Cataract & LASIK Blog NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Thursday, January 20, 2022

10 Tips to Reduce Vision Loss from Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss in America. While early detection, diagnosis & treatment can slow its progression, there is no permanent cure. Lifestyle factors can influence eye pressure, which is a major risk factor for the disease. Here are some lifestyle tips that can actually help minimize the risk of losing vision from glaucoma:

  • 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.
  • 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 in moderation. 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. One study found that drinking 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee increased the risk of developing glaucoma. How can tea help? Antioxidants and the flavonoids contained in tea may improve the body’s ability to prevent the harmful effects of free radical damage. 
  • Consider taking a magnesium supplement. Studies 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. However, another study suggests that too much magnesium may be associated with an increased risk of glaucoma. 
  • Brush, floss, and 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 smoke. Studies indicate that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of glaucoma, and has an overall negative impact on eye health. 
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Studies 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 yoga. Studies 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 neckties. Researchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.
Have regular eye exams including glaucoma testing, especially if you have a family history of the condition. Researchers 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. You are at increased risk if you have a parent or brother or sister with glaucoma.

The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment. 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 851 Eastport Center Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Cataract Surgery Improves Driving Safety

 


Did you know that cataract surgery actually improves driving safety? The ability of cataract surgery to restore sight is well known. Patients say they’re stunned by the vibrancy of color after surgery and the improvement in night vision. Depending on the type of lens implant (IOL) selected to correct your vision after cataract surgery many patients no longer even need to wear glasses, reading glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery. Researchers reporting at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology used a driving simulator to test patients’ vision before and after cataract surgery. They found that near misses and crashes decreased by 48 percent after surgery! While visual acuity-how well you see the eye chart-is quickly measured after cataract surgery, it’s an incomplete assessment of how visually able you might be to drive.

Cataract surgery appears to improve quantity of vision, or visual acuity, as well as contrast sensitivity leading to better night vision and improving drivers’ safety on the road.

These results highlight the importance of timely cataract surgery in maintaining safety and continued mobility and independence in seniors. If you or someone you know is experiencing cataract symptom such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please schedule a cataract evaluation. Call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or Facebook.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Cataracts & Diabetes: Facts You Might Not Know

Did you know that having diabetes increases your risk of developing cataracts faster and earlier in life? The crystalline lens in your eye is nourished by the Aqueous Humor-the clear fluid that circulates in the front of the eye behind the cornea. The Aqueous Humor actually provides oxygen and glucose for the health of the crystalline lens. If you have diabetes and not maintaining good stable blood glucose control, the crystalline lens can become cloudy and less transparent, eventually forming a cataract and making things appear blurry, faded and even appearing with a yellow tinge. This is yet another reason diabetics should work to maintain a healthy lifestyle and blood sugar control.

If you or someone you know has diabetes and experiences changing vision or is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving 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 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Types of Cataracts: Facts You Might Not Know

 


Did you know that there is more than one type of cataract? The most common type of cataract, typically found in people over 40, forms mainly in the center of your eye’s crystalline lens and is called a nuclear cataract. Another type of cataract is called a cortical cataract which is a wedge-shaped clouding that develops at the edge of the lens instead of the center. Yet another type, called a posterior capsular cataract generally forms at the back of the lens, blocking light rays from reaching the retina. You should know that posterior capsular cataracts usually develop faster than nuclear and cortical cataracts. But all three types can be corrected with cataract surgery to remove them, and then your vision corrected with lens implants. Your cataract surgeon can recommend different types of lens implants so that your eyeglass prescription for distance vision and astigmatism are corrected at the same time as your cataract surgery, and many people can even have their need for bifocals or reading glasses greatly reduced or eliminated with lens implants as well.

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 call 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 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Concerned About Cataracts?

 

Cataracts are one of the most common senior eye problems we hear about. There are many myths and misunderstandings about cataracts and cataract surgery that sometimes cause unnecessary concern. Here are some facts to help you put your mind at ease:

>Cataracts are quite common affecting more than 24 million Americans over 40 and by age 80 half of all Americans have cataracts or have had cataract surgery to get rid of cataracts.

>Cataracts often start slowly and at first, you may not notice that you have a cataract. But over time, cataracts can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful and you may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities, especially driving at night!

>Vision problems from cataracts can almost always be corrected with cataract surgery & lens implants to restore your vision.

>Most people having cataract surgery can have the cataract removed and their eyeglass prescription for distance vision and astigmatism corrected at the same time, and many can even have their need for bifocals or reading glasses greatly reduced or eliminated as well.

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 call 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 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

What is a Retinal Tear or Torn Retina?

 

What is a Retinal Tear or Torn Retina?
A torn retina is a serious eye problem that can happen when the retina has a tiny tear or hole that actually tears further, like a rip in a piece of cloth. If not treated right away, a torn retina can lead to an even more serious problem called a detached retina where the retina is lifted away from the back of the eye and puts you at considerable risk of vision loss.

How Does a Torn Retina Happen?
When you are young the vitreous gel in your eyes is pretty firm. As we get older, the vitreous gel in your eyes starts to shrink and get thinner. Normally, the vitreous moves around on the retina without causing problems. But, IF the vitreous sticks to the retina it can pull hard enough to actually tear it. When that happens, fluid can pass through the tear and lift it or detach the retina.

What Will I See if the Retina Tears?
When the retina tears, you may suddenly see flashes of light or floaters. Sometimes blood can leak into the vitreous. This is called a vitreous hemorrhage, and it can cause a large number of floaters to appear suddenly. With any sudden onset of flashes of light or floaters you need to be examined right away as a torn retina can quickly cause a retinal detachment and you could lose vision.

If you or someone you know experiences sudden flashes of light or floaters please call our office and tell us that you need an immediate appointment. Call us 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 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sleep Apnea & Diabetic Eye Problems?

 



If you have diabetes, did you know that having severe sleep apnea may increase your risk of developing diabetic macular edema, a complication of diabetes that can cause vision loss or blindness? Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) also appears to be more difficult to treat in patients with severe sleep apnea according to reports from researchers at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, disrupting sleep and causing blood oxygen levels to drop. This drop in oxygen appears to unleash a host of changes in the body that may play a role in injuring blood vessels. People with sleep apnea are at risk of developing hypertension, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. When people with diabetes have poor control over their blood sugar levels, the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye can become damaged. Sometimes, tiny bulges protrude from the blood vessels, leaking fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling or edema-called Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) in an area of the retina that allows us to see clearly. Researchers believe that sleep apnea may contribute to the development and worsening of diabetic retinopathy by increasing insulin resistance, elevating inflammation and raising blood pressure, all of which can damage the blood vessels at the back of the eye.

If you or someone you know is diabetic and especially if you suffer from sleep apnea, please be sure to have an annual eye exam and be tell your eye doctor that you suffer from sleep apnea as it is a risk factor Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Please call us to schedule a diabetic 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 851 Eastport Centre Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1003 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.