, mucus, and more than 1500 different proteins.  This combination allows moisture, lubrication and special proteins that help fight against infections. Your eyes need tears to work effectively and maintain eye health.

Dry eyes can be a side effects from medications, a part of the natural aging process, changes in hormones, a symptom of several diseases, or syndromes such as bulging eyes that do not allow your eyelids to close normally.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above for a prolonged period of time,

it might be a good time to make an appointment with Beyer Eye to rule out disease and to get to the heart of the problem.

 

In order to determine the source of your problem, a comprehensive eye exam is necessary. We will go over your medical history as well as your ocular health to diagnose the cause of your dry eyes. Our doctor may measure your tear production and determine the surface condition of your eyes and the quality of your tears.

Once your Dry Eyes are confirmed and the cause rooted out, we can then safely determine the next course of action.

The most common treatment used to be drops and ointments to reduce inflammation and provide an artificial tear.  These need to be reapplied often, especially if your condition is chronic. There are many prescriptions as well as over-the-counter options that have varying degrees of success. Some patients report a rebound effect, when the treatment wears off, they feel the symptoms are exaggerated.

 

Beyer Eye is pleased to offer you a state-of-the-art alternative.

TrueTear® is a device that uses the latest technology called neurostimulation to help your eyes temporarily make more of your own tears with tiny pulses of energy. 

We are among a select group of practices offering TrueTear® which is a drug-free, drop-free option for a more comfortable life and better vision.

The device was just approved by the FDA in April 2017. It uses proven technology found in pacemakers, cochlear implants, and TENS Devices for back pain to stimulate the nerves that source the Lacrimal Function Unit (LFU). This is the part of your eye which supplies your tears.

Call any of our 3 convenient locations and visit to ask if TrueTear® is right for you.,


395 Highway 33
Mercerville NJ 08619
609-586-0273

498 Monmouth Rd
Millstone NJ 08510
609-259-2221

11 Friends Lane, Ste 101
Newtown PA 18940
215-550-6136

 

We’re pleased to announce that TrueTear® is now available at Beyer Eye Associates

If you feel like your eyes aren’t making enough tears, our Eye Care Providers and you
can decide together if TrueTear® could be right for you. TrueTear® is a device that
uses state-of-the-art technology called neurostimulation to help your eyes temporarily
make more of your own tears.

TrueTear® highlights

  • Your own natural tears
  • Drop-free, drug-free option
  • Prescription only
  • Fits into your daily routine

We are excited to be among a select group of practices offering TrueTear®.
Contact our office today to schedule a TrueTear® demo during your next appointment.

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NEARSIGHTEDNESS: A REAL CHILDREN’S HEALTH CONCERN

Now considered a major health concern, myopia (nearsightedness) has increased by 66% in the United States since 1971. Onset can begin as early as age 6, and early detection is the key to prevention and reduction of potentially serious complications later in life.

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition diagnosed during a basic eye exam. For those who are nearsighted, objects that are farther away appear blurry. Myopia is caused by genetics, as well as other environmental factors. For instance, staring at any object for too long can cause the eye to elongate — it’s this elongation that leads to myopia.

Adults and children with myopia, or nearsightedness, have difficulty seeing objects clearly from a distance because their corneas are usually slightly longer than normal from front to back. This common condition is often genetic, but studies also link the recent surge in cases to the increased use of handheld electronic devices.

Without treatment, children could fall behind in school, experience eyestrain and headaches, or face more serious future risks, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and blindness.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • HEADACHES  Caused by excessive eyestrain
  • DIFFICULTY DRIVING Especially at night
  • FEELING FATIGUED  When driving or playing sports
  • BLURRY VISION  When looking at distant objects
  • SQUINTING Or partially closing the eyelids to see clearly

THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNTREATED MYOPIA

When left undiagnosed and untreated, myopia (nearsightedness) can lead to a host of complications, such as reduced ability to learn, and later in life:2

  • Cataracts tend to develop sooner in nearsighted eyes.
  • Nearsighted people are 2 to 3 times more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment.

At Beyer Eye we can perform a simple examination to determine if the vision issues you’re experiencing are caused by myopia — and put a treatment plan in place that may prevent further complications associated with myopia.

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April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future.

More women than men face vision problems

Awareness is the key to educating women on why vision problems can directly impact their health.

Women are More Likely to Develop Dry Eye than Men

Dry Eye Syndrome, a painful condition that can impair vision and increase the risk of eye infection, affects millions of Americans.  Dry Eye is actually a group of disorders caused by the inability to produce enough tears with sufficient lubrication.  Symptoms can include burning or itchy eyes as well as increased eye mucus and a gritty or scratchy feeling on the eyes.  Severe cases may even include corneal scarring or ulcers.    Dry Eye is one of the leading causes of visits to eye care professionals.  Treatment options vary from eye drops and ointments to some types of surgery.

The highly prevalent nature of this disease and the loss of quality of life associated with it make it an important health concern. Risk factors for developing this disease include increased age, environmental exposure to irritants, and—one of the most important—sex.

Women are also more likely to develop Dry Eye.  Approximately 6 million have moderate to severe symptoms of dry eye syndrome, as compared to 3 million men, according to the National Women’s Health Resource Center.*

Women who are pregnant, on certain types of birth control, or experiencing menopause have increased rates of Dry Eye.  In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, women who are on hormone replacement therapy are also more likely to experience symptoms.  Women taking only estrogen are 70 percent more likely to experience Dry Eye, and those taking estrogen and progesterone have a 30 percent increased risk of developing the condition.

Here are tips on helping to avoid irritation from Dry Eye:

  • Use a humidifier to keep natural moisture in the air
  • Avoid hair dryers, harsh winds, overly warm rooms and cigarette smoke
  • When outdoors, wear goggles or sunglasses that wrap around the
  • eyes
  • Use drops of artificial tears, if directed by your doctor, especially in climates with low humidity, in air conditioned environments, and in airplanes or cars when the heater or defroster is on
  • When using a computer, remember to blink often and give eyes a rest from staring at the screen
  • Apply a warm washcloth to soothe irritated eyes
  • Do not use harsh soaps or cleansers on around the eye area

For more information on Dry Eye or other eye diseases or conditions with higher incidence rates in women, please contact Prevent Blindness Ohio at 800-301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.

 

*https://www.preventblindness.org/dry-eye-syndrome-affects-more-women-men

March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month.

Before you think that this topic does not apply to you, think again. Each day, over 2,000 Americans suffer an eye injury. This means that almost one million Americans have experienced some vision loss due to eye injury, which has resulted in more than $300 million in lost work time, medical expenses and workman’s compensation.

We usually think of work-related eye injuries as being isolated to outdoor jobs such as construction work, landscaping or animal handling. Ironically, working in an office can be just as hazardous to your eyesight. The most common eye problem is computer vision syndrome. While consistently being on your computer will not permanently damage your vision, it can make your eyes feel irritated and fatigued.

Computer vision syndrome is not just a myth. Too much screen time and not enough breaks can cause headaches, inattentiveness, neck pain, back strain, and dry eye. Studies show that staring at a screen for extended periods of time lengthens the interval between blinks, preventing eyes from staying lubricated and moistened (Source: Eye Med).

There are some ways to prevent computer vision syndrome and keep your eyes feeling comfortable:

  1. Reposition your screen. Adjust your screen to be at a right angle away from any direct light source. Invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to make computer work gentler on your eyes.
  2. Remember the 20-20-20 rule. This rule reminds you that every 20 minutes, you should look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Don’t forget to blink. While it may sound ridiculous, write yourself a note and place it on your monitor. Write “Blink Often” or any other message that will remind you to regularly close your eyes to keep them from getting dried out.
  4. Use artificial tears. Over-the-counter eye drops can be extremely helpful in preventing dry eye and keeping your eyes comfortable.
  5. Drink water. Adequate hydration can make a big difference, especially during the winter months when heaters and furnaces can make the air particularly dry.
  6. Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. Nothing can replace the importance of having an eye exam by a licensed ophthalmologist at regular intervals. If you have any concerns about your vision or experience any changes with your eyesight, do not delay in making an appointment.

 Source: http://yoursightmatters.com/march-is-workplace-eye-wellness-month/

Blue Light-Blocking Glasses May Help With Sleep, Cognition

CHICAGO — Lenses that filter blue light almost doubled nighttime melatonin levels, reduced awakenings, and enhanced at least one measure of cognition in a randomized controlled trial that assessed these outcomes in wearers of BluTech Lenses.

“The concept of harmful blue light has been gaining attention. Blue light is made out to cause many health problems,” said Ryab-Quang Van, a student at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At Academy 2017, the Academy of Optometry’s Annual Conference, Van reported that blue light-filtering lenses, which are touted to ameliorate these negative effects, may indeed provide some protection.

In the digital age, blue light exposure is hard to avoid, as the average person now spends the evening hours staring at one device or the other. “You wonder why you can’t fall asleep.” he said. “Blue light has been your enemy for the past few hours, we are told.” Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells respond to short-wavelength light and contribute to circadian rhythm entrainment. Evening light exposure and/or changes in sleep/wake behavior can cause dysregulation of melatonin, which is associated with impaired mood and cognitive performance, he explained. According to manufacturers, blue light–blocking lenses can ameliorate these putative negative effects. One such device is BluTech Lenses, which purport to block ultraviolet and blue light rays from digital devices, improve depth and color perception, improve visual acuity and night vision, improve contrast, and reduce glare. Because BluTech Lenses are a popular product in this category, Van and colleagues chose to evaluate the efficacy of these glasses. The study was independently conducted.

 

For more information on the results of the study see: Click Here

Glaucoma affects over 60 million people around the world

Glaucoma is referred to as the sneak thief of sight and can be present without a patient even knowing. As the nerve fibers in the optic nerve are damaged in glaucoma, there is a gradual and painless loss of vision.
The eyes use a natural drainage system that allows fluid to exit the eye, keeping the pressure within a normal range.  When the drainage system forms a blockage that prevents the fluid from draining and the pressure in the eye increases. When the pressure inside the eye rises it may cause damage the optic nerve.  If left untreated, glaucoma causes a slow and sometimes unnoticed loss of vision.
Pressure in an eye with glaucoma damages the optic nerve in the back of the eye and, if untreated, can lead to vision loss. Several new tools have recently emerged from ophthalmology research laboratories to become part of the state-of-the-art eye care that doctors provide.

 

EYE STENT PROCEDURE & RECOVERY

Eye stents are approximately 1-millimeter-long and inserted into the drainage system of the eye.  At the time of surgery cataract surgery, the stent is placed through a small corneal incision into the filtering meshwork. The stent then acts as a drainage system between the anterior chamber of the eye and Schlemm’s canal and permits the eye to drain fluid, thus reducing intraocular pressure.

Stents are permanent openings that do not need to be changed. While many patients who receive stent implants still require glaucoma medications, their need for them is largely reduced. The implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, requiring follow-up the day after.

Patients can return to normal activities immediately, with the exception of strenuous activities that may cause the eye to strain for 1 week.

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Eight Steps to Protect Your Sight From Contact Lens Infections

Most people don’t think of contact lenses as a medical device. But poor habits can set you up for serious eye infections that can damage vision or even cause blindness. Contact lenses provide safe and effective vision correction for an estimated 40 million Americans. However, studies show that most contact lens wearers have at least one bad habit that puts them at risk of vision loss. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following these eight steps to protect your sight from contact lens infections.