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All About Cataract Surgery

In a normal, healthy eye, the lens is transparent. When there is a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy. Consequently, cataracts can cause blurred vision, poor night vision, muted color vision, and increased glare around lights.

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, with over 3.5 million cataract removals performed annually. To clear up any confusion about this widespread procedure, our Hartsdale, New York, put together the following list of questions and answers; read on.

When is cataract surgery recommended?

During the early stages of a cataract, the visual symptoms may be so mild that you aren’t bothered. Your doctor will just perform regular eye exams to monitor your condition. However, as the cataract progresses, the effects on your vision usually become more disruptive – to the point that many regular daily tasks become difficult. That’s when your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. If a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery may also be advised.

What is cataract surgery?

When your ophthalmologist performs eye surgery to remove a cataract, the procedure involves removing the cloudy natural lens of your eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial intraocular lens. This outpatient procedure is often done with laser-assisted technology.

What risks are involved with cataract surgery?

In general, cataract removal is regarded as very safe. Complications are infrequent, and most can be treated successfully. (Note: if you have another ocular disease or a serious medical condition, your risk of complications is higher.)

Some possible risks are:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Dislocation of artificial lens
  • Retinal detachment
  • Glaucoma
  • Secondary cataract
  • Loss of vision (rare)

What happens during cataract surgery?

When your eye doctor performs this eye surgery, you should expect the procedure to last about an hour or less. To begin, dilating eye drops will be inserted and you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the region. Sometimes, relaxing sedatives are also given.

During the surgery, the clouded lens will be taken out and a clear artificial lens will be implanted. There are a few different methods for removing cataracts, such as:

  1. Ultrasound waves to emulsify the cataract, which is then suctioned out
  2. Advanced lasers are used to make incisions, soften the cataract, and remove the cloudy lens
  3. Removing the lens intact through a large incision (called extracapsular cataract extraction); this procedure is done infrequently

Your eye doctor will determine the best technique for your cataract removal and intraocular lens implantation procedure.

What should you expect after cataract surgery?

After the procedure, your vision may initially be blurry as your eye heals. It’s also common to see colors as much brighter than you are used to because you are now viewing the world through a new, clear lens.

Itching and some minor discomfort are usual; it’s important not to push on or rub your eye. These symptoms typically disappear after a couple of days, and full healing usually occurs within two months. If you have a cataract in your other eye too, second cataract surgery is usually scheduled after the first eye has recuperated entirely.

For a few days following cataract removal, you may be instructed to apply eye drops or other medication to prevent infection, keep the eye pressure under control, and reduce any swelling. Also, you may need to wear a protective eye shield for a few days or while you sleep, as your eye recovers.

A day or two after your surgery, your doctor will probably perform an eye exam to monitor the healing. Eventually, your eye doctor will tell you when your eyes have recovered sufficiently for you to reach your final vision prescription for glasses.

What is posterior capsule opacification (PCO)?

This technical term is a formal way to describe a secondary cataract or “scar tissue,” which is a common complication of cataract surgery. It occurs when the back of the lens capsule (the part of your lens that was not removed during cataract surgery) becomes opaque or wrinkled, disturbing your clear vision. PCO can happen weeks, months, or years after the first surgery.

Treatment for PCO is relatively easy and efficient. It involves a quick procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy. In this outpatient surgery, your eye doctor will use a laser beam to cut a small hole in the clouded capsule, creating a path for light to pass through so you can enjoy clear vision.

How should you choose a cataract surgeon?

Choosing a cataract surgeon is the first step you need to take once your cataract significantly interferes with your ability to see. You need an eye surgeon who is qualified and has a high success rate.

Here are some tips on choosing a cataract surgeon who is right for you:

  • Consult with your regular eye doctor, who may be able to refer you to an experienced, recommended eye surgeon in the Hartsdale, New York area.
  • Speak to family and friends who have already undergone cataract surgery. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful – if a patient had a positive experience with their cataract surgeon, it’s worth a lot.
  • Online research and reviews can be a good method for choosing a cataract surgeon near you.
  • When you meet with any prospective surgeons, make sure you feel comfortable with the entire office staff. You want a team that’s professional, polite, and willing to take the time to provide information about the procedure and answer all your questions.
  • Find out who performs eye exams following your cataract surgery. Will it be the surgeon or a different team member, and are you comfortable with the answer?

Do you have more questions about cataract surgery?

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Hartsdale Family Eyecare eye clinic near you in Hartsdale, New York to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 914-902-5079

Hartsdale Family Eyecare, your Hartsdale eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • What are multifocal lens implants?

    Multifocal lens implants are often used in cataract surgery to reduce the dependency upon glasses for both distance and near vision after the surgery is completed. As with other medical technology, not everyone will be a good candidate for this type of surgical implant. Patients with conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, etc. may not receive the full benefit of these lenses. Also, some patients with corneal scarring or those with significant astigmatism are not always the best candidates for these lens implants either. Your eye care professional can help determine if this lens implant option is right for you.

  • What are cataracts and how can they be treated?

    Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are common with age, certain medications and medical conditions. Patients usually feel like they are looking through a dirty window, cannot see colors the way they used to or have increased difficulty with glare. Currently, the treatment is surgery to remove the cloudy lens. Stay tuned for medical advances in cataract treatment in the future!

  • What are cataracts and how do they affect my vision?

    A cataract is a gradual clouding of the crystalline lens, located inside the eye, causing decreased vision. Cataracts most commonly occur with aging and are a normal part of the aging process. Other causes of cataract development include ocular trauma/surgery, radiation, smoking, systemic disease (metabolic and genetic conditions), and certain medications (particularly corticosteroids). Symptoms of cataract vision loss depending on the type, location, and severity of the cataract. Cataracts may cause gradual blurry vision, halos around lights, poor night vision, prescription changes, and glare symptoms. A cataract is treated with outpatient surgery, in which the crystalline lens is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant. Surgery is typically done with local anesthesia, with minimal or no complications. Nearly all patients achieve improved vision and often do not require glasses post-surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common surgeries performed in the United States. Your optometrist will evaluate your eyes for cataracts at each comprehensive eye exam. Please let your optometrist know if you experience any of the above symptoms.

  • What is a cataract? How will I know when I have one? What can be done to fix it?

    A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens sits behind the iris or the colored part of the eye. Its function is to fine-tune our focusing system by changing shape as we view objects at different distances. Our lens eventually loses its ability to change shape; this is when we require reading glasses or bifocals. In addition, the crystalline lens can become cloudy or yellow as a part of normal aging. This is also known as an age-related cataract. Normal, age-related cataracts are unavoidable and everyone will develop them at some point if they live long enough. The discoloration of the lens leads to an overall blur, a decrease in contrast sensitivity, and a worsening of glare, especially at nighttime. Because they tend to develop gradually, the symptoms are often unnoticed by the patient. A yearly eye exam will allow your optometrist the opportunity to identify cataracts and advise on how to proceed. When your optometrist decides your cataracts are affecting your vision and are advanced enough to remove, you will meet with an ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that will reverse any vision loss caused by cataracts, and it is usually covered by your medical insurance.

5 Ways To Maintain Good Vision And Healthy Eyes

Here’s what you need to know about keeping your eyes and vision healthy, and why you shouldn’t skip your annual eye exam.

Having healthy vision allows us to discover new information and experience life’s adventures. That’s why it’s important to keep those peepers healthy and safe.

Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your eyes and vision in great condition for a lifetime.

5 Ways To Maintain Great Eye and Visual Health

1. Wear Sunglasses Whenever You’re Outdoors

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashionable accessory — they actually play a key role in keeping your eyes healthy. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sight-threatening conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

You should wear your sunglasses any time you are outdoors, whether it’s cloudy and overcast or hot and sunny. Sport your shades year-round for optimal eye protection.

Be sure to choose a quality pair of 100% UVA/B sunglasses. Sunglasses that don’t offer UV protection can actually harm your eyes.

2. Include Eye-Healthy Foods In Your Diet

Here’s a way to keep your eyes healthy from the inside out: eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for keeping your eyes seeing well and feeling good. You may even be able to ward off sight-threatening diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Try to include foods like salmon, tuna, green leafies, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, citrus fruits, eggs, beans, and nuts.

3. Make Sure You’re Wearing The Correct Prescription

Wearing glasses and contact lenses with the wrong prescription can be a headache — both literally and figuratively. If you experience eyestrain, headaches, or eye discomfort, there’s a good chance you may not be wearing the most accurate prescription.

Good vision should be comfortable, so call Hartsdale Family Eyecare if your prescription lenses are causing you any trouble.

4. Wear Protective Eye Gear

A whopping 90% of all eye injuries could be prevented if people wore protective eyewear. Be sure to wear the appropriate eyewear when performing hazardous tasks like yard work, when using power tools, or when handling potent chemicals.

5. Visit Your Eye Doctor

This may be the most important thing you can do for your eyes and vision. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect serious eye conditions and diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy early enough to prevent or halt vision loss.

Children should undergo yearly eye exams to ensure healthy visual development and clear eyesight, both of which contribute to overall success.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Hartsdale Family Eyecare eye clinic near you in Hartsdale, New York to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 914-902-5079

Hartsdale Family Eyecare, your Hartsdale eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • Aren’t sunglasses really only needed in the summer?

    No. Although we think of summer when we think about sunglasses, the damage from UV radiation occurs year-round. Long-term exposure to UV has been shown to increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • I see fine. Why do I need to see an Eye Doctor?

    Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

  • My vision seems fine. That means that my eyes are healthy, right?

    Unfortunately, no. Most eye diseases will not affect your vision until they are quite advanced. The only way to determine if your eyes are really healthy is to have them examined.

  • Does reading my smart phone or tablet in the dark damage my eyes?

    Reading from a tablet or smartphone in the dark is okay for your eyes, as long as this is not for a long period of time. There is good lighting from these devices, with good contrast. There is, however, the blue light emitted from these devices. Blue light is a short wavelength light, with high energy that may cause damage to the structures of the eye if exposed for a long period of time. As well, studies have shown this blue light can disrupt melatonin production which is required for a healthy sleep cycle. Doctors of Optometry recommend limiting screen use during the last hour before bedtime.

Hartsdale | Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential

Hartsdale Family Eyecare Local Diabetic Eye Exams near you in Hartsdale, New York

At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic re v tinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes, especially when uncontrolled, can affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body. Excess blood sugar can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to ocular inflammation, bleeding and devastating vision loss when left untreated.

The most common types of eye diseases associated with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – small blood vessels in the retina weaken and sometimes leak blood
  • Glaucoma – elevated pressure levels of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that blurs vision

Who needs diabetic eye exams?

If you have diabetes of any type, yearly diabetic eye exams are critical for preserving your healthy, sharp sight. That’s because damage to the eyes can be seen during a dilated eye exam way before vision loss occurs.

Sadly, surveys estimate that about 60% of people with diabetes are not vigilant about booking annual eye exams. As a result, early sight-threatening changes in the inner eye tissues are often missed. Only a diabetic eye exam can reliably detect or rule out the start of many dangerous eye conditions. In addition, when your eye doctor notices changes in your eye health as a result of diabetes, it can indicate that a change in your diabetes management regimen may be needed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, diabetic eye exams will be done to monitor your condition to determine the most effective treatment program.

When is a diabetic eye exam needed immediately?

Besides visiting your eye doctor for annual eye exams, the following symptoms are a warning that you should schedule an urgent diabetic eye exam:

  • Seeing red spots
  • Seeing small black lines or spots that don’t glide away
  • Seeing red tinted fog
  • Sudden changes in your vision
  • Taking longer than usual to adjust to darkness

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Hartsdale | Risk of Vision Loss is Increasing

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As the elderly population in the US grows larger, millions of American senior citizens are in danger of losing their vision, according to a new study. Federal health data shows that between 2002 and 2017, the amount of people at risk for vision loss rose from 65 million to 93 million.

Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that while the current numbers are high, they will likely continue to get higher as more Americans pass 65 years old and the prevalence of diabetes increases.

In response, eye care professionals encourage everyone – especially people over age 60 – to visit their local eye clinic for regular eye exams performed by a qualified optometrist or eye doctor. Regular eye exams are vital for preventing vision loss.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Who is at the greatest risk for vision loss?

In addition to seniors, people with diabetes and anyone with a pre-existing eye or vision problem is also at an increased risk of losing their sight.

What can you do to protect your sight as you age?

Regular eye exams are essential! They give your eye doctor the opportunity to detect the signs of a dangerous eye disorder before it causes irreversible vision damage. That way, you can receive treatment as early as possible. According to surveys in 2017, about 57% of the approximately 30,000 adults who participated in the survey said they had an annual eye exam.

Not only do eye exams safeguard your vision, but they can also save lives. More than 270 systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer, can be detected by a comprehensive eye exam (NOT by a generic vision test) before these conditions exhibit symptoms.

The bottom line: As you get older, if you care about your vision and your overall health and don’t want to be added to the number of people suffering with vision loss, contact an eye clinic near you to book regular eye exams with a certified optometrist or eye doctor.

Hartsdale Family Eyecare, your Hartsdale eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Hartsdale | Tips on How to Have Healthy Eyes

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You look through your eyes to see the glorious world around you, and your eye doctor looks into your eyes to see a view of your health. In addition to spotting the signs of ocular disease, conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly your risk for Alzheimer’s can also be detected by an eye exam at your eye clinic.

Eyes comprise many delicate parts that don’t always age well. That’s why regular comprehensive eye exams by a qualified eye care provider are essential! These check-ups give your optometrist or eye doctor a chance to view the eyes’ inner tissues, where the early signs of a problem often appear.

Approximately 61 million people in the US are at an increased risk for serious vision loss. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that losing one’s eyesight holds the #1 spot on Americans’ list of worst health nightmares. Learn how you can help prevent this nightmare from coming true.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Lifestyle changes that benefit your eyes

Eye care professionals claim that embracing these lifestyle hacks can help keep your vision sharp and healthy for the long-term:

  • Eat a lot of veggies: In particular, choose to munch on produce that’s packed with vitamin A, such as carrots, squash and pumpkin, as well as vegetables high in antioxidants (namely lutein), such as leafy greens like collards, spinach and kale.
  • Don’t smoke: If you’re a smoker, quitting can lower your risk of lung and heart disease, along with helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts
  • Wear sunglasses: It’s important to protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays all year round. Choose sunglasses with large lenses that block 99% to 100% of radiation from the sun’s rays.
  • Protect your eyes with safety goggles: Safety goggles or eye guards protect your eyes during sports and construction work, especially when you’re engaged in activities such as playing with a speeding ball, using chemicals or grinding metal.

Get eye care for uncomfortable symptoms

If you experienced painful vision with symptoms such as itching, stinging, redness, swelling, or blurriness – don’t ignore it! Contact an eye clinic near you to schedule an emergency eye exam. Only an eye doctor or certified optometrist can assess your condition to determine whether treatment is required. Leaving certain eye conditions untreated can lead to vision damage.

Self-help to safeguard your eye health

Relieve dry eye syndrome

Staring at a screen can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of dry eye. Intense watching of any digital device can make you forget to blink, which dries out your eye surface. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to relax and moisturize your eyes (= every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance, for 20 seconds).

Prevent eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Some unhealthy (but unfortunately, common) practices can lead to serious eye infections, such as using old makeup. Be sure to discard eye makeup every three months to prevent bacteria from building up. If you wear contact lenses, inadequate hygiene is another cause of eye infections. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts, take them out nightly (even if they’re labelled for extended wear), and disinfect and store them, or discard them, according to your optometrist’s instructions.

How to Handle Floaters

In general, floaters are harmless clusters of cells that glide around in the clear vitreous gel of your eyeball. Your brain adjusts to floaters, and eventually, you won’t see them. However, if you suddenly notice a bunch of new floaters or you see flashes of light or a shadow cast over your vision, contact your eye doctor immediately. An eye exam is necessary to rule out or diagnose any retinal problems, such as a retinal tear.

Sharp vision is valuable for all parts of life – help keep your eyes healthy by taking care of them with the eye care they deserve!

Hartsdale Family Eyecare, your Hartsdale eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Hartsdale | How to Avoid Eye Injuries at Work.

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Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic in Hartsdale, New York

Work-related eye injuries occur approximately 20,000 times per year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these accidents comprise up to $300 million in lost productivity, treatment and worker compensation, annually.
While you may find these numbers staggering, what’s even more shocking is that about 90% of eye injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions had been followed.

Prevention is worth more than your eye doctor’s cure

By adhering to safety guidelines, namely by wearing protective eye gear, you can avoid the vast majority of emergency visits to your local eye clinic!

Look out for on-the-job dangers

Eye injuries can be due to a wide variety of causes, but in general there are four primary categories of hazardous causes:

  • Tools and equipment
  • Flying or falling objects
  • Contact with chemicals
  • Shooting sparks and particles

Ways to safeguard your sight

If you work in construction or with heavy machinery, you can minimize the danger to your eyes by using work screens, machine guarding, or similar protective measures. Most importantly, you should wear eye protection that’s suitable for your job. Goggles and safety glasses are essential gear for anyone who is around machinery or chemicals. Take care to purchase quality eyewear from your eye clinic, free of any defects or scratches that could disrupt your clear vision.

To ensure that you’re wearing the best protective eyewear for your needs, it’s vital to consult with your optometrist or eye doctor. Eye care professionals are familiar with all the features of goggles and safety glasses, and they can recommend the most appropriate options.

Eye emergency? Don’t delay – seek expert eye care immediately!

In the event of an eye injury, respond rapidly; contact your eye doctor promptly for assistance. If you suspect that a piece of metal or shard of glass pierced your eye, head to a nearby hospital for emergency eye care, because these types of injuries can cause permanent vision damage.

While not every work-related injury can be foreseen and prevented, taking common-sense precautions and seeking treatment from your optometrist or eye doctor as soon as possible can certainly minimize your risk of vision loss.

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Hartsdale Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Hartsdale eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call Hartsdale Family Eyecare today to make an appointment: 914-902-5079 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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