Cataracts and Driving Safely

As we age, our eyes undergo a number of changes. One common eye condition that affects older adults is cataracts. Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the eye, and they can cause a number of problems, including decreased vision and even blindness. One particularly important issue for older drivers is how cataracts affect driving. Here we will explore how cataracts can impact driving safety and what you can do to stay safe on the road.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. The cataract may form slowly over time, or it might happen suddenly as a result of eye trauma, medications, or changes due to diabetes. Clouded lenses can make driving more hazardous for older drivers because they interfere with their vision and also make it hard to see while driving at night or in poor weather conditions.

How do cataracts affect night driving?

Cataracts increase glare and reduce the sharpness of vision, causing the cataract patient to see halos around headlights or streetlights against a dark background. Drivers need to be aware that cataract patients may not be able to see them coming. Cataracts make it hard for cataract patients trying to find their position within a lane and put themselves in danger by changing lanes at night without being very careful about surrounding vehicles.

How do cataracts affect day driving?

Cataracts can also affect day driving, as they reduce the contrast in colors and make it hard to see objects in bright sunlight because of increasing glare. This can be a particular problem for older drivers, as they may have a harder time adjusting to changing light conditions. Cataract patients should take extra care when driving during the day, and should try wearing polarized sunglasses to reduce glare being reflected from the windshield.

What cataract symptoms should older adults look out for?

Older drivers who have cataracts often experience problems with night driving. If you notice that you are having a hard time seeing at night, or that it is harder to see objects in the dark, then cataracts may be affecting your driving safety. If you have cataracts that you suspect are affecting your driving ability, then you should make an appointment with an optometrist as soon as possible to determine the extent of your cataracts and whether you are a candidate for cataract surgery.

What cataract treatment is available?

Changing your eyeglass prescription may improve your vision if you have early cataracts. In more advanced stages, prescription eyeglass changes won’t improve your vision and cataract surgery will be necessary.

Cataracts are usually treated with cataract surgery, in which the cloudy lens of your eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The surgery typically takes about 20 minutes, and cataract patients often see better almost immediately following cataract surgery.

What can cataract patients do to be safer drivers?

Drivers with cataracts should drive conservatively and should avoid driving at night or in poor weather conditions. They should only drive during the day with their best eyeglass or contact lens prescription and appropriate sun wear. Cataract patients should also get regular eye exams because cataracts may increase over time, causing more vision problems and making cataract patients more likely to be in car accidents.

Eye Yoga

Dr. Shedlo was recently quoted in Bustle for an article on “Eye Yoga”.

Then there’s the issue of eye strain. “If you have normal vision and don’t need glasses for the distance, your eyes need to change focus to see things up close,” says optometrist Dr. Norman Shedlo, OD. By staring at a screen all day, especially one that’s right in front of your face, Norman says your eyes have to work overtime to stay focused, which can lead to muscle fatigue.

Symptoms of eye strain or fatigue include redness, dryness, burning and itching, tearing, blurred vision, and even headaches. If you don’t take regular breaks while using screens, Shedlo says it can also lead to bigger problems down the road like nearsightedness. It’s all the more reason to do “eye yoga” exercises throughout the day to help keep your peepers healthy.

Bifocals or Progressives

If you’re finding that it’s harder to see things close-up and far away, you may need bifocal or progressive lenses to help.

Bifocal lenses are made of two separate areas: one for seeing things close-up, and one for seeing things far away. Progressive lenses are a newer type of lens that provide a more natural transition between near and far prescriptions. They’re growing in popularity because they let you see more clearly at all distances.

Your lifestyle is an important consideration when choosing between bifocal and progressive lenses. If you have a job that requires a lot of reading or computer work, progressive lenses would be a better choice. If you’re more active and don’t do a lot of reading or computer work, bifocal lenses would be a better fit.

Both types of lenses have pros and cons depending on your visual needs. So, talk to your eye care professional about bifocals or progressive lenses for presbyopia. They’ll help you figure out the best solution for you.

Contact Lens Evaluations

Are you new to contact lenses? Have you been wearing contacts for a while but need some advice on your next steps? Contact lens evaluations are the perfect way to get one-on-one time with an optometrist and determine what’s best for you. Contact evaluations are typically recommended every year or two depending on how often you wear your contact lenses, and they can be done as either semi-annual visits or annuals. This blog post will discuss the importance of contact lens evaluations, what happens during an evaluation, who should consider this service, and why it’s important!

Importance of contact lens evaluations

There are many reasons why it’s important to have a contact lens evaluation on a regular basis. For one, evaluations can help to ensure that your contacts are still the right fit for your eyes. They can also help to evaluate the health of your eyes and correct any problems you may be having with your contact lenses. In addition, evaluations can provide new wearers with advice on how to best care for their contacts and help to solve any issues they may be having.

If you’re new to contact lenses, it’s especially important to have a evaluation. This will give the optometrist an opportunity to evaluate your eyes and make sure that contacts are the right choice for you. They’ll also be able to provide you with advice on how to care for your contacts and help solve any problems you may be having.

If you’ve been wearing contacts for a while but haven’t had a evaluation recently, it’s still important to go in for one. An annual or semi-annual evaluation can help ensure that your contacts are still providing you with clear vision and that your eyes are staying healthy. Plus, it’s always good to get some one-on-one time with an optometrist!

Steps in a contact lens evaluation

There are several steps in contact lens evaluation. The first is to determine the type of contacts that would be best for the patient. This can be done with a simple eye exam and consultation with the optometrist. After the type of lenses is determined, the next step is to measure the eyes and create a contact lens prescription. The optometrist will also determine the size and shape of the lenses, as well as the curvature. The lenses can then be tried in the office or if not available, ordered and tried on at another visit.

The next step is to try on the lenses and make sure they fit properly. The patient will typically put in a few different lens types so that the optometrist can determine which one provides the best vision and comfort. If adjustments are needed, the optometrist may order new lenses or modify the current ones.

It’s important to have regular contact lens evaluations because wearing contacts incorrectly can lead to eye health problems. Contact lenses should never be worn for more than eight hours at a time, and patients should take breaks every week to give their eyes a chance to rest. Semi or annual evaluation intervals help ensure that patients are following these guidelines and staying healthy while wearing contacts!

Who should consider contact lens evaluations?

In general, anyone who wears contact lenses should have regular evaluations. This includes both new and experienced wearers. It’s especially important for new wearers to have a evaluation, as this will give the optometrist an opportunity to evaluate your eyes and make sure that contacts are the right choice for you. Experienced wearers should also go for a evaluation every year or two to ensure that their contacts are still providing them with clear vision and that their eyes are staying healthy.

A successful contact lens evaluation is one that provides you with the most comfort and eliminates any risk of eye irritation or infection. If your lenses are not evaluated correctly, there’s a high probability that wearing your contacts will lead to discomfort, red eyes and possible eye infection. The best way to achieve an effective fit is to find out what type of contacts work best for you (soft/rigid gas permeable) and to ensure the contact lenses fit on your cornea without sliding off when blinking or looking up at something, or being too tight, which prevents tears from reaching the cornea.  

We provide all these services in our office so we can help identify the best contact lenses for your eyes and lifestyle. We also offer a satisfaction guarantee on all contact lens fits so you can try out the different contact lenses before committing to a long term supply!

Our optometrist is always here to help with any questions or concerns that you may have about contact lens evaluations – call us today at (301) 779-2424 or make an appointment online.

Tyrvaya (varenciline) Nasal Spray Approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Dry Eye Treatment

Tyrvaya (varenciline), manufactured by Princeton, New Jersey–based drugmaker Oyster Point Pharma, is the first nasal spray to treat dry eye disease has recently won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This marks a significant development for patients suffering from moderate-to-severe dry eye. Sprayed twice daily into the nostrils, 0.03-mg varenciline solution (Tyrvaya) improves signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. It provides an alternative to the immunomodulators currently available as prescription treatments.

Varenicline is a safe and effective way to help relieve dry eye disease symptoms for those who have not been able find relief with artificial tears or if they need more than the typical use of 3-4 times per day.

Tyrvaya harnesses cholinergic activity (promoting parasympathetic nervous system processes) to transport medication through the mucous membranes to the trigeminal nerve pathways and into the ophthalmic nerve, to stimulate the nicotinic receptors housed there, which then causes natural tears to be created that help relieve symptoms of dry eyes.

The spray works in as little as 14 days, and doesn’t irritate eyes. In 47% of patients who were given varenicline instead of a placebo eye drops, Schirmer test scores increased by 10 mm within just one month.

Almost all patients who took varenicline had some  sneezing, but almost no ocular side effects. There were no reports of burning or stinging; instead some patients experienced some coughing and throat irritation.