Dr. Richard Sarlitt, Optometrist IrvineOptometry Irvine and Greater Orange County Since 1980
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The Optometry Blog of Dr. Richard Sarlitt, O.D.


With the world’s increased popularity of internet, smart phones and tablet devices, it is not much surprise computer vision issues are ranked by OSHA No. 1 on the list of health-related office complaints. A newer, more prevalent syndrome  is Computer Vision Syndrome, affecting approximately 200 million Americans. The National Eye Institute, again unsurprisingly, reports a 66 percent increase in occurrences of myopia (nearsightedness) in the past 25 years, matching the birth of affordable personal computers.

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness. To increase awareness about this disease the  month of June has been dedicated to Cataract Awareness.

What are Cataracts? How do Cataracts form?

Cataracts are defined as a clouding of the lens in the eye. The lens in our eyes which focuses light to help us see clear images of our surroundings, is contained within a capsule. As old cells die trapped within the capsule, over time they accumulate which creates clouding and can blur vision. As lens clouding becomes more dense, vision clarity further decreases. Cataracts occur in one or both eyes, but cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Sunglasses for many can be a fashion statement, which just like regular glasses, boast a variety of fun frame designs as well as functional lenses. However sunglasses often also offer increased protection from the sun, and with summer approaching fast, now’s a great time to make sure your eyes are properly protected from the sun harmful rays.

Taking care of eyes starts with a regular eye exam, but it doesn’t stop there. When you expose your eyes to the sunlight there are a few additional precautions that you should keep in mind.

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a condition where a person can see objects far away but has difficulty seeing objects close to them. Farsightedness can make reading or computer work difficult, and will make working with small objects a chore.

Because nearsightedness (miopia) is more common than farsightedness, most pre-school eye tests overlook this condition when having children examine charts from a distance. One of the best ways as a parent to determine if your child may be having difficulty reading, is if they squint, strain to read or to see close up.

Farsightedness is usually the result of the eyeball being shaped slightly shorter than nomral, which causes the light entering the eye to focus farther back, behind the retina, which causes blurring.

Hyperopia tends to run in the family and persons are born with the condition. There are a few different options available to those who suffer from farsightedness.

Having poor eye sight puts one at extreme disadvantage. It makes dealing with everyday life more difficult and time consuming, and can make reading a chore. So how were people able to deal with the loss of vision before glasses.

The first historical reference to magnification was made in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs around the 5th centry BC which depict a single curved lens. In the 1st centry AD, Seneca the Younger, a tutor of Emperor Nero of Rome, wrote “Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water”. The Emperor Nero mentioned using a emerald as a make shift corrective lens in order to watch the gladiatorial games.

Teens may prefer to wear contact lenses over glasses for many reasons. Many teens are self-conscious, and may feel more attractive without glasses. Contact lenses may help them feel greater self-esteem and be more at ease around others. If they play sports, standard glasses are not recommended, thus requiring a pair of sports glasses, or contact lenses which is a popular alternative.

How old do you have to be to wear contact lenses?

While there is no age requirement for wearing contact lenses, we generally recommend parents wait until their child is between the ages of 11 and 14. The primarily concern regarding age is to make sure the child is old enough to responsibly take proper care of their contact lenses.

The best way to prevent glaucoma, a common cause of blindness, is to have a regular eye exam. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will check the intraocular pressure (IOP) of your eyes, as having high intraocular pressure can lead to damage to your optic nerve and can eventually lead to blindness. What if there was a way to improve the accuracy of checking eye press by monitoring our eyes on a more frequent basis?

The London Eye Hospital has developed a new contact lens, titled Triggerfish, which when worn will monitor eye pressure over a 24-hour period, which they hope will improve detection and allow earlier treatment. When worn the Triggerfish sensor is able to create and store a detailed graph, showing how the patient’s IOP has been fluctuating over a 24-hour period, which can supply doctors with the data that they need to diagnose whether the patient has glaucoma with much greater accuracy after the lens is removed and analyzed.

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