Anyone else dealing with horrible allergies right now?
Did you know that allergies are not just a problem in the spring and summer seasons? Many people suffer from allergies during the fall as well, some even have allergies all year long!
Ocular allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, occur when an irritant or allergen hits the surface of the eye causing an inflammatory response which results in red, itchy, watery eyes. It is not uncommon for the eye lids to also become red, itchy and swollen.
Many people with ocular allergies also have nasal allergies and will develop a stuffy, or runny nose, and sneezing. Most people with seasonal allergies are used to taking over-the-counter allergy medicine in pill form or nasals sprays, but did you know, when someone is experiencing allergic conjunctivitis, it is best to use an allergy eye drop to target the ocular symptoms directly.
Redness in the white part of they or on eyelids
Ocular allergies occur when an allergen hits the surface of the eye creating an immune response. The eye tries to fight off the allergen by activating cells in the eye called mast cells to release histamine. Once the histamine is released your eyes develop the typical allergy symptoms of redness, itching, and watering.
Most of the treatments are aimed at blocking the histamine from binding to receptors in the eye, these drugs are known as anti-histamines. Some of the newer medications block histamine binding and also work to stabilize the mast cells in order for them to stop releasing histamine, these are known as mast cell stabilizers.
What is it:
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula, the part of the eye responsible for your central vision. Damage to this area results in a loss of vision in the center of your field of view making it difficult to read, drive, and recognize faces. AMD usually affects people over the age of 50, and affects women more often than men.
Causes and Risk factors:
UV light exposure
Early Stages: minimal to no symptoms
Moderate stages: distortion, blurring, or missing areas of the central vision; faces become blurred, reading becomes difficult as letters or words appear missing
Late Stage: significant vision loss in the central area
How is it detected:
The best way to detect this disease is by having your eyes examined yearly (or more frequently if directed by your doctor). During your exam your doctor will examine the retina (the back layer of your eye) to look for any changes or deterioration of the macula. She may order additional tests such as retinal photos or an OCT which shows a cross section of the different retinal layers.
How is treated:
There are two forms of AMD – a dry and a wet form. The dry form is more common, making up about 90% of all AMD cases and causes less severe vision loss, however currently there is no specific treatment for the dry form. The wet form accounts for about 10% of cases, but causes about 90% of the severe vision loss associated with AMD. The wet form is treated with anti-vegf (medication that blocks vascular endothelial growth factor). Both forms have been shown to benefit from eye vitamins, specifically the AREDS 2 formula. Sun protection is very important since UV light exposure is known to cause/worsen the condition. It is recommended to always wear good UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses and hats to keep the sun’s rays from entering above the sunglasses. It is important to see your eye doctor regularly and inform the doctor of any changes to your vision
Food For your eyes
👀Food for your eyes👀
Carotenoids are antioxidants and some are converted by the body into vitamin A. They may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light and lower your risk of macular degeneration. Examples of carotenoids include carrots, sweet potato, kale, mango, tomato, oranges, papaya, pumpkin, and apricots🍅🥕🌽🍊🥭🍠
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are specific carotenoids that are depositors in high quantities in the retina. They help filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect band maintain healthy cells in the eyes. They are not naturally made in the body so we have to get them through our food or supplements. They are found in green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, collards, also found in peas, pumpkin, corn, Brussels sprouts, avocados.🥑🥦🌽🥬🥗
Have you ever woken up to find your contacts have turned pink or some other unusual color? Certain medications and disinfecting agents have been known to discolor soft contact lenses. Below is a list of the most common culprits.
Orange: Drugs used to treat urinary tract infections, or rifampin for tuberculosis and meningococcal disease
Pink: Switching from chemical to peroxide disinfection pharmacy-grade peroxide (brown bottle) instead of peroxide designed for contact lenses or laxatives containing phenolphthalein or resorcinol
Brown: Sorbic acid or potassium sorbate; switching from chemical to peroxide disinfection; smoking(nicotine); sulfasalazine for inflammatory bowel disease
Green: Prolonged use of systemic beta blockers
Yellow: Sorbic acid or potassium sorbate; switching from chemical to peroxide disinfection; smoking(nicotine); laxatives that contain phenolphthalein
#medication #betablockers #hydrogenperoxide #contacts #contactlenses #eye #eyes #eyeexam #eyedoctor
COVID 19 UPDATE
Here is what we are doing to keep you safe:
To keep our patients and our staff safe and healthy, beginning May 1st, we implemented the following procedures in our office:
Limited Appointment Scheduling – In order to ensure we are able to properly disinfect and adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines set forth by our local authority, there will be limited appointment availability. Urgent and emergency patients will be prioritized.
Fever Free Environment – Temperatures will be taken upon entering the clinic of all patients, staff, and doctors. Anyone with 99.5 degrees or higher will be asked to reschedule. Anyone who is taking a fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be asked to reschedule once the medication is clear from their system so we can be sure of an accurate temperature reading.
Pre-Screening Questionnaire – We will continue to ask any patient with upper respiratory symptoms to reschedule their appointment until they have been asymptomatic for 2 weeks or have a negative COVID test.
Face Covering – We are requiring everyone entering our clinics to wear some type of facial covering such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief.
Lakeshore Eye Care staff will be required to wear a mask.
Wash hands and sanitize – Upon entering, everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands.
Social Distancing – We are limiting the number of patients in our office and are asking, when possible, only the patient enters our clinics for their visit. Please ask anyone accompanying you to stay in their car. We can call them if we need their assistance.
Physical Changes – We have installed sneeze guards at our front desk and at the slit-lamp in the exam room. We will also be opening all doors for you so that you do not have to touch anything.
Disinfecting eyewear – Each frame that is tried on will be thoroughly disinfected prior to be returned to the display shelves.
Paper free – We are emailing the intake forms ahead of time so you do not have to fill out paperwork in the office.
Payment methods – While we will still accept cash and credit cards, we are offering Apple pay, Google pay and Samsung pay for those that would prefer to be touchless.
Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Covid 19 and contact lenses
Contact lens wear during COVID 19
When it comes to contact lens wear, the American Optometric Association (AOA) and doctors of optometry want to reinforce that contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction for millions of people. The AOA provides the following advice to ensure proper wear and care for contact lenses.
Contact lenses themselves will not give you COVID 19. Contact lens wearers should always practice good hygiene when handling lenses. It has been noted that contact lens wearers touch their faces and eyes when inserting and removing lenses. Touching your face can spread germs.
Exercise proper hand washing. When using contact lenses or spectacles, one should wash their hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by hand drying with unused paper towels. This should occur before every contact lens insertion and removal. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. People should avoid touching their face, including their eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
Disinfect contact lenses. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening, or regularly disinfect their monthly and two-week lenses according to instructions from the manufacturer and one's doctor of optometry.
Discontinue lens wear if sick. Consistent with recommendations for other types of illness, those who feel ill with cold or flu-like symptoms should cease contact lens wear.
Glasses are not proven to offer protection. There is no scientific evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions.
If you have a contact lens prescription that is nearing expiration or has expired, contact our office. Lakeshore Eye Care is working with patients to ensure they have access to needed medical devices.
Healthy individuals can continue to wear and care for their contact lenses as prescribed by their doctor of optometry.
Individuals should continue to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on how to protect themselves from COVID-19.
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.
Diabetes Awareness Month
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 your vision
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.
Back to School Eye Exams
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.
Lakeshore Eye Care is your new source for state-of-the-art vision and eye health testing, top-quality eyewear and contact lenses. Our goal is to provide you with the highest quality of eye care.