5 Common Keratoconus Questions

1. What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive, non-inflammatory disease which affects the cornea. The cornea is the window of the eye and the main area where images are focused when we see. Keratoconus causes thinning of the cornea which leads to bulging, creating a cone-like shape of the cornea. This makes the vision distorted and blurred overtime which gets worse. Most patients with keratoconus are usually very near-sighted with a high level of astigmatism which cannot be corrected with glasses.

2. What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?

Early signs of keratoconus can be constant changes in prescription leading to having to change glasses more often. Driving at night also tends to become more difficult as the disease progresses. Many patients often experience glare and halos, double vision, and ghosting amongst other visual disturbances.

3. What Causes Keratoconus?

In a normal eye, small protein fibres called collagen help to keep the cornea in a dome-like shape and free from bulges. In an eye that suffers from keratoconus, the collagen fibres become weak and cannot keep the shape of the eye, which causes the progressive bulging of the cornea. Keratoconus can run in families and can develop from a young age. If it does run in the family, it is recommended having children’s eyes checked with an ophthalmologist for signs of keratoconus regularly. Keratoconus can also develop at a later age from certain things like chronic eye rubbing.

4. What Can Be Done for Keratoconus?

Depending on the severity of the keratoconus will depend on what treatment option would be recommended. Initially glasses or soft contact lenses may be advised to help with the changing vision. As the disease progresses specialist contact lenses may be required such as hard contact lenses to try and more adequately correct the vision, but these have to be correctly fitted and regular follow ups are needed to monitor the vision. Prior to the year 2000 in the UK, there was nothing that could be done to slow or stop disease progression, however a now common procedure is corneal collagen cross linking. This involves using riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light to help strengthen the collagen fibres and create more cross linking between them to increase the strength and rigidity of the cornea. Corneal collagen cross linking is the procedure of choice for most ophthalmologists and highly recommended due to its safety and effectiveness that is proven by many major studies. Other treatments that may be suggested are corneal ring implants and laser photo therapeutic keratoplasty (PTK). If the disease has progressed too far the only option to help may be to have a corneal transplant, this would only be recommended in severe cases where no other treatments can help.

5. Is There a Cure for Keratoconus?

At the moment, there is no cure for keratoconus. As mentioned above the only treatment to stop or slow the disease progression is corneal collagen cross linking. It is extremely important for keratoconus patients to have regular follow up appointments and to follow the advice of their ophthalmologist. If keratoconus is left without regular monitoring or treatment it can progress to a severe case where a corneal transplant is the only option and there are no guarantees this, or any other treatment, will work or help.

6 Top Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy This Winter

Autumn seems to be fading out and the cold, darker days of winter are approaching fast. We all know to wrap up warm and how keep our bodies well in winter but many of us forget to pay attention to our eyes and how the harsh conditions can affect them. Here are some simple easy tips on how to give your eyes some TLC this winter.

1. Protect Against the Sun

You might have already put away your sunglasses for next summer but they should be worn all year around. Snow and ice reflects the sun’s UV rays whether you are walking around, skiing or driving. Over exposure to UV rays over a long time can put your eyes at risk from such diseases as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Also, glare caused by the sun on icy roads can make it harder to see, so you should also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy in your car and these should be prescription sunglasses if you wear prescription glasses. Make sure you have regular checks with an eye doctor or eye clinic to keep your glasses and sunglasses up to date.

2. Humidify

During the winter months, the air is dryer and the humidity in your home can drop. This dryness can cause your eyes to become dry, or dryer if you already suffer with a dry eye disease. A good way to combat this dry air to is use a humidifier in your home.

3. Keep Hydrated

Even a slight bit of dehydration can impact on the dryness of the eyes and during the winter months the cold can change the body’s thirst cycle and central heating can dry the eyes out even more. Try to increase your fluid intake by drinking water, soup, decaffeinated teas and even eating more fruits and vegetables with a high-water content.

4. Don’t Dry Your Eyes

There are a lot of things you may do in winter that dry out your eyes and these things can be avoided. Try to reduce the high temperate of your central heating if possible, having high heat can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly. Also, if you use a blower heater, such as in the car, try to direct the airflow away from your face or try to warm up using a seat warmer for example. Having dry heat blowing directly in your eyes severely dries them out unnecessary. When you are in a dry environment that you are unable to change the temperate of, such as in an office, make sure you blink plenty to keep your eyes lubricated and use artificial tears if needed. Your ophthalmologist can advise what type of artificial tears are better for you.

5. Watering Eyes?

Many people in the winter months suffer from watering eyes, this can be due to the cold and windy environment. If you go outside and it is very cold and/or windy wear some protective glasses to help and if it is sunny too your sunglasses will help with the cold and wind. For some people over watering eyes can be a symptom of an infection or blocked tear duct, so if you do have any concerns get an appointment at your local eye clinic.

6. Feeling Tired?

In the winter months, there is less natural light which can make certain activities harder, such as reading and writing. This can cause eyestrain which in turn can make your eyes feel tired quicker than normal. If you do find your eyes struggling in low light conditions you could get a lamp and put it close to you while you are carrying out those activities, and always wear glasses if you have been advised to do so by your eye doctor or clinic.

Advantages and Disadvantages

So you’ve at long last settled on purchasing your fantasy home, however have a little spending plan. You can in any case purchase your fantasy home by purchasing an abandoned home. Dispossession is the lawful procedure of recuperating the advance adjust from a borrower who has quit making installments.

How to purchase an abandoned home?

On the off chance that you’ve chosen purchasing a specific abandoned property, address the proprietor and arrange an arrangement with him. You can purchase the property at a decent cost as the proprietor of the property will hope to pay off his advance sum.

You can likewise purchase an abandoned property from the loaning office who has assumed control over the property after a specific elegance period. Banks sell dispossessed properties in speedy time.

Get your work done before purchasing a property

Like most critical buys, you ought to complete an exhaustive research on the property. See how the whole abandonment process functions, and furthermore go to a couple of dispossession sell-offs to get a hang of the procedure. Find out about the market estimation of the property and furthermore about the historical backdrop of the property.

Focal points

– Foreclosed homes accompany an enormous markdown and you can purchase a dispossessed home for around 25% lesser than the market esteem.

– Since there are various activities coming up, the costs of homes that are abandoned have diminished much more.

– As the house is as of now assembled, you can move in promptly.

– You can unhesitatingly purchase these homes without agonizing over the legitimateness of any of the archives as they would have been checked by the bank.

– Most abandoned homes are quality homes in great local locations.

– As you are purchasing a home from a legislature perceived money related establishment or a bank, the vender can be trusted.

– You can finish the whole exchange in under two months.

Disservices

– You don’t get any guarantee on dispossessed homes.

– As you are purchasing the property as-seems to be, there might be numerous repairs and alterations that you may need to make. The past proprietor might not have had cash to pay his credit installments on time, so he might not have had any cash to pay for repairs, either.

– The bank will likewise not give away any history of the property or the state of the house.

– The past proprietor may have had different obligations like property assessment or upkeep charge, which you may need to pay on the off chance that you need purchase the abandoned home.

10 Simple Tips On Children’s Christmas Toys And Eye Safety

Christmas is nearly upon us and I expect many parents and families are looking at what toys to buy their children this year. Christmas should be a happy, fun time of year with children playing with their new toys, but thousands of children every year suffer from eye injuries caused by toys. These can range from minor accidents, which don’t require any attention from an eye doctor, to more serious accidents and even blindness. Some examples of eye injuries caused by toys are corneal abrasions, increased intraocular pressure and traumatic cataracts.

Here are 10 simple tips that can help you make the right toy choices for your children this Christmas.

1. Try to avoid toys that shoot objects such as arrow guns for children under 6 years old, even after this age they should always been supervised when playing with them. Children should be advised never to aim at someone’s face, even if the object they are shooting is soft such as foam.

2. A toy should be labelled with the age range it is suitable for, for example if there is a chance of choking, the toy should be labelled for children over 3 years old only. When making your Christmas shopping trips it is always best to follow the advice on the packaging of the toy but these are guidelines and children develop at different rates, so you should always go with what you think is best for your child.

3. Make sure toys will not shatter when played with or have small pieces that could break off easily. These small shards, which may be sharp, could be thrown up into a child’s eye if it breaks which can cause serious injuries.

4. Try to also avoid toys that have sharp edges or points, they could poke their eye or another child’s.

5. Christmas time is when families get together and there may be a large age range of children playing together, always try to separate children’s toys so younger children don’t play with toys that are meant for older children.

6. You may be thinking of buying an older child a chemistry set, always supply them with safety goggles to avoid any chemicals getting into the eyes which can cause nasty injuries, and always supervise them while they are using with it.

7. You should also give children protective eyewear if you buy them sporting equipment especially those that involve a ball.

8. If a toy becomes damaged (hopefully not too soon after Christmas) you should throw it away to avoid it becoming a danger to a child’s eyes. Mending a toy with glue might seem a good idea, especially if it is new, but the join where the glue is will not be as strong and could break off again easily.

9. Toys that have a long handle, such as a stick pony, should always have rounded ends. Again, you should always supervise children when playing with these type of toys as they can swing them around and hit someone’s eye.

10. Children get very excited on Christmas day and young children may find the wrapping paper and packaging more interesting that the toys themselves, but these can also be dangerous to young eyes.

What Are Eye Whitening Drops And How Do They Work

Many people that suffer with red eyes find it an unsightly and an uncomfortable condition. Many things can cause the small blood vessels on the eye’s surface to bulge out, such as lack of sleep, allergies and over use of visual display units (VDUs) for example. The white part of the eye is called the sclera and it surrounds the coloured part, the iris. The sclera is creamy white in colour and the blood vessels are not normally obvious unless you do suffer with red eyes. Red eyes happen when these small blood vessels on the sclera bulge out with blood.

Most whitening drops only contain vasoconstrictors and are made for the sole use of lessening the blood vessels on the eye. Some eye whitening drops though are also made with antihistamines or lubricants to help with the itching, swelling and redness that are caused by allergies. Whitening drops do not work against infection, allergies, or any kind of viral or bacterial disease.

Ophthalmologists, opticians and manufacturers warn patients against long term use of whitening drops as overtime it can cause an over-reaction rebound effect of red eyes. The means that overtime the vasoconstrictors in whitening eye drops cause the blood vessels to shrink which reduces the blood flow to the sclera. When the whitening effect wears off the blood vessels relax and release large amounts of blood to the starved, unnourished eye. Because of this action the blood vessels start to seem larger, which makes the red eye problem worse and creates a horrible cycle of needing more and more treatment.

Using whitening eye drops often and over a long period of time can make the condition worse and in some very rare but severe cases loss of vision can occur.

If you use whitening eye drops and have any concerns of the effects or have been on them for a long period of time and are having to use them more and more, it is best to visit your eye doctor or eye clinic to get professional advice. Also if you are considering starting to use whitening drops it is best for you seek medical advice first to make sure they are the correct treatment for you and if so, your ophthalmologist or clinic can recommend the best ones for you and the correct length of treatment.