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What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

Dry Eye and Menopause 640Around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by dry eye syndrome.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and androgen, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and hot flashes.

Among these physical symptoms is dry eyes, characterized by dry, itchy and burning eyes.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, contact Monroe Vision Associates Dry Eye Center today for effective and lasting dry eye treatment.

Biological Changes That Affect Your Eyes

During menopause, the androgen hormone decreases, affecting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands produce the essential oils for the tears, so the reduction in oil results in increased tear evaporation and drier eyes.

When these fluid and oil-producing glands are affected, the eyelids can become inflamed, reducing tear quality and production, resulting in dry eye syndrome.

Some researchers believe that dry eye is connected to changes in estrogen levels. This explains why many women experience dry eye symptoms during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle, or while taking birth control pills.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  • Red eyes
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • The feeling something is caught in your eye. Excessive tearing

How Is Hormone-Related Dry Eye Treated?

Because reduced hormones during and after menopause can cause meibomian gland dysfunction, treatment should be focused on reducing dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye treatments can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Medications that reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Punctal plugs – to reduce tear flow away from the eyes

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Donlon

Q: Are there home remedies to treat dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Here are a few things you can do at home to reduce dry eye symptoms.

    Limit your screen time. People who work at a computer all day blink less, which harms the tear film. Remember to take frequent breaks and to blink.
    Protect your eyes. Sunglasses that wrap around your face can block dry air and wind.
    Avoid triggers. Irritants like pollen and smoke can make your symptoms more severe.
    Try a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist may help.
    Eat right. A diet rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids can encourage healthy tear production.
    Warm Compress. A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids.

Q:Can dry eye syndrome damage your eyes?

  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.

    Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact Monroe Vision Associates Dry Eye Center to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.



Monroe Vision Associates Dry Eye Center serves patients from Monroe Township, Trenton, Edison, and Easton, all throughout New Jersey.

Call Spotswood 732-365-0488
Applegarth 609-316-5554

5 Common Myths About Cataracts

5 Common Myths About Cataracts 640Most people have heard of cataracts, or know someone who has undergone cataract surgery. But despite it being a well-known eye condition, there’s still a lot of confusion around cataracts.

Below, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions and set the record straight.

Myth #1: Cataracts are Growths Within the Eye

FACT: Cataracts aren’t growths—rather, they’re changes in the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts occur when the protein cells in the lens start to deteriorate and clump together, resulting in cloudiness. A person with cataracts will typically have cloudy vision accompanied with a yellow or brown tint.

Myth #2: Only Older People Get Cataracts

FACT: People of all ages—even newborns—can have cataracts. While it’s accurate to say because cataracts are a natural process of aging, and affects the elderly more often than the young, certain medications and eye trauma can also lead to cataracts.

Myth#3: Lifestyle Changes Can Treat or Reverse Cataracts

FACT: Once you have a cataract, the only way to cure it is with surgery in order to remove the cataract and implant a new clear lens. Healthy lifestyle choices like eating well, getting regular exercise, and sleeping enough can all impact eye health and overall health, but they cannot reverse cataracts.

Myth #4: You Can’t Do Anything to Prevent Cataracts

FACT: While there is no surefire way of preventing cataracts, wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses outdoors and incorporating eye-healthy foods into your diet, like leafy greens and colorful vegetables, may delay their onset.

Myth#5: If You Have Cataracts, You Definitely Need Cataract Surgery

FACT: You only need to have your cataracts surgically removed if they interfere with your vision and impact your lifestyle. If you’re able to safely perform activities, such as driving at night, you don’t necessarily need surgery right away. However, be sure that your eye doctor monitors you for cataract-related vision loss.

At , we help patients navigate a wide range of eye health matters, and can help you decide whether to undergo cataract surgery or other treatments. To schedule your consultation, call today.

serves patients from Monroe Township, Trenton, Edison, Easton, and throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Donlon

 

Q: Can cataracts return after surgery?

  • A: No. During surgery, the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one that will remain clear. If the membrane that holds the artificial lens starts to deteriorate, your vision may turn cloudy again — but this is easily treatable with a quick laser procedure to restore sharp vision.

Q: What other symptoms are associated with cataracts, aside from cloudy vision?

  • A: Cataracts are usually a painless condition, but you may experience the following symptoms associated with your cataracts: double vision, seeing halos around lights, perceiving colors as faded or yellowed, and changes in your lens prescription.


Don’t Let Glaucoma Blindside You

senior man and woman 640At least 3 million North Americans have glaucoma, but only 50% know they have it! Glaucoma starts off asymptomatic in 95% of cases, and by the time the condition is noticed, the vision loss is irreversible.

That’s why regular eye exams are so crucial, even if you don’t suspect a problem. At , we provide patients with comprehensive eye exams, the latest treatments for eye disease, and other eye services to ensure the best possible outcome — no matter the diagnosis.

But First – What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. The longer the pressure builds, the more damage it causes, especially to the optic nerve.

Without any medical intervention, the nerve will continually deteriorate, resulting in permanent vision loss or blindness.

How Is Glaucoma Detected?

Glaucoma is detected through a comprehensive eye examination. During your exam, your eye doctor will test your eye pressure, examine your optic nerve, and assess your visual field, among other things.

Yearly eye exams (or as often as your eye doctor recommends) are necessary to diagnose and treat glaucoma. And when it comes to glaucoma, early detection is key.

Here are the different ways to test for glaucoma:

  • Air Puff Test – A puff of air is used to gently bounce off the front of your eye. The machine then calculates how much resistance your eye displayed to the air puff, revealing the amount of internal eye pressure.
  • Tonometer – After applying some numbing drops to your eyes, the eye doctor will gently touch your eye with a small device that measures the eye’s resistance and internal pressure.
  • Blue Light Test (Goldmann tonometry) – After inserting numbing drops, your eye doctor will use a device called a slit lamp biomicroscope to slowly move a flat-tipped probe until it gently touches your cornea. Although this method is considered the gold-standard for measuring eye pressure, all methods mentioned here are safe, comfortable, and accurate.

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

While glaucoma cannot be prevented, several treatments can help prevent eye damage and vision loss.

Eye drops

Prescription eye drops are usually the first-line treatment for early stages of glaucoma. These drops are used to help decrease eye pressure by limiting the amount of fluid your eye produces, or by improving how fluid drains from your eye.

Oral medications

Oral medications to lower eye pressure are usually prescribed when eye drops alone are ineffective.

Surgery and other therapies

Aside from eye drops and oral meds, here are some other glaucoma treatments your eye doctor may recommend.

  • Laser therapy – Laser trabeculoplasty is used to treat open-angle glaucoma and helps the fluid easily drain from the eye.
  • Filtering surgery – this surgical procedure allows fluid to drain from the eye to decrease eye pressure.
  • Drainage tubes – a small tube shunt is placed into the eye and acts as a ‘pipe’ for excess fluid drainage.
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) – This option tends to cause fewer side effects and complications than standard glaucoma surgeries.

What’s the takeaway?

Glaucoma can be sneaky, so make sure to catch it in its tracks with a yearly eye exam. If glaucoma is detected, can provide effective treatments and glaucoma management to help preserve your vision.

To schedule your consultation, call us today.

serves patients from Monroe Township, Trenton, Edison, Easton, and throughout New Jersey.

Q&A

#1: Who’s at risk of developing glaucoma?

The following are risk factors for developing glaucoma: a family history of the condition, being over the age of 60, diabetes, heart disease, previous eye injury or surgery, having thin corneas, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, and extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.

#2: What are the first signs of glaucoma?

The early stages often have no symptoms, but as the condition progresses, the patient may notice patchy spots in the peripheral vision or tunnel vision. The more severe type of glaucoma (acute closed angle glaucoma) may cause symptoms like severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and red eyes. Promptly seek medical care if you experience any of these symptoms.

Monroe Township | Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential

Monroe Vision Associates Local Diabetic Eye Exams near you in Monroe Township, New Jersey

At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Monroe Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes, especially when uncontrolled, can affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body. Excess blood sugar can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to ocular inflammation, bleeding and devastating vision loss when left untreated.

The most common types of eye diseases associated with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – small blood vessels in the retina weaken and sometimes leak blood
  • Glaucoma – elevated pressure levels of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that blurs vision

Who needs diabetic eye exams?

If you have diabetes of any type, yearly diabetic eye exams are critical for preserving your healthy, sharp sight. That’s because damage to the eyes can be seen during a dilated eye exam way before vision loss occurs.

Sadly, surveys estimate that about 60% of people with diabetes are not vigilant about booking annual eye exams. As a result, early sight-threatening changes in the inner eye tissues are often missed. Only a diabetic eye exam can reliably detect or rule out the start of many dangerous eye conditions. In addition, when your eye doctor notices changes in your eye health as a result of diabetes, it can indicate that a change in your diabetes management regimen may be needed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, diabetic eye exams will be done to monitor your condition to determine the most effective treatment program.

When is a diabetic eye exam needed immediately?

Besides visiting your eye doctor for annual eye exams, the following symptoms are a warning that you should schedule an urgent diabetic eye exam:

  • Seeing red spots
  • Seeing small black lines or spots that don’t glide away
  • Seeing red tinted fog
  • Sudden changes in your vision
  • Taking longer than usual to adjust to darkness

Monroe Vision Associates, your Monroe Township eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Monroe Township | Risk of Vision Loss is Increasing

Monroe Vision Associates Eye Doctor in Monroe Township, New Jersey

As the elderly population in the US grows larger, millions of American senior citizens are in danger of losing their vision, according to a new study. Federal health data shows that between 2002 and 2017, the amount of people at risk for vision loss rose from 65 million to 93 million.

Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that while the current numbers are high, they will likely continue to get higher as more Americans pass 65 years old and the prevalence of diabetes increases.

In response, eye care professionals encourage everyone – especially people over age 60 – to visit their local eye clinic for regular eye exams performed by a qualified optometrist or eye doctor. Regular eye exams are vital for preventing vision loss.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Monroe Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Who is at the greatest risk for vision loss?

In addition to seniors, people with diabetes and anyone with a pre-existing eye or vision problem is also at an increased risk of losing their sight.

What can you do to protect your sight as you age?

Regular eye exams are essential! They give your eye doctor the opportunity to detect the signs of a dangerous eye disorder before it causes irreversible vision damage. That way, you can receive treatment as early as possible. According to surveys in 2017, about 57% of the approximately 30,000 adults who participated in the survey said they had an annual eye exam.

Not only do eye exams safeguard your vision, but they can also save lives. More than 270 systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer, can be detected by a comprehensive eye exam (NOT by a generic vision test) before these conditions exhibit symptoms.

The bottom line: As you get older, if you care about your vision and your overall health and don’t want to be added to the number of people suffering with vision loss, contact an eye clinic near you to book regular eye exams with a certified optometrist or eye doctor.

Monroe Vision Associates, your Monroe Township eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Monroe Township | Tips on how to have healthy eyes

Monroe Vision Associates Eye Doctor in Monroe Township, New Jersey

You look through your eyes to see the glorious world around you, and your eye doctor looks into your eyes to see a view of your health. In addition to spotting the signs of ocular disease, conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly your risk for Alzheimer’s can also be detected by an eye exam at your eye clinic.

Eyes comprise many delicate parts that don’t always age well. That’s why regular comprehensive eye exams by a qualified eye care provider are essential! These check-ups give your optometrist or eye doctor a chance to view the eyes’ inner tissues, where the early signs of a problem often appear.

Approximately 61 million people in the US are at an increased risk for serious vision loss. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that losing one’s eyesight holds the #1 spot on Americans’ list of worst health nightmares. Learn how you can help prevent this nightmare from coming true.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Monroe Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Lifestyle changes that benefit your eyes

Eye care professionals claim that embracing these lifestyle hacks can help keep your vision sharp and healthy for the long-term:

  • Eat a lot of veggies: In particular, choose to munch on produce that’s packed with vitamin A, such as carrots, squash and pumpkin, as well as vegetables high in antioxidants (namely lutein), such as leafy greens like collards, spinach and kale.
  • Don’t smoke: If you’re a smoker, quitting can lower your risk of lung and heart disease, along with helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts
  • Wear sunglasses: It’s important to protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays all year round. Choose sunglasses with large lenses that block 99% to 100% of radiation from the sun’s rays.
  • Protect your eyes with safety goggles: Safety goggles or eye guards protect your eyes during sports and construction work, especially when you’re engaged in activities such as playing with a speeding ball, using chemicals or grinding metal.

Get eye care for uncomfortable symptoms

If you experienced painful vision with symptoms such as itching, stinging, redness, swelling, or blurriness – don’t ignore it! Contact an eye clinic near you to schedule an emergency eye exam. Only an eye doctor or certified optometrist can assess your condition to determine whether treatment is required. Leaving certain eye conditions untreated can lead to vision damage.

Self-help to safeguard your eye health

Relieve dry eye syndrome

Staring at a screen can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of dry eye. Intense watching of any digital device can make you forget to blink, which dries out your eye surface. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to relax and moisturize your eyes (= every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance, for 20 seconds).

Prevent eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Some unhealthy (but unfortunately, common) practices can lead to serious eye infections, such as using old makeup. Be sure to discard eye makeup every three months to prevent bacteria from building up. If you wear contact lenses, inadequate hygiene is another cause of eye infections. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts, take them out nightly (even if they’re labelled for extended wear), and disinfect and store them, or discard them, according to your optometrist’s instructions.

How to Handle Floaters

In general, floaters are harmless clusters of cells that glide around in the clear vitreous gel of your eyeball. Your brain adjusts to floaters, and eventually, you won’t see them. However, if you suddenly notice a bunch of new floaters or you see flashes of light or a shadow cast over your vision, contact your eye doctor immediately. An eye exam is necessary to rule out or diagnose any retinal problems, such as a retinal tear.

Sharp vision is valuable for all parts of life – help keep your eyes healthy by taking care of them with the eye care they deserve!

Monroe Vision Associates, your Monroe Township eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Monroe Township | How to Avoid Eye Injuries at Work.

Monroe Vision Associates Prescription Safety and Sports Glasses in Monroe Township, New Jersey

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Monroe Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic in Monroe Township, New Jersey

Work-related eye injuries occur approximately 20,000 times per year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these accidents comprise up to $300 million in lost productivity, treatment and worker compensation, annually.
While you may find these numbers staggering, what’s even more shocking is that about 90% of eye injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions had been followed.

Prevention is worth more than your eye doctor’s cure

By adhering to safety guidelines, namely by wearing protective eye gear, you can avoid the vast majority of emergency visits to your local eye clinic!

Look out for on-the-job dangers

Eye injuries can be due to a wide variety of causes, but in general there are four primary categories of hazardous causes:

  • Tools and equipment
  • Flying or falling objects
  • Contact with chemicals
  • Shooting sparks and particles

Ways to safeguard your sight

If you work in construction or with heavy machinery, you can minimize the danger to your eyes by using work screens, machine guarding, or similar protective measures. Most importantly, you should wear eye protection that’s suitable for your job. Goggles and safety glasses are essential gear for anyone who is around machinery or chemicals. Take care to purchase quality eyewear from your eye clinic, free of any defects or scratches that could disrupt your clear vision.

To ensure that you’re wearing the best protective eyewear for your needs, it’s vital to consult with your optometrist or eye doctor. Eye care professionals are familiar with all the features of goggles and safety glasses, and they can recommend the most appropriate options.

Eye emergency? Don’t delay – seek expert eye care immediately!

In the event of an eye injury, respond rapidly; contact your eye doctor promptly for assistance. If you suspect that a piece of metal or shard of glass pierced your eye, head to a nearby hospital for emergency eye care, because these types of injuries can cause permanent vision damage.

While not every work-related injury can be foreseen and prevented, taking common-sense precautions and seeking treatment from your optometrist or eye doctor as soon as possible can certainly minimize your risk of vision loss.

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Monroe Township Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

h2>Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Monroe Township eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call Monroe Vision Associates today to make an appointment: 732-251-8166 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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