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Low Vision

Vision Loss and What to Do

Accent on Eyes Local Eye clinic near you in Glassboro, New Jersey

According to recent NIH-funded studies, some of the statistics on vision loss may appear unbelievable, but they’re true:

  • The number of Americans who are legally blind (20/200 vision or worse) is estimated to be more than 1 million.
  • The number of Americans who have visual impairment, defined as 20/40 or worse with the best possible correction, is more than 3.2 million people – and rising.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Glassboro eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye Doctor near you in Glassboro, New Jersey

Most sight-threatening eye conditions do not present with anything more than very subtle symptoms during the early stage if any. That’s why a large percentage of people simply miss the early signs of vision loss.

However, early detection and timely treatment are critical for preventing complications, damage, and vision loss. Routine eye exams are the best way to catch a developing eye disease and treat it before symptoms occur, which is ideal. But, even between appointments, learning to recognize the subtle earliest signs of vision loss and booking an eye exam immediately with an eye doctor near you can play a part in keeping your eyesight sharp and healthy for as long as possible.

Let’s review 5 of the earliest signs and the best ways for you to respond:

Blurred Central Vision

When your central field of vision becomes fuzzy, it could indicate an eye condition. Blurry vision might be the result of something as innocuous as needing a higher prescription or might be a sign of a developing age-related eye disease like cataracts or even macular degeneration which can lead to severe vision loss. The easiest way for you to test your central vision for macular degeneration at home is by looking at an Amsler grid. If the straight lines appear wavy, call an optometrist near you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. When detected at the beginning, some forms of macular degeneration are treatable.

Yellowing or Fading Color Vision

You may be amazed to learn that the healthy eye can discern more than 10 million different colors! However, this only holds true if your eyes are functioning normally and optimally. If you start to notice colors appear dimmer or faded, or have a yellow tint, you could be experiencing early signs of vision loss from cataracts.

Vision with cataracts has been described as viewing the world through a fogged-up window. By the age of 80, more than 50% of all Americans will develop cataracts. Fortunately, cataract removal surgery is highly successful at restoring the ability to differentiate colors without compromising sharp vision. If you notice that colors appear less vibrant, visit an eye clinic near you.

Floaters and Flashes

The sudden appearance of flashes of light or many floaters – seen as transparent squiggly lines or dots gliding across your field of vision can indicate the need for an urgent eye exam. This “debris” in your eye, which doesn’t usually cause any pain, could be a sign of retinal detachment. Visit your eye care provider immediately if you notice recurring flashes of light or a bunch of new floaters. If you require a retinal detachment surgery, it can help restore your vision to full functionality.

Eye Pain

Recurrence of pain around the eye is the most common telltale indication of ocular damage after an eye injury or trauma. The pain may affect one or both eyes, be moderate or extreme, and it is typically felt on or behind the eye. A wide variety of reasons could be to blame, ranging from a corneal scratch to diabetic eye disease. Don’t just take OTC pain-relievers; consult an eye doctor near you for a professional diagnosis.

The normal, healthy pupil — that round circle in the middle of your eye, surrounded by the colored iris — is jet black. When white areas appear in the pupil, it’s not a good sign. It could be due to an eye infection or the development of an eye disease. Either way, it’s a reason to visit your eye care provider for an evaluation.

Your eyes may be a small organ of your body, but they play a huge role for your quality of life. Eyes are also extremely delicate and sensitive, which is why it’s advised to do your utmost to prevent vision loss by contacting an eye clinic near you at the first sign of a problem, even if it’s not yet time for your yearly comprehensive eye exam.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Accent on Eyes, your Glassboro eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. William S. Berger

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Glassboro, New Jersey. Visit Accent on Eyes for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

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What happens after diagnosis of macular degeneration?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Accent on Eyes, we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.

When is cataract surgery recommended?

During the early stages of a cataract, the visual symptoms may be so mild that you aren’t bothered. Your doctor will just perform regular eye exams to monitor your condition. However, as the cataract progresses, the effects on your vision usually become more disruptive – to the point that many regular daily tasks become difficult. That’s when your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. If a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery may also be advised.

What is pink eye?

Officially called conjunctivitis, pink eye is caused by swelling in your eye. The conjunctiva – which is the thin and transparent tissue that lines your inner eyelids and coats the whites of your eyes – becomes inflamed. This eye infection is highly contagious, especially in kids, and it spreads quickly through schools. The good news is that pink eye is rarely serious and doesn’t usually cause any lasting damage to your vision.

Who is the Ideal LASIK Candidate?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Accent on Eyes, we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.

How to Improve Your Vision

Your eyes give you so much, isn’t it time to give back?

In the US, it’s been estimated that 12 million people over the age of 40 have some type of vision impairment! Yet, while the numbers are overwhelming, it doesn’t mean poor eyesight is simply inevitable as you age.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Myopia, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Glassboro eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic in Glassboro, New Jersey

In addition to taking advantage of our expert eye care services, our eye doctor shares 7 ways to improve and protect your eyes against problems.

  1. Eat a nutritious diet: Eating heart-healthy foods also helps to protect your vision. That means following a diet with minimal saturated fats and salt, a moderate amount of lean proteins (legumes and nuts are great options), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. In particular, antioxidant-rich foods, such as strawberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, can help decrease your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
  2. Visit your eye doctor for eye exams: A comprehensive eye exam can pick up on problems you may not have noticed, because many eye diseases don’t present symptoms at the early stages. That’s why regular eye exams by an eye care professional (not the same as basic vision screening done at your local pharmacy!) are critical, even if you have no vision complaints. Plus, as you age, it’s common for your vision to naturally change, and keeping your prescription up to date is a no-brainer keeping your vision clear.
  3. Keep chronic health conditions stable: Many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put your vision at a higher risk of complications. However, controlling your condition drastically reduces your chances of a problem. With diabetes, keeping blood sugars in the parameters recommended by your physician can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing and progressing. Controlling blood pressure also helps prevent retinal bleeding and swelling.
  4. Quit smoking: While genetics may be the number one risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, smoking is the number two risk factor! Smoking is also linked to cataract progression. You may not be able to control the genes you inherit, but you can control whether or not you smoke.
  5. Moisturize dry eyes: Dry eye syndrome is common, and we offer specialized dry eye exams and personalized treatments as a part of our eye care services. The frontline therapy for gritty and stinging dry eyes is lubricating eye drops, which can bring soothing relief and clarify your sight. There’s a variety of eye drops out there, and our eye doctor will recommend the most helpful type for your condition.
  6. Wear sunglasses & protective eyewear: Sunglasses with full UVA and UVB protection will keep your eyes safe against the dangers posed by the sun. However, we offer other types of safety eyewear in our eye care center, in addition to a fashionable collection of sunglasses. People often forget about safety goggles and sports glasses, which can prevent sight-threatening eye injuries when you’re working in the yard or around the house, or when you’re playing sports.Blue light blocking eyewear is another essential item for eye safety. These glasses are fit with lenses that protect your vision against artificial blue light, which is emitted from all digital screens. Not only does blue light disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling fatigued, but it has also been linked to a higher risk of eye disease.
  7. Discard old makeup: Eye care also involves keeping unsafe products out of your eyes. Old makeup, such as mascara and eyeliner, often breed bacteria that lead to eye infection and painful symptoms, such as redness, dryness, and itchiness. Be kind to your eyes by updating your eye makeup regularly!

We hope these healthy habits will help you safeguard your vision and independence and enhance your beautiful view of life for as long as possible!

Accent on Eyes, your local Glassboro eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Mental Health and Your Vision

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the USA; in Canada, Mental Health week is May 6th to 12th. Since 1949, it has been observed throughout the United States as a way of drawing attention to the importance of proper mental health. This year’s theme is #4Mind4Body. The idea is that using elements around us, such as the people in our lives, faith, nature, and even pets, can strengthen wellness and overall mental health.

Did you know that your vision can affect your mental health? While things like stress, trauma, and family history are factors that impact mental health, vision can also impact it.

How Does Vision Affect Mental Health?

Certain types of eye diseases and visual impairments can lead to emotional problems like anxiety and depression. This is particularly common in cases of severe vision loss. Patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, for example, can experience mild to acute vision loss. This can make everyday activities like driving, running errands, watching TV, using a computer, or cooking, a difficult and painful experience. When this happens, it can cause a loss of independence, potentially leaving the person mentally and emotionally devastated.

Like most surgical procedures, LASIK corrective surgery is permanent and irreversible. Although it has very high success rates, LASIK has been considered the cause of depression and mental health issues in a few instances.

Kids’ Vision and Mental Health

Increased screen time among school-age children and teens has been shown to reduce emotional stability and cause repeated distractions and difficulty completing tasks, while also increasing the likelihood of developing nearsightedness.

Kids with visual problems often experience difficulty in school. If they can’t see the board clearly or constantly struggle with homework due to poor vision, they may act out their frustration or have trouble getting along with their peers.

Coping with Vision Problems

One of the most important ways to cope with visual problems is awareness. Simply paying attention to the signs and symptoms — whether the patient is an adult or a child — is a crucial first step.

Family members, close friends, colleagues, parents, and teachers can all play an important role in detecting emotional suffering in those with visual difficulties. Pay attention to signs of changes in behavior, such as a loss of appetite, persistent exhaustion, or decreased interest in favorite activities.

Thankfully, many common vision problems are treatable. Things like double vision, hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), amblyopia (lazy eye), and post-concussion vision difficulties can be managed. Vision correction devices, therapeutic lenses, visual exercises, or special prism glasses may help provide the visual clarity you need. Your primary eye doctor can help and a vision therapist or low vision expert may make a significant impact on your quality of life.

How You Can Help

There are some things you can do on your own to raise awareness about good mental health:

Speak Up

Often, just talking about mental health struggles can be incredibly empowering. Ask for help from family and friends or find a local support group. Be open and honest about what you’re going through and talk with others who are going through the same thing. Remember: you’re not alone.

If you experience any type of sudden changes to your vision — even if it’s temporary — talk to your eye doctor. A delay in treatment may have more serious consequences, so speak up and don’t wait.

Get Social

Developing healthy personal relationships improves mental health. People with strong social connections are less likely to experience severe depression and may even live longer. Go out with friends, join a club, or consider volunteering.

Have an Animal

Having a pet has been shown to boost mental health and help combat feelings of loneliness. Guide dogs can be especially beneficial for people suffering from vision loss.

Use Visual Aids

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health issues caused by vision loss, visual aids can help. Devices like magnifiers or telescopic lenses can enlarge text, images, and objects, so you can see them more clearly and in greater detail.

Kids can benefit from vision correction like glasses, contacts, or specialized lenses for more severe cases of refractive errors. Vision therapy may be an option, too. It is a customized program of exercises that can improve and strengthen visual functions.

Always talk to your eye doctor about any concerns, questions, or struggles.

Thanks to programs like Mental Health Awareness Month, there is less of a stigma around mental health than just a few decades ago. Advancements in medical technologies and scientific research have led to innovative solutions for better vision care.

During this Mental Health Awareness Month, share your share your struggles, stories, and successes with others. Use the hashtag #Mind4Body and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.