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Eye Conditions That Affect Your Retina

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Retina Specialist Reading, PA

Can you name all the parts of your eye? Even if you can’t name every part, you have probably heard of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. It is very important to your vision. This means that any type of damage to or disease of your retina can have severe consequences. Here at Berks Eye, we treat a number of eye conditions that affect your retina.

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Why People With Diabetes Should Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Reading PA

Diabetes is linked to many health problems such as fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure and nerve damage. With all these concerns, one factor that diabetic patients often overlook is eye health. Unfortunately, diabetics have greater odds of developing multiple debilitating eye conditions that can lead to blindness. To emphasize the need for regular eye examinations, the eye doctors at Berks Eye discuss a few diabetes-related conditions that warrant early treatment.

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Are You A Good Candidate For Contact Lenses?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Contact Lenses Candidate Reading PA

If you wear eyeglasses, at some point in time you have probably stopped to ask yourself, “Should I try contact lenses?” Here at Berks Eye, patients often request a professional opinion on contact lenses. We are happy to have this discussion with them and inform them of their options for vision correction.

In this blog, we discuss some of the most important factors to take into account if you are considering contact lenses.  

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When Should You Plan To Have Cataract Surgery?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Cataract Surgery Reading PA

About one in six people over the age of 40 have cataracts, with that figure reaching nearly 50% for patients over 80. Just because it is common does not mean it can be ignored, however. When patients first discover that they have cataracts — either by noticing their vision getting progressively hazier or via a comprehensive eye exam — they often ask the team at Berks Eye when they should seek treatment. Here is what our doctors have to say:

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You’re Invited To Berks Eye’s Patient Appreciation Event!

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Special Events 10 am – 3 pm

Eye Care Specialist Reading PA

Berks Eye wants to thank you for allowing us to share in the care of your eye health. As a special thank you, we are inviting you to join us at our office on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 for a day full of fun! Come see us at 1802 Paper Mill Road in Wyomissing for:

• Raffle Prizes
• Games & Giveaways
• Refreshments
• Special Discounts on Glasses
• Fun!

NO RSVP REQUIRED

Signs It Is Time To See A Doctor About Potential Macular Degeneration

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Patient receiving an eye exam

In its early stages, macular degeneration does not cause symptoms. That is why it is critical to see a doctor as soon as possible if mild symptoms occur. That could mean the degeneration has progressed. The eye care specialists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons explain signs of potential macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration  

The macula is the area of the retina responsible for direct line-of-sight vision. It also allows you to see fine details. Macular degeneration affects central vision but not peripheral vision. While both eyes are usually affected, the condition tends to prove worse in one eye.

There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. The former often comes on suddenly, while it can take years for the latter to progress. However, wet macular degeneration starts out as the dry form. Eventually, blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak, resulting in the wet form.

Either type can lead to permanent vision loss, with the wet version more likely to cause complete blindness.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms   

Signs and symptoms of macular degeneration usually start after age 50. Initial symptoms, which are not painful, include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Blurred spot in the visual field
  • Colors appearing dull or less intense
  • More light needed to read
  • Problems recognizing faces

Signs of wet macular degeneration include distorted vision. For instance, straight lines may appear curved. Suspect wet macular degeneration if your eyes suddenly have trouble adjusting to less light in a room.

When to See a Doctor  

Since early treatment can slow macular degeneration, it is crucial to see an eye care professional as soon as possible once symptoms begin. If colors seem less bright or words are increasingly blurry on the page or screen, that is a potential red flag.

If there is a family history of macular degeneration, seeing an eye doctor is even more urgent. Additional risk factors include smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Those with light-colored eyes are more prone to macular degeneration than dark-eyed individuals.

The macula gets thinner with age. The doctor can detect minute protein clumps called drusen on the macula. These clumps are common in those with macular degeneration.

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If you are experiencing symptoms of potential macular degeneration, contact the eye care specialists at Berks Eye to schedule a consultation. Even if you are not yet experiencing symptoms, it is wise to undergo comprehensive eye examinations at least every two years after age 50. These regular exams can detect macular degeneration while the condition is still asymptomatic. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, prompt treatment will help keep your vision healthy for as long as possible.

Eye Tips For A Fun And Safe Summer

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Friends protecting their eyes with sunglasses

Summer brings with it lots of opportunities for fun, but also poses certain risks for the eyes. The dedicated eye care specialists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons offer tips to help keep your eyes and vision safe while enjoying the summer season.

Wear Sunglasses  

When outdoors, wear sunglasses. Not only do you protect your vision, but wearing sunglasses helps prevent wrinkle formation in the delicate eye area since there is little squinting. Sun glare can cause eye pain and contribute to headaches.

Exposure to UV-A and UV-B light has been linked to macular degeneration and other serious eye conditions. Purchase polarized sunglasses, which have anti-glare protection. As for style, choose sunglasses with larger frames that minimize the amount of light coming in from all sides. 

Water Protection

Of course, you already know that wearing your contacts while swimming is not a good idea. Not only are your contacts likely to float off, but even if they stay in place, bacteria can get trapped in your eyes. If infection results, it could potentially cause vision loss.

Wear watertight goggles when swimming to protect your eyes from bacteria. If you are swimming in a pool, your eyes require protection from chlorine. Splash cold water into your eyes as soon as possible after leaving the pool.

Those with serious vision impairment who cannot see well enough to swim without corrective lenses should speak with their eye care professional about obtaining watertight prescription eyewear. 

Wear a Hat

Wearing a hat protects your skin from sun damage, but did you know that it is also recommended to safeguard your eyes? A hat boosts the benefits of wearing sunglasses. Remember to wear sunglasses and hats even on cloudy days, since UV rays are still a threat.

Wash Your Hands

We’ve all gotten into the habit of washing our hands more frequently, and it’s a good habit to keep up. During the summer, when more outdoor activities take place, it is easier to pick up bacteria on the hands. A quick eye rub can spread germs. Regular hand-washing lowers the risk of accidentally introducing bacteria into the eye.

Wear Appropriate Eye Protection

Summer means lawn mowing and weed whacking. Always wear protective eyewear when working around machines. Summer also means baseball, volleyball and other fun activities, but eye injuries happen in sports. Again, protect your eyes with the appropriate eyewear.

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Have fun in the sun but protect your eyes while doing it. If you experience any vision changes, or have not had an eye examination recently, contact the dedicated eye care specialists at Berks Eye to schedule a consultation.

Ways To Temporarily Relieve Dry Eye

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Dry eye Syndrome Symptoms

When the eye produces too few tears or the tears they produce do not offer adequate lubrication, the result is dry eye. The eye care specialists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons explain how to relieve dry eye in the short term. Chronic dry eye, however, requires professional evaluation and treatment.

Dry Eye Causes 

Temporary dry eye can result from the use of certain medications. The side effects of antihistamines and nasal decongestants include dry eye. That is also true of certain drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure, as well as antidepressants and acne medications. Do not stop using prescription drugs without consulting your doctor. Discuss whether there are suitable substitutes that may not cause dry eye.

Here are a few ways to relieve occasionally dry eyes:

1. Artificial Tears

Use over-the-counter artificial tears to soothe mildly dry eyes. Do not use products advertised to reduce redness if your eyes are not red. By constricting blood vessels, they may cause irritation. Artificial tears are applied several times daily.   

2. Reduce Screen Time

Excessive screen time and dry eye often go hand-in-hand. If possible, reduce the amount of time spent staring at screens, including television, and see if symptoms subside. When using screens, take regular breaks and make sure to blink regularly.

3. Omega-3 Supplements

Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements may relieve dry eye symptoms over time, although they do not provide immediate relief. An alternate or complement to supplements is consuming foods containing large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, walnuts and flax or chia seeds.

4. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial for good health. A lack of hydration may cause various issues, including dry eye. Keep water on hand and drink it throughout the day. 

5. Use a Humidifier

A dry environment aggravates dry eye. Use a humidifier to keep a healthy amount of moisture in your indoor environment.

Permanent Dry Eye Solutions

If dry eye is an ongoing issue, consider permanent dry eye solutions. An eye care professional will determine the source of your chronic dry eye and devise the best solution for your needs.

Prescription medications can reduce eyelid inflammation contributing to dry eye. Other drugs may increase tear production. Other solutions involve contact lenses designed to hold moisture, eye inserts that dissolve slowly and mimic tears, and light therapy accompanied by eyelid massage. Many patients benefit from a combination of therapies.

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If you are experiencing ongoing dry eye, contact the dedicated eye care specialists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule a consultation. You need a definitive diagnosis as to the cause of chronic dry eye for appropriate therapy. We will answer all of your questions and let you know your treatment options.

Nutrition And Your Eyes

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye Health Reading PA

Consuming healthy foods and taking certain supplements decreases the likelihood of developing several common eye conditions. This includes age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in those 60 and up. The eye care specialists at Berk’s Eye Physicians and Surgeons Ltd. of Reading, PA explain the benefits of good nutrition for eye health.

Eye Healthy Diet

The American Optometric Association recommends adding particular dietary nutrients to preserve vision and protect against certain eye diseases. For overall health, Americans are urged to eat at least five fruits and vegetables daily. Along with regular exercise, a healthy diet may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure and other cardiac-related ailments may prove harmful to eye health. Taking good care of yourself requires a holistic approach.

Fruits and vegetables that may boost eye health include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Omega-3 fatty acids are another essential element for eye health. These fatty acids aid retinal function and assist visual development. They can help prevent dry eye and lessen the odds of AMD development. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Fish
  • Flaxseed
  • Leafy greens

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements  

Obtaining nutrients through foods is the best route for eye health, but taking the right vitamins and supplements also plays a role. Vitamins and minerals critical for eye health include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc

Most of these vitamins are antioxidants. Antioxidants battle the free radicals that break down healthy tissue, including eye tissue. Antioxidants may help in cataract prevention.  Vitamin C intake is especially valuable in cataract reduction, as are lutein and zeaxanthin.

In addition to supplements designed specifically for eye health, you may want to take fish or flaxseed oil capsules for the omega-3 fatty acids. That is probably the most effective way to ensure you are receiving an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids if you do not like to eat fish.

AREDS Study

The National Eye Institute sponsored the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). This major clinical study involved 3,640 people between the ages of 55 and 80. The results showed that taking a vitamin or mineral supplement reduced the progression of AMD by roughly 25 percent. Some of the subjects reduced their visual acuity loss by 19 percent.

Follow-up studies indicate that those with a high dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of geographic atrophy, the advanced form of AMD.   

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If you would like more information about the role nutrition plays in eye health, contact the eye care specialists at Berks Eye in Reading, PA to schedule a consultation. We can advise you on the best eye care vitamin and mineral supplements for your individual needs.

ADDRESS:
1802 Paper Mill Road Wyomissing, PA 19610
PHONE:
FAX:
(610) 376-6968
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Tuesday
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Wednesday
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Thursday
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