While most are aware of the damage the sun can cause to unprotected skin, fewer know that long term exposure to this increased level of ultraviolet (UV) light can cause a number of conditions that could adversely affect your eyesight. At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons your eye health is important and educating our patients about how to protect their eyes is a top priority for Dr. William Segal and Dr. Marc Lay.
Short term exposure to excessive amounts of UV radiation can produce an effect called photokeratitis, which can be equated to sunburn of the eye. Photokeratitis usually begins to manifest about 6 to 12 hours after exposure and causes the eyes to feel gritty, as though there were sand or dust blown into them. They may appear red and exhibit extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately this condition usually lasts less than 48 hours and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes.
Long term exposure to UV radiation, however, may be far more serious. Exposure to even small doses of UV radiation over a period of many years increases the risk of developing a cataract and may even cause damage to the retina, possibly leading to macular degeneration later in life. Moreover, the damage is cumulative, meaning that it slowly adds up over the years, and since the human body cannot actually see or feel ultraviolet radiation, it is possible for you to be experiencing damage without even knowing it. UV radiation is not felt as heat on the skin, and 80-85% of UV radiation passes through cloud cover, so even on a cool, cloudy day, your eyes can suffer from UV exposure.
Since it is still not clear exactly how much exposure will cause damage, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends wearing sunglasses that block out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation, screen out 75-90% of visible light, and are matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection.
If you have any additional questions about your vision or the health of your eyes, please contact us today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.
While many eye conditions are treated with medicated drops and a renewed eye care regimen, there are some situations where more drastic measures must be taken to ensure optimal patient eye health. Dr. William Segal performs various types of eye surgery to combat the numerous eye conditions that may arise throughout a person’s life. Highly effective eye surgeries extend much further than LASIK surgery to eliminate the need for glasses. All of the surgeries below are offered at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons to aid in the healing of and recovery from your eye conditions.
Cataracts: During cataract surgery, Dr. Segal almost always inserts IOLs. These intraocular lens implants are composed of plastic, acrylic, or silicone and are inserted into the eye after the natural clouded lens(es) is removed. Cataract surgery has a short recovery period with minimal life restrictions during healing
Cataracts and Presbyopia: This condition develops around the age of 40; you may begin to notice blurred vision when reading up close, in print or digitally. When having cataract surgery, the correction of presbyopia is possible when accompanied by permanent intraocular lens implant surgery (IOL) which also helps to correct loss of natural ability to focus.
Posterior Capsule Opacification: Following cataract surgery, it is possible for patients to develop cloudiness from the thickening of the clear membrane surrounding the lens, also known as the capsule. Several months or even years post-surgery, YAG capsulotomy can be used to reduce glare and improve overall vision using a specialized YAG laser, which prevents these issues from occurring in the future.
Damaged Cornea: Corneal transplants improve vision by addressing issues associated with corneal thinning, scarring, clouding, swelling, bulging, and ulcers. In corneal transplant surgery, which can be performed in full or partially depending on need, a small disc of corneal tissue is removed and replaced by a donor cornea.
Glaucoma: For glaucoma patients, medicated eye drops, surgery, and FDA-cleared laser therapy such as Lumenis® SLT are all feasible options to treat the degenerative eye disease. Dr. Segal now utilizes the I-Stent to lower pressure after cataract surgery. To prevent permanent vision loss and relieve the intense associated eye pressure, Dr. Segal recommends treating glaucoma as soon as possible.
Diabetic Retinopathy: The best tool to avoid this incurable, progressive, retina-centered eye disease is to practice prevention in the form of controlling blood sugar and diet while incorporating regular exercise into your health routine. If you are affected by the disease, board certified ophthalmologist Dr. William Segal offers a precise laser treatment called photocoagulation to help prevent the disease from worsening by sealing off the ends of abnormal blood vessels to reduce leaking of fluids into the retina, sometimes reversing damage. If you are in a more mature stage of retinopathy a vitrectomy, or removal of the transparent gel filling the eye from the iris to the retina, may be necessary.
Nearsightedness and Farsightedness: Frequently practiced surgical options for correcting these common vision problems are LASIK and its alternative, PRK. LASIK alters the shape of the eye’s cornea, which bends or refracts light waves to focus on the retina, improving vision. LASIK produces rapid results, with improved vision noticeable quickly following surgery. PRK surgery shares this, but differs in that it does not create a flap in the corneal tissue. However, Dr. Segal uses PRK to reshape the cornea using the same laser utilized in LASIK surgery.
Chronic/Temporary Dry Eye: When the eyes do not produce tears or tears evaporate too quicklydiscomfort, blurry vision, ulcers, vision loss, or corneal scarring can occur. Instead of constant lubricating eye drop use, many patients opt for tear (punctual) plugs, which are silicone plugs that plug tear duct drain openings. When placed in the tear ducts, they conserve natural and artificial tears for more efficient eye lubrication.
If you are affected by any of the above conditions and wish to seek further information about surgery or other treatment options, please contact us for an appointment or consultation. Be sure to follow Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons on Facebook and Twitter for more on our services.
At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons we’re committed to exceptional eye care for our patients and their families. We know how much the health of your eyes means for your quality of life. We’re committed to serving your complete eye care needs with the respect and care we would use in treating our own family.