bookmark_borderRebuild Your Vision

Eyes can become stressed and strained, needing natural exercises that improve tension in this area. Adults and children alike can benefit from improving the health of their vision. Orthoptics in particular is the use of eye exercises and vision therapy to improve the vision of children. These are individualized per child and can prevent a child from the necessity of glasses or eye surgery. An example being covering one eye to look at a certain object with the other, hopefully forcing this eye to focus and strengthen. These types of exercises are often made into a game to keep the child entertained and attentive. Other such treatments can include the use of patches and eye drops. Syntonics is another type of vision therapy that involves colored lights being directed into the eyes. The color is dependent on the type of eye disorder experienced.

It is growing increasingly popular to correct refractive errors such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness with eye exercises. Although doctors generally do not endorse them, there are many kits and books on the market aimed at people with poor eyesight who wish to rebuild their vision in the comfort of their own without having to resort to more serious and long-term measures.

The Bates Method is a program that aims to correct bad vision habits using relaxation techniques, games and other exercises. This program was created by the ophthalmologist William Bates, M.D., who claimed that it could improve eye sight, reverse ocular disorders and rebuild the vision by decreasing strain and restoring good habits within the eye. Many people claim to have been aided by the aforementioned methods but there are still controversial due to an absence of proven facts. The theories of the Bates method have been frequently contradicted however his exercises included covering the eyes with the palms so that the eye would see total black and be relieved of excess strain. Exposing the closed eyes to sunlight and avoiding staring were also advocated by Bates methods and claimed to increase vision health.

bookmark_borderPhotochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are clear lenses that react with UV and produce a tint effect based on the amount of UV present.

When wearing Photochromic lenses even a dull day some reaction will occur producing a very pale tint and then on a very bright day where more UV is present they will turn quite dark. When wearing them indoors they will become clear.

The idea behind photochromic lenses is that they will provide the correct amount of protection for the varying light conditions you experience. However, when driving, your car windscreen will block a certain amount of UV which is required to make the lens react so they will not work as well as they would outside of the car.

Transitions are available in Standard Plastic, Poly Carbonate, 1.6 and 1.67 Lenses. They are the fastest reacting lens on the market and will react into sunglasses within 30 seconds. However, they will take longer than that to go clear again when you go inside.

Reactolite is a brand name given to a Glass photochromic lens. They do not react as well as the transitions and are much heavier to wear. However, one good thing about glass reactolite is that they work much better behind a car windscreen than the transitions do. (If only we could have the best of both worlds.)

In most cases the Transitions lens is the preferred option due to the over all comfort and performance.

Photocromic lenses are ideal in the sense that they can save you having to purchase two pairs of glasses ie, Clear glasses and a pair of Sunglasses. However, many people who wear transitions also have a cheaper tinted pair just to use in the car.

bookmark_borderTips For A Healthy Old Age

  • Eat Healthy Food
    The majority of adults consume more than double the daily sodium intake than recommended, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Most of this high sodium intake comes from food and packaged foods.
    Tips: Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Avoid sweet, salty foods, and packaged or processed foods. Remember that everyone has different dietary needs, follow your doctor’s advice on dietary restrictions.
  • Maintain Your Brain
    One in eight older adults (age> 65 years) in the United States and some other countries suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, whereas some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that lifestyles that stimulate cognitive stimulation through active learning will slow down cognitive decline.
    Tip: Never stop learning and challenge your mind. Take dance lessons, learn a new language, attend a lecture at a local university, learn to play a musical instrument, or read a book, for Muslims to try to memorize the Qur’an.
  • Build Social Relationships
    Nearly 30% of parents who live alone and live alone feel the loneliness of the heavy. Changes in life such as retirement, health problems, or loss of spouse, can lead to social isolation.
    Tips: Always keep in touch with your family and friends, especially after experiencing significant life changes. Schedule regular time to meet friends and family over tea, eat together once a week, or do other activities together. Invite other friends who may feel lonely or isolated.
  • Enough Sleep
    Humans can be more resilient with no food than without sleep. Parents need as much sleep as other adults, seven to nine hours per night. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, irritability, increased risk of falling, and memory problems.
    Tips: Create a regular schedule to sleep. Keep your bedroom dark and free of noise when sleeping, avoid watching television or playing internet while in bed. Stay away from drinking coffee at night.

bookmark_borderThings to Know Before Hip Replacement

Who is the right candidate for hip replacement surgery?

There are plenty of reasons as to why people develop problems in their hips. The most common among them are injuries, or osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis that can cause premature deterioration of the hip joints. A persons’ age is never considered to be of much importance as far as their health state is concerned when it comes to having a hip replacement surgery. Well, in this procedure, the most successful people are those who do not wait until the joint deterioration is far too advanced.

What is the recovery period?

Every individual is different, but commonly, a hip replacement involves a 3-5 days hospital, and an approximately 3-6 month recovery period is required. Time frames depend upon overall health and on rehabilitation guidelines.

Do any complications arise during hip replacement surgery?

Today’s modern day surgical techniques, when combined with advanced artificial joint components exceptionally, reduced the likelihood of complications. The dislocation of joints remains one of the standard problems. Fake hip patients are advised to avoid certain positions of leg and movements during the rehabilitation period to help lower the risk of dislocation.

What exercises have to be done by the patient?

Once the rehabilitation process has started, a hip replacement beneficiary will need to perform some exercises to avoid stiffness and increase flexibility. Mostly, people who had very limited movability found that being able to exercise after mobility of hip joint will improve their overall health. Low impact movements and activities are best.

Any other alternatives to the surgery?

It depends on the amount of deterioration of the joint and other factors, where there can be an alternative to the hip replacement surgery. Some patients try to prefer physical therapy, anti-inflammatory and other medications to overcome the chronic pain, but when walking, driving and other activities become nearly impossible to perform, it is the correct time to perform surgery.

bookmark_borderMedical Procedures Of Diagnosing Diabetes

What is diabetes? Diabetes is the metabolic disorder over the body’s inability to properly absorb and burn glucose in the blood. The process needs insulin. The most common diabetes is the Type 2 diabetes. This is the type of diabetes that is developed over time and during adulthood. Type 2 diabetics produce ineffective insulin. Type 1 diabetes is developed while the patient is still young, and in their case, their bodies do not produce enough insulin or none at all. Another type of diabetes is the gestational diabetes developed while still in the mother’s womb.

Nine out of every ten diabetics have Type 2 diabetes. Most of the causes are coming from unhealthy lifestyles and indulgence of fatty foods. The most notable complication of the Type 2 diabetes is the rare and extremely painful diabetic amyotrophy. Below are the most common contributing factors in developing the disease: Obesity, Unhealthy diet, Inactive lifestyle, Smoking, Abusive drug use, Excessive alcohol intake.

Type 2 diabetes is developed over time. Here are some symptoms that indicate the need to properly diagnosing diabetes: Excessive thirst and hunger , Unexplained fatigue, Blindness, blurring of vision, Dry mouth, Frequent urination, Uncontrollable weight loss or gain, Hard to heal wounds, blisters and sores, Yeast infections, Darkening of the armpits, neck and groin areas.

Here are two of the most common ways of diagnosing diabetes:

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Test – Also referred to as fasting blood glucose test or the FPG test. This test requires at least eight hours of fasting. Blood samples will then be taken from the patient. Glucose level should be 99mg/dl or less. 100-125mg level indicates pre-diabetes, placing the patient at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Over 125mg of glucose in the blood indicates full blown diabetes.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – This type of test for diagnosing diabetes is more reliable than the FPG. This also requires fasting of at least eight hour. After the fasting period, the patient will be given a dose of glucose. Several blood testing will be performed at timed intervals. The purpose of the test is to determine how fast the body absorbs the infused glucose. Patients taking the test should be in perfect health, and normally active. To ensure accurate results, aside from the strict fasting, smoking and drinking coffee is also not allowed. The blood samples taken after 2hrs should indicate glucose level of below 140mg to be considered healthy. 140-199mg is already a pre-diabetes level and 200mg and above indicates diabetes.

Patients within the pre-diabetes level have increased risk of developing full blown Type 2 diabetes. In order to reverse the condition, the patient should follow the type 2 diabetes diet of foods low in cholesterol. It is always best to avoid developing diabetes, but if symptoms are indicative, diagnosing diabetes early will help in proper treatment and possible reversal of the disease.

bookmark_borderCataracts

The timing of a cataract operation should be tailored to the individual’s visual requirements. Some will need and want their cataract removed sooner than others. For example if the person wishes to continue to drive then a cataract will need to be removed when it is still relatively mild. Early surgery may also be appropriate if the cataract is affecting the individual’s ability to perform their job safely and effectively, or if it is spoiling the enjoyment of their hobbies and past times. However if the person has less demanding visual requirements then it may be appropriate to leave the cataract until it is more advanced. The decision to operate or not should be based on the particular circumstances and wishes of each patient. There are not fixed rules about the timing of surgery.

Each individual should consider how much difficulty their cataract is causing them. Their optometrist or doctor may have spotted some cataract but if the patient is having no vision problems then surgery is probably not needed. Cataract on it own is rarely harmful to the eye. Sometimes the patient may be aware of impaired sight but can cope safely with all their needs of daily living and may not wish to undergo surgery. This is quite acceptable. On the other hand if the individual is bothered by even mild cataract it may be entirely appropriate to remove it. In such circumstances there is no need to wait until it gets worse or becomes “ripe” or “mature”. The days of that approach are long gone.

There are though sometimes special factors that may influence the timing of cataract surgery. If there is some other disease or abnormality within the eye then surgery may need to be delayed, or performed as soon as possible, or may not be worthwhile at all. Which of these applies will depend on the exact nature of the other condition. If the cataract is in an only eye, then the small risks of surgery must be considered very carefully. The chance of an only eye suffering serious surgical complications is remote but the consequence could be devastating. Again each case must be considered on it own merits setting the risks of surgery against the likely benefits. Generally speaking though one would hesitate a little more before removing a cataract from an only eye, but if the visual impairement is significant then surgery may still be the right thing to do.

Very rarely a cataract may be directly harmful to the eye or vision. This can occur if the cataract is particularly advanced (“hyper-mature”), or physically large. In these circumstances it should usually be removed quickly.

Having been given the necessary information by their eye specialist in the end the decision to opt for surgery, or not, rests with the patient. It is often helpful and reassuring to discuss the issues with family and friends. No one should be arm twisted into having cataract surgery. Keep in mind though that most cataracts develop slowly and there is a creeping compromise to vision. If this occurs simultaneously in both eyes there is a faded memory of what vision used to be like. The affected individual may not fully appreciate what they are missing. It is often with amazement and surprise that they realize, after the cataract has been removed, how bright and colourful the world really still is. So if your vision isn’t what it used to be because of cataract and there is no particularly good reason not to have it fixed why go on waiting.

bookmark_borderLaser Eye Surgery Risk

Let’s not try to portray too negative an image of laser eye surgery. Undoubtedly, you will be going in with eyes wide open and aware of the risks involved and by the time you are in the operating chair, you will have weighed up all the pros and cons and will be happy with your decision. Here are some of the associated risks which could occur:

  • vision loss
  • visual symptoms
  • regular follow ups as a result of under or over treatment
  • dry eyes
  • diminishing results

Let’s examine the risks in a little more detail. Always keep in mind the success of this procedure is very high but the following can occur in some instances.

Under or over treatment is an interesting side effect and this is usually a frequent occurrence. What this means is perfect vision without the aid of visual aids only occurs in a small percentage of patients. Further post operative treatment may be required while if a patient wore glasses before the surgery, there is a strong chance they will still be required to wear them after the procedure.

Visual problems such as loss of vision and symptoms such double vision and halo effects are serious side effects which are not too common. However, they still can occur. Vision loss of some description is a real blow as it usually cannot be reversed with further surgery.

Many patients will go in with high expectations given the feedback they received and the excellent success record of laser eye surgery but this in itself is a risk. Keep your expectations at a realistic level and discuss with your surgeon exactly what you could reasonably expect from the surgery.

Dry eyes and diminished results are two more risks to consider. Dry eye syndrome is a result of the eye being unable to produce moistness and this can be an extremely uncomfortable time for the patient. Results diminishing over time is a factor particularly for those with far sighted vision.

There may come a time when laser eye surgery risk is non existent given the rapid rate in which technology is advancing. Right now though, the risk is always there and longer term side effects are still a little unclear. However, the benefits most patients have experienced through this type of procedure during the past ten years has been remarkable and remember, if you are deemed an eligible candidate for eye surgery, the final decision is always in your lap to make.

bookmark_borderGet Rid of Leg Cramps

Stretching

One of the reasons people get leg cramps is that they are overusing a particular muscle. So, if you are working on a specific task, try changing your position or using other muscle groups. If you are stationary or lying down, try to get up and stretch periodically. The key is that you don’t want your leg muscle overworked. At the same time, you don’t want your leg muscles lying idle, such as when you are sitting in a chair all day either.

Water

Most of the time leg cramps are caused by dehydration. This one is an easy fix, but it’s something that a lot of people neglect. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you continue to have cramps. A lot of people don’t like drinking water, so grab a drink such as Gatorade if you don’t like the taste of water.

Hot or Cold

For those leg cramps that don’t seem to go away, a hot or cold press is sometimes needed. Take a cold towel or an ice pack and apply it to the area of the cramp. Sometimes a heat pack will work better. You will have to experiment to see what works best for you. You can buy small heating packs or even a small heating pad at Amazon.com relatively inexpensively if you shop around. An ice pack is generally used by most people, but buying a small heating pad could be a worthwhile investment.

Massage

Massaging the area is the most common technique that most people try. The great news is that it works! Just remember to take it slow, and don’t apply too much pressure. You want to slowly work the leg cramp out. Gently massage the area surrounding the cramp and work your way directly over where it hurts. Don’t try to rush it. Go slow until the muscle starts to relax and you feel relief.

Vitamins

Your muscles need a lot of different vitamins. Lack of vitamins, such as B12, have been associated with nocturnal leg cramps. You can take a multivitamin to help give your muscles the vitamins and minerals your muscles need. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medication. Allergies and other relevant information are important to let your doctor know.

bookmark_borderHarmful Effects of the Sun

By becoming more educated about the harmful effects of UV rays on the eyes, you will be better able to choose quality sunglasses that are capable of providing lasting protection to you from the irreversible damage to your vision that can result from prolonged exposure to the sun.

Prescription sunglasses are specially designed for people who need vision correction to see clearly while also providing protection from the sun’s rays. Many sunglass companies now make stylist, fashion-conscious sunglasses that also require a prescription.

Prescription sunglasses are designed to protect the user from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. However, polarized lens can provide added protection for the eyes from glare that occurs when light is reflected off flat surfaces such as water or snow. Another great choice is photo-chromatic sunglasses because they have the ability to darken in the sun yet lighten automatically when you go indoors.

Until recently prescription sunglasses were not available in a wrap-around style. The curvature of the lens would cause vision distortion. Now with new technology, prescription sunglasses are available with wrap-around making them very fashionably.

If you require custom-made prescription sunglasses, be aware that they will cost you more and usually no refund is available from the manufacturer. Make sure you work with a reputable company that offers quality prescription sunglasses and first class service.

bookmark_borderLow Vision Rehabilitation Helps

Anyone with reduced vision is visually impaired, and can have problems functioning, ranging from minor to severe difficulty. There are two general classifications of low vision in use today:

  • partially sighted – visual acuity that with conventional prescription lenses is still between 20/70 and 20/200 (a person with 20/70 eyesight must be 20 feet away to see clearly an object that a person with 20/20 eyesight can see clearly from 70 feet away);
  • legal blindness – visual acuity that cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 with conventional lenses and/or the patient has a restricted field of vision less that 20 degrees wide. (Note that some definitions of “partially sighted” include the legally blind.)

Low vision impairments take many forms and exist in varying degrees. It is important to understand that the visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of the degree of the problem a person is having. Someone with relatively good acuity (e.g., 20/40) can be having a very hard time functioning, while someone with worse acuity (e.g., 20/200) might not be having any real problems doing the things that they want to do.

The common types of low vision are:

Loss of Central Vision – the center of the person’s view is blurred or blocked, but side (peripheral) vision remains intact. This makes it difficult to read or recognize faces and most details in the distance. Mobility, however, is usually unaffected because side vision remains intact.

Loss of Side Vision – typified by an inability to distinguish anything to one side or both sides, or anything directly above and/or below eye level. Central vision remains, however, making it possible to see what is directly ahead. Typically, loss of side vision affects mobility and slows reading speed because the person sees only a few words at a time. Sometimes referred to as “tunnel vision.”

Blurred Vision – objects both near and far appear out of focus, even with the best conventional spectacle correction possible and even when the target is very large.

Generalized Haze – the sensation of a film or glare that may extend over the entire viewing field and may produce various patterns or areas of relatively severe vision loss.

Extreme Light Sensitivity – exists when standard levels of illumination overwhelm the visual system, producing a washed out image and glare disability. People with extreme light sensitivity may actually suffer pain or discomfort from relatively normal levels of illumination.

Night Blindness – inability to see outside at night under starlight or moonlight, or in dimly lighted interior areas such as movie theaters or restaurants.

Doctors of Optometry who specialize in low vision care are skilled in the examination, treatment and management of patients with visual impairments not fully treatable by medical, surgical or conventional eyewear or contact lenses. Each type of low vision problem requires a different therapeutic approach. A thorough examination by an optometrist, which will also include tests to determine the patient’s current vision status, may also include a vision rehabilitation program to enhance remaining vision skills.

The low vision specialist will ask for a complete personal and family general health and eye health history. In addition, the optometrist will discuss the functional problems with the patient, including such things as reading, functioning in the kitchen, glare problems, travel vision, the workplace, television viewing, school requirements, and hobbies and interests.

Preliminary tests may include assessment of ocular functions such as depth perception, color vision, contrast sensitivity, and curvature of the front of the eye. Measurements will be taken of the person’s visual acuity using special low vision test charts, which include a larger range of letters to more accurately determine a starting point for gauging low vision. Visual fields are usually evaluated, and each eye will be examined.
The optometrist may prescribe various treatment options, including low vision devices, as well as assist the person with identifying other resources for vision and lifestyle rehabilitation.

There is a wide variety of optical devices and adaptive products available to help people with low vision live and/or work more productively and safely. Most people can be helped with one or more of them. Unfortunately, only about 20-25 percent of those who could benefit have been seen by a low vision specialist and had treatment options, including low vision devices, prescribed specifically for them. The more commonly prescribed devices are:

  • Spectacle-mounted magnifiers – A magnifying lens is mounted in the individual’s spectacles or on a special headband. This allows use of both hands to complete the close-up task, such as reading.
  • Spectacle-mounted telescopes – These miniature telescopes are useful for seeing longer distances, such as across the room to watch television, and can also be modified for near (reading) tasks.
  • Hand-held and stand magnifiers – Serve as supplementary aids. They are convenient for reading such things as price tags, labels, and instrument dials. Both types can be equipped with lights.
  • Electro-optical aids – Closed-circuit television (also called CCTVs) enlarge reading material on a video screen. Some are portable, while some can be connected to a computer. The user can adjust the image brightness, size, contrast and background illumination.

In addition, there are numerous other products to assist those with low vision, such as large-type books, magazines, and newspapers, books-on-tape, talking wristwatches, self-threading needles, and more.

If you, or someone you love, suffers from low vision, your optometric low vision specialist can provide the help and resources needed to gain back the independence and freedom that once seemed lost. People with low vision can be taught a variety of techniques to perform daily activities with what vision remains. There are government and private programs that offer educational and vocational counseling, occupational therapy, rehabilitation training, and more.