Diabetic Retinopathy

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

For patients living with diabetes, there are many aspects of their health that they must keep track of. An area that they should absolutely not neglect is their eyesight. It is especially important for adults over 40 with diabetes to have their vision checked annually as the beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy may be present. Younger diabetic patients should also make sure to be examined as prevention is the best possible way to stop the disease; like most diseases it is easiest to prevent at the earliest possible time.

Diabetic retinopathy is a set of vision problems including: blurred and/or cloudy vision, floating blind spots, and vision loss. These occur as a result of unregulated blood sugar in the body. The varying blood sugar levels cause the blood vessels in the eye to become weak, bursting and leaking blood into the eye over time. New, weaker vessels will grow, but often form within the retina, further causing vision difficulties and problems. If unchecked, this could lead to permanent partial or complete vision loss. diabetic-retinopathy-brochure-cover

Annual eye examinations allow doctors to see exactly how far along the disease is progressing and how to counteract it. There is no absolute cure for the condition, its progression can be slowed and the more damaging effects can largely be avoided. Some of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy are to consistently monitor and control your blood sugar and pressure levels, as well as practicing healthy habits such as diet and exercise.

Treatment options often involve laser procedures. These are designed to break up the weak vessels and stop possible leaks in the others. Optical professionals will be able to identify the correct course of action, but it is essential to have regular eye exams to prevent this condition from causing serious vision problems.

Contact us at Scott and Christie Eyecare Associates to schedule a Diabetic Retinal exam. We happily provide all of the eye care needs to Pittsburgh, Cranberry, as well as all of the surrounding areas.

Digital Eye Strain: 10 Tips for Relief

In this day and age, it has become nearly impossible to go a whole day without looking at some sort of digital screen. Some of us have to look at them all day while at work. Over 50% of people who work wi9th computers show eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms. Here are 10 easy tips to reduce your risk of computer eye strain.

  1. Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam:   Getting a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. Contact us to help schedule your routine comprehensive eye exam.
      2. Use Proper Lighting:   Excessive bright light often causes eye strain. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as computers found in an office.
      3. Minimize Glare:    Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish. Again, cover the windows. When outside light cannot be reduced, consider using a computer hood.
      4. Upgrade Your Display:         If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), Digital Eye Strainlike those on laptop computers.
      5.  Adjust Computer Display Settings:     Make sure the brightness of the display is about the same brightness of the surrounding workstation. The text size and contract should be adjusted for comfort.
      6. Blink More Often:       Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. When working at a computer, people blink less frequently — about one-third as often as they normally do — and many blinks performed during computer work are only partial lid closures, according to studies.
      7. Exercise Your Eyes:     One exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times. This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.
      8. Take Frequent Breaks:      Take frequent breaks during your computer work day to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome.
      9. Modify Your Workstation:     If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Using a desk lamp may help, as log as it does not shine into your eyes or on your computer screen.
      10. Consider Computer Eyewear:    For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having a Scott and Christie doctor modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customized computer glasses.
Contact us at Scott and Christie Eyecare Associates if you have any questions regarding this or any other matter. Scott and  Christie Eyecare Associates is proud to service the Pittsburgh and Cranberry area with top of the line ye care.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis:

What is it?

Blepharitis sounds like a serious eye disorder, but it is really a very common ailment that we often see in here in our offices at Scott & Christie. It is the term for a chronic inflammation of the lower eyelids and eyelashes. Blepharitis symptoms include: redness, swelling, itching, and irritation; causing discomfort for patients, but usually do not affect a patient’s vision.

There are a host of factors that doctors have found that contribute to blepharitis. The most common of these are: minor bacterial infection, poor eyelid health and hygiene, and allergic reactions to external stimulants. Doctors may be able to determine the cause of the inflammation when they examine the eyes themselves.

How do you treat it?

Treatment for blepharitis varies depending on the severity and cause. If doctors believe it has to do with eyelid hygiene or infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. In most cases an eyelid scrub is advised- several times a day if needed. This involves mixing a small amount of baby shampoo and warm water together with a cotton swab and gently cleaning the outer lid and eyelash areas of the eye, rinsing with cool water. It is highly recommended to change swabs per eye. Another treatment  option is to take a clean washcloth soaked in warm water and cover the eyes for up to five minutes, several times a day. This helps reduce the redness and irritation in the eyes.

Always consult with a doctor before self treatment. Contact us at Scott & Christie Eyecare Associates  in Cranberry Township for more information.

Information obtained on the Scott and Christie website is not a substitute for an eye exam… see Additional Information.