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How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

Did you know that Sleep Apnea are associated with eye conditions ? Sleep Apnea affects more than 18 million Americans, per the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often several times each night — while they sleep.

If you have sleep apnea:

  • it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished,
  • you’re more likely to have ocular irritation,
  • you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and
  • you are at increased risk for glaucoma.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, the airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat, and this causes the absence of breathing or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It is twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to see their eye doctor frequently so they can be monitored for glaucoma.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Talk To Your Eye Doctor

It is important to have a yearly eye examination to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. It is imporitatn to tell your doctor that you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. In our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

Why vision therapy comes before tutoring or a learning center

Teacher eyeglasses 1280 x 853Our parental instinct naturally wants to find the fastest solution & often the first options for a child who struggles in the classroom are either a tutor or a learning center. However, some learning problems are vision-related, which is a problem in development and not necessarily due to learning capability.

When patients come to us for a vision therapy evaluation, we strive to educate parents how to recognize that when their child has a tantrum, gets easily frustrated, and can’t continue with homework, the child can show he or she is very bright and intelligent in other areas. Therefore, the issue of learning to read might not have anything to do with the child’s intelligence but a visual one.

Vision is such a basic tool that many parents may have already enrolled their child in other programs because they never questioned the child’s ability to see. When learning programs can’t solve the child’s struggles, parents discover vision therapy as an alternative, either from a referral or after online research.

Why aren’t parents brought to vision therapy from the beginning?

There are various reasons why vision therapy may not have been recommended to you initially or perhaps have never heard about it until now.

  1. Vision therapy is a unique program that only some optometrists specialize in and offer at their clinics.
  2. In vision screenings at school, vision is only tested for seeing at a distance. A child with a problem with another visual skill can go undiagnosed.
  3. Since there are children with learning problems, some with vision problems, diagnosing the exact issue becomes more difficult as the child may be juggling more than one condition.
  4. The child does not have regular eye exams with an optometrist or local eye doctor.

Fortunately, vision therapy is growing in popularity because of the effectiveness and immediate benefits in children with problems. Previousl children would continue their years at school without ever treating their vision problem. Even today, some adult patients come to us for therapy & discover they had a lingering vision problem holding them back the entire time.

Is there a time that’s too early to treat a vision problem?

When a child is starting to read & pronounce the words in 1st or 2nd grade, if they have a vision problem, their learning will be slower than other children & unfortunately, the issue generally won’t go away on its own. In scenarios like this, a child with a vision problem who reaches 3rd, 4th, or even 5th grade without treating their vision, will end up falling behind the class at a more noticeable rate. A child may lose confidence or face peer pressure unless their situation is handled with care. However, if the vision problem is addressed early, the child can enjoy their early school years with fully developed visual skills and not have to face these challenges at an older age.

Signs of a child with a vision problem may be able to pronounce words & run through sentences, but they will lack comprehension. Children may end up learning to read but never reading to learn. For a person who grew up with normal vision, it’s difficult to comprehend how someone can read through a page & not remember what they read.

Why Vision Therapy Should Be Your 1st Priority

Fortunately, vision therapy is well researched & supported with multitudes of success stories over the years. Plus, a developmental optometrist who specializes in vision therapy has ways to accurately test your child’s various visual skills & identify whether vision therapy is needed. There’s no guesswork involved. This means that your child will achieve normal, functional vision at the end of therapy, and in many cases, they become amazing readers, sports players, and happy to learn.

6 Common Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that causes permanent vision loss and and even blindness. It is also called the ‘Sneak-Thief of Sight’ because we don’t feel glaucoma. We would like to help you better understand glaucoma and we want to separate fact from fiction.

Let’s start with a little anatomy lesson. The Retina is the special tissue in the back of the eye, and its job is to capture light and turn it to an electrical signal. The “wires” connect to form the Optic Nerve. The optic nerve sends the signal to the brain. There are many parts of the brain that the optic nerve connects to.

Glaucoma Facts vs. Myths

MYTH 1: Glaucoma is a single disease

FACT

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the most common ones are Open-Angle glaucoma (OAG) and Angle-Closure glaucoma (ACG).

Glaucoma is not cancer. When we say a “group” of diseases, it is somewhat similar to “cancer” because just like there are many forms of cancer, there are different types of glaucoma

In Open-Angle glaucoma, the drainage structure in your eye (called the trabecular meshwork) doesn’t allow the fluid inside the eye to flow out as it should. That causes an increase in internal ocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. Again, you don’t feel this extra pressure. Open Angle Glaucoma develops slowly. Usually by the time people are aware of it, they have lost their side vision (peripheral vision loss) because of the damage to the optic nerve

In Narrow-Angle Glaucoma, also known as Angle-Closure Glaucoma, the fluid in the eye does not drain out because the drainage channel between the iris and cornea is too narrow. This pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. ACG can occur suddenly or gradually.

MYTH 2: Only the elderly suffer from glaucoma

FACT

Although it’s true that people over 60 are at a greater risk of developing open-angle glaucoma compared to people in their 40s, there are other types of glaucoma that can affect people aged 20 to 50 and even young infants.

In addition to age, those with a higher risk of developing glaucoma include:

  • African Americans and Hispanics
  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma
  • Patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia
  • Those who have previously sustained an eye injury
  • People taking steroid medications over the long term

MYTH 3: Glaucoma shows symptoms early on

FACT

The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, has almost no signs or symptoms until its later stages when vision loss sets in. Higher eye pressure causes no pain. Glaucoma affects peripheral vision (side vision) is the beginning, so it is hard to notice these changes until someone is far into the disease. Nerve damage is permanent and is impossible to regain. The only way to detect glaucoma is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam.

MYTH 4: Nothing can be done once you have glaucoma

FACT

Similar to Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, Glaucoma is controlled but not cured. The first line treatment for glaucoma is eye drop medications, and at times, laser and surgical procedures. These treatment options reduce the pressure in the eye and decreasing damage to the optic nerve.

MYTH 5: Testing for glaucoma is painful

FACT

Actually, testing for glaucoma is practically painless. In our office we measure the Visual Field and use a special scan of the nerve, called an OCT (optical coherence tomography). Other tests are done to determine if treatment is needed or if monitoring is the best course of action.

MYTH 6: You can’t prevent glaucoma

FACT

The good news is that a yearly comprehensive eye exams can prevent glaucoma by early diagnosis and treatment. In our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge this is this is part of every examination. We would be happy to help you. Please consider calling our office to schedule for your comprehensive eye exam.

Tips to Relax Your Eyes

Do your eyes hurt after spending a significant amount of time reading, playing video games, driving, or staring at a screen? These visually intense activities can cause eye strain, headaches and blurry vision. Other symptoms of eye strain can include sensitivity to light, neck and shoulder pain, difficulty concentrating, and burning or itchy eyes.

Theses symptoms are part of Computer Vision Syndrome. Below are some suggestion of techniques that may give you relief. If your symptoms continue, consider coming in for an examination. You may benefit from special eyeglasses for computer use.

Relax Your Eyes with These Supportive Techniques

Many of these exercises are designed for computer users. Eye strain resulting from long drives, reading, or other activities, can be alleviated by modifying some of these recommendations.

The 20-20-20 Rule

After about 20 minutes of screen time or doing close-up work, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives the eyes a much needed rest and helps them relax. There are also free apps available that provide pop-up reminders that notify you when it’s time to shift your gaze.

Screen Ergonomics

Your computer monitors should be 20 to 28 inches away from you, and the top of the computer should be at eye level or right below for optimum eye comfort. Glare filters can reduce the amount of glare produced by digital devices and improve your viewing experience.

Poor sitting posture can also contribute to eye strain. Your chair should be situated so that your feet are flat on the floor, or use an angled footrest for additional comfort.

If there is a window or light behind you, it may cause reflection or glare. Try to reposition your monitor to reduce or eliminate that.

Computer Eye Wear

Regular prescription lenses or glasses may not meet the visual needs for working on the computer for long periods. There are special lenses that are designed for computer use. These prescription glasses are customized to your needs and also reduce glare and block blue light.

Many people say: “but I just want one pair of eyeglasses”.

Think of the utensil you use most of the time when you eat. It’s probably a fork. When you eat soup or cereal, however, you probably use a spoon. Each one has its own function.

A hammer is a good tool, but sometimes you need a screwdriver. Its a different tool.

The computer program Word is good to write a report, or a message, but probably not ideal for a spreadsheet. The program Excel does that much better.

You probably wear different clothes in the winter than in the summer. One set of clothes probably doesn’t work all year round. You might wear different shoes for different functions or purposes.

The point is that just as there are different utensils we eat with, and different shoes we wear, and different tools we use, eyeglass lenses are designed for different functions, much as clear lenses are different from sunglasses.

You don’t have to live with the discomforts of eye strain. If symptoms persist, it may be a good idea to schedule a time to visit us at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge. so you can get the relief you want. Call our office at 732-679-2020 to schedule an appointment.

Signs That You Might Have Cataracts

Middle Aged Couple Multifocal Contacts

We all have a lens inside the eye, and that enables us to focus on things at near, such as reading or working on the computer. The lens is thin, soft, and clear at the start, but it gradually becomes more rigid, and then cloudy. At about 40, most of us start to need reading glasses. The lens is made of a protein that is similar to the protein of an egg. As you cook an egg, the clear part starts to turn cloudy and ultimately white. That’s why we call it the white of the egg. The lens in your eye also starts out clear and gradually turns cloudy. When it has turned so cloudy that it makes it difficult to see, we call that a cataract. At its early point, we may be able to reverse a cataract, but when it starts to impact your ability to read or drive, that’s when we need to think of cataract surgery.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • foggy or blurred vision, with less light reaching the retina
  • sensitivity to light, especially strong sunlight
  • difficulty seeing at night, especially while driving, when the headlights of approaching cars appear dispersed
  • frequently needing to update your eyeglass prescription
  • colors becoming less vivid and more yellow
  • images double, even with only one eye open
  • halos around lit objects

Besides aging, cataracts can develop due to

  • genetics
  • medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • head trauma
  • eye injuries
  • excessive smoking and drinking
  • Poor nutrition

What Can be Done About Cataracts?

We can prevent cataracts by wearing UV blocking sunglasses, taking Vitamins C and E, and eating antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Homeopathic pellets can reverse cataracts in some cases.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, the first step is to call us, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ. Dr. Tiomno and Dr. Roth always do a thorough examination, which includes checking for cataracts. At times, we may be able to prescribe eyeglasses.

When cataract surgery is the best solution, we will do all the necessary tests and will see you the day after the cataract surgery to make sure that your eyes are responding to the surgery as expected and we will direct you on the medications that you need to take. it is common for cataracts to develop faster in one eye than the other. Cataract surgery is done one eye at a time and never both eyes at the same time.

The cataract surgery means that the lens in the eye is replaced with an artificial lens to help you see once again and regain your vision. It is done on an outpatient basis, meaning there is no hospital stay. you are in the recovery room for about 1-2 hours and you go home the very same day. It is virtually painless, and has a very high rate of success.

We, at Family Eye Care, we care for patients with cataracts from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to New Glasses?

Most people who wear glasses are excited and have a confidence boost when they receive their new eyeglasses. There is usually an adjustment period before your vision is fully comfortable because your brain needs to re-calibrate. It’s like getting used to driving a new car. The radio may be in a different spot. The seat may feel a little different. The way it moves or turn can take a little getting used to.

Likewise, with new eyeglasses, if the frame is a different shape or the prescription has changed, it is likely to feel different. That is, until your brain learns to use the new tool Especially with progressive lenses or a near variable focus computer lens, it is bound to feel different.

If after using them for a few days or weeks, you still feel that things are off, don’t hesitate to come in. At times we may may need to make a adjustment to the frame, or rarely, even to the lenses.

We obviously want to feel comfortable with your new frame and we want you to see clearly and comfortably.

When Will My Eyes Adjust to My New Glasses?

It can take a few days to a few weeks for your eyes and brain to fully adjust to your new eye wear, whether you are increasing your prescription or wearing eyeglasses for the first time.

Even if you are getting new glasses with the same prescription, different frames or lenses can alter your vision until you get used to the new frame style or lens type. The complexity of your prescription and whether you buy a lens with premium optics versus basic spherical lens or polycarbonate material all can affect the adjustment time.

Progressive lenses tend to be the most difficult to adjust to. This is related to the peripheral soft focus zones, which are much less blurred for customized lenses prescribed by your local optometrist.

What Are Some Possible Visual Symptoms I Could Experience?

Some common experiences shared by those adjusting to new eye wear include:

  • Eye strain, headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble with depth perception, nausea and dizziness
  • “Barrel distortion” — objects appear distorted, for high plus lenses
  • “Fishbowl effect” — the feeling that your visual field is being bent along the edges, as if you’re looking through a fishbowl, common in high minus prescriptions

Why Do My New Glasses Give Me a Headache?

Fatigued eye muscles can cause headaches, but your eyes aren’t the only things adjusting to your new lenses. Your brain is also working hard to create a clear picture of the messages it’s receiving from your eyes. This extra brain activity can sometimes bring on a headache, which should only last about a day or so.

Why Do I Feel Dizzy With My New Glasses?

Dizziness and nausea can be caused by problems with depth perception, similar to motion sickness. With motion sickness, you feel uneasy because your brain is having to make some adjustments in order to understand where your body is in position relative to the space surrounding it. So when you wear your new glasses, your brain may need some time to understand how to interpret the new images it’s receiving, causing you to feel disoriented or dizzy.

When Should I Call My Eye Doctor?

An adaptation period is normal, but when it extends more than one or two weeks, you should call us and set up a progress visit. We want you to see clearly and comfortably. At times it could be the frame, how it fits, the size, a change in prescription, etc.

Eyeglasses purchased elsewhere, and especially those purchased on-line, might not have the quality controls that we do. That may lead to some difficulties. Studies have shown that up to 40% of online eye wear are made incorrectly or inaccurately. Please understand there are many factors in arriving at a correct prescription and then manufacturing that. It requires time to figure out which part of the manufacture may be causing your problem and there may be a fee associated with that when eyeglasses are made by another source.

If you need new glasses or are having a hard time adjusting to a new pair, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Special Multifocal Contact Lenses Slow Myopia Progression in Children

A study that was just published (August 11, 2020) showed that children who wore multifocal contact lenses had slower progression of their myopia (nearsightedness). This study was funded by the National Eye Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Investigators of the Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study published the results August 11 in JAMA.

Myopia (nearsightedness) increases the risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, later in life. In this study, nearsighted children ages 7-11 showed that special contact lenses slowed myopia progression and eye growth.

More kids are becoming nearsighted at earlier ages, and that means that when they become adults, they will be even more nearsighted than the average we currently see. The higher the nearsightedness, the more likely you are to have sight-threatening complications as an adult, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. The point is that anything we can do now to slow the progression of nearsightedness could ultimately benefit patients.

Myopia occurs when light cannot focus directly on the retina. The special contact lenses change how light focuses on the peripheral retina.

Illustration describing multifocal contact lenses

The common approach by most doctors has been to increase the eyeglass prescription each year, but that just is a stopgap measure. In our office we offer non-surgical ways to treat myopia progression, including vision therapy, orthokeratology (ortho-K), soft multifocal lenses, atropine, etc. We can discuss the virtues of each

Contact us if you are concerned about your child becoming more and more nearsighted each year. You can reach us at 732-679-2020.

Our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, also serves the surrounding communities of Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

To learn more about myopia, visit https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/resources-for-health-educators/outreach-materials/myopia-nearsightedness

How To Prevent “Mask Fog” on Your Glasses

If you wear glasses and a face mask, you’ve probably struggled with “mask fog.” Your lenses get all misty, requiring you to wipe your eyewear throughout the day. Below are a few strategies to help you prevent your eyeglasses from fogging up when wearing a mask.

But First, Why Do Glasses Fog Up?

Quite simply, condensation forms whenever moist warm air hits a cool surface. Your eyeglasses fog up when the face mask sends your warm breath upward instead of in front of you. This is great to preventing virus transmission, but not so good for anyone that wears eyeglasses.

Is Your Mask Well Fitted?

The mask should fit securely over your nose. It is best to have a mask with a nose bridge or one that can be shaped or molded to your face. When the mask fits properly, most of your breath should go through the mask rather than through the top or sides.

Use Your Glasses To Seal the Top of Your Mask

This method works best with large, thick eyewear frames. By pulling your mask up higher on your nose and placing the lower part of your eyeglasses on the mask, you can get a more snug fit that blocks your warm breath from escaping upward toward your eyeglasses.

Tape Your Mask to Your Face

If this becomes more of a problem, you can use tape to secure your mask across the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheeks. Use easy-to-remove tape, including adhesive, medical, or athletic. Don’t use duct tape.

Soap and Water Help Prevent Fogging

This trick is one that healthcare professionals regularly turn to. All you need for this hack is soapy water (dish soap works best) and a microfiber cloth. Don’t use soaps with lotions in them as they can leave a thick residue, making it even harder to see.

Simply rub the lenses of your frame with a drop of soap. Then buff the lenses with a soft microfiber cloth.

This effective trick helps prevent your lenses from fogging up as a transparent, thin film of soap acts as a barrier.

Anti-Fog Wipes and Sprays

Another option is to purchase wipes and sprays designed to tackle foggy lenses. Read the fine print, as certain anti-fog solutions may not work as well, or may even damage lenses with coatings that minimize glare and fingerprint smudges, for example.

This may be the right time to consider Contact Lenses or Orthokeratology.

Call us to learn about other options.

Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ. 1-732-679-2020.

 

Why You Regularly Need to Replace Your Sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses, or at least sunglass lenses, regularly need to be replaced?

According to a study conducted at the University of São Paulo, the UV protection that sunglasses provide deteriorates over time. You may adore your current ones, but if you’ve been rocking those shades for two or more years, it might be time to get a new pair.

In addition to the UV-blocking properties, anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings wear down, and the frame material may become brittle over the years, too. Even if you have the most durable sunglasses available, regular lens-replacement is the best way to ensure that your vision is maximally protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light.

UV Light and Sunglasses

The protective efficacy of your sunglasses comes in large part from the lens coating of dyes and pigments that reflect and absorb ultraviolet radiation. They create a barrier that prevents UV radiation from penetrating your eyes.

However, this protective coating can, and often does, break down over time. Wear and tear can cause an invisible web of tiny abrasions, compromising its UV-blocking power. Furthermore, the protective dyes and pigments aren’t able to absorb UV rays indefinitely; the more sunlight they’re exposed to, the more rapidly they’ll become ineffective.

A pair of shades worn on occasion and in mild conditions is likely to remain effective longer than a pair that is heavily used in a more intensely sunny environment. For example, if you spend long days on the water paddling, kayaking, or canoeing, the protective coating on your lenses will deteriorate more quickly than it would if you only wear your shades to go grocery shopping or sit in a cafe.

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Eyes From UV

Protecting your eyes from the sun is critical no matter where in the world you are, as UV exposure places you at risk for developing eye diseases like eye cancer, pterygium, and pinguecula — which can result in disfigurement and discomfort — as well as cataracts and macular degeneration — which cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

Even short-term overexposure can result in photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. Some people experience it when spending too much time boating or skiing without wearing eye protection. Snow and water can increase solar exposure because they reflect sunlight toward your face.

What to Look for When Getting New Sunglasses

When choosing new sunglasses, make sure they’re labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Although most pairs sold in the United States and Canada offer this degree of protection, it’s still worth confirming before making the purchase. Keep in mind that factors like cost, polarization, lens color, or darkness don’t have much to do with the level of UV protection. Even clear prescription lenses can be UV protective.

It’s important to note that there is a lot of counterfeit sunwear in the marketplace. This is dangerous since counterfeit eyewear may not provide much-needed ultraviolet protection. So if the price of a renowned brand is too good to be true, it’s probably a fake.

The size and fit of the sunglasses is important. Bigger is definitely better if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Larger wrap-around eyewear is best if you regularly ski or spend many hours in the water, as this style blocks light from all directions.

To find out whether it’s still safe to wear your favorite shades, visit a Old Bridge eye doctor to determine whether your lenses still offer the right level of UV protection. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss prescription sunwear.

For more information about UV safety, or to get the perfect sunglasses tailored to your vision needs and lifestyle, contact Family Eye Care in Old Bridge today!

 

References

https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12938-016-0209-7

 

What are the Complications of Myopia?

An article was published this week in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The authors reviewed other studies to determine the relationship and risk between how nearsighted someone is, and several sight-threatening eye problems.

The review concluded that low, moderate, and high myopia were all associated with increased risks of

  • myopic macular degeneration (MMD),
  • retinal detachment (RD),
  • posterior subcapsular cataract,
  • nuclear cataract,
  • open-angle glaucoma.

For each condition above the likelihood increased with severity of myopia. This means that the higher the nearsightedness, the worse these problems. The purpose of the study was also to address: what can we do to prevent a child or an adult from becoming more nearsighted, so they can PREVENT these problems from happening.

As someone becomes more nearsighted, the length of the eye increases. Longer eye- length, higher myopia degree, and age >60 years were associated with greater risk of visual impairment. The risks associated with low, moderate, and high myopia should alert parents, policymakers and healthcare professionals of the importance of measures to prevent and treat myopia.

In the past, the only advice doctors had was to increase the eyeglass prescription. This merely addresses the short term problem of not being able to see clearly, but does not solve the underlying problem. Fortunately, there are answers to this problem and we can prevent the increase in myopia. In our office, Family eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ, we offer several alternatives.

  • Vision Therapy (see more on this in our website)
  • Special bifocal eyeglasses when indicated
  • Orthokeratology or Ortho-k for short (see more on this in our website)
  • -Special Contact Lenses designed for myopia control
  • Atropine eye drop medication.

If your child is becoming more nearsighted, and you want to prevent this progression, call our office at 1-732-679-2020. We frequently see patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Marlboro, Manalapan, Matawan, Aberdeen, South River, South Amboy,

Below is a summary of the study

METHODS

A systematic review and meta-analyses of studies published before June 2019 on myopia complications. Odds ratios (OR) per complication and spherical equivalent (SER) degree (low myopia SER < -0.5 to > -3.00 diopter [D]; moderate myopia SER ≤ -3.00 to > -6.00 D; hi-gh myopia SER ≤ -6.00 D) were calculated using fixed and random effects models.

RESULTS

Low, moderate, and high myopia were all associated with increased risks of Myopic Macular Degeneration

MD (OR, 13.57, 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.18-29.79; OR, 72.74, 95% CI, 33.18-159.48; OR, 845.08, 95% CI, 230.05-3104.34, respectively); RD (OR, 3.15, 95% CI, 1.92-5.17; OR, 8.74, 95% CI, 7.28-10.50; OR, 12.62, 95% CI, 6.65-23.94, respectively); posterior subcapsular cataract (OR, 1.56, 95% CI, 1.32-1.84; OR, 2.55, 95% CI, 1.98-3.28; OR, 4.55, 95% CI, 2.66-7.75, respectively); nuclear cataract (OR, 1.79, 95% CI, 1.08-2.97; OR, 2.39, 95% CI, 1.03-5.55; OR, 2.87, 95% CI, 1.43-5.73, respectively); and OAG (OR, 1.59, 95% CI, 1.33-1.91; OR, 2.92, 95% CI, 1.89-4.52 for low and moderate/high myopia, respectively). The risk of visual impairment was strongly related to longer axial length, higher myopia degree, and age older than 60 years (OR, 1.71, 95% CI, 1.07-2.74; OR, 5.54, 95% CI, 3.12-9.85; and OR, 87.63, 95% CI, 34.50-222.58 for low, moderate, and high myopia in participants aged >60 years, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Although high myopia carries the highest risk of complications and visual impairment, low and moderate myopia also have considerable risks. These estimates should alert policy makers and health care professionals to make myopia a priority for prevention and treatment.