Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Importance of a Regular Eye Exam

Most people are aware that it’s a good idea to get a physical exam from their primary care physician on a regular basis, but the experts at New York Eye Care want you to know that there are certain things your doctor may not check. One of the most important features of your body that a standard exam may not cover, for example, is your eye sight.

Statistically, one in every twenty people who suffer from minor eye problems will fail to mention the issue to their physician. These small problems, such as occasional pain or mild blurriness, can evolve into serious issues over time. Regardless of your age or physical health, a regular eye exam can provide the following benefits:

Determining Change in Prescription
If you already wear eye glasses or contacts, visiting undergoing a regular eye exam is still important. Occasionally an individual’s vision will change, either becoming stronger or weaker. Regardless of how it changes, your lenses will need to be updated to reflect the alteration. Continuing to use the inappropriate prescription can cause further damage to your eyes.

Detecting Eye Diseases
Even the slightest aching sensation in your eyes may indicate a serious issue. Common eye diseases, such as Glaucoma, Ocular Hypertension, and Conjunctivitis can be detected and potentially treated if noticed in early stages of development. If you experience pain, itching, or blurry vision that lasts longer than a day, be sure to schedule an eye exam immediately.

It is important to remember that a vision screening is not a suitable replacement for a professional eye exam. While it is true that screenings can help determine whether or not you may have an ocular problem, only an expert ophthalmologist can make a reliable assessment. If you feel that you may require an eye exam in the Brooklyn area, please contact the offices of New York Eye Care to receive a full inspection today.

Friday, October 31, 2014

What You Need to Know about Glaucoma

In 2014, a general census of American Health reported that over three million individuals suffer from Glaucoma. Over 80% of these victims are senior citizens over the age of 40, leading many to label Glaucoma as an “older person’s disease”. While this isn’t entirely incorrect, anyone is capable of developing one of the many variations of Glaucoma. Eye doctors in Brooklyn, NY have collected a data to help provide patients at risk with information on how to prepare for and contend with depreciating vision and optical health.

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is not just one disease, but actually a collection of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. This results in varying levels of vision loss, ranging from blurriness to complete blindness. In the most common variety, Open Eye Glaucoma, fluid that typically drains in and out of the anterior chamber of the eye fails to travel properly and collects. Since the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. Thankfully, it is possible to prevent severe vision loss is Glaucoma is detected and treated early.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Detecting Glaucoma in its earliest stages can be fairly difficult, as the symptoms do not make themselves apparent. There is no pain, no vision loss, and doesn’t cause a physical change in the patient. Over time, the patient will begin to lose sight in the periphery (along the edges) of their field of vision. A common sign of developing Glaucoma is being incapable of noticing things approaching you from the side, due to the peripheral vision being clouded. This tunnel vision will continue to affect the patient’s sight, the cloudy or darkened areas encroaching further towards the center, until complete blindness.

How is Glaucoma Found in a Patient?
In order for Glaucoma to be detected, a patient must undergo a series of comprehensive dilated eye exams. These include, but may not be limited to:
  • Visual Acuity Test
  • Field of Vision Test
  • Tonometry (“Eye Pressure Test”)
  • Pachymetry (“Cornea Thickness Test”)
What are Treatments for Glaucoma?
While it is impossible to cure Glaucoma entirely, and as the blindness it causes is permanent, its progression can be slowed. Reactive treatments include medicines, laser therapy, traditional surgery, or a combination of any of these. While these treatments may go a long way toward saving the patient’s remaining vision, they cannot improve eye sight already lost due to glaucoma.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What to Expect When Visiting the Ophthalmologist

Many patients may be unsure of what they can expect during their first visit to an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor with expertise in eye disease, treatment and surgery. Unlike an optometrist, an ophthalmologist specializes in more advanced eye diseases and conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and signs of retinal detachment. If you’ve made an appointment with an ophthalmologist, you’ve likely either identified risk factors for eye disease (such as distorted vision, floaters, loss of peripheral vision and more), or you are wisely taking a precautionary measure to seek out a complete medical exam from a licensed medical doctor. In fact, a complete medical exam by an ophthalmologist is highly recommended before the age of 40 and even earlier for those with a family history of eye disease.  

If you’re ready to plan a comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist in NYC, read on for an overview of what you may encounter, including various tests and how they work.

Discussion and Basic Examination

The first thing you can expect in an ophthalmological eye exam is a thorough discussion of your medical history, with specific focus on any eye or vision problems you may be experiencing. The answers to these questions will help determine the focus of the proceeding exam and may influence possible treatment.

Next, your ophthalmologist will ensure that basic eye tests are conducted to determine issues with things like eye muscle strength and coordination, visual acuity, the presence of astigmatism or presbyopia, refractive errors, or an impaired field of vision. If you’ve previously been examined by an optometrist most of these tests, such as following a beam of light with your eye, reading an eye chart, or identifying when an image passes into your peripheral vision, will be familiar. No aspect of a basic examination involves discomfort or direct contact with the eye.  

Slit-Lamp Examination

A comprehensive eye exam will then evaluate more complex aspects of eye health. To provide a medical diagnosis of the condition of your cornea, iris and pupil your ophthalmologist will perform a slit-lamp examination, in which a microscope and high-intensity light will be directed towards the pupil for a magnified and detailed view of structures. A slit-lamp examination can diagnose serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, or conjunctivitis.
For a more in-depth look at the cornea, your slit-lamp examination may also involve the application of the liquid fluorsecein, which, by dying the film of tears over your eye, can make damaged cells easily visible. The fluorsecein may cause slight discomfort depending on your sensitivity to eye drops, but will wash out naturally with tear production.

Retinal Examination

An ophthalmologist’s examination of the retina (also known as ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy) is an imperative part of any comprehensive, medical ophthalmological exam. Once the eye is dilated, this exam will allow your doctor to evaluate your optic disk, retina and the blood vessels positioned beneath the retina (known as the choroid) to check for any signs of detachment, diabetic retinopathy, hypertension and more. Remember, a detached retina will cause permanent blindness.

An ophthalmologist may check these areas of the eye using one of three methods. If conducting a direct examination, a doctor will use an ophthalmoscope to place a beam of light directly onto your pupil to illuminate the back of your eye, where the retina, optic disk and choroid are located. If your doctor chooses to proceed with an indirect examination, you may be asked to lie down or recline as a condensing lens and a mounted lamp are used to investigate the inner eye with a detailed, three dimensional view.

Finally, your doctor may opt to conduct another type of slit-lamp exam, in which a beam from the slit lamp is projected through a special lens held in front of you, also affording a more detailed view of the inner eye. Regardless of which examination is conducted, you can expect a pain-free experience completed in less than ten minutes.

Glaucoma Screening
In a comprehensive eye exam from an ophthalmologist, you can also expect a screening for glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause blindness if not treated early. This screening an important part of a complete medical eye examination and is typically conducted in one of two ways.

Using applanation tonometry, a doctor will measure the pressure of your eyeball (intraocular pressure) by determining the force needed to temporarily flatten a section of your cornea.  Applanation tonometry requires the application of flourescein and droplets of an anesthetic to the eye, so that as the doctor uses a tonometer device to touch the surface of the cornea and determine pressure, you’ll still be able to see clearly yet not feel a thing.

If your ophthalmologist chooses to screen for glaucoma using noncontact tonometry, you can expect to receive a quick puff of air to the eyeball to estimate intraocular pressure. While the air may startle you or cause your eye to water, no direct contact will be made to your eyeball.

As you await your next eye exam with an ophthalmologist in New York City, rest assured your exam will be thorough, free of discomfort and remains the best way to adequately manage the health of your eye.


Monday, August 18, 2014

What to Look for in an Eye Exam in NYC

Where should you go for an eye exam in NYC? The problem isn't a lack of options – it's having too many options. There are thousands of eye care clinics in New York and they don't all offer the same level of care. However, by knowing what to look for in a good clinic and doctor, you can avoid the ones that underperform—without going out of your way.

Here's what you should expect from every eye exam in NYC:

Image courtesy of arztsamui/

Proper, robust care – Some clinics that offer eye exams in NYC are little more than mills, moving patients in and out with little personalization and no attentive care. An eye exam is a lot more than just checking what prescription lenses you need. It should be a chance to examine your eyes for any potential developments or diseases, such as cataracts or glaucoma, even if you have never suffered from these before. Caught early, many eye conditions that develop throughout life can be corrected or minimized. Thus, protecting your vision should be one of the main purposes of eye professionals anywhere.

Someone who respects your time – An eye exam will normally take at least a half hour and may take up to an hour. However, none of that time should be spent waiting because the doctor and assistant are dragging their feet, or because of a disorganized clinic. Doctors should be ready to start appointments on time or with minimal wait periods. New Yorkers are always busy and we don't want to spend a whole afternoon at a routine eye appointment—it's not necessary.

Patience at all stages of the eye exam – While your doctor should be prompt, they should also be patient. If you have questions, they should take the time to answer them, and if you arrive at your eye exam with several different issues to discuss (for example, asking about laser surgery and also wondering if your father's cataracts might run in the family), they should take the time to address each one. This is your time to concentrate on your own health—and they should too.

A doctor with a passion for their field – Don't just go to whichever clinic is nearest to your apartment or office. There are many places that offer eye exams in the city and, if you look even a few blocks farther away, you'll dramatically widen the pool of options. You want to find a doctor who is passionate about vision and the human eye and is always educating themselves on new procedures and alternatives, not the just few they're already trained on.

What has you looking for a new eye care provider?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

4 Health Exams Every New Yorker Needs

When was the last time you've seen a doctor for a non emergency matter? The CDC estimates that 82.1% of American adults contacted a health care professional last year, but the reasons why they did are all different. Many people only go to the doctor when they sense something is wrong and "preventative care" is a fancy phrase that will never apply to them. 

New York City residents are very guilty of neglecting their health. When you live in a city that has an outrageously high cost of living, seeing the doctor for an annual check up may not be high on your list of priorities. Preventative health care and tests may cost some money upfront, but they could end up saving you thousands of dollars in healthcare in the future. And when you live in a city full of smog and germs, you need to keep up with your health. If you want to start taking better care of yourself, make sure you see a doctor and request these tests and exams.

Cholesterol Test

Having high cholesterol puts at you at risk of developing heart disease, and millions of Americans have high levels of LDL, the "bad" kind of cholesterol. Testing for cholesterol is easy, and only requires a little blood work. If you have high cholesterol, you should make sure that you get your levels tested at least once a year until you have them under control.

Eye exam

When was the last time you had an eye exam in NYC? Some people that wear glasses assume that they don't need tests after they get their lenses, but people with glasses and contacts have even more reason to make sure that they get their eyes examined frequently. For current patients, some doctors recommend getting an eye exam every 1-2 years. It's suggested that people without vision problems get an exam every 2 years, but to schedule an eye exam immediately if they feel that their vision isn't as good as it used to be.

Diabetes screening

Diabetes is no joke in the United States. Diabetes diagnosis rates have been on the rise over the past decade, and the number of people with pre-diabetes may actually exceed people that are diagnosed with the disease. If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of diabetes, you need to get checked annually by a doctor. If you absolutely can't afford a doctor, many drugstore chains can administer the test for free.

Blood pressure test

A blood pressure check is very easy to do, and is one of the most important tests you can take. High blood pressure can increase your risk for a heart attack and stroke but, if detected and managed early, a person's risk decreases significantly. You should ideally have a blood pressure test performed at least once a year.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

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