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Individuals with diabetes should be aware that they may experience signs of MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) at a greater rate than the average person, according to a recent article in Ocular Surgery News. As we approach Diabetic Awareness Month, it is important to take note that MGD “was found to be more severe in patients with diabetes, possibly contributing to a greater prevalence of dry eye disease in these patients.”

According to Patricia Nale’s article, Johanna Garzon, PhD, and colleagues in Colombia formulated this conclusion based on a study of 37 patients with type 2 diabetes and 36 healthy controls used to assess the Meibomian glands, ocular surface, and tear function of its participants. The standout finding was that “if the blood glucose is higher, the symptoms [of MGD] are worse.” Diabetes affects so much, including MGD and dry eye, even if this is not one of the more prevalent discussions for those diagnosed with the disease.

“In the group with diabetes,” Garzon explains, “major changes in lids and tear function correlated with meibomian gland inflammation and obstruction.” Furthermore, “in both groups, 71% of participants presented with MGD: 76% in the diabetes group and 67% in the control group.” Even with the best of intentions to keep blood glucose levels in check with daily medication, diet, and exercise, chronic MGD and dry eye still responds best to a tailored regimen to prevent flare-ups.

To keep these frustrating symptoms at bay, feel free to schedule a dry eye evaluation any time. Our eye doctors will customize a program that works for your particular situation, which may include LipiFlow®, an in-office treatment designed to remove blockages from the Meibomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film.

Be proactive, not reactive, and live your best life — free from the irritation and annoyance of this chronic disease.

October is our favorite time of year – we get to enjoy the colorful foliage, football, comfort food, and our annual pumpkin decorating contest. It also presents us with the perfect opportunity to educate our patients and the public on the dangers that exist when purchasing decorative contact lenses. At Halloween time, specifically, people tend to make one big mistake when purchasing the finishing touches to their costume. To save yourself pain, discomfort, and possibly an irreversible issue with your vision, NEVER purchase non-prescription lenses or lenses not regulated by the FDA. In fact, it is illegal to purchase any contacts without a valid prescription.
A recent AAO.org post educates to this point by publishing guidelines that should be followed to safely wear costume contact lenses for Halloween or any time of year:
  • Get an eye exam from a licensed eye care professional, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist  — an eye medical doctor — who will measure each eye and talk to you about proper contact lens care.
  • Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements and expiration date.
  • Purchase the colored contact lenses from a retailer who asks for a prescription.
  • Follow the contact lens care directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses.
  • Never share contact lenses with another person.
  • Get follow-up exams as directed with your eye care provider.
If you notice redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pain or discomfort from wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Eye infections can become serious very quickly and sometimes the damage is not reversible.

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we mourn the loss of a member of the Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates’ family. Priscilla Del Pizzo’s loyalty, hard work, dedication, and friendship truly made a mark on the practice and our lives. Over the course of her 23 years as our billing manager, Priscilla touched the lives of many patients with whom she developed a strong bond.

Although Priscilla retired in May of 2015, we continued to feel her presence. She came back to visit often and continually checked in to update us on her life after retirement, as well as, exciting family happenings. She had celebrity status in our office, whether walking through the halls or taking a seat in her spot at the lunch table while talking over a cup of coffee. We will miss her terribly, but she will forever have a place in our hearts. She truly was family.

Priscilla is survived by her loving family: son Tony, daughter-in-law Cleo, and grandchildren Gina and her husband Mike, and Danielle.

Nina Avramova’s CNN article brings to light findings from a new study by researchers of the University College London. It is significant because it established that the number of cases of a rare infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), have nearly tripled in the southeast of England since 2011.

The study found that “ninety percent of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases in the UK are discovered in contact lens wearers, due to most risk factors being related to lens hygiene,” according to researcher Dr. John Dart. Symptoms: “Infection with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a cyst-forming microorganism, causes an inflammation of the cornea. Symptoms include excessive pain and compromised vision.” Dart points out that “only 70% of patients were cured within 12 months. For the remaining 30%, the treatment took over a year.” So treatment is unfortunately not a quick fix.

Dart explains that 90% of cases in the UK can be traced to hard-water areas. Do not introduce tap water to your lenses, EVER. Other risk-factors associated with infection for disposable contact lens wearers, highlighted in Avramova’s article, are that “people who did not wash and dry their hands before handling their lenses, those who used disinfectant products containing Oxipol (now phased out by the manufacturer), and people who wore their lenses in swimming pools or hot tubs. Showering and face-washing while wearing contact lenses are also likely to be risk factors, the study found.”

The takeaway here is that having proper contact lens hygiene is non-negotiable. Being a responsible contact lens wearer can literally save your sight. If you ever experience any pain or discomfort, do the right thing and schedule an appointment to see your eye doctor right away. Time is of the essence with any eye infection, and, even more so with a rare microorganism as powerful and as infiltrating as AK.

Additional source:

  • FATTY FISH – Feast on wild caught mackerel, sardines, trout, and salmon rich in DHA and other OMEGA 3s to promote retina health and aid in the production of healthy tears.
  • DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES – Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli rabe are filled with antioxidants that have protective benefits and lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • BEANS & LEGUMES – Alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, tamarind, and other nutritious legumes are the best sources of lean vegetarian protein that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This helps fend off age-related macular degeneration.
  • EGG YOLKS – Egg yolks are a great source of lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc – all of which have protective qualities for the retina and also reduce the risks of developing cataracts.
  • CITRUS & BERRIES – These provide a great natural source of Vitamin C, which has shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts when incorporated into a healthy diet.
  • NUTS – Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews are rich in antioxidants, specifically Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. These nuts can lower the risk for cataracts and dry eyes.

Sources:
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/four-fantastic-foods
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20680738,00.html

Eyelash extensions are all the rage. You can’t turn the page of a magazine, scroll through Instagram, or catch your favorite celeb’s latest look without seeing perfectly fanned, luscious lashes. But, there’s a good chance you know at least one person who had an adverse reaction to this primping regimen…

Concerns from a doctor’s perspective:

Even under the most ideal circumstance, without introducing any foreign solvent or accessory, the eyes, lids, and/or lid margin can experience an allergic reaction.

Consider this –- AAO cites the following hazards of using eyelash extensions:

  • Infection of the cornea
  • Infection of the eyelid
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Temporary or permanent loss of eyelashes

You may also experience redirection of natural lashes and/or allergic reaction to eye and or lids.

We recommend doing your research if you are serious about eyelash extensions. Locate a reputable salon and an aesthetician who has performed many applications under strict sanitary guidelines. If you have any issues after application, make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.

Should you choose to forego extensions, there are plenty of other options out there: investing in a quality mascara can help you achieve the long, luscious effect that everyone is obsessed with.

Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eyelash-extension-facts-safety

Take a cue from MODO‘s ECO® brand to help celebrate Earth Day! ECO® is the only eyewear brand to offer frames made almost exclusively of sustainable materials. They bring sustainability and social responsibility full circle – from the materials they use in their frames to the nearly 1.5 million trees they have planted so far that clean the air and enable farmers to support their communities.

ECO®’s recycled collection frames are crafted out of 95% recycled materials, while their biobased frames are made with 63% castor seeds. The frames are colorful and playful, and they even offer a magnetic sun clip to maximize your ECO® look!

Ever wonder why, by the end of your workday, your eyes start to feel watery and appear bloodshot, and your lids get heavy? Well, you’ve probably been working hard in front of a computer screen or handheld device all day, right? Honestly, we are all “connected” somehow, and the blue light follows us everywhere…

So, how can you combat the effects of constant exposure to blue light? Luckily there are special lenses and fashionable magnetic clip-ons that are specially made to protect your eyes from straining caused by blue light. These lenses are essential for living and working alongside technology.

According to Blue Clip Magnetic Eyewear®, the sources of blue light have expanded over the years to include TVs, computer screens, tablets, and smartphones – all of which increase prolonged exposure.

Here are some symptoms to look out for:
· Digital eyestrain
· Headaches
· Physical and mental fatigue
· Loss of Concentration
· Dry and irritated eyes

Stop by The Eyewear Boutique in Neptune or Red Bank to learn how wearing blue-light-filtering lenses can serve to protect your eyes, increase your comfort level, and perhaps even deliver a more restful night’s sleep when utilized 2-3 hours before bed.

Source: Aspex® Eyewear Group, aspexeyewear.com

Patricia E. Carniglia, OD, FAAO, completed her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Business Administration. She returned to the East Coast to attend SUNY College of Optometry, where she earned her Doctor of Optometry and completed her Residency in Binocular Vision and Pediatrics. Dr. Carniglia divided her time between clinical teaching at SUNY College of Optometry and private practice. She had her own practice on Park Avenue in Manhattan from 2005 to 2017.

Dr. Carniglia joined Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates in 2018 with 30 years’ experience as an Optometrist in New York City. Throughout her career, she has focused on comprehensive eye care, binocular vision, pre- and post-operative management of cataracts, corneal, and refractive surgery as well as emergency eye care. In addition, she performed contact lens fittings with astigmatic, multifocal, and rigid gas permeable lenses. Dr. Carniglia uses the latest technology to halt the progression of nearsightedness in children and young adults.

Dr. Carniglia served on the Board of Directors for the NY Academy of Optometry for 12 years, was on the Advisory Board of TLC Laser Eye Center in Manhattan for two years, and is a member of the American Academy of Optometry. In addition, she is a recipient of both the Fred Brock Memorial Vision Therapy Award and the Bausch and Lomb Award for Excellence in Contact Lenses.

Currently, Dr. Carniglia performs comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, and manages ocular diseases. She provides emergency eye care and co-manages surgical patients with Drs. Del Negro, Senft, and Glatman. She works in our Neptune and Red Bank locations, offering evening appointments for patient convenience.

As the new year begins, make your vision a priority! January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. It is important to educate yourself about this sight-stealing disease. Early detection is critical…

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a 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.

It’s important to be checked yearly to ensure glaucoma is not present, because patients do not always feel the symptomatic elevated eye pressure as it slowly robs them of their sight. Because it can be inherited, if one family member has glaucoma, other family members should be checked.

While glaucoma typically affects people age 40 and older, it can strike at any age. Glaucoma is called “the silent thief” because there is no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease.

No treatment can restore vision already lost to glaucoma. The goal of treatment is to prevent further vision loss.

Click here to read more about the types of glaucoma and learn about the available treatment options.