April is National Retina Awareness Month!

April is National Retina Awareness Month!

Warning Signs of a Damaged Retina

If you feel you are having issues with your retina, it is extremely important to contact one of our Memphis ophthalmologists. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Warning signs of retinal detachment include the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes and reduced vision. Another sign is seeing a shadow or a curtain descending from the top of the eye or across from the side. A thorough eye exam will be conducted along with specific testing to help diagnosis your symptoms.

Surgery is almost always used to repair a retinal tear, hole or detachment. Various techniques are available. Ask your ophthalmologist about the risks and benefits of your treatment options. Together you can determine what procedure or combination of procedures is best for you.

The Best Foods for Eye Health

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards.
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish.
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other nonmeat protein sources.
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices.
  • Oysters and pork.

6 Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy:

  • Eat well
  • Quit Smoking
  • Wear Sunglasses
  • Use Safety Eye Wear
  • Look Away From the Computer Screen
  • Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly.

Information courtesy of the American Ophthalmology Association and the National Optometric Association.

Staying Active May Lower Odds for Glaucoma

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter (WebMD)

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) — You probably know that exercise benefits your heart and waistline. But how about your vision?

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed long-term data on American adults, and found that the most physically active folks were 73 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than the least active individuals.

For each 10-minute increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week, the risk of glaucoma fell by 25 percent, according to the study.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is most common in people older than 40.

Study author Dr. Victoria Tseng said the research suggests it’s not only the act of exercising that may be associated with decreased glaucoma risk. “People who exercise with higher speed and more steps of walking or running may even further decrease their glaucoma risk compared to people who exercise at lower speeds with less steps,” she said.

Some studies have found that exercise changes blood flow and pressure in the eyes, which may affect glaucoma risk, the research team noted in a news release from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

However, further research is needed before doctors can make recommendations to patients about exercise and glaucoma, Tseng said.

The findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.


Eye Care and Safety for Halloween

Halloween is coming, and for many, the spooky holiday means opportunities to dress up in costumes and pretend to be whatever one can imagine, from scary witches to astronauts, kitty cats to celebrities. It’s always exciting and fun to pretend to be someone else for a while and to let your imagination run wild. But while costumes are indeed fun, it’s also important to practice good safety habits while wearing costumes or using props. In particular, it’s important to be attentive to eye care and safety when dressing up for Halloween. Here are a few eye safety tips that are important to keep in mind before you put on that costume, or put one on your child.

1. Cosmetic Halloween Contact Lenses

Cosmetic contact lenses can be really cool. They can give you cat eyes, “x” eyes, or even make it look like you’ve got nothing but the whites of your eyes at all. But what’s not cool is getting those lenses from anyone other than a licensed professional with a prescription. Cosmetic contact lenses that come from a source approved by your Doctor are generally safe, although you should consult your Doctor for the specifics.

That being said, putting anything in your eyes that’s not designed to go in them under normal circumstances (like non-prescription lenses) can cause serious injury.

2. Scary Halloween Makeup

Makeup is typically better for your eyes than masks, which can poke your eyes or obscure your vision. If you plan to apply Halloween makeup near your eyes, make sure it is hypoallergenic makeup, and always follow the instructions for application and removal very carefully.

3. Props for Halloween Costumes and Your Eyes

Avoid pointed props like swords or tridents that could poke your eye and do serious damage. If you do use a prop like this, make sure the points are rounded off and made of something safe like plastic, and take care to always point it away from your eyes or the eyes of anyone around you. This is doubly important if you’re dealing with little ones whose costumes include similar props or accessories.

4. Maintaining Proper Visibility on Halloween

In addition to masks, be careful of any costume accessories that might block visibility, like a wig or an eye patch. If you will be out on the streets at night, it can also be a good idea to carry a flashlight to make sure you can see ahead of you and that car can see you equally well.

5. Illumination

For the safety of others, such as children who might be coming to your home for trick or treating, make sure to keep your porch lights on so your porch and stairs are fully illuminated. Also, make sure that your stairs are clear of debris to prevent children from stumbling and potentially injuring their eyes or another part of their bodies.

Remember the Safety of Your Eyes This Halloween

Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it’s not so fun if someone sustains an eye injury, especially one that could have easily been prevented. To enjoy a safe and fun Halloween for yourself and for your children, be sure to follow the steps above and always keep eye safety in mind first when trick or treating or wearing costumes in general.


Thinking About Vision Safety Before, During and After a Natural Disaster

The impact and aftermath of this year’s hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters serve as an important reminder to all about the importance of preparing for these events. Earthquakes, storms and fires can take us by surprise, leaving little time to respond safely and effectively. Planning and preparation is essential and this year’s disasters is a warning for all of us to be prepared.  For those who have vision correction needs, extra care is needed to ensure the safety of their eyes and vision during and after a natural disaster.

Many have been faced with an unprecedented level of exposure to contaminated flood water.  City health officials urge people to stay out of the flood water to avoid illness. Those who have been exposed are instructed to wash their skin thoroughly as soon as possible and seek medical care if water is ingested or has come in contact with open wounds. There are also significant concerns over the safety of the drinking water supply – particularly those who rely on well water.

Access to clean water can also be disrupted after an earthquake, with the potential for water main breaks from the ground shifting. Fires can also impact water service and evacuation centers may need to prioritize bottled water for drinking.  People who rely on contact lenses to see well must have access to clean water to keep their eyes safe from infection, which in circumstances such as these can be sight-threatening.

When a disaster strikes, the community’s first responders and volunteers are activated into service at a moment’s notice and face long, hard and often dangerous work to protect the people and property affected.  It isn’t surprising that many police, fire and medical response team members choose a laser vision correction procedure like LASIK to ensure their clear eyesight is at the ready too.

We offer the following recommendations for preparing for and protecting your eyes and vision in the event of a natural disaster.

What to Pack in an Emergency Vision Care Kit

  • A pair of prescription glasses and a hard, protective case. Even glasses with an old prescription will be better than nothing. If there are water supply and contamination issues during and after natural disaster, contact lenses may not be safe.
  • Extra contact lenses or supply of daily disposables. If it is safe to wear and manage contacts, having a clean case and sterile lenses is important to avoid eye infections.
  • Small bottles of sterile contact lens solution. Have several on hand in case of contamination after opening.
  • Water disinfecting tablets. These products do a pretty good job of rendering water safe when directions are followed. However, like all emergency supplies, they will need to be checked and restocked routinely.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer. Contact lens hygiene requires clean hands. Include paper towels in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Antibacterial wipes for cleaning eyeglasses.
  • Include a copy of your vision prescription with any other required prescriptions in a resealable plastic bag. Having this on hand can make it much easier to get a new pair of glasses if needed.
  • Have a safety kit for each person in the house with vision correction needs.

Other Tips for Managing Vision Needs in an Emergency

  • Remember, washing your hands is the highest priority for keeping your eyes safe from infection.
  • Use bottled water if the water supply is compromised.
  • If bottled water isn’t available, tap water can be rendered safe after boiling for at least 5 minutes but 10 minutes is safer.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and clean water are not available. Wait for hands to completely dry and for the alcohol to evaporate. Then use a small amount of sterile contact lens solution to rinse the fingertip used to insert lenses.
  • Glasses may be preferable for safety sake. Not only does it eliminate the risk of infection from handing contact lenses, they may help prevent contact with contaminated water and protect the eye from falling ash and debris.

These recommendations are intended to help increase understanding of what people need to do before, during and after a natural disaster with respect to the health of their eyes and vision. If you need vision correction to see well, taking the extra precaution to ensure you have the vision you need to keep you safe in an emergency is important.


A message for Dr Linn from Jim Maxwell

Keep Your Eyes Healthy This Fall, With These Tips!

Did you know that autumn is one of the worst times of the year for people who suffer from allergies? Most people think spring when it comes to itchy,red eyes and other allergic discomforts, but fall can trigger symptoms that are just as strong. Here are some tips to help minimize your eye allergy symptoms as the leaves change:

  • Pay attention to pollen reports. Check weather.com to see when the pollen counts are high and you need to stay inside. Ragweed tends to be the most common allergy trigger in the fall.
  • Keep those windows rolled up. If you find your eyes burning and swelling on a pretty fall day, it may be that you’re enjoying the weather a little too much. Although it can be tempting roll down your car windows and let the cool air in, you may be encouraging your allergy symptoms.
  • Wear sunglasses. A pair of shades won’t conquer your allergies, but protective eyewear offers an easy way to keep pollen out of your eyes and help lessen the severity of itchiness or redness.

If you wear contacts, make sure you are taking them out and cleaning them appropriately. Proper eye care is crucial for treating allergy symptoms. If you think you may be suffering from eye allergies, contact your physician for more treatment options and tips, or call Eye Specialty Group at 901-685-2200 to schedule an appointment with one of our board certified Ophthalmologists.