Cypress-area Optometrist Dr. Sam Quintero Recognized as Optometrist of the Year by the Texas Optometric Association
Houston, TX (January 31, 2020) – Cypress-area optometrist Dr. Sam Quintero was recognized as Optometrist of the Year by the Texas Optometric Association (TOA). The award ceremony took place Saturday, February 1 during the annual TOA Summit in Austin, TX. The Optometrist of the Year Award is presented to a TOA member optometrist who has rendered outstanding cumulative service to the association and the profession.
“I’ve been practicing optometry for more than 40 years, and I’ve seen a lot of positive changes in the industry that I know the TOA has helped implement,” said Dr. Quintero. “I’m grateful to have been able to be a part of that, and I’m humbled to have received this award.”
Growing up, Dr. Quintero was the oldest of six siblings and the first in his family to attend college. He attended the University of Houston and was then accepted into the College of Optometry (UHCO). Following graduation from optometry school, he became a faculty member of UHCO in 1972 and has since dedicated his life to the profession. He is an exceptional role model for all optometrists, young and old.
Over the course of his career he has given back to optometry and UHCO not only through teaching and mentoring students but also through his service and dedication to the profession. He currently serves on several task forces for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).
“I always knew I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” said Dr. Michele Quintero. “For as long as I can remember he has dedicated his time to serve the profession and has so much passion and love for optometry. I hope he knows that he has instilled these qualities in me and his students. I’m so proud of my dad for all he has accomplished throughout his career and I couldn’t ask for a better business partner!”
In addition to Optometrist of the Year, he has been recognized for his contributions to education by the Texas Optometric Association having received the Educator of the Year Award in 2005. He was also recognized for his contributions to the American Academy of Optometry, receiving the Eminent Service Award in 1998.
Dr. Sam Quintero continues his role as adjunct associate professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry and is in private practice with his daughter, Dr. Michele Quintero, at Lakeshore Eye Care in Cypress, TX.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The prevalence of diabetes is more common and has more complications than most people realize. According to the American Diabetes Association, as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans suffered from this disease. It is said that 1.5 million new diagnosis are made each year. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose levels are too high. Sometimes your body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone made be the pancreas that helps your body convert glucose to energy, and as a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream, or your body may produce enough insulin but the body may be desensitized to the insulin, resulting it glucose remaining in the bloodstream. Many do not realize that higher than normal blood glucose levels can cause many health problems, not only to your body, but your eyes as well.
Diabetes affects the structures of the eye and causes a number of ocular complications including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, retinal detachments, glaucoma, bleeding, swelling and scaring in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in adults ages 20-74. All of this is caused by the excessive blood glucose levels damaging vessels in the back of the eye, causing harm to the retina. In turn, weakening the ability of the eye to sense light and send signals to the brain to decode the world around you.
In the earlier stages, diabetic retinopathy can be treated and the progression can be slowed, which is why it is so important for diabetics to have a yearly diabetic eye exam. Feel free to contact us if you have questions concerning your eye health or if you would like to schedule an appointment.
References: “Statistics About Diabetes.” ADA, www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes
Video Games and Vision: How Healthy Eyes Can Help Beat Your High Score
Dr. Michele Quintero and the American Optometric Association Share How to Gain a Competitive Advantage by Giving Eyes a Break
Spring break is in full swing and we know a high percentage of kids will be spending a lot of time playing video games. With the popularity of video games and competitive gaming on the rise, players are always looking for an edge. Whether battling a computer opponent or Player Two, one secret weapon can help land the high score: the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 20-20-20 rule, which encourages gamers to give their eyes a 20-second rest every 20 minutes.
The AOA’s 2017 American Eye-Q® survey revealed that 41 percent of Americans spend more than four hours a week playing video games. Staring at digital devices can lead to digital eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, among other things. Yet, only 21 percent of Eye-Q® respondents have talked to an eye health professional about the amount of time spent playing video games.
In addition to encouraging players to discuss game usage with an optometrist, Dr. Quintero is sharing some insider tips on how to help ease eye discomfort during this year’s Save Your Vision Month in March.
“Those who spend excessive time in front of screens may experience physical discomfort, like the nearly one-third of gamers who reported headaches or blurry vision in our survey,” said Dr. Michele Quintero, OD, “Save Your Vision Month is the perfect time to prioritize eye health by practicing the 20-20-20 rule.”
If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below due to prolonged exposure to digital devices, schedule an appointment with Dr. Quintero. For additional information on how eye health may be impacted while playing video games, please visit www.aoa.org.
Don’t get blindsided by all your back to school to dos! Schedule appointments before the back to school chaos begins. The best time to schedule an eye exam is during the summer months leading up to the start of the new school year. Late to mid-July and August are perfect times because it will ensure your child starts the school year with the most up-to-date prescription and have clear vision to allow them to perform at their best.
Eye exams performed by an eye doctor are recommended on a yearly basis for all school aged children. It is a common misconception that if a child passes the vision screening done at school, then no vision problems exist. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A child who can see 20/20 may still have a vision problem. School screenings may miss certain vision problems such hyperopia, problems with depth perception, or binocular vision problems- where the two eyes do not work together as a team.
If you are not sure if your child has vision problems here are some common signs:
· Frequent squinting, blinking, or eye rubbing
· Avoiding reading and other close activities
· Experiencing frequent headaches
· Holding reading material or digital devices close to their face
· Sitting too close to the television
· Covering one eye, or an eye that turns in or out
· Double vision
· Losing their place when reading or skipping lines
Once your child has had an eye exam and it has been determined that they do need glasses, there are many things to consider especially if it will be their first pair. The most important considerations are lens material, frame type, and lens coatings.
Polycarbonate is the lens material of choice due to its impact resistance, meaning it will not shatter or scratch when hit as would regular plastic or glass lenses. It also allows the lenses to be thinner and lighter than regular plastic lenses, making it easier for new wearers to adjust.
When choosing a frame, it is important to allow the child to choose something they like so they will be excited about wearing their glasses, however, making sure the frame properly fits the child is essential. Children are still growing and therefore, most do not have prominent or fully developed nose bridges. Without a well-developed bridge there is nothing to support the glasses and prevent them from sliding down their nose, in this case, metal frames with adjustable nose pads are a great option. Plastic frames can be an excellent option as well, as long as they are specifically designed as a child’s frame and have a small bridge. Each frame should be tried on and evaluated on the child’s face to ensure there are no spaces between the bridge of the frame, and the bridge of the nose. A well-skilled optician will take in to account the child’s prescription, the weight and thickness of the lenses, and how the frame sits on the child’s face to determine the best frame for that child. These points are well-known among skilled eye care professionals and recommended practice when gauging proper fit of eyewear. Children require special attention due to their unique physical characteristics.
Lens Coatings and Treatments
Other things to consider are lens coatings such as anti-glare and photochromic treatments that allow the lens to change from light to dark in response to sunlight. Anti-glare coatings are excellent in reducing the glare reflected from computer screens, digital devices, and even the light reflected off the bright white pages of text books. This glare can cause eye strain and headaches making it harder to concentrate. Another great option for children is the lenses that change from dark to light when exposed to ultraviolet light. Most parents already know the importance of protecting your child’s skin from the sun with sunscreen, but it is equally important to protect their eyes. It is never too early to start protecting their eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, which is responsible for the development of diseases such as macular degeneration, pinguecula (a growth near the edge of the cornea), and long term development of cataracts. Photochromic lenses are perfect for protecting the eyes when children are playing outside or participating in sports or other extra-curricular activities.
One final note I recommend for all children is an additional back-up pair of glasses. Kids are kids and we know they will inadvertently break or lose their glasses. Having a back-up pair will ensure that if an accident happens they will continue to have clear vision.
When is an appropriate age to begin contact lens wear?
I recommend starting at age 13 for most children. The most important factor in determining when a child can start to wear contact lenses is the maturity level of the child. Wearing contact lenses is a big responsibility and we want to make sure the child is ready for that commitment. They will need to have good hygiene habits and be able to follow the wear and care instructions. For children the best option is a daily contact lens that is thrown away at the end of the day. This allows the child to start each day with a fresh, clean pair of contact lenses and minimizes the chances for infections and contact lens related complications.