accessibility ACCESSIBILITY

Summer 2004

Your

     Vision

Summer 2004
STEVEN T. JACKSON, M.D.
ALAN E. JACKSON, M.D
ROBERT H. MEEK, O.D
MIKE K. MITCHELL, O.D.
MICHAEL M. JUDKINS, O.D.

This newsletter is published by the Cottonwood Eye & Laser Clinic. It is our sincere hope that you will find some valuable and interesting eye care information. If you have any comments or questions regarding your eyes, please don't hesitate to call 801-268-6600, or visit www.cottonwoodeye.com.


DIABETES AND YOUR EYES

A leading cause of poor vision or even blindness is called "diabetic retinopathy." During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, the diabetic patient may have no symptoms or visual complaints. However, vision loss from diabetes can occur at any time but can usually be prevented if the problem is detected and treated early.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when small blood vessels inside the eye fail to adequately nourish the retina in the back of the eye. In the early stages of this condition these blood vessels may leak causing blood or serum to be deposited in the retina. This can cause the retina to swell and the vision to blur. In later stages, abnormal blood vessels may grow along the surface of the retina. These fragile vessels can rupture and bleed into the retina or into the clear gel (vitreous) filling the center of the eye. This dims the vision by interfering with the passage of light to the retina. Sometimes scar tissue forms in the retina or vitreous causing the retina to detach from the back of the eye. The longer a person has diabetes and the less well it is controlled, the greater the risks of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

Fortunately it is usually possible to treat diabetic retinopathy before serious or permanent visual damage occurs.

People with diabetes should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor yearly and whenever any sudden changes in vision occur.

 

COULD YOU HAVE DRY EYES?

Tears have a very important function. A thin film of tears spreads over the eye with each blink making the surface of the eye smooth. This also helps to make the vision clear. Some people do not produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and comfortable. Stinging, burning, scratchiness, and eye irritation are the usual symptoms. Tear production normally decreases with age. Dry eyes are more common in women, especially after menopause. Dry eyes can also be associated with arthritis. A dry mouth can also go along with dry eyes. People with dry eyes often wake up in the morning with intense scratchiness of the eyes. Similar symptoms can occur late at night when a person has been up a long time. Anything the adds to dryness such as circulating air, hair dryers, or windy days can cause increased evaporation of the tears and hence dry eyes. Some medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, antispasmodics, and acne medication may cause dry eyes.

If you think you have dry eyes, your should see one of our doctors for an examination. There are several treatment options available. In Addition, we are participating in a national pharmaceutical study for the treatment of dry eyes. You need to have an evaluation in our office; if you qualify as a participant, you will receive dry eye medication as well as compensation for your time. Please call now for an appointment.

 

LASERS IN OPHTHALMOLOGY

Lasers have been used in ophthalmology since the 1960's. Ophthalmology was the first medical specialty to adopt the use of lasers for treatment. Several different kinds of lasers are used today. The type of laser is described by the type of gas that is used or the type of crystal in the laser. LAsers can be precisely focused to treat various structures in the eye. As an example, a laser beam can pop a smaller balloon inflated inside a larger balloon and leave the outside balloon totally intact.

Some example of the types of lasers and eye conditions that can be treated are as follows:

  • The CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) laser can be used to treat the eyelid skin.
  • The Excimer laser is used to correct vision disorders (refractive errors) such as in LASIK.
  • The Argon laser is used to treat abnormal blood vessels in the retina of the eye such as in diabetes. It can also be used to weld small holds or tears in the retina.
  • Other lasers can be used to treat glaucoma, helping to lower the eye pressure

A frequently asked question is "Do we use a laser to remove cataracts?" The answer is, No; lasers will not remove cataracts. It is ultrasound that is used for this surgery. However, there is a condition called "after cataract" where the membrane or capsule that remains in the eye following cataract surgery may become cloudy or hazy. Then a Yag laser can be used to make a precise opening in the capsule like in the balloon example given above.

 

PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR FOR YOUNG ADULTS

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Optometric Association all strongly recommend protective eyewear for all participants in sports where there is risk of eye injury. Protective eyewear should be mandatory for athletes who are functionally one-eyed and for athletes who have had previous eye surgery or trauma. These people may also need to be restricted from certain sports; they should be evaluated and counseled by an eye physician prior to sports participation.

More than 45,000 sports and recreation-related eye injuries were reported last year. 72% of the injuries occurred in individuals younger than 25, 43% occurred in individuals younger than 15 years, and 8% occurred in children younger than 5 years. Children and adolescents may be particularly susceptible to injuries because of their aggressive play, athletic immaturity, and poor supervision in some recreational situations.

 

EYE ALLERGIES

Common eye signs of allergies include: redness, swelling, tearing, and itching. Systemic symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, itchy nose or throat, and headache. In eye allergies, the eye reacts to substances that it thinks will do harm. Many allergens are in the air where they can come into contact with your eyes. These include pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander. These airborne allergens can also get onto your contact lenses, causing discomfort or binding to your contacts, causing lens deposits. These irritating deposits can build up over time and increase your risk of infection. Cleaning your lenses daily and replacing them frequently will greatly reduce your risks of any irritation.

In allergies, your body's release of histamine cause increased tear production. Blood vessels on the white of the eye will usually dilate. There are several different types of treatment options for allergies affecting the eye. The correct treatment for you will be determined by your eye doctor.

 

OUR LATEST / NEWEST DIAGNOSTIC INSTRUMENT

The OCT (Optical Coherence Tomograph) is a unique diagnostic and management tool that aids in the early detection and subsequent monitoring of glaucoma, optic nerve disease, macular degeneration, and other retinal diseases. This new device enables our doctors to "see" all the layers of the retina and the optic nerve. It will also measure and quantitate all the structures in the back of the eye.

The OCT imaging process works much the same way as ultrasound, X-rays, or magnetic MRI scans to study internal organs. Using light beams, the OCT produces detailed pictures of the eye. The exam is very accurate and can be conducted in about 10 minutes without any discomfort. In addition, it provides us with a repeatable, reliable method of following the progression of eye conditions in our patients, resulting in better care.

 

TRUE OR FALSE?

  • Reading in dim or poor light is harmful to your eyes?
  • Holding reading material too close will damage a child's eyes?
  • Wearing someone else's glasses may damage your eyes?
  • If your cross your eyes on purpose, they can get stuck in that position?
  • The prolonged viewing of computer screens is damaging to your eyes?
  • Sitting too close to the television set is bad for your eyes?

The above statements are all false. People have many misconceptions about their eyes. We are always happy to answer any questions you have about vision and your eyes. Please feel free to call our office and speak to any member of our staff.

 

VALID TOWARD ANY EYE OR CONTACT LENS EXAM UNTIL SEPT 30, 2004

10
20/20

- IN EYES WE TRUST -

20/20

10

STEVEN T. JACKSON, M.D
ALAN E. JACKSON, M.D.
ROBERT H. MEEK, O.D.
MIKE K. MITCHELL, O.D.
MICHAEL M. JUDKINS, O.D.

Cottonwood Eye & Laser Clinic
201 East 5900 South, Ste 101
Salt Lake City, Utah 84107-7379
Telephone: (801) 268-6600

10

TEN DOLLAR VALUE PER FAMILY MEMBER

10