Myopia (Short-Sightedness) Linked to Poor Sleep

Research from Flinders University in Australia suggests people with myopia (short-sightedness) experience poorer sleep quality than those with normal vision. The study found that people with myopia have more delayed circadian rhythms and reduced melatonin production (a hormone responsible for regulating sleep) compared to people with normal vision. Myopia results in the inability to see objects at a distance. People affected can only clearly see things up close.

Dr. Ranjay Chakraborty, optometrist from the Flinders University Caring Futures Institute, said the study adds to the growing evidence of the potential association between disruption of the circadian rhythm and myopia development. “Disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep due to the advent of artificial light and the use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading and entertainment has become a recognized health concern in several fields, but its impact on eye health has not been studied extensively. These findings provide important evidence that optimal sleep and circadian rhythms are not only essential for general health, but also for good vision,” Chakraborty said.

Levels of melatonin were measured in participants through saliva and urine samples. In the study, the circadian timing and production of melatonin were measured in both people with myopia and those with normal sight. Melatonin is secreted in our brains soon after dark, peaking around 2 to 4 a.m.

Myopia is the most common vision disorder and, in severe cases, can lead to several blinding diseases in adulthood, such as retinal tear and detachment, glaucoma, or cataracts. Road signs and other long-distance objects are generally difficult for people with myopia to read.

“Because myopia typically develops during childhood, as a next step, we would like to examine circadian rhythm training, total production of melatonin sleep and light exposure at night in young children – the actual target population for myopia prevention,” said Dr. Chakraborty.

“Such a study will provide novel insights into the biological and environmental factors underlying myopia, which will aid in early diagnosis and treatment of myopia in children,” Dr. Chakraborty said.

Myopia doesn’t have to hold you back – talk to the eyecare experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Eyes Are a Window into the Soul – and Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study shows that the eyes are telltale signs for understanding diseases of the brain. Scientists at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences found that retinal scans can distinguish vital changes in blood vessels that might provide an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. These scans provide insight into how one of the most common Alzheimer’s risk genes (APOE4) gives way to the disease.

Fanny Elahi, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) and lead author of the study, said, “The most prevalent genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease is a variant of the APOE gene, known as APOE4. We still don’t fully understand how this variant increases risk of brain degeneration, we just know that it does, and that this risk is modified by sex, race, and lifestyle. Our research provides new insights into how APOE4 impacts blood vessels and may provide a path forward for early detection of neurodegenerative disease.”

The effects of APOE4 capillaries in the brain have been studied in mice. Elahi has long suspected these tiny blood vessels might play a crucial role in Alzheimer’s disease due to their important functions through the blood-brain barrier, such as delivering nutrients and oxygen, ridding the body of waste, and monitoring immune system responses. Elahi says damage to these blood vessels could lead to multiple issues, including the protein buildup and cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Since we cannot  visualize individual capillaries in living peoples’ brains, Elahi focused on the eyes instead.

Through a non-invasive eye scan, APOE4-associated capillary changes were detected in humans. Light-penetrating tissue shares biology with the brain, so researchers believe the retina might help establish APOE4 variants and how similar capillaries inside the brain are affected.

After analyzing the retinal scans, a reduced capillary density in APOE4 carriers was found, signifying an effect that increased with age. The team also compared the abnormalities found in the retinal scans to brain perfusion and found that people with higher density retinal capillary density also had greater brain blood flow.

Elahi said, “This is the first time that we have demonstrated in living, asymptomatic humans that the smallest blood vessels are affected in APOE4 gene carriers. That’s important because it suggests that the increased risk of brain degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease in APOE4 carriers might be through its effect on blood vessels. This is just the beginning. But the implications for early detection and possible intervention can be significant in combatting Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. It’s much harder to regenerate neurons than to stop their degeneration from happening in the first place. Similar to cancer, early detection can save lives.”

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Hand Sanitizer Causes Eye Burns in Children

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have become all the rage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The availability has sky-rocketed, and dispensers are available everywhere. Many adults are aware to not touch their eyes after rubbing the sanitizer throughout their hands, but children typically rub their eyes frequently. Some hand sanitizer automatic dispensers are almost eye-level with kids, which sometimes causes them to accidentally spray directly into their young eyes.

The chemical makeup of hand sanitizer can be moderately damaging to the ocular surface due to the elevated alcohol content. Ethanol causes severe discomfort and can kill corneal cells, sometimes requiring a corneal transplant.

A team of researchers using data from the French Poison Control Center (PCC) found a sevenfold increase in French reports of ocular hand sanitizer accidents in children from the same period in 2019.

From May 2020 to August 2020, the number of hand sanitizer eye exposures in public places increased from 14.4 percent to 52.4 percent. In 2020, a total of 16 children were hospitalized. Ten boys had a mean age of three-and-a-half years in 2020, while one 16-month-old boy was admitted in 2019.

Total hand sanitizer incidents in 2020:

  • 16 children were admitted to the hospital
  • Eight children developed a corneal or conjunctival ulcer
  • Six patients’ corneal ulcers involved over 50 percent of the corneal surface
  • Two children required amniotic membrane transplants

Hand sanitization and disinfection are crucial for public health. However, these findings insinuate health authorities need to ensure hand sanitizer stations are being used properly. The public should be warned about proper usage and safety concerning young children and the dangers of hand sanitizer.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Eight Underlying Causes of Night Blindness

Night blindness, or the inability to see at night, is generally a symptom of some serious vision issues. Also known as nyctalopia, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure everything is functioning properly. If you notice you can’t see as well in dim light while driving or adjusting from outdoors to indoors, you might have night blindness.

Symptoms of night blindness include reduced contrast sensitivity, difficulty seeing people, places, or things outdoors at night or in a dim-lit area, trouble driving at night, excessive squinting at night, or difficulty adjusting from darkness to light.

Here are some underlying factors that can cause night blindness:

  1. Vitamin A: this vital vitamin helps keep your cornea (thin layer in front of your eye) clear. It’s also an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein that lets you see in low-light conditions. Though uncommon in North America, deficiency of Vitamin A can induce night-blindness.
  2. Glaucoma: the actual eye disease itself, along with the medications used to treat it, can cause night blindness. Glaucoma is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve.
  3. Cataracts: a buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, which leads to impaired vision at night or in poor lighting conditions.
  4. Diabetic retinopathy: damage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including challenges with nighttime sight.
  5. Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, makes distant objects appear blurry; patients describe a starburst effect around night lights.
  6. Keratoconus: this irregularly shaped cornea can result in blurry vision and sensitivity to light which can worsen at night.
  7. Usher Syndrome: a genetic condition that causes both hearing and vision loss, night blindness is also an effect.
  8. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP): this progressive genetic eye disease can be associated with other conditions and lead to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.

After a proper diagnosis, treatments for night blindness can be mitigated by your eye care professional. There is no proven way to prevent night blindness.

If you are experiencing night blindness, we can help. Contact us and schedule an appointment today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Eye Color Genetics are More Complicated than Previously Thought

According to a new study published in Science Advances, an international team of researchers led by King’s College London and Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam proved there are 50 new genes for eye color. In the most extensive genetic study of its kind to date, the researchers genetically analyzed almost 195,000 people throughout Europe and Asia.

Eye diseases such as pigmentary glaucoma and ocular albinism, where eye pigment levels play a role, will be better understood with the new research. Additionally, researchers discovered eye color in Asians with different shades of brown is genetically similar to eye color in Europeans ranging from dark brown to light blue.

Previous research identified a dozen genes linked to eye color, and scientists thought that eye color variations were controlled by a single gene or two. Typically, the perception was that brown eyes were more common/dominant than blue eyes.

Dr. Pirro Hyski, a co-senior author at King’s College London, said, “The findings are exciting because they bring us a step closer to understanding the genes that cause one of the most striking features of human faces, which has mystified generations throughout our history. This will improve our understanding of many diseases that we know are associated with specific pigmentation levels.”

Dr. Manfred Kayser, a co-senior author at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, said, “This study delivers the genetic knowledge needed to improve eye color prediction from DNA as already applied in anthropological and forensic studies, but with limited accuracy for the non-brown and non-blue eye colors.”

For all of your eye care needs, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Gold Nanoparticles in Contacts Help Correct Color Blindness

Colorblind people see the world in muted shades, sometimes completely grey. Most colorblind people cannot see specific colors such as orange, red, purple, blue, green, brown, or a combination of those. Tinted glasses sometimes help but are not solutions for complete color correction or to eliminate blurry vision. Dyed contact lenses are currently in development to treat color blindness but are (so far) harmful and unstable.

Research published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Publication Nano shows promising results from infusing contact lenses with gold nanoparticles to correct color blindness.

Daily activities such as choosing a ripe banana, selecting matching clothes, stopping at a red light, or plugging in color-coordinated cords can be difficult for color blind people. With tinted glasses precisely the same color as the person’s deficiency, colors can show up more vividly. However, these lenses are bulky and cannot correct vision in terms of sight or depth.

Specially-tinted contact lenses have been recently invented to improve red-green color perception. They are effective in clinical trials; however, they leaked dye, which has led to safety concerns. Gold nanocomposites are non-toxic and have been used for centuries to produce “cranberry glass” due to the way they scatter light.

Ahmed Salih, Haider Butt, and colleagues incorporated gold nanoparticles into contact lenses to improve the red-green contrast safely and effectively. To make them, they mixed gold nanoparticles into a hydrogel polymer, resulting in rose-tinted gels that filtered light within 520 to 580 nm, the wavelengths where red and green overlap.

The most cost-effective contact lenses were those with 40 nm-wide gold nanoparticles. In tests, these did not clump or filter more color than necessary. Additionally, they had water-retention properties that mimicked commercial lenses and were also non-toxic to cells growing in Petri dishes.

Researchers directly compared the new material with two commercially available pairs of tinted glasses and their dyed contact lenses. The gold nanocomposite lenses were more selective in blocking wavelengths than the glasses. Also, they matched the wavelength range of the dyed contact lenses, which suggests the gold nanocomposites would be suitable for people who suffer from red-green color issues without safety concerns.

Clinical trials with human patients are the next steps to assess comfort.

To learn more, read the full journal article by the American Chemical Society.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

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Link Between COVID-19 and Endophthalmitis Found

A possible link between COVID-19 and endophthalmitis has been suspected for quite some time; now, researchers have established a connection between the two diseases, with a further investigation being conducted.

In only two months, three COVID-19 patients in New York’s Northwell Health Hospital succumbed to extreme vision loss from keratitis. Endophthalmitis resulted, and in one instance, a patient’s eye was removed. This occurrence of keratitis leading to endophthalmitis is exceedingly rare. Typically, cases of endophthalmitis from keratitis are associated with trauma or surgery.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology 2020 virtual conference released the findings. Researchers hope to gain more support from the medical community to conduct eye evaluations when assessing the role of anti-infectious treatments.

All three endophthalmitis patients were in their 60s, reside in the same relative area, and showed signs of the disease within a two-month period, while testing positive for COVID-19. Two were outpatients, and one was an in-patient at the time of diagnosis. One of the outpatients later passed away in a hospital. The culture results all came back from each individual with different organisms: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, and Candida parapsilosis.

A 2012 study reported that out of 9,934 eyes, only 27 throughout a 15-year period experienced endophthalmitis stemming from keratitis. Having three patients express symptoms while being diagnosed with COVID-19 is alarming, and suggests an association between the two.

Sonal S. Tuli, MD, said, “The findings do not suggest that COVID-19 causes endophthalmitis but that there is some relationship between the two. It is possible that some aspect of the health of these individuals made them more liable to get infected with COVID-19 as well as a severe infection in their eye, such as poor immune system or nutritional deficiencies. It is also possible that these findings are incidental because of the large numbers of COVID-positive patients presenting to New York hospitals during the peak of the pandemic.”

For further reading, refer to the article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. To schedule an eye exam, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Linked to Air Pollution

The University College of London revealed their study findings that showed a link between air pollution and a heightened risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD.)

The most polluted areas tested in the study were at least eight percent more likely to report people having AMD. The leading cause of irreversible blindness among people over 50 in high-income countries is AMD. The projected amount of people affected by 2040 is 300 million. Some risk factors include old age, smoking, and genetic composition.

Brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes have been implicated in those who breathe poor air conditions as well. In 2019, a study found air pollution was linked to an elevated glaucoma risk.

Professor Paul Foster, a lead author of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology study, said, “Here we have identified yet another health risk posed by air pollution, strengthening the evidence that improving the air we breathe should be a key public health priority. Our findings suggest that living in an area with polluted air, particularly fine particulate matter, or combustion-related particles that come from road traffic, could contribute to eye disease. Even relatively low exposure to air pollution appears to impact the risk of AMD, suggesting that air pollution is an important modifiable risk factor affecting risk of eye disease for a very large number of people.”

The research was conducted with participants who were asked to report any formal doctor-diagnosed AMD. Structural changes in the thickness and/or numbers of light receptors in the retina were assessed in the participants using retinal imaging.

People in areas with high levels of fine particulate matter pollution were higher on the AMD scale. Even after taking other factors such as underlying health conditions and lifestyle, air pollutants (except coarse particulates) were associated with retinal structure changes. 

Though the study cannot confirm cause, as cautioned by the researchers, their findings align with evidence found worldwide. Ambient air pollution might be a culprit, through oxidative stress or inflammation.

Dr. Sharon Chua, of the UCL Institute of Opthamology, said, “Higher exposure to air pollution was also associated with structural features of AMD. This may indicate that higher levels of air pollution may cause the cells to be more vulnerable to adverse changes and increase the risk of AMD.”

If you have AMD or need a professional ophthalmologic evaluation, contact the office of Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

LASIK Procedures Help Basketball Athletes Perform Better

Player Performance is of utmost importance in the sports realm, especially basketball. Superior ball-handling skills are required to shoot, dodge, and move around the court rapidly. For ultimate hand-eye coordination, athletes should have good vision.

Basketball players continuously use their eyes to calculate depth, distance, and rapidly-moving players around them. Lightning-fast risk and reward assessments also come in to play, quite literally, and can win – or cost – them the game.

Poor vision limits hand-eye coordination; the better an athlete can see, the better he or she performs. A basketball player’s eyes are just as important as their hands when it comes to mastering the game. Eyeglasses or goggles easily fall off, limit performance by not allowing peripheral vision, and be a potential hazard. Contact lenses are an option, but also pose issues due to their lightweight nature; they can easily be knocked out of the eye or become displaced, causing blurry vision. Moreover, glasses or contacts are unable to protect the eyes during rain or snowstorms.

LASIK is ideal for athletes or other individuals who move quickly or are frequently in the elements. It’s an ideal choice for people who rely on their vision to successfully maneuver through obstacles, catch or release objects such as basketballs, and adequately calculate distance.

Andre Drummond, a Cleveland Cavalier basketball player, decided to undergo LASIK eye surgery to correct his vision before the shortened 2020-2021 NBA season. He and a list of other notable players who have had LASIK include Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Henry, Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns, and LeBron James, the LA Lakers superstar.

Even amateur athletes or those who enjoy being active can reap the benefits of LASIK. To learn more about improving your vision with LASIK, contact the Rohr Eye & Laser Center professionals today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Common Questions and Answers about Lasik Surgery

Lasik (an acronym for laser in situ keratomileusis) surgery is a common household name regarding vision improvement. Approved by the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) roughly 20 years ago, it is not for everyone, nor does it fix every vision problem. More than 19 million Lasik procedures have been performed in the United States, and more than 45 FDA approvals have been implemented. Read on to discover some typical questions and answers associated with the surgery.

What is the basic premise of Lasik surgery? Lasik is a two-step procedure. In the first step, a micro-thin circular flap is made on the eye’s surface, known as the cornea. After the few-second process, the surgeon gently lifts the flap to expose where the vision correction treatment will happen. In the second step, a computer-glided excimer laser permanently removes the microscopic pieces of tissue causing vision problems. The flap is laid back in place and protects the reshaped cornea until it heals.

What about the lasers? Lasik does involve the use of precise lasers, which are incredibly important due to the intricate area affected. Lasers can be used safely without damaging the surrounding tissues.

Is it painful? Thanks to numbing and lubricating drops, Lasik surgery is basically painless. Patients sometimes feel pressure from the eyelid holder, used to prevent blinking. Some mild discomfort can result after surgery, which will last roughly five hours.

Are you awake? Yes, people who undergo Lasik are given a sedative to keep them calm. Moreover, if your eyes move, the laser automatically tracks it, shutting off in case of a sneeze or sudden movement.

Is the procedure safe? Lasik is an elective procedure, with more than 7,000 clinical studies conducted and published to support its safety and effectiveness. One of the highest scores out of any elective procedure, Lasik rates at a stunning 96 percent patient satisfaction. One reason for the high satisfaction is due to the fact that many patients have better vision after Lasik than they did with their best glasses before surgery. With more than 40 million procedures performed worldwide, blindness has never resulted in healthy candidates.

What are the side effects? During the healing period, the patient’s eyes might feel dry, light-sensitive, or irritated. Night vision issues such as glare, halos, ghosting, starbursts, and dry eye might occur. These issues typically resolve themselves, and some people might require additional eye drops to reduce inflammation or dry eyes. Less than five percent of the time, in rare cases, further treatment might be necessary to readdress residual vision problems.

For more information regarding Lasik surgery or to schedule an appointment, contact Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.