UV light explained

What is UV? …And why does it matter?

Light is a form of radiation. The “visible light” is a small segment of the the electromagnetic spectrum. As summer approaches we hear a lot about UV light or Ultraviolet light.

Look at sunblock and you will see blocks so much UVA and UVA, sunglasses are the same way and now some clothing and outdoor furniture also talk about UV blocking which can fade their colors over time if their is no blocking.

 

  1. UVA – Aging:
    • 95% of all UV reaching the earth
    • remains constant all year long at most latitudes
    • responsible for aging of the skin and loss of elastin.
    • penetrates uncoated glasses
  2. UVB – Sun Burns
    • more intense then UVA
    • Strongest in the summer and can be filtered out by glass
    • sunblocks work to prevent UVB penetration to the skin

Overexposure and unprotected skin can lead to skin cancer, cataract development, macular degeneration, etc. There are some positives with limited exposures like vitamin D that is produced in the skin which helps with bone strength and density as well as helpful to the immune system.

Summer is more problematic due to more UVB being able to pass through the ozone layer. Watching the weather in mid and late summer there are days where an ozone alert is posted meaning exposure to UVB is particularly high on that day, which causes more damage quicker.

 

Bye-Bye Dry Eyes

Say bye to dry eyes

Tears serve many purposes from expressing an emotional response, protecting against allergies and foreign matter like dust and eyelashes by rinsing the eyes, and tears are vital to maintaining a healthy ocular surface and vision. When something disrupts the quantity or quality of tears produced the corneas will not be moisturized or lubricated properly leading to  burning, itchy, gritty, sore eyes. We can place special dyes in the eye and observe punctate keratitis or dry eye syndrome.

There are three components to your tears to help them work effectively. They contain distinctive layers: mucous, water and oil.  The mucous layer is produced by goblet cells on the conjunctiva and help the tear spread evenly over the surface of the eyes. This layer is usually most affected by use of antihistamines and other medications. The oil layer helps prevent evaporation of the tear film. We lose roughly 80% of our tears through evaporation. The watery layer is produced by the lacrimal gland and is subject to systemic disease like Sjogren’s syndrome, autoimmune disease and hormone levels.

There are a number of things that can contribute to dry eye syndrome like medications, systemic diseases, age, environmental factors, contact lens use, Refractive surgical patients and anatomical or physiological conditions of the eyelids. Why is this so important? The cornea receives nourishment and immunological protection from the tears. The cornea is the clear dome over the eye and it contains no blood vessels, so tear health is of great importance to corneal health and vision.

Treatments include:

  • Artificial Tears –These over the counter drops can help alleviate short-term symptoms of dry eye like burning. In mild cases this is often adequate especially when the symptoms are brought on by computer use. They do have preservative free options which is more desirable when treating an already irritated eye.
  • Salves, gels and ointments are helpful for overnight protection. There is also a prescription, Lacrisert, that is made for during the day sustained release in severe dry eye.
  • Restasis -Prescription immunomodulator that helps patients with autoimmune diseases effectively produce more tears. It may take three to six months to notice the effects of this medication since it is reducing the deterioration that is caused by an autoimmune disease on the lacrimal gland.
  • Punctal Plugs -This is a procedure where a plug is inserted into the punctum allowing the existing tears to stay in the eye instead of draining into the nose. These plugs can be removed and may even fall out so this is reversible. If the punctal plugs were effective there is a surgical option to close the punctum of the lower lids permanently.
  • Dietary -Studies show that increased omega-3 consumption leads to more quality oils produced by the eyelids meaning the decreased loss of tears through evaporation.

With increased computer use, contact lens use and medication usage there is a growing population dealing with the challenges of dry eye syndrome. Optique Professional Eye Care is there to help you navigate the challenges of coping with dry eyes and after an examination give you a better idea of the underlying cause and give relevant treatment strategies. Give us a call today t see how we can help put you on the right treatment path.

Spring Allergies and Itchy Eyes

Itchy Eyes

Daylight savings time, Easter and warmer temperatures also bring seasonal allergies. Due to these itchy and watery eyes there is a pilgrimage to optometry offices across the country. The conjunctiva is extremely susceptible to airborne allergens, but this reaction is often combined with other systemic manifestations from hay fever and sinusitis, eczema and hives.

It is estimated that between 40 and 60% experience varying degrees of ocular allergies. The harm comes due to the impact of the allergy on a patient’s productivity and quality of life. This often impacts a patient’s ability to utilize their contact lenses comfortably and effectively.

Allergic reactions occur when an allergen interacts with an IgE bound mast cell causing the cell to degranulate and trigger the allergic cascade.  This cause the tissues to swell and the hallmarks of allergies occur.

Treatment:

  • allergen avoidance
  • cold packs/compresses
  • over-the-counter treatments (Zaditor or Naphcon-A)
  • Prescription for antihistamine-mast cell stabilizer
  • topical steroid
  • orals

Don’t mistake bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) or blepharitis as simple allergic conjunctivitis. It is always wise to seek out an optometrist to evaluate any eye problem to determine the cause of an eye issue and initiate proper treatment. It is often the case that early treatment allows for a speedy recovery and usually prevents worse complications and recalcitrant conditions.

In Tulsa Optique Professional Eye Care is here for you. Call our staff at (918)743-9918, and allow us to help stop those itchy eyes this allergy season.

 

 

Winter Dry Eyes

Tips for Combating Winter Dry Eyes

We find ourselves in the middle of winter and that brings cold, dry winds and even drier climates indoors with our heaters and fireplaces keeping us warm and comfortable. But we are not all comfortable our eyes are dry and that can lead to real discomfort with contact lens wear. Most of us can sympathize with the burning sensations the lack of humidity and tears associated with dry eyes.

Dry Eyes

Here at Optique Professional Eye Care, we have come up with a few recommendations and suggestions that may help.

  1. Try reducing the time you spend on digital devices like computers, tablets and smartphones, studies suggest that our blink rate reduces by 50% while engaging in these activities.
  2. Deploy a humidifier to boost the humidity in your area at home and at work. We lose approximately 80% of our tears through evaporation and increase humidity levels may help.
  3. Increase fluid intake to maintain hydration.
  4. Ask your eye doctor for a recommendation on artificial tears, to utilize a few times per day, as they are not all made equal. Some may do more harm than good or be of no benefit at all.
  5. Go with your glasses and give your eyes a break from contacts. This can be very beneficial if ocular irritation is moderate to sever.
  6.  Eye protection is always a good bet and it is even better when you are going out on a cold windy day. Good sunglasses can block the UV, divert the wind and protect against particles flying with the wind from damaging the eye surface .

Prolonged dry eyes can lead to blurred vision, discomfort, watery eyes and even infection. Optique Professional Eye Care at 51st and Harvard is here to be your eye care source in Tulsa. Call us today (918)743-9918, new patients and walk-ins are welcome!

Macular Degeneration Awareness

7 Factoids About Macular Degeneration

Eye Doctor Tulsa

  1. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.
  2. Macular Degeneration is familial and has a genetic link.
  3. There is a genetic test available to predict the likelihood of Macular Degeneration that involves a simply swabbing the inside of the cheek.
  4. Smokers double their risk of Macular Degeneration.
  5. People whose diets are rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish have a reduced risk.
  6. Caucasians and more likely than African-Americans to develop macular degeneration.
  7. Macular Degeneration can be “dry” or “wet” and the type greatly affects the prognosis.

Early detection and monitoring is crucial towards preventing vision loss due to macular degeneration. February is the month of valentines and love, so love your eyes and schedule your comprehensive eye exam. It always is important to know your families medical history as research is continually finding new genetic markers to these disease of the eye and body. Optique Professional Eye Care at  51st and Harvard can be your source for eye care in Tulsa. We are always welcoming new patients and walk-ins. We want to hear from you, and protect the vision and eye health of your family.

iwellness screening

Consider screening tests at your eye doctor!

We continue to upgrade and update our clinic, eyewear collections and technology. One technology upgrade we have brought into Optique Professional Eye Care is the iFusion by optovue. This equipment contains an Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT, which is like an MRI of the eye) capable of scanning the front and back of the eye and the iCam which integrates digital imaging of the front and back of the eye.

The benefits of this allows us to diagnose, document, educate and monitor treatments of various conditions affecting both the eye and the body. Diabetes is one good example of a systemic condition that can be detected in the eyes. Then there are the eye conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachments and central serous retinopathy.

Some of the interesting items our instrument has detected are macular holes, epiretinal membranes, macular drusen. Our doctor will review the images with you and explain any findings. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words, and if you have ever had a home inspection you understand they generally take many picture for their final report to help document their findings. Why not have that level of understanding and documentation done on your eyes!

When using this technology there are two mode of operation one is the screening the other is a more indepth imaging study in order to provide more data points and analysis when looking a specific condition or issue. Screenings are not generally covered by insurance and are out of pocket but are often worth the small fee. The full threshold battery of testing is more expensive and is often billed to insurance.

If you have any eye issues or would just like to have a more thorough look at a condition give us a call! Optique Professional Eye Care in the heart of Tulsa is always accepting new patients. (918)743-9918, we would love to hear from you.

Red Swollen Eyelid?

Experiencing a red, swollen eyelid?

It could be blepharitis. Blepharitis is a very common eyelid condition that results in burning, itching, redness, tearing, and irritation of the lids and eyes.  It is linked with bacteria which accumulate around the base of the eyelashes. The bacteria leads to dysfunction of meibomian glands within the lids.  The meibomian glands normally secrete oils that help lubricate your eyes and prevents evaporation of the tears, so blepharitis can lead to dry eyes. People with acne rosacea tend to be more likely to develop blepharitis.

Dr. Ozment often recommends an ongoing regimen of eyelid hygiene. There are over-the-counter lid scrub towelettes, foams or other cleansing agents. Studies have has shown that in some cases of blepharitis, omega-3 fatty acid supplements help meibomian glands function better and eye comfort improvement.  Hot compresses and lid massage also help encourage normal secretion from these glands. Severe or long standing cases of blepharitis may require treatment with topical and/or oral antibiotics.

Talk with Dr. Ozment about blepharitis if you experience the symptoms of red, itchy or irritated eyelids.  He develop a custom treatment plan for your particular case to give you lasting relief.  Call Optique Professional Eye Care at (918) 743-9918 to  schedule an appointment.

No Puff

We are an air puff free office -NO PUFF!

No puff technology

One of the most hated tests at the eye doctor has been replaced. Optiqe is an air puff free office; we have replaced that old outdated test with a newer more accurate test. Our doctors and staff use the Avia Tono-pen. The air puff was dreaded and almost impossible to get a good reading even on the best most tolerate patients. It isn’t as bad as a trip to the dentist for fillings or a root canal, but it raked up there as one of the most hated tests endured by patients.

If it was so bad, why did your Optometrist insist on having it done? Glaucoma is the simple answer. Your eye is filled with a fluid and as a semi-closed system we needed to monitor this reading to help with the diagnosis and track how how effective various treatments are for glaucoma. Glaucoma is pretty much a symptomless disease that can lead to blindness.

We want to be your eye doctor Tulsa, and through technologies like the tono-pen we are making your visit to the eye doctor more comfortable and convenient then ever before. If it is time for you or your family to have an eye exam call, (918)743-9918, and our staff will find a time that will work with your schedule to help keep your life in focus.