Topics of Interest

Here is a list of recent articles of interest.

About Lasik - Is this widespread, innovative procedure right for you?

Your Child's Vision - Early detection of vision problems are essential to your child’s learning and physical development.

What You Should Know About Nutrition - Many things can affect you vision, not the least of which is proper diet and eye care.

Contact Lens Information - Contact Lens are for most everyone now. Are you a candidate?


ABOUT LASIK
       
Why choose LASIK?

Until recently, if you were one of the millions of people with a refractive error, eyeglasses and contact lenses were the only options for correcting vision. But with the arrival of refractive surgery, some people with Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness), or Astigmatism (an asymmetric cornea), may have their vision improved through surgery.

LASIK, or laser in-situ keratomileusis, is the most technologically advanced method for performing laser vision correction. The procedure uses the Excimer laser to produce cool pulses of ultraviolet light to cleanly and precisely reshape the delicate tissues of the cornea. This corrects any problems with the curve of this lens and allows light to focus directly on the retina. The result of the procedure is clear vision. It is important to note that LASIK is not an enhancement, it is a medical procedure, and only the advice of the most qualified and trained eye care professional should be sought. In general, a good candidate is at least 18 years old and is generally a healthy person. Your prescription should be stable for at least 6 to 12 months, and you must be in good eye health, free from cataracts or glaucoma.

What can LASIK do for you?

Many people have achieved overwhelming success with the procedure and have greatly reduced their dependence on glasses or contacts. Their active lifestyles are now a lot more convenient. For some people, it's just being able to see the alarm clock in the morning that makes all the difference in the world. It's important to be aware of the risks involved with LASIK. There may be some occurrence of glare or halos, usually experienced at night or under fluorescent lighting. This occurs because as the pupil expands in dim illumination, light is allowed to pass through the corrected and uncorrected portions of the cornea. As with any surgery, there is also a chance of complications, but occurrences are less than one percent.

It is important to seek the advice and council of only the most experienced and qualified doctor when inquiring about the LASIK procedure. Barenburg Eye Associates work with only the best and most experienced LASIK surgeons in North America. Our doctors will evaluate you as a candidate for the procedure and then recommend several exceptional surgeons from which you may choose.

Where Should You Seek Advice?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is laser vision correction or LASIK?

LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a cool beam of laser light to gently reshape the cornea (the "outer window" of the eye). This reshaping allows light rays to focus more precisely on the retina, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

How do I know if I'm eligible for laser vision correction?

Several important factors include your age, eyeglass prescription, general health and eye health. Your vision should be stable for at least 12 months. Most importantly, a detailed discussion with your eye doctor regarding your visual needs is the only way to be certain that you're a good candidate for LASIK. Often, there may be other options available for you to consider.

How do I know if I'm choosing the right doctor?

LASIK is a surgical procedure and requires a high level of skill and experience. Not only should your surgeon be Board Certified in ophthalmology and a Fellow to the American College of Surgeons, but should leave you with a comfort level upon answering all of your concerns and questions. Unfortunately for some, the surgeon is based on who offers the lowest price. At Barenburg Eye Associates, our optometrists pride themselves on two main aspects of your care: 1) attention to detail every step of the way, especially regarding your true prescription, and, 2) completely and clearly answering all of your questions and helping you to understand the procedure and you expectations.

Is it Safe?

The FDA recognizes laser vision correction as proven, safe and effective. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure (again, the importance of a Board Certified surgeon), but LASIK uses a cool beam of light that is computer controlled. Additionally, the surgeon turns the laser on and is able to turn it off at any moment

Does the surgery hurt?

No. The actual procedure does not hurt; anesthetic eye drops are used just before the surgery begins. Occasionally, some patients experience some mild discomfort 2-6 hours after the surgery. The discomfort is described as a gritty, watery sensation, comparable to an uncomfortable contact lens. Drops are used to minimize or eliminate any discomfort.

What should I expect the day of surgery?

In most cases, the procedure is performed in an office-based out-patient surgery LASIK facility. Upon arrival, your consent forms will be reviewed and signed and any additional questions that you may have will be addressed by your surgeon. Drops are placed in the eyes prior to the procedure and you may elect to take a mild tranquilizer.

The laser treatment itself usually takes less than a minute, while the entire procedure takes around 15-20 minutes for both eyes. During the procedure you lie down on a reclining chair. A small retainer is used to keep your eyelids open; this way you don't have to worry about blinking your eyes. After the surgery you'll relax in the office for about 30 minutes prior to heading home.
At this point, your vision will be better, but still somewhat hazy until the next morning. Your vision will improve as the weeks go by.

Can I go back to work the next day?

Most surgeons recommend that you plan on taking two or three days to rest and relax, but, often, patients decide to return to work the very next day. Frequently, while the distance vision may be quite sharp the next day, it may take several days for the near vision to achieve the same clarity. For the many patients who obtain perfect distance vision and are over a certain age, you may require a near vision reading prescription.

What is an enhancement?

Approximately 15-20% of the time, the surgeon has to repeat the LASIK procedure to obtain satisfactory results for the patient. This may be due to the eye not responding as predicted, patient expectations not properly determined before surgery or eyeglass prescription measurements not as accurately determined as we would like. The average enhancement rate is usually less than 3%. Simply needing to wear glasses or contact lenses and desiring the LASIK procedure is not enough to be considered a good LASIK candidate. That is why the doctors at Barenburg Eye Associates have the knowledge and take the time to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK surgery.

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YOUR CHILD'S VISION
        Infant Through School Age

EARLY DEVELOPMENT

Before birth, proper prenatal care and a nutritional diet will aid in the development of your baby’s eyes. Infants are born with an underdeveloped visual system. Your baby’s vision will grow and develop with him. It will start out in his first few weeks as blurry, shadowy and progress to performing complex visual tasks by school age. Toys, games and playtime activities that encourage visual development will help your child’s visual development. Early detection and treatment of eye disease and/or visual problems are essential for proper visual development.

PEDIATRIC EYE EXAMINATION

Your baby’s doctor will examine his eyes for general eye health and visual acuity. At birth, your baby’s eyes should be examined for any congenital eye problems. Although these problems are rare, early diagnosis and treatment are important.

Around age three and again before entering school, you should schedule your child for a thorough eye examination. All doctors of optometry are equipped to examine children of this age and older.

School-age children should have periodic examination to screen for eye focusing and/or eye coordination problems that could affect their school performance. Exams are recommended every two years or more frequently if problems or risk factors exist.

School vision screenings and your child’s pediatric examinations are designed to detect possible visual problems but do not take the place of a thorough exam by an optometrist.

Symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision or visual processing problem:

 

  • Jerking, erratic eye movements or lack or fixation in infants
  • Avoiding activities that require near vision
  • Holding objects very close to the eyes or sitting close to the T.V.
  • Using a finger to follow along while reading
  • Turning or tilting the head or body when reading or performing tasks
  • Squinting, closing or covering one eye
  • Rubbing or blinking excessively
  • Headaches, nausea or dizziness
  • Redness or excessive tearing of the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Reversing words, letters or numbers when reading or writing
  • Confusing words with similar or same beginnings or endings
  • Omitting words or repeating or skipping lines when reading
  • Writing uphill or downhill or out of lines
  • Performing any tasks below potential

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NUTRITION
       What You Should Know About Nutrition & Eye Health

Did you mother ever tell you, "Eat your carrots ... they're good for your eyes"? Well mom has proven to be right again. Medical doctors and clinical scientists around the world have published numerous studies in leading medical journals about the preventive role nutrition can play in the management of eye conditions, healing properties and diseases.

As we go through life, we tend to eat the same eight to twelve foods every week. But as our bodies change, so do our nutritional needs. Any nutritional deficiencies we may have in our daily diet can leave our eyes more vulnerable to sight-threatening diseases. In fact, the eyes are frequently the first part of the body to be affected by nutritional deficiencies.

What can you do?

Prevention and early detection are the key to protecting your vision. Your eye doctor is trained to detect early signs of disease. If your doctor determines that you are at risk, specific measures may be recommended. Lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, minimizing alcohol consumption, not smoking and wearing UV protective sunglasses are all beneficial. Assure proper nutrition through a diet rich in antioxidants and if appropriate, nutritional supplements on a daily basis.

How can your doctor help?

The first step towards preventing or delaying the onset of eye disease is to become better educated. As a wellness oriented practice, your doctor and staff are your best source of information and are prepared to offer you accurate information and counseling. They will encourage you to take proactive steps towards enhancing your general health and vision. If you have not been diagnosed with an eye disease, an indication of your personal health risk can be determined by your doctor. After analysis, potential measures for delaying or preventing the development of sight-threatening diseases will be offered. Make a personal commitment for a healthy future. Be sure to ask about an eye care wellness program that's right for you. The quality of your vision is a matter of choice.

Who's at risk for developing eye disease?

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of eye disease. In addition to nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, environmental conditions and stress can increase your risks. Heredity is also a leading factor in disease development.

The Enemy ... "Free Radicals"

Many eye disorders have been linked to "free radicals" which are formed when the body processes food and oxygen. Free radicals are unstable molecules that disrupt the structure of other molecules resulting in cellular damage within the eye. As your body ages, it produces more free radicals while its ability to neutralize their negative effect decreases. To strengthen the body's defenses, many doctors and nutritionists recommend increasing antioxidant levels through diet and nutritional supplements.

Foods rich in antioxidants:

Carrots
Garlic
Cabbage
Sweet Potatoes
Egg Yolks
Green Tea
Green & Red Pepper Spinach
Onions
Red & Purple Grapes
Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Strawberries
Citrus Fruits
Tomatoes

Antioxidants to the Rescue

Antioxidants are enzymes and nutrients that neutralize and deactivate free radicals. Antioxidants occurring naturally in the body or consumed in foods many block most of the damage. Over time, damaged cells can accumulate and lead to diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome. Increasing appropriate levels of antioxidants may be the most effective method of slowing or preventing this type of damage.

 

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CONTACT LENSES

“There’s no reason why someone who wants to wear contact lenses can’t. The technology has changed so dramatically in the past 20 years and the cost has declined sufficiently to make them affordable for everyone.”

Contact Lens Specialists

Our practice is specifically designed, equipped, and staffed to provide the contact lens patient with the finest in professional care. The doctors at Barenburg Eye Associates have successfully treated thousands of patients with state of the art contact lenses, including many who were previously told they could not wear contact lenses.

Times Have Changed

For the 30 million Americans who wear contact lenses, enjoying freedom from wearing glasses and often improved visual acuity is now a reality.

Contact lenses are not what they used to be... even two years ago. Technological advances have greatly improved contact lenses and lens care products-- revolutionizing vision correction.

Contact lenses can now treat a variety of conditions for which you may have previously been told that contacts would not work.

We can now treat those with astigmatism, replace bifocal glasses, and even change or enhance your eye color. Disposable lenses have eliminated cleaning and everyday handling. Daily wear and flexible-wear lenses are safer and more comfortable than ever.

With traditional "hard lenses" almost extinct, today's lenses are made from materials that allow oxygen to pass freely to the eye, allowing it to breathe-- whether you wear soft contacts or rigid oxygen permeable.
If you have ever thought about contacts, were told you couldn't wear them... or stopped wearing them for some reason... reconsider contacts-- they're not what they used to be!

Vision Conditions Now Treated With Contacts

For children and adults, most vision conditions can now be treated with contact lenses-- even those which could not be treated successfully even a few years ago.

Some of the most common conditions we can now treat with contacts include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia (loss of up-close focusing).

At Barenburg Eye Associates, we inventory more than thousands of different lenses in order to best fit each individual patient, and to accommodate any emergency needs our patients may have, such as losing or tearing a lens. Our inventory of lenses includes the following:

Soft, Astigmatic Soft, Gas Permeable, Bifocal Soft, Tinted Lenses, Extended Wear, Cataract Lenses, Keratoconic, Lenses for Eye Traumas, New Fluorocarbon, and Disposable Silicone.

Contact Lenses for Your Lifestyle
       The Forty-Something Syndrome

As baby boomers continue to age, more than 100 million Americans are affected by presbyopia (the inability to focus up-close).

With the modern contact lens technology available today, you no longer have only reading glasses or bifocal glasses as options for correcting your vision.

Bifocal Lens Alternatives-- Alternating/Translating Vision Bifocals-- Simultaneous Vision Bifocals, Diffractive Vision Bifocals, Omnivision, Aspheric Soft Contacts.

Contact lenses available for the presbyopic patient come in a variety of "patterns", combining lens areas for near and distance vision. Some lenses feature a bulls-eye configuration, with the distance-vision portion in the middle of the lens; others have the distance on the lower half; and others wear one lens for distance and one for near-- a prescription called omnivision, which Ronald Reagan wore. Ask your doctor at Barenburg Eye Associates about the best lenses for you.

Sports

Being active and participating in sports is often inconvenient, or even impractical, when wearing glasses.

Glasses get in the way; they fall off; they fog up... or they get broken.
Contact lenses have come to the rescue of many Americans-- ranging from professional athletes to little leaguers. Contacts can be worn with safety glasses when appropriate. They are great for water sports.

Children

While there are numerous benefits to fitting children with contacts-- particularly the fact that they are less inclined to remove their lenses as they are to take their glasses off during the school day.

Nonetheless, there are many other factors to consider when a child expresses interest in wearing contact lenses. Is the child motivated enough to accept responsibility for the lenses? Is the child's hygiene indicative of properly maintaining the lenses to avoid contamination?

Spend some time with your child and Barenburg Eye Associates to discuss the pros and cons of contacts in your family.

What You Should Know...
       The Contact Lens Examination

A contact lens examination is a bit different than an examination for eye glasses. The doctors at Barenburg Eye Associates first need to determine if you can wear contact lenses, and then which type would best correct your visual problem.

A contact lens examination is quite extensive. The doctor will need to ask you some specific questions about your lifestyle, any medications or any allergies you may have. He will also measure the curve of your cornea, the size and shape of your pupil, eyelid tension, your ability to produce tears naturally, and overall eye health-- all to prescribe the vision correction that is best for you.

What Should I Consider?

There are many reasons people choose to wear contact lenses-- most often it's for improved looks. But, convenience is also a major consideration-- particularly if you have an active lifestyle and participate in sports.

While the doctors at Barenburg Eye Associates will make contact lens recommendations based on your examination results, here are factors for you to consider when talking with the doctor about contacts:

  • What types of lenses will be most comfortable?Am I around fumes or a lot of dust on a regular basis?
  • Handling the lenses is a consideration. Are my fingers nimble and my vision sharp enough to see the lenses when they're out of my eyes?
  • Does a regimen of cleaning and disinfecting present any problems? Are disposables better for my lifestyle?
  • Do I want to change or enhance my eye color?
  • Am I committed to following the doctor’s directions and to routine follow-up care?

What you Need... When You Need It

Our extensive inventory enables us to fit the majority of contact lens patients in the office, allowing you to wear your lenses home the same day. This is particularly convenient when a replacement lens is needed (and we can overnight express them to you if you're out of town).

And, as part of our commitment to providing complete optometric care, we also have a wide selection of eyeglass frames for your convenience-- understanding that no matter how much you will enjoy wearing your new contact lenses, you will still need glasses.

 

 

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