Tag Archives: eye health

Besides vision, dry eye disease negatively affects physical and mental health – Study

Patients suffering from dry eye disease symptoms have a lower quality of life compared to those without symptoms, a new study reports. The findings showed that patients with the condition reported negative effects on visual function, their ability to carry out daily activities and their work productivity.

Dry eye disease is a common condition and a frequent reason for patients to seek medical care. It can affect people of any age but is most prevalent in women and in older people. Symptoms include irritation and redness in the eyes, blurred vision, and a sensation of grittiness or a foreign body in the eye. It has been reported that up to a third of adults over 65 years old have the condition, although the actual number is likely to be higher as there is no established diagnostic test and people with mild symptoms are less likely to report them to their doctor.

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Treatment often involves prescriptions of artificial tears, ocular lubricants and astringents, which come at a cost to the NHS; in 2014, 6.4 million items were prescribed at a cost of over £27 million.

This new study, led by the University of Southampton, set out to explore how dry eye disease affects the lives of adults in the UK through an online survey of one thousand patients with the condition and further one thousand without. Participants undertook a questionnaire from the National Eye Institute about their visual function and a EuroQol questionnaire on health-related quality of life. Those who declared that they experienced dry eye disease also answered further questions to assess the severity of their symptoms.

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Filed under aging, aging brain, brain function, dry eyes, eye health, successful aging

Stroke affecting eye requires immediate treatment, can signal future vascular events

While most people think of strokes affecting the brain, they can also affect the eye. Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a rare form of acute ischemic stroke that occurs when blood flow is blocked to the main artery of the eye. It typically causes painless, immediate vision loss in the impacted eye, with fewer than 20% of people regaining functional vision in that eye.

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The American Heart Association published a new scientific statement, “Management of Central Retinal Artery Occlusion,” in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Cerebrovascular Section affirms the educational benefit of the scientific statement, and it has been endorsed by the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Quality of Care Secretariat and the American Academy of Optometry.

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5 ways to protect your eyes from AMD – Harvard

As a senior citizen, I have had minimal problems with my eyes. Sound of me knocking on wood. I get my eyeglass prescription boosted every so often so I can read the fine print, but other than that, no problemmo.  Here is Harvard Medical School on Age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the macula, the part of the eye that’s responsible for your sharpest and most detailed vision, begins to thin and break down, causing vision loss. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.


There is no surefire way to prevent AMD. However, there are things you can do to delay its onset or reduce its severity. Here are 5 of our favorites: Continue reading

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5 Myths about your eyes – Harvard

Here’s something  you haven’t seen here before, information about your eyes. And, yet, our eyes are arguably our most important sense.

Harvard Healthbeat says, “Of your five senses, which one are you most afraid of losing? If you’re like most people, your answer is your ability to see. Because our eyesight is so precious, it’s no wonder that myths abound about what can damage our eyes — and what can protect them. Here, we debunk five common myths — and tell you how to truly keep your eyes healthy.


Myth: Doing eye exercises will delay the need for glasses.
Fact: Eye exercises will not improve or preserve vision or reduce the need for glasses. Your vision depends on many factors, including the shape of your eyeball and the health of the eye tissues, neither of which can be significantly altered with eye exercises. Continue reading

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Blood Vessels in the Eye Linked With IQ, Cognitive Function

Individuals who had wider retinal venules showed evidence of general cognitive deficits, with lower scores on numerous measures of neurospsychological functioning, including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and executive function.

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The width of blood vessels in the retina, located at the back of the eye, may indicate brain health years before the onset of dementia and other deficits, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Research shows that younger people who score low on intelligence tests, such as IQ, tend to be at higher risk for poorer health and shorter lifespan, but factors like socioeconomic status and health behaviors don’t fully account for the relationship. Psychological scientist Idan Shalev of Duke University and colleagues wondered whether intelligence might serve as a marker indicating the health of the brain, and specifically the health of the system of blood vessels that provides oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

To investigate the potential link between intelligence and brain health, the researchers borrowed a technology from a somewhat unexpected domain: ophthalmology.

Shalev and…

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Filed under cognition, cognitive decline, eye, eye health, IQ

Why Am I Seeing Flashes of Light in My Eye?

The somewhat frightening question in the headline was one I confronted Monday night. Driving home from work I began seeing flashes of light, something akin to lightening bolts, out of the corner of my left eye.

I was going to work out that night, but I headed for a hospital emergency room instead.

As luck would have it, there was no ophthalmologist in the emergency room and all Evanston Hospital (in my Chicago suburb) could do was call one ophthalmologist and also call my ophthalmologist and ask them for opinions on the phone. This after telling me the flashes could mean my retina was detaching, which in turn could cause me to go blind in my left eye if surgery wasn’t performed quickly to reattach it.

I wanted an answer that night about whether I needed surgery, but I could not get one. Plus I had to try to sleep that night without moving my head for fear of causing further damage to my retina.

The next morning, I was at my ophthalmologist’s office at 8 a.m. even though she was not scheduled to arrive until that afternoon. I said I would see the first available doctor and did, a bit later.

The good news is that my retina is fine, for now. What’s happening to me happens to some people as we age. In simple terms, we have a gel-like substance in our eyes that liquefies as we get older. Normally it’s a smooth process but sometimes the gel tears away from the retina rather than just melting, something like pieces of ice falling off an iceberg.

If they fall too suddenly, they can tear the retina and cause it to detach, which puts you at risk for going blind.

I now will be having my eyes looked at every four weeks or so to ensure my retina remains where it’s supposed to be. And the flashes may start in my right eye soon, too. As I understand the doctors, these never go away; they just become something I will become accustomed to and not notice as much as I do now.

If you start seeing flashes in one or both eyes, do get them examined as soon as possible, quick action could save your vision.

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