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Ease Eye Strain in Today’s Digital World

According to recent survey, four out of five Americans spend significant amount of time in front of their computer or on a handheld device. Between work and home many people spend more than 10 hours everyday on a computer! Newer devices are getting even smaller and more portable, which makes them easier to carry but more difficult to see. Added to an ever-aging population and the situation is set for an increase in vision problems.

Computer vision syndrome is a term often used to describe a type of visual discomfort, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in front of a computer. Any electronic display can cause the same symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, visual fatigue, blurred vision or loss of focus.

Electronic displays use pixels to display words, and these pixels give less contrast than the usual black-on-white print our eyes are used to. This causes more focusing, squinting and straining to read. With a computer, often times you can make the text large enough so that it is comfortable, but with a small portable device there is less screen real estate to increase the text size. In addition, people tend to hold these small devices very close to their eyes, which increases strain even more.

New spectacle lenses are available that can help with today’s technology. Essilor has developed a lens that has a small magnifying area towards the bottom, designed specifically for handheld devices. When you look far away, your distance vision remains crisp and clear, but when you shift your focus up close, your near work is larger and easier to see. This is only one of many new and excited developments in eye care.

This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care Center. Please call or contact our office for more information.

Pink, Stinging Eyes?

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.


Welcome to our New Website

We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.

Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.

Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!

Eye Care Is More Than Just Blurry Vision

The fear of going blind is a scary thought in most people’s minds. However, Lighthouse International conducted a new survey showing six out of seven people that are at risk for, or who currently have, eye disease do not get annual eye exams.

Some of the reasons people may forgo eye care is the cost, the fear of hearing a worst case scenario from the doctor or because they don’t experience any trouble with their vision. Of course if you wait until you experience a change in your vision, you can miss an early diagnosis of a possibly treatable or manageable disease.

For example, glaucoma and macular degeneration are two of the most common eye diseases. Both of these have almost no symptoms early on — but can cause partial blindness and a loss of function in your life. Both are also manageable, especially if they are discovered early.

These conditions are also much more likely to occur if there is a family history, so talking to your relatives and being proactive in your eye care are the two greatest things you can do. You should see an eye doctor annually if someone in your family has been diagnosed with glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Vision loss, however, isn’t the only issue. A routine eye exam can also detect many other diseases in their early stages, including diabetes, autoimmune disorders, neurofibromatosis and even brain tumors.

Routine eye exams should be performed every year for those 40 and older, not just to check for blurry vision but to make sure your eyes, and body, are healthy. Call our office today to schedule the next step in your preventative medical care.

This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care Center. Please call or contact our office for more information.

Contact Lenses Can Be A Safe Option When Used Properly

In the United States, 40 million people use contact lenses to improve their vision. While most of these contact lens wearers adhere to the guidelines set out by their doctors, many do not. According to the American Optometric Association‘s annual American Eye-Q® survey, many people are putting their health and vision at risk by not following the recommendations of their eye care professionals.

According to the study, a majority of contact lens wearers over wear their lenses. This comes as no surprise to me, as a clear majority of my patients tell me they don’t follow the recommended replacement schedule. Even more alarming, more than twenty-five percent of respondents reported sleeping in their contact lenses, a major risk factor that increases complications by 15 times.

“It’s easy for patients to forget that contact lenses are medical devices and as such, should be handled with an appropriate level of caution,” said Dr. Christine Sindt, OD, FAAO, chair of the AOA’s Contact Lensand Cornea Section and Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa. “Clean and safe handling of contacts is one of the most important measures wearers can take to protect their sight.”

According to the press release, “the AOA’s survey shows that although a majority of contact lens wearers (58 percent) clean and disinfect them with an appropriate solution, another 23 percent of respondents soak or clean lenses in water, and 12 percent store their contacts in something other than a typical storage case. Cleaning and rinsing lenses are necessary to remove mucus, secretions, films or deposits which may have accumulated during wearing, while disinfecting is required to destroy harmful germs. Water does not disinfect lenses; in fact it can actually contaminate contacts. Using something other than an appropriate case for storing lenses can allow bacteria to grow on or near contacts.”

This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care Center. Please call or contact our office for more information.

Revolutionary Routine Eye Exams

I was proud to join my father, Dr. Bruce Clarin, in the practice of optometry six years ago. Upon graduating, I felt my book knowledge was second to none, and I was proud to join an optometrist who also kept up with the latest in eye care education and current research.

Fast-forward six years and everything I thought I knew is out the window. Obviously the experience of seeing 10,000 patients taught me a lot more than my formal education ever could. The day-to-day management of patients, along with building and running a practice isn’t exactly what school teaches. But the biggest change has come in the past month.

techpicWe recently incorporated new technology into our office that has me questioning the job I was doing before – and the job of eye doctors everywhere.

We purchased a spectral domain optical coherence tomographer (SD-OCT) – a long and technical name that I wouldn’t expect you to understand – but a piece of equipment that I think once you experience, you’ll agree has changed eye care forever.

This technology is fairly new – it didn’t exist when I was in optometry school. But the revolution is the ability of the SD-OCT to detect eye problems before we ever could with a ‘normal’ exam. And the machine we use has an iWellness component, so we can incorporate this technology into our comprehensive eye exams.

So now during your visit, we can perform a superior exam, see more pathology and detect problems earlier and more thoroughly – all of which benefit our patients. And everyday I see something that would have been missed during a regular exam.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “my last exam was pretty thorough, the doctor did a great job.” And you’re probably right. But we all do our best until technology has made our best even better.

The SD-OCT is like an MRI of the eye. It uses light to penetrate the retina and see the microscopic layers deeper than what we would see with a traditional eye exam. Looking at these layers gives us information that simply wasn’t available a few years ago. My father remarked when he first saw the machine that when he was in school the only way to see these layers was to dissect a cadaver and use the 1979 state-of-the-art microscopes – and even then it wasn’t as clear of an image.

Now we can view these components of the eye in real time. Simply amazing.

But the point I’m making is that this technology has changed how I see eye care (pun intended). It has allowed us to perform more comprehensive exams, to understand our patients’ vision better and it has led to earlier detection and treatment of eye diseases. And it has made me question how ‘thorough’ I was performing exams before.

I hope every eye care patient takes advantage of this technology and makes sure they have the most complete eye exam available. I know I wouldn’t accept anything less for my family.

Pixels Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

Searching for another Ultra HiDef television or a high-end cell phone? It looks like tech fans interested in a sharper view are sometimes paying for a larger number of pixels than their eyes can really see.

4KWith regards to televisions touting new 4k innovation, “a regular human isn’t going to see a difference,” said Raymond Soneira, head of display-testing firm Displaymate.

In 2010, when Apple announced the iphone 4, Steve Jobs pointed out that with the telephone’s highly-touted “Retina” screen, the eye could no longer recognize unique pixels on the screen when seen from a normal distance. The guarantee wasn’t only a sharp screen, however, but a screen so sharp that further refinements might be unnoticeable.

Yet the amount of pixels-for every inch (Ppi) on today’s technology has been growing leaps and bounds. The iPhone’s pixel density has remained at 326 Ppi, yet Android-fueled contenders, for example, the HTC One and the LG G2, have screens that rate well over 400 Ppi.

In the mean time, as customers line up, stores are advertising “Ultra Hd” TVs — also called 4k. These sets have a resolution of 3840 x 2160, or four times the pixels as customary high-definition TVs. However, even those standard HD sets, at the distance viewers customarily watch them, might already be categorized as “retina” screens. So by quadrupling the number of pixels for 4k TVs, experts say that by and large, the human eye can’t even see the difference.

tv resolutionMakers like Sony and Samsung tout their new 4k TVs as a revolution in imaging. Sony’s website portrays their top models – which can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 – as four times clearer than HD. Samsung’s $40,000 85-inch television guarantees another type of satisfaction” with its “simply breathtaking resolution.”

Sony believes that the 4K picture quality difference is evident when seen in person, and we invite consumers to see and experience the difference for themselves because seeing is believing,”

Are the manufacturers’ claims possible? Also just what are the cutoff points of the human eye’s capability to recognize determination? Here’s a simple way NBC News explains it:

A person’s field of vision covers about 200 degrees, a little more than a semicircle. At arm’s length their index finger’s fingernail will appear to be about the width of one of those degrees. Imagine that fingernail covered in 120 alternating black and white stripes — being able to discern those stripes at that distance is just about the theoretical limit of the human eye.

In reality, however, not many people have such perfect vision. Truth be told, most individuals might be unable to observe pixels or lines twice that size. What’s more, if a TV or tablet meets that level of pixelation hinges on the distance it is from the viewer. In a living-room, a viewer’s 40- to 60-inch TV is positioned at a fixed-distance, likely seven to nine feet away. Unless HiDef TV fans purchase much larger set, or sit closer, any expansions in resolution essentially won’t be appreciated.

So why are companies pushing for the additional pixels? Are the additional dabs truly going to make ‘Law and Order: SVU’ any more engaging?

“History has shown that people make something technologically possible, then someone figures out how to capitalize on it,” said University of Utah neuroscientist Bryan Jones, who was among the first to put Apple’s original Retina display under the microscope.

“But for TVs,” he continued, “I don’t see a point.”

Eye Tips For The Barbecue

The dog days of summer are upon us, and in Miami that means barbecue season is here. Whether you’re a novice or an accomplished chef, there are eye care tips that can help make your grilling experience a little safer on the eyes.

eye bbqProper eye care, just like grilling, starts with food preparation. Chopping onions and peppers, especially hot peppers, can have a rather watery effect on your eyes.

When you chop, slice and dice onions, they release sulfur gas which stings and irritates the eyes – causing the eyes to tear severely. Here are a few techniques to reduce this irritation: Before you cut an onion, try putting it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, remove it and immediately peel the onion. When you cut the onion there will be less gas released and therefore less tearing. Always use a very sharp knife to cut the onions. A dull knife has more of a crushing effect and therefore will release more gas. Lastly, wearing safety glasses will also help protect your eyes from the released gas, and of course never rub your eyes while cutting the onion.

Chiles and other peppers contain capsaicin, an oily substance that gives the pepper its bite. When the oil comes in direct contact with the tissues of the eye, intense stinging and watering will occur . Many of the same things we talked about with onion preparation also apply to chilies and peppers. What’s most important here, however, is to wear latex gloves while doing the prep work. The oils from the peppers are not always adequately removed even with thorough hand washing, so touching your eyes later may still cause intense pain. If you do get hot pepper in your eye, cold milk can neutralize the capsaicin and provide relief.

The same principles apply to spices and herbs. As with everything else, the safest way to handle food during preparation is with latex gloves. Combined with thorough hand washing afterwards, you can prevent the spices from coming in contact with the eye and causing irritation.

Now lets talk about the heat source – charcoal versus propane. That’s a debate for a BBQ website, and I’m sure my friends at Smoke & Spice can educate you a little more. Most agree, however, that using charcoal and hardwoods imparts a truly distinct flavor to the foods you prepare. Many home cooks start their charcoal with lighter fluid, a fast burning and extremely flammable liquid. It’s imperative that you stand back when lighting the fluid as to avoid singing your eyebrows and risking heat damage to your eyes, such as burns or early cataracts.

If you need to crank up the heat of your fire, blowing air on the coals is a great way to increase the flames. If you stand real close and blow down on the coals you may blow up some hot ash which could fly up and hit you in the eye. A better method is to blow air horizontally across the coals rather than straight down. Just be careful not to blow too much or the ash might end up in your food.

So when your eyes are bigger than your stomach and you have to fire up the grill, remember to use common sense and be safe. The simple tips we’ve touched on will make for a safer and better-sighted barbecue season this summer.

In Eye Care, ‘Good’ Bacteria Can Battle ‘Bad’ To Prevent Infections

Just as predators attack their prey in the wild, there are bacteria that hunt and destroy other bacteria. Scientists have now found a way to put these predator microbes to work — to attack dangerous bacteria that cause eye infections and have grown resistant to antibiotics.

inv bacteriaThis study was performed by Daniel Kadouri, PhD, an assistant professor of oral biology the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School, and published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

There were three major components to the study. The first established that two common antibiotic-resistant ocular pathogens were susceptible to being attacked and killed by other bacteria which act as predators against the pathogens, but are believed to be “good,” or non-infectious, bacteria when they exist within the human body. One point for the good bacteria!

In the second phase, human corneal cells that are native to the eye were tested to see whether those “good” predator bacteria would cause either toxicity or inflammation in those cells. They did not. Another point for the good bacteria!

In the third phase, the “good” predator bacteria were injected into live worms, which are commonly used to test the toxicity of various microbes. 100% of worms injected only with the “bad” bacteria died almost immediately. Other worms injected with the “good” predator bacteria as well had an 11-day survival rate of nearly 95-percent. In addition a lack of change in larval pigmentation following injection suggested that the “good” bacteria also did not provoke an aggressive innate immune response in the worms.

Taken together, our findings leave us confident that, in isolation, pathogenic bacteria are susceptible to successful attack by predator bacteria, predator bacteria do not appear inherently harmful to ocular cells when applied topically, and a live organism can tolerate the predator bacteria well,” says Kadouri. “The time to test all three phenomena simultaneously in the eye tissue of a live organism may now be at hand.”

The battle of “good vs. evil” is a constant in our world, but it’s great to see science using the ageless war to our advantage!

“There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.”― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone