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The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more true: aside from capturing the beauty of special occasions, images are also used in the ophthalmology field to document a specific eye condition’s progress by freezing a moment in time.

We use Topcon’s specialized slit lamp camera to document such ocular conditions as pterygium, corneal ulcer, herpes keratitis, and tumor. After determining that an image would be beneficial for a patient, the baseline image is captured within a split second – there is no discomfort or dilation necessary.

Benign growths (referred to as iris nevi) can be found in the colored part of the eye. These growths, which rarely develop into malignancies, are kept in check via these specialized images and incremental follow-ups (usually 6 months to a year).

In addition, these high-resolution images are used as an educational tool so patients can see the severity of conditions such as Blepharitis, where persistent inflammation of the eyelids sometimes presents irritation, itching, and red eyes. On follow-up visits, comparing pre- and post- treatment images shows progress that is not visible to the naked eye. Patients can appreciate first-hand the benefits of adhering to the recommended warm compress, careful daily cleansing of lashes, artificial tears, and/or antibiotic regiment outlined by their physician.

Essentially, the team at Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates can scrutinize every minute change from one exam to the next with a high-resolution image. In the past, doctors tracked these specific conditions/variations by writing down and measuring the findings in the patient’s chart. But now, our team can simply compare images in real time to document and track progression with incredible accuracy.

At Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates, we pride ourselves on providing the highest levels of service to our patients. However, there are millions of people in the world who do not have access to the healthcare they need because of inadequate facilities and lack of funding. We try to help whenever we can through charitable donations and philanthropic ventures.

The Voluntary Health Program is a nonprofit organization that provides surgeries to underserved rural areas of Central America. Drs. Ralph and Robyn Del Negro, along with two of their children Ralph & Emily, recently returned from their 2013 mission to the Dominican Republic. Dr. Del Negro and other volunteer doctors performed 332 surgeries, including 161 cataract procedures.

Of the experience, Dr. Del Negro said, “It’s humbling to see how little some people in other parts of the world have. The lack of healthcare is astounding – people going blind waiting to have cataracts removed or even worse, living with untreated glaucoma or other treatable eye diseases that can cause blindness. We were there for such a short time, but being able to help even in a small way is gratifying.”

You can learn more about how to help from the VHP website.

On May 5th Dr. Wiedeman took part in the New Jersey Half Marathon At The Shore. She accomplished her personal goal of just under 2 hours, completing the 13.1 miles in 1:59:16. The race took the 5,348 runners through the scenic shore towns of Oceanport and Monmouth Beach before ending in Long Branch where they crossed the finish line. In preparation for this event, Dr. Wiedeman trained for 14 weeks and clocked in 220 practice miles.

There is nothing more precious than your health, and setting personal goals can help you maintain your wellness. Don’t forget, the benefits of an active lifestyle extend beyond your waistline: exercise, healthy eating habits, and regular visits to your eye doctor will improve your ocular health too. Maintaining a healthy weight and stable blood sugar help keep diseases like diabetic retinopathy in check, and exercise is a great way to release stress as well.

If you are not quite up for a half marathon, just start with a simple walk to get your body moving. Congratulations to Dr. Wiedeman for reaching her goal and putting her recommendations into practice!

Drs. Del Negro and Senft strive to provide the finest care to their patients. As active participants in their professional community they are constantly educating themselves on the newest surgical and technological advances in ophthalmology. Recently, they attended the ASCRS Symposium on Cataract, IOL, and Refractive surgery in San Francisco.

They gained insight through intensive programs that focused on glaucoma diagnosis and treatment as well as all facets of the cornea. In addition they attended symposiums addressing AMD, macular pucker, caring for patients with both glaucoma and cataracts, and new techniques using a femtosecond laser.

Following their educational trip, doctors Del Negro and Senft are back in the office, ready to continue providing unparalleled care and the most advanced surgical techniques for their patients!

May and June are quickly approaching, and you know what that means…finals, the close of the spring semester, and the anticipation of seeing your college student under your roof again!

Summer is the time to enjoy a brief visit before you once again send them off for another year of educational growth – but since they are only home for a short amount of time, it’s also important to think of what needs to be accomplished in order to avoid the hassle of traveling back and forth to school.

Ultimately the summer is not always downtime, but rather an opportunity to regroup, enjoy each other’s company, and gear up for the fall semester. From making sure computers will run faster and shopping for the newest trends in bedding and accessories for dorm rooms to painstakingly selecting fall wardrobe essentials and most importantly scheduling as many doctors appointments as possible, you will definitely have your hands full.

One thing you must fit in is your college-bound student’s annual eye exam. This will ensure he or she has an updated prescription so the primary focus is on studies and activities, not irritation from allergies or dry eye. Doctors Shah and Wiedeman will work with contact lens wearers to select the best lenses for their lifestyle and educate them on proper care and disinfection of lenses to avoid any complications while they are away. If it’s time for a new pair of glasses to match an updated wardrobe, we also have an optical shop with a wide selection of frames. And if the young adults in your life don’t require corrective lenses, it’s still important to check and make sure their eyes are healthy and ready for another semester of learning!

When an eye issue arises, it is usually seen as a minor disturbance in your daily routine – an annoyance that you choose deal with until it magically disappears. Work, home, and family responsibilities take precedence – or so you think. But changes in your vision that appear to be “no big deal” can actually be signs of a bigger problem that, if left untreated, can lead to severe consequences.

Read on to learn 5 instances when you should definitely call your eye doctor, even if you think you may not have the time…

  1. Floaters and Flashes

    Floaters and flashes are often the first signs of retinal detachment. While they do not necessarily mean that there is a problem, floaters and flashes should NOT be ignored. Seeing more floaters than usual, particularly if you notice the sudden appearance of many small dark dots, is a symptom of retinal detachment.

    The below symptoms constitute a MEDICAL EMERGENCY:

    • Brief flashes or sparks of light at the edge of your vision.
    • A shadow (sometimes described as a “curtain”) across a portion of your vision that doesn’t go away.
    • Any new or sudden loss of a portion of your vision.

  2. Sudden Loss of Vision or Loss of Peripheral Vision (also known as Tunnel Vision)– This type of visual loss could be a sign or symptom of Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Retinal Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, or serious conditions that affect the brain such as a tumor or stroke.
  3. Pain – Surface and interior eye pain can both signal a number of conditions. It can point to Bacterial Keratitis, Conjunctivitis, Corneal Abrasion, Corneal Laceration, Corneal Ulcer, Fungal Keratitis, and Uveitis as well as other conditions not listed. Seek out your eye doctor to alleviate discomfort and avoid possible complications.
  4. Double Vision– Double vision can be a sign of palsy, diabetic changes, brain tumor, brain aneurysm, or stroke.
  5. Extreme Sensitivity to Light– This condition may be associated with a Chalazion, Corneal Abrasion, Corneal Laceration, Corneal Ulcer, Eye Allergies, Uveitis, and Dry Eye among other conditions. There are a number of treatment options to provide relief.

Remember, a visit to the doctor as soon as symptoms present themselves can prevent severe eye problems in the future!

Spring is finally here! Yes, the buds on the trees are bursting with beauty and fragrance, the bright daffodils are opening up, and patches of color are evident as you drive around town. Like most, the mild weather moves you to open up your windows to let the fresh air in, and maybe even attempt spring cleaning or that landscaping project you had been putting off. But with the renewal of life brought by spring comes another inevitable side effect of the season: allergies.

Airborne allergens such as house dust, animal dander, and mold can cause ocular allergies at any time of the year- but when spring rolls around plant pollen seems to be everywhere, constantly bombarding the eyes and causing everyone to experience allergic reactions.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem.

Take preventative measures: make every effort to avoid allergens. An allergist can help determine what you are allergic to so you can stay away. Completely avoiding outdoor pollen may be impossible, but remaining indoors in the morning when the pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. If you are allergic to house dust, open windows and keep household filters clean.

What You Can Do To Alleviate Your Discomfort:

  • Cool compresses decrease swelling and itching.
  • Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye.
  • Various antihistamine and decongestant drops and sprays can soothe irritated eyes and nose.
  • Rubbing the eyes makes symptoms worse and should be avoided.

If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, make an appointment with one of our doctors – we will ensure symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem before prescribing one of the many new, safe, and effective anti-allergy drops.

The majority of the workforce today spends an enormous time staring at a computer screen. At work it is a requirement and at home it doesn’t stop – we always seem to be connected via computer monitor, smartphone, or tablet. As the hours of eye strain stack up, it’s no surprise that our eyes are not very happy at the end of the work day. Symptoms of eye strain are eye irritation (red, watery, or dry eyes), eye fatigue (tired, aching heaviness of the eyelids, or forehead), difficulty in focusing, and headaches. Luckily eye strain does not result in permanent eye damage, but you should still take steps to avoid the discomfort.

Eye strain, backache, and muscle spasms can also improve with proper arrangement of the computer screen and seating area – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides helpful suggestions on how you can arrange your workspace to minimize pain.

How does your personal workstation stack up to the recommended setup? Do you sit with proper posture and remember to change positions, stretch, and take breaks?

In addition to maximizing the ergonomics of your physical work space, you should lubricate your eyes by blinking frequently or using artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) and keep your work area clean to minimize eye irritation from dust. Standard office lighting may be too bright for comfortable computer use, so minimize glare on screens by adjusting office lights or using hoods or filters on monitors. Above all, you should be wearing the appropriate prescription for computer work. Make an appointment today to have your prescription adjusted to minimize discomfort.

Most people don’t realize that routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or your physical health.

During a comprehensive eye exam, the doctors at Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates do much more than just determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Be proactive with your health by scheduling a routine eye exam. Often, eye physicians can detect chronic systemic diseases during an exam – such as high blood pressure and diabetes – before primary care doctors have the opportunity.Additionally, many serious eye conditions show no symptoms until it is too late:

  • Glaucoma, also known as “the silent thief,” causes no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease. It can strike at any age, and if left unchecked can lead to blindness.
  • Macular degeneration (loss of central vision) takes years to develop, but early signs can be discovered during a routine exam and then closely monitored.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is the name given to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels in the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults.

Staying current with your eye exams will not only help prevent serious eye conditions in the future, but can also reveal health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Call Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates today to schedule your routine checkup!