Category Archives: Eye Care

Don’t Ignore Dry Eye Symptoms

Nearly everyone’s eyes have felt dry or itchy at some point, and though it may be uncomfortable, most people brush it off because it doesn’t seem serious. According to eye experts like Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, the opposite is true: if ignored, chronic dry eye symptoms can cause serious complications. The trusted Long Island ophthalmologist explains more here. Continue reading

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Your Eye Health Checklist for This Spring

Your Eye Health Checklist for This Spring

With winter finally over, everyone is getting busy with the activities and chores that reset our homes, lives and bodies for the year ahead.  It feels terrific to get through all the to-dos and start fresh!  This serves as a friendly reminder to include your eye health in the bustle and hustle that comes with spring. Your vision is precious, making it possible to enjoy all the wonder this life-renewing season offers – so make it a priority. To make it easy, we’ve included a few helpful tips and hints:

  • Schedule your annual eye exam. This check-up is vital not only to the health of your eyes and vision, but for your whole body.  There are some conditions that don’t have symptoms at the early stages, but can be detected during a routine eye exam.  Diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration – these can threaten your good vision and all are best managed if caught early.

TIP: At your exam, be sure to tell us about any symptoms you have or have had since your last visit. Also, update us on any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, you are taking.

TIP: If you are thinking about LASIK, your annual exam is a great time to ask questions and get a sense of what is involved. Did you know today’s LASIK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism? It is a great vision correction option. Know we value our partnership with you in keep your eyes healthy and your vision at its best.

  • Freshen up your food choices! With the new season comes a fresh crop of fruits and vegetables, so important to eye and vision healthy. Be sure to add these nutrient-packed foods to your diet.
  • Exercise your eyes by taking a break from the long hours in front of a computer screen or smartphone. We like the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something at least 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.  And, remember to blink to help keep your eyes lubricated and working their best.
  • The sun is out, so it is time for sunglasses. They are the best way to protect your eyes from sun damage, if you choose lenses that offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection from sun rays.
  • Manage those seasonal allergies. If spring flowers leave you with itchy, watery eyes, particularly if you rely on contact lenses to see well, you need to have a plan in place to help alleviate your symptoms.

TIP: Please don’t touch your eyes while wearing contacts, it can lead to irritation, inflammation and possibly an infection.  If they itch, you may need to take your contacts out for a while – but only with clean hands!

TIP: Try a cold compress on your eyes to help with allergy irritation.

TIP: Talk to us about your allergies at your annual exam. If your contacts are really irritating your eyes, we want to keep your eyes safe and we can help, but only if you come in and we can examine you.  Dealing with allergies is another reason LASIK may be a better option for your vision correction.

Spring is a great time of year as the weather improves and we can spend more time outdoors enjoying life and getting more accomplished.  Ensure you have the vision you want to make the most out of it with this checklist as your guide.

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Is LASIK Permanent?

Selective focus on a Snellen eye testing chart. Very high resolution 3D render.

Selective focus on a Snellen eye testing chart. Very high resolution 3D render.

Many of my patients ask me: Is LASIK permanent? How long will it last? Will I have to wear glasses again at some point in my life?

In short: yes, LASIK is permanent, yes, it lasts and yes, you will likely have to wear reading glasses when you hit your mid-forties.

LASIK is a surgical procedure which uses computer guided lasers to permanently correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The prescription you come in with is the prescription we correct.

How long it lasts requires more explanation. Like all living things, your eyes may change.  But to put this in perspective, when using the most advanced LASIK technologies, fewer than 2 percent of LASIK patients require a touch up treatment within the first year.  Each year following the procedure adds another percentage point, so by 10 years post LASIK, approximately 10 percent of patients require an enhancement procedure.

While there is a popular misconception that LASIK patients can sometimes regress, in fact, what is more likely occurring is their visual prescription (myopia or hyperopia) actually progresses.  Again, this occurs in a very small percentage of people choosing to have LASIK.  A couple of important points about this:

  • During your consult we place a lot of emphasis on the stability of your vision– meaning your prescription hasn’t changed in more than a year. This is to ensure your LASIK treatment is sustainable.
  • Importantly, even if your eyes do change, your vision will never go back to being as bad as they were prior to your procedure.

Will I need glasses ever again? The answer is that most people will need to wear reading glasses – or explore an additional vision correction option – once they reach their mid-forties and develop the age-related presbyopia. Is it more likely that a patient becomes presbyopic – meaning they need reading glasses to see things up close as a result of aging – than their nearsightedness or farsightedness progressing. LASIK does not stop your eyes from changing or aging.  It also doesn’t affect a patient’s ability to choose other vision correction treatment options for age-related conditions including presbyopia and cataracts.

Because myths and misperceptions persist on the internet and every individual is different, it’s important you talk to your surgeon about your unique vision.  Where you go for accurate information about your vision correction procedure choices matters.  In addition to what you find here at Long Island LASIK, we also recommend visit the American Refractive Surgery Council here to get a very thorough overview of LASIK and other vision correction surgeries.

 

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Dealing With your Fears about Eye Surgery

ARSC-Is-LASIK-Safe-Blog-ImageIf you are reading our blog, in all likelihood you have thought about, and perhaps even seriously considering, having eye surgery to correct your vision and wondered, is it safe? Eyes hold a certain fascination for people – they certainly do for me. They are sacred organs that help us experience life and the world we live in.  They are part of our primary warning system for perceiving danger.  It is because we rely on them so much that we are extremely protective…some even squeamishly so…about our eyes.  And in thinking actually having eye surgery, you become anywhere from mildly concerned to wildly panicked about it. And guess what? It’s completely normal.

 

While it may sound trite, the best way to face your fear is with information. I’m here to answer all your questions and talk through your concerns. Why? Because I have complete faith and confidence in LASIK. It is an incredibly valuable procedure that compiles some of the most sophisticated and impressive modern technologies into a simply elegant procedure that has safely benefitted millions of people.

 

LASIK is a procedure I perform to help people. If it weren’t safe, I wouldn’t perform it. In fact, much of the technology housed in the LASIK platform is designed for safety. For example:

  • During your LASIK consultation, you may have been wondering about all of the different machines you had to look into to obtain some measurement of your eye and vision. The data obtained during those diagnostic analyses results not only in detailed information about your eye but also a high definition map of your eye – data that I then program into the LASIK platform to design your personalized vision correction treatment.
  • The laser is driven by a computer with your personal treatment plan, customizing the LASIK procedure to your anatomy and vision. The result is an extremely precise vision correction and precision is a hallmark of safety.
  • Interestingly, today’s LASIK leverages tracking technology first developed by NASA to help dock satellites to the Space Shuttle. This powerful instrument monitors your eye movements thousands of times per second with two important safety features being the result:
  1. The sophisticated tracking allows the device to adjust the laser as needed to ensure the accurate application of the treatment;
  2. If your eyes move during the procedure the laser moves with your eye, and if you more significantly (such as a cough or sneeze) the laser will temporarily turn off.

 

LASIK has been around for nearly 20 years and has achieved an unprecedented level of popularity based upon its safety and performance. It is one of the most studied elective medical procedures. Research shows that more than 96 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with the vision provided by their procedure.  This high rate of patient satisfaction with LASIK is due in part to the very low risk of complications from the surgery – a result of the procedure’s impressive safety profile.

 

I encourage you to find out all you can about LASIK. While there is a lot of information here on our site, you can find more information about LASIK safety from a variety of trusted resources, including the American Refractive Surgery Council.

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Commonly Believed Myths about Vision

shutterstock_176602877There are many misconceptions about vision, ranging from old wives’ tales to outdated information that has since been disproven by the latest ophthalmology research. Widely recognized as an “eye doctor’s eye doctor,” board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Eric Donnenfeld has been practicing for nearly three decades, during which time he has also trained countless refractive surgeons. In this blog post, Dr. Donnenfeld uses his experience studying and correcting vision problems to dispel some common vision myths. Continue reading

Everyday Habits that Can Hurt Your Eyes

Eye Damaging HabitsIf you’re generally a health-conscious person, the chances are low that you would do anything to intentionally hurt your eyes. However, there are everyday habits that you may not realize are harmful to the health of your eyes. Here, Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, an ophthalmologist and LASIK surgeon, shares some everyday habits that can hurt your eyes.

Reading in Low Lighting

Reading in a poorly lit room can subject your eyes to unwanted strain. Also, if you read while lying on your back, adequate light cannot reach the book in your hands. Make sure your book is properly illuminated as you read.

Staring at Your Smartphone or Computer

Extended exposure to digital devices greatly fatigues the eyes. And, staring up at a computer can cause the eyes to widen and more eye fluid to evaporate, which contributes to dry eye.  To avoid eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Smoking

Studies have shown that cigarette smoke can contribute to a number of serious eye conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye and diabetic retinopathy. One more reason to quit for good!

Reading While Moving

Reading in a moving vehicle strains the eyes, as they have a hard time focusing on the reading material. Reading while moving can also cause dizziness, headache and other symptoms of motion sickness. A great solution is to listen to an audiobook instead.

Wearing Your Contacts to Bed

Maybe this isn’t an everyday habit, but it happens often. Sleeping in contacts robs the cornea — the transparent covering of the front of the eye — of the oxygen, nutrients and lubrication it needs. In the worst-case scenario, continually sleeping in contacts can lead to a corneal infection and possible vision loss.

Eating a Bland Diet

A poor, “colorless” diet is bad for your eyes (not to mention, the rest of your body). For optimal eye health, eat a range of colorful fruits and vegetables, including carrots, kale and berries. These foods contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce the risk of eye problems, particularly age-related macular degeneration.

Not Wearing Proper UV Protection

UV light from the sun’s rays can damage the eye’s structures, similar to the way the light can harm the skin. The potential results of damage from long-term sun exposure are serious: cataracts, cancer, age-related macular degeneration and retinal damage. Pick out a pair of sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection. In environments like the beach, lake or snowy mountains, wear close-fitting wraparound glasses to be safe. Contact lens wearers may also want to explore lenses with built-in UV protection.

Rubbing Your Eyes

Likely the most common habit on this list, rubbing your eyes is harmful. Rubbing too hard can break tiny blood vessels under the eyelid and damage the eye’s lens. If your eyes become itchy, place a cold compress over them for several minutes, or gently rinse them with running water.

Contact Dr. Donnenfeld

For more information on keeping your eyes in optimal health, or treating an eye condition before it becomes more serious, please contact Dr. Eric Donnenfeld today.

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