Saturday, April 27, 2013

Can I use Visine everyday, is that bad?

Most patients using Visine (original formula) are either experiencing dry eyes or red eyes, both of which could be helped using better products. Visine has an active ingredient called Tetrahydrozoline; this actively works to constrict the blood vessels in the eye.  However the adverse effects that are caused from prolong use can create symptoms that never existed originally.  

The constriction of blood vessels will give the eye a quieter, white appearance.  This will help to mask any underlining infection or irritation, still within 15 minutes the redness will return.  Most patients will re-instill the drops throughout the day and days that follow.  This effect will cause the blood vessel some confusion; the blood vessel will constrict for a short time then immediately dilate again to a larger posture (looks redder then before using the drops).  This is called a rebound effect, after long-term use the rebound effect will be permanent and the eye will remain irreversibly red.  A scary reality for a patient and a doctor to experience.  Therefore if the eyes are red from a simple encounter with a cat, simply use a cold compress (cold, wet towel) over the eyes for about five minutes.  If the eyes are red for more then one day, a consultation with an eye care professional is warranted.  

The other inactive ingredients in this product are not meant to help with dryness either.  Most times they exacerbate the dryness to the point the drops are dehydrating the eye.  We will have patients simply discontinue the use of Visine and their dry eye symptoms will disappear.  Visine has reformulated their brand to create better options for dry eyes, therefore read the label and it's function before choosing the traditional formula.  

Contact lens wearer be aware that using the original Visine formula may cause dilation of your pupil.  The lighter your pupil the more likely this will occur.  The patient will experience near vision blur and light sensitivity with this combination.  My best advice is to visit us or any eye care professional to further investigate the discomfort your red eye may be causing.  

See and Be Seen! at Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles  

Friday, April 19, 2013

What's the best contact lens cleaning solution?

There are so many options out there it can get extremely confusing and tempting to pick the lowest costing, however this may not be the best choice.  I'll give you some quick tips on how to chose the best fit for your eyes. 

In the last handful of years there have been some scares with several contact lens cleaning brands.  Certain solutions being recalled, forcing many patients to pick from the rest without any proper knowledge of benefits.  Often times the reason this happens is microbial resistances to new formulas; bacteria evolves constantly and drugs need to do the same.  This doesn't even account for the research in understanding our own flora (bacteria living on us) that varies from patient to patient.  Merging both these factors of effectiveness and personal sensitivity are important when deciding a cleaning system that works for you.  

Most patients can tolerate most contact lens cleaning brands.  One must be certain it doesn't cause any redness, irritation, or stinging upon insertion of the contacts even if only several seconds.  Any negative sensations could mean that formula doesn't merge well with your biological enzymes.   Affectivity will be evident if your 2-week contact lenses are still comfortable during that measured time line.  

This is the skinny on brands.  Never buy store brands (CVS brand); often patient with infections use these brands.  Leading brands like Renu and Opti-free are popular for a reason, they are reliable companies that dedicate themselves to better care for ocular health.  Complete is another brand, which offers a more gentle option for sensitive, dry eyes.  ClearCare, a peroxide cleaning solution, is for hypoallergenic eyes; use caution, read the label before using.  This peroxide system I consider to be best for silicone, high oxygen lenses.

At Eyed LA we discuss these options and match your body with the best products out there.  It's not only the brand of contact lenses but also the cleaning system.  Spread the word!

See and Be Seen! at Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles

Friday, April 12, 2013

Learning Disability or Visual Disability? How can you be sure?

Most schools screen children for visual issues on a yearly basis to ensure proper preparation for their visual system for that school year.  The screenings usually include a patch to cover one eye and a chart to read at a distance.  During that process children with distance issues are diagnosed and sent for further testing with us, however what about the near issues?  Should we be concerned with near issues when it comes to literacy?  The answer is a big YES!

Hyperopia is the most common (89% of the population) deficiency when it comes to visual needs.  The eye is shorter than intended hence affecting near vision, causing near blur along with strain, redness and fatigue.  Our visual system will compensate by activating a muscle to undue the blur, however that activation leads to physical discomfort along with personal frustration at maintaining that focus.  A symptom some adults will write off as "normal" exhaustion until the strain reaches a maximum, after which point the patient sits in my chair.  However children are blamed for laziness or poor attention span with reading comprehension when the reality might be blurring coupled with strain leading to false impressions of a poor reader.    

Still we cannot blame our children for being unable to describe their visual issues; sometimes the problem is a lot subtler.  Saccadic movement (when our eyes go from left to right to read) can also be affected in a young patient.  This has to do with muscular control of the external muscles of the eye.  Its inability to function properly can severely affect reading and lead to a diagnosis of dyslexia.  When in fact the child might only have a muscular tracking issue, treatment with physical ocular therapy might be the answer; simple and often fun.  School screenings or routine health exams with the Pediatrician are unable to detect these deficiencies without proper tools or training, however Optometry can.  

I would highly advice a comprehensive eye exam with an Optometrist specializing in pediatrics (aka sees lots of kids).  It's a simple and fun exam for children and could prevent a lot of heart/head ache for the family and their future education.  Let's try all possible venues to help educate our young minds.  

See and Be Seen! with Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles

Dr. Maylin Gonzalez, OD (favorite patient: kids)