Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
Macular Degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
One can compare the human eye to a camera. The macula is the central and most sensitive area of the so-called film. When it is working properly, the macula collects highly detailed images at the center of the field of vision and sends them up the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as sight. When the cells of the macula deteriorate, images are not received correctly. In early stages, macular degeneration does not affect vision. Later, if the disease progresses, people experience wavy or blurred vision, and, if the condition continues to worsen, central vision may be completely lost. People with very advanced macular degeneration are considered legally blind. Even so, because the rest of the retina is still working, they retain their peripheral vision, which is not as clear as central vision.
How the Hubble Telescope got glasses
NASA engineers were frantic. The telescope was launched into space by the Space Shuttle Discovery and was orbiting Earth 360 miles up—they couldn’t very well bring it back down to fix it. They would have to take their best guess at what the problem was, and install something to correct it.
It took many experts looking at the blurry images to decide that the problem was likely spherical aberration. A 2-micron error in the grinding of a lens was magnified by the vast distances the telescope was expected to see.
The good news was now that they could calculate the aberration, they could send up an additional camera with a “prescription” that countered it, and sharpen the image before the photo was taken. Essentially, one of the largest space telescopes ever built got glasses!
Once that was accomplished, the Hubble Space Telescope sent back sharp, clear images that have led to many breakthroughs in astrophysics, including accurately determining the rate that the universe expands.
If you'd like to learn more about this incredible story, you can find it here.
In 2018, NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, a successor to Hubble that will deepen our knowledge of the universe. This incredible advancement in technology will contain optics from Zeiss!
Which brings me to the point that we proudly offer ophthalmic lenses from this industry leader in our office. If you want telescopic vision (just kidding!) just call us at 704-821-5009 to schedule an appointment.
Help us preserve people’s vision by spreading the prevention message this month!
The term “glaucoma” refers to a group of disorders that damage the ocular nerve, leading to vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is most commonly caused by ocular hypertension, or high pressure inside of the eye. It is estimated that 60 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma - 4 million living the United States alone.
Bausch + Lomb is launching a program to encourage consumers to recycle its contact lenses.
The recycling program, known as #ONEbyONE, allows patients to recycle their used Biotrue ONEday contact lenses and other Bausch + Lomb contact lenses and blister packs through a free program, developed by Bausch + Lomb, in partnership withTerraCycle, a leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste.
“Bausch + Lomb is not only committed to providing patients with innovative vision care, but to practicing good stewardship within our business practices,” said Guy Guglielmino, head of marketing, vision care, Bausch + Lomb. “This includes working closely with companies, such as TerraCycle, who is making progress in the areas of recycling, reusing and reducing waste and energy consumption in hopes to better preserve our environment for future generations.”
Bausch + Lomb is celebrating the launch of the #ONEbyONE recycling program with a consumer event on America Recycles Day, November 15, hosted by Biotrue ONEday. The event, which will be held at the Marshall B. Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) in Anaheim, Calif., is dedicated to helping people end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities, Bausch + Lomb said in a statement. The event will feature an educational and interactive experience for students and the surrounding community, giving them the chance to participate in the #ONEbyONE recycling program and celebrate America Recycles Day.
“We’re proud to partner with a leader in the vision care industry such as Bausch + Lomb to provide consumers an opportunity to take a small step each day in hopes to one day leave a larger positive impact on the earth,” said Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. “This is the first time we have recycled at a large-scale in this category and we hope the Bausch + Lomb #ONEbyONE program will inspire participation from current and future patients who previously have not had an option to recycle their contact lenses.”
Additional information about the #ONEbyONE program is available at www.BauschRecycles.com
As a parent of a young child, I know all too well the trials of the holiday season. First of all is the challenge of getting my kids to appreciate giving as much as receiving. And, despite the best intentions of friends and family, I need to be diligent in inspecting that all toys are safe and appropriate.
I remember the movie "A Christmas Story," where Ralphie sets out to convince the world that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect gift. "You'll shoot your eye out!" was the response he got from his parents, teacher and even good ol' Santa Claus. It's one of the more hilarious and memorable quotes from this Christmas classic because we've all heard it repeatedly during our childhood. But, unfortunately, it comes true for too many people.
Those Living with Diabetes Are Three Times More Concerned about Losing Vision than Possible Side Effect of Kidney Failure
The leading cause of blindness, diabetes, is steadily growing and is expected to affect one in 10 people worldwide by 2040, the International Diabetes Federation predicts. As prevalent as the condition is, 79 percent of Americans don't know diabetic eye diseases have no visible symptoms and more than half do not know comprehensive eye examinations can detect diabetes, according to the 2016 American Eye-Q® Survey conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and released in advance of November's American Diabetes Month®.
"In 2014 alone, 240,000 patients were diagnosed with diabetes in an eye doctor's office," said AOA President Andrea P. Thau, O.D. "A comprehensive eye examination with a doctor of optometry is important not just to maintain eye and vision health but can be a first line of diagnosis for many systemic diseases."
The AOA advocates for regular, dilated eye exams for those with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, because the alternatives, like online vision apps, only check for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and cannot detect diabetes. "When the eyes are dilated, an eye doctor is able to examine the retina for signs of diabetic eye disease and prescribe a course of treatment to help preserve an individual's sight, " Dr. Thau said. "Many eye problems show no symptoms until they are in an advanced stage, but early detection and treatment can truly save a person's vision. No online app can do that."
The survey, designed to drive education of eye health issues, also found that people diagnosed with diabetes are acutely aware of its effect on eye health and are more likely than the average American to worry about their eye health. In fact, loss of vision is a major fear among members of this group, who report that they are three times more concerned about blindness as a diabetes-related side effect than they are about the next largest side effect, kidney failure.
Unfortunately, that worry does not always result in people taking action to better care for their eyes and protect their vision. The study found that only 54 percent of people with diabetes who were surveyed regularly visit their doctor of optometry to understand the toll diabetes is taking on their overall eye health.
During Diabetes Awareness Month, the AOA, the leading authority in eye and vision healthcare, is committed to educating the public about the relationship between diabetes and eye health, as the annual Eye-Q survey shows that after learning about the topic many participants said they would be prompted to take steps to ensure their eye health.
Some additional findings about attitude changes related to diabetes and eye health include the following:
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Austin Village Eyecare
1013 Chestnut Ln Suite 210
Matthews, NC 28104