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What’s the Link Between Sleep and Glaucoma?

Sleep is usually a time for restoration and healing, but the way we sleep, how much we sleep and conditions like apnea can increase your chances of developing a serious eye condition: glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a sight-threatening optic nerve disease that generally affects people over 50 and, in its early stages, usually presents no symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred.

This is why it’s essential to have your annual eye exam, especially if you’re 50 or older or at high risk of developing glaucoma. Regular check-ups enable your eye doctor to detect any eye problems, including glaucoma, early on. This can maximize the effectiveness of eye disease treatment and management.

If you’re due for your annual eye evaluation, schedule your eye exam with at in today.

Sleep and Risk Factors for Glaucoma

The quality and amount of our sleep and the way we sleep can increase our risk of developing glaucoma due to the following factors:

Eye Pressure and Glaucoma

The pressure within our eyes is affected by the amount of aqueous fluid and its ability to drain from the eyes. The aqueous fluid doesn’t drain efficiently when we lie flat on our back. The lack of drainage due to positioning during sleep can increase ocular pressure, which can strain the optic nerve and increase the risk of glaucoma.

Blood Pressure and Glaucoma

When we sleep, our blood pressure decreases. This is often good for people who suffer from hypertension because it takes some pressure off the cardiovascular system. However, long periods of low blood pressure, or hypotension, during sleep has been shown to exacerbate glaucoma symptoms.

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma

Sleep apnea is marked by the occasional or frequent cessation of breathing during sleep. Usually, the person is unaware that they have sleep apnea, and only a partner or someone else who sleeps in the same room will notice that they make choking or gasping sounds as they stop breathing.

These periods of interrupted breathing can lessen the flow of oxygen and damage the optic nerve. There is an observable link between people who have sleep apnea and those who suffer from glaucoma, which may suggest a causal connection. The risk of people with sleep apnea developing glaucoma could be as high as 10 times the average. Individuals with sleep apnea should consult with their primary care physician, who can suggest lifestyle changes and devices such as oral appliances to help treat the condition.

Glaucoma and the Amount of Sleep

Too little or too much sleep can affect general health and contribute to eye problems. As mentioned above, extended periods of lying down can increase pressure on the optic nerve and contribute to the development of glaucoma. Yet too little sleep causes fatigue and has been associated with field vision loss.

According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2008), those who slept 10 hours or more a night had triple the risk of developing glaucoma compared to people who slept only 7 hours a night. Getting three hours of sleep a night tripled the risk of field vision loss.

Among other lifestyle glaucoma prevention tips, such as maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, getting the right amount of sleep — not too much or too little — are important steps towards preventing optic nerve problems.

How Glaucoma Interferes with Sleep

Not only does the amount and way we sleep affect the development and progression of glaucoma. This optic nerve disease can interfere with our sleep. This occurs because the communication between the retina’s photosensitive cells and the hypothalamus — the part of the brain that contains the circadian clock that regulates sleep — is disrupted in glaucoma patients.

The hypothalamus no longer sends a message to the pineal gland to secrete melatonin and induce sleep at the proper time. The result: people with glaucoma may also experience sleep disturbances.

Risk factors for Glaucoma

Since many glaucoma patients do not experience symptoms prior to diagnosis, it is essential to undergo regular eye exams, especially for those considered at higher risk:

  • Aged 50 or older
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, heart disease
  • Are African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Have corneas that thin at the center
  • Eye injury or prior eye surgery
  • High myopia (severe nearsightedness)
  • Take corticosteroids such as eye drops, pills or creams

How is Glaucoma Detected?

A digital eye exam maps out the eye with 3D full color images allowing your eye doctor to detect any problems early.

Retinal imaging can detect glaucoma and show optic nerve damage. Eye dilation is occasionally required before the imaging of the eye to enable your optometrist to more easily see the inside of your eye.

To facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases and conditions, schedule an appointment with at in today.
At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.

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Q&A

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma results from a lack of drainage of fluid from the eye. It generally has no obvious symptoms in its early phases. In its later stages, it presents with:

  • Blind spots and patches in the central or peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision

Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden buildup of fluid pressure in the aqueous humor. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Eye redness
  • Appearance of halos

What Causes a Feeling of Pressure Behind the Eye?

Glaucoma is often caused by pressure on the optic nerve. However, a feeling of pressure behind the eye is generally only felt with closed-angle glaucoma.

An excessive amount of fluid in the eye, called the aqueous humor or a sudden blockage to proper drainage causes a buildup and increased pressure on the optic nerve. Drainage of the aqueous humor is through the trabecular meshwork, which is located where the cornea and the iris meet.

Eye Vitamins: Can They Prevent or Treat Glaucoma?

Some initial studies have shown a potential link between Vitamin A and Vitamin C and a protective effect related to glaucoma. However, a systematic review of the literature on vitamins and glaucoma (Nutrients, March 2018), concludes that these studies are inconclusive and more research, including randomized clinical trials, are needed to establish any clear link between specific vitamins and preventing or treating glaucoma.

7 Common Signs Of Vision Problems In Adults

More than 150 million adults in America have some sort of vision problem. Of these, up to 8 million have poor vision due to an uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism).

Here are 7 signs to watch for that may suggest the need for vision correction.

1. Squinting

Squinting is a common symptom of myopia (nearsightedness). Even if you already have glasses to correct your nearsightedness, if you find yourself squinting to see distant objects you may need a higher prescription.

2.Blurred vision

Whether occasional or persistent, blurred vision is a symptom of several eye conditions. Contact your eye doctor if your vision seems hazy or blurred.

3.Eyestrain

Eyestrain can occur after intensely focusing on a nearby or distant object, including a digital screen, for an extended period of time. Eyestrain can be annoying, but your eye doctor can help, either through vision correction or other methods.

4.Headaches

Achieving clear vision requires the efficient functioning of numerous processes in the brain, as well as smooth eye muscle movements. When your eyes overexert themselves trying to create clear images, it can lead to headaches. Vision correction may be the solution to recurring headaches.

5.Poor night vision

Also called “night blindness,” poor night vision makes it more difficult to see at night or in low-light environments, such as a movie theater or dimly lit restaurant. Difficulty seeing figures in the dark can indicate a serious vision problem, so speak with your optometrist.

6.Flashes or floaters

Seeing squiggly, shadow-like figures in your field of vision can be normal, but a sudden onset or increase in the amount of floaters you see is a reason to contact your eye doctor. Seeing flashes of light in your eyes can also signal a more serious ocular problem like retinal detachment, so be sure to alert your eye doctor immediately if you experience any flashes.

7.Difficulty with computer vision

Vision problems can make it difficult to focus on a computer screen or other digital device for long periods of time. Correcting your vision or using computer glasses can help alleviate any discomfort while looking at a computer.

If you experience any of these symptoms, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you with all of your vision-related needs. To schedule an eye exam, call Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in Sunnyvale today!

At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

Do I need an eye exam even if my vision is clear?

Regular eye exams are not just for detecting changes in your vision, but also changes in your eye health. Many serious eye diseases and conditions don’t present with any obvious symptoms until they’ve progressed to a late stage, making regular comprehensive eye exams crucial to maintaining eye health. Speak to your eye doctor about how often you should have your eyes examined.

What are the most common vision problems among adults?

Refractive errors are by far the most prevalent vision problems among adults. Other common conditions and diseases that can affect vision include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, amblyopia and strabismus. Your optometrist will advise you on how to lower your risk of developing these conditions if possible, and how to keep your vision clear and maintain good eye health.

Can Restricting Online Gaming Time Reduce Myopia Progression?

Two kids playing online gamesThe Chinese government recently implemented a new policy that’s sparked conversations about childhood myopia and online gaming.

Under the policy, Chinese children and teens under the age of 18 are only permitted to play online video games for one hour on weekend evenings and public holidays — a significant reduction compared to their previous online gaming allotment. This restriction includes all forms of video games, from handheld devices to computer and smartphone gaming.

The government hopes to combat a common condition called online gaming disorder, or video game addiction, which affects more than 30% of children in China. Another potential benefit of limiting online gaming may be a reduction in childhood myopia progression, something we explore below.

The Link Between Online Gaming and Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition that causes blurred distance vision. Several factors contribute to the onset and progression of myopia, including genetic and environmental.

Several studies have found that screen time, along with other forms of near work, is associated with higher levels of myopia and myopia progression in children.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (2019), children who engage in screen time for more than 3 hours per day have almost 4 times the risk of becoming myopic. Younger children, around ages 6-7, are even more susceptible to experiencing screen-related nearsightedness, with 5 times the risk compared to children who don’t use digital screens.

Limiting screen time may also encourage children to spend more time outdoors in the sun, a protective factor against developing myopia and slowing its progression.

In The Sydney Adolescent Vascular and Eye Study (2013), researchers found that spending at least 21 hours outdoors per week was more important for delaying the onset of myopia than limiting near work in both younger and older children, although both were effective.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Although online gaming can give children a sense of community and togetherness, excessive online gaming can increase a child’s risk of developing myopia and contribute to its progression.

The good news is that parents can make eye-healthy choices for their children that can have lifelong benefits. Limiting near work activities like online gaming and other screen time, and encouraging your children to play outdoors can significantly reduce their chances of developing high (severe) myopia.

How Myopia Management Can Help

The best thing that parents can offer their children to prevent myopia and halt its progression is a custom-made myopia management treatment plan with an eye doctor.

Whether or not myopia has set in already, we can help preserve your child’s eye health and lower their risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment in the future.

To learn more about our services or schedule your child’s myopia consultation, contact Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in Sunnyvale today!

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians offers myopia management to patients from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Cupertino, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. David Mark

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for myopia management?

  • A: Children, teens, and young adults who are nearsighted or are at risk of becoming nearsighted are ideal candidates for myopia management. If you think myopia management is right for you or your child, speak with us about how we can help. Remember, the sooner your child starts myopia management, the better their outcome will be.

Q: Is myopia management based on scientific evidence?

  • A: Yes! The treatments used in myopia management are all safe and clinically proven to slow the onset and progression of myopia in children and teens. There have been several scientific studies that support its effectiveness.

Visit MyopiCare to Learn More
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 408-733-3733

Screen Time Can Lead To Eye Strain And Convergence Insufficiency In Children

Screen Time 640×350Now that a couple of years have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have gotten a clearer picture of the impact that online schooling has had on children’s eyes.

Not only have myopia cases increased, but more children are experiencing symptoms of eye strain and convergence insufficiency due to extended screen time.

Below, we explore what eye strain and convergence insufficiency are, and how vision therapy can help counteract the negative effects of online learning.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Prolonged use of digital devices like computers or smartphones can cause a condition called computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain. This condition affects around 50% of adults and children.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Sore eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

Children who complain of any of these symptoms should have their eyes evaluated by a developmental optometrist to ensure that vision problems aren’t exacerbating their symptoms.

What is Convergence Insufficiency?

Normally, when your eyes focus on a very near object, like a pencil near your nose, they must point slightly inwards to see a unified and clear image.

With convergence insufficiency, the eyes aren’t able to work in unison to point inward. Instead, one eye may point outward when trying to focus on a near object, leading to blurred or double vision.

Children with convergence insufficiency may struggle to perform visually demanding near tasks like reading and homework. In fact, many children who have vision-related learning problems are often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities.

How Does Screen Time Lead to Eye Strain and Convergence Insufficiency?

Experts at Wills Eye Hospital recently studied the correlation between prolonged screen time and its effects on children’s eyes. They surveyed 110 students aged 10-17 who attended classes online. Prior to the beginning of online sessions, the students all had healthy vision.

The researchers discovered that the number of hours spent in front of a screen directly correlated to the likelihood of developing digital eye strain and convergence insufficiency. More than half of the students experienced symptoms of both visual conditions, with 17% of cases being severe convergence insufficiency.

These important and timely findings should alert parents to the risks that come with online learning, and encourage them to find solutions and take preventative measures to keep their kids’ eyes healthy. Fortunately, that’s where vision therapy comes in.

How Can Vision Therapy Help?

Vision therapy trains the eyes and brain to work together efficiently to resolve a wide range of visual dysfunctions.

Restoring healthy binocular vision is the goal for children with convergence insufficiency, and vision therapy is a primary treatment for accomplishing that.

According to the National Eye Institute, most children with convergence insufficiency experience significant improvement after just 12 weeks of vision therapy.

Vision therapy can also be effective for treating symptoms of digital eye strain in children. According to the Optometrists Network, a free and extensive online library for eye care, vision therapy can relieve symptoms of digital eye strain by strengthening the visual system.

To learn more about the benefits of vision therapy or to schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact Silicon Valley Eye Physicians today!

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians offers vision therapy to patients from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Cupertino, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. David Mark

Q: What is a functional vision evaluation?

  • A: A functional visual evaluation assesses a multitude of visual skills that normally aren’t tested in standard eye exams or vision screenings. Some examples of those visual skills include convergence, eye tracking and teaming, visual processing, eye movement, focusing, eye alignment and accommodation flexibility.

Q: Who is a candidate for vision therapy?

  • A: Children and adults who have varying degrees of visual dysfunction are ideal candidates for vision therapy. Many patients may not be aware of problems with their visual systems but suffer from symptoms like headaches or dizziness, which may be rooted in their vision. Children with learning problems or any visual symptoms may benefit from a customized vision therapy program.

Request A Functional Visual Exam
Find Out How We Can Help You! 408-739-6200

Can Ocular Melanoma Be Treated?

Most ocular melanomas develop in the uvea, a part of the eye that contains the iris, ciliary body and choroid. For this reason this form of cancer is called uveal melanoma. Although this is the most frequently diagnosed type of eye cancer, it is still very uncommon, with an annual incidence of 5.1 cases per million individuals.

Most uveal tumors arise from the pigment cells (melanocytes) that reside within the uvea and give color to the eye. When an eye melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is about 15%.

Treatment

Treatments for ocular melanoma are highly dependent on the location, size and stage of the cancer, as well as how quickly it is progressing. In some cases, your doctor may decide to keep a careful eye on the cancer rather than undertake any intrusive measures.

The goal of treatment is to keep your eyesight as clear as possible; it may include surgery, radiation or laser therapy.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. It is a frequently used treatment for melanoma of the eye. Radiation therapy can often save a person’s vision.

There are two basic methods of radiation therapy:

  • External radiation therapy involves directing radiation beams from outside the body at the tumor. Proton beam radiation, for example, is used to target the tumor. This reduces the amount of damage to nearby eye and brain tissues.
  • Internal radiation therapy involves implanting radiation seeds near the tumor inside the eye. This procedure is known as radioactive plaque therapy or brachytherapy. To safeguard other components of the eye, the seeds are enclosed in a metal plaque (disc).

Surgery

Surgery is used to remove the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue. Depending on the size and spread of the tumor, the eye doctor will remove sections or all of the damaged eye during surgery.

Depending on the size, stage and location of the tumor, the surgeon will choose one of the following options:

  • Iridectomy – the removal of part of the iris
  • Iridocyclectomy – the removal of part of the iris and the ciliary body
  • Irido-trabeculectomy – the removal of part of the iris, plus a small piece of the outer part of the eyeball
  • Enucleation – the removal of the eyeball

In some cases, the removal of the eye may be necessary when other treatment methods are not suitable. A few weeks after the eye is removed, you can be fitted for an artificial eye that will match the size and color of the remaining eye.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is used in rare circumstances to treat very small ocular melanomas or to lessen the likelihood of cancer returning following radiation. This therapy uses heat in the form of a laser to shrink a smaller tumor.

The location and size of the tumor, as well as the likelihood of saving vision in the eye, are the most important criteria in deciding on treatment for eye melanoma. Contact Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in Sunnyvale to discuss the best course of action for a successful outcome.

At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

What impact will ocular melanoma have on my life?

Most patients diagnosed with ocular melanoma are treated and able to return to their normal activities.

Can ocular melanoma come back after surgery?

Ocular melanoma recurs in about half of all patients, at some point after treatment.

Blinking Exercises for Dry Eye

Blinking Exercises 640×350Did you know that the average person spends around 7 hours a day looking at a screen? The glare and reflections from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can reduce blink rates by as much as 60%. When we concentrate intensely we tend to blink less, which can, in turn, lead to dry eye syndrome.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include red and dry eyes, irritated eyes, blurred vision, painful or stinging eyes, light sensitivity and mucus around the eyes.

Blinking helps keep our eyes healthy and comfortable. With every blink, the ocular surface is cleaned of debris and lubricated, so less blinking means more irritation and dryness.

Below are a few blinking exercises to help you ensure that your eyes remain lubricated and refreshed throughout the day.

Blinking Exercises

Blinking exercises are simple to do and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. These exercises should be done a few times an hour. Try alternating between the 2 exercises below.

1. Close-Pause-Pause-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  4. Repeat 5 times

2. Close-Pause-Pause-Squeeze-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. While keeping your eyes closed, squeeze your eyelids together slowly and gently.
  4. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  5. Repeat 5 times

The Importance of Fully Blinking

It’s important to fully blink to completely lubricate your eyes. If you’re only partially blinking, it can render your dry eye symptoms worse.

To find out whether you are fully blinking, just look at your eyes in the mirror. If they feel dry or appear red, or if you see a horizontal stripe of red blood vessels across your eyes, then you have been partially blinking.

If you’ve incorporated blinking exercises into your routine but are still experiencing eye irritation, you may have dry eye syndrome. We can diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and offer a variety of dry eye treatments to alleviate any discomfort. Schedule an eye exam with Silicon Valley Eye Physicians today to receive effective, long-lasting relief.

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians serves dry eye patients from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Cupertino, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. David Mark

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome is caused either by insufficient tears or poor tear quality. Every time you blink, you leave a thin film of tears over the surface of your eyes. This helps keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. If your tears don’t keep the surface of your eye moist enough, you will experience dry eye symptoms. Some medical conditions, certain medications, dysfunctional glands, allergies and environmental irritants can all cause dry eye symptoms.

Q: What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

  • A: Symptoms of dry eye include irritation; a gritty, scratchy or burning sensation; blurred vision; excessive tearing; and/or a feeling of having something stuck in the eye.

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Do You Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 408-739-6200

6 Tips For Adjusting To Wearing Scleral Lenses

6 Tips For Adjusting To Wearing Scleral Lenses 640×350Congratulations on your new pair of customized scleral contact lenses! As with most new things, there can be a learning curve when getting your scleral contacts to feel and fit just right.

Whether you’ve been prescribed sclerals for keratoconus, dry eye syndrome, corneal abnormalities or other conditions, it can take up to two weeks for you to feel completely comfortable in your new contacts.

Here are some tips to help shorten the adjustment period on your scleral lens journey:

1. Stick to proper hygiene protocol

Even the most perfectly fitted scleral lenses won’t feel right if they aren’t cleaned and cared for properly. Carefully follow the hygiene guidelines prescribed by your optometrist without cutting any corners. Although it may seem tedious at first, your efforts will be well worth the results.

2. Practice makes progress

The only way to make inserting and removing your lenses second nature is to wear them. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit more time to insert them than you’d anticipated. Wearing your sclerals daily will give you the opportunity to practice wearing and caring for your lenses.

3. Try out different insertion tools and techniques

At your initial fitting or follow-up consultation, your eye doctor will show you ways to safely and comfortably insert your lenses. Some patients prefer using a large plunger, while others prefer the scleral ring or O-ring. If neither of these recommended techniques are working for you, seek advice from your eye doctor.

4. Overfill the lens

A common problem that many patients encounter when they begin wearing scleral contact lenses is how to get rid of tiny air bubbles that get trapped in the lens’ bowl. Try filling up the lens with the recommended solution until it is almost overflowing. That way, you’ll have enough fluid left in the lens even if some spills out when you bring it up to your eye.

5. Give it time

If your scleral lenses feel slightly uncomfortable upon insertion — don’t worry. It’s recommended to wait 20-30 minutes to allow them to settle on the eye’s surface before attempting to readjust or remove them. Of course, remove them immediately and try again if you feel significant discomfort.

6. Follow up with your optometrist

Even once you leave your optometrist’s office, we encourage you to remain in touch with your eye doctor if something doesn’t feel right or if you have any questions regarding your scleral lenses.

To learn more or to schedule a scleral lens consultation, call Silicon Valley Eye Physicians today!

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians provides scleral lenses to patients from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Cupertino, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. David Mark

Q: What are scleral contact lenses?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses with a uniquely large diameter. They rest on the sclera (whites of the eyes) instead of the cornea, making them a more comfortable and stable option for people with corneal irregularities or dry eye syndrome. Scleral contacts hold a reservoir of nourishing fluid between the eye’s surface and the inside of the lens, providing the patient with crisp and comfortable vision.

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for wearing sclerals?

  • A: Patients with keratoconus, corneal abnormalities, ocular surface disease (dry eye syndrome) and very high refractive errors can all benefit from scleral lenses. Moreover, those with delicate corneas due to disease or after surgery find scleral lenses to be comfortable and therapeutic, as the lenses don’t place any pressure on the sensitive corneal tissue.

Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? Find Out! 408-739-6200

Long-Term Risks of Repeated Head Impacts Among Athletes

Long Term Risks of Repeated Head Impacts Among Athletes 640×350If you’ve ever had a concussion or any other type of brain injury, you likely experienced at least some of the symptoms caused by head impacts: headaches, difficulty concentrating, problems with balance, visual problems and even anger management issues.

A single concussion is bad enough, but multiple studies published in National Academies Press (2014) revealed that experiencing as little as two concussions can sometimes lead to serious life-long problems.

Unfortunately, head hits that occur while playing contact sports are common, and the health repercussions of these impacts can be severe.

Here are six long-term risks of multiple concussions and repetitive head impacts:

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that affects athletes, military veterans and anyone who has experienced repeated brain trauma. Specific proteins (called tau proteins) form clumps in the brain of those with CTE, and these clumps eventually spread throughout the brain, permanently damaging and causing the death of brain cells. Progressive memory and cognition loss, depression, suicidal ideation, poor impulse control, aggression, Parkinsonism, and dementia are among the clinical indications of CTE.

Two case reports published in Neurosurgery involving two National Football League (NFL) players were the first to use the phrase. After long careers playing football in high school, college and professionally, these players suffered from a variety of neuropsychological symptoms.

Evidence suggests that CTE is caused by repeated head blows over a period of years, according to Clinics in Sports Medicine (2011). It’s crucial to understand that you don’t have to have a full-fledged concussion to develop this disease.

Depression

Depression is a mental disorder that affects one’s feelings, thoughts and actions. It can limit a person’s ability to perform at work, at school and at home. Loss of interest in previously loved hobbies, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances and thoughts of death or suicide are all possible symptoms.

Research published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2007) discovered a growing linear association between concussion history and being diagnosed with long-term depression. Retired athletes who had three or more concussions were three times more likely than those who had never had a concussion to be diagnosed with depression. Those who had one or two previous concussions had 1.5 times the chance of being diagnosed with depression.

Dementia Pugilistica

Dementia pugilistica, sometimes known as ‘punch-drunk condition,’ is a neurological disease that affects people who have experienced many concussions. The term ‘pugil’ comes from Latin and means ‘boxer’ or ‘fighter.’ The condition was initially diagnosed in boxers in the 1920s. Tremors, sluggish movement, speech difficulties, disorientation, a lack of coordination and memory loss are all prominent symptoms of this disease.

Dementia pugilistica is a kind of CTE that has some microscopic histological characteristics in common with Alzheimer’s disease. While it was first discovered in boxers who were subjected to repeated head hits in a 1973 study published in Psychological Medicine, athletes in other sports may be affected as well.

Neurocognitive Impairments

A concussion’s signs and symptoms can often affect one’s cognitive abilities, resulting in the inability to concentrate, disorientation, irritation and loss of balance. When you have more than one traumatic brain injury in your life, you may be more likely to experience long-term, possibly progressive, disability that impairs your ability to function.

According to the National Academies Press (2014), studies show that recurrent head impacts in football and hockey players cause abnormalities in cognitive function in the brain. In one study, researchers discovered that the impacted athletes had neurocognitive abnormalities in both working and visual memory. In another study, affected football players were found to have problems with impulse control and balance after the sports season concluded.

Slower Neurological Recovery

Despite the fact that millions of people suffer concussions each year, the risks of a prolonged neurological recovery after multiple concussions are still largely unknown. Nonetheless, according to a study published by the National Academies Press in 2014, a history of many concussions may be linked to a longer recovery of brain function after another concussion. According to the findings, repeated concussions may result in lifelong neurocognitive impaieyerment.

This is why it’s crucial to refrain from engaging in any sports or dangerous activities until you’ve fully recovered from a head impact.

Brain Injury and Your Vision

Head trauma and concussions can have major effects on the visual system, despite normal medical imaging results. The group symptoms causing blurred vision, eye coordination issues and dizziness following head trauma is called post-trauma vision syndrome.

Even mild concussions can cause visual dysfunction, such as double vision, accommodative dysfunction, convergence insufficiency, sensitivity to light, eye tracking problems and delayed visual processing.

How Can A Neuro-Optometrist Help?

Neuro-optometry is a branch of optometry that focuses on helping individuals with neurological disorders regain their visual and oculomotor skills. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy aims to improve a patient’s ability to function independently in a multisensory environment.

At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we know all too well the challenges that accompany repeated head impacts. To schedule a functional vision evaluation and determine if there is a problem with your visual system, call Silicon Valley Eye Physicians today.

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians offers neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy to patients from Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View and Cupertino, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. David Mark

Q: What is a concussion?

  • A: A concussion is a type of brain injury in which a blow to the head causes a momentary loss of brain function. When a person’s brain is violently moved back and forth or twisted inside the skull due to a direct or indirect force, an injury occurs. A concussion causes disruption in brain function and should be treated as a serious injury. Following a concussion, proper healing and recovery time are critical in preventing additional injury.

Q: What does a neuro-optometrist do?

  • A: A neuro-optometrist can assess functional binocularity, spatial vision and visual processing abilities, as well as functional binocularity and visual processing abilities. Following diagnosis, a comprehensive management program will be prescribed. Neuro-optometrists can also diagnose general eye health problems and correct refractive errors with glasses or contact lenses to increase visual acuity.

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5 Contact Lens Health Tips

Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct vision without glasses or LASIK surgery. To keep their eyes healthy, contact lens wearers should adopt a care regimen that involves regular rinsing, disinfecting and replacing their lenses when needed.

A contact lens exam and fitting session with Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in ​​Sunnyvale will ensure that you receive the best lenses for you and your lifestyle. The eye doctor will also instruct you on how to clean and care for them.

The following tips are essential for healthy and safe contact lens use:

  1. Replace contact lenses as advised by your eye doctor
  2. Wash hands carefully before touching the lenses, either removing or inserting
  3. Only use the prescribed solution to rinse lenses
  4. Disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor
  5. Schedule a contact lens exam and fitting
  6. Always attend your contact lens follow up exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems

Replace Contact Lenses as Instructed

It’s important to replace your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor. The period of time you can wear your lenses before using new ones depends on the type of lenses you have:

  • Daily disposable lenses – one-time use
  • Bi-weekly disposable lenses – replace every two weeks or sooner
  • Monthly lenses – every month
  • Traditional (non-disposable) lenses – replace every 6 to 12 months, or as per your eye doctor‘s advice.

Inspect your lenses carefully. If they are showing signs of wear and tear, replace them sooner. Exceeding the maximum time frame for contact lens wear can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection, and may even damage your eyes to the point where you can no longer wear contact lenses.

Wash and Dry Hands Carefully Before Applying Contact Lenses

Teens and adults often lead active lives and it can be easy to skip important routines like washing your hands with soap and water and drying them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or paper towel before applying contact lenses. This step shouldn’t be ignored as unwashed fingers transmit germs onto the lenses, which can enter the eye and lead to serious eye damage and vision loss.

So make sure you use plain soap (and not heavily scented varieties that may contain irritants) and dry your fingers with a lint-free towel before inserting or removing your contacts.

Use Solution to Rinse Contact Lenses

Rinsing contact lenses properly keeps tiny particles of makeup residue and microbes from reaching your eye. Apply the solution generously and rub the lens in the palm of your hand.

Even if you are at school or work and feel you are in too much of a hurry to get your solution, do not use tap water to rinse your lenses. Tap water is teeming with minerals, impurities and microbes that can damage lenses, irritate your eyes and spread infection.

Disinfect Contact Lenses

Disinfecting contact lenses kills germs and pathogens that can cause eye infections. There are several products and methods for disinfecting:

  • Multipurpose solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disinfecting devices

A multipurpose solution (MPS) can be used for routine rinsing as well as disinfecting. The procedure involves rinsing the lenses twice, placing them in a case filled with the multipurpose solution, letting the lenses soak, then rinsing them again before use.

The vast majority of eye doctors recommend an MPS for all disposable lenses

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that should be used with care and only with a [neutralizer]. Rinse the lenses and place them in a special contact lens container, then dip them in the solution. A [neutralizer] may be built-in to special lens holders or is available in tablet form. After the solution has been [neutralized], you can rinse, dry, and wear the contact lenses.

Schedule a Contact Lens Exam, Fitting and Follow Up

To keep your eyes healthy and vision sharp, your contact lenses should be the right size and type to suit your vision requirements and lifestyle. A thorough contact lens exam and fitting are essential. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests, including measurements of the cornea, iris and pupil, an evaluation of tear production and of the surface of your eyes.

A contact lens exam also includes questions about lifestyle and what kind of lenses you prefer. For instance, a teenager who is on a high school sports team may also need disposable lenses for road games and swim meets. The exam also involves a fitting session as well as follow-up exams to ensure the lenses do not cause irritation.

Follow up appointments are essential to allow the eye doctor to observe your eye health and make any adjustments to the lenses or your care regimen. It is essential to come to these exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems.

To schedule a contact lens exam, fitting or follow-up exam, contact us at Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in ​​Sunnyvale. We serve patients of every age, from children to seniors. Book your appointment with Silicon Valley Eye Physicians today

At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.

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Q&A

Why do my eyes feel dry when I wear contacts?

There are a few possible reasons your eyes may feel dry or irritated when wearing contacts. Your contacts may not be fitting properly or something may have entered into your eyes. There may also be an issue with your eyes and may be suffering from dry eye disease. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor and choose the optimal lens for ultimate comfort and hydration. If dry eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor will provide guidance and help you get the treatment you need for lasting relief.

What are the Symptoms of Kaleidoscope Vision?

Kaleidoscope vision is not a stand-alone condition, but rather a visual symptom of migraines or conditions like a brain injury or stroke. A person with kaleidoscope vision may perceive broken shapes and brilliantly colorful or scrambled images in their vision — much like looking through a kaleidoscope.

The condition can affect one or both eyes and can occur with or without a headache. Visual auras frequently precede headaches and migraines.

What Causes Kaleidoscope Vision?

An ocular migraine — a migraine with visual symptoms — is the most common cause of kaleidoscopic vision. Aura, also known as a sensory disturbance, is experienced by about 20% of migraine sufferers. Tingling in the hands or face, muscle weakness and trouble speaking are all examples of auras.

Visual Symptoms of a Migraine

Only one type of visual aura includes kaleidoscope vision. Understanding the different forms of visual disturbances that might occur as a result of a migraine can help.

There are three types of visual auras:

Positive Visual Aura

A person with a positive aura sees something that isn’t actually there. For example, they may perceive zig-zag or squiggly lines, flashes, stars or dots. Colorful shapes that move around the visual field or become larger may be perceived. A positive aura can also include a visual hallucination.

Negative Visual Aura

This is defined as any loss of vision, partial or entire, during a migraine. Blind spots, loss of peripheral vision or a brief period of total visual loss are all possible side effects of negative auras.

Altered Visual Aura

This aura alters your perception without adding or deleting anything. A straight line, for example, may appear wavy or fuzzy. A person with kaleidoscope vision is said to have an altered aura.

Misperceiving the size of an object (perceiving it to be larger or smaller than it is), distorted distance perception, and distorted or absent color are all examples of altered aura.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any type of ocular migraine, schedule an appointment with Silicon Valley Eye Physicians in Sunnyvale.
At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.

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Q&A

Q: How do you get rid of kaleidoscope vision?

  • A: There is currently no cure for kaleidoscope vision, but like any other migraine symptom, usually goes away on its own after an hour or so. People can take medication to alleviate painful sensations and prevent migraine attacks from occurring.

Q: What does it mean when you see a kaleidoscope in your vision?

  • A: Kaleidoscope vision is a temporary vision distortion that makes it appear as though you’re seeing through a kaleidoscope. The images are strewn together and can be highly colorful or gleaming.The most common cause of kaleidoscopic vision is a type of migraine headache called a visual or ocular migraine. When nerve cells in the area of your brain responsible for vision start firing abnormally, you have a visual migraine. It usually lasts 10-30 minutes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sunnyvale, California. Visit Silicon Valley Eye Physicians for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Script

A quarter of all people who get migraines experience visual disturbances.

Kaleidoscope vision is a short-term visual disturbance that causes visual images to look broken up, blurry and bright in color — much like a kaleidoscope. .

While it’s usually not a major cause for concern, kaleidoscopic vision can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.

It could be an early symptom of a stroke, brain injury or other neurological disorder.

If you’re experiencing visual disturbances, contact us today!