Select Page
Your Eye Exam Could Save Your Life!

Your Eye Exam Could Save Your Life!

Most Americans only visit the eye doctor when they notice changes in their vision. Not a bad plan, right? Although it’s always important to see a doctor if you notice a difference in your health, you might want to visit your eye doctor even if when you don’t think anything is wrong. This is because comprehensive eye examinations can help doctors catch certain health problems early, many of which have nothing to do with the eye. Diabetes Believe it or not, it’s possible to detect diabetes in the eye before it even registers in a blood sugar test. During the dilated portion of the eye exam, your doctor can detect changes or damage to the blood vessels in the retina. This condition, known as diabetic retinopathy, is a common sign of diabetes. Cancer During an eye exam, your doctor may be able to detect ocular melanoma, or skin cancer within the eye. Like most other forms of skin cancer, ocular melanoma often begins as a mole or a freckle. If your doctor notices a freckle in your eye, they may monitor you to make sure it doesn’t become more serious. Autoimmune disorders Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis can all be detected in a comprehensive eye examination. For instance, many people with rheumatoid arthritis experience dry eye because their immune system attacks their tear ducts. Lupus can result in inflammation within the eye, as well as changes to the blood vessels in the retina. MS can result in numerous eye problems including an...
Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month! The aim of this month is to educate patients about macular degeneration, as well as promote awareness, share resources, and encourage comprehensive vision examinations. What is macular degeneration? Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans age 50 and older. It is also known as macular degeneration, AMD, or ARMD. The macula is the small, central area of the retina responsible for visual acuity, or seeing clearly. In macular degeneration, this region is damaged, resulting in blurry, distorted vision. Age-related macular degeneration can occur in two forms: wet (neovascular) and dry (non-neovascular). Dry AMD is the most common form, affecting roughly 85 to 90 percent of people with AMD diagnoses. In 10 percent of cases, dry AMD will progress into wet AMD, a more severe form of the condition. What are the symptoms of macular degeneration? Macular degeneration is painless, and many of its early symptoms are subtle. Because of this, it’s essential to receive regular eye examinations and speak to your doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Symptoms of macular degeneration include:Straight lines appear wavy, blurry, or missingDifficulty seeing in dim lightTrouble seeing in the center of your visionChanges in color vision It is possible for your doctor to detect signs of macular degeneration before symptoms emerge with a retinal exam. What are the risk factors...
Have You Heard? Cataract Surgery Leads to Better Driving!

Have You Heard? Cataract Surgery Leads to Better Driving!

Cataract surgery can be life-changing, allowing patients with poor vision to finally see bright colors, regain their night vision, and even reduce their dependence on glasses. But can these improvements be measured? In Australia, a group of researchers sought to quantify how much cataract surgery can improve a person’s ability to drive a car. In the study, they tested the driving performance of 44 patients before and after cataract surgery. Patients completed a simulated driving test designed to measure how well they deal with adjusted speed limits, traffic densities, uncontrolled intersections, and pedestrian crossings. The researchers tested participants before cataract surgery, after receiving cataract surgery in their first eye, and after receiving cataract surgery in their second eye. (Cataract surgery is typically performed in one eye at a time, with the second eye receiving surgery at a later date.) After the first surgery, near misses and crashes decreased by 35 percent. After the second surgery, they decreased by 48 percent. “These results highlight the importance of timely cataract surgery in maintaining safety and continued mobility and independence in older adult drivers,” said Jonathon Ng, MD, the head researcher. This is far from the first study to examine how cataracts affect driving. In 2009, another research team found that even mild cataracts can slow a driver’s ability to detect hazards, and in 1999, a study found that drivers with cataracts...
How successful is LASIK?

How successful is LASIK?

What is the LASIK success rate? At Larson Eye Care, the most common questions we receive about LASIK surgery involve how successful it is. For instance, how many patients receive 20/20 vision? How many patients experience complications? And how many patients would recommend the procedure to friends and family? The LASIK success rate Thankfully, LASIK is one of the most well understood – and well-studied – surgical procedures, with thousands of studies examining its effects on the human eye. According to the latest research, over 90% of patients who receive LASIK achieve 20/20 vision, and 99.5% of patients achieve better than 20/40 vision — enough to legally drive a car without glasses. Patient satisfaction rates for LASIK unprecedented at 96 percent, which is higher than any other elective procedure. Complications are rare, and often result from poor patient selection. In other words, patients who are not good candidates for LASIK (whether due to age, eye anatomy, or medical history) are more likely to experience complications than those who are. Am I a candidate for LASIK? Prior to receiving LASIK surgery, all prospective patients must receive a comprehensive eye examination to determine whether they’re a candidate. Ideal candidates are older than 18 years old with an eye prescription that hasn’t changed within the last 12 months. In addition, they must meet a number of medical criteria to minimize the risk of complications. Certain conditions may increase the risk...
Diabetic Eye Disease 101

Diabetic Eye Disease 101

Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? Diabetes increases the risk of multiple eye diseases, many of which can lead to permanent vision loss. Oftentimes, there are no early symptoms for these conditions, making it essential for people with diabetes to receive regular comprehensive eye examinations. What causes diabetic eye disease? When a person’s blood glucose levels remain too high for too long, the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye start to break down. These damaged blood vessels can result in swelling, scarring, and increased intraocular pressure, or high pressure within the eye. All of these factors can lead to diabetic eye disease. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease is not a single disease, but rather a group of eye problems caused by diabetes. Common diabetic eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes – in fact, a third of people with diabetes who are older than 40 already have signs of the condition. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might experience no symptoms. As the condition progresses, you may experience: Blurred visionImpaired color visionEmpty or dark spaces in your visionSpots floating in your vision, or floatersVision loss Thankfully, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of permanent vision loss by 95 percent. Diabetic macular edema...