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Notes From Your Doctors

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Welcome to Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear Note page! Here we will post short reads on eye facts. Enjoy!

Welcome to Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear Note page! Here we will post short reads on eye facts. Enjoy!


Age Related Macular Degeneration

2/20/2017 9:00:41 AM

Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among Americans 65 years old or older. AMD is an eye disease that affects the macula, which is an area of the back of the eye that is responsible for clear central vision. AMD can limit your central vision making it hard to read, watch television, see people’s faces, and drive.  
There are two types of AMD. Dry AMD is the early, most common form that is slow to progress. Over time, the macula area starts to deteriorate becoming thinned and damaged. This form can progress into the second type, Wet AMD. Wet AMD is the more progressive and vision threatening form. Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels grow from under the retina and leak into the inner retinal layers. This leads to more severe sudden vision loss.  
Early signs of AMD can actually be found with a dilated eye exam before a person may even appreciate any changes to their vision.  Early symptoms often include a shadow or blurred spot in the central vision, but can even be as subtle as fuzzy vision. People can notice visual distortions with seeing straight lines as wavy or bent. With later stages of AMD people experience black or fuzzy central spots that block vision and have a harder time reading, seeing fine detail and recognizing faces. Colors become less intense as the disease progresses, as well as increased difficulty with adapting to lighting and contrast.
The exact cause of AMD is still not certain; it is believed that genetics, age and environmental factors are involved. Certain risk factors are known including:
  • Age: AMD is more common among adults 65 years old or older
  • Genetics: A family history of AMD increases your risk
  • Race: AMD is more common among Caucasians, especially women with fair skin and light colored eyes
  • Smoking or high exposure to second hand smoke
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Poor Diet
  • Exposure to sunlight: Ultraviolet light can lead to progression of AMD
Remember the risk factors that you can control. Eat a healthy diet, discontinue smoking, monitor and manage high blood pressure and cholesterol. Wearing a hat and sunglasses to help block Ultraviolet light. Have a yearly dilated eye exam to detect and best manage AMD, early treatment can provide better visual outcomes.  
There is no cure for AMD but there are treatments available to help slow the progression of dry AMD and control progression in Wet AMD.  Research has proven that specific vitamin supplements (called AREDS or AREDS2 formula vitamins) can help slow the progression and vision loss in patients with intermediate dry AMD. In Wet AMD the leaky blood vessels can be sealed off with both laser treatments and with special medication that can be injected into the retina. These treatments are often ongoing and can help to preserve vision but cannot cure or stop the disease process.  People can benefit from low vision examination and rehabilitation to help them to utilize their peripheral vision and be trained to use specialized prescription magnifiers, high powered reading glasses, telescopes and computer magnifiers to help them to see. Oftentimes with the proper devices and training, those with vision loss can relearn to do many of the hobbies and daily activities they once loved.
Dr. Lindell is a low vision specialist at Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear who can work with you to make a personalized rehabilitation plan. Before opening Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear, Dr. Lindell was a certified Low Vision Optometrist in New York State and completed a residency at The Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Clinic in West Haven, CT. 
At Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear we are here to help you.
Call today for your comprehensive eye exam or low vision evaluation. 


Can My Diabetes Really Affect My Eyes?

11/21/2016 11:22:44 AM

Yes, diabetes can affect your eyes and vision in numerous ways and diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of blindness and vision loss in working adults! Diabetes is due to your body's inability to make or use insulin leading to high levels of sugar (or glucose) in your blood. Over time, diabetes causes the blood vessel walls to break down and leak. The back of the eye contains some of the smallest blood vessels in your body and it is here where we often see the first adverse signs of diabetes anywhere in the body. That is why at Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear we preform a dilated eye examination to fully evaluate your blood vessels in the back of your eye. We work with your primary care doctor or Endocrinologist to inform them on any changes we see which may be linked to other changes going on in your body.

One of the first symptoms of diabetes can be sudden shifts in vision. When blood sugar levels are fluctuating, the lens of the eye can swell and cause blurred vision. This swelling can be reversed with good blood glucose control, but it can take some time to have your vision return to normal depending on severity of the diabetes. In these cases a new glasses prescription is not recommended because with better blood sugar control the prescription often returns to normal. In some cases, deposits can form within the lens of the eye creating cataracts. These cataract changes are permanent and are often seen at a younger age and reduce vision.

Double vision is a complication that can occur when diabetes affects the cranial nerves that are responsible for the movement of the eyes. There is no specific treatment for this, although many times special glasses can be prescribed to help with the double vision. The paralysis can be temporary or it can be permanent.

In general, diabetes lowers your resistance to fight infections and this makes you more prone to develop bacterial infections in the eyes like pink eye.

The most common complication found within the eye is diabetic retinopathy. This is where the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye become weak and swollen leading to blood leakage, growth of new leaky blood vessels, scarring, and other changes that can lead to blindness. The longer you are a diabetic the greater your risk of developing retinopathy.

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy you many not even experience any visual symptoms and that is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

Severe Retinopathy can lead to neovascular glaucoma, which can damage your optic nerve and lead to loss of peripheral vision and blindness if untreated. Retinal detachments can also result due to complications from the retinopathy.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include:
  • Seeing spots or floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty seeing well at night
Treatment of diabetic retinopathy varies depending on the extent of the disease. Laser surgery can be done to seal leaking blood vessels or to discourage other blood vessels from leaking. More recently, special medications are being injected into the eye to stop the formation of new, leaky blood vessels. Different surgical procedures are often needed in advanced cases of retinopathy.
What you can do to help prevent these diabetic complications?
  1. Work on your daily blood glucose control
  2. Know your A1C, this is the average blood glucose measurement over a 3 or 6 month period. Talk to your doctor and know your target rage. Diabetic retinopathy is commonly found when someone has a high A1C.
  3. Eat a healthy diet and exercise.
  4. Discontinue smoking and avoid drinking
  5. Have your eyes examined yearly
At Stoughton Eye Care & Eyewear we're here to help empower you to better manage your diabetes. Let us know if you have any questions, and be sure to schedule your annual diabetic eye exam.


Discover Multifocal Contact Lenses

8/4/2016 5:00:46 PM

Discover Multifocal Contact Lenses
Having a harder time reading, arms not long enough? Frustrated having to have your reading glasses with you all the time to see? Try multifocal contact lenses.
With new advanced materials and multifocal designs available contact lenses have come a long way in the past year. Come and see how clearly and comfortable you can see with only contact lenses.
Advantages to multifocal contact lenses:
  • Clearer vision is obtained for all ranges of vision from distance to near
  • Better depth perception with both eyes working together
  • Less eye fatigue with reading
  • Ability to see in most conditions without extra eyewear
Adaption to multifocal contact lenses:
  • Give your eyes and brain a week to become adapted to the multifocal design; your visual system must learn to select the proper prescription for the moment.
  • Not everyone can adapt to a certain multifocal design, need to try in real life
Alternatives to multifocal contact lenses:
  • Using reading glasses with distance prescription contact lenses
  • Monovision contact lenses
  • Bifocal or Progressive glasses
Monovision contact lenses can be a good choice for many people. This is where your dominant eye is fitted for viewing distance and your non-dominate eye is fitted for either near or intermediate viewing distances.  Monovision will limit your depth perception since both eyes are not seeing as a team.  Not everyone can become adapted to this type of vision correction.
Multifocal contact lenses work by having both the distance correction and the near correction. There are different multifocal designs available and different materials available including both soft and hard or rigid gas permeable (RGP) materials.  Multifocal contact lenses are now available for people with astigmatism and are available as daily disposable contact lenses!
Depending on your eyes and your vision demand the best design and material will be customized to meet your needs.  


Cataracts? Get the Facts

8/4/2016 4:59:11 PM

A cataract is a clouding of the lens. The lens of the eye should be clear; it is located behind the iris or colored part of your eye. Light has to pass through the lens and be focused onto the retina for you to see. The lens is made up of protein and water, when this arrangement becomes misaligned the protein becomes clumped together causing the cloudiness and this reduces the ability of light to pass through the lens causing vision problems.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Glare and halos around lights
  • Faded colors
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription
  • Double or smearing of vision in one eye
  • Harder time seeing at night or in dim lighting
What causes a cataract?
Most cataracts are due to age related changes, other factors that contribute to cataract formation include:
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Congenital or developmental:  hereditary or secondary to a birth defect
  • Traumatic:  secondary to an injury, after a eye surgery
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Certain medications:  Corticosteroids, Chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine-related medications
  • Smoking
  • High alcohol compensation
What can you do?
  • Wear UV protection including sunglasses that block UV and wear a hat
  • Try to stop smoking
  • Keep good control over diabetes
  • Eat healthy: Recent studies on nutritional deficiencies (vitamin C, E and carotenoids) show a possible increase risk of cataract formation in people with low levels of antioxidants.
  • Have a comprehensive eye exam

How are cataracts treated?
Most age related cataracts are slow to develop and cause no effect on your vision in early stages. In these cases patients are monitored with no treatment needed. You will notice blurred vision and other vision changes as your cataracts develop and become more clouded. Treatment can included changing the eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions. Anti-reflective coatings on lenses may also be prescribed to help reduce glare and halos.  Cataracts will eventually reduce your ability to do your daily tasks and no change in glasses or contacts can help, at this time surgery may be needed. Cataract surgery is where the clouded lens is replaced with an artificial clear lens.