There’s a critical shortage of organs, tissues and eyes available for donation. There are more than 113,000 patients in the United States awaiting transplantation—more than 11,000 are Texans. Every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list. Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives, and return them to their families, friends and communities. The Donate Life Texas Registry is a database of individuals who have officially provided authorization to donate organs, tissues or eyes upon their deaths. You may register as a donor at www.donatelifetexas.org, or at your local Department of Public Safety (DPS) office when you apply for or renew your driver’s license or identification card or through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when you renew your vehicle’s registration. You have the power to donate life…be an organ, eye and tissue donor!
February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month. Some of the same things that put you at risk for heart disease and stroke also put you at risk for AMD. These include:
High blood pressure
The good news is that you can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce your risk of heart disease and AMD by:
Consult a doctor; follow their instructions and stay on your medications.
Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt; low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; and full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition affecting as many as 15 million Americans and millions more around the world. The disease attacks the macula of the eye, where our sharpest central vision occurs. Although it rarely results in complete blindness, it robs the individual of all but the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or black holes at the center of vision.
AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age 50. Although anyone can get AMD, caucasians are at higher risk than other races and women tend to develop AMD at an earlier age than men. There are several other risk factors for the onset of Age-related Macular Degeneration:
High blood pressure
In the early stages, AMD doesn’t have any symptoms. However, there are complications that a patient should be aware of that become noticeable as the condition progresses. These include:
Straight lines begin to appear out of shape
Dark or white blurry areas appear in the center of vision
Change or decline color perception
With no cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration, the best defense against the eye disease is early detection. As always, it is important for eye care patients to get annual comprehensive eye exams.
If you drive a car in Houston, chances are you’ve heard this on the radio: “Happy New Year! Start your new year with great vision with LASIK…starting as low as $299 per eye”. I hate to be the one to tell you…if it sounds too good to be true…it is! Here’s what’s going to happen: you arrive for your appointment expecting to have surgery for $299 per eye, but by the time they add additional charges for upgraded technology, post op visits, guarantees…your fee will be closer to $2000 per eye. Or, because you have astigmatism (and most people do) you don’t qualify for the $299. If I had to guess, less than 1% of patients qualify for the $299 advertised price. Don’t get scammed, ask questions before you book for “FREE” Lasik Evaluation:
Do you use custom blade-free LASIK technology?
Do you have the most updated software?
How many procedures has the surgeon performed (not how many procedures has the center performed – big difference!)
What’s the surgeon’s enhancement rate? Are enhancements included in the price?
LASIK surgery is not inexpensive. But, then again, you only get it once in a lifetime!
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. If it’s not controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems. Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes: Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. Our doctors advise patients with diabetes to take an active diligent role in preventing vision loss from diabetic eye disease problems with regular dilated eye exams and health lifestyle choices.
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Whether you work on a computer, or use power tools at your job, it’s important to keep eye health and safety in mind…since the gift of sight is irreplaceable. More and more workers using technology suffer from computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Computer vision syndrome symptoms can range from physical fatigue to eye twitching. If you think you are suffering from symptoms of computer vision syndrome, it’s important to see your eye doctor. However, if you are like most people who work on electronic devices all day, there are things that you can do to prevent computer vision syndrome. Here are some tips that you can use:
See An Eye Doctor: The first step to preventing computer vision syndrome is seeing your eye doctor for an eye exam. It is a great way to keep tabs on your eye health. Tell your eye doctor if you are a heavy user of electronic devices during your daily routine.
Get to Know the 20/20/20 Rule: If you work on a computer at your desk, take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and shift your vision to something else 20 feet away.
Make Sure to Blink: When you work at a computer or on other electronic devices, you are less likely to blink. However, you need to blink because it keeps your eyes moist and prevents dry eye. So remember to blink when you are working at your computer.
Take Mini Breaks: Most people only take two 15 minute breaks throughout the work day, but if you take shorter more frequent breaks from working on your computer, it will be a lot easier on your eyes. Make sure to get up, stretch, and move around during your breaks so that your eyes get a chance to rest.
Computer Eyewear Is An Option: Your eye doctor may be able to prescribe computer eyewear that can help alleviate eye strain if you are heavy electronics user.
If your job requires the use of heavy machinery, be sure to remember safety glasses. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, a particle of dust or a splash of chemical to cause significant and even permanent eye damage.
February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month and National AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) and Low Vision Awareness Month Some of the same things that put you at risk for heart disease and stroke also put you at risk for AMD. These include:
High blood pressure
You can tackle several risk factors at once by doing these 4 things: eat healthier foods, exercise, stop smoking and take your medications as instructed.