When Do I Need To Get Glasses?

glassesIf you’re finding it hard to see clearly, it may be time for a pair of eyeglasses. We use our eyes all the time, from the time we wake up until we go to sleep at night, we watch, read and perceive objects. This is why it is essential to choose the perfect pair of glasses for yourself, as whatever you do, they will be helping you see.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates recommends that as soon as you notice blurred or distorted vision, make an appointment for an exam.  Eyeglasses can help you avoid eyestrain and headaches and can help you improve your performance at work or school.

VISION PROBLEMS CORRECTED BY GLASSES

  • Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.
  • Astigmatism (uneven focusing of light) a vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. An irregular shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Farsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly.

EFFECTS ON SCHOOL, WORK AND PLAY

Poor vision can have an effect on your ability to perform well at school and work. Some children, who are labeled as having ADHD, may actually have an untreated vision problem. Bad eyesight can result in a reduced attention span or in difficult understanding printed material. In addition it can be difficult to clearly see a ball or the positions of your teammates if you have vision problems. Correcting the problem with glasses and help to improve sport performance.

Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults and children should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease.  If you’ve noticed any change in your vision, make an appointment with us for an eye exam by calling 757-643-8800. 

 

Cataracts: The Basic Information

cataracts treatmentClouded vision can be a metaphor for questionable wisdom, or it can be a reality for people with cataracts. Cataracts are like a cloud over the eye’s lens, beginning small but often growing until they negatively affect vision.

Symptoms of cataracts

  • clouded, dimmed, or blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • a need for brighter light to read by
  • seeing rings around lights
  • frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • double vision when only one eye is open
  • colors appear faded or yellowed

What causes cataracts?

The lens of the eye does the camera-like work of focusing on objects and sending bright, clear pictures to your brain. As you age, proteins on the surface of the lens can clump up. These clumps of protein are the cataracts. They often begin small and unnoticeable, but when they grow to cover more of the lens, the cataracts obscure vision and cause some or all of the above symptoms. Most cataracts develop in the eyes of older people, but they can also be caused by genetics or certain medical conditions. Some habits and/or conditions (such as smoking, alcoholism, obesity, and excessive exposure to sunlight) put people at a higher risk for the growth of cataracts.

Treatments

In the beginning stages of cataracts, the mild symptoms can be relieved with non-invasive treatments such as

  • new eyeglasses
  • brighter lighting
  • anti-glare glasses

However, when the cataracts begin to interfere with your daily activities, such as driving, reading, and using the computer, you and your doctor need to have a talk about cataract surgery. Patients should take their time and learn as much as they can beforehand because delaying the surgery will not make the surgery less effective or harder to perform. Cataract surgery is a very common surgery with a high success rate. The operation to remove a cataract typically lasts less than an hour, and it is nearly painless. Most patients return home the same day.

If you are experiencing vision problems, and you’re not sure if a cataract is causing it or not, schedule an appointment with Hampton Roads Eye Associates.   Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Oyster Point treats patients with beginning and advanced cataracts in their office, providing every treatment option from lenses to laser assisted surgery.  Contact us today at (757) 643-8800.

 

Macular Degeneration: What Is It?

macular degenerationMacular Degeneration is a disease of the eye that causes progressive vision loss over the course of time. It’s a very common eye problem that is diagnosed more than 200,000 times a year in the US alone. This condition does require a medical diagnosis by a healthcare professional.
Macular degeneration is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, although it can be treated and symptoms are generally very successfully managed. This is usually a lifelong condition.

How Does Macular Degeneration Occur?
Macular degeneration is a condition which causes the field of vision to slowly be lost over the course of time. There are generally two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Dry macular degeneration causes the center of the retina (the part of the eye which allows you to see) to degenerate and the person’s ability to see eventually deteriorates.
Wet macular degeneration is a condition in which the blood vessels under the retina (the part of the eye which allows you to see) become leaky and damage the retina when the vessels burst.

What Are Some Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
If you consistently experience these symptoms talk to your eye doctor immediately. The most common symptoms of macular degeneration include the following:

  • partial loss of a person’s vision
  • abnormalities in vision where straight lines are appearing in wavy patterns
  • distorted vision
  • the inability to see in dimmer lighting
  • seeing spots

Who Gets Macular Degeneration?
People of all ages can get macular degeneration, however it is much more common with people aged 40 and up. It gets even more common in a person’s senior years, at age 65 or older.

How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
There is a new study going on with a mix of vitamins and minerals that are mixed together in a solution that are put into the eye via eye drops. This mix of drops is called an AERDS formula and is believed to slow the progression of the macular degeneration.
In other cases surgeries to fix the condition may be a viable option.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates providers are skilled eye care professionals who are well versed in the diagnosis, management and treatment of macular degeneration. If you are having symptoms of or are merely curious about macular degeneration, contact us for an appointment at (757) 643-8800.

5 Tips for Vision Health

vision healthYour eyes are a very important part of your health. Regular visits to your eye doctor provide sneak peeks into what your overall health is like. Doctors can tell if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes just by looking at the back of your eyes. There are many things you can do that will keep your eyes healthy so they will serve you well throughout your life.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
Many of us do not recognize vision problems because changes occur subtly and our brains adjust quickly to compensate for these changes. Visiting your eyecare professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to ensure you are maintaining healthy vision.
Often people do not realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

Know your family’s eye health history.
Discuss eye health history with your family members. Knowing a family member has been diagnosed with a disease or a condition is a vital piece of health information. Often, diseases or conditions of the eye are hereditary and this will help determine if you are at a higher risk of developing the same condition.

Eat right to protect your sight.
You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. Eating fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens are excellent sources of the antioxidants that help protect your vision. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are beneficial to your eyes as well.
Trying to maintain a healthy weight as you age will also decrease your risk for developing diseases that may impact your vision such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Wear your sunglasses.
Sunglasses really aren’t just for looks. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When you purchase sunglasses, make sure they filter out 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Oversized sunglasses protect the soft tissue around your eyes and polarized lenses make it easier to see in bright sunlight.

Give your eyes a rest.
When you spend large amounts of time focusing on your computer, your eyes can get fatigued resulting in eye strain. To maximize your eye health and avoid eye strain, try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet in front of you for about 20 seconds. This trick will give your eyes the rest period that it is needed to continue your computer work with minimal detriment to your eye health.

Taking care of your eyes is very important as you age and getting a yearly eye exam is an excellent way to make sure you are staying healthy and problems are caught early. If you have not had a comprehensive dilated eye exam and would like to schedule one online contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates or call (757) 643-8800.

What can an eye exam tell you about your health?

eye exams and healthYou know that seeing your eye doctor is the best way to be sure that your eyes stay healthy. During your exam, your eye doctor may dilate your pupils so he can examine your optic nerves, retinas and blood vessels. Your eye care practitioner can tell a lot about the health of your body by looking at the health of your eyes.
 
Your Blood Pressure
If during your exam, your doctor notices kinks or tears in the blood vessels of your eyes, you may be asked about your blood pressure.  The condition of those blood vessels could suggest undiagnosed or unmanaged high blood pressure (hypertension).
 
Your Blood Sugar
Bleeding or yellowish fluid leaking in the blood vessels of the eye can signify diabetic neuropathy. Your eye care professional may encourage you to see your family physician for blood sugar screening. Properly managed blood sugar levels could save your vision.
 
Your Autoimmune System
Characterized by inflammation throughout the body, a dysfunctional autoimmune system can affect your joints, your internal organs, and your eyes. The immune system can attack the blood vessels in the back of the eye and on the retina, which can affect your vision. Anyone who has an autoimmune disorder should have regular eye exams.
 
Your Thyroid
Graves eye disease, also called thyroid eye disease, is another autoimmune disorder. In this case, the autoimmune issue causes an overactive thyroid. Symptoms could also include swelling around the eyes and protruding eyeballs. If you have a thyroid disorder, you may also notice fatigue, weight loss, and heat intolerance.
 
Your Nervous System
The optic nerve is the only area of the brain that can be seen from outside of the body. Vision problems could be one of the first signs you might notice if you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Researchers suggest that optic nerve scans could also provide useful information for other neurological conditions.
 
Your eye doctor would be able to detect many other health conditions before you were aware of a problem. He can warn you of suspected tumors, aneurysms, or even cancer. Your comprehensive eye exam could be your first indication that you have a more serious health concern that should be investigated by your family physician.  Early detection is important for treatment for these critical medical issues.  If you have a known medical condition, be sure to see your eye care provider as often as recommended, and notify him of any changes in your health.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates provides qualified eye care professionals who are trained to identify major health issues during your eye health exam.  Please schedule an appointment with us today, at 757-643-8800.  Our board certified ophthalmologists are ready to help you with your eye care health and treatment.  

 

Comprehensive Eye Care At HREA

comprehensive eye care Hampton RoadsAt Hampton Roads Eye Associates, we love to hear from our patients! Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we always love it when our patients take the time to share their experiences with us!

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for you. You are an amazing doctor and you are the only reason that our son is doing so well. We thank God for you all the time are are so happy that he has been in your hands and it’s amazing all you have done for him! We look forward to the future and his eyes improving more and more. We just wanted to thank you and let you know how much we appreciate all you’ve done and will continue to do!” 

“I have been a client at Hampton Roads Eye Associates for 30 years.  About five years ago, I developed cataracts and was wearing contact lenses and relying on strong reader glasses.  When Dr. Kitay suggested laser assisted cataract surgery, I didn’t have any hesitations. I think this is a great procedure and now I can see without visual aids – no contacts or glasses!! My advice if you are living with cataracts – go see Dr. Kitay! He and the entire team at HREA are very friendly and professional. It was a really wonderful experience! Thank you!

Read more patient testimonials, or write your own.

We are proud to offer a variety of eye care services to the Hampton Roads community. Our broad spectrum of eye care, includes everything from vision care (evaluating visual changes and prescribing glasses) to diagnosing and treating eye disease.

Conveniently located in the Oyster Point Area of Newport News, Hampton Roads Eye Associates provides general ophthalmology and eye disease treatment for adult and pediatric patients.

Our comprehensive list of services includes:

What Are Floaters?

What Are Floaters?Have you ever seen a squiggly line or a bright white floater in your field of vision? You may be experiencing floaters. Perhaps you see specks, dots, or little “cobwebs” that float around in your field of vision. These small, shadowy shapes also sometimes look like thready strands or squiggly lines. They move when your eyes move and appear to move away when you try to look at them directly. When your eyes stop moving, they usually drift. They may appear to be in front of your eye, but actually they are floating inside.

Causes of Floaters

Most floaters are small flecks of protein called collagen. They are part of the gel-like substance in the back of the eye called the vitreous. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that helps your eye maintain a round shape actually shrinks with age. When the vitreous shrinks, it becomes stringy and the resulting strands cast little shadows on the retina, which are commonly known as floaters.

For most people, floaters happen with age. About one-quarter of people in their 60s and about two-thirds of people in their 80s have floaters. Also, people who have had cataract surgery, an eye injury and those who are diabetic or nearsighted are more likely to have floaters.

Floaters are typically common and often increase with age. If your floaters are merely annoying, doctors advise moving your eyes up and down, or left and right, to move a floater.. If floaters appear suddenly or become more frequent, it can be a sign of a serious eye disorder such as:

  • Detached retina

  • Torn retina

  • Bleeding in your vitreous

  • Inflamed vitreous or retina caused by infection or autoimmune condition

  • Eye tumors

Retinal tears and detachments may be painless, but are serious conditions. If you are concerned about your vision, contact your doctor right away. Hampton Roads Eye Associates of Oyster Point is ready and able to care for all of your visual issues and acute vision needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 757.643.8800. For questions about your floaters or to make an appointment, contact us.

Glaucoma: What You Need to Know

glaucoma: what you need to know VAGlaucoma is one the leading causes of blindness in the United States.  At Hampton Roads Eye Associates, we know that the importance of early detection of glaucoma through an ophthalmologist’s (eye physician’s) testing cannot be underestimated. Even with treatment, approximately 15 percent of people with glaucoma experience blindness in at least one eye within 20 years; so it is crucial to start treatment as soon as you and your ophthalmologist realize you have it. Fortunately, early detection and prompt treatment can help preserve your vision longer.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is actually a group of conditions which involve damage to the optic nerve, which is vital to good vision. The optic nerve is connected to the retina and is responsible for sending signals from your retina to your brain, which interprets these signals as the images you see. In most types of glaucoma, intraocular pressure (elevated pressure inside the eye or eyes) is associated with too much aqueous production, or the obstruction of its outflow, from the eye. The narrower the eye’s drainage angle, the harder it is for the aqueous humor (clear liquid) that circulates in the eye to flow through the angle.

What Are the Two Main Types of Glaucoma?

In open-angle glaucoma (wide-angle), the deterioration of your vision is so gradual that you may not perceive any changes until this condition is at an advanced stage. Signs and symptoms your eye doctor can detect include:

  • Patchy blind spots in your central (straight-on) or peripheral vision, often seen in both eyes.
  • Tunnel vision at an advanced stage.

In closed-angle glaucoma (acute, chronic or narrow-angle), drainage of eye fluid is hindered by the angle of the structures of the eye; they obstruct the natural flow. This type of glaucoma occurs less often, but acute angle-closure glaucoma does have distinct symptoms requiring immediate attention from your ophthalmologist, such as:

  • Eye pain, blurred vision and/or redness.
  • Seeing a “halo” around lights.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Severe headache.

Who Is Susceptible to Glaucoma?

Since most cases of glaucoma present with no obvious signs or symptoms until later in the disease, it is important to know when you are at risk. Risk factors indicating the need for glaucoma testing in patients over age 40 include:

  • Patients who have vision problems such as nearsightedness, as well as those who have sustained an eye injury or had certain types of eye surgery.
  • Patients with health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia.
  • Patients with a family history of glaucoma. 
  • Patients with any ocular (eye) pain, redness or difficulty with peripheral (side) vision.

Is Glaucoma Treatable?
There is no cure for glaucoma, but it is treatable. Treatment is tailored to glaucoma patients depending upon how early their cases are detected and the relative stage to which the disease has progressed. Easy-to-use drops are often prescribed to treat early glaucoma. Sometimes laser surgery or regular surgery is required to open the angle so fluid in the eye can flow out. The main treatment objective for glaucoma is relieving high pressure in the eye while saving the patient’s vision.

At Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Newport News, we are glad to support your eye health by including glaucoma testing in your annual vision exam. Please contact us at (757) 643-8800 for your yearly visual examination or schedule your appointment online.