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Digital Eye Exams Explained

Eye care isn’t the same as it was back when you were a kid. Now, to get an updated vision prescription, instead of having to rely on your answer to “which is better: A or B,” while reading an eye chart on the wall, digital eye exams are on the scene – generating precise results via an automated process. Additionally, eye health evaluations now make use of digital eye exam tools such as optomap retinal imaging, and advanced glaucoma screening that doesn’t depend on the traditional, uncomfortable air puff.

At our Dallas eye care center, we’re pleased to use state-of-the-art eye exam technology, which enhances precision, efficiency and comfort for our patients.

What do digital eye exams do?

Digital eye exams and automated refraction use software-driven eye charts and sensors to measure how your eye reacts to light. By altering the magnification of an image until the sensors detect that the patient sees it clearly, an accurate prescription can be obtained.

Additionally, your digital eye exam at our Dallas eye doctor’s office can map and image your eye, providing our eye doctor with a wealth of data:

  • Corneal topography provides details about the shape of your eye, which helps to diagnose an irregular cornea or corneal disorder. This information also makes it more efficient to fit contact lenses.
  • Optomap retinal imaging can spot the early signs of eye disease, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, way before you notice any symptoms. These images are also recorded, which provides our doctors with a detailed way to track your eye health and monitor for changes over time.
  • The signs of systemic conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol can be detected at an eye exam with digital imaging.
  • Visual problems that may only disturb you at night, such as halos and starbursts, can be identified with digital eye exams, so you can benefit from treatment with customized eyewear.
  • Automated visual field testing is used to detect glaucoma, instead of using the conventional air puff test that many patients find uncomfortable.

We don’t cut corners when it comes to your vision. Our eye care office in Dallas is equipped with the latest diagnostics, including digital eye exams. Come see for yourself!

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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Does Obesity Impact Eye Health?

Nation-wide awareness about the vast dangers of obesity is at an all-time high, with TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and health initiatives such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign shining a spotlight on the importance of fitness and good nutrition. However, despite the public’s knowledge of obesity’s effects on hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, many are not aware of how it damages eye health and vision.

Increasing evidence shows that people who are clinically obese have an elevated risk of developing serious eye diseases. It is widely known that expanding waistlines place people at a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — but researchers say the link between obesity and deteriorating vision is the “risk factor that no one talks about”. Professor Michael Belkin and Dr. Zohar Habot-Wilner, from the Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Center, found a consistently strong correlation between obesity and the development of four major eye diseases that may cause blindness:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

The researchers said that although the evidence was out there suggesting a link between obesity and these conditions, their study emphasizes the optometric risks of obesity which can help motivate people to shed those extra pounds.

How Obesity Contributes to Eye Disease

A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is regarded as obese. A high BMI is tied to several chronic systemic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, among others. Recent research indicates that a handful of ocular diseases can now be added to that list.

Serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are more common in individuals with obesity, as well as floppy eyelid syndrome, retinal vein occlusions, thyroid-related eye diseases, and stroke-related vision loss.

The connection between obesity and these eye diseases is likely due to the increased risk of peripheral artery disease. This occurs when the tiny blood vessels bringing oxygen to parts of your body like the feet, kidneys, and eyes become compromised.

Your eyes are particularly prone to damage from obesity because the blood vessels in the eyes (called arterioles) are easily blocked, since they’re extremely thin and small — as thin as ½ the width of a human hair!

Most people are not aware that obesity may increase the rate of developing cataracts, too. Cataracts result when the focusing lens in the eye becomes cloudy and requires surgery to be replaced. In addition to age, cataract development is associated with obesity, poor nutrition, gout, diabetes and high blood sugar levels, though the exact cause isn’t clear.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Your Risk of Ocular Disease

Knowing about the risk of vision loss may give those with a high BMI the extra motivational boost they need to lose weight. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can reduce the associated risks.

An active lifestyle and a balanced, nutritious diet lower obesity and improve overall physical and eye health. Give your body a boost by incorporating important nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, omega 3, zinc, and lutein, many of which are found in green leafy and dark orange vegetables, as they have been shown to reduce the onset, progression, and severity of certain eye diseases.

We Can Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy in Plano

While a healthy diet and regular exercise greatly increase your chances of living a disease-free long life, they alone are not enough to ensure long term healthy eyesight. Regular eye exams with Dr. Switalski can help prevent or detect the onset of ocular disease, and maintain vision that is clear and comfortable.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your vision or eye health, don’t hesitate to call Switalski Eye Care — we’re here for you.