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This year, everyone will be celebrating Halloween while complying with our new COVID restrictions. As you venture out into the “new normal,” dressed to haunt/scare/get the perfect Insta pic, we feel it is extremely important for you to consider this: One misguided, impulsive decision to use the wrong decorative contact lenses can affect your vision for months or years to come.

Note:
You should never buy lenses from:
  • Street vendors
  • Salons or beauty supply stores
  • Boutiques
  • Flea markets
  • Novelty stores
  • Halloween stores
  • Record or video stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Beach shops
  • Internet sites that do not require a prescription
These are not authorized distributors of contact lenses, which are prescription devices by federal law.

Check out this informative article by the FDA, which highlights things you should consider when purchasing decorative and prescription contact lenses to complete the look you are hoping to achieve. Most importantly, one size does not fit all. If the testimonial doesn’t scare you straight, we don’t know what will.

This Halloween, take the proper steps BEFORE purchasing decorative contact lenses. Wear them responsibly to ward off any bad luck associated with poor decision making. Remember, one bad decision can potentially haunt your vision for the rest of your life.

In honor of AMD awareness, we would like to share with you the important benefits of being proactive about your eye health. A dilated exam, especially with the screening capabilities of the Optos® which delivers a high-resolution 200° image in order to ascertain the health of your retina, is the ideal means to monitor the health of the retina.

In addition, the Amsler Grid, with regard to Macular Degeneration, is also an essential tool because it helps detect the early signs and continues to monitor any changes to the macula. Best part, you can work it into your daily routine so that any changes will demand attention in real-time, thus preventing any lapse in critical care.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE OF AMSLER GRID

  1. With your reading glasses on, test ONE eye at a time while holding grid at normal reading distance.
  2. Look at the dot in the center of the page for three seconds with each eye.
  3. All the lines should be straight.
  4. If the lines become wavy, or if part of the grid is missing, notify our office immediately.
  5. Test each eye for three seconds, once per week.

 

Here’s some additional steps to take:

  • Ensure proper diet and nutritional supplement
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight (sunglasses, hat, etc.)
  • Don’t smoke

 

And, most of all, by following these simple at home steps YOU will gain a sense of pride knowing that you have a hand in maintaining the quality of your current vision.

Are your red, irritated, burning, stinging, scratchy eyes making you miserable? In 2020, resolve to take control of your dry eye. Is your issue dry eye syndrome, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and/or blepharitis? Our doctors will determine what is at the root cause of your discomfort and diagnose and treat your dry eye symptoms so you can get back to living your life free from irritation. Each treatment is customized to your individual needs, and we have a plethora of treatment options to choose from, including:
  • PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits® (Omega-3s)
  • Warm compress (heat mask)
  • Wash lashes with baby shampoo
  • Wipe eyelids with medicated lid scrubs
  • Lubricating Tears
  • Restasis® or Xiidra® , Cequa ™ Drops
  • Gel Tears
  • Punctal plugs (tear savers)
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Doxycycline
  • Steroid eye drops
  • BlephEx™ in-office treatment with Lid Hygenix™ Foam Eyelid Cleanser
  • LipiFlow
We invite you to schedule an appointment to investigate what your customized treatment plan will look like. Haven’t you wasted enough time squinting to clear up your vision, tearing, wiping your lids with a tissue, walking around with bloodshot eyes, having a feeling that there’s something constantly in your eye, being less productive at the computer screen, or sleeping instead of watching your favorite show because you just couldn’t bare to keep your eyes opened even one more second? The list goes on and on. Relief is in sight – New year, new vision.

One more reason to schedule your annual eye exam: Macular degeneration.

The inside layer of the back of the eye is called the retina. The retina is like the film of a camera. The central 10% of the retina is called the macula. The macula is responsible for sharp, central vision required for “straight ahead” vision activities, such as driving, reading, recognizing faces, and performing close up work.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula and is one of the most common causes of poor vision in people over age 60. The visual symptoms of AMD involve the loss of central vision (reading, recognizing faces, etc.), while peripheral vision is unaffected. While age is the most significant risk factor for developing AMD, heredity, blue eyes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and smoking have also been identified as risk factors.

While AMD is one disease, it may be categorized into two forms: dry and wet.

Screening and monitoring your vision for Macular Degeneration is key in early detection to protect your vision against future vision loss. Our doctors offer the optomap® as an important part of our eye exams. The first time a new patient is seen in the office, our doctors dilate as normal, establishing a baseline. Following this initial dilated exam, a welcome benefit to our patients is that that a routine exam can be performed without dilation, if there are no additional findings to suggest otherwise. The image produced is unique and provides Drs. Del Negro, Senft, Glatman, Shah, Wiedeman, and Carniglia with a high-resolution 200° image in order to ascertain the health of your retina. This is much wider than a traditional 45° image. It’s an excellent retina screening tool.

The inclusion of optomap as part of a comprehensive eye exam provides:
  • A scan to show a healthy eye or detect disease.
  • A view of the retina, giving your doctor a more comprehensive view than they can get by other means.
  • The opportunity to view and discuss the optomap image of your eye with your doctor at the time of your exam.
  • Creates a baseline, which allows our doctors to view your images with you each year to look for changes.
In addition to the Optos, another screening tool, known as the Spectralis, uses an advanced eye tracking system that produces 3D images of the eye, allowing our doctors to more easily identify change over time. This helps reveal eye disease which may not yet be noticeable by the patient or detectable with a traditional visual exam. The Spectralis not only aids in the detection of such diseases as glaucoma and macular degeneration, it also provides essential information for monitoring these sight-stealing diseases in follow-up examinations.

Similar to the Optos, the Spectralis exam is fast, safe, and usually does not require dilating the eye. While a patient comfortably sits in a stationary position, the eye is scanned in a few seconds, providing unique views of the structure and function of the eye.

Your physician will review findings with you in real-time and let you know what treatment options you are a candidate for based upon your diagnosis. Keep your retina in check – this year make it a point to schedule your annual exam so you can continue doing all the activities you’ve come to know and love for years to come. New year, new vision.

Glaucoma: The sneak thief of sight.

It is a devastating disease that can slowly destroy the delicate nerve fibers that carry signals from the back of the eye to the brain. Generally, high pressure within the eye is responsible for the damage, but even patients with normal pressure can experience loss of this important nerve function due to glaucoma.

Did you know that annual eye exams are your first line of defense against permanently losing your vision to glaucoma? It’s such a simple thing to schedule, but if you are not proactive about making the time and penciling in this exam, you will regret your decision forever. Sadly, regret can never restore vision lost to glaucoma.

Remember:

  • No treatment can restore vision already lost to glaucoma.
  • Because it can be inherited, if one family member has glaucoma, other family members should be checked.
  • The goal of treatment is to prevent further vision loss.

Advances in treatment options of this disease are available to those who qualify. So, this year, be thoughtful about your New Year’s resolution . . . make the call to schedule your annual eye exam today. See your best this year and beyond!

Are you truly happy with your vision?

If your answer is one of the following, or something similar, you may want to consider scheduling a cataract evaluation:

  • “I’m managing.”
  • “I’m just not driving at night anymore.”
  • “I’m wearing sunglasses at night to help with the glare.”
  • “I’m just staying off the highway.”

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or have been experiencing decreased vision, make it your New Year’s resolution to investigate whether you are a candidate for cataract surgery. A cataract evaluation is very thorough, lasting approximately two hours. Drs. Del Negro, Senft, or Glatman will review the testing in real-time and discuss how far along your cataract(s) have progressed and determine the next appropriate step—monitoring progression or scheduling the procedure. Additionally, you would learn whether standard or laser cataract surgery is right for you, as well as your candidacy for advanced technology lenses, including Toric and presbyopia correcting lenses.

The idea behind modern cataract surgery is quite simple: the surgeon removes the clouded natural lens and implants a new, clear lens in its place. Our surgeons remove cataracts on an outpatient basis at Seashore Surgical Institute* both state-of-the-art surgical facilities. No hospital stay is required.

Don’t procrastinate in the New Year! It is a 10-minute procedure that will make you 20/Happy so you can start doing – or continue doing – all the activities you’ve come to know and love. Cheers to a New Year with new vision.

*Drs. Del Negro & Senft have an ownership interest in Seashore Surgical Institute.

Many people use yoga as a form of meditation — to clear the mind. But practicing yoga is also incredibly beneficial for your body as a whole. It calls on your entire frame to work like a well-oiled machine, which allows you to identify both your strengths and your weaknesses. It helps to expose any deficiencies you may have by calling on your whole form to deliver your pose and maintain it, which requires complete control.

Christian Valeriani, owner of EvenFlow Yoga in Red Bank, explains, “In balancing poses on one foot, looking ahead is critical in that it keeps the skull aligned over the sacrum for a plumb line. Any downward energy, such as eyelids descending, which ultimately moves the vision to the floor, creates forward head position (FHP for short). In FHP, the SI joints tend to rotate, which creates imbalance. And, since energy finds the path of least resistance, the ‘stronger’ standing leg gets stronger, and the weaker gets weaker. The idea is to keep strength and flexibility in the front, back, and lateral planes of the body. And the body follows the eyes.”

According to Christian, your eyes hold the critical job of informing the body’s motion and position to create specific poses. If your eyesight is not up to par, you will feel it, and your form may suffer.

Interestingly, we have heard patient experiences that explain this phenomenon in an unexpected way. For example, Julius didn’t even realize the full extent of his balance issue until he underwent blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery) with Marina Glatman, MD. Following an in-depth consultation with Dr. Glatman, who addressed the droopiness of his upper eyelids, it was determined that he was a candidate for the procedure. After undergoing the procedure, Julius immediately noticed a positive difference in his balance and stability during his weekly yoga sessions. He didn’t realize until getting back to the gym that the excess tissue on his upper lids made it difficult to maintain balance during his workouts prior to surgery.

Ultimately, we should make more of an effort to recognize how much the deficiencies in our eyesight play a role in impacting our daily activities. If you are having any difficulties, don’t be afraid to investigate your options so you can work toward being a better participant in your life and what you love to do.

 


Christian Valeriani is a contributor to our Vision & Yoga blogs

Diabetes affects millions of Americans. During the month of November communities put forth great effort to educate regarding the prevention and management of this disease.

We would like to do our part in discussing how Annual eye exams are vital to maintaining your vision and overall health. In honor of #DiabetesAwarenessMonth we feel it is useful to relay how optomap® with its 3D images can assist our team in their quest to preserve your vision. The first time a new patient is seen in our office for an annual eye exam our doctors dilate as normal, establishing a baseline. A welcome benefit to our patients –following their initial dilated exam–is that that a routine exam can be performed without dilation, if there are no additional findings to suggest otherwise. The image produced is unique and provides Drs. Del Negro, Senft, Glatman, Shah, Wiedeman, and Carniglia with a high-resolution 200° image in order to ascertain the health of your retina. This is much wider than a traditional 45° image. It’s an excellent screening tool.

Many eye conditions can develop under your radar. In fact, early on you may not even notice a change in the clarity of your vison. Fortunately, diseases or damage such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears or detachments, and other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be seen with a thorough exam of the retina. Early intervention is critical in helping you maintain your current vision. #eyesareeverything #diabetesawareness2019

Overall health and dexterity can improve daily lifestyle–from navigating your home to exercising and everything in-between.

As we age, we may notice that some tasks become more difficult, especially related to Hand-Eye coordination.

What is Hand-Eye coordination? According to Jim Brown, PhD, it is the ability to perform activities that require simultaneous use of the hands and eyes. With a decline in hand-eye coordination, the brain has trouble communicating efficiently when telling the hands to carry out a movement.

Tasks affected by a decline or loss of Hand-Eye-Coordination:

  • Writing
  • Driving
  • Sewing
  • Inserting a key into a lock
  • Buttoning a shirt or blouse
  • Tying a tie
  • Striking keys on a cellphone
  • Reaching for an object (without knocking over another object in the process)
  • Playing a sport

The good news is that we can work against this decline by participating in activities, such as yoga, that engage and actually look to improve these specific functions. Yoga can play a huge part in developing your personal sense of hand-eye coordination. According to Christian Valeriani, owner of EvenFlow Yoga based in Red Bank, “Yoga has many benefits which include stress management, mindfulness, balance and physical flexibility and strength.” Valeriani goes on to explain, “When a practitioner performs unilateral poses, or poses on one side, and then alternates sides, the hemispheres of the brain become more equanimeous. Many poses also require the activation of the extremities like fingers and toes. In turn, neurotransmission, or brain communication to the body, is refined, which positively affects physical movement and sensory acuity. Additionally, practitioners also enhance proprioception, or the sixth sense, which governs how one ‘holds’ themselves in space. Enhancing proprioception is critical as we age. For example, if one has vision issues, the way the world is perceived is slightly skewed and the ‘language’ between the brain and eyes can be confusing. Consequently, the stronger eye compensates and ultimately bears the load.”

In this respect yoga builds the body up. Have you ever heard the expression, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Valeriani aptly puts this concept into perspective, “So yoga, with its various movements and orientations to gravity, stimulate and challenge the senses to delay deterioration. Even simply sitting in a chair and moving the eyeballs in different directions is Yoga! The net effect is maintaining functionality of tasks such as tying knots, driving, writing, etc. Simply activating mindfulness to any movement keeps the brain alive and laser sharp, which can only improve your relationship to yourself and the world around you.”


Christian Valeriani is a contributor to our Vision & Yoga blogs


Sources:
https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/aging-independence/hand-eye-coordination/
https://www.activebeat.com/your-health/7-healthy-activities-to-improve-hand-eye-coordination/

Daniel Kish is using his skill of echolocation to teach others who are blind. Amazingly, he navigates the world by creating a clicking sound with his tongue and sending it out, knowing that he will gain the information needed to create a view of his surroundings–solely based on sound. According to Victoria Gill, “People who use ‘echolocation’ employ it in a very similar way to bats–producing clicks that bounce off objects and ‘sonify’ them into a picture of the surroundings.”  In her BBC News article, Gill highlights the findings concluded by Dr. Lore Thaler’s research. The skill variations of eight volunteers were studied in a controlled environment. The findings were published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B. Daniel Kish explained echolocation to BBC News as “a bit like opening one’s eyes.”

Echolocation is an additional layer that can aid the blind in navigating their surroundings. Dr. Andrew Kolarik adds some insight by pointing out: “[The technique] can also be very useful at providing information at face or chest height, to avoid objects like low hanging branches that might not get detected by the white cane or a guide dog. . . So teaching echolocation skills could provide blind people with the means of exploring new places [through sound].”

Click here to read Victoria Gill’s article, “How humans echolocate ‘like bats.’”