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Can Vision Therapy Help Myopia?

Can Vision Therapy Help Myopia 640You may have heard of vision therapy in the context of helping adults and children with a lazy eye, eye turn, or learning difficulties.

But did you know that in some cases, vision therapy may also be effective in preventing, reducing, or slowing myopia (nearsightedness)?

While it’s true that scientists haven’t yet found a cure for myopia, vision therapy may help by targeting certain contributing factors of myopia.

To assess whether vision therapy is right for your child, call Family Eye Care in Old Bridge today.

But First, How Does Vision Therapy Work?

To give you a better sense of what vision therapy is, here are some facts. Vision therapy:

  • Is a non-invasive set of visual exercises tailored to your specific needs
  • May involve the use of specialized prisms or filters, computerized aids, balance beams, and other therapeutic tools
  • Trains the brain and eyes to work as a team
  • Develops visual skills like eye tracking, teaming, accommodation, convergence, visual processing, visual memory, focusing, and depth perception
  • May involve an at-home component, like daily visual exercises
  • Is evidence-based. Published data has shown that it can be an effective program to improve reading, learning, overall school and sports performance

How Does Vision Therapy Relate To Myopia?

While vision therapy may not be able to fully reverse or treat myopia, some nearsighted people appear to benefit from it.

Some vision therapists have reported patients’ myopia improvement during or after the vision therapy process. This may be due to a strengthened visual skill called accommodation—the eyes’ ability to maintain clear focus on objects. Poor focusing skills have been linked to myopia. In fact, research shows that having an accommodation lag (when the eyes can’t pull the focus inwards enough to clearly see a very close object) could be a risk factor for myopia development and progression. That said, it’s worth noting that research findings are still mixed on this matter.

Accommodative spasm, also known as “pseudo-myopia,” occurs when the eyes lock their focus on a near object and then have difficulty releasing the focus to view distant objects. The reason this is considered a false myopia is because it has to do with the focusing mechanism of the lens rather than the elongation of the eye, the main characteristic of myopia.

Pseudo-myopia can be treated with vision therapy, assuming the accommodation spasm is the only culprit for blurred distance vision. In this case, the patient may no longer need to wear prescription lenses for vision correction following a successful vision therapy program,

So what’s the bottom line?

In some cases, vision therapy may be able to improve a person’s blurry vision—but research on the subject is ongoing.

If you or your child has myopia and you’re curious as to whether vision therapy can help, schedule a functional visual assessment for your child.

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno, call Family Eye Care today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

 

Q: #1: Who can benefit from vision therapy?

  • A: Children and adults with visual dysfunction can benefit from a personalized program of vision therapy. Visual dysfunction can manifest in many ways, including—but not limited to—behavioral and learning problems, coordination difficulties, headaches, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and attention deficits.

Q: #2: Do all optometrists offer vision therapy?

  • A: No. You should only seek vision therapy from a qualified optometrist experienced in offering vision therapy for a variety of visual disorders. Other types of therapists sometimes claim to offer vision therapy, but only an eye doctor can prescribe the necessary visual treatments for optimal results.
  • Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

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Call Us 732-993-3420

What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

Dry Eye and Menopause 640Around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by dry eye syndrome.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and androgen, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and hot flashes.

Among these physical symptoms is dry eyes, characterized by dry, itchy and burning eyes.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, contact Family Eye Care today for effective and lasting dry eye treatment.

Biological Changes That Affect Your Eyes

During menopause, the androgen hormone decreases, affecting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands produce the essential oils for the tears, so the reduction in oil results in increased tear evaporation and drier eyes.

When these fluid and oil-producing glands are affected, the eyelids can become inflamed, reducing tear quality and production, resulting in dry eye syndrome.

Some researchers believe that dry eye is connected to changes in estrogen levels. This explains why many women experience dry eye symptoms during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle, or while taking birth control pills.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  • Red eyes
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • The feeling something is caught in your eye. Excessive tearing

How Is Hormone-Related Dry Eye Treated?

Because reduced hormones during and after menopause can cause meibomian gland dysfunction, treatment should be focused on reducing dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye treatments can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Medications that reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Punctal plugs – to reduce tear flow away from the eyes

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Are there home remedies to treat dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Here are a few things you can do at home to reduce dry eye symptoms.

    Limit your screen time. People who work at a computer all day blink less, which harms the tear film. Remember to take frequent breaks and to blink.
    Protect your eyes. Sunglasses that wrap around your face can block dry air and wind.
    Avoid triggers. Irritants like pollen and smoke can make your symptoms more severe.
    Try a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist may help.
    Eat right. A diet rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids can encourage healthy tear production.
    Warm Compress. A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids.

Q:Can dry eye syndrome damage your eyes?

  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.

    Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact Family Eye Care to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.



Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

What’s the Connection Between Sleep Apnea, Concussion, and Your Vision?

Sleep Apnea 640A recent comprehensive sleep study on people with post-concussion syndrome showed that 78% were diagnosed with sleep apnea.

What came first: the concussion or sleep apnea? Determining the answer can be difficult. People who don’t get enough sleep already exhibit some of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome even when they haven’t had one.

What we do know is that there is a connection between sleep apnea and concussion. Sleep apnea affects the recovery from a concussion, and at the same time, the condition may result from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Where does vision come in?

Sleep Apnea and Concussions

For those having sustained a concussion, sleep is very important for a speedy and thorough recovery. A poor night’s sleep, as in the case of sleep apnea, may lead to impaired decision-making, cognitive loss, and symptoms of depression—all of which can interrupt the recovery process.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of sleep apnea, is caused by a physical collapse or blockage of the upper airway that interrupts breathing during sleep. This also reduces blood and oxygen flow to the brain, making it difficult for those with a concussion to recover.

A lesser known type of apnea is central sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, this type is caused by a dysfunction in the brain that regulates breathing and sleep, which could also be affected by a TBI.

Sleep Apnea and Vision

As we all know, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health. There are a number of eye conditions that are exacerbated by poor sleep patterns and therefore may be associated with sleep apnea.

These include:

  • Floppy eyelid syndrome
  • Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy
  • Papilledema
  • Glaucoma
  • Swelling of the optic nerve
  • Retinal conditions

Getting your eyes checked regularly is important as it allows your eye doctor to rule out any eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss. This is all the more important if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Concussions and Vision

Concussions can have a significant impact on the functioning of the visual system. Post-trauma vision syndrome is a group of symptoms that cause eye coordination problems, dizziness, and blurred vision after a concussion.

The symptoms of post-trauma vision syndrome can include:

  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Focusing problems
  • Problems with walking and stride

Severe concussions can cause double vision and blindness, while mild concussions can affect vision and cause visual dysfunction.

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists can help post-TBI patients in ways that other health care providers may not be able to.

Neuro-optometry deals with how the visual system impacts daily functioning. By training the brain to control and communicate with the eyes more effectively, symptoms like headaches and dizziness can be significantly reduced or disappear altogether.

If you have experienced a concussion or suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact Family Eye Care to follow up on a diagnosis and treatment for any vision problems you may be having due to either condition.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: What’s the connection between sleep apnea, concussion, and your vision?

  • A: After sustaining a concussion, you may begin to experience sleep apnea. This not only affects the healing process but your vision as well.

Q: Is there a way to treat vision problems due to a concussion?

  • A: Yes. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can retrain the brain to relieve dizziness, headaches, double vision, and other TBI-related problems.


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Call Us 732-993-3420

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact Family Eye Care to book your child’s consultation today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.


Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Common Visual Symptoms to Watch for in Children

kid playing outside 640People often believe that if a child has 20/20 vision, they have perfect eyesight. This isn’t always the case. Having 20/20 eyesight refers to the ability to see clearly from 20 feet away. This doesn’t guarantee that a child has the visual skills needed to read properly, pay attention in class, writing, and other tasks required for academic success.

It may surprise you that many students who show signs of a learning difficulty actually have a vision problem. According to the National PTA, approximately 10 million school-age children suffer from vision problems that make it more difficult for them to learn in a classroom setting.

If your child is struggling in school, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno can determine whether the problem is related to their vision and provide a vision therapy program to help them succeed.

Vision Screenings vs Comprehensive Eye Exam

While school vision screenings might detect significant lazy eye or myopia, they miss many other vision problems, such as issues with focusing, depth perception, or eye tracking.

A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, checks for farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, eye focusing abilities, eye tracking, eye focusing, visual skills, binocular eye coordination, and visual processing.

What Signs Should Parents and Teachers Look For?

Below is a list of signs and symptoms indicating that a child may be experiencing vision difficulties:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Complains of frequent headaches
  • Difficulty with comprehension
  • Complains of double or blurry vision
  • Makes errors when copying from the board
  • Reads below grade level
  • Holds reading material close to the face
  • Reverses words or letters while reading or writing
  • Loses place or skips words when reading
  • Confuses or omits small words while reading
  • Rubs eyes
  • Slow to finish written assignments
  • Frequently squints
  • Tilts head or covers one eye
  • Spelling difficulties
  • Uses finger pointing when reading

How Does Vision Therapy Help?

Vision therapy is a personalized treatment program designed to strengthen and improve your child’s visual skills.

Each vision therapy program is customized to your child’s needs and may include specialized lenses, filters, or prisms, alongside personalized eye exercises to help retrain the brain-eye connection and improve your child’s school performance.

If you think a vision problem may be affecting your child’s academic performance, vision therapy may provide them with the necessary visual skills to succeed in school.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Vision Therapist in Old Bridge, New Jersey

Q: How do vision problems impact learning?

  • A: A child’s vision problem can impact all aspects of learning. Often, children with vision problems are told they have a learning difficulty, when in fact, their brain isn’t properly processing what their eyes see. Vision problems can affect a child’s reading skills and comprehension, handwriting, spelling, classroom performance, concentration and attention, and visual skills.

Q: Does my child have a vision problem?

  • A: Discovering a vision problem in children can be difficult, as they may lack the verbal skills to describe what they’re experiencing or may not realize that they have a vision problem.Common indicators that your child may have a vision problem include:
    – Covering one eye
    – Behavioral problems
    – Reading avoidance
    – Difficulties with reading comprehension
    – Frequent blinking
    – Excessive fidgeting
    – Limited attention span
    – Reading below school grade level
    – Tilting head to one side



If your child displays any of these signs, make sure you set up a visit to an eye doctor at Family Eye Care to evaluate their visual skills and find out whether your child could benefit from vision therapy.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Tips For Wearing Scleral Lenses

Pretty Cheerful Woman Gesturing With Two Fingers Near Eyes. Youn

Scleral lenses are ideal for patients with corneal irregularities, dry eyes, and hard-to-fit eyes. Their uniquely large circumference offers the best in visual comfort and clarity. But wearing and caring for your scleral lenses can take some getting used to.

Below are our top 5 tips for anyone who wears scleral lenses. If you have questions about scleral lenses or any other optometric matter, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge is here for you.

1. Lens Hygiene is Top Priority

Keeping your scleral lenses hygienic and free of buildup is key in ensuring the clearest possible vision. When you remove them from your eyes, rub them for several seconds with lens cleaner to remove surface debris and bacteria. Then, rinse them on both sides with saline solution before storing them.

Another hygiene tip: Before handling your lenses, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and to rinse and dry them with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Good hygiene will significantly minimize possible complications and keep your eyes feeling fresh.

2. Manage Your Dry Eye

Many patients with dry eye syndrome (DES) choose to wear scleral lenses for their hydrating and soothing properties. While sclerals can offer substantial relief from their dry eye symptoms, patients shouldn’t forget to seek treatment for their DES.

That’s because scleral lenses help manage dry eye, but don’t actually treat it. So, it’s best to follow up with your eye doctor about any eye drops, medications, or at-home remedies to support healthy tears.

3. Use a Cotton Swab For Cleaning

Patients with long fingernails can find it challenging to thoroughly clean their scleral lenses. Rubbing the inside bowl of the lens with a cotton swab and cleaning solution can effectively remove the buildup from the lens. Then, rinse off the cleaning solution with saline to remove the cleaning solution and any lint from the cotton swab.

4. Try Different Insertion Tools

Is your current insertion method not working as smoothly as you’d like? No worries! Ask your eye doctor about different tools you can use, such as the O-ring or applicator ring.

But please only insert your lens with tools that your eye doctor recommends!

5. Follow Up With Your Eye Doctor

Because scleral lenses are customized, they often require a few visits with your optometrist to optimize their fit. Even after the fitting process is complete, follow-ups will help ensure that your lenses are still in good condition.

If your scleral lenses are giving you any trouble at all, we can help. To schedule your scleral lens consultation, call us today!

Family Eye Care serves patients in Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout Old Bridge.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Scleral Lenses Expert in Old Bridge, New Jersey:

Q: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral lenses rest and vault over the entire sclera (white of the eye), encasing a hydrating reservoir in between the lens and the cornea (front surface of the eye). This allows people with irregular corneas to wear contact lenses, since the lens isn’t in direct contact with the cornea itself.

Q: How long do scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses generally last 1-2 years, depending on how well you care for them and how your tear film reacts with them. Even so, check-ups every 6 months are recommended to ensure they still fit well and provide clear vision.


References

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Should My Child See an Occupational Therapist or a Developmental Optometrist that provides Vision Therapy?

vision therapy 640When a child struggles in school, parents naturally want to help. At times it is difficult to know what kind of help a child needs and who is best to provide that service.

Occupational Therapists (OT) are employed by schools and that may be a good place to start. School systems, and their OT’s, are often stretched thin and can offer only a limited therapy program. It also draws the child out of the classroom, and may take them away from learning. Many private OT’s offer pediatric care and provide OT care outside the school system.

When a vision problem interferes with learning, the best place to turn is a Developmental or Behavioral Developmental Optometrists. This is a subspecialty within Optometry. Optometrists obviously understand the vision system, provide eye examinations, eye medications, and eye glasses. Developmental Optometry is the subspecialty that understands how vision impacts learning and helps individuals to solve vision problems that affect learning. These doctors provide Vision Therapy (VT).

How are OT and VT similar? How are they different? Perhaps we can offer some guidance for parents and educators.

Most people are aware that there is an overlap between OT and PT, physical therapy. There is also an overlap with SLP; speech and language pathologists. Some OT’s and some PT’s say they provide Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy is an entity onto itself, much as Occupational Therapy is not Physical Therapy. It is specific to visual problems that affect learning and for other visual problems that eyeglasses and contact lenses can’t treat.

Developmental Optometrist offer Vision Therapy. Problems with the visual system are often best treated by someone who understand the visual system. There are parts within a Vision Therapy program that are similar to OT and PT, but in Vision Therapy, as the name implies, the main ‘focus” is vision. Vision is the sense that supplies our brain with the most information.

What is the Difference Between OT and VT?

diagramThere is some overlap between OT and VT, but there are considerable differences as well.

Occupational Therapists help people gain or regain the ability to perform various daily tasks through the use of sensory-motor exercises and interventions. OT aims to improve gross and fine motor coordination, balance, tactile awareness, bilateral awareness, and hand-eye coordination.

Eye Doctors that provide Vision Therapy, and the Vision Therapists in those practices help children and adults who have not yet developed the visual skills needed to succeed in school. Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists help patients improve how the vision system works and strengthens the eye-brain connection. This then helps solve vision problems that affect learning and schoolwork. It is often these vision problems that causes a child to struggle with poor reading and then produces anxiety. Children then procrastinate completing assignments and become frustrated. The reasons for these problems are not always apparent to a parent. A child assumes that the way they see is normal, and is the same as how their classmates see. They may not realize that they see blurry or double. They may not realize that they have eye strain or headaches that are due to a vision problem.

Some of the important visual skills for reading and school success are eye teaming, tracking, focusing, depth perception, visual processing, and visual-motor skills. These are eye movement and higher visual function skills.

How does a visual deficit look in a real world situation?

A child may have 20/20 eyesight, but that only means how someone can see at a distance of 20 feet. Yes, that’s where the “20” of 20/20 comes from. It does not tell us how someone functions at near, for example reading or computer use, that is so critical now, when so much of learning is computer-based. It doesn’t tell us how the two eyes work together, as a team. A child may need to read a sentence several times in order to understand its meaning, or tilt their head to read the whiteboard. They may ultimately avoid doing activities that are visually demanding. Poor performance in school and on the playing field can often be attributed to visual skill deficits.

Which Therapy Is Right For Your Child?

If the child’s visual system is the underlying cause of behavioral or learning problems, then a personalized Vision Therapy program is usually the best answer to help the child gain the visual skills needed to succeed.

So, when is best to consider Vision Therapy for your child? The answer is simple and straightforward. If your child is struggling in school it is important to first be evaluated by a doctor who specializes in vision problems that affect learning. If a child has trouble with visually demanding tasks, like homework, reading, spelling, or complain of headaches, then a doctor skilled in this area is able to evaluate and determine if Vision Therapy is indicated. This also applies to children who avoid sports. There may be an issue in judging space and how fast a ball is coming toward them. Developmental optometrists also work on sports vision.

The point is that a Doctor of Optometry, and specifically a Developmental Optometrist, is the doctor that provides the expertise needed to address the visual system, and how someone is able to read and learn.

This is not to lessen the benefits that Occupational Therapists provide. OT’s and PT’s often refer patients to our office. OT’s sometimes perform visual exercises with children, but only an eye doctor experienced in Vision Therapy can prescribe therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters that enable the child to develop visual skills needed for school success.

Not all optometrist are trained in Vision Therapy. Dr. Roth is a Fellow of the College of Optometrist in Vision Development. This means taht he is certified in this subspecialty. Dr. Tiomno, Dr. Roth’s associate, completed her residency with Dr. Roth. Our doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating people of all ages with all types of visual dysfunction.

Often children who have passed a school’s vision screening, or “passed the eye test” at the pediatrician’s office, may still have a significant problem with visual processing and other skills. A screening “test” usually measures how each eye sees individually and does not test how the two eyes work together as a team. A school vision-screening tests only for visual acuity (eyesight) and do not test for the other visual skills that are so important for a child to be able to succeed.

The visual system is highly integrated with other systems, and therefore, an interdisciplinary approach is often the most effective approach. OT and VT overlap, but don’t always have to be undertaken simultaneously. Some children may benefit from both of these therapies

If your child is struggling with learning or behavioral problems, their vision could be an underlying cause or contributing factor. To schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact Family Eye Care in Old Bridge today.

References:

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10 Things About Vestibular Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know

tired woman 640The vestibular system enables us to stand straight, stable, and balanced. It also sends signals to the brain to tell us if we are speeding up or slowing down. People who have vestibular disorders often feel dizzy, unstable, or vertigo. They complain of feeling disoriented, falling, or stumbling.

There is a direct connection between the visual system and the balance system. When there is a mismatch between the two systems, or a break between the two, people have those symptoms. Creating a better input and connection between the visual and vestibular systems is precisely what Neuro-Optometrists do. Read on to learn more about visual-vestibular disorders and how we may be able to treat your dizziness.

10 Quick Facts About Vestibular Disorders

  1. Vestibular disorders affect more than 35% of adults over the age of 40.
  2. The vestibular system is made up of 3 canals that have tiny fluid-filled parts within the inner ear, and they and act like a carpenter’s level. It sends signals to areas in the brain that process balance and movement.
  3. Some of the other symptoms of vestibular disorders include nausea, fatigue, difficulty focusing on objects, poor concentration, difficulty reading, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear. Many of these symptoms may overlap with other conditions. An Neuro-Optometrist is the professional who is skilled in this area, and can help.
  4. Vestibular disorders can be caused by injury, disease, drug or chemical poisoning, aging, and autoimmune diseases.
  5. Certain nutritional and lifestyle changes such as reducing salt intake, caffeine, and alcohol could improve your condition and ease symptoms of vestibular disorders.
  6. Vestibular disorders can be challenging to diagnose. Many patients report visiting four or more physicians over the course of several years before arriving at correct diagnosis.
  7. Some common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraine.
  8. Patients with undiagnosed vestibular disorders may sometimes be perceived as lazy, anxious, inattentive, or attention-seeking.
  9. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is a form of vision therapy, and can be life-changing for some patients. At times, doctors may prescribe special prisms to help alleviate symptoms.
  10. There is hope! Neuro-Optometrists offer Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation improves and re-establishes the link between the visual and vestibular information. Patients who suffer from dizziness or other symptoms of vestibular disorders learn how to coordinate the visual and vestibular systems. This then reduces or even eliminates the symptoms such as the feeling of dizziness and disorientation.

If you are experiencing dizziness, contact Family Eye Care to schedule a Functional Vision Evaluation. We also work closely with other professionals in this area.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

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Call Us 732-993-3420

Thyroid Eye Disease

Individuals with thyroid problems often have eye manifestations. There are 2 types: Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

  • Hyper-Thyroidism: is when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, causing your body’s metabolism to speed up.
  • Hypo-Thyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. Individuals feel sluggish and become fatigued easily. The most common treatment is medication (Synthroid [synthetic thyroid hormone] or Levothyroxine, the generic form of the medication.

HyperThyroidism or Grave’s disease, cause inflammation of the muscles that move the eyes and tissue surrounding the eyes. It causes the eyes to appears as though they are bulging out and can cause double vision.

Common symptoms include irritation or a gritty feeling, as though something is in the eye. It can cause excessive tearing, dry eye, swelling or puffiness of the eyelids, redness of the white part of the eye (conjunctiva), or eye pain.

Graves’ disease affects about one in every 200 people, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors for thyroid eye disease include:

  • A history of smoking: Cigarette smoking raises your risk and can also lead to more severe cases of thyroid eye disease.
  • Gender: Women are much more likely to develop thyroid eye disease than men.
  • Age: Middle-aged people are more likely to develop this condition, too.

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) may cause swelling around the eyes and a loss of the eyebrow hair. The lids may droop, and the eyes and face may become puffy. The eyes can feel dry or gritty or feel like something is in the eye.

Untreated hypothyroidism can cause obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. Other common symptoms are fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain. Facial expressions become dull, the voice may be hoarse, speech is slow,

Treatment for thyroid eye disease is effective. We are happy to help you manage your condition and preserve your vision.

How to Improve Your Vision

Your eyes give you so much, isn’t it time to give back?

In the US, it’s been estimated that 12 million people over the age of 40 have some type of vision impairment! Yet, while the numbers are overwhelming, it doesn’t mean poor eyesight is simply inevitable as you age.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Myopia, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Old Bridge Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey

In addition to taking advantage of our expert eye care services, our eye doctor shares 7 ways to improve and protect your eyes against problems.

  1. Eat a nutritious diet: Eating heart-healthy foods also helps to protect your vision. That means following a diet with minimal saturated fats and salt, a moderate amount of lean proteins (legumes and nuts are great options), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. In particular, antioxidant-rich foods, such as strawberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, can help decrease your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
  2. Visit your eye doctor for eye exams: A comprehensive eye exam can pick up on problems you may not have noticed, because many eye diseases don’t present symptoms at the early stages. That’s why regular eye exams by an eye care professional (not the same as basic vision screening done at your local pharmacy!) are critical, even if you have no vision complaints. Plus, as you age, it’s common for your vision to naturally change, and keeping your prescription up to date is a no-brainer keeping your vision clear.
  3. Keep chronic health conditions stable: Many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put your vision at a higher risk of complications. However, controlling your condition drastically reduces your chances of a problem. With diabetes, keeping blood sugars in the parameters recommended by your physician can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing and progressing. Controlling blood pressure also helps prevent retinal bleeding and swelling.
  4. Quit smoking: While genetics may be the number one risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, smoking is the number two risk factor! Smoking is also linked to cataract progression. You may not be able to control the genes you inherit, but you can control whether or not you smoke.
  5. Moisturize dry eyes: Dry eye syndrome is common, and we offer specialized dry eye exams and personalized treatments as a part of our eye care services. The frontline therapy for gritty and stinging dry eyes is lubricating eye drops, which can bring soothing relief and clarify your sight. There’s a variety of eye drops out there, and our eye doctor will recommend the most helpful type for your condition.
  6. Wear sunglasses & protective eyewear: Sunglasses with full UVA and UVB protection will keep your eyes safe against the dangers posed by the sun. However, we offer other types of safety eyewear in our eye care center, in addition to a fashionable collection of sunglasses. People often forget about safety goggles and sports glasses, which can prevent sight-threatening eye injuries when you’re working in the yard or around the house, or when you’re playing sports.

    Blue light blocking eyewear is another essential item for eye safety. These glasses are fit with lenses that protect your vision against artificial blue light, which is emitted from all digital screens. Not only does blue light disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling fatigued, but it has also been linked to a higher risk of eye disease.

  7. Discard old makeup: Eye care also involves keeping unsafe products out of your eyes. Old makeup, such as mascara and eyeliner, often breed bacteria that lead to eye infection and painful symptoms, such as redness, dryness, and itchiness. Be kind to your eyes by updating your eye makeup regularly!

We hope these healthy habits will help you safeguard your vision and independence and enhance your beautiful view of life for as long as possible!

Family Eye Care, your local Old Bridge Township eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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