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Page one of Articles posted by Ken Moadel M.D. Blog


The Danger Diabetes Presents to the Health of your Eyes

Created on: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Diabetes is a growing issue throughout the world, with an estimated 382 million people suffering from it in 2013. If not treated, diabetes can lead to other serious medical complications such as: ischemic heart disease, kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke—but did you know that diabetes can also affect your eyes?

According to the American Optometric Association, diabetic retinopathy is a condition that “causes progressive damage to the retina.” The leading cause of blindness in the United States is attributed to this disease.

If you have diabetic retinopathy it is very difficult to regulate and requires a lot of extra care. Properly adhering to a good diet will help to mitigate the damages to your eyes, but a good diet alone will not be enough to ensure healthy eyes. Just because you aren’t suffering from eye pain, does not mean you don’t need medical attention.

Diabetic retinopathy is unpredictable, making follow-up care all the more important to maintain good visual health. Always be sure to regularly go in for checkups with your eye doctor as symptoms aren’t always easily detected.

Common Misconceptions Regarding UV Safety

Created on: Monday, June 08, 2015

 
Most people know to protect themselves from Ultraviolet (UV) rays using traditional sunblock because of increasing skin cancer awareness. It is a less common understanding when it comes to the dangers UV radiation poses to your eyes, but like skin cancer awareness, it is becoming a growing concern around the world. It is good to see a raised level of awareness surrounding these issues, but in regards to how and when you should protect yourself from the dangers of UV radiation, there are some common misconceptions.
 
Here are a few common misconceptions regarding UV safety you should look out for:
 
• UV rays remain a danger during all seasons of the year. Dangerous UV rays can still penetrate moderate, overcast cloud cover, mist, and fog.
• Natural light isn’t the only type of light that can be dangerous to your skin and eyes. Artificial rays produced from tanning beds and some plant grow lights can produce the same amounts of UV-A and UV-B rays that are produced by the sun.
• Just because you aren’t looking up at the sky doesn’t mean your eyes aren’t being affected by harmful UV rays. UV rays bounce off most things, even if the object in question doesn’t appear to be reflective. To name a few examples: sand, water, snow, metals, bright colors etc…
• Not all sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun; only sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection” protect you from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays.
 
So, regardless of the weather, be sure to make it a part of your routine before going outdoors to always keep that sunblock handy, wear a hat, and to not forget your 100% UV protective sunglasses.
 

 

Stop Rubbing Your Eyes

Created on: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Author: Ken Moadel

Stop Rubbing Your Eyes

Even though it is a very natural reaction to rub your eyes when they're feeling itchy, watery or otherwise irritated, it is important to keep your hands away from your eyes. Rubbing them can lead to eye injuries, infections or even damaged vision.

Our eyes become itchy or irritated for a variety of reasons. Sometimes this reaction is caused by allergies, other times a foreign object may be the source of irritation when it becomes trapped inside the eyelid. In any case, rubbing your eyes can be dangerous. Your eyes natural defense for removing irritants comes from producing tears to flush objects out of the eye. Rubbing your eyes when there is a foreign object trapped in the eyelid can result in scratches to the cornea. It also increases irritation by increasing additional histamine into the affected eye and can lead to the development of an infection. Eye drops can help to supplement natural tears in individuals who have dry eyes and may not produce enough tears for relief of irritation.

Dark circles under your eyes may also result over time if your frequently rub them as rubbing causes blood vessels in the eyelids to break and leak blood. As a result, blood pools under the skin and creates dark circles. Once dark circles appear, it may be difficult to effectively get rid of them. Wearing an eye mask when you sleep can help to eliminate dark circles that are caused by rubbing.

Regular eye rubbing over an extended period of time can lead to a condition known as keratoconus. Keratoconus causes a thinning of the cornea and results in the cornea losing its shape. This condition can lead to blurry vision and sometimes cannot be fully corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Keratoconus is often accompanied by severe infections. Fingers and hands can carry many germs, even if you wash your hands regularly. Those germs can spread to your eyes through rubbing and result in pink eye (conjunctivitis) and other similar complications. Chronic eye rubbing can also result in long-term vision damage that cannot be fully corrected or reversed.

How to treat irritated eyes

Relief from itchy eyes can be achieved through the use of over the counter eye drops or by applying a cold compress to your eyes. When these home remedies are not enough, or if an infection develops, you should arrange to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can perform a thorough eye examination to identify the root cause of your eye irritation and prescribe treatment to help relieve your symptoms.

Eye Health in the Office

Created on: Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Author: Ken Moadel

Eye Health in the Office

Experiencing red or watery eyes, blurred vision or difficulty focusing after a day at work can often be the result of staring at a computer screen for eight or more hours. Office environments can certainly take their toll on your eyes. Here are some common symptoms and simple solutions to help maintain healthy vision during your work day.

Adjust Your Work Area
If your computer is not properly positioned, you may find yourself experiencing eye strain and visual fatigue. Make sure that your computer's screen is at least 24 inches away from your face and that the screen itself is directly in front of and also slightly lower than your line of sight.

Dry Eyes
Poor ventilation, dry air, and dust can cause eyes to become red and irritated since tears may not properly coat and moisten the eye. When reading or using a computer we tend not to blink as often, which can actually make the issue worse. When you are reading or looking at your computer screen for extended periods of time, be sure to take breaks and remind yourself to blink.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
Focusing on your computer screen for extended amounts of time can cause your eyes to become fatigued. That's why it is so important to give your eyes a break by following the 20-20-20 Rule; after 20 minutes of computer use, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  

Nighttime Driving and Your Eyes

Created on: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Author: Ken Moadel

Nighttime Driving and Your Eyes

According to a national survey, 32% of drivers reported that they have trouble seeing in the dark. Most of these drivers have difficulty judging distance, identifying signs or exits, and struggle to see animals and pedestrians in roadways.

So why is it so much harder for some people to drive at night? The reason is due to the fact that the pupils in the eyes dilate under low light causing vision to become blurred as well as contributing to focusing problems. Glare from oncoming vehicle headlights also makes driving at night more difficult, especially for older individuals. Drivers should not operate vehicles with uncorrected vision problems. This is just another reason why the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams is so great. Without a regular visit to your eye doctor you may not know that your prescription needs to be updated and therefore you may experience more difficulty with nighttime driving than necessary.

Here are some easy rules to follow to help you drive safely at night:

• Drive slowly
• Use your high beams during clear conditions and be sure to dim them for oncoming cars
• Regularly maintain your vehicle by checking fluids, tires, breaks and lights
• Be sure to turn off all interior lights before driving
• Give your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the darkness before you start driving
• Avoid glare by looking at the bottom of the road and by using the night setting on your rearview mirror to reduce glare from cars behind you
 

Eye Conditions Caused By Stress

Created on: Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Author: Ken Moadel

Eye Conditions Caused By Stress

Have you ever experienced an irritating eye twitch that just won't seem to end? How about dry eyes or blurred vision? Have you ever thought that these issues could be caused by stress? It's true, our eyes are an extension of our brain so whatever affects the various parts of our brain can actually interfere with our vision.

Eye Twitching
Possibly the only thing more irritating than an itch you can't scratch is involuntary eye twitching, or myokymia, which is a feeling that many of us are familiar with. Stress is actually one of the leading factors of involuntary eye twitches. Some other causes of myokymia include spending too much time on a computer and insufficient amounts of sleep. The condition itself is usually temporary, but persistent eye twitching may be a sign of a serious genetic disorder, which should be addressed by your eye doctor.

Dry Eyes
When our body experiences heightened levels of stress, it naturally increased and thickens blood flow to protect us from injury. In turn, the heart has to work even harder than usual and blood circulation to the extremities in our bodies, such as our skin, brain, and eyes, is decreased. This causes eyes to become dry and irritated.

Blurred Vision
Stress can also cause blurred vision and, ironically, experiencing a vision problem can create more stress. Stress affects your body in many ways, so blurry vision may be a secondary symptom. Sometimes stress causes your body to react as though its facing something dangerous and, as a result, your pupils dilate. This allows more light to enter the eye to help you better assess the situation, but a larger pupil also decreases your depth of focus - hence the blurriness.

Even though these eye conditions caused by stress can prove to be disruptive and irritating, they can be controlled with exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques such as meditating and deep breathing. If your symptoms persist, be sure to visit your eye doctor to determine whether there may be an underlying cause for their occurrence.
 

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