History of Contact Lenses

Woman inserting a contact lens in eye.

Woman inserting a contact lens in eye.

Contact lenses are so commonly worn today that people don’t give them a second thought. Did you know that the concept for contact lenses goes all the way back to Leonardo DaVinci who described them back in 1508. Many scientists experimented with different materials over the next few centuries with only a little success. It was in the late 1800’s that German scientists devised a  prototype of a contact lens made from a thin piece of glass that covered the entire eye. In the early 1900’s it became possible to make a mold of the entire eye and this helped to make lenses that fit better.  By the 1950’s plastics were being developed that could be made thinner and with a better fit for the eye and they were replacing glass as the material of choice for contact lenses.  In 1960 the company Bausch and Lomb developed a technique to cast hydrogel, a plastic material that could be molded and shaped when wet, which allowed for the production of lenses that were able to be mass produced and of extremely high quality. Today lenses are much more comfortable than the lenses made 20 years ago. They can be worn for long periods of time and they allow the eye to breathe which earlier versions couldn’t do.
If you would like to make an appointment with our ophthalmology department please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Diabetes and Loss of Vision

Ophthalmology eyesight examination

Diabetic eye disease is comprised of a number of eye conditions one of which is diabetic retinopathy.

All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause vision loss or blindness, but diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics and often goes undetected until vision loss occurs.

If you are a diabetic who has chronically high or uncontrolled blood sugar, you are at risk of damaging the tiny blood vessels in the retina which can lead to diabetic retinopathy.  The disease causes blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or bleed causing a distortion in vision.

The retina detects light and converts it to signals sent through the optic nerve to the brain.  Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or bleed, causing a distortion in vision.

Diabetic retinopathy may progress through four stages:

  1. Mild non-proliferative retinopathy. Small areas of balloon-like swelling in the retina’s tiny blood vessels, called micro-aneurysms, occur at this earliest stage of the disease. These micro-aneurysms may leak fluid into the retina.
  2. Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy. As the disease progresses, blood vessels that nourish the retina may swell and distort. They may also lose their ability to transport blood.
  3. Severe non-proliferative retinopathy. Many more blood vessels are blocked, depriving blood supply to areas of the retina. These areas secrete growth factors that signal the retina to grow new blood vessels.
  4. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). At this advanced stage, growth factors secreted by the retina trigger the proliferation of new blood vessels, which grow along the inside surface of the retina and into the vitreous gel, the fluid that fills the eye. The new blood vessels are fragile, which makes them more likely to leak and bleed. Accompanying scar tissue can contract and cause retinal detachment—the pulling away of the retina from underlying tissue, like wallpaper peeling away from a wall. Retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.

Some ways to delay diabetic retinopathy and vision loss are:

  • Controlling your diabetes – take medications as prescribed, maintaining a recommended level of physical activity and a healthy diet.
  • Eye Exam – because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Vision lost to diabetic retinopathy is sometimes irreversible. However, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.  To make an appointment at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Ophthalmology call, 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Social Media Making Me Fat?

Have you ever wondered why when you see postings of food on social media that are pleasing to your eyes, you immediately begin to desire that food or think, “Gee, I’m hungry?

The human mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and subconscious mind.  The conscious mind works while we are awake, while the subconscious mind is always activated.  The subconscious mind regulates everything in our body, our character, our speech and receives and processes information. The food and beverage postings on social media speak directly to our conscious and subconscious mind.

According to researchers, 70 percent of household meals in America are influenced by digital media.  Pictures of food and beverages show up on news feeds 63 percent of the time.  One popular social media site noted that a widely used food hashtag marked photos of snacks and meals 54 million times on their site alone.

In addition to subliminally causing you to want to eat more food, studies have shown that people who spent two hours or more using a device with LED display, such as a smart phone or tablet, had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels.  Melatonin is the chemical that prepares your body for sleep. When we lose sleep, we can pack on extra pounds because there is a link between sleep loss and weight gain.  If you are awake for longer periods of time, you may be more inclined to reach for a late night snack or bag of chips.

Some steps you can take to curb your hunger and promote good health are:

  • Choose fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
  • Prepare your meals at home and limit dining out and processed on-the-go meals.
  • Try to avoid being distracted by TV, work, driving or surfing on your computer, phone or tablet while eating.
  • Regulate your social media feed, especially if the pictures of food and beverages make your stomach moan.

Obesity is on the rise because many factors, but keep in mind that you are in control and can make healthy choices to live a healthy life. It’s better to eat with your stomach and not with your eyes.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma 493332472Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms,  and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma  is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the  brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.
Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718- 206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms, and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much aGlaucoma 493332472s 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.
Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718- 206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Do You Have Trouble Identifying Colors? You Might Be Color Blind!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – the colors of the rainbow; most of us can identify and distinguish each of these colors from the rest, but for those who are color blind, telling these colors apart is not so easy.

ThinkstockPhotos-482328524As much as 8% of men are color blind, (compared to only 0.5 % of women). Why are men so much more prone to colorblindness? Well, the reason for colorblindness is a dysfunction in the x chromosome. Men only have one X chromosome, but women have two – and all someone needs is one working x chromosome to compensate for the loss of function of the other.

Being color blind doesn’t really mean that a person can’t see color though. Complete color blindness is actually very rare. What is much more common is a visionary deficiency, which means a person isn’t aware of the differences among colors. Some deficiencies are profound while others are mild. In fact, some people who don’t have a severe form of color blindness are not even aware they have the condition.

The most common type of color blindness is an inability to distinguish between red and green. While there is no cure for color blindness, those who are red-green color blind can actually use a special set of lenses to help them perceive colors more accurately. There are even apps now available on smartphones to help people differentiate colors.

While some people go their entire life unaware they are color blind, most are diagnosed as children. This is because educational material is often color coded, so when a child has trouble processing information, color blindness can be identified as the reason.

Eye care professionals can use a variety of tests to diagnose color blindness. The most common tests use a series of colored circles with overlapping color shapes inside of them. These shapes are easily identifiable to people who have normal color vision, but are difficult to see for people who are color blind.

To have yourself, or your child tested for color blindness, please consult with your primary care doctor or ophthalmologist. The TJH Ophthalmology Center at Jamaica Hospital is staffed with board certified doctors who can test and diagnose this condition. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.