ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Many of these old adages still have relevance in our modern life. You've come to expect individual, personalized care from us. Macular degeneration is the most prevalent eye disorder in America. Part of this is due to our aging population and the gradual breakdown of the central retinal tissue. It's exacerbated by ultra-violet light, smoking, high blood pressure, vascular disease, and other environmental factors. Even more significant is our genetic risk profile. What did we inherit from our parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles? All of those genetic factors can be evaluated (via a cotton swab of your cheek) for your own risk susceptibility in developing macular degeneration.
We monitor our higher risk patients on a more frequent basis and can recommend more specific nutritionals for you. In the last 18 months the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS 2) came out with global population-based recommendations for the prevention or treatment of dry macular degeneration - the most common form.
We've found that for a moderate percentage of the population, the overall AREDS 2 recommendations is good advice. However, there are two important sub-groups of the population where the recommended extra zinc, in AREDS 2, could make your dry macular degeneration worse! For other patients, additional zinc is the best recommendation but without additional lutein and zeaxanthin.
If we have performed your macular risk swabs in the last 12 months we have your vita risk® and you can discuss with us what nutritionals may be beneficial for you. If you have not had a macular risk test, I encourage you to do so. It's simple, easy, cost-effective and the DNA test is billable to your medical insurance company. The report, which generally takes about a month will give us the information we need to make an individual recommendation.
Posted on 10/19/2014 6:48 PM by Dr. Susan Kegarise
SUNGLASSES SUNSCREEN FOR THE EYES
The UVA and UVB light from the sun can cause damage to the lens and retina inside the eye. It also contributes to dryness and redness on the front of the eye. We're much more exposed to problems with sunlight in the Southeast. If you're going to be in the sun for prolonged periods, you should invest in a quality pair of protective sunglasses. You can't always trust that a brand name or designer sunglass is going to protect against UV light. You can always have your glasses tested on a UV analyzer at either our Cool Springs or Donelson practice.
In addition, the quality of the optics and scratch-resistant surface can vary widely in no-power sunglasses. You should be able to put on a good pair and they should not distort your straight-ahead vision. As you move the glasses up and down in front of your eyes, there should be no jump or movement of objects through the lens. If so, there is some unwanted power or distortion ground into the lenses which can strain your eyes.
The color and degree of tint should be consistent with how you use the sunglasses. Gray or green lenses will provide a more natural view. Brown will alter the color perception. In general, we can't recommend blue tint because those are allowing higher levels of blue light into your eyes which increases your risk of macular degeneration. Sunglasses are for function, fashion, and protection. Think of them as "sunscreen for your eyes."
Posted on 10/03/2014 9:36 AM by Dr. Susan Kegarise