In This Issue: February 2024
- High Myopia (Nearsightedness) & Macular Degeneration Risk
- Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss
- Vacationing This Winter? Protect Your Eyes!
- What Does Astigmatism Mean?
High Myopia (Nearsightedness) & Macular Degeneration Risk
February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) month. AMD is the deterioration of the central part of the retina (the macula) due to age. There is also a similar condition that can affect younger people who have severe myopia (nearsightedness). If you have an eyeglass prescription of -6 diopters or greater, you may be at risk of developing Myopic Macular Degeneration (MMD).
Nearsightedness means that your eyeball is longer than normal, causing light entering your eyes to land in front of your retina. A longer eyeball causes blurry distance vision and can also cause your retina to stretch, making it thin and susceptible to tearing. If the eyeball continues to elongate, making your vision increasingly worse, this is referred to as pathological myopia. Consequently, if cells in the macula die, there will be disruption to your vision. Any damage to the central part of your retina (the macula) due to MMD can result in symptoms such as:
- Blind spot in central vision
- Straight lines look wavy
- Light sensitivity
- Poor color vision
It’s important to note that there often are no symptoms in the early stages of MMD. It’s also possible for this condition to morph into Wet MMD if abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the macula. These fragile blood vessels can leak blood or fluid, leading to vision loss.
If you have a family history of MMD, you may be at greater risk for developing the condition. Regardless of family history, everyone should have regular eye exams to identify these conditions early so treatment can be started if necessary. Please get in touch with us today to book an appointment with our team. Call (702) 896-6043 or click below.
Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss
Peripheral (side) vision loss can greatly affect your quality of life. When you can only see objects in your direct central vision, it becomes necessary to move your head to see objects above, below and to the side. This type of tunnel vision can be caused by several different conditions such as:
- Glaucoma (leading cause)
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Carotid artery disease
- Stroke (if peripheral vision loss is sudden)
If you are experiencing any loss of vision, please don’t wait to schedule an eye exam. Vision loss can be temporary or permanent, so early treatment methods and lifestyle changes are vital to help slow the progression.
Vacationing This Winter? Protect Your Eyes!
True or False: You don’t need to wear sunglasses in the winter.
False! It’s important to protect your eyes from UV rays all year long. Whether you are staying at home this winter or vacationing in a tropical or snowy, high-altitude setting, please wear sunglasses or sports goggles even on cloudy days. Here are a few things to consider:
- Sun reflecting off snow, sand or water can cause snow blindness (photokeratitis) or sunburn of the eye
- UV exposure can lead to cataracts or growths on the eye such as pterygium or cancer
- Sunglasses that block or absorb 99% of UV rays can protect your eyes; wrap-around styles are best
You certainly don’t want to experience these symptoms when you’re on vacation: pain, blurry vision, watery eyes, grittiness, swelling, light sensitivity, eyelid twitching, headaches, etc. This condition will usually go away on its own in a day or two, but you’ll want to stop wearing contact lenses, avoid rubbing your eyes, and let your eyes rest.
If you’re experiencing any eye problems, contact us at call (702) 896-6043 to schedule an eye exam.
What Does Astigmatism Mean?
Astigmatism is a common condition caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. The cornea is the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. The lens of the eye is a transparent structure behind the cornea. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. However, if your cornea or lens isn’t smooth and evenly curved, light rays aren’t refracted properly. This is called a refractive error.
When the cornea has an irregular shape, it is called corneal astigmatism. When the shape of the lens is distorted, you have lenticular astigmatism. As a result of either type of astigmatism, your vision for both near and far objects appears blurry or distorted.
Astigmatism can affect both children and adults. It is usually congenital, present at birth, but it can develop after an eye operation or an injury to the eye. Most people are born with some degree of astigmatism and they may have it along with other refractive errors: nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).
Symptoms of Astigmatism
- Blurred or distorted vision at all distances
- Excessive squinting
- Eye strain, especially when the eye must focus for long periods, such as using a computer monitor
- Difficulty driving at night
Contact us at (702) 896-6043 to schedule an eye exam if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Your condition may be corrected by glasses, contacts, or vision correction surgery.