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On August 10th, in honor of National S’mores Day, Americans were encouraged to light a campfire, gather family and friends, and create the perfect combination of rich chocolate, melted marshmallows, and crisp graham crackers. No one can resist an ooey gooey S’more.

I joined in on the movement, and had a blast with my entire family. As I roasted marshmallows over the open flame, I found myself strangely overwhelmed by the radiant heat. Years had passed since I last made this essential summertime snack, but I certainly didn’t remember it making me feel like this. The sensation was almost unbearable. My 9 year old felt the burn as well, and had to ask me to finish toasting her marshmallow while she stood at a safe distance from the fire. This experience got me thinking of a larger question:

Can being close to fire/heat damage your eyes?
Your eyes may become red or irritated with exposure, but no long term vision issues should arise. If irritation persists, call our office to schedule a visit so you can get back to enjoying what’s left of the summer!

What precautions can I take to avoid injury?
Our doctors suggest keeping your distance, using protective eyewear or sunglasses to thwart flying or popping embers, and applying artificial tears. Contact lens wearers should remove their lenses or use protective eyewear or sunglasses if they are going to be close to a fire/heat source for an extended period of time. Remember, if irritation persists, please give us a call and schedule a visit!

Don’t let fire and heat exposure stop you from doing what you love to do! Get out there and enjoy the last days of summer. Happy grilling!

Take a lesson from CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper’s brush with 36 hours of temporary blindness: avoid overexposure to the sun. You may not think the sun is emitting damaging rays on cloudy days, but its strength does not discriminate. The sun will find any exposed area and lay claim to it – including your eyes.

Anderson Cooper’s 3 days of pain and discomfort were a result of photokeratitis – a condition like sunburn in the eyes. Mild photokeratitis can feel as if there is grit stuck in the eyes – a sensation caused by layers of the cornea peeling following the sunburn. Those with extreme cases describe the condition as feeling as if their eyeballs are on fire.

In Anderson Cooper’s case, the sun reflected off of water – and UV exposure can increase 25% when rays are scattered and reflected off of a reflective surface. Remember this when you are enjoying watersports this summer, or even just lounging in the pool or ocean – and always use sunglass protection. We have a large selection of designer sunglasses in our full-service Optical Shop – check out our new sunglass Optical Special!

If you experience overexposure to the sun and your eyes get sunburn, call our team at 732-774-5566 to get on the track to recovery.

Changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyesight during pregnancy. Water retention, for instance, may cause the thickness and curvature of the cornea of your eye to increase slightly. It’s a small change, but it could affect how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. During this time you may not want to invest in a new pair of eyeglasses or schedule a contact lens fitting. Most women who experience a change find that they’re a bit more nearsighted than they were before pregnancy – if you do experience vision changes during pregnancy, they’ll probably be minor.

Hormonal changes can also contribute to dry eye. It is important to keep your eyes hydrated during this time with re-wetting drops. Your vision may temporarily be blurred or less sharp due to dry eye and wearing contacts may irritate your eyes.

If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant and are interested in LASIK you may want to consider this: Drs. Del Negro and Senft recommend that women have the procedure 6 months prior to becoming pregnant or 6 months after delivery or nursing.

Are you on the fence about whether or not LASIK is for you? Hear what some of our patients are saying about the benefits of LASIK, and then schedule a complimentary evaluation with Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates!

  1. It simplifies their daily routine!
  2. Great option for correction because they were contact lens intolerant.
  3. They are enjoying an active lifestyle with newfound ease.
  4. They can play sports with their children and not worry about breaking another pair of glasses.
  5. They can wake up and see their alarm clock without reaching for their glasses or contact lenses.
  6. They experienced improved night vision.
  7. They have purchased designer sunglasses off the rack without worrying if they are RX-able.
  8. They have fallen asleep to their favorite show and had no worries about removing contacts or crushing their glasses.
  9. They can leave the house for the beach or pool without having to remember to take their prescription sunglasses, contacts, or glasses with them.
  10. They don’t have to spend time cleaning and disinfecting their contact lenses.

The only way to know if you’re a true candidate for is to have a thorough, professional evaluation.

As a contact lens wearer, you probably choose them over your glasses for sharper vision – especially if you have an active lifestyle. You may even dread the thought of having to leave your contacts at home when you visit the pool or your friend’s hot tub oasis – having to remember your glasses when leaving the house, not seeing clearly when you take them off, the constant need to wipe your lenses due to pesky chlorine spots. But we are here to tell you that these are all minor inconveniences when compared to the alternative – a Corneal Ulcer that may develop from wearing your contact lenses swimming.

Topcon’s (r) specialized slit lamp camera allows our doctors to photograph and monitor corneal ulcers

This cautionary tale in meant to save you many trips to the eye doctor and, worst case scenario, permanent vision loss. Hot tubs and pools are breeding grounds for acanthamoeba – and they do not mix well with contacts. If present in the water, the bacteria can increase the risk of you contracting a serious condition known as acanthamoeba keratitis. Non-contact lens wearers can develop this condition, but it is more prevalent in those who wear contacts.

The symptoms associated with this condition include: redness in the affected eye, blurred vision, feeling of a foreign body in the eye, and light sensitivity. If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to the pool and/or hot tub water (especially if you are a contact lens wearer) you should contact our office at 732-774-5566. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of our eye doctors and get appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Happy Fourth of July! As you celebrate the day that our country gained its independence, we have some tips on selecting types of sunglass lenses that will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

It seems like UVA & UVB protection is on the top of everyone’s mind when a celebration will have you outdoors under the sun’s harsh rays. We all know to slather on sunscreen and wear protective clothing – but another mandatory item to take along? Sunglasses, of course! They should be part of your daily sun-protection routine. No matter what color or style you choose, make sure the lens has an anti–reflective coating to ensure sharper, cleaner vision.

  • Polarized lenses make your time in the sun more enjoyable! This lens paired with an anti-reflective coating is your best choice for sun protection. The lenses cut down on eye fatigue and are an excellent option for providing clarity, vivid color, glare-free vision, and 100% UV protection.
  • TRANSITIONS® Lenses feature a changeable tint – an excellent choice for people who lead active lifestyles. Lenses darken outdoors and lighten indoors.
  • Yellow/Amber lenses provide brighter vision with better contrast on an overcast day. These are most helpful when worn during dusk or dawn.
  • Gray lenses provide true-to-life color that is a little darker than the brown lens. Usually personal preference leads a person to choose one over another.
  • Brown lenses offer a warmer and brighter tone than a gray lens.
  • Green lenses are ideal for golfing. They give the illusion that the fairway is much greener than it actually is, providing optimum contrast as the eye follows the white ball. Contrast sensitivity comes into play here when the eye can delineate between an object and its background.

The level of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) is at least three times higher during the summer months, and UV rays will also reflect off of water and sand – potentially causing serious eye irritation. With the right type of sunglasses, you can enjoy the sand and surf while protecting your eyes – and also look fashionable in the process.

We’ve all experienced it – Debris whips into your eyes at the beach, cleaning solution splashes into your eye, your dog paws at your eye while playing, your child flings a toy across the room and hits you in the eye­­. When an unexpected and painful situation arises, be prepared to act fast. Here are four major types of eye injuries that can quickly turn into emergencies, and steps to follow to minimize the damage.

Foreign Solution: Cleaning your home, working on your car, or simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time can expose your eyes to an unwanted splash of harmful chemicals.

  • Flush your eyes with a continuous stream of room temperature tap water for a few minutes.
  • If you are still suffering, you can gently place a cool compress on your lids.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • The chemical makeup of the substance is critical to determining your treatment. For example, acids (sharp odor, corrosive, sour tasting) cause severe pain and redness that sometimes make the eye look and feel worse than it truly is, whereas alkaline liquid is more detrimental to the eye – inflicting significant damage such as blindness – even though it causes less immediate discomfort. Be armed with the name of the substance, and inform your doctor or the emergency room staff so they can better treat your injury.

Foreign Body:

  • DO NOT try to remove anything that penetrates the eye (wood, fish hooks) – it may do more harm than good.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day. If you happen to be outside the area go immediately to the emergency room.
  • Place a shield over the eye for protection and to avoid further injury.
  • If you happen to get smaller slivers of metal in your eye, don’t downplay the injury. Some may not consider the need for medical attention, thinking small pieces will resolve on their own. That is a mistake: small slivers of metal will cause issues down the road such as scarring. They must be removed in a sterile environment by a professional.

Corneal Abrasion: Caused by something that scratches the surface of the eye­­. For example, you scratch your eye with a fingernail while removing a contact lens or aggressively rub your lid while there is sand present. Do not take this condition lightly. Sure signs of an abrasion are irritation and sensitivity to light.

  • Do not rub your eye. Bacteria may be present, and you want to avoid infection.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • Without treatment, you may develop complications from the infection and, in rare cases, blindness can result.

Blunt Trauma: If you are poked in the eye during a pickup game or an object is forcefully thrust into your eye, it may cause traumatic iritis. This requires immediate medical treatment – however, even with treatment there is a possibility of permanently decreased vision.

  • Do not wait for pain to decrease or to see how you feel after a few days. Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • Traumatic Iritis occurs when the colored part of the eye is inflamed, torn, or bruised, causing sensitivity to the anterior structures of the eye. The iris will not expand and contract as usual to control the amount of light that enters through to the back of the eye. Depending how the condition progresses it may cause changes in pressure, which your doctor will monitor.

If you experience an eye emergency, our doctors are on call 24 hours a day at 732-774-5566. Even if you feel the injury may not be that serious, seek immediate attention so you can preserve your vision to enjoy the life you have!

Remember, protective eyewear prevents 90 percent of all eye injuries. Read about our complete line of protective eyewear here so you can protect your eyes while enjoying your active lifestyle.

Last week in honor of Cataract Awareness Month, we discussed intraocular lens choices for cataract surgery. This week, we’re answering one popular question often fielded by our doctors: “If my cataracts are removed, will they grow back?”

The answer to this question is no. However, months to years after the cataract surgery, you can develop a clouding of the capsule behind the lens implant. This is called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). If this occurs, a surgical laser procedure known as a yag capsulotomy may be necessary to restore vision.

The capsule is like a clear bag that forms the natural outer portion of the lens of the eye. During cataract surgery (in which the discolored natural lens of the eye is removed), part of the front (anterior) capsule is removed while the remainder of the capsular bag is left intact. The lens implant is inserted inside this capsular bag. As long as that capsule stays clear, the patient will have good vision. But in 10 – 30% of people, the back (posterior) of the capsule loses its clarity over time. When this happens, an opening can be made in the posterior capsule with a laser (yag capsulotomy) to restore normal vision.

Before the laser procedure, one of our doctors conducts a thorough ophthalmic examination to make sure there is no other reason for vision loss. A yag capsulotomy is painless and takes less than 5 minutes – Our doctors perform this procedure at our state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Brick, Seashore Surgical. Vision may be blurry for a short while afterwards, but usually improves during the first 24 hours.

In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, our topic today focuses on three intraocular lens choices. When the time comes for you to schedule cataract surgery, this information will prepare you so that you can make an informed decision. In addition to the standard lens, you now have more choices thanks to Advanced Technology lens options. The one caveat – you must be a candidate.

This standard lens corrects for single vision. After surgery, you will need to wear either distance or reading glasses. If you have an astigmatism, it will not be corrected with this lens – so you may need glasses all the time. This advanced technology multifocal lens gives you the benefit of near, intermediate, and distance vision – reducing your dependence on glasses for reading and distance.The difference: We are correcting both your near and distance vision. This advanced technology lens specifically corrects for astigmatism. Your distance vision will be corrected just as the standard, but this lens goes one step further with astigmatic correction. After cataract surgery your dependence on distance or reading glasses will be reduced.
What makes me a candidate?
What makes me a candidate?
What makes me a candidate?
Anyone diagnosed with cataracts can have the standard lens implanted during cataract surgery. You must have good eye health and not suffer from eye disease. You must be diagnosed with an astigmatism.

To find out your eligibility, please call our office at 732-774-5566 to schedule a Cataract Evaluation with Dr. Del Negro or Dr. Senft. Learn which option is best suited for you and your lifestyle – every treatment is customized to meet your individual needs.

Following these guidelines will ensure safe and comfortable results while wearing your lenses – I bet there is at least one thing on the list that is new to you!

  • Do not over-wear your lenses. You may save money in the short term, but wearing them for longer than the prescribed time can lead to infections or other eye conditions.
  • Do not wear lenses if your eyes are red, irritated, teary, painful, light sensitive, or if you have sudden blurred vision or discharge. If these symptoms don’t clear up in a few days, see your optometrist.
  • Do not handle lenses with dirty hands.
  • Do not use saliva to wet or clean your lenses. The mouth is full of bacteria that can be harmful to the eyes.
  • Never use tap water to rinse or soak soft lenses. Minerals and impurities can damage the lenses and can cause infections if absorbed through the eyes.
  • Do not store your soft lenses without solution. They will dry out quickly – multi-purpose solutions are safe to use on lenses for both rinsing and soaking.
  • Do not wear lenses without rinsing them first. The protein deposits loosened while soaking need to be cleaned from the lenses before you insert them.
  • Do not use anyone else’s contact lenses other than your own. Even if you have the same prescription, every lens fits differently. They can damage your eyes if not fitted properly – including colored contacts.
  • Do not swim with contact lenses. Chlorine and chemicals can ruin them, and there is a risk of severe infections due to bacteria and parasites that reside in pools and hot tubs.
  • Do not get makeup, hairspray, or other cosmetics on the lens. Use hairspray before inserting lenses, or close your eyes when using it. Wait to apply eye makeup until after inserting lenses.

Doctors Shah and Wiedeman fit and prescribe contact lenses that are perfect for your lifestyle.