Monday, July 6, 2020

Fireworks Eye Injuries



The most recent Consumer Product Safety Commission report found that 14% of fireworks injuries were eye injuries. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment -all of which can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss. Children and young adults are frequent victims. Children age 15 and under accounted for 36% of the total injuries, according to the commission's report. And half of the injuries requiring an emergency room visit were to people age 20 or younger. Even sparklers can be dangerous, as they burn at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparklers were responsible for 1,200 of the injuries in the latest report, and a sparkler mishap caused one of the fireworks deaths reported in 2017. The people injured by fireworks aren't necessarily handling the explosives themselves. In fact, 65% of people injured by fireworks were bystanders, according to another study. The statistics don't lie. Children and people not handling fireworks themselves are in as much danger as the people actually lighting fireworks.

Please leave preparing fireworks displays to professionals in order to decrease your risk of fireworks eye injuries. If you or someone you know does experience a fireworks eye injury call us immediately or go directly to the emergency room and have them call us for consultation.

Monday, June 29, 2020

About Eyelid Twitches


If you have ever had an eyelid twitch for an extended period of time, you know how annoying it is. An eyelid twitch (or tic) is when you have a spasm or slight movement of your upper or lower eyelid. It comes on suddenly, and can last for a minute, hours, days or even longer. While it may feel as if everyone can see the twitch, most twitches are slight enough that they can’t be seen by someone simply looking at your face. Most common eyelid twitches are harmless, and do not affect your vision. However, there are some neurological problems that can make eyelid muscles contract, such as blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. These less common conditions generally tend to cause the eyelids to close more fully and for longer periods of time, limiting or completely blocking vision. Other muscles in the face may be affected as well. For the majority of us, the common eyelid twitch is a brief and minor annoyance. But when it lasts longer or occurs more frequently than usual, there are some steps you can take to make it go away:

Get Some Sleep!

Eyelid twitches often happen to people when they are overly tired. Get some restorative sleep.

Step Back From Stress!

Being under stress can lead to a twitch. If you can’t eliminate something causing you stress, find stress-reducing activities to help get rid of the twitch.

Cut Back On Caffeine!

As a stimulant, caffeine can cause eyelid spasms. Limiting your coffee, tea or soda intake may help to reduce eyelid twitching.

Moisturize Your Eyes!

In some cases, having irritated or dry eyes can lead to eyelid spasms. Get a dry eye exam if necessary or if you are bothered by dry eye problems.

If you or someone you know has ongoing eyelid twitching and gritty, uncomfortable eyes please schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaEyeCataractCenter/.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Monday, June 22, 2020

About Diabetes & Diabetic Eye Disease





What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body. Diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. It damages small blood vessels in the eye as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 90% of vision loss from diabetes can be prevented. BUT-Early detection of diabetic eye disease is the key! People with diabetes should get critical, annual eye exams even before they have signs of vision loss. Studies show that sixty percent of diabetics are not getting the exams their doctors recommend.

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease is a term for several eye problems that can all result from diabetes. Diabetic eye disease includes: 
  • diabetic retinopathy,
  • diabetic macular edema,
  • cataract, and
  • glaucoma.
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is when blood vessels in the retina swell, leak or close off completely. Abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina.
People who have diabetes or poor blood sugar control are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer you have diabetes.

Diabetic Macular Edema
Macular edema happens when fluid builds up on the retina and causes swelling and blurry vision. Diabetes can cause macular edema. Diabetic macular edema can lead to permanent vision loss.

Diabetes and Cataracts
Excess blood sugar from diabetes can causes cataracts. You may need cataract surgery to remove lenses that are clouded by the effects of diabetes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent permanent clouding of the lens and surgery.

Diabetes and Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to your eye's optic nerve. This damage leads to irreversible loss of vision. Having diabetes doubles your chance of getting glaucoma.

Other Eye Problems Can Be Related to Diabetes!
Diabetes can cause vision problems even if you do not have a form of diabetic eye disease.
If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s lens, causing blurry vision. Your vision goes back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. Have your blood sugar controlled before getting your eyeglasses prescription checked. This ensures you receive the correct prescription.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Senior Vision Changes after 60

As we age, even people who do not have age-related eye diseases and who have good visual acuity may experience vision changes or notice changes in the way their eyes function. A common change is that your eyes may take longer to adjust and focus or don’t adjust very well when moving from well lit to dimly lit area. This change in dark and light adaptation can make driving more difficult, especially at night or in the rain. Driving may be even more challenging for people with eye diseases that reduce their peripheral (side) vision such as glaucoma or increase their sensitivity to glare including cataracts. To be on the safe side, the National Traffic Safety Administration recommends that elders take a driving course designed specifically for seniors, drive during daylight hours, reduce speed and be extra-cautious at intersections. Another common senior vision change can be an increased difficulty in distinguishing an image from its background-particularly when subtle gradations of tone are involved. This is called “contrast sensitivity” and can also make driving in dim lighting more of a challenge.

If you or someone you know is over 60, it is important to have regular eye health and vision exams and for you to share any subtle difficulties with your vision so that we can help prevent eye problems and preserve your vision. Schedule a senior eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyecataractcenter.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Christmas Plants Treat Eye Tumors?


German researchers reporting in Science Signaling have identified a compound in the berries of the Coralberry plant that appears to be able to destroy Uveal Melanoma, the most common and an aggressive type of eye cancer. The Coralberry is a very common plant we use for Christmas and holiday decorations! The leaves of the plant contain bacteria that produce a toxin that inhibits a cancer cell molecule called Gq protein and thus is destructive to the cancer. It also appears that the toxin may be effective against skin cancer as well. At this time the investigation is still in the laboratory but researchers hope to make it into a pharmaceutical in the near future.

If you notice pigmented or non pigmented lesions or dry scaly patches on your eyelids or around your eyes please let us know at your eye exam. Schedule routine eye exams with us at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Masks: Why Are We All Wearing One?


We know that the primary way people get infected with COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets are released into the air when you sneeze, cough AND talk! The research tells us that face masks-even common cloth masks, surgical masks and non-fit-tested respirators, can be an effective barrier to spreading respiratory droplets. So…we are…and we ask you to…wear a mask please!

We look forward to seeing you soon for your regular eye exams for eye health & vision!
Should you need help for a contact lens irritation, red eye or contact lens problem, PLEASE CALL 205-930-0930 and we can provide you with either a TeleEyeHealth Virtual Visit & Consultation or schedule an appointment for a personal visit at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Practical Eye Health Tips for COVID



There are some practical eye health tips and precautions that you should consider to stay safe from COVID risk. We suggest thinking about:
  • If You Wear Contact Lenses, Consider Switching to Glasses for a While. There's no evidence that wearing contact lenses increases your risk of Coronavirus infection, but if you wear contacts, you tend to touch your eyes more than average. Wearing glasses decreases the likelihood and need to touch your eyes.
  • Wearing Glasses May Add a Layer of Protection. Eyeglasses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets in the air, but they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses. If you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense.
  • Stock Up on Eye Drops and Medicine Prescriptions If You Can. If possible try to stock up on critical medications and eye drops, so that you’ll have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if your pharmacy is unable to fill your refills. If your insurance allows you to get more than 1 month of essential eye medicine, such as glaucoma drops, you should do so. Some insurers will approve a 3-month supply of medication in times of natural disaster. Ask your pharmacist or our office for help if you have trouble getting approval from your insurance company. And as always, request a refill as soon as you’re due. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy. 
  • Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes. Everyone rubs their eyes! We all do it and it can be a tough to stop. But-doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason-even to administer eye medicine-wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again afterwards. 
  • We look forward to seeing you soon for your regular eye exams for eye health & vision! In the meantime if you, a friend or relative should need help for a contact lens irritation, red eye or contact lens problem, PLEASE CALL 205-930-0930 and we can provide you with either a TeleEyeHealth Virtual Visit & Consultation  or schedule an appointment for a personal visit at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center.
Visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/alabamaeyecataractcenter. Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.