Food That Is Good For Your Eyes – The Vision Benefits Of Broccoli

Broccoli is a food good for our eyes that is not pleasant to the taste buds however; there are many creative ways that we can make it more appetizing. For example, we can add it to a variety of dishes with cream sauces like Alfredo and Pasta with a little touch of lemon for flavor. We can even combine it with mashed potatoes, or add it to cheese sauces. More importantly, scientists, doctors and nutritionists agree that Broccoli provides numerous health benefits. It has cancer fighting and detoxification properties that help protect the eyes from age related vision disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Therefore, if you are interested in protecting and improving your precious eyesight, here are some of the vision benefits of Broccoli:

Due to an increase in the use of technology, the time spent reading, studying and staring at computers has also increased, thereby contributing to the problem of eye fatigue. From this point of view, our eyes require nutritional safeguards to relate fatigued eyes. Consequently, Broccoli consists of vitamin B 2, a vitamin that improves the following vision conditions: fatigued eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.

If you are concerned about vision health issues related to light sensitivity, Broccoli is rich in a nutrient called Riboflavin that enables the eyes to adapt to changes in light. Scientific research studies also show that Broccoli is one of the major eye foods contracting of Beta – Carotene that can protect the eyes from macular degeneration.

According to the American Optometric Association, there has been a significant increase in the number of accidents of age related vision disorders. The statistics show that 25 million people worldwide are affected by these vision disorders. Statistics also indicate that macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the Western World for people over age 55. Furthermore, it is estimated that the number of people stricken with this eye disease is likely to triple by the year 2025. ( http: /www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein , 2013)

In spite of these grim statistics, the good news is that there is something that you can do to prevent this vision disorder. According to the AOA, (The American Optometric Association), a scientific research study revealed that the benefits of Broccoli actually go beyond merely preventing the risk of developing eye disease, which has shown that Lutein and Zeaxanthin improve vision in macular degeneration patients, cataract patients and also individuals with good eye health. To learn more about this study and to find out about the recommended dosage for Lutein and Zeaxanthin for good eye health, click on the AOA link above.

Why are these key nutrients found in Broccoli so essential? This is because the carotenoids contained in this vegetable supply the eyes with powerful antioxidant protection and also function like nutritional sunglasses, filtering out harmful Blue light from the retina. These key nutrients in Broccoli protect and maintain healthy eye cells. Additionally, one of the primary functions of Lutein and Zeaxanthin is to prevent free radicals from damaging the retina and neutralize the conditions that they create which lead to the development of cataracts. Scientific research suggests that a high consumption of Lutein, Zeaxanthin and vitamin E can contribute to a reduced risk of cataracts.

Considerable scientific evidence suggests that the nutrients in Broccoli are essential for the protection and the promotion of healthy eyesight. Nutrients such as Lutein, Zeaxanthin and vitamin B 2 are nutritional safeguards against age related vision disorders. Ultimately, this food good for eyes is an essential super food for better, healthier eyesight.

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How to Choose the Right Eye Care Specialist

What type of eye care specialist are you looking for?

Are you considering LASIK? If so, you want to look for a specialist who is an Ophthalmologist and specializes in LASIK eye surgery. While not all Ophthalmologists are LASIK surgeons, all LASIK surgeons are Ophthalmologists. Factors you should consider when looking for a LASIK consultation include:

1. Visit your eye doctor for a complete consultation to find out if you are an ideal LASIK candidate.

2. Ensure you do not fall for a “bait and switch” tactic that offers a LASIK eye surgery “discount.” These are more than likely full of hidden fees and substandard safety procedures.

Due to the price of LASIK eye surgery, people can succumb to temptation “discounts.” These offers are usually too good to be true and can include hidden fees that end up costing you as much, if not more, than the actual surgery price. Furthermore, “discount” laser vision correction runs the risk of being less safe than practices that are upfront with costs.

Does your first eye care specialist choice use safe, up-to-date technology?

Ensure your doctor uses the lastest, FDA-approved technology. Quality eye care specialists will examine your eyes with state-of-the-art equipment that provides a wealth of ocular information. For instance, the Pentacam mapping system thoroughly examines your corneal structure in several ways so your doctor can determine if you are a good LASIK candidate. When choosing a specialist, keep updated technology in mind. Research the standard eye examination equipment that use to see if it will provide you with a safe and in-depth assessment. In addition, visit an eye care doctor who will discuss their findings with you in detail.

Are you diabetic and looking for an eye doctor to manage your vision needs?

If you or a family member have diabetes, visit either an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist for complete eye care. Select a well-trained eye care specialist who has specific experience in diabetic eye care .

Have you been diagnosed with Keratoconus?

Keratoconus patients should find someone who is an Ophthalmologist actively following current FDA studies on corneal cross-linking, a less invasive, future Keratoconus treatment. In all likelihood, these will be cornea specialists, as Keratoconus is a corneal disease.

Whether you're looking to undergo vision correction surgery, are searching for a reputable specialist for general eye care needs or are looking to handle a disease that affects your eye health, always watch for the following:

• Verify the doctors credentials

• Ask your friends and family

• Read online reviews

• Verify pricing and make sure you understand it.

Above all else, the most important thing to do is find a reputable, certified specialist who meets your unique patient needs. In doing this, you and your family will be well on your way to receiving top shelf eye care from a caring office.

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Sports Vision Training: The Final Frontier

The author has collaborated with his associate, Dr. Gary Polan, OD many times. Dr. Polan has been a pioneer in the field of Sports Vision Training (SVT) and Vision Training (VT) since 1984 (*). In 1996, Dr. Polan's work received corroboration by the staff at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the UCLA Medical School (**). In this article we outline all the individual skills required by the visual system to perform at its peak that now form the science of VT and SVT.

Dr. Polan's experience in training and improvement of visual skills has replied in “surprising” advances in most learning disabled cases. Improvements in intellectual activity which are generally unexpected, but very welcomed by parents, have not been well documented by rigid research designs to date. Still, we are confident that VT and SVT can play a significant role in improving reading skills, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Dyslexia.

Few realize that reading is a motor activity like sports! Just one of many common reading flaws is transposing letters like “ea” to “ae”. When the number or severity of flaws effects performance or comprehension, VT or SVT is warranted.

So, before any improvement in reading or athletic performance can take place the visual system must be engaged. What are the exact skills that the eyes posses that can influence performance?

Introduction to Visual Skills

First, readers of this article should realize that ALL visual skills are learned. From infancy, the vision skills that we take for granted, have been built gradually over time. Contrary to folklore, they are not necessarily genetically predetermined and can be improved.

Fact: visual skills, no matter how polished by our activities or sports, can be improved in a clinical or private practice setting. Sports careers worth millions of dollars can be improved and lengthened past their usual expirations. One of Dr. Polan's more famous patients, Olympic track star Carl Lewis, says that “more of his records would still be standing today had I practiced SVT during my competitive career.”

Visual skills can be divided into 3 sub areas: Visual Acuity, Visual Efficacy, and Visual Processing. Visual Acuity is measured by standard optometric tests commonly used for eye prescriptions including standard eye chart examinations.

Visual Efficacy can be measured by testing among the 24 areas listed below which include focusing, convergence, divergence, etc. Visual Processing can be evaluated by tests which measure the extent of learning disabilities such as Reading Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Dyslexia as found in items 2, 7, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 24 Most ADD and Dyslexia is responsive to treatments for visual / perceptual deficiencies in these areas of training thus, often diminished or alleviated completely.

Visual Efficacy Skills

All movement mechanisms during sports and reading are enhanced by eye skills and eye health. In turn, improvements in several areas of eye skills will enhance eye performance during motor activity.

For example, reaction time is first dependent on the visual accuracy and recognition skills listed. Here is a brief review of each eye skill which can positively effect motor performance, some related to our experience in tennis. Please note that Visual Efficacy Skills are a subset of all the eye skills listed below.

Visual Skills

1) Visual Acuity-your ability to achieve a sharp resolution of an image that can be divided into static acuity (stationary images) and dynamic acuity (resolution of images in motion).

a) Static Visual Acuity-Corrected or not, your eyes should have 20/15 vision for high-speed activities. “20/15” vision means that is you see at 20 feet what the average person only sees accurately at 15 feet away.

b) Dynamic Visual Acuity-the ability to see sharply while the player, opponent, and ball are all in motion. This ability is made up of many other skills such as Convergence, Focusing, Tracking, and Interpretation, etc. Following the action with the eyes rather than the head or body is more efficient and puts less stress on the balance and muscular-nervous system.

2) Visualization-is the ability to plan, imagine, and prepare for upcoming motor skills and movements. Some sports scientists believe visualization of needed skills is more efficient than coaching “pep talks”.

The most famous example of this comes from downhill ski racing. Often the athlete is seen, eye closed and head weaving, picturing the course and its demands in their imagination before the actual race.

3) Peripheral Vision-is critical to awareness of other important things while watching the ball such as your teams, boundaries, or opponents.

4) Depth Perception-is the ability to quickly and accurately judge the distance between yourself and your opponent, teams, targets, and boundary lines while judging the speed, rotation, and flight path of the ball.

Billy J King rates this above court speed and eye-hand coordination for junior tennis players. Quickly eliminated by those who stare during the day-students, programmers, and executives may play poorer tennis during the week than week end for this reason.

5) Visual Pursuit-is the ability to use the eyes to follow a moving object smoothly and accurately. This critical skill is based on good eye teaming and eye muscle balance but it can not track a ball smoothly at high speeds where Saccadic Movement takes over.

Saccadic Movement-is the ability of the eyes to “jump” from one point to another when sessions exceed those of visual pursuit. This skill is used in reading to jump from one word to the next. If this skill is poor, reading ability is affected!

Quick, accurate saccades are used to survey quickly with as little head movement as necessary. Head movement is a less efficient method of eye tracking and can confuse balance. Unnecessary head movements and eyelid reflexes to flinch must be overcome with training.

7) Visual Concentration-describes the cooperation between Visual Pursuit, Saccadic Movement, and Visualization in the “minds eye”, or imagination. This skill is not scientifically well defined yet, but is exemplified by tennis players who must switch concentration rapidly from target, to ball, to processes of planning and prediction which are critical to performance.

8) Speed ​​Of Focusing-is the ability to shift focus from near, intermediate, and far distance. This eye muscle skill is subject to the same fatigue which affects other muscles over the course of exercise.

9) Glare Recovery Speed-is the ability to see clearly after looking toward intense light. Focusing near sun and at tennis court lights causes “dazzle” to the retina.

10) Sight in dim illumination.

11) Eye Muscle Stamina-is the ability to withstand fatigue without decreased performance in a variety of eye tasks. We believe that Shaquille O'neal is the most famous example of this (see 16b).

12) Color Perception-is not critical but may play a role in yellow against white line calls.

13) Eye Dominance-is the ability of the sight in one eye to dominate images from the other. Tennis players generally prefer strokes on the same side as the dominant eye which is usually the right for right-handers over 80% of the time.

14) Fixation Ability-is the skill of preventing eye fatigue which comes from staring at objects too long. Receivers with poor fixing skills fatigue within a few seconds of staring at the server. Other players do not, but staring should be avoided.

15) Visual Memory-is the accumulation of past experiences such as the number of proper swings logged in a players “motor program file”. This combined with visualization for future swings is probably a major factor in consistency during competition. Visual memory fades with time.

16) Spatial Localization-is knowing your position relative to other objects especially while you, ball, and opponent are moving.

a) Esophoria-players who see the world CLOSER than reality, tend to hit / throw shooter.

b) Exophoria-players who see the world FARTHER than reality, tend to hit / throw longer. We believe that Shaquille O'neal is an example of this because he more often hit the heel of the basket towards the end of a game.

17a) Speed ​​of Recognition Time-is how fast you can you identify images.

17b) How fast can you react to those images.

18) Eyes to Body Coordination-is the ability to integrate what you see into an appropriate and coordinated response from your body parts (aka: Visual / Motor Integration).

19) Contrast Sensitivity-is the ability to pick out an important object against a field of other objects.

20) Visual Attention-is the skill used to prepare the eyes and brain which heightens its readiness for an upcoming task. This is a precursor to Visual / Motor Organization. Of course, the body can influence this system which is one reason why elite tennis players bounce during the opponents contact.

21) Figure / Ground-is the ability to pick out an object in the foreground against a variety of background fields; to discriminate the figure to be attended to and to see the interrelationships to its background information.

22) Visual / Motor Organization-is the regulation and organization of motor skills; to choose from a “catalog” of motor programs for meaningful and productive action.

23) Jump Duction-is the ability to move from visual tasks that require convergence to divergence of the eyes and back. Jump Duction deals with vergence; the activity of the extraocular muscles to diverge for distance, and converge for near objects rapidly and efficiently.

24) Auditory / Tachistoscopic Skills- are those which help sound and sight skills complement each other during visual processing. It is the auditory / visual integration ability of an individual which coordinates inputs into a meaningful perception and to shift priority and attention from one sense to the other when necessary. Years ago, preventing air traffic over the US Open tennis tournament in New York was initiated for this reason. Players have to hear the serve as well as see it.

Audition specialists can better assess the ability to discern background from foreground sounds similar to the way we will assess background to foreground objects. This is an area worth of much more study. There is much potential to design audio triggers, cues, and scoring tones for training here. Consider the bell for a horse race!

The “Visual Skills” list above numbers 1-24 is Copyright (c) Jonathan Bailin, Ph.D. 1997.

* Hoflinan, L., Polan, G., Powell, J. “The relationship of contrast sensitivity functions to sports vision”, Journal of the American Optometric Association, 55: 10,747-752, Oct 1984.

** Laby, Rosenbaum, Kirschen, Davidson, Rosenbaum, Strasser, Mellman “The visual function of professional baseball players”, American Journal of Opthalmology 122: 4,476-485. Oct. 1996.

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How to Buy Glasses Online

Often, buying glasses online can be cheaper than going to an eyeglass store. There are no sales assistants steering customers toward the more expensive frames. Online stores have less overhead and buy their glasses in bulk, guaranteeing the cheapest prices available. And still, they use the same frame and lens suppliers along with the same glazing laboratories.

People are wary of buying glasses online for many reasons. They may think they do not know all the information about their eyes. The direction offered by a store may feel needed in order to find the best frames. People believe it is impossible to try glasses on online. All of these problems can be fixed with a little bit of research.

Before beginning shopping online, people need to go to their eye doctor and get a current prescription for their glasses. This paper will give them all the information needed to order the correct lenses. Most online sites require the prescription before glasses can be ordered. They will either ask for an upload of the prescription or the phone number of the eye doctor.

Understanding the prescription is key when ordering lenses online. The sphere, or SPH, is the correction for long or short sight. It will be a “-” or “+” value and goes up in 0.25 steps. The cylinder, or CYL, is the correction for any Astigmatism if a person has one. It also has a “-” or “+” value and goes up in 0.25 steps.

The axis for which the correction for the Astigmatism needs to be set at. This is only present if there is a CYL value on the prescription. Values ​​range from 0 to 180. If glasses are needed for reading, the prescription will have an addition, or an ADD.

NEAR means the same thing as ADD. The “-” or “+” design is very important as it indicates short or long sightedness. The dioptre sphere, or DS, appears under the CYL box and indicated no CYL value. OD refers to the right eye and OS references to the left eye. If reading glasses are required, including NEAR or ADD is very important, but unneeded for Distance / Driving glasses.

The pupillary distance, or PD, is the distance between the center of one pupil to the center of the other pupil measured in millimeters. Usually it is written as one value, for example 60mm, but can be written as two, such as 34/33, if one eye is slightly further away from the center of the nose than the other. Many prescriptions do not include a PD measurement.

Many online sites allow people to “try” their glasses on. Online sites have a virtual mirror that allows people to try glasses while browsing through frames. This can be accomplished different ways depending on the site. Some require visitors to have a webcam. A live video appears on the site and frames can be superimposed on the video, allowing customers to try their glasses on live.

Other sites are more universally user friendly and allow people to upload a photo of themselves not wearing glasses. Then, as people are browsing the site, they can click a button that says try online next to any product. Customers can instantly see themselves wearing that frame.

Choosing a frame can be difficult for picky or unsure shoppers. This is a big reason why people go to eyeglass stores, for the professional opinion of sales associates. They only thing associates know that shoppers do not is which frames look better on different face shapes.

Customers who know their face shape and the frames that match it can narrow down their frame choices easily. Beside, shopping online means you can easily show friends and family options to get their opinion. This is much easier than dragging everyone to the eyeglass store.

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The Evolution of Eyeglasses

Many people had a part in the invention of these helpful tools, called eyeglasses, to make our lives easier. To see where spectacles began, you need to study Roman times, when Seneca claimed to use a glass globe to maker reading easier. Similar viewing tools were said to have been used by the monks in the Middle Ages to help them read better as well. Later, in the 1400s, in Venice, glass blowers created glass stones that could have been held in your hand that had wooden frames. This is likely where today's magnifying glasses come from.

However, most people who have studied history have come up to the conclusion that the first pair of eyeglasses were made in Pisa, Italy, by kings in the mid-thirteenth century. They were small double magnifying glasses that were set into bone or metal. The person who wore them balanced them on the bridge of his nose so that he could see through them. This was depicted in a famous painting of the monks by Tommaso de Modena.

Early lenses were only used for nearsightedness, and it was not until much later, in the 1600s, that the concept of concave and convex lenses was learned so that both farsightedness and nearsightedness could be corrected. Later types, now known as bifocals, allowed people with both vision problems to be corrected as well. The first concept of these was believed to have been developed by Benjamin Franklin in the late 1700s.

Eyeglasses similar to what we see today, with frames, were first created in Spain in the seventeenth century. Ribbons of silk were added to loop over the ears of the wearer and were taken to China by travelers and Christian missionaries, where they added weights to hold them on better. The more rigid arms were created later by an optician named Edward Scarlett.

In the past, lenses were made of only blown glass, now popular materials include plastic and a stronger and lighter polycarbonate. Often times, if you have a stronger prescription, glass will be used automatically, due to the higher clarity that it provides. Plastic may be lighter, but it can scratch easier, so you may want to get a scratch resistant coating to help avoid problems.

Now, you can also get lenses that fit directly on the eyeball. These are called contacts. However, this requires a special examination and you can not have too high of a prescription.

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Magnifying Lamp Guide

Buying the right magnifying lamp can be a difficult task. It requires knowledge of these unique devices and in many cases, people have simply not deal with them enough to know what to look for in one. They are typically used when you must constantly look at objects in detail or when you have to perform a task task that requires you to have a close up view on an item. When you have a great magnifying lamp, it can greatly improve your work performance and help you get done with your tasks quicker. In this guide, we will cover just what to look for when buying a magnifying lamp.

These types of lamps are also great for people who must speed read or for readers who can not see small text. This is an important product to have, so you must ensure that you get a quality lamp. First off, you should try to find one that is offered by a known and trusted brand. Seeing as you may not have much experience with these lamps, you know that you can not go wrong if you choose one of the most popular options available. This way, you can feel safe while you make your purchase.

Secondly, you need to look for the right lens size. This is all personal preference and it also matters for the type of work you are doing. For instance, if you will be using to read, you may prefer a larger lens so that more words can be included in the image. Again, this is all up to you. Simply do a bit of research on the different styles of lenses and find out which one meets you requirements. Once you find a size that looks right for you, begin searching for brand name models with that type of lens.

Now that you know the type of lens you want and which brands are popular, it is time to begin looking for particular features that you would like and to find a magnifying lamp that meets your budget. There are multiple different features and styles of lights, so be sure to find out which ones may be useful to you. In addition to that, you should always weary of the cost. You do not want to exceed your budget. Simply take your time and search through numerous different options.

Before making a purchase like this, you should always research numerous different styles, lenses, and brands so that you have a good idea of ​​what an excellent magnifying lamp is. A little research can go a long way. This type of lamp is perfect for people who need to get a close up of what they are working on or for someone who simply needs help seeing the text of their favorite book. Go out and search for your favorite magnifying lamp and be sure to use the knowledge you learned here to make the best purchase.

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Cutting Lifetime Eye Care Costs With Money Saving Eye Exercises

In today's struggling economy, the value of saving is extremely important. If you are suffering from vision problems and you are seeking an affordable alternative to glasses or contacts from a natural point of view, it is helpful to consider the benefits associated with an effective eye exercise program. According to the Vision Council of America, Statistics show that Americans spend at least 28.7 billion dollars a year on eye wear. When we look at the lifetime cost of purchasing glasses or contacts the value of savings that comes with choosing a natural alternative vision improvement method becomes essential. Think about it, extra savings allows you to have extra money for basic necessities such as gas, groceries, utility bills etc. Therefore, if you are a budget conscious person interested in saving a significant amount of money on eye care, here are a series of reasons why eye exercises are an affordable alternative.

The Cost of Glasses: The cost of a pair of glasses ranges anywhere from $ 150- $ 390. This price range varies very depending on the following factors: Style, the type of glasses, the brand, the retailer from which they were bought, the severity of your prescription and the type of eye condition. An evaluation about the cost of glasses also requires taking into account the cost of eye exams, doctor's visits and frames. You should also take into consideration that over an extended period of time the quality of your vision will decline requiring the purchase of a stronger prescription. This adds additional expense to your budget. According to getholistichealth.com, the estimated cost of eye glasses per year is about $ 300.00. Let's be a little bit more conservative and suppose that a person buys 15 pairs of glasses over a lifetime at $ 240.00. This calculation adds up to $ 3600.00; a very high price to pay for lifetime eye care!

The Cost Of Contacts: If you are suffering from a condition such as Myopia, chances are that the average cost of a box of contact lenses with 6 pairs according to allaboutvision.com, ranges anywhere from $ 22- $ 26. If you do the math, considering the fact that contact lenses need to be changed every 2 weeks, if you buy a total of 10 boxes of contacts a year, the total annual cost adds up roughly from $ 220- $ 260. If you have Astigmatism, the cost for a six pair box of contacts increases to $ 50- $ 60. If you change your contacts very two weeks the annual cost of contacts roughly adds up to $ 500- $ 600. Therefore, you can see how easily the cost of traditional eye care can add up significantly.

The Cost of Eye Exercises: Eye exercises will significantly slash the cost that you would normally pay for traditional methods. The average cost of a natural vision improvement program of eye exercises is equivalent to just a little bit more than you would pay for a meal for 3 at your favorite American restaurant. As far as the eye exercise program is concerned, this is a one time investment. Because eye exercises strengthen the eye muscles improving vision naturally, they stop the vicious cycle of stronger prescriptions and weaker eyes. Eye exercises address the root cause of your vision problems enabling you to either eliminate or reduce your dependence on glasses.

When it comes to eye care costs, eye exercises can save you a great deal of money. In today's economy every penny counts and the extra savings gained can go to basic living necessities. Ultimately, this enables you to make wiser, budget conscious decisions about your eye health.

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Comparing Different Eye Care Solutions for Dry Eyes

More than 20 million Americans suffer from dry eyes. There are many different causes and levels of dryness. While some dryness can be temporary, some can be longer long lying. Often times, dryness can occur with people that sit at a computer all day long. When our eyes are focused on one thing for long periods of time, less blinking occurs. But when you look away from the computer, or go on your lunch break, the dryness often goes away. Others experience a more severe form of dry eyes, that does not come from staring at a screen. Eighty-six percent of people with dry eyes suffer from evaporative dry eye, which is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction and a lipid deficiency of the eye's natural tear film. Depending on the level of dryness and the cause of it, there are different eye care approaches.

The first and easiest approach is eye drops. The most common types are used for fast relief and can range anywhere from $ 5 to $ 8. The higher performance lubricants can range anywhere from $ 10 – $ 15. Over the counter drops or medicated drops can go as high as $ 60. Depending on the severity of your dry eye symptoms, and how often you need to re-lubricate your eyes, this can be pricey if you're going through a few bottles a week.

In some cases, where there is a lipid deficiency and blinking does not provide any lubrication, there are some methods to reduce the blockage of the meibomian gland.

Some people opt for goggles that are designed to provide a humid environment while moisturizing the sensitive skin around the eye. They generally come with moisture pads or gels, that are placed into the goggles, and then worn anywhere from 20-45 minutes which stimulates tear production and the release of lubricating oils. These goggles cost about $ 50 and have reusable pads that cost about $ 25 for 50 or so uses.

If these do not work, there is a somewhat new alternative called Lipiflow that has been around since 2011. It is a cutting edge treatment for Evaporative Dry Eye . Lipiflow is a thermal eyelid massage. It applies consistent, comfortable heat to your eyelids with a gentle pulsating pressure that massages out the liquefied blockages of your meibomian glands. This treatment costs about $ 1,400, or $ 700 per eye.

The painless procedure lasts about 12 minutes and can reduce the blockage for nearly 12 months. The degree of success varies on the severity of the blockage, but in 79% of patients, they've seen a 10-100% improvement. (According to Caleyecare.org)

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What to Expect When You Visit an Eye Doctor

Even though the type of treatment you can expect when you visit an eye doctor obviously depends on the kind of problem that you are experiencing, there are some basic similarities that can apply to all kinds of visits. Here is some information that will provide you a general idea of ​​what you will more than likely experience if you need to visit an ophthalmologist.

You will want to bring your glasses or contact lenses with you if you wear them. More than likely, an optician or receptionist will greet you and then you'll be asked to fill out a form and provide information on your general heath history as well as your ocular health history. After filling out the paperwork, your physician will probably check your vision and look for any signs of disease. Depending on how specialized the examination needs to be; your eye doctor may be working with you for up to four or five hours. It is important that your examination is as thorough as possible. Unfortunately, this can often take a great deal of time.

If you are a new patient, your eye doctor will more than likely want to dilate your pupils. This is necessary so that you can be examined as closely as possible. During this process, he or she will put drops in your eyes that will fully dilate the pup within about 45 minutes. As a result, lights will appear brighter and your vision will become blurry. Most ophthalmologists will recommend that their patients bring a pair of sunglasses to their appointment. You should make arrangements to have someone drive you home if you are worried about driving while your pupils are dilated, because they will probably remain in this condition for about 24 hours.

You may be visiting your eye doctor to have a fitting performed for contact lenses. If this is the case, you may go through a very specific type of examination that could require multiple visits. This type of exam can sometimes last for quite a while, so try and clear your schedule completely before you attend. It will be very important that you tell the receptionist you are there for a contact lens fitting and not a regular exam.

For those who are seeing an ophthalmologist for the first time, you can expect a thorough examination of your medical records. Ocular medical history records may include photos, angiograms, and visual fields. The eye doctor will also want you to bring with you records of previous visual exams and any surgeries, if applicable. If you are visiting a neuro-ophthalmologist, you'll need to bring any MRI or CAT scan films you may have, as well as any clinical notes.

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Keratoconus, Eye Health and Corneal Solutions

“Kerato … What?”

When an optometrist tells a patient they have keratoconus, the common response is, “What is that?” Unfortunately, it is not a clear cut answer. Fully understanding the condition and what causes it can take time and effort.

Defining “Keratoconus”

The basics of keratoconus are that the cornea, the clear tissue overlying the colored part of a person's eye, becomes thinner than normal and begins to bulge in the shape of a cone. When looking at the roots of the term keratoconus, this is exactly what it is describing: kerato in Greek means cornea and conos means cone – describing a cornea shaped like a cone.

In contrast, a normal cornea is more spherical, shaped similarly to a basketball that has been cut in half. Accuracyately determining the shape of the cornea is much easier with today's technology than it was in the past. The Pentacam® is a piece of equipment that simultaneously measures the shape and thickness of a patient's cornea. This is a helpful tool, due to the dual nature of keratoconus, which exhibits a conic shape occurring in an area of ​​thin corneal tissue.

Keratoconus & The Causes

Now that the patient has a basic understanding of what it is, they then ask, “What caused it to happen?” This is when the answer begins to get a little complicated. There are theories as to what contributions to keratoconus, but a definitive reason has not been determined as to the cause. Most people agree there is a genetic component to the condition. Whenever a parent has keratoconus, children are monitored more closely for keratoconus symptoms. There has also been a correlation to people with atopic conditions that are related to allergic hypersensitivity.

These conditions can include allergic dermatitis, allergic asthma and allergic conjunctivitis of the eyes. These situations do not guarantee everyone with an allergy is at a high risk for keratoconus; however, individuals who tend to be highly sensitive may be more at risk for keratoconus development. It is thought that constant eye rubbing can cause keratoconus, and in people with atopic conditions, eye rubbing can be habitual. It is not known whether the condition itself or the act of rubbing the eyes plays a larger role in keratoconus development.

Available Keratoconus Treatment Options

“What can I do about it?” is the last thing the patient asks. The answer to this question depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages of keratoconus, vision can generally be corrected using contact lenses. The normal type of lens necessary is a rigid gas permeable lens which most people know as a “hard” contact lens. As the condition progresses, keratoconus treatment may call for surgical intervention.

There is a type of corneal implant technology that alters the shape of the cornea that helps decrease the amount the cornea bulges. This type of implant has been shown to aid in vision correction and is also reversible if removal is necessary. Ultimately, if the condition progresses quite enough, a keratoconus corneal transplant can be deemed necessary. Once performed, most people obtain functional vision while wearing a rigid gas permeable lens similar to the type worn in early keratoconus.

Corneal Cross-Linking

New technology is now available! The technology is known as corneal cross-linking (CXL). Corneal cross-linking may help lower the number of people in need of a cornea transplant. This process strengthens corneal tissue, preventing it from thinning or bulging more than it currently does. Corneal cross-linking allows a solution of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) to sit on the cornea while an ultraviolet light strengthens the cornea. This does not cure keratoconus, but halts the progress to a stage that requires a corneal transplant.

There are two different types of corneal cross-linking. The first is known as Epi-OFF, which requires the outer skin layer of the cornea to be removed for the treatment. The second is known as Epi-ON, which is when the outer skin of the cornea is not removed which results in less discomfort, much faster recovery, and significantly reduced risk of infection and scar tissue.

Epi-OFF corneal cross-linking was approved by the FDA in the middle of 2015. However, it took over 5 years to gain governmental approval for Epi-OFF corneal cross-linking. Because of this, it is considered outdated compared to Epi-ON.

Many people diagnosed with keratoconus have a grim outlook for their vision. Fortunately, today's advances help provide people with not only functional, but good vision.

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The Ins and Outs of LASIK Eye Surgery Costs

Laser vision correction involves an integral part of your body – your eyes. Understandably, one of the first concerns a potential LASIK patient has involved the question, “How much does LASIK cost?” Honest pricing policies are the best to look for, as it minimizes confusion and promotes healthy patient to doctor communicaiton. If you have been deemed an ideal candidate, your eye care doctor will review pricing with you. When it comes to LASIK eye surgery, full disclosure is the best practice.

While discounts and coupons may seem like an attractive offer, these “deals” are typically too good to be true. More often than not, these offices operate using “bait and switch” tactics that lead patients to believe they are getting a better deal than actuality. Many times these offices charge less for LASIK eye surgery due to the sacrifications in technology, a less experienced surgeon, a surgeon who is not even located in that office, and not really caring about the patient as a person. Find a reputable specialist who rejects these “small print” pricing deals and instead remains straightforward in offering honest, competitive pricing after it's determined you are a fitting LASIK candidate.

Many people looking to undergo LASIK vision correction also deal with astigmatism or high prescriptions. These conditions increase LASIK bills in numerous offices. However, an extra fee due to astigmatism is not guaranteed when someone undergoes LASIK eye surgery.

It is possible for LASIK surgery to temporarily affect your finances. Therefore, it is imperative to plan accordingly. Luckily, there are several avenues patients take to pay for LASIK. A few viable financial solutions include:

  1. Spending Accounts – Put your HSA (Health Savings account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to work for you when the time for LASIK arrives.
  2. Financing – Paying for anything up front is ideal, but if that is not possible, then third party financing is always a viable option.
  3. Tax Refunds – Utilize tax refunds to make laser vision correction more affordable.
  4. Save, Save, Save – Plan accordingly to pay for LASIK surgery further on down the road. By setting money aside over the span of several months or even a year, your LASIK bill will not stress your finances and will eliminate risks for medical debt.

Whether you're looking to undergo LASIK or have already been identified as an ideal candidate, it is imperative to treat your body and eyes well. The most important thing someone can do before having laser vision correction is to see a reputable cornea specialist who does not condone sweeping pricing strategies under the rug for later. Be sure to find an office that uses state-of-the-art lasers, unmatched care and honesty and straightforward pricing.

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LASIK Myth or Fact

LASIK can be a dangerous operation.

Myth. LASIK vision correction is extremely safe when performed by a reputable specialist. In fact, many offices around the country experiences a higher success rate than the national average, having performed literally tens of thousands of vision correction surgeries.

LASIK is for anyone.

Myth. LASIK eye surgery can be a very rewarding procedure, but it is not an optimal solution for everyone. A thorough examination by an Ophthalmologist (MD) who specializes in LASIK can determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. Eye care specialists conduct an extensive LASIK consultation lasting approximately 2 hours during which all aspects of your eyes and your vision are examined. Numerous offices use state-of-the-art technology, including the Pentacam, which maps out a patient's cornea. Like your finger print, your cornea is unique to you. From thickness to structural integrity, understanding corneal features is one of the most important factors in identifying good LASIK surgery candidates.

Middle-aged and elderly people can have LASIK.

Fact. According to the FDA, LASIK candidates must be 18 to have vision correction surgery. There is really no age that makes someone too old to have LASIK. There are of course eye issues that come with age that may make an older person a non-candidate. For example, if someone has cataracts, the cataract must first be handled prior to considering LASIK. Stability also remains a key determining factor for LASIK. If an older person wants to have their distance and reading vision corrected, both need to be stable before going forward with vision correction surgery.

LASIK candidates can only receive one kind of vision correction surgery.

Myth. Many people hear LASIK and immediately believe there is only one procedure. LASIK has been adopted and commonly used for all vision correction surgery; however, there are several options. Due to the unique structure of every patient's eyes, a candidate that is not well-suited for all-laser LASIK may be perfectly suited for all-laser PRK (also known as no flap LASIK).

LASIK discounts sound too good to be true.

Fact (most likely). Your eye health can greatly affect your overall well-being. Sacrificing surgeon experience, technology, or patient care for a lower medical bill is a dangerous move when it comes to LASIK surgery. While short term financial savings are tempting, your eye may end long term physical effects from a subpar procedure. Find a reputable ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK and is willing to openly discuss price with you. Honest, straightforward pricing eliminates assumption and maximizes healthy patient to doctor communication.

People with astigmatism can not have LASIK.

Myth. With the improvements in technology over the past several years, having astigmatism does not typically cause a problem when considering LASIK. Numerous LASIK office have invested in state of the art technology and con routinely correct astigmatism with LASIK eye surgery.

During a LASIK procedure, a patient must keep their eyes still and open on their own.

Myth. When researching LASIK surgery, many people ask the questions, “Do I have to keep my eye perfectly still?” and “How am I supposed to keep my eye open?” At Providence Eye, we use cutting-edge technologies that track patients' eyes with multiple infra-red cameras at a rate of 400 frames per second. When it comes to keeping someone's eyes open during LASIK, your eye care doctor will place numbing drops in your eyes, eliminating the urge to blink. A small device is the placed around the eye to keep it open through the procedure.

Recovery after LASIK only takes 24-48 hours.

Fact. Patients who have LASIK need someone to drive them home. It is recommended that you take a long nap lasting around 4 hours, after which significant improvement will be noted. Additional vision improvement should occur by the next morning. The exact length of “recovery time” is patient dependent and during your consultation, your LASIK surgeon should be able to set a reasonable expectation. Typically, patients are able to return to their normal daily activities the next day with some restrictions around swimming, contact sports and activities of that nature.

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Common Conditions That Affect The Human Eye

The human eye is a remarkable feature that receives light, allowing a viewed object to be transmitted as messages to the brain so that we understand what we see. It can detect something as small as a candle flame from up to 15 miles away (under optimum conditions) as well as focus on fine details. A pity, then, when this 'window to the soul' is allowed to degenerate.

Not all eye diseases are caused by negligence but a large percentage is. Strain, an unbalanced diet, a poor lifestyle, lack of awareness and bad habits can contribute to diminishing the wonders our eyes offer.

Certain eye conditions are common, some developed through the natural process of aging and others caused by disease, injury and exposure to chemicals. Let's see what they are.

Age-related

Age-related conditions include glaucoma, cataract, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma: With glaucoma, peripheral vision is compromised as the optic nerve is affected. It creates tunnel vision of sorts. The main causes are genetics with a family history signaling a greater risk factor, severe eye infection, injury and blockage of blood vessels. Diet has not been known to play a role though people suffering from the condition can see it exacerbate with caffeine in intake.

Medication through eye drops and surgery are recommended treatments although once vision starts to fade it can not usually be recovered, only halted.

Cataract: Where glaucoma creates tunnel vision, cataract impairs overall vision to make it blurry or cloudy. Light is unable to properly pass through to the retina. The condition progresses slowly and is marked by a literal clouding of the pupils and irises.

Cataract is caused by age and more uncommonly, by trauma, genetics, drug use and nutrition-related diseases. It's typically resolved through surgery which can restore a large percentage of vision unlike with glaucoma.

AMD: Age-related macular degeneration is primarily caused by old age. Where glaucoma affects the peripheral vision, AMD targets the central vision. As such, blindness is rarely caused although vision impairment is naturally present and may progress without treatment.

Treatment typically involves laser surgery, implanting a telescopic lens and increasing vitamin intake.

AMD presents itself in one of two forms – dry and wet. Dry AMD sees the macula (an area near the retina) thinning to affect central vision. It's the more common form and progresses slowly. In wet AMD, blood vessels behind the retina begin to grow under the macula to lead to leakage of blood and fluid as well as scarring which further diminishes central vision.

Diabetic retinopathy: A common complication in diabetic patients, diabetic retinopathy occurs due to damage to the retinal blood vessels. Proper diabetes management through control of blood sugar, blood pressure and other necessary symptoms can see the condition brought to a halt and even reversed to an extent.

Infection-related

Where age plays no role, conditions like conjunctivitis, sty and uveitis should be watched for. Conjunctivitis can be caused by chemical irritants, viruses and bacteria and even pollution. Sties, meanwhile, are caused by an infection of the oil glands in the eyelid. Both are fairly common and easy to treat with emphasis laid on keeping the affected eye clean and following a medical prescription.

Uveitis, on the other hand, is a potentially serious condition with the ability to cause blindness if left untreated. Risk factors include infections, injury, cancers like lymphoma and autoimmune diseases. Depending on cause, treatment can include medication or surgery.

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Finding The Right Pair of Eyeglasses

Whether you strain to see things at a distance, or you are having trouble reading things close up; you may need a pair of eyeglasses. No matter what your vision issue may be, there area a variety of corrective lenses available today that can help you to see again again. If you are uncertain about whether or not you really need eyeglasses, it is wise to schedule an optometrist to get a routine eye examination. Everyone needs to get an eye exam from time to time, but if you are having vision problems, it is especially critical that you see an optometrist to correct your vision issue.

What To Expect During Your Examination

If you do not already have an eye doctor, do a bit of research before scheduling an appointment to find the right professional for you. Ask friends and family for recommendations, talk to your doctor, or do a bit of research on the Internet for eye doctors in your area. When you call the optometrist for your appointment, give them a brief explanation of the vision problem that you are experiencing. When you go in for your appointment, do not be shy to ask any questions that you may have. Typically, during your examination, you will sit in front of a chart filled with letters, and the doctor will ask you to read specific lines. You may only receive a vision test, but if you go in for a more comprehensive eye exam, you may be given a variety of other tests such as an eye movement test, cover tests, or a check for paparial reactions.

Finding The Right Pair of Glasses

If your doctor determinates that you need eyeglasses, you will be given a prescription. Now, you can start to find the perfect frames. This is the fun part! Glasses can be quite stylish, and if you find the perfect pair to fit your personal style and aesthetic, they can really add to your style as an accessory. Take a bit of time to find a pair that you feel comfortable with. You must make sure that you have your glasses fitted correctly to fit comfortably on your face. You can have you optometrist do this, or you can consult with a local eyewear retailer. During this process, you should make sure that your eyeglasses sit on your face straight and comfortably on your nose. If you find that there is any issue with the way they fit, your optometrist or technician can make the proper adjustments for you.

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Failing Eyesight and Computer Use

Yesterday I paid a visit to my optician. They were offering free eyesight tests, and I wanted to get mine checked out. In the past, I would have had a free check through my work but now I am 'on my own' and do not get these health benefits anymore.

Apart from the offer of a free eye test, I use computers an awful lot. Sometimes more than 12 hours a day. This means that I often get dry eyes and by the end of the day my eyes are quite painful.

This is a sad by-product of working in the IT industry for several years. I used to put it down to the air-conditioned office – certainly a cause it dries out the air, and so dries out your eyes. But now I realize it is due to the concentrated effort you need to keep looking at a computer screen.

Normally your eyes will keep them in tip-top condition, and part of the in-built protection is blinking. Apart from wiping any dirt off the surface of the eye, this also ensures the eye is kept moist.

The other effect of using computer screens too much is the constant short distance focusing. This causes the muscles in the eye that focuses the lens to get tired. They are always in use and being held in the same fixed position. Imagine trying to do a plank for 10 minutes.

Make sure you blink your eyes

When using a computer, you will probably need to consciously make sure you are doing this. A brain in deep thought will keep the eyes open far too long, causing them to dry out over time.

Focus on something at a distance every 10 minutes

This allows the eye muscles to relax instead of spending all day focused at a short distance.

In the future I'm sure we will see an increase in the number of eye problems as people use computers, iPhones and other technology much more.

So, how was my eye test?

As expected, my eyesight is slowly failing. Not by much – my long distance eyesight is still perfect but my short distance eyesight is slowly failing. I can compensate at the moment as it's not too bad. But my eyes became tired by the end of the day.

Perhaps a result of increasing age, but more likely the constant, daily use of computers over the last 20 years. I hope all those bloggers who probably spend long periods of time on the computer will at least take a break every 10 minutes and make sure they blink their eyes regularly.

People will normally blink about 10 times a minute but I know from personal experience that computer use can reduce my blink rate to as low as once a minute. Far too long, and the main reason that my eyes are starting to fail.

I hope you enjoy reading this article – I kept it short to avoid you having to keep concentrating at the screen too long.

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