Eye Myths Part 2

Eye Myths

There is a lot of information your friends or family may say about your eyes.  Do you ever wonder if what they say is really true?  Should you follow their advice?  There is a lot of confusion regarding what is really true about your eye health.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can discuss your concerns in our office.  Here is some information regarding common eye myths.

Myth: My Children Should Not Sit Too Close to the TVEye myths | Alaina Kronenberg MD

Your children will not suffer any damage to their eyes if they sit too close to the television.  If your child insists on sitting close, you may want to schedule a comprehensive eye examination to ensure that no glasses are needed and that no other eye problems are present.

Myth: If My Eye Doctor Feels I Need a Stronger Glasses Prescription, I Will Become Too Dependent on the Glasses if I Fill the Prescription

It is important to wear glasses with the correct prescription to provide the best vision possible.  Your eyes will not worsen if you wear the correct pair of glasses or contacts.  Children’s glasses prescription can often get stronger in the teenage years. Having the proper prescription in their glasses will allow them to see properly at school, for sports and for when the start to drive.

Myth: It is Dangerous to Wear Someone Else’s Glasses

Wearing another person’s glasses may cause a headache, eye strain and blurry vision.  It will not cause any permanent damage to your eyes.  It is important to have a comprehensive eye examination and be checked for glasses.

If I Use My Eyes Will They Wear Out?

Using your eyes for daily activities will not cause any damage to your eyes.  You cannot damage your eyes by reading too much, being on your computer too much or watching too much television.  Your eyes may feel tired and fatigued from the concentrated tasks though.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Running in the Boston Marathon

Running

I have always enjoyed running for exercise in my free time.  It allows me to keep fit and helps to relieve stress.   I have participated in several half marathons and shorter races for many years.  In the past few years I have enjoyed participating in marathons.  I just completed my third Boston marathon.

The marathon is a 26.2 mile running race.  Training for a marathon requires a lot of time and commitment.  The Boston marathon is on Patriots Day the third Monday in April.  It is a hilly race so it requires training for the race in hilly terrain.  It also requires training outside in the cold Michigan winter months!

The miles of running also can take their toll on your body!  It is always a challenge to avoid injuries during the training process.

Boston QualificationAlaina Kronenberg MD| Eye Surgery Institute| Boston Marathon

It is considered a privilege to participate in the Boston marathon.  For most runners it is the most prestigious marathon.  The race has been run since 1897 and it is one of the world’s oldest marathons.  Running in the marathon requires you to run a full marathon at a time that is qualifying.  The required time depends on your age and your sex.  Many runners aspire to qualify for the Boston marathon.  Most other marathons are “Boston qualifiers” where you can run that race with the goal of trying to qualify.

Participating in My Third Boston Marathon

On April 17, 2017 I had the privilege of participating in my third consecutive Boston marathon.  The excitement and enthusiasm at Boston is incredible.  The city of Boston comes alive with thousands of spectators offering incredible support and enthusiasm.  They are cheering you on for all 26.2 miles.  The race starts in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street in Boston.   The amazing energy and excitement makes me shiver as I made that last turn onto Boylston street with the finish line in view.  I was incredibly honored to complete my third Boston marathon!

 

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126

 


Eye Myths

Eye myths| Alaina Kronenberg MD| Eye Surgery InstituteEye Myths

There is a lot of information your friends or family may say about your eyes.  Do you ever wonder if what they say is really true?  Should you follow their advice?  There is a lot of confusion regarding what is really true about your eye health.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can discuss your concerns in our office.  Here is some information regarding common eye myths.

Myth: You should not have cataract surgery until it is “ripe”

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in your eye.  Most people develop a cataract as they age.  You should consider having cataract surgery when you are unhappy with your vision with your glasses on during your daily activities.  Cataract surgery is a relatively safe, outpatient eye surgery.  It is important that we perform a comprehensive eye examination to check for other conditions that can be affecting your vision.

Myth: You should not read in dim light

It is not harmful for your eyes to read in dim light.  Reading in dim light may make your eyes feel strained or tired, but it will not cause any long term damage.

Myth:  It is bad for my eyes if I sit too close to the television

It will not harm your eyes if you are sitting too close to the television.  If your child insists on sitting close to the television, you may want to make sure they have normal vision.  I recommend they have an eye examination to check for the need for glasses as well as other eye problems.

Myth: I don’t really need safety glasses

Severe eye injuries can often happen when you are least expecting it.  It is important to use eye protection to prevent injuries that can lead to blindness.  It is especially important to use safety eye protection if you have poor vision in one of your eyes.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Blepharitis

What is Blepharitis?

Are your eyelids or eyes red, sore, irritated, have a foreign body sensation or do you suffer from itchy or crusty eyelids?  You may have blepharitis.  It is a common condition that causes inflammation of either the inside or the outside of the eyelids.

Blepharitis is usually not an infection.  Is it usually not contagious to other people.   You may notice your symptoms to be either constant or intermittent.  It often tends to be chronic or recur frequently and can be very bothersome.

Types of DiseaseBlepharitis | Alaina Kronenberg MD | Eye Surgery Institute

There are several causes for blepharitis.  The two main types: anterior blepharitis and posterior blepharitis (also called meibomian gland disease MGD).  It is important to distinguish between these two types to offer the proper treatments to our patients.

Blepharitis and Dry eyes

Many patients have dry eyes at the same time.  It is important for Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I to perform a careful slit lamp examination to determine the proper cause of your symptoms.   This will allow us to offer treatments that will offer the most improvement in your symptoms.  We can also perform a tear osmolarity test that helps determine how dry your eyes are.

Treatment

The amount of treatment recommended often depends on the type of disease and the severity of the disease.  If you have anterior blepharitis, we often recommend keeping the eyelids clean with baby shampoo scrubs or eyelid cleaning pads or solutions.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I may also prescribe a short course of antibiotic eye ointment for your eyelids at bedtime.

If your disease is more posterior (meibomian gland disease), warm compresses can be very helpful.  Lubrication drops can be helpful.  Sometimes anti inflammatory drops can be helpful also.  It is also important to treat concomitant dry eye disease to achieve relief of your symptoms.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Nutrition and Eye Health

Eye Health

Carrots are the food you probably think are best for eye health.  In fact, there are many foods that are healthy for your eyes.  Foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are important for both the health of your eyes and your body in general.  It is never to early to maintain a healthy diet!

Eating a diet with these vitamins and nutrients may decrease your chances of developing or worsened age related macular degeneration, cataracts and dry eyes.  It is still important to maintain regular comprehensive eye examinations to check the health of your eyes even if you maintain a healthy diet.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can evaluate your eye health and check you for all eye diseases.

AREDS 2Nutrition and eye health| Alaina Kronenberg MD| Eye Surgery Institute

AREDS stands for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. This was a large study that showed specific vitamins can delay or reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The AREDS formulation includes:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 15 mg beta-carotene
  • 80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2 mg copper as cupric oxide

Taking these vitamins can reduce your risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25% over 5 years.  These vitamins are typically recommended in patients with either intermediate or advanced AMD.  You can continue your multivitamin if you are taking AREDS vitamins.

These vitamins were not shown to prevent you from developing early AMD.  It is not possible to get enough of the vitamins in your diet if you have intermediate or advanced AMD.  If you are taking AREDS vitamins, it is important that you make your primary care doctor aware to ensure it is not interacting with other medications you are on.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Headache and the Eye

Headaches and the Eye

Headaches can very frustrating and you may wonder if you should have an eye examination if you suffer with headaches.  It is important to discuss your headaches with your primary care provider (PCP).

There are many causes of headaches.  It is important to understand what is associated with your headache.  Your PCP may want to know how often you have headaches, where they are located, what they feel like, how severe they are and what makes them better or worse.  Your PCP may recommend an eye examination.

Eye ExaminationHeadaches and the eye| Alaina Kronenberg MD| Eye Surgery Institute

Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will perform a comprehensive eye examination including checking your need for glasses.  If you have an need for glasses that has not been diagnosed, you may be experiencing eye strain or eyes that feel tired and sore.  It is rare that a need for glasses causes a severe headache.

Occasionally, you may have a “hidden” need for glasses.  This means that although you can read the eye chart well without glasses, your eye muscles need to work really hard.  This is called latent hyperopia.

Sometimes you may feel discomfort only after a period of time such as reading or using your computer.   You may be suffering from dry eyes as the cause of your discomfort.

It is also possible that muscle imbalances of your eye can contribute to eye strain and headaches when reading.  This is called convergence insufficiency.  We can check for this during your eye examination.

Could My Eye Examination Find Something Serious?

It is unlikely that your eye examination will find a serious problem relating to your headaches.  It is important that Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I perform a comprehensive eye examination with dilation.  This allows us to look at the back of the eye including your optic nerves.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Lazy Eye

Lazy Eye

A lazy eye is called amblyopia.  Amblyopia is the term for when the vision is decreased in one or both eyes because the brain and the eyes are not working together.  This occurs due to abnormal development of vision in early childhood.  The brain never receives clear images from the eye or eyes.  This is one of the leading causes of vision loss in children.

A comprehensive eye examination will often reveal a normal eye examination.  The anatomy of the eye is often normal.  The vision is reduced and the brain may be using the other eye more than the affected eye.

How is Amblyopia Diagnosed?lazy eye|Amblyopia|Alaina Kronenberg MD

Often children will undergo vision screening at their school or their pediatrician.  If your child does not pass their vision screening test, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a comprehensive eye examination.  This includes checking the visual acuity, the glasses prescription, the balance of the eye muscles and checking the health of the eye.  We need to ensure that no other problems exist contributing to the decreased vision.

There are different types of ambylopia.  Your child may have amblyopia if both eyes have a very strong need for glasses.  Sometimes amblyopia can be due to a large difference in the glasses prescription between your eyes.  Your child may also have amblyopia if your eye muscles are causing the eyes to not focus straight ahead.

How is Amblyopia Treated?

It is treated differently depending on the cause of the amblyopia.  If your child has a very strong glasses prescription in both eyes, we will often prescribe glasses.  Sometimes it is required to cover up (patch) the better seeing eye if there is a large difference between the glasses prescriptions of the eyes.  If the eye muscles are not functioning properly, this would need to be addressed.

It is important that this is detected in early childhood when the brain and eye are learning how to work together.  If amblyopia is not diagnosed and treated early enough, your child may never develop normal vision.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Stye and Chalazion

What is a Stye or Chalazion?

You may have a stye or chalazion if you have a lump on your eyelid.  They usually occur rather suddenly and may or may not be painful.  You may notice a pain, tenderness or irritation.  Sometimes you may feel a foreign body sensation, tenderness to the eyelid or complain of blurry vision.  A stye or chalazion can sometimes be related to blepharitis.  Also, certain conditions such as  acnea rosacea can often predispose to them.

Diagnosisstye or chalazion

Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a complete eye examination to determine the cause of your problem.  Usually a stye or a chalazion can  by diagnosed with a slit lamp examination.  We offer same day appointments to any patients with urgent eye conditions.

What is the Difference Between a Stye and a Chalazion?

A stye is often caused by an infection in the root of an eyelash (follicle) or oil gland.  They tend to become tender, swollen and painful.  It may look like a pimple or bump on the eyelid.

A chalazion occurs from a blocked or clogged oil gland in the eyelid.  They usually do not cause pain or tenderness.

How are They Treated?

Both a stye and a chalazion are initially treated with warm compresses.  We will also likely prescribe an antibiotic drop or ointment.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will likely give the treatment a week or two to see if it effective in allowing it to resolve.

If conservative treatment is not effective, we may recommend draining it in our office.   We can numb the area and drain it.  This can be done the same day of your follow up appointment if necessary.  You may return to your regular daily activities the same day.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Vitreous Detachment

What is the Vitreous?

The vitreous is similar to a clear viscous gel and it fills the back part of the eye and helps to maintain the shape of the eye.  It fills the space behind the lens in our eye to our retina.   The vitreous has fibers that attach to our retina.  It is normal for the vitreous to shrink and liquefy with age.   It often eventually separates from the back of the eye.  This is called a vitreous detachment.

What is Vitreous Degeneration?Vitreous detachment | Alaina Kronenberg MD

Vitreous degeneration is when the vitreous liquefies and shrinks.  The fibers that attached to the retina can separate from the retina with time.  This is caused a vitreous detachment.

It is normal for this to occur with age.  If you have had previous cataract surgery, trauma or high myopia the vitreous can often degenerate faster that it otherwise would.

What is a Vitreous Detachment?

A vitreous detachment is when the vitreous pulls away from the retina.  This is very common especially after age 80.  You may experience new floaters in your vision and you may see flashes or lightening streaks of light in your vision when this is occurring.  This can be very scary and worrisome for you!

It is normal for you to notice floaters of different shapes and sizes.  You may see the floater as more circular or more linear in shape.  The floaters may move around in your vision and sometimes can interfere with your vision.  Most people get used to the floaters with time and they often become less bothersome and not as noticeable.

What Should I Do if I Notice New Floaters?

If you notice new floaters or flashes of light, it is important that you have a dilated examination.   It is important that Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang or I ensure that there is no retinal tear or retinal detachment.   This would need immediate treatment to ensure no vision loss occurs.   It is important that you call our office immediately if you notice any new floaters or flashes.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Itchy, Red Eyes

Itchy, Red Eyes

Allergy season is quickly approaching!  Do you suffer from spring allergies? Are your eyes usually itching and red?  Are they feeling uncomfortable?  What is the cause of these symptoms and can anything be done?  Itching and redness can be very frustrating and uncomfortable.  You may be suffering from eye allergies.  Sometimes it is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to the things we are allergic to.

You may have tried over the counter remedies to see if they can improve your symptoms.  If the over the counter treatments are not providing proper relief, it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.  Your condition may or may not be ocular allergies.  You want to consider when your symptoms occur most.  Are they worse in the morning or evening?  Are they worse during a particular season of the year?

Diagnosiseye allergies | Alaina Kronenberg MD

Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history and perform an eye examination.  It is important to distinguish if your eyeballs feel itchy or your eyelids are bothering you more.

Itchy eyes are often a symptoms of ocular allergies.  You may also complain of watery eyes, stringy mucous discharge, eyelid swelling, and irritation.  Ocular allergies are when the eyes are exposed to allergens.  Different patients can react to different allergens.   Your symptoms are often due to release of histamine and mast cells and symptoms will often vary during different seasons depending on what the allergen is that is causing your symptoms.

If your symptoms are more affecting your eyelids, you may be suffering from blepharitis instead of eye allergies.  Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margin and the eyelids can become itchy, red and irritated.

If you wear contact lenses sometimes your condition can be related to your contact lenses.  You may have developed a sensitivity to your contact lenses or be wearing them too much.

It is important for your doctor to make the proper diagnosis so we can offer the treatments that will improve your symptoms.

Treatment of Eye Allergies

If you suffer from eye allergies, it is important to try to avoid the allergen if possible.  Ocular allergies are often initially treated with eye drops that are antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.  These medications work more effectively if they are used regularly during your allergy season.  If your symptoms are severe, we may add a short course of a mild steroid eye drop also.  Sometimes chilled artificial tears can also help your symptoms.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126