Posted by & filed under Eye Health, Featured, Glaucoma.

Medical Marijuana: Not Useful for Glaucoma

 
Laura Nennig, OD

November 18, 2018

Now with the approval of medical marijuana use in Missouri, I’m anticipating many patients asking about it, some out of curiosity and others hoping to get a prescription.  Here are a few things to know.

    1. Marijuana is currently categorized as a schedule 1 drug, next to things like heroin. Regardless of where you feel it falls on the scale of potential for abuse or addition, the DEA puts it there because it lacks “accepted medical use”. That doesn’t mean it has no uses, it means the medical community hasn’t seen enough evidence to support widespread use. Using weed is not included in the standard of care doctors look to when making decisions about treatment, essentially making it ‘off label’ whenever it’s used and opening the possibly for law suits against the prescriber.
    2.  

    3. As an optometrist, I can’t prescribe it. Our license only allows us to write Rx’s for schedule 3, 4 and 5 drugs. It doesn’t matter what my stance is on the issue, it would be illegal for me to write these prescriptions. You’d need an MD (medical doctor) or DO (osteopathic doctor) to write one for you.
    4.  

    5. Marijuana is a terrible treatment for glaucoma. Although it is widely touted for lowering eye pressure, the effect lasts 3-4 hours. You’d have to wake up at night to ensure adequate control of the eye pressure. Take it from me, I regularly prescribe medications that are taken 4 times a day; patients can’t sustain that level of vigilance without the constant reminder of symptoms. Many people who we treat with antibiotics take them every 4 or 5 hours the first day or two but then start forgetting a dose here or there. Glaucoma is what’s known as a silent disease: it has no symptoms. Many of my patients do well with something that is once or twice a day, but no one would accept a recommended treatment that was dosed 6 to 8 times a day.
    6.  

    7. Even occasionally smoking marijuana doesn’t help the optic nerve (the tissue damaged from glaucoma). Marijuana reduces eye pressure but it also reduced blood pressure. One of the ways glaucoma injures the optic nerve is by low perfusion pressure, i.e. the tissue is not getting enough nutrients from the blood stream. If both the eye pressure and the blood pressure go down, the optic nerve may actually become more compromised. When I’m concerned about someone’s optic nerve health, I generally will recommend against using marijuana for this reason. Those who have robust, healthy tissue have much less to lose than those who are suspicious for glaucoma or those who have already lost vision from it.

Dr. Laura Nennig works for Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit near Kansas City.

Posted by & filed under Contact Lenses, Eye Health, Featured, General Vision.

Hubble sells only one size and kind of contact lenses. Contacts are not a one size fits all product

original source: GRITDAILY

Contacts are not a one size fits all product, so it can do more harm than good if used incorrectly.

Bad news, contact lens wearers—the hot new (cheap) service Hubble has one pretty big catch.

If you’ve been on social media at all in the last year or two, odds are you’ve come across an ad for Hubble Contacts. Hubble is an automated subscription service that delivers contact lenses to your doorstep every month for about $30. Most delivery contact lens companies can’t sell contacts for such a low price, so consumers are rife with questions about what catch (if any) there might be. How is it possible to sell contacts for such a low price when no competitor can go that low? Turns out, there’s a big reason why.

It’s a bit complicated, but in short the company is only selling one type of contact shape and size. This means that most subscribers are wearing the wrong type of contacts, which could cause bigger issues down the line if used for too long. Earlier this month Reddit user u/jessysav posted in the “You Should Know” subreddit about Hubble contacts. The user, who allegedly works for an optometrist, breaks down the issues with Hubble contacts and explains why everyone using the product needs to know about any potential risks involved.

THE TRUTH BEHIND HUBBLE CONTACTS

Hubble contacts are made with a material called Methafilcon A by Shine Optical Co. Essentially, the lenses only come in one shape and size and the material they’re made from is outdated. Very few contacts are still made with Methafilcon A and most optometrists won’t recommend products made from the material. It’s considered a bad material because it impacts how much oxygen is able to get into your cornea when in use. This is important, and if your eye can’t get enough oxygen it can lead to deeper issues such as swelling and permanent damage.

According to the website from Dr. Claudia Lee, the optometrist that u/jessysav quotes in their Reddit post, “Hubble contacts are made with an old material called methafilcon A, which has a Dk/t of 18.8. Research shows that a Dk/t of 24 is necessary to maintain cornea integrity and avoid swelling.” The people that these contact lenses will really present problems for are those with astigmatism. Because the contacts only come in one shape and size it’s important to make sure that if you’re using the contacts, that they’re your shape and size. Dr. Lee emphasizes the fact that contact lenses are a medical device, and should be treated as such. Contacts are not a one size fits all product, so it can do more harm than good if used incorrectly.

SO…WHAT NOW?

As a user of Hubble contacts I can say that they’re not my favorite brand. They seem to dry out quickly and aren’t as comfortable as brands like Acuvue or companies that I get through my eye doctor—but they’re cheap and easy to get. That’s apparently an issue though, as the company was also recently caught giving out contact lenses to people with fake prescriptions from nonexistent optometrists. Yikes!

If you’re looking for a good contact lens, make sure that you’re getting a product that won’t do more harm than good. Consult your optometrist about which contact shape and size, is right for you. If that shape and size just so happens to be Hubble, go for it!

Posted by & filed under Contact Lenses, Featured.

Kari Burchett, OD

August 20, 2018

Contact lens disposal contributing to microplastic contamination in our waterways

The American Chemical Society has recently published research regarding microplastic contamination in our waterways and how improper contact lens disposal is contributing to such contamination. Approximately 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, and according to research, about 20% may be flushing their contact lens down the toilet or washing them down the sink rather than disposing of them in the trash. Lenses in the waterways do not biodegrade easily at the wastewater treatment facility and can defragment and make their way into surface water. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Featured.

nearsightedness in children; Eyecare Associates of Lee's Summit

More children are being diagnosed with nearsightedness, but experts aren’t sure why.

Helping to prevent nearsightedness in children may be as simple as urging them to spend more time outside, some experts say.

Possibly due to changing habits among children — spending more time reading in dim light and spending more time indoors than those of past generations — doctors are seeing an increase in the number of cases of nearsightedness, also known as myopia.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recently opened a Myopia Treatment Center to meet the growing demand.

Nearsightedness is a condition in which vision gets blurred when viewing an object at a distance. In some countries such as China nearsightedness has reached epidemic proportions with as much as 80% of the population being affected.

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Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Health, Featured.

Parents: The solar eclipse is nothing to fear. Here’s how to watch it with your kids.

(Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images)

Parents: The solar eclipse is nothing to fear. Here’s how to watch it with your kids.

(This is reprinted from the Washington Post.)

A total solar eclipse is an incredible thing — something I deeply believe should be experienced by adults and children alike. It literally illustrates how our solar system works as the moon travels directly between the sun and Earth. It is a science class brought to life in a way schools will never be able to re-create.For kids, this could be a significant moment in their little lives. They could be inspired to learn more about space and science in general. For older students, it could trigger exciting new career goals. For you, parent, the eclipse will give you the opportunity to create a memory your children won’t forget.As the big event gets closer, some schools have decided to close on Aug. 21, simply because they can’t handle the logistics of wrangling a thousand kids to watch the solar eclipse. That makes sense. It’s unfortunate for parents who aren’t going to be able to arrange child care that day, let alone child care that will help the kids watch the eclipse. But I understand the eclipse may be a burden — particularly when special equipment and planning is needed to ensure the kids are able to watch it safely. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Featured, General Vision.

Eyelid Twitches: 7 Things You Should Know from Eyecare Associates of LS

You may have experienced this before. Out of nowhere, your eyelid starts twitching uncontrollably. While this can be a cause of aggravation, eyelid twitches, spasms or tics are actually quite common. Here are 7 things you should know about this eye condition:

  1. Eye twitches are generally caused by a repetitive, involuntary spasm in your eyelid muscles and are known in medical terms as a blepharospasm.
  2. Almost all sudden-onset eye twitching is not considered to be a serious medical condition, though it can be hard to treat without knowing the underlying cause.
  3. Eyelid twitches can occur sporadically, though some people have been known to feel them for a few consecutive days or weeks
  4. Stress, tiredness, eyestrain, caffeine alcohol or tobacco usage, dry eyes, allergies or nutritional imbalances are factors that can trigger or exacerbate eye twitches. The body produces endogenous cortisol (a steroid) when stressed, which may cause biological warning signs to the body to de-stress.
  5. If reducing stress does not alleviate the twitches, your eye doctor can perform a refraction (vision test) and comprehensive eye health exam to see if eye treatment can resolve the problem. Sometimes the solution is relieving eyestrain by updating your glasses.
  6. Rarely, a twitch will continue despite these efforts to alleviate triggers. In that case, they can be treated with Botox injections to help stop the muscles in your eyelid from contracting.
  7. Eyelid spasms are only considered a medical emergency when the twitch is accompanied by red or swollen eyes, unusual discharge, a drooping eyelid or twitching in other parts of the face. These may be symptoms of a more serious neurological disorder.

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Posted by & filed under Eye Health.

 

 

Eye injections help vision loss in diabetes.

For the past 20 years, Julio has taken medication daily to treat his diabetes, but it was still a shock when he suffered a hemorrhage in his right eye more than a year ago.

“I could see blood,” said the 46-year-old from Kendall, who did not want his full name used. “It started with minor bleeding and I couldn’t see from my right eye.”

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Posted by & filed under Eye Health.

 

Zika Virus

 

Zika Virus, also known as ZIKV, is the latest infectious disease threat to capture the attention of the American public. With its origin in Brazil, the host country of this year’s Summer Olympics, and its association with potentially severe birth defects, Zika understandably has many people concerned.

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