6 Low Vision Strategies to Help Seniors from Park Ophthalmology

Park 7-20-15 zirconicusso ID-100233460The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has declared July “Celebrate Senior Independence Month” and has issued six helpful ideas for seniors diagnosed with low vision. According to the Academy, more than 2.5 million senior Americans have low vision, which cannot be improved by corrective lenses or surgery. Dr. Beth R. Friedland wants her patients in the Triangle to be aware of how they can retain their independence, even with a diagnosis of low vision. Park Ophthalmology is the Triangle’s trusted source for vision information.

Now, what is low vision? Low vision is a vision problem that is not correctable through any therapy or surgery. It might include partial vision, blurriness, tunnel vision, and in some cases blind spots. Many individuals in this inoperable situation can be considered legally blind.

Park Ophthalmology offers the AAO’s six tips for helping people with low vision maintain their independence:

  • Set the scene: A simple change, such as grouping furniture in small settings, means less distance vision is needed during conversations. Patterns in furniture and rugs can be visually confusing. Textured upholstery is better because it gives clues to the item by touch, rather than by sight.
  • Contrast and color: Items can be seen better when they are brightly colored or contrast with surroundings. Some areas for colors and contrasts include switch plates, steps, doorknobs, electrical outlets and landings.
  • Brighten it up: Those with low vision can benefit from brighter lighting. Add floor lamps or specific task lighting for crafts or cooking. Allow natural light in through the windows.
  • Tech solutions: Smartphones and tablets can be configured with larger text for reading. Voice command software can answer questions, automatically dial phone numbers, and create voice memos.
  • Remove hazards: Area rugs and waxed floors present slip and fall risks. Tape area rugs to the floor, use non-glare floor products and move electrical cords and cables from walkways.
  • Schedule regular eye exams: During a full eye exam, Dr. Friedland will determine the type and degree of vision loss. She will recommend appropriate treatment and follow-up care. Some low vision can get worse without monitoring and treatment so it is vitally important to keep a regular schedule of eye exams.

Concerned about yourself or a loved one with low vision? Contact Park Ophthalmology today to schedule a complete eye exam.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ParkOphthalmology

Photo: zirconicusso, freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Park Ophthalmology Clarifies the Differences in Contact Lenses

Park 05-11-15 ID100111139 marin fdpSelecting eyeglasses is simple. Pick out a frame that looks good and the doctor will make sure the lenses provide vision correction. But as ophthalmology and technology continue to make advances, patients of ophthalmologist Dr. Beth R. Friedland find they have more and more choices. Park Ophthalmology offers Triangle area patients the latest innovations and the helpful staff is always available to answer questions about new products.

Park Ophthalmology shares five aspects of vision correction from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about contact lenses:

  • Prescriptions required: Contact lenses are classified as medical devices. As such, they cannot be dispensed without a valid prescription. Clients need to have their vision checked annually to make sure they have the correct prescription.
  • Soft lenses: Soft contact lenses are flexible plastic and allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. They may be easier to adjust to and more comfortable than rigid lenses.
  • Rigid lenses: Sometimes called “hard” contact lenses, rigid gas permeable contact lenses may provide clearer vision than soft contacts and they last longer. Although they are easier to handle, some patients find them less comfortable to wear than soft lenses.
  • Extended wear: Some soft lenses and a few rigid gas permeable lenses can be worn for up to 30 days, including overnight. Dr. Friedland will consult with clients to determine whether continuous wear lenses are an option and the length of extended wear that is appropriate.
  • Disposable lenses: According to the FDA, most people who use soft lenses choose disposable contacts. While some people replace lenses daily, a common practice is to take them out before bed, place them in a disinfecting solution overnight and use them again the next day. Dr. Friedland will advise clients of the best cleaning solution to use for specific lenses.

Contact lenses continue to grow in popularity and ease of use. Unlike glasses, contacts provide a full field of vision, a benefit to those who enjoy playing sports. Making a choice doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Park Ophthalmology welcomes all questions about the latest developments in contact lenses.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Photo: Marin, freedigitalphotos.net

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ParkOphthalmology

Beth R. Friedland M.D. Helps Patients Cope with Seasonal Eye Irritations

Park 04-20-15 Tina Phillips fdpSpring is in full swing as we quickly head into May in the Raleigh-Durham area and the flowers popping up everywhere. The JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State has begun it free guided tours for the season and our local Triangle gardeners are busily planting tomatoes and squash in their backyards. But all this outdoor wonder isn’t so great if seasonal pollen causes red, itchy eyes. Dr. Beth R. Friedland of Park Ophthalmology is an expert in eye conditions and helps her Triangle area clients understand how to prevent and treat red, irritated eyes.

Park Ophthalmology presents four points everyone should know about in reference to eye irritations and how to treat them:

  • Symptoms: Irritants can cause redness in the whites of the eyes or the inner eyelids. Excessive tearing, burning or blurred vision can also be signed of eyes reacting to irritants from the environment. Light sensitivity, swelling of the eyelids and itchiness are all symptoms that might require a trip to Dr. Friedland’s office.
  • Why allergies are serious: Pet dander, pollen, smoke and other allergens can irritate the eyes. Histamines are created and released when the body detects a foreign substance, such as an allergen. It is this immune response that causes classic allergy symptoms.
  • Don’t rub the eyes: It is natural to attempt relief by rubbing itchy eyes, but this won’t help. In fact, it may make the eyes worse by causing a release of more of the cells that first caused the itchiness. Instead, apply a cool compress, avoid makeup and wash hands often.
  • Minimize the problems: If Dr. Friedland confirms that seasonal triggers are causing eye allergies, try to stay indoors on high pollen count days. Use the air conditioner and leave windows closed. Sunglasses can help keep the offending pollen away from eyes.

It’s no fun to greet the spring with red and irritated eyes. Contact Park Ophthalmology today if you notice excessive tearing, burning, or itchiness in your eyes. Dr. Friedland will determine whether seasonal allergies are the source, and then provide treatment to ease the problem.

Make an appointment today and give your eyes the break they need in the battle of the pollen!

**

Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ParkOphthalmology

Photo: Tina Philips, freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Understanding Cataracts from Beth R. Friedland M.D. & Park Ophthalmology

arztsamui freedigitalphotos.net.jpg 3-9-15Imagine trying to read a computer while looking through a piece of milky glass. This experience is similar to someone trying to see through advanced cataracts. Patients with cataracts here in the Triangle turn to Beth R. Friedland M.D. at Park Ophthalmology for her expertise in diagnosing and treating this condition.

The team at Park Ophthalmology offers five areas of importance summarizing information from the Mayo Clinic to help patients understand cataract causes and treatments.

Cataracts 101:

  • Clouded lens: A cataract develops as the lens of the eye, located behind the iris, becomes cloudy, causing light to scatter so that images on the retina become blurred.
  • Causes: Age, injury, some genetic disorders and health conditions, such as diabetes, increase the risk of developing cataracts. With age, the eyes’ lenses become more rigid and thicker. Tissues in the lenses may break down, forming clumps that cloud vision.
  • Types of cataracts: Nuclear cataracts affect the center of the lens and may make it more difficult for the patient to distinguish colors. Cortical cataracts begin on the edges of the lens and often cause people to be bothered by glare. Clients noticing halos around lights at night or those who have trouble seeing in bright light could have posterior subcapsular cataracts, which form at the back of the lens.
  • Diagnosis: As with other eye health procedures, Dr. Friedland will conduct a thorough examination to determine if a client’s vision troubles are related to cataracts. The exam will include the normal vision acuity test, a slit-lamp exam and dilation procedure so Dr. Friedland can examine the retina.
  • Treatment: Fortunately, ophthalmologists can offer effective treatment to restore most, sometimes all, of the vision lost to cataracts. Cataract surgery involves removal of the clouded lens and replacement with a new artificial lens that becomes a permanent replacement. Surgery can be performed on an out-patient basis, so there is no need for a hospital stay.

Anyone concerned about night vision, trouble with glare, or increasing problems with reading or driving should contact Park Ophthalmology to schedule a complete eye examination. An in-office exam is the only way to know for certain the cause of vision loss.

**

Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

Like us: https://www.facebook.com/ParkOphthalmology

Photo: arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Keep Eyes Safe This Holiday Season

phanlop 88 Eye InjuryEye injuries, especially among children, for Raleigh and Durham residents are not uncommon during the Holiday Season, and Beth R. Friedland at Park Ophthalmology wants to make sure you are safe this Christmas and New Year’s.

As the Triangle celebrates watch out for these common eye hazards:

Decorations: Glass ornaments with metal hooks and detachable parts are dangerous for young children. Avoid using the metal hooks and place fragile ornaments on the higher branches. If using a real tree, trim back the lower branches to prevent a poke in the eye.

Toys : According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 265,000 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms last year. “Most of these injuries affect children under age 15, and nearly half affect the head or face,” reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Sharp toys or those with projectiles can cause increased intraocular pressure, ocular hyphema, corneal abrasion (scratch), or atraumatic cataract — all of which require surgery.

Be sure to:

  • Purchase gifts that are age appropriate.
  • Check toys for sharp edges and corners.
  • Avoid toys with protruding or projectile parts.

Outdoor sports: From sledding to skiing, winter is a great time to be outdoors for healthy activities, but these same activities can cause serious eye injuries. Wear eye protection when playing in the winter wonderland.

Holiday Candles: Hot wax typically burns the skin, but when a flame is blown out, that wax can end up in someone’s eye, causing both serious pain and serious injury. Be sure to keep candles away from children and take care when extinguishing them.

Destination Driving: Drivers heading to Grandma’s house this holiday season should take breaks from the road every couple of hours to rest their eyes. Artificial tears are encouraged to help soothe dry eyes.

A trip to the emergency room or ophthalmologist sure puts a damper on the holiday spirit. But a few simple prevention steps can keep Triangle residents’ eyes safe now and through the entire year. From Dr. Beth Friedland, happy — and eye safe — holiday wishes!

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about holiday eye safety is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: phanlop88, freedigitalphotos.net

6 Questions & Answers Cataract Patients Ask Beth R. Friedland M.D.

arztsamui fdpMany Triangle residents from Raleigh, Durham, and adjoining towns come to Park Ophthalmology to seek guidance about changes in their vision, especially new and recent problems, such as double or foggy vision. It is important to note that these kinds of problems can often be symptoms of a cataract.

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States and are very common in older adults. But it’s not just a problem for older people. Sometimes children get cataracts, and many people get age-related cataracts in their 40’s and 50’s. Because this condition affects vision, it can be very disconcerting.

Here are six questions Doctor Beth Friedland’s patients often ask in reference to cataracts:

What exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a cloudy area in the eye’s lens. While not painful, it blocks light from reaching the retina, which can cause vision problems.

What are some common symptoms of cataracts? Sometimes, cataracts do not cause any problems. In other cases, people will notice:

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, or foggy vision.
  • Glare from the sun, lamps or car headlights at night.                                  
  • Frequent changes to their eyeglasses prescription.
  • Double vision in one eye.
  • An improvement in near vision for a time.

What causes cataracts? Eye changes are a normal part of aging; combined with exposure to sunlight, the human eye can develop a cataract over time. But they can also be caused by injury, other eye diseases, certain medications, and other health problems, such as diabetes.

How do you diagnose cataracts? We conduct a complete and thorough eye exam with other tests to determine if there indeed is a cataract causing the vision problem.

How can eye doctors treat cataracts? Many patients with cataracts can see very well with prescription lenses or contacts. For most adults, surgery is only an option when the cataract begins to cause severe vision loss or it affects quality of life.

Is there a way to prevent cataracts? There is no way to prevent cataracts, but staying healthy can often make a difference. Smoking, sun tanning, eating poorly, and diabetes can increase chances for cataracts.

People 60 and older should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. That’s also a great time for Dr. Beth Friedland to check for other eye problems, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Remember that early diagnosis and treatment for any eye problem leads to the best results.

Regular exams are essential to great vision and eye health. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

**

Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about cataract education is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net

Summer Sun Exposure Can Harm Eyes and Cause Cataracts

stock images sun glassesAt Park Ophthalmology we know that Raleigh and Durham’s sunny summer days may keep the flowers growing and the grass so green, but over time, excessive exposure to sunlight can often harm eyes as well, even causing cataracts.  A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The eye’s lens is located behind the colored part (iris) of the eye. As eyes age, the lens becomes less flexible and thicker. These changes can cause tissues to break down and clump together, clouding the lens.

Seeing through cloudy lenses is much like looking through a fogged-up window. The main cause of cataracts is aging, but excessive UV radiation from our sunny summer days can be a major factor.

Cataracts account for almost 15 million blind people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. WHO estimates about 20 percent, or 3 million, of those cases are likely caused by UV radiation from the sun’s rays.

Preventing Cataracts

There are several other risk factors for cataracts, including diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, family history, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. 

People here in the Triangle with these risk factors should be especially careful when heading to the beach, working in the yard or attending a baseball game. Park Ophthalmology specializes in cataract care, but prevention is often the best cure!

Follow these three guidelines to prevent sun damage to your eyes: 

  • Stay out of the sun. While some sunlight is good for the body, wear a hat and cover up while outdoors to prevent too much exposure for both skin and eyes. The shade or an umbrella are not a guarantee, but a wide-brimmed hat can significantly reduce eye exposure to UVB radiation.
  • Wear UVA/UVB protection sunglasses year-round when outside. The sunglasses must block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays. Get more tips for buying the right sunglasses
  • Wear clothing that blocks or screens the sun’s rays. Combine the clothes, sunglasses and of course, sunscreen for the best eye protection. 

This summer, please call our offices and make an appointment with Beth R. Friedland MD, your Triangle Eye Specialist!  If you have any of the above risk factors, please have your eyes examined to maintain optimum eye health.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the benefits of eye care is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: stock Images, freedigitalphotos.net