Monthly Archives: October 2017

Reducing risk for eye stroke

When people think of strokes, they immediately think of an abnormality occurring in the brain.

However, it can happen in the eyes too. This type of stroke is referred to as retinal artery occlusion or stroke of the eye.

Stroke of the eye is a frightening condition that causes people to lose vision in one eye in a matter of hours or days.

It strikes up to 6,000 people a year in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A stroke affecting the eye is a blockage in the blood vessels in your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye.

“This can happen due to certain risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, small optic nerve ratio and many other things,” said optometrist Dr. Ashley Setterberg.

The most common symptom of a stroke affecting the eye is a sudden painless vision loss.

“So it can start and gradually increase over hours to days. You can have floaters which are small gray spots floating around in your vision. You can have blurry vision, which steadily worsens in one section of your field of vision or all of one eye. And you can have complete vision loss that can occur suddenly, or gradually over time,” said Setterberg.

While it may not always be possible to prevent eye strokes from occurring, there are a few things you can do to help decrease the chances of having one.

“We can see quite a few symptoms from a regular dilated eye exam, fundus photos, and other special testing. There are different treatments, such as injections into the eye, eylea  steroids, and even anti-blood clotting agents. It is very important  to have these annual eye exams, so we can catch any signs that may be a precursor to it or a risk factor,”said Setterberg.

Experiencing a sudden loss of vision can be a scary situation. If you or anyone you know happens to find themselves experiencing vision loss possibly caused by an eye stroke, seek medical attention immediately.

A cerebral stroke, which affects blood flow to the brain, can also cause sudden vision loss or changes in vision. For this reason, any sudden changes to vision require emergency medical attention.
The longer any stroke is left untreated, the more likely it is that the affected organs will be permanently damaged.

Who Is At Risk for a Stroke Affecting the Eye?
Men are more likely to have a stroke involving the eye than women. The disease is most commonly found in people in their 60s. Having certain diseases increases your risk of an eye stroke. These include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure; and
  • Narrowing of the carotid or neck artery

Most people know that high blood pressure and other vascular diseases pose risks to overall health, but many may not know that high blood pressure can affect vision by damaging the arteries in the eye.

Eye stroke symptoms:
Floaters – Small gray spots floating around in your field of vision. Floaters occur when blood and other fluids leak and then clump up in the fluid inside the eye.

Pain or pressure – Can signal a problem with the eye, however, true eye strokes are often painless.

Blurry vision – Steadily worsens in one section of your field of vision or all of one eye.

Complete vision loss – Can occur suddenly, or gradually over time.

Prevention tips for stroke of the eye:
Properly manage your diabetes – Keep glucose levels in ideal ranges as set by your doctor.

Treat your glaucoma – This condition raises intraocular pressure, increasing your risk for eye stroke. Follow the treatment plan as prescribed by your doctor to avoid any possible complication.

Control blood pressure – Poorly controlled blood pressure is a major risk factor for the contribution of eye strokes, therefore, keeping blood pressure controlled with diet and exercise, plus any prescribed medications, will help a great deal.

Manage cholesterol levels – Diet and exercise will help reduce levels in addition to any prescribed medication.

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Original Date: Oct 25 2017

Original Author: Roland Rodriguez

Dyslexia link to eye spots confusing brain, say scientists

French scientists say they may have found a potential cause of dyslexia which could be treatable, hidden in tiny cells in the human eye.

In a small study they found that most dyslexics had dominant round spots in both eyes – rather than in just one – leading to blurring and confusion.

UK experts said the research was “very exciting” and highlighted the link between vision and dyslexia.

But they said not all dyslexics were likely to have the same problem.

People with dyslexia have difficulties learning to read, spell or write despite normal intelligence.

Often letters appear to move around and get in the wrong order and dyslexic people can have problems distinguishing left from right.

Human beings have a dominant eye in the same way that people have a dominant left or right hand.

Shape of spots

In the University of Rennes study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists looked into the eyes of 30 non-dyslexics and 30 dyslexics.

They discovered differences in the shape of spots deep in the eye where red, green and blue cones – responsible for colour – are located.

In non-dyslexics, they found that the blue cone-free spot in one eye was round and in the other eye it was oblong or unevenly shaped, making the round one more dominant.

But in dyslexic people, both eyes had the same round-shaped spot, which meant neither eye was dominant.

This would result in the brain being confused by two slightly different images from the eyes.

Researchers Guy Ropars and Albert le Floch said this lack of asymmetry “might be the biological and anatomical basis of reading and spelling disabilities”.

They added: “For dyslexic students, their two eyes are equivalent and their brain has to successively rely on the two slightly different versions of a given visual scene.”

No single cause

Prof John Stein, dyslexia expert and emeritus professor in neuroscience at the University of Oxford, said having a dominant spot in one eye meant there were better connections between the two sides of the brain and therefore clearer vision.

He said the study was “really interesting” because it stressed the importance of eye dominance in reading.

But he said the research gave no indication of why these differences occurred in some people’s eyes.

He said the French test appeared to be more objective than current tests, but was unlikely to explain everyone’s dyslexia.

Dyslexia is usually an inherited condition which affects 10% of the population, but environmental factors are also thought to play a role.

“No one problem is necessary to get dyslexia and no one problem is behind it,” Prof Stein said.

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Eye Conditions And How To Solve Them

Because scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue, symptoms and complications can appear in any part of the body, including the eyes. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common eye complications experienced by people living with scleroderma, with help from the Arthritis Foundation and

Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome or keratitis sicca is where the eyes are unable to maintain a healthy film of tears, which is essential for keeping the eyes lubricated and protecting them from dust. The eyes become very dry and sore and vision may be affected, typically becoming blurred. Without the film of tears, the retinas can become damaged and the eyes are more prone to infection.

The condition can be caused by scleroderma itself or some of the medications used to treat the symptoms of the disease. Changing medications or using false tears (eye drops) can help relieve the problem.

Retinal Vascular Occlusion
Retinal vascular occlusion is where the small blood vessels surrounding the retina become blocked. These thin arteries can become backed up just like the larger blood vessels in the body. Vision problems occur and patients experience a sensation of a curtain coming down over the eye — which can come and go or happen suddenly.

Damage can be permanent but sometimes the veins can be treated with laser eye surgery to relieve the surrounding inflammation and allow better blood flow.

Autoimmune Uveitis and Iritis
Uveitis is an inflammation of the layer of the eye between the retina and white of the eye (sclera). The most common form of uveitis is iritis, also known as inflammation of the iris.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms include eye pain, redness, blurred vision, seeing dark floating spots, decreased vision and light sensitivity. Anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive medications may be prescribed to treat the condition.

Glaucoma is the term for eye diseases where the optic nerve becomes damaged due to high pressure inside the eye. Often without any symptoms, glaucoma gradually decreases vision and may be brought on by high blood pressure or reduced blood flow to the optic nerve.

Regular eye exams are crucial to spot glaucoma early, as it can lead to blindness if left untreated. Eye drops are usually prescribed to increase the outflow or production of fluid in the eye, laser eye surgery is also an option according to the Mayo Clinic.

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Original Source:

Original Date: Sept 19 2017

Original Author: Wendy Henderson

Coloured contact lenses WARNING: Shock reason you shouldn’t opt for them this Halloween

COLOURED contact lenses are a popular fad in the UK particularly for Halloween and can easily be obtained online or in some fancy dress shops, but are you familiar with the types of risks and dangers associated with these types of lenses?

If you are considering getting coloured contact lenses for Halloween this year you may want to think more carefully about the ones you choose.

Non-prescription contact lenses for fancy dress come in a variety of different colours and shapes and are available from a number of high street and online retailers for less than £10.

But many of them come without aftercare information, have not been FDA approved and can cause serious damage to your eyes.

Optician Anita, Waldo’s in-house optician, has been in optics a total 26 years and has revealed why coloured contact lenses this Halloween might be a bad idea.

Why are decorative contact lenses bad for your eyes?

Many decorative lenses are usually painted on, which dramatically reduces the amount of oxygen getting to the eyes. Therefore, they could become quite red as the blood vessels expand to try to compensate. They may also not have been FDA approved to UK standards.

What are the risks in wearing these types of lenses?

A lot of these lenses can be purchased from non-certified retailers, so instructions on how to look after them/cleaning solutions may not have been provided. If you haven’t been instructed on how to apply and remove the contact lenses safely you will be at risk of damaging your eyes. Decorative lenses are often thicker than normal contact lenses, which means they are likely to dry out quicker and become difficult to remove. If these lenses are re-used there is a significant risk of infection if not properly disinfected. What’s more, if worn for long periods they may even cause ulcers.

Coloured contact lenses warning

What are the short and long-term damages wearing decorative lenses can cause?

Short-term damages include the possibility of your eyes becoming red, feeling sore and drying up. As previously mentioned, you will be at risk of developing ulcers which can be sore and painful, these would also take a few days to clear up. Long-term risks include the ulcers becoming infected, which could can be sore and painful, these would also take a few days to clear up. Long-term risks include the ulcers becoming infected, which could cause scarring on the cornea. You can risk an infection if your lenses are not learned and looked after with appropriate contact lens solutions which can seriously damage the cornea. If water has been used, there is a risk of bugs like Acanthamoeba which can badly damage the cornea or even lead to blindness.

Is there any way to reduce the damage?

If you want to try colours lenses for occasions such as Halloween, we’d recommend that you visit your optician for  proper fitting and listen to advice on how to wear your lenses. Use contact lens friendly eye-drops to keep your eyes moist and use contact lens solutions to clear your lenses. Do not use tap water and do not share the lenses.

Would you recommend wearing them or are they not safe?

As long as the lenses are fitted and supplied by an optician and you follow the instructions given, you should be ok. However, we would recommend that you limit the use and amount of time you wear the lenses due to the lack of oxygen reaching the cornea.

Coloured contact lenses warning

Coloured contact lenses warning: Short-term damages include the possibility of your eyes turning red

For those who do not wear contact lenses but are interested in maintaining good eye health on a daily basis, Anita also has some quirky tips:

1. Thoroughly remove all your eye make-up every day.

2. There are many supplements you can buy to aid the health of your eyes from any chemist or opticians.

3. Give your eye lids a squeeze. Hot showers or baths allows the steam to open your pores. Next, gently squeeze at the base of your lashes and massage your eye lids. This helps to unblock your ducts and produce the oily part of your tears to help keep them hydrated.

What should you avoid doing?

Anita said: “If you are on a computer all day make sure you give your eyes a break. Staring at a screen all day can dry out your eyes, as can lots of tea and coffee so keep hydrated – especially after sports. Every so often look away from your screen and focus on something in the distance, then focus on your thumb in front of your face. Respect this about five times too wake you eyes muscles. Also, eye dries really help hydrate the eyes.”

Eye infections could be detected within minuted by a new microchip.

Original Source:

Original Date: September 28 2017

Original Author: Katrina Turrill