Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Back to School

Back-to-School Eye Exams Essential to Helping Children Succeed in the Classroom
Dr. Mautino encourages Making Vision Exams an Annual Back-to-School Tradition

As the new school year approaches, parents are ensuring their children are prepared with an annual physical, immunizations and back-to-school shopping, but an annual eye exam should also be part of a student’s back-to-school routine. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q® survey, 89 percent of those surveyed incorrectly believe simple vision screenings, such as those occasionally offered at schools, are an effective way to detect vision problems. However, these screenings cannot detect potentially serious eye and overall health issues in children.
From ages 6 to 18, a child’s vision can change frequently or unexpectedly which can lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. This year, Dr. Mautino encourages parents to start the school year on a healthy note by making comprehensive eye exams a priority and maintaining proper eye health throughout the year.
Dr. Mautino reminds parents to keep these four eye health and safety tips in mind:
  1. Know that pediatric eye exams are most likely covered by your health insurance plan:  Most health insurance plans, including those sold in health insurance marketplaces, cover comprehensive pediatric eye exams. In fact, 54 percent of people were unaware that the Affordable Care Act now defines a comprehensive eye exam as an essential benefit and cover this expense, including glasses for children, annually, according to the AOA’s 2015 American Eye-Q® survey.

2.    Look for indicators of eye health issues: Common signals that your child may be experiencing a vision problem include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaining of headaches or other discomfort.

3.    Prevent eye strain by monitoring use of digital devices: Increased exposure to electronic devices in and out of the classroom can cause digital eye strain, including burning or itchy eyes, headaches, blurred vision and exhaustion. The AOA recommends following the 20-20-20 rule (taking a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away), blinking frequently and adjusting your child’s computer screen to prevent glare can prevent discomfort.

4.    Wear proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities: Well-fitting, protective eye wear and quality sunglasses that offer UV protection are also critical to maintaining key visual skills for sports and preventing injuries.

“One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem because changes in their eyesight go unrecognized by both the child and their parents or guardian, said Tyler Mautino, OD. “Making a comprehensive eye exam a priority this year is one of the single most important investments you can make in your child’s education and overall health. While schools typically offer basic vision screenings, these often create a false sense of security by missing significant problems. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to properly diagnose and treat serious eye health issues.”
To learn more, please visit our website, eyecarewarren.com
###

About the American Eye-Q® survey:
The tenth annual AOA American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). From February 19—March 4, 2015, PSB conducted 1,000 online interviews among Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of the U.S. general population. (Margin of error is plus or minus 3.10 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.)



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Technology Advancements Enhance Early Detection of Eye Diseases Associated with Diabetes

Technology Advancements Enhance Early Detection of Eye Diseases Associated with Diabetes

Eye Care Professional Associates sends reminder that yearly, comprehensive eye exams remain a critical pathway to eye and vision health. 

Early symptoms of diabetic eye and vision disorders are often subtle or unnoticed, but new technology, coupled with yearly, comprehensive eye exams, are improving patient outcomes and leading to earlier detection of eye diseases, including those associated with diabetes, which now affects 29 million Americans. If left untreated, these diseases can potentially lead to vision loss or even blindness.

Recently, optometric researchers have deployed a new tool that utilizes advanced optics to detect early warning signs of vision loss that can occur due to diabetes. The instrument uses small mirrors with tiny moveable segments to reflect light into the eye and was successful in finding widespread damage across the retina of patients who were previously not thought to have advanced disease.

“Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in adults, and eye doctors are continuously working to find new ways to diagnose eye and vision disorders related to this disease,” said Dr. Mautino. “These advancements are critical in offering earlier, better care for patients with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and other retinal vascular diseases, before an eye problem reaches an advanced stage.”

Individuals with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk for developing eye and vision disorders, including:

·         Diabetic retinopathy: One of the most serious sight-threatening complications of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy causes progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy may lead to blindness.

·         Glaucoma: Those with diabetes are 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without diabetes. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve resulting in gradual peripheral vision loss.

·         Cataracts: With cataracts, the eye’s clear lens clouds, which can block light and interfere with normal vision, and individuals with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts.

Other new advancements are currently in development to further enhance diabetic care, including research on smart contact lenses, which could be used to help monitor blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and possibly provide a new way to dispense medication slowly over time.

“Though these advancements in technology can assist in the detection and management of eye diseases, they are not replacements for yearly, comprehensive eye exams,” said Dr. Mautino. “When the eyes are dilated, an eye doctor is able to examine the optic nerve, the retina and the retinal blood vessels to assess eye health and even a person’s overall health.”

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact [your practice here] as soon as possible for a comprehensive eye exam, especially if you have diabetes:

·         Sudden blurred or double vision

·         Trouble reading or focusing on near-work

·         Eye pain or pressure

·         A noticeable aura or dark ring around lights or illuminated objects

·         Visible dark spots in vision or images of flashing lights


Eye Care Professional Associates also recommends individuals with diabetes take prescribed medication as directed, keep glycohemoglobin test results (A1C; or average blood sugar level) consistently under seven percent, stick to a healthy diet that includes Omega 3s, fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, control high blood pressure and avoid alcohol and smoking.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What Contact Lens Wearers Need to Know About Tobacco Use

Dr. Mautino urges consumers to practice safe and healthy habits when handling contact lenses, including not smoking
With a prescription from an eye doctor, consumers choose to wear contact lenses for various reasons—convenience, appearance or to enhance athletic potential—but good hygiene and safety practices must be followed. Dr. Mautino urges consumers not to use tobacco, as smoking can cause harm to eye health.
“Smoke is a major eye irritant, particularly for those who wear contact lenses,” Dr. Mautino. “If you smoke and wear contact lenses, the tar and nicotine that deposits on your fingers can contaminate your contacts when you handle your lenses, which can give your eyes a burning sensation.”
In addition to causing problems associated with poor contact lens hygiene, plus the diseases already associated with tobacco use (lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke), individuals who use tobacco are more likely to develop a blinding eye disease called macular degeneration.
“Macular degeneration is a serious disease that can cause diminished color vision and the gradual loss of appear in the center of a person’s vision,” said Dr. Mautino
The bottom line? Avoid tobacco use to maintain good overall health and to ensure your contact lenses will serve you in the best possible way. Use these recommendations from the American Optometric Association (AOA) to ensure you’re following proper hygiene practices when wearing contacts. If not used as directed by an eye doctor, the consequences of improper contact lens use can include infection and even damage to the eye and eye health.
·         Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses. According to the AOA’s 2014 American Eye-Q ® survey, 35 percent of contact lens wearers skipped this important step.
·         Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by your eye doctor. Rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens.
·         Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every three months or sooner. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
·         Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never re-use old solution. Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.
·         Always follow the recommended contact lens replacement schedule prescribed by your eye doctor. According to the American Eye-Q ® survey, 57 percent of contact lens wearers admitted to wearing disposable contact lenses longer than directed.
·         Don’t wear contact lenses while swimming or in a hot tub. According to the FDA and the AOA, contact lenses should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water and water in swimming pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs and showers.

For additional resources about contact lens hygiene and safety, visit contactlenssafety.org or aoa.org. To ensure your eyes are healthy, make an appointment with Dr. Mautino and Eye Care Professional Associates for a comprehensive eye exam at (814)726-1104, or by visiting eyecarewarren.com.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Clear Vision, Living Independently Top Priorities for Older Americans

Seventy-five percent of aging Americans affected by vision problems; Dr. Tyler Mautino offers tips to protect eyesight throughout life

Fluctuations in vision are often one of the first health changes adults notice as they get older. Although these changes can be bothersome, even more troubling problems could be lurking beneath the surface and cause vision loss. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q® survey, the inability to live independently would concern older consumers the most if they developed serious vision problems.  Dr. Mautino offers several tips to help older adults safeguard their vision.

Schedule a yearly eye exam

Comprehensive eye exams by a doctor of optometry are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision, and the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease, and determine the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Common eye conditions in older adults that can be detected through a comprehensive eye examination include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and dry eye. The number of adults with these eye conditions will increase as the population of older adults grows—according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 estimates, 72 million Americans are expected to be over the age of 65 by 2030 (compared with 46.2 million Americans in 2014).

“Many eye conditions develop without any warning signs or symptoms, so it’s important to visit a doctor of optometry every year to ensure your eyes are healthy,” said Dr. Mautino. “Early diagnosis and treatment of serious eye diseases and disorders is critical and can often prevent loss of vision.”

Focus on healthy lifestyle choices

Following basic healthy habits can help ward off eye diseases and maintain existing eyesight. One of the essential building blocks of a person’s overall health is diet. Enjoying a diet rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin can improve eye health—these can be found in spinach and other green, leafy vegetables, as well as eggs. Other “power foods” for the eyes include fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C and fish containing Omega 3 essential fatty acids, such as salmon. Also, an optometrist can discuss vitamin therapy options for patients experiencing vision problems and for preventive treatment.

“Not only can a healthy diet improve your eye health, but not smoking, monitoring blood pressure levels, exercising regularly and wearing proper sunglasses to protect eyes from UV rays can all play a role in preserving eyesight and eye health,” said Dr. Mautino.

Adapt to your surroundings and seek help from a doctor of optometry

According to the 2015 American Eye-Q® survey, 75 percent of Americans age 55 and older have experienced vision problems. It’s especially important for older adults to visit their doctor of optometry to ensure their vision is good to prevent falls and driving accidents.

Older adults can ease the stress on their eyes by making some simple changes:

     Stay safe while driving: Wear quality sunglasses for daytime driving and use anti-reflective lenses to reduce headlight glare. Limit driving at dusk, dawn or at night if seeing under low light is difficult. Use extra caution at intersections and reduce speed.

     Use contrasting colors: Define essential objects in your home, such as light switches and telephones, with different colors so they can be spotted quickly and easily.

     Give the eyes a boost: Install clocks, thermometers and timers with large block letters. Magnifying glasses can also be used for reading when larger print is not available. Text size on the screen of smartphones and tablets can also be increased.

People dealing with eye disease and vision loss can also seek rehabilitative services from a doctor of optometry. These services can teach patients a variety of techniques to allow them to perform daily activities with their remaining vision and help them regain their independence.

Maintaining yearly eye exams, or more frequently if recommended by an eye doctor, provides the best protection for preventing the onset of eye diseases and allows adults to continue leading active and productive lifestyles as they age. To make an appointment with Dr. Mautino for a comprehensive eye exam or for additional information on age-related eye conditions, visit www.eyecarewarren.com or call the office at 814 726 1104.


 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Save Your Vision Month

The 21st Century Eye: Three Ways to Protect Your Vision
Tips for Save Your Vision Month from Dr. Tyler Mautino

WARREN, PA (3/1/16) Everywhere we look, we’re reading, shopping, banking or being entertained online on digital devices small and large—at work, at school, at play and on our way in-between. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2014 American Eye-Q® survey, 55 percent of adults use computers, smartphones, tablets or other handheld devices for five or more hours a day. And a separate AOA survey showed that 83 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 use an electronic device for more than three hours a day. Digital use will continue to increase, making it more important than ever for consumers to make smart eye care choices and to see an eye doctor for yearly comprehensive eye exams.

Below are three tips from Dr. Mautino in observance of AOA’s Save Your Vision Month in March.

Give Your Eyes a Break
Dr. Mautino recommends following the 20-20-20 rule to ward off digital eye strain–take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.

“Although ongoing technology use doesn’t permanently damage vision, regular, lengthy use of technology may lead to a temporary condition called digital eye strain,” said Dr. Mautino. “Symptoms can include burning or tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.”

Early research has also shown that overexposure to high-energy, short-wavelength blue and violet light emitted from electronic devices may contribute to digital eye strain. Blue light could also increase the likelihood of developing serious eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration. Optometrists offer lens options including non-glare, filtering lenses, to help protect vision from harmful blue light.

Be a Savvy Shopper
Shopping online can be great for some products that aren’t individually custom-made like prescription eyeglasses are; health and safety trump convenience when it comes to eyewear. Internet orders often result in incorrect prescriptions or other problems with products that get sent through the mail, costing consumers more time and money in the long run. According to a 2011 study conducted by the AOA, the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council, nearly half of all glasses ordered online had either prescription errors or failed to meet minimum safety standards.

“Eyeglasses are an investment in your health and must be custom-fitted not only to be comfortable, but also to be sure precise prescription needs are met so that you’re actually seeing your best,” said Dr. Mautino.

Skip Shortcuts
When it comes to really seeing what’s going on with your eyes, there is no substitute for a comprehensive, yearly eye exam by an eye doctor. Despite catchy claims, there is truly no ‘app’ for that. While a variety of new mobile applications claim to evaluate vision or the fit of eyeglasses, often these apps give inaccurate or misleading information, and misinformed consumers end up delaying essential, sight-saving exams. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical and can often prevent a total loss of vision and improve quality of life. 

“Comprehensive, yearly eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision, and the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease, and determine if you need corrective lenses,” said Dr. Mautino.

To make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Mautino, or for additional information on eye health in the 21st century, please visit our website eyecarewarren.com, or call us at (814) 726 1104.



About the American Eye-Q® survey:
The ninth annual American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB).  From March 20-25, 2014, PSB conducted 1,000 online
interviews among Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of the U.S. general population. (Margin of error is plus or minus 3.10 percentage points at a 95% confidence level)

About the Children’s Omnibus survey:
The children’s Omnibus survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB).  From March 24-31, 2014, PSB conducted 200 online interviews from March 24-31, 2014 with children ages 10 to 17. (Margin of error is plus or minus 6.93 percentage points at a 95% confidence level)

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America’s family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual’s overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit aoa.org.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Snowstorms and Other Surprising Reasons You Need Sunglasses


It looks like we are getting another round of lake-effect snow here in Warren tonight.  As you brave the roads on the way to work tomorrow, forgetting your sunwear may be more than an inconvenience.  
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7lfO9NVNTP8/VsI9vsyvBSI/AAAAAAAAAF0/wOs3JA0OzEY/s320/Snow.jpg

Fun in the Sun
I don't know about you, but when it's this cold, I mostly just want to stay inside and watch Netflix.  I'll come outside to shovel and check the mail, but that's about all you'll catch me doing.  I live a mile from the office, so my commute's pretty short too.  Even with that minimal exposure to the sun in the winter, you will always see me wearing my sunglasses outside, even more than in the summer!  


Sunglasses in the Winter?
Many people think of sunglasses as a fashion item.   They're not wrong, but that's not the only reason I wear mine when I'm shoveling snow, no matter how cool I think I look.   Although the sun’s rays (and UV output) may be diminished in the winter, they’re magnified by snow and ice.  This effect can be uncomfortable, and can even compromise your vision.  Here are several things that magnify the sun’s effects.  Don’t forget your sunglasses if you encounter any of them:
-          Snow
-          Ice
-          Sand
-          Water
-          Pavement


How to Help Your Eyes
Many of you, especially if you get your lenses at our office, already have UV protection built into your glasses.  That is a fantastic feature that I recommend on every pair that leaves this office.  That being said, clear lenses don't help block the harshness of the light.  For that, I recommend the following:

Transitions –  These are very convenient.  They are the lenses that let your clear glasses darken and become almost like sunglasses when outdoors. You can even get them polarized these days (
Transitions Vantage). I still recommend dedicated sunwear for my patients, but Transitions lenses are a great way to customize your clear pair.

Blutech Outdoor – for blocking UV rays plus 
high energy blue light.  Both types of sunlight can be damaging to the eyes, but many lenses only protect against UV light.  And while you’re at it, invest in a pair of Blutech Indoor lenses for your computer and other devices, another major source of high energy blue light.

Sunglasses can be a great addition to your personal style, but don't forget about the many health benefits of wearing them - protection from harmful light and harsh glare! 

Check out our last blog post (1/19/16) for more details on the health effects UV rays can have on our eyes!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sun in the Snow

Sun in the Snow

You've felt the harsh brightness of the sun reflecting off the snow lately, right? Snow reflects nearly 80 percent of the sun’s rays. That means more harmful ultraviolet rays are directed into your eyes than even on a sunny day in the summer.
Hours of bright sunlight can burn the surface of the eye, causing a temporary but painful condition known as photokeratitis. Over time, unprotected exposure can contribute to cataracts, as well as cancer of the eyelids and the skin around the eyes. UV exposure also may increase the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65. While cataracts can be removed surgically, there is no way to reverse damage to the macula, the area in the center of the retina.
To protect your eyes, it is important to wear sunglasses that block out harmful UV light. Grab your summer shades out of the drawer next time you break out the shovel - your eyes will thank you! ‪#‎WarrenPA‬‪#‎WinterinWarren‬