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Oh! Hello, Glaucoma.

Four practical tips to protect your sight from Glaucoma. Glaucoma has no significant warning signs until it is too late.

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January: Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma has no warning signs.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. In the United States, 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from glaucoma.

Here Is What You Need to Know

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that is most commonly caused by fluid build-up in front of the eye, causing high eye pressure. However, you can have normal eye pressure with damaged optic nerves resulting from low oxygen flow to the optic nerve. Both instances can result in damage to optic nerve cells, resulting in glaucoma.

In the US, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Undiagnosed glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness; thus early detection and treatment is key to saving your sight.

Practical Tips to Protect Your Sight

Know your risk

Everyone is at risk for Glaucoma. However, older individuals are at a greater risk. Glaucoma is not often symptomatic in the early stages and is heavily associated with genetics; however, in most cases, it does not present until later in life. The most common risk factors for glaucoma are:

  • Age 65 and older
  • Family History (glaucoma in a parent, grandparent or sibling)
  • Race (African descent, Central or South American descent)
  • High eye pressure
  • Large Optic Nerve
  • History of sleep apnea (Low-Tension Glaucoma)

Have annual dilated eye exams

Dilated eye examinations require drops to make your pupils bigger, allowing your doctor to view and examine your entire retina. Establishing a relationship with your eye doctor is important, because a healthy doctor-patient relationship will allow you to be comfortable discussing your eye health concerns. It often helps to visit the same doctor annually to establish a good ocular health history.

Don’t Smoke

There is no direct correlation between smoking and glaucoma damage. However, elderly individuals who smoke have a higher risk of elevated eye pressure. Overall, smoking is bad for your sight, and increases dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Have annual optic nerve and retina wellness screenings

There is technology now available to scan and screen your optic nerve for early signs of optic nerve damage. An iWellness screening is a non-invasive in-office scan that can sometimes detect glaucoma changes 3-5 years earlier than your eye doctor.

iwellness scan

Know your family history

Genetics plays a huge role in the development of glaucoma. Talk to your family and create a family health log. You can create the log on google sheets and store it on the internet with password protected access. It is important to interview your family and update the log annually.

Glaucoma has no warning signs, so stay on top of your eye health. Don’t wait until you start to lose your sight. Visit your eye doctor annually to screen for blinding eye diseases. Healthy eyes are very important for a healthy life.

 

Dr. Janelle

Clinical Director at Brilliant Eyes Vision Center

DrJanelleOD-FINAL

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Lens Health Week: 3 Tips to Stop Risky Contact Lens Behavior.

45 million people in the US wear contacts sadly, 41 million contact lens wearers admit to risky behavior!

45 million people in the US wear contacts sadly, 41 million contact lens wearers admit to risky behavior! Are you apart of that number?

3 Tips to Stop Risky Contact Lens Behavior

Switch to Daily Lenses! Daily contact lens wear is hands down the healthiest way to wear a contact. Patients can dramatically reduce the chance of over wear, infections and dry eyes when wearing daily lenses. Daily lenses are designed for single use and are great for patients with outdoor allergies, dry eyes, or sensitivity to contact lens solution. New daily lens technology allows patients with astigmatism and bifocal wearers to benefit from a healthier way to wear contacts. Dr. Janelle and her practice have partnered with The Lens Butler and SimplifEyes to make the switch more affordable!

Water and Contacts Do Not Mix! Water should never be on your lenses nor in your case. Water can cause contacts lenses to change shape, swell and stick to the eye resulting in a warped contact lens. A warped lens can scratch the cornea and lead to an infection.  Most water is not germ-free, especially lakes and rivers. When swimming or doing water activities be sure to wear swim goggles. If water gets onto your contact dispose of it immediately.

Communication is Essential! Talk to your doctor about your contact lens goals and be very honest if you practice risky behavior. It is important for your optometrist to know about your work life and recreational activities. The more your doctor knows about your life the better the contact lens fitting experience. Your optometrist wants to ensure you are fit with the best contact for your lifestyle and goals.

You only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them! Reduce risky contact lens behavior. Remember healthy habits equal healthy eyes!

Dr. Janelle OD

Your Eye Care Expert

http://www.brillianteyesmarietta.com

Everyone Has a STORY!

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for the community to join with my sister and I to #empower #expose and #encourage our young women to continue to break through “glass ceilings” and achieve higher heights!

#Givingtuesday

#empower #expose #encourage

 This Thanksgiving season my sister and I are #beyondblessed to have our dreams come to fruition! Our dreams were not handed to us. We worked very hard and kept the undying faith that we could, in fact, achieve dreams of becoming DOCTORS. We want to use our story to help other young women achieve their STEM and Health professional dreams. Our 501c3 non-profit, S.C.O.R.E. INC. allows us to have a platform to provide the tools and skills young women will need to help achieve their goals.
 

 OUR STORY! Why We Give Back.

 It all started with a pact. Two sisters, Dr. Janelle Davison, OD, and Dr. Joya Lyons, DDS, took an unofficial oath at an early age to pursue medicine when they grew up. “The Plan”, which they referred to said pact, was rooted in speaking positively, writing their goals down on a piece paper, and sticking it on their bedroom wall to make it plain; and their willingness to succeed at all cost.
 
Having been born to two college-educated parents, education was paramount in their household, so going off to college was a no-brainer for these two. Yet, finding the resources and mentorships that spoke directly to little black boys and girls, was a huge feat.  Hailing from a middle class, predominantly white community, outside of Detroit Michigan, both sisters felt the impact of a systemic racism and discrimination.  However, “The Plan” outranked any smidgen of resistance, whether overt or subtle.
 
College proved to be a whole new experience for the sisters who are five years apart. They both attended HBCUs (Historically Black College and Universities) and learned in depth about The Black Experience in America, their history and how to wholly embrace their blackness.
The creation of S.C.O.R.C.E, INC, which stands for Successful, Confident, Optimistic, Regal and Engaging, comes from a place of Christian ministry and an inherent calling on their lives for fellowship and mentorship. It caters to young girls of low to middle income, from all backgrounds, who are rising high school juniors interested in pursuing professions in the fields of medicine and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). S.C.O.R.E launched in January 2017 as another layer of “The Plan.”
Written by copyright:
Shirley Jean-Baptise
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for the community to join with my sister and I to #empower #expose and #encourage our young women to continue to break through “glass ceilings” and achieve higher heights!
 
Visit https://www.paypal.me/scoreinc  or https://www.wescore.org/support-us to make your $100 2017 tax-deductible donation. Your $100 donation will help secure the future of one #STEMgirls or #womendoctors!
Help us reach our $2,000k #givingtuesday GOAL!!
Dr. Janelle OD
Your Eye Care Expert
scorefounders

Don’t Suffer! Advanced Dry Eye Treatments

Three new dry eye treatments that actually work! Click to read and find out more out these advanced treatment options.

Everything you need to know about New Dry Eye Treatments.

Dry Eye is one of the most common eye disorders, causing chronic discomfort in up to 100 million people worldwide, and the disease burden is forecast to increase due to increased screen time and average life expectancy. Dry Eye is a multifactorial disease process, meaning there is no single cause. It is linked to environmental factors, gender, medications, age and several systemic conditions. Dry Eye is often characterized by the discomfort of the eyes: burning, excessive tearing, excessive redness, changes in vision and a gritty sensation. Treating Dry Eye disease is a very daunting task for eye care providers. An extensive and thorough patient history and intake are very important in determining the root cause of the Dry Eye. Advancements in diagnostic techniques and treatment options allow eye care providers to diagnose dry eye earlier in the disease process; thereby reducing some of the severe ocular complications such as corneal ulcers, scarring, and potential blindness.

Three New Treatment Therapies Available for Dry Eye Disease:

  1. Xiidra (Lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5%): This is a drop FDA approved for both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. A symptom is something you as the patient “feels” versus a sign, which is something the doctor can “see”. This new drop allows for early intervention in the dry eye disease process. According to a study done on the frequency of dry eye, nearly 25% of patients who visit an eye clinic report dry eye symptoms, with little or no clinical signs. In the past, eye doctors did not have a drop in their “doctor’s bag” that would help patients early in the dry eye process who didn’t show both “signs” and “symptoms”. show patients treated with Xiidra in clinical trials reported relief as early as 14 days!
  1. Avenova 40ml: This is an ocular spray FDA approved for red, itchy, crusty and inflamed eyes, often primary signs of mild to moderate dry eye disease. Our body has normal bacteria (like the “staphylococcus” bacteria) all over our eyelids. During the aging process, the balance of good vs bad bacteria may become imbalanced. This imbalance can create “flakey” bacteria-infected crust along the base of the eyelashes. These flakes can clog up special glands (Meibomian) along the lid margin causing a red, itchy and irritated eyelid. This, coupled with decreased tear production during aging, can cause dry eye disease. Avenova is pure hypochlorous acid (HOCL), a non-toxic solution formulated into a spray. Avenova is a great dry eye and lid hygiene therapy. When introduced into the eye, it “mimics” the body’s immune response. Avenova does not sting and it is safe to use for both adults and children.
  1. Advanced Wound Healing Therapy: Dry Eye Disease can cause havoc to the integrity of the most superficial layer (epithelium) of the cornea. If not treated, it can cause corneal ulcers and significant scarring on the cornea. Treating Dry Eye aggressively can help to reduce significant vision loss. Advanced Dry Eye therapy using an Amniotic Membrane Placement can help speed up the healing of the cornea, reducing the chance of blindness. AMP contributes to healing by acting as a “physical barrier” to protect the eye as it heals, reducing pain caused by eyelid friction during blinking. The membrane comes from the placenta (collected from consenting mothers). The membrane is placed on the eye and held in position by a soft contact lens and within 24-72 hours, the eye has begun to heal. The procedure is a minimally invasive, low risk, in office procedure with an excellent track record of success.

Dry Eye is a disease resulting in redness, burning, excessive tearing, gritty sensation and overall discomfort. Dry eye is worsened by frequent computer use (4+ hours/day), allergies, medications, age, and gender. In recent surveys, 64% of non-contact lens wearers and 80% of contact lens wearers reported occasional ocular discomfort. Don’t suffer any longer with dry and irritated eyes! Visit your eye doctor and ask about early treatment and advance treatment therapies in Dry Eye Disease.

Dr. Janelle is an advocate for early Dry Eye intervention and advanced treatment plans. Her successful Dry Eye treatment plans have improved the lives of hundred’s of patients.

Dr. Janelle Your Eye Care Expert

Clinical Director at Brilliant Eyes Vision Center

DrJanelleOD-FINAL

Seeing Double: Who do you call?

Any complaint of diplopia should be a cause for concern. Double vision should be treated by first identifying and treating the underlying cause. Not all double vision will stem from a malignant brain tumor. Read my 3 Quick at home checks to see if your double vision equals trouble.

3 Quick at home checks to see if your double vision equals trouble

The recent news of Senator John McCain’s bout of intermittent double vision along with other serious medical signs prompted a CT scan by his astute physicians. I know many of you are now wondering if your double vision is a sign of a Brain Tumor. Any complaint of double vision should cause concern. Every time a patient enters my office with the chief complaint of recent onset double vision, the hair on the back of my neck stands up!

Presenting with the symptom of Double vision (diplopia) is very unsettling for both the patient and doctor. Double vision is commonly caused by eye misalignment. The misalignment may occur due to an uncorrected refractive error (astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia). Alternatively, the double vision may be the result of something more menacing, like a muscular or neurological disorder. If you’re experiencing a recent or sudden onset of double vision, you should be concerned and visit your eye doctor soon. However, before you grab your iPhone and dial your doctor in a panic, here are 3 Quick Checks to do at home to help you determine if your double vision equals trouble.

3 Quick checks

  1. Is your double vision in one eye or both?
    • Monocular diplopia (double vision in one eye): the symptoms only disappear when covering the affected eye, one of the images is usually clear, while the other image is washed out. Most of the time monocular double vision is associated with something involving your eyes such as astigmatism, corneal distortion (keratoconus), subluxation of the lens or lens implant, polycoria (multiple openings in the iris), dry eye disease or retinal scarring.
    • Binocular diplopia (double vision in both eyes) occurs because the two eyes are not aligned and not working together. With binocular diplopia, the symptom disappears no matter which eye you cover, both images are usually clear. Binocular diplopia (double vision) is usually associated with systemic or neurological conditions, such as diabetes, cranial nerve palsies, Myasthenia gravis, Graves’ disease or tumors.

 

  1. Is your Double Vision Constant or Intermittent?
    • Constant diplopia (double vision) refers to double vision continuously throughout the day with no relief. Constant diplopia can be very limiting on daily life activities and very startling. Patients suffering from constant diplopia will see two images either “side by side” or “one on top of each other”. Constant diplopia is usually associated with cranial nerve palsies, thyroid disease, myasthenia gravis and post-surgical eye cases.
    • Intermittent diplopia (double vision) refers to double vision that comes and goes, throughout the day or less often. Intermittent diplopia can be very deceiving. In my opinion, patients with intermittent diplopia are more likely to dismiss it as being tired or secondary to eye strain from computer work and delay visiting their doctor. Intermittent diplopia is usually associated with systemic diseases, such as thyroid disease, myasthenia gravis, or multiple sclerosis.

 

  1. Are you in overall good systemic and eye health?
    • Many times, recent onset of diplopia has an underlying cause; most cases are associated with a long term systemic health disease. Regular routine visits to your primary care physician will ensure your routine lab testing is up to date. Stay abreast of any changes in your overall physical being and comfort. Be mindful of excessive general fatigue, excessive muscle aching or intolerance to cold or warm settings. Graves’ Disease secondary to a hyperactive thyroid is the most common cause of diplopia in adults. In addition, 43% of patients with the autoimmune disease Myasthenia gravis (MG) will present with variable weakness in eye muscles causing double vision. Lastly, uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes can affect the eye muscles causing double vision resulting from damages to the nerves coming from the brain to the eye. Annual dilated preventative eye exams will help your eye doctor screen and monitor for eye conditions that could lead to double vision. Annually your eye doctor should screen for irregular corneal disease, eye muscle misalignment, refractive errors and binocular dysfunction. Maintaining a great relationship with both your PCP and eye doctor will help you stay in tune with your overall systemic and eye health.

Any complaint of diplopia should be a cause for concern. Double vision should be treated by first identifying and treating the underlying cause. Not all double vision will stem from a malignant brain tumor. Many cases of diplopia vision will resolve over time and can be treated and monitored by your eye doctor. Other cases of double vision (diplopia) are very complex and will require blood work and CT/MRI scans ordered by your PCP. If you ever experience double vision, stop, review my “3 quick checks”and call your Eye doctor.

Expert Guide: Picking Glasses for a Child.

My Child Needs Glasses: Now What?
If your child had and eye exam and was prescribed glasses, listed are 4 tips to ease the pain.

 

My Child Needs Glasses: Now What?

Your child has just been diagnosed with a refractive error and the optometrist has prescribed corrective lenses for him or her. Now What? Buying a pair of glass for a child can be a daunting task for parents.

In that moment as a parent, you are both relieved and worried! Relieved that you now have answers for why your child has been struggling with simple daily home, recreational and school tasks. Worried that you now must pick out frame and lenses for a child. The thought of picking out frame and lenses immediately causes some parents to break out into a cold sweat.  They anguish over whether their child will break or lose their glasses within the first month of receiving them and they fret over the “stigma” associated with children who wear glasses.

If your child had an eye exam and was prescribed glasses, here are a few tips to ease the pain:

Remember to Breathe! Many parents new to eye wear and care are very nervous and anxious about the eye exam and diagnosis. As an eye care expert, I always first try to reassure my parents that getting prescription glasses is a POSITIVE. Now, their child will be fully equipped to perform to the best of his or her abilities at home, school and in recreational settings. I encourage my parents to ask questions and to remain positive. This will aid in their children quickly adapting to their new eye wear.

Remember Quality. Avoid purchasing the least expensive eye wear as the primary pair. The prescription prescribed by the doctor will only be effective with great optics and a comfortable frame.  When picking a frame for a child, remember Fit-Durability-Style.

  • Fit– When finding the right fit for your child, consult a professional, specifically an eyewear retail specialist or optician versed in pediatric eye wear. With the help of a professional, make sure the temple (arm) of the frame is the right length and the bridge of the frame ( the part that rests on the nose) sits taut on the child’s nose at the bridge. Lastly, make sure the child’s eyes are directly centered in the frame to ensure the child is viewing through the optical center. This will ensure the frame at dispense will not require excessive adjustments that do not improve comfort and will cause unnecessary pressure on the nose and back of the ear.
  • Durability– Children, in general, are rough on their frames. When picking a frame for a child, I recommend a frame with flexibility and a spring hinge. Most children take off their glasses with one hand, causing stress on the hinges and screws. A frame with flexibility and a little “give” in the hinges will reduce breakage. Also, frames with a thicker material like plastic will reduce breakage during recess or normal “horse play.”
  • Style– Glasses are IN! Several manufacturers have frame lines dedicated to children. Parents- let your child get involved with choosing a frame that fits their personality or style. Glasses are thought of as an accessory or extension of one’s style. When your child is actively involved in selecting a stylish frame, they are more likely to feel confident when wearing the glasses at school. Once the fit and durability of the frame are accounted for, let them have fun and find a frame the speaks to their inner ROCK STAR!!!

Protect your child’s eyes. Exposure to the sun over time is very harmful. It is never too early to consider adequate sun protection and injury prevention when wearing glasses at an early age. All children 18 and under wearing glasses should have impact resistant lenses, to reduce shattering of the lens causing eye injuries. Children under the age of 21 are more at risk for long term sun damage, such as cataracts, pinguecula, and macular degeneration.  To protect your child’s vision while wearing full-time glasses, I recommend adaptive lens (get darker outside) and No-Glare with UV lenses (reduce excessive glare and UV rays). Lastly, a lot of parents forget that clear vision is important to be successful and competitive on youth sports teams. Having sports googles ensures both clarity and protection. Everyday glasses do not have the necessary recommended lens thickness standards for protection and injury prevention.

Teamwork– The world of Eye care and prescription glasses for a child can be very overwhelming! It requires a good team and support system.  Many children are excited, nervous and afraid to wear glasses. Unfortunately, many children are still bullied for wearing glasses. Parents, eye doctors, and pediatricians need to work as a collective team to encourage and outline the benefit and necessity of glasses for all new pediatric eye care patients.

Picking a new pair of glasses for a child can be a fun experience for the entire family. Just Breathe! Reference my simple tips to guide you through the process.

Facebook @Dr.JanelleOD

Founder/Owner of Brilliant Eyes Vision Center

Co-Founder of S.C.O.R.E., INC

What Every Parent Needs to Know.

Vision Screening Are Not Enough.

If 80% of what you learn is visual, then why aren’t parents flocking in droves to the nearest eye doctor to have their child’s eyes evaluated?

I could retire early if I received a dollar for every time I heard a parent use one of these phrases:, “my child can see 20/20”, or “no one in the family wears glasses” better yet, “my child is too young to need glasses” and don’t forget “my child passed the screening at the Pediatrician’s office.”

As an eye doctor, these common misconceptions regarding eye health and vision among children make me want to hang my head. Then my compassion and parental instincts kick-in. I first ask myself, “why do parents take eye health and vision evaluations for granted? Why does simply reading a chart at school or the Pediatrician’s office constitute an eye exam for most parents?”

The simple answer is “Parents just don’t understand.”

Most eye problems that children experience are not heavily symptomatic in the early stages. In fact, some eye conditions can wreak havoc on a child’s reading fluency, reading comprehension, and hand-eye coordination with very few obvious signs. Thus, parents must understand the negative impact visual dysfunction has on development. So, let’s chat about 3 reasons why your child should have a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor by the age of 3.

Three Reasons to Schedule your child’s first eye exam by the Age of 3:

Amblyopia: Amblyopia occurs when a person’s vision is not correctable to 20/20, despite wearing glasses or contacts. This happens because the eye and the brain do not speak to each other correctly. The eye becomes weak, hence the term “lazy eye.” Amblyopia typically occurs in one eye; thankfully we have two eyes. This blessing is also the main reason why amblyopia goes undetected in young children. A child won’t notice nor complain that their vision is not clear in one eye.  Many times, children with amblyopia can only be detected via a comprehensive dilated eye exam with an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist).

Strabismus: Strabismus refers to an “eye turn”, the eye will either turn in or out from the nose. If not treated early, strabismus can have a negative impact on the binocular system and developmental milestones. Sometimes the eye turn is so slight and intermittent that it can only be revealed during a comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist).

Refractive errors: Most common vision disorders in children are refractive errors, which include Myopia, Hyperopia, and Astigmatism. Refractive errors refer to light not focusing properly on the retina resulting in blurry vision.

Three Common Types of refractive error:

  1. Myopia (near-sightedness): blurry vision in the distance and intermediate range. Myopia is most common in children 11-15 years of age. A study conducted by National Eye Institute found that the prevalence of myopia has increased 66% for those 12 to 54 years of age in the US, between 1971-2004. Many eye doctors believe children are spending less time outside and more time on a tablet or device, causing the rise in myopia.
  2. Hyperopia (far-sightedness): blurry vision in the near and intermediate range. It is most common in children 3-5 years of age. Undetected hyperopia can have a significant impact on reading fluency and reading comprehension. Many times, children with undetected hyperopia are misdiagnosed as having Attention Deficient disorders or learning disabilities.
  3. Astigmatism: The corneal shape is irregular, more oval shaped (football), resulting in blurry vision at all distances. Astigmatism causes glare, making it very hard to see a smart board or dry erase board in class. Uncorrected astigmatism can reduce reading skills, writing skills, and letter/number identification.

There are many other eye conditions that can manifest during your child’s development that will only be detected on a comprehensive eye exam. However, many times children will have an exam and everything is healthy and 20/20! The goal is to know the risks associated with eye development and have your child under the care of an eye doctor at an early age.

Parents now is the time to take charge of your child’s eye health and vision.

A few quick tips: 1. Know your family history. 2. Feed your child a healthy balanced diet (lots of greens). 3. Keep device time to no more than an hour per day. 4. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child by the age of 3.

Don’t wait until your child complains or begins to fall behind in school. Remember 80% of what your child learns is visual. Learning is 20/20!

 

Dr. Janelle L. Davison, OD

You Eye Care Expert

Owner/Clinical Director at Brilliant Eyes Vision Center