What’s New in the World of Eye & Vision Care

What’s New in the World of Eye & Vision Care

Author: Richard C. Edlow, O.D., Katzen Eye Group

Technological advances in eye care cover the full gamut from ophthalmic lenses to new treatments for macular degeneration. The following is intended to provide a brief update on what is new and what may be of value in maximizing your vision and eye health.

With over 300 million personal computers in use in the United States, Computer Vision Syndrome has become a significant public health issue especially for those with dry eye symptoms. The following tips may help alleviate the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. Ensure you are wearing a proper eyeglass prescription and, if needed, adjust the computer screen about 24 inches from your eyes and approximately 15 degrees below eye level and remember the 20/20/20 rule. The rule is for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

What’s new in eyeglasses is an ophthalmic frame and lens designed by Zeiss Optical that provides dramatic help for computer users. The glasses (trade name: Gunnar) work by reducing glare, relaxing the eye’s focusing capability and increasing humidity around the eyes by 15-20% by creating a micro-environment which reduces eye stress and fatigue.

Another dramatic development in lenses is being introduced in 2012. Photochromic lenses worn for varying lighting conditions, which darken when exposed to sunlight, will now include a variable polarized lens that increases polarization as the lens is exposed to sunlight and darkens. These new lenses (Vantage by Transitions) will provide enhanced comfort and clarity of vision outdoors. Polarized lenses block the outdoor light that causes glare.

For those with vision impairing cataracts, there are a variety of options available that are relatively new on the scene which reduce or eliminate the need for glasses following cataract surgery. These intraocular lenses provide simultaneous far away distance vision, intermediate computer vision and up close near and reading vision often without resorting to glasses post-operatively.

Dry eye symptoms affect over 40 million people in the US and the condition often worsens as we experience birthdays. At Katzen Eye Group, we are regularly involved in clinical trials as the pharmaceutical companies develop new dry eye therapies, and there are several promising new dry eye treatments on the horizon. Additionally, we have found that the IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser that we use for treating a variety of dermatological conditions around the eyes can also have a positive impact on those with chronic dry eye conditions.

The past five years have brought about profound improvements in the management of macular degeneration. As opposed to the past where we could only hope to slow down the loss of vision, we now have medications that can stop abnormal vessel growth and improve vision. These medications include Lucentis, Avastin and Eylea.

Dr. Richard Edlow is the Chief Executive Office of Katzen Eye Group, Maryland’s largest private eye care practice, located throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

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