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Thank you to all the brides-to-be, fiancés, and extended family who dropped by our booth last night at the Bridal Event at Branches in West Long Branch! We had a fabulous time chatting with everyone, and couldn’t help but get caught up in the contagious excitement that surrounds the planning of a wedding. The show’s organizer, Wedding-Set-Go, played host to thirty one brides-to-be, along with a number of friends and family members.

Throughout the evening, all visitors to our booth entered their names into a drawing. As we discussed Bladeless LASIK with the attendees it became clear that the number one question was: ”Is LASIK Painful?” We explained that patients should not experience pain, and that Drs. Del Negro & Senft use anesthetic drops in conjunction with oral medication and a painless lid separator device so that patients don’t have to be concerned with blinking. Ultimately, patients can expect to be awake, alert, and comfortable throughout the procedure.

When the time to draw a winner came, the MC called out the lucky bride-to-be’s name, but quickly discovered that she had left the event early. As he made numerous attempts to call for this runaway bride, he noticed one bride-to-be who seemed visibly upset that she hadn’t won. Well, it turned out to be her lucky night, because she ended up winning by default! Congratulations to Michelle De Los Santos! We hope you enjoy the COACH® designer sunglasses, $500 savings on Bladeless LASIK, and the other assorted goodies!

Dr. Del Negro would like to personally thank all the members of the Women’s Club at Four Seasons, Wall, who came out to support his latest presentation, “Eyes On Africa”. The audience’s sincere interest and participation lead to a host of interesting discussions that opened a truly fascinating dialogue.

Dr. Del Negro began the presentation with a description of the experience he and his family shared as they walked barefoot through the world’s largest natural wonder, Victoria Falls. Coming from a first world country, the culture shock was intense. In the village of Mfuwe, there are no basic living essentials. Even something as simple as running water is considered a luxury. The trade system is still in full effect, as trading cotton for food is commonplace. Much to the surprise of some members of the Women’s Club, males in this community stay at home while their wives do much of the work. In the Village of Mfuwe, a woman’s daily schedule includes cooking, cleaning, digging for water, carrying heavy jugs atop their head through miles of scorching heat, and tending to children. They also learned that children walk for hours to get to school and make do without school supplies with the help of their teachers.

Despite the town’s complete lack of modern amenities, Dr. Del Negro described its people as vibrant, kind, and happy, even throwing together a show for their unannounced visit. Meeting the natives by their communal living accommodations and by the schoolhouse was very poignant for the family as a whole. His wife, Dr. Robyn Del Negro, explained, “The children at the schoolhouse were so taken with technology. They wanted to be in every picture so they could see themselves.”

Throughout the hour, Dr. Del Negro wove an intricate story, painting a picture that gave the audience an insider’s perspective of his family’s once-in-a-lifetime journey through Upper and Lower Zambia. He detailed their exploration of the Zambesi River on boat and canoe, sharing fantastic descriptions of the countless creatures of land and water with whom they came in contact. He shared unique vision facts specific to various animals and how those characteristics assist in their survival. He also recounted his family’s time spent on Livingstone Island – the island where explorer and missionary David Livingstone discovered Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi oa Tunya “The Smoke That Thunders.” All the while, he highlighted the breathtaking natural beauty of the land and the powerful, elegant, indigenous creatures he and his family saw along the way—all of which left an indelible imprint on their lives.

Animal Vision Facts:

  • Giraffes have the largest eyes among land mammals. They have a very large field of vision making it ideal to identify predators. Their long eyelashes protect their eyes against insects and sharp branches.
  • Zebras have night vision.
  • Lion cubs are born blind.
  • Lions’ eyes are well-adapted for use under low light conditions which is ideal for hunting at night.
  • Crocodiles have a layer called tapetum behind their retina, containing crystals that reflect light and make night vision possible.
  • Hippopotamuses have a set of built-in goggles. A clear membrane covers their eyes while under water to protect them from leaves and other debris while they are under water.
  • African Vulturine Fish –Eagle has the sharpest vision of any animal. Their eyes are very large in proportion to their heads. They see two more colors than humans do and can spot an animal the size of a rabbit up to two miles away.

The race for summer’s end is over – some have already dropped off sons and daughters at college and said goodbyes, while others are still dealing with high school students gearing up for the first day of school. Recently, we have been flooded with calls for last minute eye exams and contact lens orders. If you missed the opportunity before the ‘official’ end of summer, no worries – we are always here to assist!

Remember to listen to your students when they return to school – if you receive constant complaints about headaches or trouble seeing the board, we would be happy to determine the cause and treat accordingly. Also, don’t forget that we are your one-stop RX Zone shop for protective eyewear to help your student athlete avoid sports injuries.

Check out our Summer Optical Special before it’s too late! Your young adults will thank you for getting them back to school in style and protected so they can play hard. It’s the best of both worlds!

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.