Patients always have questions about whether LASIK surgery is safe. It generally is safe and most people that undergo LASIK are very happy with the results. But there are risks and complications which can be severe and debilitating. Dry eyes (also known as tear dysfunction syndrome, dry eye syndrome, dry eye disease) is the most common complication following LASIK surgery. Read more...
Doctors have known for a long time that dozens of diseases show up in the eyes, often early enough to do something about them. And its not just eye diseases. Many systemic diseases show up in the eyes first like cancer, tumors, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. Even mental health issues like dementia and Alzheimer's disease are connected to eye health and vision. That's not even the complete list. Studies have shown that eye exams are often the first to detect chronic diseases. That's why getting an eye exam is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
One of the reasons so many diseases can be diagnosed from an eye exam is that the eye is a window to the rest of the body. An eye exam is the only non-invasive way for a doctor to look at the condition of your blood vessels. Using standard ophthalmic equipment, the doctor looks through the iris of your eye and can see the blood vessels at the back of your eye. If there are problems in your body, chances are that they will show up in those blood vessels.
For example, recent research as shown that an imaging scan of the blood vessels in the retina, which is at the back of the eye, can potentially save thousands of lives by predicting who is at imminent risk of a heart attack. The scan fast enough that it can be done by your optometrist during a routine eye examination.
In patients who have cholesterol build up in larger arteries, it is possible for small pieces of plaque to break off and travel through the blood stream into the eye (these are called emboli). The emboli can get stuck in the small blood vessels and cause a blockage.
The particular signs mentioned in a New York Times article are called xanthelasma. These are elevated patches around the eyelids due to fatty deposits under the skin. These are usually considered to be benign but, as the article mentions, recent studies have shown a link to higher rates of heart disease.
Here are some public service announcements form the BC Doctors of Optometry that get the message out.
Eye exams for adults
This video features Vision Source Vancouver optometrist, Dr. Mini Randhawa:
Eye exam saves a life
Chidlren's eye exams
Eye exam finds glaucoma
Vision Source Vancouver Optometrists
The results of the "Retardation of myopia in Orthokeratology" (ROMIO) study were published in October 2012 in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. The study was a two-year randomized clinical trial by researchers at the School of Optometry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The goal of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of orthokeratology (ortho-k) for myopic control in children.
The study examined 102 patients ranging in age from 6 to 10 years, with myopia between 0.50 and 4.00 diopters and astigmatism not more than 1.25 diopters, who were randomly assigned to wear overnight orthokeratology lens retainers or single-vision glasses for a period of 2 years. Axial length - a key measurement of myopia - was measured by intraocular lens calculation by a masked examiner. Measurements of the kids' eyes were taken at baseline and then every six months.
The researchers concluded that, on average, subjects wearing ortho-k lenses had a slower increase in axial elongation (a key marker of myopia progression) by 43% compared with that of subjects wearing single-vision glasses. The authors noted that younger children tended to have faster axial elongation and may benefit from early ortho-k treatment.
Vision Source Vancouver Optometrists
Experts estimate that 80% of learning is obtained through our visual system. That is why thorough eye exams and treatment for eye andvision problems are essential for academic and life success. Some vision problems can be treated with corrective lenses (glasses and contact lenses) while others that have to do with eye movement or the connection between the eyes and the brain require vision therapy - which is like physical therapy for the eyes and the brain and is delivered by a developmental optometrist like Dr. M.K Randhawa.
Just how important is vision for success? Here is what some scientists have found about the connection between vision and learning.
studies found significantly lower achievement test scores, as well as reduced letter and word recognition, receptive vocabulary, emergent orthography, and verbal and performance intelligence quotients among children with uncorrected hyperopia.
children with learning disabilities exhibit a greater prevalence of vision-related problems than the entire population.
most vision problems that may affect learning are related to refractive error, so vision examinations may provide helpful information in the management of children with learning disabilities.
Vision Problems of Children with Individualized Education Programs, Walline et al., Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Volume 23/2012/Number 4