Eye Cancer On The Rise: Reasons Prevention Is The Key To Saving Your Vision

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By Matthew Lynch

eyeMelanoma of the eye is one of the more common types of eye cancers and develops in melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin, which produces our skin colour). Whilst it is more common in skin, it can develop in the eye leading to eye cancer (sometimes referred to as choroidal or uveal melanoma).

In most cases, this type of cancer will develop in a part of the eye that isn’t visible from the outside, making it difficult to notice. It can start in the eyeball, the conjunctiva or the eyelid, but the most common starting point is the eyeball, or more specifically, the choroid, which creates the middle layer (the uvea) of your eye.

Treatments are available for these melanomas and depending on the case and the severity of the growth, vision may be unaffected. However, some larger melanomas can cause some vision loss.

The Symptoms of an Eye Melanoma

As mentioned previously, this type of cancer can go undetected due to the location of the melanomas and may only be noticed when someone has an eye test or undergoes laser eye surgery. It is not uncommon for companies to identify more underlying issues in their patients who come in for simple corrective surgery. Early warning signs include loss of peripheral vision, blurry or poor vision in one of your eyes, specks of dust (floaters) in your vision, a change in the shape of your pupil, flashing lights or a dark spot on your iris.

Should you find any of the above or you are concerned about your eye health, seek professional advice immediately.

Diagnosis Eye Melanoma

If your doctor is concerned about your eye health they may recommend further tests are carried out to establish whether or not you are suffering from an eye melanoma. They may conduct eye examinations, which involve looking for enlarged blood vessels on the outside of your eye; if these are present, it could indicate that a tumour is growing inside your eye. They will then look at the inside of your eye using specialist equipment that generates a bright light.

Ultrasounds of the eye may also be used to detect any growths. The eye specialist will place a transducer on the front of your eye or closed eyelid and the high-frequency soundwaves will enable them to spot any anomalies.

Angiograms can also be used in these cases, which involve injecting a dye into your bloodstream. This will enhance the blood vessels of the eye and will allow the doctor to take images of these around the affected area.

Available Treatments for Eye Cancer

How your doctor treats your eye melanoma will depend on the size and location of it. If it’s small and isn’t affecting your vision, they may choose to closely monitor it in case it grows. Or, if it is causing complications, surgery to remove the tumour may be considered. In severe cases where the tumour is particularly large, the eye may be removed (enucleation). Radiotherapy and laser treatments may also be offered as an additional precaution.

If you are concerned about your eye health or you’ve noticed some changes in your vision, get in touch with your eye specialist today to arrange an appointment.

– Matthew Lynch has wanted to be an optician ever since he was 15 years old. Now well on his way to his dream career Matt wants to share his passion with more people. He doesn’t feel there is enough awareness of eye health and hopes his articles will help on that front. Visit Laser Eye Surgery Hub if you’re interested in learning more about laser eye surgery options.

Doctor Discusses Eye and Vision Supplements

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

vitaminsTaking the right eye supplements that contain vitamins and other nutrients can be beneficial for maintaining eye health and good vision. Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best eye and vision supplements.

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best supplements to improve vision and eye health. Eye supplements are designed to add, not replace, nutrients acquired from a healthy diet. It is important to know that a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods is critical for maintaining eye health and good vision.

Most Americans don’t eat enough nutrient rich foods like fruits and vegetables, but opt for high-calorie, low-nutrient alternatives that can be harmful to the body, including the eyes. Daily multivitamins and minerals can help supplement the nutritional gaps in a unsatisfactory diet and may decrease the progression of eye diseases. Dr. Shofner shares the following tips on choosing the best vision supplements.

1) Quality. The best eye supplements contain quality ingredients that have high bioavailability for easy absorption. Popular eye multivitamins include: ICaps (Alcon), Ocuvite PreserVision (Bausch + Lomb), Vision 360 (Stop Aging Now), and Eye & Body Complete (Biosyntrix). “We only offer and recommend well-known, quality brands to our patients,” says Dr. Shofner.

2) Freshness. Check for an expiration date to make sure the supplement is fresh and the seal has not been broken or tampered with.

3) Choose Capsules. Capsules are easily absorbed vs. hard tablets and tend to cause less stomach upset.

4) Avoid Fillers. Eye supplements containing dairy products, corn or wheat, could affect those sensitive or are allergic to those ingredients.

5) Follow Correct Dosage. To reduce the risk of toxicity or drug reactions, do not exceed the dosage instructions on the bottle.

6) Save with Multivitamins. Purchasing multivitamins rather than buying each vitamin and nutrient separately can cost less.

Vitamins That Support Vision Health

Most of these vitamins and nutrients listed below may play a key role in reducing inflammation and oxidative changes associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including chronic and age-related eye problems:

* Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for night vision.

* Vitamin B complex (including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 folic acid, biotin and choline). B complex vitamins may help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent elevated homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been associated with vascular problems affecting the retina. B vitamins also may play a role in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and in the treatment of uveitis.

* Vitamin C. Some studies have found vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Vitamin D. Recent studies suggest vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, especially during winter months in cold climates. Research suggests vitamin D may decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. View a research report on Vitamin D and AMD.

* Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Bioflavonoids. Found in many fruits and vegetables, bioflavonoids appear to help the body absorb vitamin C for higher antioxidant efficiency.

* Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These carotenoids and macular pigments may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

* Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These essential nutrients may reduce the risk of dry eyes and may have other eye health benefits as well.

* Phytochemical antioxidants. Plant extracts, such as those from ginkgo biloba and bilberry, contain phytochemicals, which appear to provide protection from oxidative stress in the entire body, including the eyes.

Dr. Shofner suggests patients should consult with their eye doctor and primary care physician before taking supplements, especially for those that are pregnant, nursing or taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants).

About Shofner Vision Center

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center located in Nashville, TN, specializes in LASIK and Cataract Vision Correction Surgery and treats ocular diseases. Dr. Shofner has performed over 10,000 cataract surgeries in Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone seeking eye and vision supplements or experiencing vision impairment to contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a “No Fear – No Pressure” comprehensive eye exam.

Super Eye Health – Part 2

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By Benjamin Trahan

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

Spinach

greenlettuceIt is considered by many to be the king of the leafy greens. However, other greens, such as collard greens and kale are also good choices. They all contain high amounts of lutein, which is shown by studies to help reduce the chance of macular degeneration or cataracts. Many health specialists advise that people who are already suffering from eye diseases or have a history of it in their family should make sure that spinach is a big part of their daily diet.

Fish

Fish such as salmon, sardines and any other cold-water fish are believed to bestow their consumers with great eyesight benefits. They are full of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, which focuses on the retina and helps to stop plaque from forming in that area. In order for fish to work it’s magic on your eyes, it’s recommended you eat at least 16 ounces worth of fish weekly.

Blueberries

These fruits also help when it comes to protecting your eyes. They contain many antioxidants and are considered to be anti-inflammatory amongst other things. It’s believed that a regular intake of blueberries will improve your eyesight while strengthening the blood vessels located in the back of one’s eye. Finally, they contain anthocyanin, which helps to stop the arteries that feed oxygen to the retinas from becoming blocked.

While not a superfood, an article found on EyeCare20/20’s blog entitled “Could Drinking Green Tea Lead To Better Eye Health?” states that green tea may be just as beneficial to one’s eye health as superfoods. The article states that green tea contains large amounts of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and catechins, which are both antioxidant compounds. EGCG helps to protect the area of our eyes that is responsible for the transmission of image and non-image forming information. Catechin is also important because it helps to protect the fragile parts of the eye from diseases such as glaucoma.

Most people take pride in being healthy. They make sure they are up to date on vaccines, wash their hands obsessively, and more. However, most people seem to forget that their eyes are just as susceptible to disease as any other part of their body. While super foods have many benefits, they can’t cure everything. Yet, when food both tastes good and is full of health benefits such as improved eye health, who wouldn’t want to at least try encorporating those foods into their daily diet?

– Benjamin is an aspiring Journalist who spends most of his days researching & writing about a variety of topics like eyecare and health. He works closely with EyeCare20/20 to keep his information up to date and accurate. Benjamin currently resides in Virginia where he recently graduated from Old Dominion University with a major in English. You can contact him with any questions at benjamin@marketingzen.com.

Super Eye Health – Part 1

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By Benjamin Trahan

eyeThe world has to be seen to be believed. Yet, to truly appreciate the beautiful sights that the world has to offer one must take good care of their eyes. Eyes, just like any other part of the body, need to be taken care of. If not properly taken care of, you run the risk of infection or decreased eyesight. Some ways to prevent this, such as trying not to touch your eyes, seem obvious. However, did you know that eating certain super foods can also help your eyesight?

The definition of what a super food is varies depending upon whom you ask. Yet, most super foods are qualified by a few key characteristics, according to the article “What’s So Super About Superfoods?” featured in A Woman’s Health:

• They are full of nutrients that are very important to one’s physical health and their well-being. These nutrients include antioxidants, minerals, and more.

• They are low in calories or harmful substances such as trans-fats.

• Super foods are known for the many benefits they bring to those who eat them.
These benefits vary from person to person but in general super foods are believed to help combat disease and improve one’s health. According to most dieticians, many fruits and vegetables are good examples of super foods.

However, each super food has certain unique benefits that are believed to be brought about by eating it. Some are said to help decrease the risk of certain illnesses. However, a few super foods actually have a surprising quality: they can help to protect and even strengthen one’s eyesight. Certain super foods contain antioxidants and nutrients that are believed to help protect their consumers against eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. According to an article called “10 Super Foods to Protect Vision” by Jennifer Nelson, the following super foods can help with one’s vision:

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Benjamin is an aspiring Journalist who spends most of his days researching & writing about a variety of topics like eyecare and health. He works closely with EyeCare20/20 to keep his information up to date and accurate. Benjamin currently resides in Virginia where he recently graduated from Old Dominion University with a major in English. You can contact him with any questions at benjamin@marketingzen.com.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Child Has Vision Problems?

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groupkidsAs a parent, your primary goal is to ensure that your kids have the assistance and guidance they need to become successful, independent adults. You’re driven to look after them, keep them safe and treat any problems that may crop up along the way. Treating the occasional flu or a bout with chicken pox is one thing, but how do you treat a problem if you’re not quite sure that it exists? One of the more difficult issues for parents to accurately identify, especially in very young children, is problems with vision. Unless your child is actively squinting when she tries to focus on an object or is holding a book too close to her face for comfort, you may not be able to spot the signs of vision problems if you’re not well-versed in the symptoms. Knowing what to do in terms of treatment, prevention and correction isn’t always easy, but there are a few things you can keep in mind to make the journey a bit less complicated.

Know the Symptoms

Classic symptoms of vision issues, like squinting and sitting too close to the television, are red flags for parents, but what many don’t realize is that there are a host of other, subtler signals that can indicate a struggle to see clearly. For newborns, it’s even more difficult to discern any problems because their eyes are not fully developed. In older infants, however, the warning signs can be easier to spot. Irregular movement, one eye that stays stationary while the other moves normally, one eye that’s consistently closed or the failure of mobiles, lights or movement to catch her attention can be cause for concern and should be discussed with her pediatrician at the next well child exam. Toddlers and older babies may bump into furniture or walls when they’re crawling or learning to walk, rub their eyes frequently when they’re not sleepy, cover one eye to see things better and lose their balance when standing from a seated position.

Schedule an Appointment with an Eye Doctor

Around preschool age, even if your child is not exhibiting any signs of vision problems or difficulty seeing, it’s wise to make an appointment with an eye doctor. Even if he can’t yet read, there are still vision tests that can be performed on a young child that are capable of diagnosing many common sight problems. Rather than trying to diagnose a vision problem yourself, it’s important that you make arrangements for your child to visit the eye doctor for a check-up and full exam.

Prepare Her for Glasses

cutekidsIf you suspect that your child is having trouble with her vision, it may be a good idea to start talking about what glasses are used for, how they help people who have trouble seeing and how important they are to people whose sight is compromised. Your child may leave her first ophthalmologist’s appointment with nothing more than a sticker and a pat on the back, but she may leave with a brand new pair of glasses that she’s less than thrilled about. If you have reason to suspect that your child might be suffering from some vision issues, the best course of action is to ensure that she’s prepared for the possibility of corrective measures.

Rethink Harsh Punishments

Kids who can’t see clearly at school may suffer a drop in academic performance, become less active participants in the classroom and show a negative change on their next report card. Because a good education is so important, many parents are quick to treat academic neglect with a zero-tolerance policy, but it’s best to rethink things if your child is also showing other signs of having trouble seeing. The last thing you want to do is punish a child who’s already struggling for doing badly in school. Before flying off the handle when kids act out in school or return home with bad grades, stop to consider whether or not having difficulty seeing could be the motivating factor behind these behaviors.

Stress Compliance

Your child may not be eager to wear her new glasses, but failure to do so can lead to worsening vision problems down the road. After the diagnosis comes and corrective steps are taken to manage a vision problem, it is your job to ensure that compliance with ophthalmologists’ and pediatricians’ orders continues at home. Work with your child, his eye doctors and his teachers to find a plan of action that stresses cooperation and provides a supportive environment for your youngster.

– Submitted by Anne Laurie of GoNannies.com

Aspirin Use Tied to Age-Related Vision Loss

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From Your Health Journal…..”MedPage Today is one of the best kept secrets on the web, and I always try to bring traffic to their site. Recently, they had an excellent article about aspirin and age related vision loss. Many adults take a baby aspirin, as they have been told how it is helpful to preventing heart attack and strokes. But now, new reports have stated regular aspirin use was associated with an elevated risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The researchers also considered whether other medications often taken by aspirin users, such as acetaminophen and beta-blockers, might influence risk, and the results were negative. It will be very interesting to read more about this in the future, as it affects many individuals who do take their baby aspirin every day. I encourage all of you to visit the MedPage Today web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. The author, Nancy Walsh did a fantastic job explaining these new findings. I have also posted a snip for the article below as well.”

From the article…..

Regular aspirin use was associated with an elevated risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, an Australian study suggested, but actual causality remains uncertain.

After adjustment for age, sex, and history of smoking, the odds ratio for macular degeneration in aspirin users was 2.37 (95% CI 1.25 to 4.49), according to Jie Jin Wang, PhD, of the University of Sydney, and colleagues.

With further adjustment for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the association remained (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.25 to 4.83), the researchers reported online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

However, “the evidence is insufficient to adjudicate the relationship between aspirin and [age-related macular degeneration], thereby challenging causal inferences,” Sanjay Kaul, MD, and George A. Diamond, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, wrote in an invited commentary.

A recent cross-sectional study suggested a possible link between neovascular age-related macular degeneration and routine aspirin use, but other studies have yielded conflicting findings.

To prospectively examine this potential link, Wang and colleagues analyzed data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, which included 2,389 Australians ages 49 and older.

Retinal examinations were done every 5 years, and lesions classified as neovascular, or wet macular degeneration, or geographic atrophy, also known as dry macular degeneration.

Aspirin use was reported on a structured questionnaire, and information on relevant risk factors was obtained during physical examination and history reports.

According to the researchers, they did not collect information on aspirin dosage, but, they said, “most aspirin use in Australia is prescribed at 150 mg daily.”

To read the full article…..Click here

Myopia: Measuring Nearsightedness

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By Kelly Padmore

eyeMyopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a medical condition that involves experiencing blurred vision when looking at distant objects. Myopia can be caused by an elongated axis of the eye, which means that the eye is slightly football-shaped rather than spherical, or by an excessive curvature of the outer layer of the eye called the cornea. These structural changes cause the light reflected off objects to focus in front of the retina rather than precisely on it, which translates into blurred distance vision. Due to adaptations of the eye, a nearsighted person sees close objects clearly, unless his or her myopia is very severe.

Doctors and Optometrists Diagnose Nearsightedness By Performing Routine Eye Exams

Myopia is diagnosed by evaluating a person’s vision when he or she looks at an eye chart with letters of different sizes. The patient is asked to close one eye and read with the other eye progressively smaller letters until they become blurred and unreadable. Each row is associated with a certain vision acuity. Eye doctors or optometrists may apply lenses of various strengths to determine how much correction is needed to achieve vision that is close to perfect or maximum visual potential. Diopters are used to

Eye doctors or optometrists may apply lenses of various strengths to determine how much correction is needed to achieve vision that is close to perfect or maximum visual potential.

measure the degree and severity of myopia. One diopter is represented by a lens that has the ability to bend parallel light rays to a focal point located at a distance of one meter. A two-diopter lense can bend the light to a focal point at 0.5 meters. Negative diopters are used to represent the required myopic correction, while positive diopters are used to evaluate the correction needed for farsightedness. Your doctor is able to assess the severity of your myopia based on the number of diopters required to correct the refractive error. Up to -5 diopters of correction, the nearsightedness or myopia is considered mild. Between -5 and -7 diopters represent a moderate myopia, and beyond -7 diopters is considered severe myopia.

Mainstream Treatment Of Myopia

Myopia is easily corrected with prescription glasses based on the evaluation done by an eye doctor. After an eye exam, each patient receives an eyeglass or contact lense prescription that contains the number of dioptric correction required for each eye. Myopia can be treated through laser surgery, which is done to eyeglassesslightly alter the outer surface of the cornea in order to obtain a correct focus of light on the retina. There are no medically proven ways to prevent myopia. Working for many hours daily on the computer, a lot of reading or other types of close, highly detailed work may increase the chances of developing nearsightedness, but no definite medical confirmation through research studies has been obtained yet. People of Asian descent are more susceptible to developing myopia than people of European or African descent. Myopia appears to have a relatively strong genetic component, although environmental factors, including high levels of stress, have also been attributed to an increased susceptibility to develop nearsightedness.

Pinhole Glasses Are An Alternative Way To Correct The Refractive Error In Myopic Individuals

Pinhole glasses work by allowing the entrance of limited light bundles through pinholes made on an opaque material that replaces the traditional eyeglass lenses. By limiting and filtering the light that enters the eye, pinhole glasses enable a better light focus on the retina, which translates into improved vision when looking at distant objects. Additionally, pinhole glasses reduce the amount of light that stimulates the eye, which is useful in people with degenerative disorders of the eye, such as macular degeneration or cataracts. Medical professionals recommend pinhole glasses as a cost-effective, natural way to train your eyes and correct the myopic refractive error.

– Kelly Padmore is an optometrist with nearly two decades under her belt. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on eye health via various blogs. Click here to find out more.