Monthly Archives: May 2012
Two good friends of mine recently made interesting comments. One said she had LASIK surgery and sees well so she didn’t feel the need for an exam. The other friend said he’s always seen well so didn’t think he needed a check up either.
It’s very easy for folks to think this way. Lots of people don’t see a regular primary care doctor unless something is wrong. However, seeing well or feeling okay and healthy aren’t reasons to not see a doctor. If someone has a nice smile, should they never see a dentist? Of course not! Think about athletes; they’re incredibly healthy but I bet you they see several doctors year round. Just like how routine maintenance on a car keeps it running well, so can routine health check ups.
We often look to doctors to fix problems but we should also count on them for preventative care and maintaining good health. A dilated eye exam can reveal signs of early disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure since these signs usually show up before the symptoms. So for all you naturally 20/20 patients and post-LASIK peeps, get yourself in here for a comprehensive exam to make sure your eyes stay healthy. It’s a lot easier to prevent a problem than to fix it.
Learning is Seeing.
-Dennis Cheng, O.D.
390 Myrtle Ave
It’s happened to pretty much all of us. You either rubbed your eye or blinked the wrong way and your lens rolls or folds up. It then defies gravity and moves UP to the upper pocket above your eye and you start to panic. Will I need surgery to remove it? Is it stuck forever? What if it get’s lodged into my brain?!?
Let’s relax everyone. It won’t end up in your brain, or behind your eye or stuck back there forever. Sometimes you’re lucky and you’ll be able to blink it out. When that doesn’t happen, you can try flushing out your eyes with saline solution. When all that fails, visit a local Optometrist and we can usually find and removed the lens with a moistened cotton swab.
So, where does the lens go and how come it doesn’t end up in our brain? There’s a thin membrane known as your conjunctiva and it almost covers the entire surface of your eyes from the inside of the lids to the edge of your cornea. It folds over itself and forms a pocket above and below your eyes called a fornix. Imagine clear plastic wrap over your eye. That membrane and fornix keeps the lens from ending up behind the eyeball. It’s kinda like when you tuck your chewing gum way up in the space between your cheek and gums. It stops there and can’t go any further. Same goes for the contacts.
Hopefully, this will ease your worries the next time it happens.
Dennis Cheng, O.D.
390 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
As parents, we obviously love our children and want to do the best for them in terms of their health. An area that is often overlooked is our child’s ocular health.
Many parents think having the Pediatrician look at their baby’s eyes is sufficient enough for an eye exam. Sadly, it’s not. The American Optometric Association recommends children have their first eye exam at 6 months old! Then another check up when they are 3 and 5 years old. Once school begins, children need regular yearly comprehensive eye exams, with dilation, from a Pediatric Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.
During the early years, a child’s eyes are still developing and it’s critical to catch any problems before the age of 7. After that age, it becomes much more difficult to correct problems such as amblyopia, also known as a ‘lazy eye’. We can’t count on our children to tell us when something is wrong: poor vision in one eye is not noticeable by a child if they’ve had it for a long time. How often have you covered one eye and then the other to compare the vision? Children pretty much never do this. Infant and toddler exams are mostly objective and do not require any verbal response. The Optometrist can check rough visual acuities (how clear they see), check the health of the developing ocular structures, and evaluate eye muscle movement and coordination. As they get older, we begin to check color vision, depth perception and prescriptions. Many ocular conditions are causes for behavioral problems, inability to learn in school and conditions such as AD/HD. An Optometrist can even detect a form of cancer called Retinoblastoma in a child’s eye.
Here are some signs to look for to check if your child may have a vision problem:
-Child tilts their head to the side or towards one eye when reading or watching TV
-A white pupil in the center of in one eye
-Dislikes, removes 3-D glasses or complains about blurriness when watching a 3-D movie
-Squinting when reading or watching TV
-Needing to read with their fingers on the page
-Preference for using one eye or using hair to cover one eye all the time
-Headaches after a few minutes of reading or falls asleep while reading when they should not be tired
-Skipping words or lines when reading
-Holding books/reading materials unusually close
-One eye moves or drifts inward or outwards
-Constant eye rubbing
To all the parents, I hope this encourages you to take an active role in caring for your child’s eyes. We can’t wait until our children tell us there’s a problem because by then, it may be too late.
-Dr. Dennis Cheng
Fort Greene, Brooklyn