Skip to main content
Boca_Street_viewsm1.png
Home »

Uncategorized

Cataracts treatment in Boca Raton, Symptoms and causes

Will removing cataracts improve vision

Cataract extraction surgery

Cataracts are a common age-related eye disorder. In fact, statistics estimate that over half of the population in America over age 80 have experienced cataracts or cataract surgery! As you get older, so does the lens structure in your eyes. Sometimes the crystalline fibers of your eye’s lens change and lead to the formation of a cataract, which is a clouding of the lens. Clear images are thereby preventing from appearing on your retina, and blurred vision results.

At Premier Eye Center, we’ll examine the health of your eyes thoroughly to inspect for signs of cataract formation. If we detect a cataract during your comprehensive eye exam in Boca Raton,Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida, we’ll refer you immediately to a qualified, respected surgeon. At present, surgery is the only certain cure to treat cataracts, and we’re experienced and competent at handling all of your pre- and post-operative care.

Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Sometimes cataracts are mild enough that cataract surgery isn’t recommended yet. If that’s the case, then you need to be vigilant about making sure you return to your nearby optometrist in Boca Raton,Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida for regular eye exams. Follow-up evaluations of your ocular health are the only way to keep tabs on the cataract, which may be worsening. Once it obstructs your vision and interferes with normal day-to-day life, Dr. Bussa may decide it’s time to remove the cataract.

What is cataract surgery?

Cataracts are a common eye disorder associated primarily with aging. As you get older, so does the structure of the eye’s lens. Presently, cataract surgery is the only certain cure to treat this condition, and this popular procedure enjoys a very high success rate.

During this surgery, the opaque natural lens of your eye will removed and your eye surgeon will replace it with artificial transparent intraocular lens. Local anesthesia is used and little discomfort is caused; 90% of all cataract operations restore clear vision.

At Premier Eye Center, our Boca Raton optometrists will check your eye health comprehensively. If we diagnose a cataract during your eye exam, we will refer you to a qualified, respected eye surgeon in the area.

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

There are a variety of types of IOL’s (artificial intraocular lens) available, with different features. To determine the best option for you, it’s advised to discuss the benefits and risks of each type with your eye doctor or optometrist.

About a week before your scheduled surgery, an ultrasound test will be done to measure the shape and size of your eye. The procedure is relatively quick and totally painless. These measurements will help decide upon the most appropriate type of IOL.

You may be advised to discontinue specific medications prior to cataract surgery, in case they raise your risk of bleeding during the procedure. To decrease risk of infection, antibiotic eye drops may also be prescribed for a few days. From 12 hours before the surgery, you may also be instructed not to eat or drink.

What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

Start to finish, the entire procedure generally takes one hour or less and is done on an outpatient basis. We’ll walk you through the basic steps of what to expect:

  1. Your eye doctor will insert dilating eye drops and you’ll be given local anesthetics to numb the eye region. You may also be prescribed a relaxing sedative that will make you groggy, but not put you to sleep.
  2. The clouded lens will be removed and an artificial, clear IOL will be implanted. The implant is composed of either plastic, silicone or acrylic, and you will not be able to feel, see or sense it in your eye. It becomes a permanent part of your care and needs no care.
  3. Immediately after the surgery, your vision will likely be blurry. This should improve within a couple of days, as your eye heals. You will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery, so be sure to arrange a ride. You may also need help for about a week, for activities such as lifting and bending may be limited by your doctor.

What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Within a day or two after the procedure, you’ll need to return for a follow-up eye exam with a member of the optometry team in our Hoffman Estates office. We are trained to provide quality co-management for cataract surgery.

Mild discomfort and itching are common complaints, and it’s important to refrain from rubbing or pushing on your eye. You may be given a protective shield or eye patch to wear on the first day, or for a few days after the surgery. Medicated eye drops may also be prescribed. Expect your complete course of healing to take about eight weeks.

This is a very common, safe procedure, and cataract surgery complications are not typical. If complications do arise, they are usually treated easily. Some possible risks include bleeding, infection, swelling, retinal detachment, glaucoma and loss of vision. If you have another ocular disease or serious medical condition, your chance of complications is higher.

The vast majority of people who undergo cataract surgery enjoy restored, clear vision as a result!

Make an appointment to see our local eye care proffessional in Boca Raton,Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida. Today!

Our team of experienced optometrists will use many different testing procedures to check your eyes. Our Boca Raton, office is fully equipped with the latest equipment. To determine visual acuity, you will be asked to read a standard eye chart and we will check refractive error. To diagnose or rule out any eye diseases, we will inspect your inner eye tissues with a high-powered lens. This exam also provides significant information about your overall health.

For more information about comprehensive eye examinations Call Premier Eye Center on (561) 325-6634 in Boca Raton, Florida to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, Dr. Bussa.

Have you read about LASIK, Laser eye surgery Co-Management ?

FOLLOW US

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

LASIK & Laser Eye Surgery in Boca Raton, How It Works and the Risks

Premier Eye Center LASIK, Laser eye surgery Co-Management Boca Raton, Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida

What is LASIK or Laser eye surgery?

LASIK refractive surgery is an advanced and contemporary way to decrease or eliminate your need for eyeglasses and contact lenses. During this laser procedure, your eye surgeon will direct the cool light of an excimer laser to reshape your cornea in order to correct any refractive error. LASIK can thereby resolve your nearsightedness – leaving you with sharp vision without eyewear. In general, the results are outstanding and many of our Boca Raton, Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida, patients enjoy crisp and clear vision after the surgery.

Why is LASIK so popular?

LASIK holds certain advantages over other vision correction procedures, such as a quick surgery, almost immediate results and minimal pain or discomfort after the surgery.

LASIK is also suitable for both nearsighted and farsighted people. If you are nearsighted, your eye surgeon will flatten the cornea appropriately, and if you are farsighted, your cornea will be made steeper. Once your cornea is reshaped properly, it functions more efficiently to focus light into the eye and onto the retina. The end result is clearer vision.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK surgery?

To determine your candidacy for these laser eye surgeries, visit our optometrists for a thorough eye exam and consultation. We will inspect your ocular health and vision condition to verify that there are no contraindications. Our team will also discuss your visual expectations and goals to make sure that they are appropriate.

A preoperative LASIK consultation includes:

  • Review of your eye history
  • Assessment of your refractive stability
  • Counseling about various options for refractive surgery
  • Testing of eye dominancy
  • Inspection of cornea and eye health
  • Testing your current refraction and vision prescription

After your preoperative consultation, we will advise you as to whether or not surgery is a good option. If the decision is made to proceed with surgery, all of your information will be forwarded to a recommended eye surgeon.

What is LASIK Co-Management?

LASIK co-management is a helpful and essential service that our optometrists provide before and after your LASIK surgery. We will work together with your eye surgeon to make sure that you receive comprehensive instructions and information about LASIK, as well as first-rate eye care when you need it.

Our co-management services for LASIK consist of the following parts:

  1. Consultation: our Boca Raton, Florida, eye doctors will explain the surgery to you, with a full discussion of the benefits and risks. We invite you to ask all your questions, and we’ll answer them patiently. To check your candidacy for LASIK, you will also need a comprehensive eye exam, during which we will assess your corneal thickness and curvature, tear film, vision prescription, and the structure of your eyelids. If the results determine that you are a good candidate for LASIK, we will refer you to a top eye surgeon nearby.
  2. Pre-operative eye care: our optometrist will assist you to arrange your LASIK surgery with the eye surgeon, and we will handle your complete pre-op check-up. During this appointment, we will also provide clear instructions for the day of your LASIK procedure, tell you what to expect, and explain the healing process.
  3. Post-operative eye care: most patients need to visit our Boca Raton, Florida, eye doctor on the day following your LASIK surgery. We will check to make sure that your eyes are healing properly. After this initial eye exam, you will need to return to our office for regular examinations throughout the next few weeks and months.

Why Do I Need LASIK Co-Management?

There are numerous benefits to visiting our office for co-management, as opposed to using only your eye surgeon for all preoperative and postoperative care. Look at these advantages:

  • Comprehensive information: your Boca Raton, optometrist will take the time to respond to your questions, as well as give you detailed guidance and reassurance. Many eye surgeons do not have the time to provide this type of patient care.
  • Convenience: all of your appointments will be held in our comfortable and pleasant local clinic, so you won’t need to travel far or spend extra time in an impersonal hospital setting.
  • Personalized eye care: you will receive attention from an experienced and compassionate eye doctor who knows you and is familiar with your eye health and history.
  • Affordable and accessible care: our office is open during the hours that you need, five days a week. If you experience any problems, you can contact us for immediate, affordable assistance.

LASIK co-management will transform your whole experience of laser refractive surgery into a smooth process. From deciding whether or not to have the procedure to providing medical care while your eyes heal, our Boca Raton, Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida, eye doctors will guide you through every step, from start to finish.

Make an appointment to see our local eye care proffessional in Boca Raton,Plantation & West Palm Beach, Florida. Today!

Our team of experienced optometrists will use many different testing procedures to check your eyes. Our Boca Raton, office is fully equipped with the latest equipment. To determine visual acuity, you will be asked to read a standard eye chart and we will check refractive error. To diagnose or rule out any eye diseases, we will inspect your inner eye tissues with a high-powered lens. This exam also provides significant information about your overall health.

For more information about comprehensive eye examinations Call Premier Eye Center on (561) 325-6634 in Boca Raton, Florida to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, Dr. Bussa.

Have you read about Cataract correction ?

FOLLOW US

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Press Release – Premier Eye Center Trunk Shows

RenovationsCome join us at one (or more) of our eyeglass and eyeglass frame trunk shows. We are excited to celebrate our newly renovated and updated optometrist offices in Plantation and West Palm Beach! Depending on where you live and which time and office is most convenient for you, join us for one of Premier Eye Center’s three trunk shows. The first trunk show will be in Premier Eye Center’s Plantation office located at 7045 W Broward Blvd Plantation, FL on Saturday, April 21 from 9:30 until 3:30 pm or to our West Plam Beach office located at 3650 Forest Hill Blvd, Suite 2 in West Palm Beach, FL on Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm or our Boca Raton office located at 7840 Glades Rd, Suite 245 Boca Raton, FL on Saturday, June 2 from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm. Or you can come to all three Premier Eye Center trunk shows. sale with hearts horizontal

Your South Florida eye doctors will have representatives from some of your favorite eyeglass frame designers at the various trunk shows to showcase new eyeglass frames and will be able to answer your questions. There will be giveaways for everyone, different ones at each trunk show! Of course, we will be having a local vendor showing their food to satisfy your hunger while you satisfy your thirst for new designer glasses and eyeglass frames!

If you have been to one of our Premier Eye Center’s offices before, then you should have received an email with various coupon codes printed on it for additional discounts to utilize at the trunk shows. Please do not forget to bring the coupon codes with you to receive the discount. If you did not receive an email with coupon codes or otherwise are not on our email list and would like to be added to it in order to receive emails with discounts and other announcements, please click here. Premier Eye Center’s eye doctors and opticians look forward to greeting you at one of our trunk shows soon!Slide

All About Comprehensive Eye Exams for Prescription Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are popular for a number of reasons, ranging from comfort and convenience to crisper vision. When it comes to appearance, many people feel more attractive and confident facing the world without eyeglasses in the way. Additionally, there’s no need to turn your head for sharp peripheral vision with contacts. Sports players find this to be a distinct advantage! Another benefit is contact lenses never slip down your nose on a hot day. So, now that you’re convinced and want to wear prescription contact lenses, you may be wondering where can I get quality contact lenses near me?

In addition to our user-friendly site to order contacts online, we stock a full inventory of premium contact lenses in our optometry offices in Plantation, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach, Florida. If you have a current vision prescription, we invite you to replenish your supply of contacts from Premier Eye Center! However, if you’ve never worn contacts or you haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam in over a year – we encourage you to visit your eye doctor for a thorough evaluation before purchasing new lenses.

What happens during a comprehensive eye exam for contact lenses?

When you visit our eye care clinics for an eye exam for contacts, we will assess much more than your visual acuity. Your eye examination will evaluate overall ocular health to rule out or diagnose any conditions that could interfere with wearing lenses. We will also verify that you receive the correct lens powers for optimal vision. Be aware that your vision prescription for eyeglasses is not always the same for contact lenses.

Once we determine your precise vision prescription and decide that you’re a good candidate for wearing contacts, we will measure your eyes for contact lenses.

What measurements are taken for a contact lens fitting?

Just as people come in different sizes, so do eyes! Your optometrist will need to take detailed measurements of your eyes to fit you with the best contact lenses. Wearing contacts that don’t fit well can lead to blurred vision, pain, and damage to your eyes.

Using a keratometer, our eye doctor will measure your corneal curvature (the front surface of your eye) to ensure that your lens sits smoothly on your eye. If you have astigmatism, your cornea is not perfectly rounded, and you will require a specialty toric lens. In the event that you have a very irregular corneal curvature, we may use corneal topography to map the surface precisely.

Other measurements that we may calculate to fit your contact lenses include the size of your pupil or iris. We will use a slit lamp (biomicroscope) or measure manually with a card or ruler. These numbers are particularly significant for wearing rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses.

Can I wear contact lenses with dry eyes?

Yes, you generally can – as long as you wear the right type of contact lenses! Due to the development of new, modern materials, there is a variety of contact lens types for dry eyes.

Dry eyes are a common, contemporary problem that can affect comfortable contact lens wear. If your lenses are not kept moist enough by your natural tear film, they can lead to eye irritation, dryness, and itchy eyes. During your comprehensive eye exam for contact lenses, your eye doctor will administer a tear film evaluation. If you do not have enough tears or their composition is poor, we will recommend certain contacts for dry eyes, which maintain moisture more efficiently.

What’s better – daily disposable lenses or monthly lenses?

Your lifestyle and personal preferences are an important consideration when we recommend the most appropriate type of lenses for you. Tell us your hobbies, activities, daily routine and health considerations – we want to know all about you!

We’ll weigh all of this information to decide whether you’ll do best with soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, daily lenses or monthly. If you have a particular eye condition, such as dry eye syndrome or astigmatism, we will prescribe the most appropriate type and brand of contacts to provide ultimate comfort and sharp vision. Patients over 40 who have trouble reading small print will be pleased to know that we also offer multifocal contact lenses in our offices in Plantation, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach, FL.

Don’t Forget Follow-up Eye Exams

It is critical to return regularly for comprehensive eye exams with our eye doctor to assess the fit and condition of your contacts, as well as your ocular health. If you experience any discomfort or dry eyes with contacts, visit immediately for a check-up. Your eye doctor may recommend a change in the type of contact lens and/or your wearing schedule, or a change in the type of disinfecting solution you are using.

Next time you need to order contacts online, book an eye exam before you click! Changes in your eye health and vision can occur before you notice any symptoms, and without the proper fit, prescription or hygiene, contact lenses can cause damage. Professional eye exams are the best way to preserve your lasting, healthy vision!

Got a Shiner!

What Exactly Is a Black Eye?

A black eye, also known as a periorbital hematoma, is usually not an injury of the actual eye (which is why it is called “periorbital”- around the eye). It typically occurs when there is an injury to the face or the eye socket which causes bleeding beneath the skin and bruising. The term, “black eye” comes from the dark coloring of the bruising that occurs underneath the skin around the eye.

When a blunt force hits the eye socket, this can cause capillaries in the area to burst, causing hemorrhaging, also known as a hematoma. This blood can accumulate in the eye socket and as it begins to be reabsorbed into the surrounding tissues, the colors of the bruising begin to change. That’s why you will often notice the coloring of the black eye to go from a dark purplish-red color to brownish and then yellow. 

Sometimes along with the external bruising, you might also notice a small amount of bleeding on the white surface of the eye, which is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This is when the tiny blood vessels on the white sclera are broken and leak blood. It’s generally harmless but sometimes looks scarier to the patient than the black eye does. This condition will also reabsorb on its own and is nothing to be concerned about. 

While most black eyes can look pretty serious due to the dramatic color, an uncomplicated black eye will typically heal within a week to ten days. If it doesn’t, there could be a more serious issue such as a bone fracture or an orbital blowout fracture.This could present with restricted eye movement, especially if looking up or down, and numbness of the cheek and/or upper lip on the same side as the black eye. The eye may even appear sunken in. Further, if there is bleeding within the actual eye (called a hyphema) or floaters or flashes in the vision, then it is definitely advisable to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These could be signs of more serious damage such a corneal or retinal damage and can lead to vision loss. 

Treatment for a Black Eye

Usually, the best treatment for a black eye is to apply a cold compress (or even better, a bag of frozen vegetables, which is more flexible and can conform to the contours of the face) directly on the area. The cold will reduce swelling and constrict capillaries to reduce internal bleeding as well. Apply the cold for about 15-20 minutes every hour.  If there is pain, over the counter pain medications can help. 

If however, you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:

  • Blood on the surface of the eye or a visible incision on the eye
  • Vision changes such as double vision, blurred vision, loss of vision or the appearance of floaters
  • Loss of consciousness, dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of eye movement
  • Persistent headaches
  • Blood or fluids coming from the ears or nose
  • Vomiting
  • Signs of infection such as excessive swelling, pus, redness or a fever
  • Severe pain

In addition to blunt trauma, black eyes can be caused by sinus infections, nasal or eye surgery or other infections in the area such as the teeth infections or cellulitis (a serious infection that can occur around the eyes). A skull fracture can also cause both eyes to turn black, sometimes known as raccoon eyes. 

Unless you notice any severe symptoms you can rest assured that your black eye is a bruise just like anywhere else on the body and with a little care, rest and patience, it will clear up in no time. 





Got a Shiner!


A black eye, also known as a periorbital hematoma, is usually not an injury of the actual eye (which is why it is called “periorbital”- around the eye). It typically occurs when there is an injury to the face or the eye socket which causes bleeding beneath the skin and bruising. The term, “black eye” comes from the dark coloring of the bruising that occurs underneath the skin around the eye.

When a blunt force hits the eye socket, this can cause capillaries in the area to burst, causing hemorrhaging, also known as a hematoma. This blood can accumulate in the eye socket and as it begins to be reabsorbed into the surrounding tissues, the colors of the bruising begin to change. That’s why you will often notice the coloring of the black eye to go from a dark purplish-red color to brownish and then yellow.

Sometimes along with the external bruising, you might also notice a small amount of bleeding on the white surface of the eye, which is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This is when the tiny blood vessels on the white sclera are broken and leak blood. It’s generally harmless but sometimes looks scarier to the patient than the black eye does. This condition will also reabsorb on its own and is nothing to be concerned about.

While most black eyes can look pretty serious due to the dramatic color, an uncomplicated black eye will typically heal within a week to ten days. If it doesn’t, there could be a more serious issue such as a bone fracture or an orbital blowout fracture.This could present with restricted eye movement, especially if looking up or down, and numbness of the cheek and/or upper lip on the same side as the black eye. The eye may even appear sunken in. Further, if there is bleeding within the actual eye (called a hyphema) or floaters or flashes in the vision, then it is definitely advisable to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These could be signs of more serious damage such a corneal or retinal damage and can lead to vision loss.

Treatment for a Black Eye

Usually, the best treatment for a black eye is to apply a cold compress (or even better, a bag of frozen vegetables, which is more flexible and can conform to the contours of the face) directly on the area. The cold will reduce swelling and constrict capillaries to reduce internal bleeding as well. Apply the cold for about 15-20 minutes every hour. If there is pain, over the counter pain medications can help.

If however, you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:

– Blood on the surface of the eye or a visible incision on the eye
– Vision changes such as double vision, blurred vision, loss of vision or the appearance of floaters
– Loss of consciousness, dizziness or fainting
– Loss of eye movement
– Persistent headaches
– Blood or fluids coming from the ears or nose
– Vomiting
– Signs of infection such as excessive swelling, pus, redness or a fever
– Severe pain

In addition to blunt trauma, black eyes can be caused by sinus infections, nasal or eye surgery or other infections in the area such as the teeth infections or cellulitis (a serious infection that can occur around the eyes). A skull fracture can also cause both eyes to turn black, sometimes known as raccoon eyes.

Unless you notice any severe symptoms you can rest assured that your black eye is a bruise just like anywhere else on the body and with a little care, rest and patience, it will clear up in no time.

Why Do We Need Glasses?

clipart-010The most well-known part of a comprehensive eye exam is the basic vision test. When you have a general vision test, one of the main conditions the eye care practitioner is checking for is a refractive error. A refractive error means there is an abnormality in the shape of the eye, changing the eye’s ability to focus light directly onto the retina.This causes blurred vision and can usually be corrected by wearing prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and possibly, alternate treatments such as vision therapy, ortho-k, LASIK or refractive surgery such as LASIK.

 

The term, “refractive error” refers to a problem with the process of refraction that is responsible for sight. Normally, light rays that enter your eye are refracted or bent through the cornea and the lens, and ultimately converge or are focused onto a single point on the retina. From the retina, messages are sent through the optic nerve to the brain which then interprets these signals into the image that we are seeing.

 

In order for this process to work effectively, the anatomy of the eye including the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea and the lens must be just right to be able to focus the light onto the retina. When this is not the case, a refractive error will occur.

 

There are several different types of refractive errors, depending on which part of the eye is affected, and it is possible to have multiple refractive errors at the same time:

Myopia or nearsightedness:

In myopia the length of the eyeball is too long which results in light coming to a focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina. This allows the individual to see well when objects are close but not clearly when looking at objects at a distance.

 

Hyperopia or farsightedness:

Hyperopia is when the eyeball is shorter than normal and can result in near objects being blurry. However, people experience hyperopia differently. Sometimes distant objects are clear while other times people may experience overall blurred vision near and far or no problems at all. In children particularly, the lens may accommodate for the error allowing for clear vision but may cause fatigue and sometimes crossed eyes or strabismus. Hyperopia causes eyestrain or fatigue especially when looking at near objects for a period of time. Often people with 20/20 vision may still need glasses at their desk to relax their eyes and improve concentration.

 

Astigmatism:

Astigmatism is usually the result of an irregularly shaped cornea (although it can sometimes also be due to a misshapen lens). The cornea, which is normally round, is more football-shaped in an eye with astigmatism, resulting in multiple focus points either in front of the retina or behind it (or both). People with astigmatism usually have blurred or distorted vision to some degree at all distances, near and far.

Presbyopia:

Presbyopia is an age-related condition which usually begins to appear sometime after 40. As the eye begins to age, the lens stiffens and can no longer focus clearly on objects that are close.

 

It’s important to note that presbyopia is often confused with hyperopia, as both cause problems focusing at near distances. However, high hyperopia can also cause blur at far distances as well, especially in dim lighting, and depth perception problems can result in motor vehicle accidents. In these instances people with hyperopia could use glasses at any distance.

If you are having trouble seeing, it is important to have an eye exam to determine the cause of the problem and to effectively correct your vision. Even if your vision is fine, you should schedule a routine eye exam on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that any potential problems are caught early.

christmas - brown paper package‘Tis the season for giving so parents, grandparents, family and friends need to know which toys and games to leave off the list because they can pose a risk to children’s health and eyesight. Last year nearly 252,000 emergency visits were due to toy-related injuries, almost half of which were to the head or face. Further, about 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries treated in the emergency room can be traced back to toys, most of which occur in children under 15 years of age.

The most common types of eye injuries that occur from toys can be anything from a scratch on the cornea (the front surface of the eye) to very serious injuries that can threaten vision such as traumatic cataracts, corneal ulcers, bleeding inside the eye and retinal detachment.

Most of these injuries can be prevented by taking the proper measures to evaluate the safety of gifts before they are purchased and to supervise children during any play with toys that could have the potential to cause damage or harm.

Here are some tips on how to select safe toys for children this holiday season:

  1. Check age recommendations on all toys to make sure they are age appropriate and suitable for the child’s maturity level. If younger siblings are present, ensure that any toys made for older children are kept out of reach.
  2. When possible, check toys for a seal of approval that the product meets national safety standards from a toy safety testing organization such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
  3. Do not purchase toys that have a projectile or sharp, protruding parts. Toys such as darts, guns, arrows or sharp propelling toys can cause serious eye injuries that can lead to permanent eye damage and even vision loss. Even high-powered water guns such as super soakers or soft foam dart guns can cause significant damage when shot at close range.
  4. Purchase safety eyewear with polycarbonate lenses to accompany sports equipment, chemistry sets or woodworking tools. Speak to your optometrist to learn more about the best option for your child’s hobby of choice.
  5. Check that toys with sticks or handles such as swords, fishing rods, pogo sticks, brooms or pony sticks have rounded edges or handles and avoid or supervise use with little children.
  6. Any toys or devices that have a laser or bright light (such as laser pointers or flashlights which are sometimes used by kids to play laser tag) can be dangerous. Bright lights such as those produced by high-powered flashlights can cause temporary vision loss that can lead to a risk of a fall or accident. Further, laser pointers are not safe for use by children as the light intensity can cause permanent vision loss if shined in someone’s eyes.

When purchasing a toy for a child that is important to you, make sure you are considering what is most important – their safety. Ask us if you have any questions about the eye safety of a toy or gift you are considering.

How Do We See?

eyeball drawing

Have you ever thought about how vision works? Seeing is an incredible gift made possible by a system in which the eye and the brain process visual information from the outside world. If any step of that process does not function properly, vision will be impaired.

Similar to a camera, the eye transmits light from the world around us into an image that we can perceive. Certain parts of the eye even function like the different parts of a camera such as the shutter, the lens and film (if we can hearken back to the days when we used film in cameras). Here is a quick breakdown of the fascinating way our eyes and brain enable us to see and experience the world around us:

The Vision Process

Light reflected from an object in our field of view is gathered by the cornea which is essentially the clear “window” to our eye. The cornea then refracts the light rays through the pupil (the center of the iris where light enters the eye). The iris, which like the shutter of a camera will enlarge and shrink based on how much light is coming in, then passes the image onto the crystalline lens. Just like a camera lens, the lens in the eye focuses the light rays, projecting them to a point at the back of the eye called the retina, where the image will appear upside down. The retina contains a thin layer of color-sensitive cells called rods and cones that perceive color.

From the retina, the visual signals travel to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain receives information from both eyes and must then converge the images (and flip them right side up) to get a complete picture.

Vision Problems

A breakdown in vision can happen at any point in this process. From the muscles that control the eyes, to the parts within the eye, to the pathway to the brain. Sometimes vision impairment is due to technical problems with the eye receiving the information and passing the signal on, such as convergence insufficiency (inability to coordinate the eyes to converge on one point), myopia (nearsightedness) or cataracts (clouding of the lens).

Other times, the eyes might work perfectly, but there is a problem with the brain interpreting the signals it receives. In these cases we can’t “see” in the traditional sense, because our brains aren’t able to properly “read’ the signals or we don’t know what we are looking at. This is the case for some learning disorders that are caused by the visual processes in the brain such as dyslexia.

As you can see, vision is quite a complicated process. A simple vision exam isn’t always able to determine vision problems, especially in children which is why it is so important to have regular comprehensive eye exams, to measure the health of the eye and all of its parts.

Should You Be Worried About Eye Floaters?

bird in pond2

Eye floaters are actually more common that you may think. Many people notice specks or cobweb-like images moving around in their line of vision, at some point. Some even report experiencing a "snow globe effect" as if they are swatting at many imaginary bugs. Floaters may be an annoyance, but in most cases, they are harmless and merely a part of aging.  Here are some answers to questions you may have about eye floaters including warning signs that something may be seriously wrong and requires immediate treatment by an eye care professional.

What are eye floaters?

Eye floaters are collagen deposits inside the vitreous humor that fills the space between the lens and retina of your eye. As you age, the vitreous, which is made up of this gel-like protein substance, begins to dissolve and liquefy, creating a more watery consistency. Floaters appear when the collagen fibrils and vitreous membrane become disturbed and go into your line of sight.  A posterior vitreous detachment is a common age related change that causes a sudden large floater to occur.   Floaters can range in size, shape and consistency and are often more visible when looking at a white screen or clear blue sky.

What is the vitreous?

The vitreous functions to maintain the round shape of your eyeball. It assists with light refraction and acts as a shock absorber for the retina.

How do floaters develop?

As mentioned above, aging of the vitreous can cause it to liquefy, shrink and become stringy or strand-like. As the vitreous is normally transparent, when strands develop they cast a shadow on your retina, which in turn causes floaters to appear in your vision.

What will I see if I have floaters?

Eye floaters can appear in your vision as threads, fragments of cobwebs or spots which float slowly in front of your eyes. You'll also notice that these specks never seem to stay still when you try to focus on them. Floaters and spots create the impression that they are drifting and they seem to move when your eye moves.

Who is at risk for developing floaters?

Floaters are quite common particularly in individuals that are elderly, diabetic, near-sighted or anyone who has had cataract surgery.

Are floaters dangerous and do they need treatment?

In many cases, floaters are simply an annoyance and can be left alone. Sometimes they will improve over time. In some cases though, floaters can be so distracting that they can block vision and consequently interfere with daily activities and functioning. If you experience a sudden onset of floaters, if they are accompanied by flashes of light or vision loss, if you have pain or you have just experienced eye surgery or trauma, floaters could indicate a serious eye problem that requires immediate medical attention.  There are a number of eye disorders associated with eye floaters including retinal detachment, retinal tear, vitreous bleeding, vitreous and retinal inflammation or eye tumors, all of which require medical treatment to avoid vision loss.  If you have sudden onset of new floaters, do not wait to book an appointment with your eye doctor to confirm if the floaters are benign or need immediate surgical treatment.

Know How and When to Treat an Eye Infection

It’s that time of year again…coughs, sneezing, running noses and itchy, red eyes.  How do you know when an eye irritation is something that needs medical attention?

First of all, any time an eye infection is accompanied by fever, excessive discharge or pain, you should see your eye doctor immediately.  

The eyes are sensitive and there could be a number of factors that contribute to discomfort and irritation, some of which require medication. There are also some types of eye infections that are very contagious, which you want to treat as soon as possible.

Pink Eye

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, occurs when the conjunctiva, the thin membrane lining the eyelids and the whites of the eyes, becomes inflamed or swollen. The white part of the eye often also becomes red, thus the name, “Pink Eye”. 

Pinkeye is common among school-aged children because infectious pink-eye can be very contagious and spread quickly in classrooms, but it can occur at any age. The most common cause of pinkeye is a virus, although it can also be due to a bacterial infection or a non-infectious source such as allergies. One or both eyes may be affected. 

The symptoms and treatment for pink eye depend upon the type of pink eye you have.

Typically, bacterial pink eye, which can be treated by an antibiotic eye drops or ointment, is associated with burning, itchy eyes accompanied by a thick, yellow pus-like discharge that makes the eyes difficult to open upon awakening.  This must be treated by antibiotic according to the eye doctor’s instructions for a minimum of 5 days, to prevent bacterial resistance.  On occasion if the infection is not responding to topical medications, oral antibiotics may be used. 

Viral pink eye, which can’t be treated by antibiotics, usually runs its course between 1 and 3 weeks. It typically causes teary eyes, swollen lymph nodes and a lighter more translucent mucus discharge. Sometimes the eye symptoms come in conjunction with an upper respiratory infection or a cold.  Viral pink eye is extremely contagious.

Allergic pink eye is often characterized by redness, intense itching, and tears in both eyes and will usually respond to antihistamines, topical vasoconstrictors, or steroid eye drops (which should only be used with a doctor’s prescription).  Eye rubbing can aggravate the itching and swelling, so try to use cool compresses and allergy medication as prescribed.

Preservative-free artificial tears may also provide some relief.  

Any time pink eye symptoms do not improve after a few days, particularly if there is significant discharge, see your eye doctor. Make sure to clean the hands thoroughly after every encounter with the infected eye. 

Styes

Styes are inflamed oil glands or hair follicles on the eyelid (usually along the lash line or under the lid). The inflammation is caused by bacteria and results in a swollen, red and painful bump. Often styes will eventually go away on their own, but if they occur often, a doctor might prescribe topical or oral antibiotics or sometimes even drain it though a minor surgical procedure.  

Warm compresses can be used not only to ease the pressure and discomfort but also to open up the stye to facilitate healing. Styes are typically not contagious. 

Most eye infections are not dangerous but they can be quite uncomfortable.  If you have an eye infection make sure you take the proper steps to stay comfortable and prevent the infection from spreading to your loved ones.