Solar Eclipse Eye Safey Tips

Solar Eclipse Eye Safety Tips

If you haven’t heard yet there will be a solar eclipse this coming Monday August 21st, 2017. This is one of the rare occurrences we will see the moon pass in front of the sun leading to a total solar eclipse, or for us in Florida we will see a partial eclipse.

In Fort Lauderdale it will start at 1:26pm, with the height at 2:57pm and it will be over at 4:20pm. Regular sunglasses are cool for everyday wear but will not be sufficient to view the eclipse safely.  If the proper precautions are not taken, you can permanently damage your retina, leading to solar maculopathy. It only takes 8-10 seconds of viewing to damage the retinal cells responsible for your central vision for the rest of your life. Here are some tips to safely view the eclipse:

  1. Use a pair of ISO 12312-2 solar eclipse glasses. Make sure you put them on looking down and then look at the eclipse and then look back down before taking them off. They may be still available at the library.
  2. Make a pinhole camera or better yet get a pasta strainer with round holes, put your back to the sun and project the shadow onto a piece of paper and watch a lot of tiny eclipses happen at once. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/how-make-pinhole-projector-view-solar-eclipse

Some things NOT TO DO:

  1. Do not look directly at the sun… This is never safe but especially not during an eclipse.
  2. Do not use regular sunglasses, even the darkest sunglasses do not provide appropriate protection from the ultraviolet and infrared rays directed at the retina.
  3. Do not point your camera, binoculars or telescope directly at the sun without the proper filter as you will damage the lens in the camera or the device you are using.

Enjoy this once in a lifetime event but do it safely! We love your eyes and don’t want you to injure your most precious gift!

For more information on Solar Retinopathy: http://www.retinalphysician.com/issues/2013/october-2013/solar-retinopathy-etiology,-diagnosis,-and-treatm

For more information on the Solar Eclipse: http://eyesteve.com/solar-eclipse/

Happy 4th of Jul-EYE

 

A Salute to Our Military and their families!  Thank you for dedicating yourselves to our country and our freedom!

As many of us make plans to celebrate our Independence Day this year we are mostly likely including fireworks as part of the festivities. It’s simply characteristic of the holiday and what a sight they are (from afar)!
Of course, it is only fitting for us to tell you of the safety concerns we have for our patients and their eyes while participating in firework activities.  For starters, the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported that nearly 11,000 Americans went to the ER during the weeks before, during and after the 4th of July last year. Sadly, bystanders and children are frequent victims. Most injuries are burns to the fingers or hands, but also many involve eye injuries.
 I remember my personal experience with a bottle rocket that came flying in my direction and popped right near my face. Fortunately, I covered my face and turned my body, however a couple tiny pieces of shrapnel did lodge in my arm. Thankfully not my eyes!

To help prevent eye injuries during firework season, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends the following tips:

  • Discuss firework safety with children and teens prior to the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Do not allow kids to handle fireworks and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.
  • Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.
  • Store fireworks, matches and lighters in a secure place where children won’t find them.
  • Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 2,000 degrees or hotter, sparklers are the number one cause of firework injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

What to do for a fireworks eye injury (according to Prevent Blindess.  www.preventblindness.org/prevent-eye-injuries-fireworks)

If an eye injury from fireworks does occur:

    • Do not rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
    • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
    • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Holding or taping a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton to the eye are just two tips. Protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the child’s hand, is the goal.
    • Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once – this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
    • Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
    • Do not let your child play with fireworks, even if his/her friends are setting them off. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Farenheit, and bottle rockets can stray off course or throw shrapnel when they explode.

Be safe and Happy Forth of Jul-EYE!

 

What is keratoconus?

Let’s learn a little about Keratoconus.  Kerato-what?!

Read more

UV Awareness Month

May is ultraviolet awareness month!

Summer is just around the corner! Are you getting ready to take a vacation or hit the beach?  Remember to protect the entire family’s eyes while you are out having fun… Even the little ones need protection. 

So what is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?  It’s high energy rays that come from the sun and are invisible to the eye.  UVA is the most damaging and known to cause aging, cataracts, damage to the retina which can lead to macular degeneration and cancers in or around the eye.  Did you know these rays can pass through glass, water and clothing?!  We also have UVB which is most known to cause sunburns, skin cancer and snow blindness.  These rays are the strongest during summer (Hmm.. “Sunshine State”) and high altitudes.

Luckily prevention is fairly simple. Protect your skin and eyes whenever you go outside.  The sun’s rays are strongest from 10am to 2pm.  You need sunglasses that are 100% UV absorbent for UVA & UVB or labeled UV400.  Wearing a brimmed hat also provides protection especially when outdoors for long periods of time. Regular dilated eye exams are important to provide early diagnosis and treatment.

So let’s remember to protect our eyes with UV protection,and keep them healthy with a healthy diet, no smoking and annual eye exams!

Halloween Contacts

photodune-8954944-day-of-the-dead-face-art-s

Halloween contacts? NOT without an eye exam!

By: Isabel Carvajal, OD

So what’s the big deal?!  Why is it so bad to get contacts without an eye exam?  Well, first the FDA considers contact lenses to be a medical device.  Second, if you are getting contacts without having to show a prescription, then the establishment is not abiding by the law. And, if they are not abiding by the law, who’s to say you are getting sterile contact lenses?  Also, without proper instruction there is risk of injury to your cornea.
Have you heard Julian’s story?  He is a young adult who chose to purchase contacts from a gas station without a prescription. Unfortunately, one day he developed an infection which led to a corneal ulcer. The infection he developed lead to multiple problems including cataracts and glaucoma. He has had 10 surgeries and the vision he lost because of the infection has caused permanent damage and will never be regained. This is not an isolated incident and happens far too often.
So if you want to order Halloween contacts or just try contacts, make sure you see your eye doctor! Once we evaluate the health of your eyes and give you the proper instructions on care, you will be able to order your contact lenses. Then by all means have fun!

Are you still cleaning your contacts?

One time use lenses versus conventional contact lenses

Lens casing and bottle of water isolated on black

Have you ever thought about how many steps goes into properly caring for a contact lens? Think about how much easier your life would be if you could just wake up put in a new contact lens every day and get on with your life. The same works for taking them out at the end of the day and discarding them right into the trash instead of going through all of the steps to properly care for your contact lenses.

When you use a one time use contact lens, you get rid of a third of the steps necessary when dealing with contact lenses. You also don’t spend any money on solution.

So, are you still cleaning your contacts every night? If you are still using a conventional contact lens, did you know there are 28 steps you should be doing every time you care for your contact lenses in order to prevent infection and contact lens related eye issues. The following steps are how you should care for your contact lenses every time you use them.

Steps to putting in a conventional contact lens:

  1. Wash and dry your hands properly
  2. Undo lid on contact lens case for the right eye
  3. Take contact lens out of case
  4. Rinse contact lens with solution NOT water
  5. Insert contact lens into right eye
  6. Undo lid on contact lens case for the left eye
  7. Take contact lens out of case
  8. Rinse contact lens with solution NOT water
  9. Insert contact lens into left eye
  10. Dump out existing solution in case
  11. Rinse case with saline NOT WATER
  12. Let air dry upside down

Steps to taking out a conventional contact lens and properly caring for it:

  1. Wash and dry your hands properly
  2. Fill case up with solution that has been air dried (NEVER TOP OFF EXISTING SOLUTION!!)
  3. Take right contact lens out
  4. Place in hand
  5. Fill contact lens up with solution in hand
  6. Rub contact lens for 10 seconds to clean contact lens
  7. Rinse contact lens off with solution (NOT WATER) for 3-5 seconds
  8. Place right contact lens in case
  9. Put cap on right contact lens
  10. Take left contact lens out
  11. Fill contact lens up with solution in hand
  12. Rub contact lens for 10 seconds
  13. Rinse contact lens off with solution (NOT WATER)
  14. Place left contact lens in case
  15. Put cap on left contact lens
  16. Store case in a dry place

With a single use contact lens there are 11 steps to dealing with your contacts.

Steps to inserting a single use contact lens:

  1. Wash and dry hands properly
  2. Open sterile pack holding right contact lens
  3. Put contact lens directly into the eye (no need to rinse with solution as it is already in sterile saline)
  4. Open sterile pack holding left contact lens
  5. Put contact lens directly into the left eye (no need to rinse with solution as it is already in sterile saline)
  6. Discard contact lens packs in garbage

Steps to removing a single use contact lens:

  1. Wash and dry hands properly
  2. Take out right contact lens
  3. Discard right contact lens in garbage
  4. Take out left contact lens
  5. Discard left contact lens in garbage

Single use contacts lenses are not only easier to deal with on a daily basis they are also safer, healthier and better for the eye. You are getting a brand new contact lens every day, you are not putting preservatives into the eye, they are lighter and thinner which increases comfort and whatever attaches itself to that lens during the day is going in the garbage and not in a petri dish and back into the eye. These reasons altogether minimize the risk for eye infections and contact lens related issues.

Also if you have problem with a contact lens and you are out an about instead of worrying or stopping somewhere to buy solution you can keep an extra pair in your purse, car or desk drawer and just pop a new contact lens in. Remember to never put a contact lens in your mouth as there are thousands of bacteria that can attach itself to the lens andnever rinse a soft contact lens with water as our water also has different types of bacteria that can also attach to the lens and do harm to the eye.

Still thinking you are saving time and money not using single use contacts. Ask Dr. Garmizo and Dr. Rhue about single use contact lenses today. The future of contacts is here and your eyes will be thanking you at the end of the day!

Make an appointment today by requesting one online at www.wbeca.com or calling 954-726-0204.

We care about your eye care!

What does the Dr. Check?

eye in keyholeWe have all heard the expression that the eye is the window to someone’s soul. Well the eye is actually the window to someone’s health, which is why there is more to an eye exam than making sure you can see 20/20. We are looking at the overall health of your eyes from the front of your eye to the back of the brain. Many eye diseases can go undetected because most people think that if they can see well then everything must be okay.

Many diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, brain tumors, diabetes, high cholesterol, inflammatory conditions and hypertension can go undetected without annual eye exams. If the disease is not affecting your central vision then you would never know something is wrong without your eye doctor checking it. The eye is the only place in the body we can see the blood vessels without cutting you open.

So what does 20/20 vision mean? The first number is the distance from which we are measuring your vision, in our case is 20 feet. The second number is what size letter you can see at that particular distance. The higher the second number the worse your vision and most likely the need for some sort of vision correction, whether that is glasses, contacts or both. If your vision is reduced it could also mean there is a disease process happening that needs to be monitored and actually treated. Again the only way to check this is to get your annual dilated eye exams.

photodune-4855612-eye-oblique-xsWhen you go for your eye exam we are measuring your prescription for your glasses but we are also looking at the health of your eye from the front of your eye to the back of your brain. We look at the health of the outside ocular structures including your eyelids, eyelashes, cornea (the front of the eye), the sclera (white part) and the iris (colored part). We then measure the function of your eyes by checking your pupillary reaction, peripheral vision and your eye muscle movements. Then the fun dilating drops happen… Yes, we need to dilate your eyes! It is actually the most important part of the eye exam as 70% of your eye is hidden by your iris. Your pupil is like a key hole and in order to see your optic nerve, retina and vasculature we have to open up the pupil to look in.

Getting an eyeglass or contact lens prescription is just a small piece of an actual eye exam. As you  can SEE there is way more to an eye exam than answering the question which is better 1 or 2. So make your annual eye exams for you and all of your family members today you are never too young or too old to get a comprehensive eye exam.

What does my prescription mean?

Glasses prescriptionWhat does my prescription mean?

When people visit the eye doctor they usually leave with an eyeglass or a contact lens prescription. And most people can tell you if they are near sighted, far sighted, presbyopic (need reading glasses) or have an astigmatism. So what do to those words actually mean?

The first number tells you if you are near or farsighted, the second number tells you if have an astigmatism and the amount, the third number is the axis for which the astigmatism correction is needed and the fourth number is the reading power needed for those patients who need help up reading objects up close.

People who wear glasses typically have 4 different refractive conditions: myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and/or presbyopia.

EmmetropiaEmmetropia

An emmetropic patient does not need corrective lenses as the light rays entering the eye from an object are perfectly focused on the retinal without effort. This means the eye and the refractive structures, the cornea and the lens, are working in unison to create a crisp visual image for the brain to process.

 

 


MyopiaMyopia

Myopia or “near sightedness” means you can see everything up close but distant objects are blurry. This is because the eye is too long. When light is focused to the back of the eye it is focused in front of the retina making the image blurry that is interpreted by the brain. Myopia is corrected with either glasses, contacts or both. It is important that your prescription is updated yearly, as little shifts in focusing power within the eye can lead to fatigue if you prescription is under or over focused.


HyperopiaHyperopia

Hyperopia or “farsightedness” means you can see everything far away but near objects are blurry. This is because the eye is too short. When light is focused to the back of the eye the image actually lands behind the retina causing the image to be blurry especially up close. Hyperopia is corrected with either glasses, contacts or both. It is important for hyperopia to be corrected at a young age to prevent visual fatigue as more and more time is focused on near activities.

 

AstigmatismAstigmatism

Astigmatism (which almost 90% of the population has a little amount) means they eye has more than one focus it has to account for, which makes the light focus unevenly on the retina. It means the eye is not perfectly round. Most people will see images that are elongated vertically or horizontally depending on which axis the refractive error is in. Some people will also see shadows around images or blurry at distance and near as the light is focused in many different areas on the retina instead of just one place.

There are patients with astigmatism meaning the eye has more than one focus it has to account for so images are elongated either vertically or horizontally (most people have an astigmatism due to the fact that the eye is not perfectly round).


Presbyopia

Presbyopia  is the gradual loss of the eyes ability to focus on near objects like phones, computer screens or books. It Presbyopiais a natural aging process that all of us will go through. It typically begins to happen around the age of 40 and continues to progress until the age of 65. You will notice that it becomes difficult to read in low lighting areas like restaurants, that you may start holding things further from your face in order to make the image focus or you may start becoming fatigued after near tasks.

All of the above conditions are either corrected with glasses, contacts or refractive surgery.

Prescriptions do change over time and can either get better or worse. In order to keep your visual system working properly yearly eye exams are recommended as small changes in your prescription can make a huge difference in the way you function throughout your day.

Sunglasses

WBECA Dog

Spring Break 2015 is here! So what better time of the year to update your sunglasses or prescription sunwear then now! Sunglasses are one of your most important daily accessories and are not just made for the beach or pool. We live in South Florida and are exposed to the sun more than people are aware of on a daily basis.

Ultraviolet damage is cumulative over our lifetime. Most sun damage to our eyes and our skin happens between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. Sunglasses should protect 100% of UVA and UVB rays. It is also extremely important to protect your little ones eyes as well as kids don’t have the natural protection adults do. The crystalline lens acts like a filter and is what protects the retina from the ultraviolet light. Children and young adults crystalline lens is clear and does not filter UV light like an adult lens which is why they need to be utilizing sunglasses on a routine basis. It is never too early to get into the sunglasses wearing habit.

Ultraviolet damage to the eyes leads to wrinkles, cataracts, skin cancer and macular degeneration. Your sunglasses should also have a wrap to them to protect sun from entering the sides and the top of your glasses. This is why it is recommended if you wear prescription glasses that you also have a different pair of prescription sunglasses.

Did you know that when you close your eyes your eyelids only have an SPF of 5. This is another reason sunglasses should be utilized on a daily basis even if you are just taking a nap or lounging by the pool. Not only do sunglasses make you look cooler but they also serve a very functional purpose. So whether you are headed to the beach, the pool, or the park remember you sunscreen and your sunglasses! Happy Springs Break 2015!!

 

The Infamous Dress

The dress

The infamous dress has houses divided. Are you team black and blue or team gold/tan and white. Well the answer is not as black and white as it may seem. The actual dress is black and blue however in a survey looking at the same picture that went viral showed that over 75% of people saw it is gold and white vs 25% that saw it as black and blue. So why are people seeing different colors under the same lighting, computer/phone screen and background conditions?

Color has to do with visual perception and therefore is open to interpretation and is different to all people. The only colors that people agree on are black and white because they are not true colors. No two people see or interpret one color as the same.

The dress phenomenon is a color perception issued based on color expectancy, or what other colors are on the dress to give it context, and color constancy which has to do with lighting.

We have three color-sensing receptors in our eyes which identify different levels of red, green and blue. As visible light in the world interacts with these receptors, each of the three color sensors are stimulated in different amounts which are interpreted by the brain as a particular color. Which is why color is up for interpretation.

Color is certainly in the eye of the beholder and is influenced by what assumptions and experiences we bring to the table. So long story short it is an optical illusion and if you stare long enough at the picture of the dress or come back to it later it may have switched colors on you. So no you are not going crazy but your brain is playing color tricks on you. This will be added to the books as one of the most controversial optical illusions out there and will keep housed divided for until Halloween when it becomes the most popular Halloween costume of 2015!