Celebrate Vero’s Centennial with Your 20/20 Experience Photos

Vero Centennial Photo Contest
Share Your Vision of the Vero Centennial! Enter today. 

As Vero Beach turns 100 with a yearlong calendar of events, a well-known local medical practice is also on the cusp of a major anniversary in the year 2020.

To commemorate Vero’s centennial and celebrate 35 years of vision within the community, Florida Eye Institute has unveiled a photo contest called My2020ExperienceSM.

 “We’re known for helping people experience their very best vision, “states Cindi Green, RN, APR, Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Florida Eye Institute. “A photo contest seemed the perfect way to support the Centennial while sharing our community’s vision of this special celebration of Vero Beach. We encourage everyone to share all that they see during the entire yearlong celebration.”

A special website, My2020Experince.com, was crafted expressly for the contest. Entries are divided into months to coincide with the series of yearlong activities. “Direct links to the Vero Beach 100 Calendar of Events are highlighted throughout our site to help people plan their activities and see all there is to experience during this awesome year,” continues Green. “Visit My2020Experience.com and share your vision of all things Centennial!”

The public can upload their digital photos directly to the site.  A winning photo will be selected each month. Winners will receive a gift card valued at $50.

At the conclusion of Vero’s yearlong Centennial Celebration in October 2019 a Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the winning monthly entries. Grand Prize will be $250 cash.

More information can be found at My2020Experience.com and VeroBeach100.com.

Florida Eye Institute has offices in Vero Beach and Sebastian. The multi-specialty ophthalmology center offers advanced eye care from custom cataract surgery and bladeless laser vision correction to the treatment of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye conditions. Visit fleye.com or contact Cindi Green at 772.569-9500 Ext. 134 for more information.

“Timmy, that’ll shoot your eye out!!” Five Tips to Avoid Toy Related Eye Injuries

Santa
Santa recommends safe toys for Christmas!

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology to remind you of important safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gift children. Recent studies show that many popular toys are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries including air guns, toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers, and sports equipment.

Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – encourage parents to follow these tips when shopping this holiday season.

  1. Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys. Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of devastating eye injuries caused by toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns, and other gun–related foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.
  2. Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers. A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.
  3. Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.
  4. Don’t just give presents. Make sure to be present. Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
  5. Know what to do (and what not to). If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. Make sure to never touch, rub, apply pressure, or attempt to remove objects in the eye. If an eye injury occurs, follow these important care and treatment guidelines.

“Even though we often kid around about “poking your eye out” with certain toys, injuries to children during the holidays are no laughing matter,” states Dr. Wilson Wallace, board-certified ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “It’s easy to get distracted during this busy time of year and we forget how quickly inquisitive kids can get injured playing with certain toys. Remember these basic tips to keep your little ones healthy. And if accidents do happen, seek help right away.”

For more information on toy safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s toy safety page or watch the toy safety video.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Appointments are appropriate for all ages including children. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content courtesy of AAO and Florida Eye Institute

 

It’s National Diabetes Month – Are you at risk for serious eye disease?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease.
Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease.

Did you know that 95% of diabetes-related vision loss could be prevented with a regular eye exam?

Diabetes increases the risk of developing serious eye disease, yet most people do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognizing the importance of eye health this November, observed nationally as Diabetes Awareness Month.

One in 10 Americans has diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment. Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions that include retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. Fluctuating blood sugar creates fragile, abnormal blood vessels that grow and leak within the eye, distorting vision. Distortions can advance to blindness if left untreated.

Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia found that more than half of patients with the Diabetes skip annual eye exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and therefore more likely to have signs of diabetic eye disease – were most likely to neglect to have annual check-ups.

Collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers reviewed charts of nearly 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams. Their findings over a four-year period revealed that:

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams
  • Those with less severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams

“The bottom line is – if you have Diabetes you need a retina eye exam every year,” states Thomas Baudo, MD, fellowship trained retina specialist with Florida Eye Institute.

“Eye exams are critical as they often reveal hidden signs of disease, and that allows us to begin treatment early,” he emphasizes. “Patients are also pleased to discover that a baseline exam with a retina specialist costs no more than any other type of eye care professional.”

Looking for a Good Eye Doctor?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease as well as advanced procedures for cataract, glaucoma, and corneal conditions.   Comprehensive care is available for the entire family, including designer eyewear and the latest bladeless laser vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover an annual exam with an ophthalmologist. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

 

Scary Lenses: Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Zombie Bride wearing black eye make-up and colored contacts
Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Scary-looking costume contact lenses may elevate your Halloween’s fright factor but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in ensuring the public understands the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses.

  1. It is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, but they can still be easily purchased at places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops and on the Internet. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” these lenses can cause serious eye damage. One young man is now legally blind in one eye after wearing colored contact lenses he bought at a gas station. He’s suffered multiple eye infections, a cataract, and secondary glaucoma, all of which required surgery.

Ophthalmologists – physicians and surgeons who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – are reminding people of five frightening consequences of ignoring the warnings:

Scratches to the eye – If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called a corneal abrasion, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage. Just ask Laura Butler, who was in severe pain due to corneal abrasions 10 hours after putting in non-prescription lenses, which “stuck to my eye like suction cups.” Treatment often involves medication and patching. Sometimes, damage cannot be reversed. Butler now has a corneal scar, vision damage and a drooping eyelid.

  1. Infection – Research shows wearing non-prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times.[1] Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary. Robyn Rouse had to have that surgery after she got an infection after wearing non-prescription lenses she bought at a local store.
  2. Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes some home remedies and antibiotic eye drops.
  3. Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.
  4. Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss. Learn how to take proper care of your contact lenses to avoid dangerous eye infections.

“It’s just not worth it,” said Thomas L. Steinemann, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “One night of looking scary in costume lenses is not worth losing your eyesight. If you must have contact lenses for any reason, do not buy over-the-counter lenses. Protect your vision by getting prescription lenses from an eye health professional.”

“You see all kinds of crazy things at Halloween,” states Dr. Christopher Shumake, fellowship trained corneal specialist with Florida Eye Institute. “It’s our goal to protect vision and encourage safety when people use accessories or makeup near their eyes. Please do not use any product in or around your eyes that has not been approved for that use. And remember to remove products with appropriate cleansers or eye makeup remover. Never sleep with makeup or contacts.”

Florida Eye Institute and AAO encourage the public to watch and share its “No Prescription, No Way” public service announcement that shows the serious damage that these non-prescription costume contact lenses can inflict on the eyes.

Looking for a Good Eye Doctor?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the advanced treatment of retina, cataract, glaucoma, and corneal eye disease. You’ll also find complete eye care for the entire family, including designer eyewear and the latest bladeless LASIK vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Medicare and most health insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

 

[1] Sauer, A., & Bourcier, T. 2011. Microbial keratitis as a foreseeable complication of cosmetic contact lenses: A prospective study. Acta Ophthalmologica 89 5, pp. e439-e422. DOI:10.1111/j.1755-3768.2011.02120.x

Protect yourself from Flu Myths! Florida Eye Institute Hosts Flu Clinics

Yellow Caution Sign Get Your
Get Your Flu Shot before the Season Begins

The CDC confirms that getting vaccinated remains the first and best way to protect against complications of the flu.

People over age 65, those with weakened immune systems or in frequent contact with the public are especially vulnerable.

An active flu season can mean frequent doctor visits, missed work and even hospitalizations. In order to build peak immunity before flu season hits, the CDC recommends vaccination prior to the end of October.

To get a healthy jump on the flu season, Florida Eye Institute will host two Flu Clinics in September for patients, staff and the public. Clinics are scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 12th at the Vero Beach location and  10:00 am to Noon, September 19th in Sebastian. The public is invited.

In addition to variations of the flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccines will also be available. Vaccinations have little to no out-of-pocket costs and are covered by commercial insurance and Medicare.

For more information call 772.569-9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Florida Eye Institute is located at 2750 Indian River Blvd. in Vero Beach and 13397 Us Hwy 1 in Sebastian.

Make Regular Eye Exams Part of Your Healthy Aging Strategy

Make Regular Eye Care a Part of Your Healthy Aging Strategy

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams.

In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, the Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs [i]. Ophthalmologists – the physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended
The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

  • difficulty seeing at night;
  • blurry vision;
  • reading up close;
  • flashes of light;
  • red, watery eyes; and,
  • double vision.

Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an ophthalmologist.

How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?
The Academy recommends that a healthy adult get a baseline eye exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

Those over age 65 who may be concerned about cost or lack of health insurance, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Eyecare America program offers eligible seniors a comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of treatment at no out-of-pocket cost.

Looking for a Good Eye Doctor?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the advanced treatment of retina, cataract, glaucoma, and corneal eye disease. You’ll also find complete eye care for the entire family, including designer eyewear and the latest bladeless LASIK vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Medicare and most health insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

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[i] https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/aging_eye

 

Four Tips for ‘Grade A’ Vision This School Year

Vision Screening for Kids
When should children have their vision checked?

With back-to-school just around the corner, parents are scrambling to get their children ‘classroom’ ready. As they tick off long lists of school supplies and check-ups, ophthalmologists remind busy moms and dads to take care of one very important learning tool: their children’s eyes.

Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning and academic success. Florida Eye Institute joins with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to emphasize the importance of healthy vision during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month this August.

Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier problems are identified; the sooner they can be addressed. For healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, Florida Eye Institute and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the following four tips:

  1. Get regular childhood vision screenings – Children’s eyes change rapidly, regular vision screening is an important step to detect and correct eye problems early. In addition to screenings for infants, the Academy recommends further vision screening for children as follows:
    • Pre-school age, between age 3 – 3 1/2
    • When entering school
    • When experiencing a possible vision problem

For school-age children, a vision screening, which is less comprehensive than a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist, can be performed by a pediatrician, family physician, nurse or trained technician during regular checkups. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist — an eye physician and surgeon – or other eye care professional.

  1. Know and share your family eye health history – Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss in one eye.
  2. Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.
  3. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear.

Visit the Academy of Ophthalmology to learn more about common childhood eye conditions and Florida Eye Institute for expert eye care. 

Looking for a good eye doctor? Florida Eye Institute specializes in the advanced treatment of retina, cataract, glaucoma, and corneal disease. You’ll find complete eye care for the entire family, including the latest bladeless LASIK vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

Can Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Serious Damage?

Cute girl with Sunglasses
The right sunglasses can protect your eyes AND look awesome.

Summer is in full swing. Days are longer, the sun hotter, and the threat of eye damage from ultraviolet exposure is stronger greater than ever. Florida Eye Institute, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, warn that excessive sun exposure can put you at risk for serious short-term and long-term problems. Especially in Florida, this is true for young and old, all year-round.

To bring attention to this important eye health matter, ophthalmologists — physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care — are sharing information on how to keep eyes safe from sun damage.

There is no doubt about the consequences of not protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. If eyes are exposed to strong sunlight for too long without proper protection, UV rays can burn the cornea and cause temporary blindness in a matter of hours.

Long-term sun exposure is linked to more serious eye disease, such as cataract, eye cancer and growths on or near the eye. A lifetime of exposure also likely increases progression of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can cause blindness.

Prevention is simple. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation. But how do you know if your sunglasses are up to the task of protecting your family’s sight?

UV protection is the essential piece to look for in a pair of sunglasses. When choosing sunglasses, look for a tag that confirms 100% protection against both UVA/UVB rays, or 100% protection against UV 400. Darkness and color do not indicate the strength of UV protection, and neither does the price tag. Even the least expensive sunglasses can offer adequate protection.

If you doubt your sunglasses have the UV protection claimed by a retail tag, take them to an optical shop. Any shop that has a UV light meter can test your sunglasses. A UV light meter is a handy test for when you doubt your sunglasses have the UV protection claimed by a retail tag or if they are simply old and you want to make sure.

Lee Hudgins, Licensed Optician and Manager of the Optical Gallery at Florida Eye Institute states, “In addition to quality UV protection, look for polarized lenses. Polarization reduces glare by controlling how light is reflected back to your eyes. Polarized lenses are especially helpful around areas that are highly reflective, like water and sand. They are a necessity in the Florida sun.”

In addition to protective sunglasses, consider wearing a broad-brimmed hat. They have been shown to significantly cut exposure of harmful rays. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Looking for a good eye doctor? Florida Eye Institute specializes in the advanced treatment of retina, cataract, glaucoma, and corneal disease. You’ll find complete eye care for the entire family, including the latest bladeless LASIK vision correction.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Courtesy of AAO & Florida Eye Institute

June is Cataract Awareness Month. Are You at Risk?

Living with cataract can be compared to looking at life through a dirty window.

The condition clouds the eye’s natural lens, causing changes in vision. Sensitivity to glare, dulled color perception, increased nearsightedness and frequent changes to eyeglass prescriptions are common with the onset of cataract.

But, cataracts not only makes life less vibrant, they can dull the visual cues used to prevent personal injury. Studies show untreated cataract increases the risk of accidents for older adults – up to 75% in some cases.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found automobile drivers who delayed the needed eye procedure were twice as likely to be involved in a car crash than those who opted to have treatment when medically appropriate.

Timely cataract replacement not only lowers the risk of auto accident, it can reduce the risk of damaging hip fracture. An analysis of Medicare patients showed an astonishing 16% decrease in hip fractures after cataract surgery.

Cataract is largely considered a condition of aging, with nearly 23 million Americans showing evidence of the disease. Most individuals will develop cataract by age 80.

Treatment involves removal of the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Cataract removal is considered the safest and most common procedure performed in the US today, with more than a million surgeries conducted annually.

In observance of Cataract Awareness Month, Florida Eye Institute will host Free Vision Screenings during June. The screenings provide an opportunity to meet with trained ophthalmic technicians to discuss your risk of cataract or other eye condition. Hours are 9:00 am – 11:00 am; Friday, June 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th at both Florida Eye Institute locations.

Multi-Yard Sale to Benefit Relay for Life

Don’t miss the 3rd annual Florida Eye Institute Yard Sale to benefit Relay for Life of Indian River. You’ll find a wealth of treasures including a wide array of household & kitchen items and clothing for the entire family!

Sale begins 7:30 AM (no early birds please!) in the Florida Eye Institute parking lot and ends at 11:30 AM. Enjoy homemade baked goods and fresh coffee while you shop.

All donations benefit Relay for Life scheduled at Vero Beach High School in April