Cataract & LASIK Blog NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Friday, January 22, 2021

Lifestyle Choices for Glaucoma Prevention

 


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss worldwide, affecting nearly 60 million people. With healthy lifestyle choices it may be possible to minimize the risk of vision loss from glaucoma. Certain habits may help minimize the risk of losing vision, beyond drugs, lasers and surgery. 

·       Exercise Regularly. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity appear to have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. This is because blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise, which may affect glaucoma risk.

·       Diet. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy ones. One study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Why? Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.

·       Drink Coffee-Better yet, Drink Tea Instead of Coffee. A study published last month showed that people who consumed at least one cup of hot tea daily had 74 percent decreased odds of having glaucoma compared with those who did not consume hot tea. A little coffee is fine, but excessive caffeine intake is not ideal.

·       Consider Taking a Magnesium SupplementStudies suggest that an adequate intake of dietary magnesium may be beneficial for patients with glaucoma. Why? Magnesium improves circulation and seems to have a beneficial effect on glaucoma patients’ vision. 

·       Brush, Floss & Visit the Dentist Regularly. A recent study showed that tooth loss may be linked to increased glaucoma risk. This is because periodontal disease may trigger an inflammatory response that can contribute to glaucoma.

·       Don’t smokeStudies indicate that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of glaucoma, and has an overall negative impact on eye health.

·       Maintain a healthy body weightStudies show that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk for diabetes, and having diabetes puts people at risk of glaucoma. Having a too low BMI is also associated with increased glaucoma risk.

·       Avoid Inverted Postures in YogaStudies show head-down positions can increase eye pressure and are not recommended for glaucoma patients. There are plenty of yoga exercises that don’t have this effect

·       Avoid necktiesResearchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.  

Get screened regularly for glaucoma, especially if you have a family history of the conditionResearchers have recently identified certain genes that increase the risk of glaucoma. Those at higher risk of glaucoma include people of African descent, people with diabetes, and those with a family history of glaucoma.

 

If you or someone you know is over 40, or has other glaucoma risk factors please schedule a glaucoma eye exam at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or Facebook. 

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Know Your Glaucoma Risk Factors

 


Did you know that glaucoma doesn’t affect all of us equally? January Glaucoma Awareness Month is an excellent time to Know Your Glaucoma Risk Factors! Your glaucoma risk is increased if:

·       You are over 40 years old

·       You are African American. African Americans are 6-8x more likely to get glaucoma and 6-8 x more likely to have severe vision loss and blindness.

·       You have diabetes. People with diabetes are 2x more likely to get glaucoma.

·       You are Hispanic American. Hispanic Americans face an increased risk comparable to African Americans, but the disease may also progress faster as they age, compared with other ethnic groups.

·       You are Asian American. Asians are at an increased risk for the less common types of glaucoma: Angle-Closure Glaucoma and Normal-Tension Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss, affecting about 3 million people in the United States. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain, allowing us to see. Because glaucoma often progresses slowly, affecting just peripheral or side vision, people with glaucoma can lose most of their vision before they even experience any symptoms. Central vision, the vision used to read, drive or watch TV, is unaffected until the disease is advanced. Just because you think you can see well, doesn’t mean all is well. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know needs a glaucoma eye exam, please schedule an appointment today at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or Facebook. 

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cataracts Don’t Return: Facts You Might Not Know

 


Cataracts Don’t Return or Regrow

From time to time we hear patients ask about whether cataracts “regrow” after they have had cataract surgery. Sometimes patients will tell us that a friend, neighbor or relative had a cataract regrow. The fact is that cataracts do not come back after they are surgically removed!

When your cataract surgeon performs cataract & lens implant surgery, the cloudy natural lens of your eye is replaced with a clear artificial lens that is placed within a thin membrane-called the “lens capsule”-that is intentionally left in place to secure the new artificial lens. The new lens does not become cloudy again. However, some people do develop what is called a “secondary” cataract some time later after the initial surgery that occurs when the thin membrane that holds the lens becomes cloudy. With a quick painless procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy, your eye surgeon can make an opening in the cloudy capsule, allowing light to pass through again for clear vision. This YAG procedure almost instantly restores clear vision with the entire procedure taking less than 5 minutes and requiring no downtime.

If you or someone you is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataracts, cataract surgery and lens implants  please call and schedule an eye exam at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or Facebook

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Tips for Makeup Removal Around the Eye

 

It pays to take some extra care when removing makeup from around your eyes. Some tips for safe, effective and gentle eye makeup remover to consider include:

  • Vaseline is a very effective makeup remover. It's lubricating, soothing to skin and helps makeup slide off without unnecessary tugging and pulling.
  • Baby shampoo is an inexpensive and ophthalmologist-recommended product for washing eyelids and the area around the eyes. These 'tear-free' soaps are often recommended to people prone to styles, chalazia and blepharitis for washing their eyes.
  • Whatever eye makeup remover you use, avoid getting it in your eyes.
  • Thoroughly rinse any remover off your eyelids.
  • Brush a clean cotton swab along the base of the eyelashes to remove all makeup remnants.
  • Be especially careful with exfoliating scrubs and don't use them around your eyes. Cleansers with scrubbing beads or gritty additions can scratch and irritate your eyes.

If you should accidently get either makeup or makeup remover products in your eye, please call us at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Cataract Prevention in the Produce Aisle!

 

Did you know that regularly enjoying a piece of fruit and a side of vegetables can help prevent vision loss from cataracts? Many Americans don’t eat enough fresh vegetables and fruits. Most of us know that these foods are important for avoiding heart disease, stroke and cancer but don’t associate diet with cataract prevention. Studies from the United States, Japan and Sweden show that a diet rich in foods with substances called antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals. That damage is called oxidation. Free radicals in our bodies may come from:

Oxidation can lead to cataracts by causing changes to fats and proteins in the eye’s lens, making the lens cloudy. Antioxidants help slow down or prevent free radical damage. Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, certain substances in plants called flavonoids, and some minerals like selenium.

While you can take antioxidant supplements in the form of daily pills or capsules, these beneficial vitamins and minerals are best when they come from a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Loading up in the produce aisle and on your plate with fresh veggies and delicious fruits, knowing you are doing your eyes a favor!

A daily diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent cataract formation. If you or someone you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please schedule an eye exam at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Preventing Vision Loss From Diabetes

 


Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults. This is a growing problem as the number of people living with diabetes increases, so does the number of people with impaired vision. Diabetes can cause a disease of the eye called diabetic retinopathy (DR). In its early stages, you may not notice any symptoms or changes to your eyesight, and you cannot tell that this condition is damaging your eyes. If it is not detected and treated in a timely manner, your vision can be damaged permanently. A recent study, conducted at Centers for Disease Control found that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was high, affecting almost one-third of adults over age 40 years with diabetes, and more than one-third of African-Americans and Mexican Americans.

If you or someone you know has diabetes there are important steps you can take to prevent vision loss including a) maintain good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure with diet, exercise and medications prescribed by your physician, b) having regular eye exams as recommended by your eye doctor. Depending on how long you have had diabetes and the health of your retina, your eye doctor may recommend specialized testing including scans and pictures in order to monitor changes that occur from diabetic retinopathy. Be sure to follow up on appointments and testing.

The key to preventing vision loss from diabetes and diabetic retinopathy is early detection, diagnosis and treatment if necessary. If you or someone you know is concerned about their diabetes and diabetic retinopathy risk please be sure to schedule an eye exam at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Five Fabulous Foods for Your Eyes

 


Most people are aware that keeping your heart healthy depends in part on what you eat. Fortunately, the same diet that helps your heart is good for your eyes!

Eating a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can pay benefits not only to your heart but to your eyes. This isn't surprising as your eyes rely on tiny arteries for oxygen and nutrients, just as the heart relies on much larger arteries. Keeping those arteries healthy will help your eyes.

Some foods stand out as particularly helpful for eye health. Here are five things you should make sure are part of your diet for healthy vision.

  • Leafy green vegetables. Kale and spinach are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients found in the healthy eye that may lower your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Other vegetables with significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin include romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli and peas. And while not leafy and green, eggs are also a good source of these nutrients.
  • Citrus fruits. Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant critical to eye health. Research shows that your eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly, and antioxidants can prevent or at least delay cataracts and AMD. Lots of other foods offer vitamin C, including peaches, red peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
  • Beans. All kinds of beans (legumes), including black-eyed peas, kidney beans and lima beans, contain zinc, an essential trace mineral that is found in high concentration in the eyes. Zinc may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of light. Did you know that peanuts are a legume too? Other foods high in zinc include oysters, lean red meat, poultry and fortified cereals.
  • Cold-water fish. Research shows that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acid from cold-water fish may help reduce the risk of developing eye disease later in life. These fish include salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut.
  • Orange-colored vegetables and fruits. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, a nutrient that helps with night vision, as are other orange-colored fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe. Making them a part of a colorful diet can help you keep your eyes healthy.

You can help to keep your eyes healthy by eating a “heart healthy” type diet. Learn about how diet can impact eye health and vision when you schedule an eye exam at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser. 

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.