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Vision Loss and What to Do

Columbia Opticians Local Eye clinic near you in New York, New York

According to recent NIH-funded studies, some of the statistics on vision loss may appear unbelievable, but they’re true:

  • The number of Americans who are legally blind (20/200 vision or worse) is estimated to be more than 1 million.
  • The number of Americans who have visual impairment, defined as 20/40 or worse with the best possible correction, is more than 3.2 million people – and rising.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye Doctor near you in New York, New York

Most sight-threatening eye conditions do not present with anything more than very subtle symptoms during the early stage if any. That’s why a large percentage of people simply miss the early signs of vision loss.

However, early detection and timely treatment are critical for preventing complications, damage, and vision loss. Routine eye exams are the best way to catch a developing eye disease and treat it before symptoms occur, which is ideal. But, even between appointments, learning to recognize the subtle earliest signs of vision loss and booking an eye exam immediately with an eye doctor near you can play a part in keeping your eyesight sharp and healthy for as long as possible.

Let’s review 5 of the earliest signs and the best ways for you to respond:

Blurred Central Vision

When your central field of vision becomes fuzzy, it could indicate an eye condition. Blurry vision might be the result of something as innocuous as needing a higher prescription or might be a sign of a developing age-related eye disease like cataracts or even macular degeneration which can lead to severe vision loss. The easiest way for you to test your central vision for macular degeneration at home is by looking at an Amsler grid. If the straight lines appear wavy, call an optometrist near you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. When detected at the beginning, some forms of macular degeneration are treatable.

Yellowing or Fading Color Vision

You may be amazed to learn that the healthy eye can discern more than 10 million different colors! However, this only holds true if your eyes are functioning normally and optimally. If you start to notice colors appear dimmer or faded or have a yellow tint, you could be experiencing early signs of vision loss from cataracts.

Vision with cataracts has been described as viewing the world through a fogged-up window. By the age of 80, more than 50% of all Americans will develop cataracts. Fortunately, cataract removal surgery is highly successful at restoring the ability to differentiate colors without compromising sharp vision. If you notice that colors appear less vibrant, visit an eye clinic near you.

Floaters and Flashes

The sudden appearance of flashes of light or many floaters – seen as transparent squiggly lines or dots gliding across your field of vision can indicate the need for an urgent eye exam. This “debris” in your eye, which doesn’t usually cause any pain, could be a sign of retinal detachment. Visit your eye care provider immediately if you notice recurring flashes of light or a bunch of new floaters. If you require a retinal detachment surgery, it can help restore your vision to full functionality.

Eye Pain

Recurrence of pain around the eye is the most common telltale indication of ocular damage after an eye injury or trauma. The pain may affect one or both eyes, be moderate or extreme, and it is typically felt on or behind the eye. A wide variety of reasons could be to blame, ranging from a corneal scratch to diabetic eye disease. Don’t just take OTC pain-relievers; consult an eye doctor near you for a professional diagnosis.

The normal, healthy pupil — that round circle in the middle of your eye, surrounded by the colored iris — is jet black. When white areas appear in the pupil, it’s not a good sign. It could be due to an eye infection or the development of an eye disease. Either way, it’s a reason to visit your eye care provider for an evaluation.

Your eyes may be a small organ of your body, but they play a huge role in your quality of life. Eyes are also extremely delicate and sensitive, which is why it’s advised to do your utmost to prevent vision loss by contacting an eye clinic near you at the first sign of a problem, even if it’s not yet time for your yearly comprehensive eye exam.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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What happens after diagnosis of macular degeneration?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Columbia Opticians, we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.

When is cataract surgery recommended?

During the early stages of a cataract, the visual symptoms may be so mild that you aren’t bothered. Your doctor will just perform regular eye exams to monitor your condition. However, as the cataract progresses, the effects on your vision usually become more disruptive – to the point that many regular daily tasks become difficult. That’s when your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. If a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery may also be advised.

What is pink eye?

Officially called conjunctivitis, pink eye is caused by swelling in your eye. The conjunctiva – which is the thin and transparent tissue that lines your inner eyelids and coats the whites of your eyes – becomes inflamed. This eye infection is highly contagious, especially in kids, and it spreads quickly through schools. The good news is that pink eye is rarely serious and doesn’t usually cause any lasting damage to your vision.

Who is the Ideal LASIK Candidate?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Columbia Opticians, we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.

New York Optometrist – Protect Your Eyes

Columbia Opticians Eye Doctor in New York, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Remote Learning? Blue Light Glasses Can Protect Your Eyes

In normal amounts, blue light can be beneficial for your health, setting your sleep-wake cycle and boosting your mood. But overexposure to blue light, especially when the source is digital devices, can increase certain health risks. In particular, it can strain your eyes and lead to a slew of painful symptoms. Nowadays, as the number of students learning remotely has risen dramatically, the damaging effects of blue light on eyes has become a hot topic. To protect and soothe your vision, our eye doctor near you recommends purchasing a pair of blue light glasses, available at our eye clinic.

What do blue light glasses do?

Blue light glasses help to filter out blue light rays. If you have a pair, you can see the difference for yourself – point a blue light pen at one lens, and you’ll notice immediately that the brightness getting through the lens becomes much weaker compared to what happens with a regular unfiltered lens.

Are all blue light glasses the same?

No. In addition to coming in all sizes and crafted for just about all prescriptions, blue light glasses come in different color tints that filter out varying amounts of brightness. That’s because blue light comes from various sources that have different intensities, such as the sun, laptops, smartphones and all LED lights. To find the best blue light glasses for your lifestyle, consult with our eye care professional.

What problems can blue light cause?

If too much time is spent exposed to blue light, it can interrupt your circadian rhythm, making it hard to sleep, or it can put tremendous strain on your eyes. Consequently, all that time spent learning remotely can make you tired, distracted and less able to focus on your school work.

Additionally, overexposure to blue light may be linked to an increased risk of vision loss as a result of macular degeneration in the future, as well as potential overstimulation for anyone on the autism spectrum.

In sum, blue light glasses can enhance your visual comfort and eye health. Stop by our eye care center to book an eye exam with our knowledgeable eye doctor near you, and to learn more about how to stay safe from blue light.

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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New York Optometrist – Local Eye Doctor

Columbia Opticians Eye Doctor in New York, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Priorit-eyes Your Vision During Covid-19v

The global pandemic can be overwhelming, and investing so much daily energy into staying healthy is certainly stressful. However, with all the health concerns facing us, your eye doctor reminds you that it’s still essential to make your eyes a top priority!

Our eye care team shares a few simple steps you can take to keep your eyes in good shape, as you protect your overall health.

Visit Your Optometrist for an Eye Exam

One of the best ways to value your vision is by getting regular comprehensive eye exams. According to a recent study co-conducted by VSP Vision Care and YouGov, a market research agency, almost 97% of people surveyed agreed that healthy eyes are essential and vision loss is feared, but only about half of these people actually go for yearly eye exams!

Practice Proper Contact Lens Hygiene

If you wear contact lenses, following safe hygiene practices can help you prevent eye irritation and infection:

  • Be sure to wash your hands before inserting or removing your lenses.
  • Rinse and disinfect your lenses with the solutions recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Don’t wear your contacts for longer than the wearing schedule you were given.
  • Keep your contact lens case clean, so harmful bacteria don’t find their way into your eyes and cause an infection.
  • Don’t swim or sleep in your lenses (unless directed to by your optometrist).

Switch to Dailies – Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

If you wear weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses, now may be a good time to consider switching to daily disposable contacts. Generally, people who wear daily disposable lenses tend to experience fewer problems. Every morning, you insert a fresh pair of lenses so there is minimal maintenance required to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

Pay Attention to Comfort

Touching your eyes is never a smart move, but during Covid-19, it’s even more important to keep your fingers away. However, if you’re wearing uncomfortable contacts – not touching your eyes is much easier said than done. In fact, studies show that 89% of contact lens wearers in the US say they manually adjust their lenses or rub their eyes when vision feels uncomfortable. If your contacts are causing discomfort, book a visit to your eye care provider. A new type of contact or a better fit can help reduce your eyes’ exposure to the germs on your fingers. Not all contacts are created equal, and we offer a wide range of types in our eye clinic.

Additionally, if you find that your contact lens solution seems to dry out your eyes, book an eye exam with our optometrist; a new solution may be advised.

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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New York Eye Doctor – Good Vision Health

Columbia Opticians Eye Doctor in New York, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Eyes and Vision in Good Health in New York, New York

2.2 billion… That’s the number of people worldwide who suffer from blindness and impaired vision. What is perhaps even more astounding is that nearly half of these people suffer from visual defects that are preventable.

While most eye diseases are related to natural aging, there are some lifestyle habits that can help preserve the health of your eyes and vision. Our eye doctor near you shares 10 tips to promote optimal visual health.

    • Know Your Eye Health Nutrition

      Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, zinc and protein are all beneficial for your eyes. Fish, in particular, is a fabulous source of these nutrients, namely salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel.

      Other foods that our eye care team recommends include:

      1. Beef; it contains zinc for protecting against age-related macular degeneration
      2. Carrots; they have vitamin A (beta carotene) which contribute to eye health
      3. Leafy vegetables; green leaves such as kale, spinach and collards are full of vitamin C
        and lutein
      4. Eggs; they have lutein and zinc to prevent age-related eye conditions
      5. Legumes; they are packed with vitamin E to protect eyes
      6. Water; a well-hydrated body protects against dry eyes
    • Wear Protective Eyewear

      Sunglasses are the ultimate accessory to block dangerous UV rays from reaching your delicate eye tissue, reducing your risks of developing macular degeneration and possibly cataracts and other ocular diseases. Visit our eye clinic near you anytime to browse our trending collection of high-quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

      If you’re working outdoors, trimming trees or spraying pesticides, or if you’re playing risky outdoor sports, eye care providers stress that protective eyewear is also important.

    • Waterproof Your Vision

      Swimming goggles are essential for keeping your sensitive eyes safe against swimming pool chemicals, as well as against salty ocean water and bacteria in natural bodies of water. If you require corrective eyewear to see clearly, our optometrist near you can provide a precise vision prescription for goggles.

    • Practice Eye-Hand Hygiene

      As much as you may try to avoid rubbing your eyes, it’s inevitable that your fingers will make contact with your face throughout the day. For contact lens wearers, that’s even more true. Keep your hands clean!

    • Schedule Regular Eye Exams

      Even if you don’t notice any signs of a problem with your eyes or vision, regular check-ups at an eye doctor near you are vital. Eye exams give your optometrist a detailed view of the internal and external parts of your eye so any early signs of eye disease can be spotted, such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. Your eye doctor can also detect certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

    • No Smoking

      While you’re likely aware of the detrimental effects smoking can have on your lungs, did you know that studies have also shown a link between smoking and poor eye health? Smoking can lead to cataracts and raise your risk of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Also, smoking is a major cause of dry eyes and uveitis and other visual impairments.

    • Break Up Screentime

      Staring at your computer for long periods each day can strain your eyes, leading to headaches, blurry vision and eye fatigue. You may also suffer from neck or back pains. Taking regular 15-20 minute breaks to walk around and look around will help relax your eyes and body.

    • Position Your Screen Properly

      Your computer screen should be about 18 inches (45 cm) from your face, and the brightness of the screen should be adjusted to reduce glare.

    • Sleep Enough

      A good night’s sleep (six to eight hours per day) is essential for refreshing your eyes after a long day. Sleep also helps to keep your eyes lubricated, enhancing visual comfort.

    • Know Your Eye Care Provider

      An open relationship with an eye doctor near you is the foundation of quality ocular health. You should choose an eye clinic with an experienced, highly qualified team that you can trust.

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential in New York

Columbia Opticians Diabetic Eye Exams in New York, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential in New York, New York

At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes, especially when uncontrolled, can affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body. Excess blood sugar can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to ocular inflammation, bleeding and devastating vision loss when left untreated.

The most common types of eye diseases associated with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – small blood vessels in the retina weaken and sometimes leak blood
  • Glaucoma – elevated pressure levels of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that blurs vision

Who needs diabetic eye exams?

If you have diabetes of any type, yearly diabetic eye exams are critical for preserving your healthy, sharp sight. That’s because damage to the eyes can be seen during a dilated eye exam way before vision loss occurs.

Sadly, surveys estimate that about 60% of people with diabetes are not vigilant about booking annual eye exams. As a result, early sight-threatening changes in the inner eye tissues are often missed. Only a diabetic eye exam can reliably detect or rule out the start of many dangerous eye conditions. In addition, when your eye doctor notices changes in your eye health as a result of diabetes, it can indicate that a change in your diabetes management regimen may be needed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, diabetic eye exams will be done to monitor your condition to determine the most effective treatment program.

When is a diabetic eye exam needed immediately?

Besides visiting your eye doctor for annual eye exams, the following symptoms are a warning that you should schedule an urgent diabetic eye exam:

  • Seeing red spots
  • Seeing small black lines or spots that don’t glide away
  • Seeing red tinted fog
  • Sudden changes in your vision
  • Taking longer than usual to adjust to darkness

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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New York, New York | 6 Actions You Can Take to Prevent Cancer

Columbia Opticians Eye Doctor near you in New York, New York

Nowadays, cancer is so widespread that most people have faced it – either directly or indirectly through the diagnosis of a friend or family member. However, despite the grim picture cancer statistics have presented over the years, scientists have also made tremendous strides towards understanding the biology of cancer cells. Medicine has reached many breakthroughs that improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic near you in New York, New York

Is there anything to do other than wait for new research results? Yes, there are ways to protect yourself against cancer. Our eye care specialist outlines the following ways to take action and protect your health:

  1. Visit your eye doctor for regular eye exams
    The vast majority of people don’t get around to visiting their eye doctor unless they notice a problem. However, eye exams are extremely valuable for reasons that go way beyond basic eye care services. When your eye doctor performs a comprehensive dilated eye exam, he or she can spot the early signs of eye cancer – which is typically asymptomatic. While eye cancer is rare, it does occur and can appear at any age. The good news is that most eye cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed early.
  2. Prevention goes far
    Taking advantage of preventive healthcare is a powerful way to stay safe. That means going to yearly wellness exams and following your physician’s instructions for cancer screenings, such as a colonoscopy. This the best proven way to prevent cancer and catch it at a very early stage, when treatment is easiest. Self-exams for lumps and suspicious moles or skin lesions are also effective ways to improve early detection.
  3. Don’t neglect your dental exams
    Who likes going to the dentist? Almost nobody… And some people dread it so strongly that they’ll avoid the dentist until their tooth pain becomes unbearable. Yet, good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist will not only help your smile look nicer, but they could also help prevent cancer too.

    Research suggests that compromised oral health is associated with the development of cancer. In sum, even if you can’t stand the dentist – this is a time to grit your teeth and get regular dental exams!

  4. Live healthy
    Paying attention to proper nutrition (eat an abundance of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables) and incorporating physical activity into your days are both excellent ways to promote your lasting health. Not smoking and not drinking excessive alcohol (binge drinking is particularly bad for you) are essential behaviors for helping to prevent certain types of cancers. Obesity is another risk factor for developing specific cancers.
  5. Don’t take risks
    Sometimes, it’s the little things that increase your risk of cancer, such as spending too much time in the sun without protection and having too many sexual partners.

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and it’s also the most preventable! Avoiding tanning beds or sun lamps, covering up during the sunniest times of day, and wearing enough sunscreen to block UV rays can all prevent skin cancer.

    In addition, the more sexual partners you have – the higher your risk for developing HIV, AIDS, or HPV, all conditions that raise your chances for particular cancers.

  6. Avoid occupational hazards
    If you work in an industrial environment, make sure you are well-protected against industrial and environmental toxins, such as benzene, asbestos fibers, aromatic amines, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). But don’t fret over your proximity to electromagnetic radiation from high-voltage power lines or radiofrequency radiation from cell phones and microwaves; these types of exposure have not been found to cause cancer.

We’re here to help you stay safe and make the most of your health. Using the latest technologies, our eye doctor performs comprehensive eye exams as a part of our expert eye care services. Visit our eye care center near you for more tips on how to optimize your vision and your overall health!

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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New York | How to Have Healthy Eyes

Columbia Opticians Eye Doctors in New York, New York, share Tips on How to Have Healthy Eyes

30 Second review.

You look through your eyes to see the glorious world around you, and your eye doctor looks into your eyes to see a view of your health. In addition to spotting the signs of ocular disease, conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly your risk for Alzheimer’s can also be detected by an eye exam at your eye clinic.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Eyes comprise many delicate parts that don’t always age well.

That’s why regular comprehensive eye exams by a qualified eye care provider are essential! These check-ups give your optometrist or eye doctor a chance to view the eyes’ inner tissues, where the early signs of a problem often appear.

Approximately 61 million people in the US are at an increased risk for serious vision loss. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that losing one’s eyesight holds the #1 spot on Americans’ list of worst health nightmares. Learn how you can help prevent this nightmare from coming true.

Lifestyle changes that benefit your eyes

Eye care professionals claim that embracing these lifestyle hacks can help keep your vision sharp and healthy for the long-term:

  • Eat a lot of veggies: In particular, choose to munch on produce that’s packed with vitamin A, such as carrots, squash, and pumpkin, as well as vegetables high in antioxidants (namely lutein), such as leafy greens like collards, spinach, and kale.
  • Don’t smoke: If you’re a smoker, quitting can lower your risk of lung and heart disease, along with helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and cataracts.
  • Wear sunglasses: It’s important to protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays all year round. Choose sunglasses with large lenses that block 99% to 100% of the radiation from the sun’s rays.
  • Protect your eyes with safety goggles: Safety goggles or eye guards protect your eyes during sports and construction work, especially when you’re engaged in activities such as playing with a speeding ball, using chemicals, or grinding metal.

Get eye care for uncomfortable symptoms

If you experienced painful vision with symptoms such as itching, stinging, redness, swelling, or blurriness – don’t ignore it! Contact an eye clinic near you to schedule an emergency eye exam. Only an eye doctor or certified optometrist can assess your condition to determine whether treatment is required. Leaving certain eye conditions untreated can lead to vision damage.

Self-help to safeguard your eye health in New York, New York

Relieve dry eye syndrome in New York, New York

Staring at a screen can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of dry eye. Intense watching of any digital device can make you forget to blink, which dries out your eye surface. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to relax and moisturize your eyes (= every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance, for 20 seconds).

Prevent eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis) in New York, New York

Some unhealthy (but unfortunately, common) practices can lead to serious eye infections, such as using old makeup. Be sure to discard eye makeup every three months to prevent bacteria from building up. If you wear contact lenses, inadequate hygiene is another cause of eye infections. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts, take them out nightly (even if they’re labeled for extended wear), and disinfect and store them, or discard them, according to your optometrist’s instructions.

How to Handle Floaters in New York, New York

In general, floaters are harmless clusters of cells that glide around in the clear vitreous gel of your eyeball. Your brain adjusts to floaters, and eventually, you won’t see them. However, if you suddenly notice a bunch of new floaters or you see flashes of light or a shadow cast over your vision, contact your eye doctor immediately. An eye exam is necessary to rule out or diagnose any retinal problems, such as a retinal tear.

Sharp vision is valuable for all parts of life – help keep your eyes healthy by taking care of them with the eye care they deserve!

Columbia Opticians, your New York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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New York | Vision Problems Are Common in Older Parkinson’s Patients

Yet despite these findings, few Parkinson’s patients visit an eye doctor for regular eye exams!

30 Second review.

A recent study based on U.S. Medicare records found that problems with vision are much more common in elderly people who suffer from Parkinson’s than in their peers. Additionally, these vision problems were associated with poorer general health outcomes. Data from more than 285,000 Parkinson’s patients was studied, and perhaps most noteworthy about all the results was that less than 60% of the people actually visited an eye clinic for yearly eye exams.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What did the Parkinson’s study investigate?

In people with Parkinson’s, vision problems have been recognized as a non-motor symptom of the disease. Backing this up, researchers at UPENN investigated Medicare claims data from 2010-14, closely inspecting the incidence of visual impairment and the outcomes. Specifically, they aimed to figure out the prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment in Parkinson’s patients, with a focus on how vision disorders are related to disease outcomes.

What did the data show? The researchers concluded that 1.1% of Medicare beneficiaries in 2014 had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, and 0.72% of them were diagnosed with moderate to severe visual impairment. Additionally, the vision problems were much more common in people with Parkinson’s (1.67%) than in the general population of older adults (0.71%). Vision problems were also more common in those of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds (Blacks and Hispanics), as well as in people with diabetes and hypertension.

Another conclusion that the researchers made from the data was that moderate to severe visual impairment in the Parkinson’s population was strongly associated with anxiety, depression, and dementia, as well as with a higher incidence of falls. Altogether, the combination of Parkinson’s and vision problems translates into a significantly lower quality of life.

How can the quality of life be improved for Parkinson’s patients?

The simple answer is – eye exams. Regular comprehensive eye exams done by a qualified optometrist or eye doctor are essential for detecting the early onset of eye disease, which goes far towards preventing the progression of ocular disease and the associated vision loss. Most cases of visual impairment are either preventable or treatable, and yearly eye care at a professional eye clinic can make a world of difference for preventing complications.

In sum, visual impairment is more common in people with Parkinson’s disease, and therefore early detection and treatment programs – eye exams and professional eye care – for these patients is particularly important.

(The original study was published in Movement Disorders and titled “Visual Impairment is More Common in Parkinson’s Disease and Is a Risk Factor for Poor Health Outcomes.”)

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New York | Could a Low-Carb Diet Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma?

A recent eye care study points to a possible connection between carbs and preventing glaucoma.

30 Second review.

Recently, an eye doctor at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) conducted a unique research study exploring the potential link between long-term dietary changes and preventing primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). The study’s results indicated that if people at a high risk of developing glaucoma eat a diet that’s low in carbohydrates and high in fat and vegetable protein, they may lower their risk of this sight-threatening ocular disease by 20 percent. These results were published in Eye-Nature (July 22 issue).

Columbia Opticians Local Glaucoma treatment near you in New York, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Why are these glaucoma study results so significant?

Currently, glaucoma is the #1 cause of blindness in the United States, and primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of this dangerous eye disease. Due mainly to elevated pressure levels inside the eye, POAG leads to optic nerve degeneration – causing vision loss.

Usually, patients experience no symptoms of POAG until the disease progresses, and visual problems motivate them to visit a nearby eye clinic for an eye exam. Regular eye exams by a qualified optometrist can detect the early signs of POAG way before vision loss occurs, but unfortunately, many people don’t visit an eye care provider until they notice a problem. In addition to routine eye exams, following a low carb diet may fortify people with another way to help prevent devastating vision loss.

How does the low carb diet affect eye health?

Eating foods that are low in carbohydrates and higher in fats and proteins causes the production of metabolites that are favorable for the optic nerve head, which is the specific site of damage in primary open-angle glaucoma. Previous scientific studies have already linked this type of diet with positive effects on epilepsy, along with some promising results for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

While the low-carb diet cannot stop glaucoma progression in a patient who already has the disease, it may be a helpful way to prevent glaucoma in high-risk groups, such as people with a family history. Subsequently, the rate of vision loss due to glaucoma would be reduced.
Does a low-carb diet have the same effects as a ketogenic diet?

In the past, studies have demonstrated the protective effects that a ketogenic diet can have against neurologic disorders. (Ketogenic diets = extremely low-carb and higher-fat.). That’s because ketone bodies (energy compounds made by the body as it metabolizes fats) are used by the brain as a major energy source instead of glucose, and using more of these may enhance neurologic function and slow down neuronal degeneration. However, additional studies have shown that following a low-carb diet, not specifically ketogenic, may have similar properties for protecting against neurologic problems. And because a moderately low-carb diet is easier for most people to follow and doesn’t cause the same possible side effects of a ketogenic diet (e.g. headaches, abdominal issues, weakness, and irritability), it has been lauded as a more practical alternative.

How was the study on low-carb diets conducted?

The goal of the research study was to determine if following a low-carbohydrate diet for the long-term could have a positive impact on the optic nerve.

Your optic nerve transfers visual information from the retina to your brain, and it is located at the back of the eye. There is a large concentration of mitochondria (the major source of a cell’s energy supply) in the optic nerve. Because glaucoma is associated with dysfunctional mitochondria, researchers aimed to discover if substituting fat and proteins for carbohydrates would improve mitochondrial activity, preserve the function of the optic nerve, and prevent optic nerve degeneration in POAG (specifically, in a subtype of POAG with paracentral vision loss).

A large-scale study was formulated, involving 185,000 adults – female nurses and male health professionals between the ages of 40 – 75, between 1976 – 2017. Every two to four years, participants filled out questionnaires about what they ate and drank, as well as supplied information about their health condition. If they said they had glaucoma, the researchers followed up with their eye doctors to determine if they had POAG.

Data about the study’s participants was classified into three groups, based on how they achieved a low-carb diet:

  • Group 1 – Substituting animal-based fats and proteins instead of carbs
  • Group 2 – Substituting plant-based fats and proteins instead of carbs
  • Group 3 – Replacing carbs with high fats and proteins, regardless of the source

In the end, the results showed that people in Group 2 (increased plant-based fat and protein) were linked to a 20% lower risk of developing POAG compared to people who followed a high-carb diet. These findings suggest that vegetable sources may be beneficial than animal sources for a low-carb diet, with respect to lowering the risk of this subtype of open-angle glaucoma with paracentral vision loss.

What’s the take-home from this study?

First of all, eye doctors caution to remember that this was an observational study and not a clinical trial – so additional studies are needed to investigate the connection between dietary patterns and preventing POAG. Other issues, such as genetics, may also play a significant role. While it’s too early for optometrists to hang signs banning carbohydrates in their eye clinics, early findings do point to the eye care benefits of following a low-carb, plant-based diet. It’s time to stock up on legumes, avocados, nuts, and tofu!

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New York | Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential

Columbia Opticians Local Diabetic Eye Exams near you in New York, New York

At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our New York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes, especially when uncontrolled, can affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body. Excess blood sugar can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to ocular inflammation, bleeding and devastating vision loss when left untreated.

The most common types of eye diseases associated with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – small blood vessels in the retina weaken and sometimes leak blood
  • Glaucoma – elevated pressure levels of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that blurs vision

Who needs diabetic eye exams?

If you have diabetes of any type, yearly diabetic eye exams are critical for preserving your healthy, sharp sight. That’s because damage to the eyes can be seen during a dilated eye exam way before vision loss occurs.

Sadly, surveys estimate that about 60% of people with diabetes are not vigilant about booking annual eye exams. As a result, early sight-threatening changes in the inner eye tissues are often missed. Only a diabetic eye exam can reliably detect or rule out the start of many dangerous eye conditions. In addition, when your eye doctor notices changes in your eye health as a result of diabetes, it can indicate that a change in your diabetes management regimen may be needed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, diabetic eye exams will be done to monitor your condition to determine the most effective treatment program.

When is a diabetic eye exam needed immediately?

Besides visiting your eye doctor for annual eye exams, the following symptoms are a warning that you should schedule an urgent diabetic eye exam:

  • Seeing red spots
  • Seeing small black lines or spots that don’t glide away
  • Seeing red tinted fog
  • Sudden changes in your vision
  • Taking longer than usual to adjust to darkness

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