Many people are starting to ask, "What is Preventative Eyecare?" It's an extremely valid question.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. When is the last time you've had your blood sugar checked? More importantly, when was the last time your HbA1c was checked? These numbers are rarely discussed outside of diabetic spheres, however these numbers play an important role in management of healthy patients. It has long been said, "Pre-diabetes can be cured, Diabetes cannot." It's proving to be a catchy guideline at best, but there is certainly truth in that early intervention is important in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. The back of the eye is the only place in the body the blood vessels are visible without the need of an incision. At West Side Preventative Eyecare, we measure blood sugar on all comprehensive examinations. (Service not covered on most Managed Vision Plans).
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is another cause of blindness, but more frequently death. Hypertension is known as the "silent killer" because it often presents with little to no symptoms when compared to the level of issues it may cause. Similar to diabetes, blood pressure can spotted in the back of the eye in the form of macro-bleeds referred to as "flame shaped hemorrhages." While high blood pressure is typically not diagnosed by an Optometrist, spotting elevated blood pressures early may contribute to a happy, healthy life. Comparison of a previous retinal image to the current view of the back of the eye can be important in diagnosing bleeding secondary to high blood pressure.
Orhtokeratology is another way we can actually prevent the worsening of a prescription in young children. Near sighted individuals with low astigmatism and mild to moderate nearsightedness are candidates. Orthokeratology is a contact lens that is worn during the night time that gently corrects vision while the patient sleeps. While Orhto-K lenses have been used since 1970's, advancements in lens technology have allowed for orthokeratology corneal molds to allow more oxygen to the eye, therefore decreasing the risk of infection. If you are interested in Orthokeratology click here to schedule an appointment or call 440-799-4311.