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4 Signs Your Child May Need Glasses

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 01:24 PM

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Now that the school year is underway, your child is spending far less time playing and way more hitting the books.  Given the amount of time that kids spend looking at a screen or board at the front of the classroom, reading textbooks, and writing down notes, it really isn’t any wonder that this time of year is when potential vision problems are likely to come to the surface.  Your child may have seemed just fine during the summer, but now you may be wondering if it’s time to have their eyes examined.  If so, here are some clues that can help you decide if a visit to your ophthalmologist is in order.

Complaining of Headaches after School

While vision related headaches can occur at any time, you may notice that your child complains of them most often during the school day or after returning home.  These headaches typically occur at the front of the forehead or above the brows.  For a child who is attempting to strain in order to compensate for poor vision throughout the day, these types of headaches are not uncommon.

Sitting too close to the TV

This one doesn’t apply solely to the television.  If you see your child holding a book or tablet very close to their face during use, these can also be signs that they are suffering from nearsightedness.  In this condition, objects up close appear clear while those at a distance are blurry.  If you believe your child is compensating for poor distance vision by bringing objects closer to them, it is time to have their eyes checked.

Squinting While Reading

By squinting our eyes, we can temporarily improve our vision by changing the shape of the eye and narrowing the field of focus.  This is a habit that many children with refractive errors will pick up unwittingly.  If you see your child squinting frequently, particularly while reading or attempting to view an object in the distance, it could be an indicator of underlying vision problems.

Covering One Eye While Reading

If your child covers one eye while reading or watching television, there is likely a vision-related issue at play.  By covering a weaker eye, they are eliminating its interference in their vision.  This can also be a sign of double vision caused by a condition such as strabismus.  Again, this is a strong indicator that an eye exam is needed.

Naturally, you want your child to succeed in school, and you understand that strong vision plays a major role.  While your child may have eye exams at school, these are often not enough.  If you notice any of the above signs or simply want to confirm that your child’s vision is healthy, make an appointment with a Baton Rouge ophthalmologist such as those at Eye Specialists of Louisiana, and ensure that your child is set up for a successful school year.

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4 Common Conditions that Affect the Cornea

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

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The eye is composed of many parts, each serving an important role in its health and function.  The iris controls the pupil, making it smaller or larger, depending on the amount of light needed.  The retina interprets the images we see and sends them to the brain via the optic nerve.  And, the cornea sits at the front of it all, a clear, dome-shaped covering that focuses light into the eye and helps protect it from outside elements. 

Injury or disease can negatively impact any part of the eye, but its forward placement makes the cornea uniquely susceptible.  Here, we will review four common causes of damage or irritation to the cornea, as well as how they may be treated.

Keratitis and Corneal Inflammation

Keratitis is a condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed.  This may be the result of an injury or of irritation from causes such as wearing contact lenses for too long.  It may also occur as the result of an infection from bacteria, a virus, or parasites.  When keratitis occurs, the eyes may become red and painful.  You may experience excess tearing, discharge, or have difficulty opening your eyes.  If any of these symptoms occur, contact your ophthalmologist to determine the nature of your keratitis and have it treated appropriately.

Injury from Corneal Abrasion

Abrasions to the cornea can occur easily when a foreign object, no matter how small, makes contact.  In most cases, these scratches are minor and generally heal quickly and without aid.  However, deeper eye injuries can result in a number of painful symptoms and can impede vision as well.  Similar to Keratitis, a more severe corneal abrasion can cause pain, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and redness.  Again, any of these symptoms indicate a need to see your eye doctor at the earliest possibility.

Allergies and the Cornea

There are many types of allergies that we can encounter from food to environmental.  However, the one that is most commonly noted for its ability to produce red, itchy, watery eyes is pollen.  Most bothersome when the weather takes a warmer turn, pollen can lead to lots of sniffling and eye tearing.  Fortunately, it is rarely bothersome enough to seek medical attention, and antihistamines and time are generally enough to do the trick.

Types of Corneal Dystrophy

In some cases, an individual develops clouding of the cornea due to a condition that is typically hereditary.  These conditions range in severity from barely noticeable to severe visual impairment.  Which disease is present will not only determine the patient’s outlook, but it will also dictate optimal treatment.  Among these conditions are:

  • Keratoconus
  • Fuchs’ Dystrophy
  • Lattice Dystrophy
  • Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy

 

Aside from those listed above, there are other health conditions such as shingles that may impact the eye as well.  The bottom line is that any changes in your eye such as irritation or visual disturbances warrants an exam with your ophthalmologist.  While your condition is hopefully mild and passing, it’s important not to overlook a more serious condition that requires treatment in order to protect vision and eye health.

If you notice any bothersome eye symptoms, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana and request an appointment with any one of our highly-skilled Baton Rouge ophthalmologists.

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Tags: Cornea

Cataract Lens Options for Baton Rouge Patients

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 03:04 PM

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If you are suffering from cataracts, you’ve probably realized just how common the condition is.  Odds are, you have friends or relatives around your same age who are also dealing with cataracts and the resulting vision impairments.  Some may have even undergone surgery to replace the diseased lens of the eye and help correct their eyesight, and now you may be considering doing the same.

From recovery to results to cost, by this point, you have probably heard a lot about what to expect from surgery.  However, what you may not have heard are all of your options.  Cataract surgery comes with a lot of choices, all of which should be discussed with you by your physician. Among these are whether or not to use laser technology or to take advantage of dropless cataract surgery and, perhaps most importantly, which type of replacement lens will be used.

Cataract lenses come in many different types with varying levels of capabilities, from standard intraocular lenses (IOLs) to those which may also correct nearsightedness or astigmatism.  These are known as premium or upgraded lenses, and while they may offer desirable results, they also come with an increased price tag, giving patients much to consider.

 

Cataract Surgery Lens Options

There are many brands of IOLs available for use in cataract surgery.  However, each one will fall into one of four main categories:

  • Monofocal IOLs:
    • Most commonly used
    • Only has one focusing distance. Patients can choose whether their monofocal IOLs focus on objects up close or far away.
    • Patients may also choose to have a distance vision monofocal IOL in one eye and a near vision monofocal IOL in the other
    • Typically covered by Medicare
  • Accommodating and Multifocal IOLs:
    • Help you see clearly at all distances without using glasses or contacts.
    • Provide better near vision than monofocal IOLs.
    • Accommodating lenses are designed with “legs” which allow the IOL to adjust with the eye for clear vision.
  • Toric IOLs:
    • Help correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.
    • Usually recommended for those suffering from corneal astigmatism.

Your choice of intraocular lens for your cataract surgery should be a matter of thorough consideration.  Speak with your surgeon about which option he believes is best for you, while also taking into account your own thoughts and the associated costs.  Premium IOLs are fantastic.  However, they are not necessary if you find them to be cost-prohibitive.  In the end, no matter which lens you select, you can rest assured that your post-operative vision will be greatly improved.

To learn more about the many cataract lens and surgical options available to you, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana.  We pride ourselves on giving patients all the pertinent details and working together to make the decision that is right for you. 

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Tags: Cataract Surgery

Tips for First-Time Contact Lens Wearers in Baton Rouge

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 @ 10:15 AM

Contact lensesAsk anyone new to contact lenses and they’ll likely tell you that the thought of positioning something in their eye is daunting.  It could be placed incorrectly or handled improperly, leading to discomfort or potential infection.  Still, when used appropriately, contact lenses are a great option for those who require vision correction but don’t want to wear glasses.  It simply requires a bit of caution and common sense to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable and your vision on track.

Check For Inverted Contact Lens

Putting in an inverted contact lens can be quite uncomfortable, and if it ever happens to you, you will likely quickly realize your mistake.  Avoid this problem, and learn to recognize an inverted contact lens with this simple visual test:

Hold the contact lens on your finger up to the light. If the edges appear straight or curled in, it is in the proper position. If the edges are flared or appear to curl out, it is inverted. Flip the lens, so that it is in the correct position and place carefully in your eye.

Always Use Lens Solution To Clean Contacts

While water and even saliva may seem convenient when looking for a quick way to clean a lens, the risks that are associated are anything but.  If you clean contacts with something other than the recommended lens solution, you run the risk of infection or painful irritation.  Of course, there will be times when you’ll need to hydrate your eyes and clean your contacts in the middle of the day.  For these occasions, keep a small bottle of solution and rewetting drops on hand at all times.  In a purse, car, or at your desk are always good options to help ensure you are never without.

Handle Contact Lenses With Care

Handling contact lenses roughly can result in tears in the lens, rendering the lens ineffective. Always handle contact lenses gently and don’t attempt to multitask while caring for your contact lenses.  On the same note, make sure you always wash your hands before putting on, removing, or cleaning your lenses.  This can help protect the lenses, and your eyes, from bacteria that may result in an infection.

Replace Contacts As Recommended

Are you using monthly contacts or disposable daily lenses? Make sure you replace your lenses and lens case as recommended by your doctor.  These intervals are in place to help keep your eyes safe and your contacts working at an optimal level.  For maximum comfort and protection, don’t wear your lenses for longer than the recommended time frame, and unless you are using those approved for overnight wear, remove them before bed each night.  You should also replace your lens case every 3 months in order to prevent biofilm from building up and breeding germs and bacteria.

Have Your Eyes Professionally Examined At Least Once A Year

Regular comprehensive eye exams in Baton Rouge can aid in early detection, management, and even prevention of eye diseases and disorders. For adults with prescription eyewear, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year to ensure your prescription remains suitable for your individual vision needs.  It is not uncommon for eyesight to change over the course of several months or a year, and keeping your prescription up-to-date ensures that your contact lenses are offering you the greatest visual clarity possible.

For additional information on healthy contact lens use and vision correction services in Baton Rouge, such as LASIK eye surgery, schedule a consultation with the eye health experts at Eye Specialists of Louisiana. 

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How Much Should My Baton Rouge Cataract Surgery Cost?

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 @ 12:55 PM

Dropless Cataract SurgeryCataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States at almost 3 million per year.  As cataracts develop gradually, most are able to live with the condition and only slightly obstructed eyesight for lengthy periods of time.  However, as they progress, cataracts will more greatly impede vision, and in many cases, surgical intervention eventually becomes a necessity.  

The good news is that cataract surgery is one of the most effective and safest procedures performed today, with complications such as infection occurring only in rare instances.  Believe it or not, it is also one of the most affordable.  In a standard cataract surgery, the diseased lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), a process which is most often covered entirely through Medicare or another insurance provider.

Of course, there are factors that may increase the cost of cataract surgery and require out-of-pocket payments.  And while these add-ons are largely beneficial and may even provide enhanced satisfaction with the post-surgery results, patients should understand that these are optional and that the surgery they need is still available to them without the added expense. 

Here are some of the options that may impact the cost of your procedure:

Premium IOL Options

This is the most common cataract surgery upgrade.  Standard IOLs are typically covered fully by insurance.  However, this is not usually the case with premium lens options.  While a standard IOL can certainly get the job done, your surgeon may recommend a premium lens such as an accommodating or multi-focal option, in order to achieve the best results possible.

Laser or Bladeless Cataract Surgery

Laser or bladeless surgery is another optional upgrade now offered by many Baton Rouge cataract surgeons.  In traditional cataract surgery, the affected lens is extracted manually by the physician.  However, laser options have given patients yet another option for removal.  While this bladeless method is certainly fast and highly accurate, patients who cannot afford the option shouldn’t be concerned.  Traditional cataract surgery still offers a success rate of around 98 percent.

Dropless Cataract Surgery

This particular option differs in that it can actually reduce potential patient cost.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not the actual procedure but rather the prescription eye drops required both pre- and post-surgery that increases the out-of-pocket expense for many.  These drops are not only necessary in the days leading up to surgery, but they must continue to be applied daily for anywhere from one week to one month following the procedure.  Not only can this become pricey, it can also be quite inconvenient, and any missed or forgotten drops could increase the risk of infection.  Through dropless, these concerns are alleviated, as post-surgical drops are replaced with medicated treatment performed by the physician at the time of surgery.

If you require cataract surgery and are afraid that the procedure will cost you thousands of dollars that you simply cannot afford, rest assured that your vision can be corrected for far less.  Contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana, and request a consultation with one of our local cataract surgeons to learn more about your options.

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