Eight Underlying Causes of Night Blindness

Night blindness, or the inability to see at night, is generally a symptom of some serious vision issues. Also known as nyctalopia, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure everything is functioning properly. If you notice you can’t see as well in dim light while driving or adjusting from outdoors to indoors, you might have night blindness.

Symptoms of night blindness include reduced contrast sensitivity, difficulty seeing people, places, or things outdoors at night or in a dim-lit area, trouble driving at night, excessive squinting at night, or difficulty adjusting from darkness to light.

Here are some underlying factors that can cause night blindness:

  1. Vitamin A: this vital vitamin helps keep your cornea (thin layer in front of your eye) clear. It’s also an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that lets you see in low-light conditions. Though uncommon in North America, deficiency of Vitamin A can induce night-blindness.
  2. Glaucoma: the actual eye disease itself, along with the medications used to treat it, can cause night blindness. Glaucoma is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve.
  3. Cataracts: a buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, which leads to impaired vision at night or in poor lighting conditions.
  4. Diabetic retinopathy: damage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including challenges with nighttime sight.
  5. Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, makes distant objects appear blurry; patients describe a starburst effect around night lights.
  6. Keratoconus: this irregularly shaped cornea can result in blurry vision and sensitivity to light which can worsen at night.
  7. Usher Syndrome: a genetic condition that causes both hearing and vision loss, night blindness is also an effect.
  8. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP): this progressive genetic eye disease can be associated with other conditions and lead to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.

After a proper diagnosis, treatments for night blindness can be mitigated by your eye care professional. There is no proven way to prevent night blindness.

If you are experiencing night blindness, we can help. Contact us and schedule an appointment today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Eye Color Genetics are More Complicated than Previously Thought

According to a new study published in Science Advances, an international team of researchers led by King’s College London and Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam proved there are 50 new genes for eye color. In the most extensive genetic study of its kind to date, the researchers genetically analyzed almost 195,000 people throughout Europe and Asia.

Eye diseases such as pigmentary glaucoma and ocular albinism, where eye pigment levels play a role, will be better understood with the new research. Additionally, researchers discovered eye color in Asians with different shades of brown is genetically similar to eye color in Europeans ranging from dark brown to light blue.

Previous research identified a dozen genes linked to eye color, and scientists thought that eye color variations were controlled by a single gene or two. Typically, the perception was that brown eyes were more common/dominant than blue eyes.

Dr. Pirro Hyski, a co-senior author at King’s College London, said, “The findings are exciting because they bring us a step closer to understanding the genes that cause one of the most striking features of human faces, which has mystified generations throughout our history. This will improve our understanding of many diseases that we know are associated with specific pigmentation levels.”

Dr. Manfred Kayser, a co-senior author at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, said, “This study delivers the genetic knowledge needed to improve eye color prediction from DNA as already applied in anthropological and forensic studies, but with limited accuracy for the non-brown and non-blue eye colors.”

For all of your eye care needs, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease Possible from an Eye Exam

Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning technology in addition to a simple eye exam could detect early signs of Parkinson’s disease, according to research presented by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

A progressive disease of the central nervous system, Parkinson’s affects millions of people across the world. Tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired balance are generally key markers of the disease. Once these symptoms are present, patients are already experiencing significant disease progression. Parkinson’s disease also affects the microscopic blood vessels in the retina. These markers provide an opportunity for AI to inspect images of the eyes for signs of the disease meticulously.

In a study by the University of Florida, researchers enabled an AI machine to analyze photographs of the back of the eye in two patients with Parkinson’s disease and two control participants. The AI was a type of Support Vector Machine (SVM) that has been around since 1989.

The SVM AI was able to classify Parkinson’s disease based on the blood vessels in the retina. Smaller blood vessels showed that changes in brain physiology can be detected in the eye. This novel discovery varies from the more traditional approach of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease.

With an overall goal to catch Parkinson’s disease cases sooner in its progression, researchers believe the new AI technology will help them better understand the disease on the path to finding a cure or slow its progression.

Moreover, other diseases that affect brain structure, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, could be identified in the future.

To schedule your next eye exam, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Most Beneficial Foods for Eye Health

Drinking plenty of water, eating nutrient-rich foods, and exercising can improve our lives and increase health benefits. Eye health is also supported through these same activities. Regularly consuming specific vitamins and nutrients can prevent or delay sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases which include macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Fish: omega-3 fatty acids are present in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring. Studies have shown that dry eye can be reversed by fish oil consumption.

Nuts, seeds, and legumes: beyond omega-3 fatty acids, nuts also contain a high Vitamin E level, which can protect the eye from age-related damage. Examples include: Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, walnuts, lentils, flax seeds, cashews, chia seeds, and peanuts.

Citrus fruits: boasting high amounts of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights age-related eye damage, citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can improve eye health.

Leafy green vegetables: kale, spinach, and collard greens are highly beneficial for eye health since they contain lutein, Vitamin C, and zeaxanthin.

Carrots: beta carotene and Vitamin A are both highly present in this vegetable, and both play an essential role in eye and vision wellbeing.

Sweet Potatoes: getting their orange color from beta carotene just like carrots, sweet potatoes also contain Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant helpful to increase eye health.

Beef: high levels of zinc are linked to beef consumption, which can delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, especially in the retina.

Eggs: lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc are present in eggs. These are all vital nutrients to combat age-related vision loss.

Water: to reduce dry eyes and dehydration, drink plenty of water daily.

Try consuming these foods to increase your overall eye health. For more information or to ask a professional for advice regarding ocular issues, contact the specialists at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Computer Vision Syndrome Signs and Remedies

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home or remotely. As a direct result, the use of computers, tablets, phones, and other electronic devices has risen dramatically. A condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) can be caused by excessive screen time. Also known as digital/computer eye strain, this phenomenon occurs when the eyes aim towards a screen for lengthy periods. Even without the pandemic, monitors, screens, smartphones, and the like can contribute to computer eye strain.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests following the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. This strategy will help curb CVS symptoms, which include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Factors contributing to CVS are poor lighting, screen glare, improper viewing distances, poor seated posture, uncorrected vision issues, or a combination of these.

A comprehensive ocular exam will diagnose CVS. Treatment options vary; glasses, for example, are a good option for those suffering from CVS. Some lenses now come equipped with unique technology that blocks out blue light, which is thought to be emitted from digital screens. Glasses might need to be prescribed to meet the unique digital demands of computer viewing for individuals who do not otherwise have them. Eye focusing or coordination issues cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Vision therapy, a structured program of visual activities, is prescribed in those cases. The eye exercises train the eyes and brain to work together more effectively by strengthening rapid eye movement, focusing, eye teaming, and reinforcing the eye-brain connection.

Other factors, such as proper body positioning, come in to play when trying to correct CVS. Screens should be lower than eye level and be without glare (reduce lighting in the area to accomplish this or purchase an anti-glare screen.) Chairs should be comfortably padded, and feet are recommended to stay on the floor. Take frequent eye rest breaks (20-20-20 rule) and remember to blink frequently, which keeps the front surface of the eye moist.

To prevent CVS, ensure your glasses or contacts are the proper prescriptions. Minimize your exposure to blue light by purchasing blue-light blocking lenses. Adjust your work area for ultimate comfort, and take multiple breaks throughout the day. Anything that needs to be referenced from the computer screen should be placed as near as possible and at the same height.

For further information, read the original article by The AOA.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

What to Expect Before, During, and After LASIK Surgery

LASIK is the most common laser eye surgery to treat myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism. If you are tired of wearing contacts or glasses, a simple consultation with a Lasik surgeon can determine if you are the right candidate for Lasik surgery. If, after an evaluation, it is determined that LASIK is not a good fit for you, know that there are other vision correction surgeries such as LASEK, PRK, and Phakic IOL surgery as possible options too.  

In this article, we discuss the process a patient can experience before, during, and after LASIK surgery. Any detailed questions you may have should always be left for your trained medical professional to answer.

Before Surgery

Before receiving LASIK surgery, a comprehensive eye exam is needed to ensure that your eyes are healthy enough to move forward with the procedure. It is recommended to stop wearing contact lenses a few weeks before the eye exam and surgery since most can change the shape of the cornea. Patients should wear their eyeglasses instead.

During the exam, your doctor will look at the cornel shape, thickness, pupil size, refractive errors, and other eye conditions. This is a great time to bring up any questions or concerns that your doctor may be able to answer.

If everything goes well during the exam and you’re comfortable with the next steps, it is time to prepare for surgery. Your doctor should ask you to stop using products such as creams, lotions, makeup, or perfumes since these items can cause a higher risk for infection during and after surgery. It is also important to arrange transportation to and from surgery.

During Surgery

For many, surgery is the most dreaded part. However, there is no need to fear, as it is painless and should take less than 30 minutes. Just before surgery, the patient will recline back to rest in a comfortable position. Next, numbing drops are placed into the eyes. The area around the eye will be cleaned and a lid speculum (a device that holds the eyelids open) will be used.

You will be asked to focus on a special fixation light while the surgeon activates a precision instrument electronically to cut a flap in the cornea. The laser treatment is then performed to reshape the cornea using techniques that vary depending on the type of refractive errors. The corneal flap is then repositioned, allowing for the eye to heal.

Post-Op Instructions

Once the surgery has been completed, the first sensation you may feel is itching or burning; however, this is only temporary discomfort and will resolve soon. A brief examination will be performed shortly after the procedure, and subsequently, you will be sent home, accompanied by your appointed driver.

Your vision may seem blurry or hazy at first, and you may feel that you want to rub or itch your eyes. You mustn’t touch your eyes during this recovery time as they are healing. Rubbing your eyes could cause the flap to dislodge, which could require further treatments. A shield is recommended to place over your eyes for protection from additional elements and light sensitivity.

A follow-up appointment with your doctor will be scheduled 24 to 48 hours after the initial surgery. Subsequent check-ups will also be planned throughout the next six months.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.



The Truth About Cataracts

According to the World Health Organization, cataracts are one of the leading eye health issues that can cause blindness, affecting roughly 65.2 million people worldwide. Cataracts are relatively simple to treat surgically in developed countries, but in others, eye care is minimal. The increase in our life expectancy has also uninhibited the growth of cataracts in the human population.  What is a cataract exactly? This condition is described as the clouding of the lens in the eye. Vision becomes blurred as the cataract develops and eventually, blindness is the result. Unfortunately, there is no definite route to prevent cataracts, but there are several ways to lower the risk of obtaining it. If you feel your vision is starting to worsen, or if you have trouble being able to see without bright light, you should consult with your doctor and be tested for cataracts.

Risk Factors of Cataracts  

Biological aging is the most common cause for cataracts with environmental exposures such as smoke or ultraviolet light. There are other secondary conditions related to other health problems like skin disease, diabetes, and overall health and lifestyle habits. Research also shows that women are at a higher risk for cataracts than men. Experts believe the reason for this is due to menopause, causing a decrease in estrogen that triggers cataracts later in life. Another genetic factor appears to be race. Most people falling suspectable to cataracts after turning 70 are classified as ‘white’ while Hispanics seem to have the lowest rate for cataracts.

Lifestyle Habits and Protection from Cataracts

Although you cannot completely remove the risks of environmental exposure, there are specific measures that you can take to help protect you. The two most common causes include excessive sun exposure and smoking. Ultraviolet light and smoking are known for causing cataracts even in people at a young age. Unfortunately, the overexposure from UV rays can take years or even decades to contribute to cataract development, so many people may not even know there is a problem until the damage has already occurred. To reduce the exposure of UV rays, it is advised to wear the correct protection, for instance, sunglasses with at least 99% protection from UVA and UVB rays or wearing a sunhat with at least 3” wide brim whenever out in the bright sun. Evidence also suggests that having a proper diet may also prevent cataracts from developing. Foods that are high in antioxidants such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and eggs may decrease your risk.

Treatment

Cataracts can be very devastating if left untreated. The good news is that they take years to develop, which gives you plenty of time to discuss with your doctor which option will be best for your treatment. Cataract surgery is done in two stages; first, they remove the existing lens, and then they replace it with a new lens implant that will allow you to see clearly again and sometimes correct other vision problems. Your doctor can monitor early progression treatment and you may have months or years before surgery is needed. A simple upgrade in your glass’s prescription or the use of brighter lights can help, but ultimately the removal of the cloudy lens through cataract surgery will need to be performed.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs. As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses. More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.



How Expensive Is LASIK?

Choosing a procedure such as LASIK comes with many questions and concerns that should be considered carefully. It is essential to consult with a LASIK surgeon and be sure that you are a good candidate for the surgery. A lingering question in your mind, of course, will be, “How much does LASIK cost?” In 2019, the average cost for LASIK surgery was about $2,246 per eye. This is an out-of-pocket expense for most vision insurance plans don’t cover LASIK because it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not medically necessary. Below we will further discuss factors that influence the costs of LASIK and tips on how to prepare financially for this investment for your eyes.

Key Cost Factors for LASIK

Several factors should be considered when budgeting the expense of LASIK surgery. The surgeon’s experience and reputation are one. The more experience a surgeon has may affect the cost of the procedure, and you need to determine if this is worth the extra cost. Also, the type of laser technology used to perform the correction can cause a swing in costs. Traditional treatment options that have been used since the 1990s may cost less than some of the newer advancements, such as custom wavefront technology. Lastly, your overall eye condition will also be a factor that is taken into consideration during the quoting process. A person may be quoted a higher price than someone else due to having a stronger prescription level and more impaired vision. No matter the surgeon or technology you decide is best for you, always do the research required and choose the option that you feel 100% comfortable with.

Use Caution with LASIK Bargains & Deals

It can be tempting to shop for the best deal and choose an option based solely on price but beware of something that sounds too good to be true. Often in media, it is advertised for LASIK for lower than $1000 per eye or less, but typically, you may be surprised to find that there may be additional costs that are not displayed as clearly. It is highly advised at your initial consultation to ask your surgeon for a written quote that itemizes everything included in the offer. Read the fine print and ask if there are additional fees for follow up visits, glasses, and post medications. Another warning regarding bargain LASIK procedures, their “solution” may not resolve all of your corrective issues with your eyes. If you have a mild condition, this may work out for you. Remember always to read the fine print and ask questions until you fully understand the entire process.

Financing Options for LASIK

Although there may not be an easy way around cutting costs for LASIK surgery, there are plenty of options available to help make payments more manageable and affordable. Many patients choose to pay for their procedure overtime at a monthly rate with finance companies that sometimes can offer deals with no-interest or special limited-time offers. Some employers offer subsidized health plans that can cover a portion of elective corrective LASIK costs, so be sure to investigate if this is available to you.  Another great option when preplanning is the use of a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA). If you are part of the military, there is a possibility that LASIK is free or at a discounted rate. No matter your situation, it is important to research all of your options before committing. The professionals at Rohr Eye and Laser Center are always happy to answer any of your questions and they will help you come up with a solution that will be sure to make your LASIK experience enjoyable.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  For more information, visit our website at https://michiganlasik.com.



Living With Cataracts

As we grow older our bodies deteriorate over time, and our eyes are not excluded from this. While not everybody has perfect eyesight from birth, everybody’s eyesight gets worse as we approach the twilight years of our lives, despite routine eye checkups with optometrists. One of the most common forms of eye deterioration is cataracts.

Cataracts is a gradual process, often not appearing until a later stage in life (although sometimes even later than that). Cataracts comes with its own set of symptoms and are relatively easily noticeable, and while may not be curable without surgery there are ways to slow down development.

What exactly are cataracts?

Cataracts are simply a cloudiness in the lens of your eye. A normal, healthy lens is clear and is the sign of great eyesight by letting the light through without obstruction. With cataracts, a noticeable cloud exists within the lens and blocks out light from adequately doing what it needs to do to let you see clearly. As mentioned, cataracts tend to show up later in life and grow gradually worse as you continue to age. One can attempt to slow down the gradual development of cataracts by doing your best to keep the lens in your eye as safe as possible from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. If you have glasses, making sure the lens of the glasses has an anti-UV coating is a simple way to help prevent prolonged exposure which can damage the eye and bring about an early arrival of cataracts. Sunglasses are also a popular way to keep your eyes free from damage, especially if you spend much time outdoors.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts are relatively easy to diagnose. According to an article by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, clear signs of cataracts are having blurry vision, seeing double, being extra sensitive to light, having trouble seeing well at night, and seeing colors as faded or yellow. While there are plenty of factors that may play into blurry vision, cataracts are an ongoing eye issue, so a small and short case of blurry vision should not be any cause for worry.

What Causes Cataracts?

While aging is certainly a commonplace cause for cataracts, they can also be hereditary, so those with relatives who have cataracts can have an increased chance of developing them themselves. Cataracts can be caused by a single circumstance, such as an injury or surgery to the eye, or something long-standing, such as diabetes and prolonged sun exposure.

Cataracts can be treated by surgery and can restore your vision almost completely, so if you or somebody you knows suffers from cloudy vision or having issues seeing at night, contact an eye doctor to explore a safe method for treatment.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.



Eye Exams 101

In the world of health priorities, our eyes seem to be on the lower end of that spectrum. We focus mostly on our bodies, then our teeth, but making sure our eyes are as healthy as the rest of our body usually comes out as nothing more than a “I’ll keep an eye on it” (no pun intended). Some people put off a dentist appointment or doctor checkup so long that they have a subpar understanding of what exactly such an event entails. For eye appointments a lot of people only recall the machine that shoots a puff of air at your eye, but the entire process is good to understand before making that long overdue appointment.

Why are eye exams done?

The reasoning for eye exams may be obvious: they are used to check the overall health of your eyes. But, the goal of an eye exam is to pinpoint and discover any issues your eyes may be developing at the earliest stage possible. The earlier an issue arises, the better the chance of treatment. It’s when somebody puts off an eye appointment for years that any issue that may be present most likely has advanced to stage an untreatable stage. Having regular eye exams prevents any issue from metastasizing too late.

When should I be making appointments?

The relative age of the patient is a key deciding factor for making regular eye appointments. For example, newborns and toddlers will usually have their pediatrician look for the most common eye issues during regular checkups. Only when something is found is a proper eye exam conducted, even at that age. For children a little older it is important to have the eyes checked prior to starting elementary school, after which you can expect checkups every one to two years. For adults, the frequency depends on your age range.

What should I do before, during, and after?

  The steps to take when going through an eye exam may seem dauting but the reality is much simpler. For first timers, understanding your eye health history is beneficial to both you and the doctor conducting the exam (not unlike an appointment with a general practitioner). Keep a tally of any health issues you’ve had in the past that may or may not be affecting eye health. You can also take this time to talk to the doctor about LASIK if you know your vision could already be better.

The exam itself is generally short and simple, with machines being used to test visual acuity and sensitivity. When you think of the phrase “better, worse, or the same?”, this is when you’d be asked that question. Also, yes, this is when you’d have the puff of air shot into your eye, so mentally prepare for that.

After the exam you’ll typically get the results of your exam and any issues that may have been found, if any. If issues are found (for example: cataracts), preventative measures and possible surgery can be discussed, and if your vision isn’t as great as you’ve boasted for years, you can try on glasses and find a frame that best fits your style with your new prescription.

That’s it! Not as daunting as it may sound, but it really is something one should keep up with, especially if you want a glasses prescription that is up to date.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.