Florida Eye Institute Blog

Is it Coronavius or Pink Eye?

A Virtual Visit with an Ophthalmologist can help.   If you woke up with red, itchy eyes and aren’t sure if you might have something contagious – a telehealth visit with an ophthalmologist could be your first step to fast relief. Red, itchy eyes, with or without drainage, are a symptom of several common eye conditions. Some, like Pink Eye and COVID conjunctivitis, are contagious; others like allergic conjunctivitis, are not. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose, even with the help of Dr. Google. A telehealth visit with a licensed doctor is a safe and effective alternative to diagnosis and treat a variety of eye symptoms. During the current COVID crisis, it’s no surprise telehealth has taken center stage for many medical specialties, especially ophthalmology. “We now understand much more about the spread of COVID-19,” states Dr. Val Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Telehealth visits reduce the need for face-to-face, physical exams, protecting both patients and practitioners. This eliminates the risk of contamination from asymptomatic carriers or infectious conjunctivitis.” The power of virtual triage Triage is a recognized strategy for managing healthcare surges. Especially in the age of COVID, reducing face-to-face consultations helps protect patients, doctors, and

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The New Normal for Patient Safety in Eye Care

Eye care and cataract surgery have always been considered safe. In fact, of all out-patient procedures performed in the United States today, cataract surgery remains one of the safest and most frequently performed. A recent study of 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries confirmed that 99.5 percent experienced no severe postoperative complications after cataract surgery. But you may wonder how the current COVID reality changes safety considerations for those seeking eye care and surgery, especially as restrictions on out-patient surgery and medical office visits are lifted throughout the state. Florida Eye Institute is actively implementing current recommendations from the  CDC and the Florida Department of Health as our offices resume full services. Victor Basile, Administrator confirms, “This extraordinary time has fortified our mission to serve all patients, community, and staff with the utmost concern for excellence and safety. We’ve been working nonstop to update our protocols based on the latest advisories from medical experts.” During your next visit, you will notice several new procedures to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. temperature checks for patients and staff entering the facility reduced waiting room capacity for social distancing enhanced cleaning procedures masks for employees in patient care areas patients are asked to wear their own

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Three Things to Know about Cataracts

Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which causes cloudy, blurry or dim vision and typically develops with age. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology this June in observing Cataract Awareness Month with three things you should know about the condition and its treatment. As we grow older, the lens of the eye thickens and becomes cloudy. Colors may seem dull and street signs more difficult to read. These common symptoms can signal the onset of cataract, which affects 70 percent of people by age 75. Fortunately, the condition can easily be corrected. Ophthalmologists in the US perform around three million cataract surgeries each year to restore vision. Here are three important facts to know about the onset of cataract and treatment. Age isn’t the only risk factor for cataracts. Though most everyone will develop cataract with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence the timing and severity of onset. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and certain ethnicities have been linked to increased risk. Eye injuries, prior eye surgery and long-term use of steroid medication can also result in cataracts. If you have any of these or other risk factors,

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Glaucoma Awareness Month is a Great Time for Eye Exam

January is a great time to look after your health – and your eyes – during National Glaucoma Awareness Month. It’s estimated that half of those with Glaucoma do not know they have the disease – that’s over one million people in the US. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve that can cause irreversible damage if not discovered early. “Glaucoma is a stealth disease that initially causes no symptoms. The slow loss of vision is barely perceptible,” says Karen Todd, MD, Glaucoma Fellowship Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Certain factors put you at risk, such as family history and age. But, the only way to definitively discover Glaucoma is with a comprehensive eye exam,” she emphasizes. There are two major types of glaucoma, Open-Angle, and Closed Angle. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Primary Open-Angle is the most common type of glaucoma. It happens gradually, where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should (like a clogged drain). As a result, eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. Damage can occur even at normal pressures due to sensitivity of the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is painless and causes no

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

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. 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. 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

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

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Can Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Serious Damage?

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

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