Do I Need a Retinal Exam?

Annual eye exams are just one part of maintaining your vision. In addition to checking visual acuity, eye exams can also diagnose diseases of the eye, allowing your ophthalmologist to take the right steps. Retinal scans are one way to keep track of any changes in your vision or anatomy, so here’s what to know about them and how they can help.

What are retinal scans?

A retinal scan is a special type of eye imaging that focuses solely on the retina. It uses a laser tool to capture images of the back of your eye, which gives your ophthalmologist a much wider view of your retina and optic disk. This allows for better visualization of the retina so they can assess any concerns with it.

One misconception about retinal scans is that they are only an advanced type of eye exam. This isn’t the case. Retinal scans can be performed at the same time as a traditional eye exam at the recommendation of your ophthalmologist.

Who is a candidate for retinal scans?

Most eye issues don’t usually stem from the retina. That’s why retinal scans aren’t typically used. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not necessary. There are specific types of patients who do require retinal scans. That being said, you are considered a suitable candidate for a retinal scan if you have:

– Diabetes
– Macular degeneration
– Retinal toxicity
– Glaucoma

In some cases, an optometrist may resort to a retinal scan if they’re unable to diagnose why your vision is worsening.

Is a retinal scan really necessary?

Whether or not a retinal scan is necessary depends on the problem that’s being addressed. Retinal scans can be considered a niche, due to how specific an eye issue has to be.

Medical conditions like glaucoma, which is a series of issues within the optic nerve, is a problem that requires a retinal scan. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that retinal scans do have their limitations. They can’t pick up problems that are on the outer portions of the retina.

Visual disturbances, like cataracts or strabismus do not warrant a retinal scan. Retinal scans are performed based on your symptoms. In the worst case scenario, a retinal scan might be used to determine if you have retinoblastoma, which is a cancer commonly found in children.

Schedule an Appointment

Although retinal scans aren’t as common as traditional eye exams, that doesn’t mean they’re not useful.  If you’re in need of expert eye care, we invite you to contact our Hamilton office by calling or filling out our online form.

9 Facts You Didn’t Know About Astigmatism

If you wear glasses or contacts, then you are probably familiar with the question, “do you have astigmatism?” But perhaps you don’t know if you have it or not, or what it is exactly. Here we’ll be answering questions, going over symptoms, and discussing treatment options.

1. What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by your cornea, the eye’s surface, being irregularly shaped. The cornea is supposed to be perfectly rounded, but eyes with astigmatism are more football shaped. When the cornea is round, it controls how much light enters the eye, thus making it easier to see.

2. What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is something you are born with, or it can be caused by a traumatic eye injury. Despite what you may have heard, you cannot get astigmatism from sitting too close to the television.

3. Is Astigmatism Genetic?

An oddly-shaped cornea is generally inherited through genetics, so it’s likely that your mother or father also has astigmatism and passed it on to you.

4. Is It Easy to Diagnose on Your Own?

Yes, however some symptoms can be so mild or unrelated that they may go unnoticed until they become worse. For example, headaches and eye fatigue are usually blamed on too much time on a computer, but can actually be symptoms of astigmatism.

5. Early Detection

Catching astigmatism early can prevent more serious complications such as amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.” This is why it is so important to have your eyes checked every year.

6. Optometrists Can See It

During a vision exam, the doctor will ask you to read letters aloud from a sight distance chart and look through several different lenses to test how much your eyes are able to focus. They may even go so far as to perform a corneal topography exam to further investigate the condition of your eyes.

7. The Three Types of Astigmatism

Myopic: This happens when light is focused before hitting the eye.
Hyperopic: This is when the apex of the eyes can see close up but have complications seeing far away.
Mixed: This happens when the apex of one eye is myopic and the other is hyperopic.

No matter which of these you have, glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery (LASIK) will easily correct it.

8. Worsening Vision

If your astigmatism isn’t corrected with surgery, you will notice your vision getting blurrier with time. But it’s important to know that this doesn’t affect your overall eye health.

9. Depth Perception

Having astigmatism can make it more difficult to tell the distance between two objects and blurs the edges and outlines of all you see, especially if it’s only in one eye.

Treatment for Astigmatism

There are a few ways to correct your vision if you have astigmatism, both permanent and temporary:

• LASIK eye surgery reshapes the cornea to its correct roundness.
• Glasses or contacts are less permanent ways to correct astigmatism.
• Laser vision correction is also a great option if you’re ready to live your life in-focus, regardless of whether you have astigmatism or not.

Allergy Season and Contact Lenses: How to Manage

For contact lens wearers, allergy season is one of the worst times of the year. Approximately 75% of allergy-related symptoms affect the eyes, and for a person who frequently wears contact lenses, these symptoms can be difficult to deal with.

From red eyes to itchiness to even dry eyes, these symptoms create a less than optimal environment for your contact lenses to exist comfortably. You may find yourself tempted to ditch your contact lenses and don a pair of glasses; however, there are plenty of ways to avoid a majority of allergy-related symptoms. Here’s what to know about how to manage your symptoms.

How to Relieve Allergy-Related Symptoms

The first step in relieving your symptoms is identifying the cause of your allergies. Maybe you came into contact with a pet or went outside during a period of high pollen count. Avoiding these symptoms is as easy as removing the cause. You can limit your time around pets or reduce your time spent outdoors. However, not all allergens are so easily avoided, so you should start by managing your allergies by taking antihistamines and meeting with your doctor.

After identifying the causes, make sure to take basic precautions in your daily life. You should wash your hands whenever possible. Often, when we touch a surface, allergens remain on our hands and can cause a reaction when we rub our eyes or simply touch our faces. This brings allergens into direct contact with the airway passages and causes allergies. Be sure to wash clothing and other cloth materials frequently since this completely sanitizes them and removes any allergens that they may have collected. When drying these materials, place them in the dryer rather than outside because while outside, they may collect more allergens.

In addition to washing, you can also take prevention a step further and install HEPA filters within your air conditioning system. Regular vacuuming can greatly aid in preventing the build-up of allergens within your home. Although prevention is not a definite way to avoid allergies, it does help reduce your symptoms by limiting your exposure.

Contact Lenses and Allergies

If you wear contact lenses and struggle with allergies, it can be uncomfortable. The most important thing to remember is to not rub your eyes, since this causes irritation. The moist nature of your contact lenses naturally attracts allergens such as dust or pollen and, by rubbing your eyes, you can cause the allergens to enter even deeper.

Allergens can also build up on your contact lenses over time. If you’re planning to wear your lenses for a long time, be sure to practice proper lens care. This includes regular disinfecting and moisturizing. Sometimes, proper lens care might not be enough for individuals with severe allergic reactions. If this sounds like you, try using daily disposable lenses instead of long-term lenses. Although they may be slightly more costly, they can relieve your symptoms and reduce the amount of care needed.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about managing allergies with contact lenses, we invite you to meet with our team and discuss your options. Contact our Hamilton office by calling or filling out our online form to get started.

What to Expect From a Comprehensive Eye Exam.

If you’ve ever had an eye exam, you understand the importance of getting your vision checked annually. Vision can change significantly from year to year, particularly as we age. This means it’s important to get an updated prescription at least once a year.

We all know that going to see an optometrist will require us to sit through various tests. But have you ever wondered exactly what a comprehensive eye exam entails? If your optometrist doesn’t walk you through the process, it can seem a bit random and unimportant. However, some important things happen during a routine eye exam. Here’s what to know about what your optometrist is looking for during your exam.

Glaucoma Test

Called the non-contact tonometry (NCT) test, this is the “air puff” machine that checks for glaucoma by measuring your intraocular pressure or the pressure inside your eyes.

Autorefractor

This is the machine where your optometrist might ask you to look straight ahead at the light or the little wooden house. This test provides your optometrist with an estimate that will assist in writing your prescription.

Visual Acuity Test

Your optometrist will use this test to measure the sharpness of your vision. It’s performed using a large eye chart on the wall (for long-distance vision) and a smaller handheld chart (for short-term vision). Your optometrist will ask you to read the smallest line that you can clearly see.

Eye Cover Test

This test checks the short-term and long-term vision of individual eyes by having you cover each eye and focus on an object straight ahead. Your eyes can actually change independently from one another, but this still affects your overall vision.

Color Blindness Check

True to its name, this test checks your color vision to rule out color blindness. This means that you might have trouble differentiating between certain pairs of colors.

Ocular Motility

This test measures eye movement by having you hold your head still while following the movement of an object, such as a light. If you have difficulty with this, it can be indicative of a more serious condition.

Depth Perception

The Stereopsis test measures your eyes’ ability to work together to appreciate 3-dimensional objects. This means you can accurately judge how far away something is within the space around you (which is very important in your day-to-day life!)

Retinoscopy

This test assists your optometrist in determining the correct lens power for your prescription. It includes shining a light into each eye and flipping the lenses on a machine ahead of you to choose the right power for your distance vision.

Refraction

During this test, your optometrist will show you various lens options and ask you which looks clearer, and you’ll do this a handful of times for each eye. Like the autorefractor, this test assists the optometrist in writing your prescription.

Slit Lamp Test

Using a hand-held lens and a machine similar to an upright microscope, your optometrist will perform a detailed examination of the inside of your eyes to determine your overall health and detect any conditions that might be present.

Pupil Dilation

This process temporarily enlarges your pupils to help the optometrist examine your inner eye structure. It might make your eyes temporarily sensitive to light or even blurry, but this goes away within the day.

Schedule Your Exam Today

Campus Eye Group specializes in comprehensive eye exams for glasses, contacts, eye health checks, and more. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam with our team, we invite you to contact our Hamilton office by calling or filling out our online form.

5 Reasons to Schedule Your Eye Exam

Have you had your eyes checked recently?

It can be difficult to gauge when you need a fresh eye check-up. Our eyes change as we get older and our prescription glasses need adjustment. We might not notice these differences until they bring us severe discomfort, making it difficult to complete everyday tasks or do things we enjoy. If left unattended, an outdated prescription can cause great damage.

Campus Eye Group wants to help you see life clearly. As our patient, you will be treated with compassion, and we will help you get the glasses that you need in order to start living again.

Here are five signs that you need an eye exam.

1- Headaches

Everyone gets an occasional headache when stressed or overworked. Headaches can also be a sign that you need an eye checkup. If your headache is constant and nothing brings you relief, you don’t have to live in discomfort.

Pay attention when you’re using the computer or reading a book. If these things seem to trigger your headache, you might need an eye exam.

2- Blurry Vision

This is a symptom that comes gradually. You might not notice it until you try to read something and find it clouded by fog.

Blurry vision triggers headaches if you ignore it and continue to read, drive, or work. A new prescription for your glasses will help you enjoy your favorite novel again, and you won’t have to worry about street signs when you’re driving.

3- Light Sensitivity

Does the light of your desk lamp appear to trigger your headache? When your eyes become sensitive to the light, you need to see a specialist. No one should have to live in darkness because their eyes are in need of care.

4- Floaters or Bright Flashes

Floaters are annoying, clear spots that creep into your vision. In general, they are nothing to cause great concern. We all have floaters, and develop more as we age.

If you notice a cluster of floaters appearing all of a sudden, or if you experience flashes of light from the corners of your eyes, you should have your retinas checked. They might be symptoms of an eye condition that could lead to blindness.

5- Difficulty Driving at Night

With weakened eyes, it’s difficult to drive during the day; at night, the obstacles become worse, because street signs are veiled in darkness. If you struggle with blurry vision or light sensitivity, you should not try to drive at night. It puts your life in danger, and you risk becoming lost.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Campus Eye Group wants to help you. We are concerned about your safety and comfort. If you’re in the Hamilton NJ area, schedule an appointment and let us bring you relief.

There are so many things in life to see; we want to make sure you don’t miss them.

Healthy Vision for Your Kids

Your child’s eyesight should be of the utmost importance. To ensure that your child’s eyesight is good, there are several things that you will want to do as they age. From the time that they are newborns, you will want to make sure that you pay attention to how they are doing with their vision, and if you see any issues, schedule an appointment with Campus Eye Group in Hamilton, NJ, as soon as possible.

Baby’s First Eyesight

When your infant is born, they will only see shadows, lights, and blurry shapes. They will not be able to see much unless it is close to their face. As they get older, their vision will begin to clear. There are several things that you can do to help aid your baby in their vision.

• Play peek-a-boo. Playing this will help them learn how to focus their eyes properly.
• Moving objects. Take an object like a rattle or block and move them back and forth. This will help your baby to learn to track with their eyes.
• Color. Your baby will not see full color for a few weeks. However, as soon as a baby starts to see color, they will be drawn to it. Provide colorful items like a baby mobile to encourage your baby to look at different colors.

Vision Progress: Age 6-12 Months

When your baby reaches the six-month mark, they will start to develop hand and eye coordination. Encourage this by handing them a lot of colorful objects. Rattles, blocks, and colorful toys can help to aid in hand-eye coordination. You should still be playing peek-a-boo with your infant during this time as well. Just switch to hiding under blankets or hiding a toy for them to find.

Toddler Vision

A toddler’s vision skills will broaden quickly. They will need to learn how to throw balls during this time and to walk. When your toddler reaches the age of two, they may discover that they love to draw with paper and crayons. You should encourage them to help further develop their eyesight. Colorful building blocks are also encouraged at this time. It will help their vision and hand and eye coordination.

Regular Eye Exams Promote Great Childhood Vision

When your child is young, they are not going to be able to tell you when something is wrong with their vision. This is why it is so important to get regular eye exams. The first eye exam should be scheduled at around six months of age. The next eye exam should happen around the age of three unless there is an issue that needs to be corrected. Early intervention can help to ensure that your child’s eyesight is excellent.

Schedule an Appointment

If your child needs to be seen by an eye doctor for their routine eye exam, or you suspect that there is an issue, please call Campus Eye Group today. We will do a complete exam on your child’s eyes to ensure that they are developing as they should be.

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eye Health

Diabetes continues to be a growing problem in the United States, and statistics show that roughly 34 million Americans live with diabetes. It tends to affect people over the age of 65 more severely than younger people, but men and women in their 40s and 50s can also be affected by diabetes. Eating a poor diet, family history, and a sedentary lifestyle are a few factors that lead to developing diabetes. It’s important to know that diabetes can negatively affect you in a variety of ways, including your vision. Here’s what to know about it and how your ophthalmologist can help.

How Diabetes can Damage Your Eyes

Diabetes can affect your eyes and vision in several ways. Cataracts, blurry vision, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are just a few conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Glaucoma is one of the most common eye condition that is linked to diabetes.

The Link Between Diabetes and Glaucoma

Several types of glaucoma can affect people with diabetes. Secondary glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that is a result of another medical condition such as diabetes. Neovascular glaucoma is one of the most common types of secondary glaucoma that diabetics are at risk of developing. Neovascular glaucoma is caused by new blood vessels being formed in the eyes. Unfortunately, the new blood vessels are fragile and can leak or burst due to fluid pressure inside the eyes. Surgery is often the best way to treat this type of glaucoma. If left untreated, neovascular glaucoma can cause vision loss and blindness.

Are Diabetics at Greater Risk for Glaucoma?

People with diabetes are at a much greater risk of developing glaucoma than people who don’t have diabetes. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious condition that requires regular visits to the doctor, treatment, and regular testing.

With regular testing and visits to your opthalmologist, they can limit the damage done to your eyesight by prescribing treatments to maintain proper eye pressure. If you already have vision loss due to glaucoma, it can’t be restored by glaucoma treatments, so you’ll have to correct your vision with glasses or contact lenses.

Preventing Glaucoma

There are some important steps diabetics can take to help prevent glaucoma or reduce the amount of damage it does to their eyes and vision. Regular comprehensive eye exams with dilation can help prevent glaucoma, and maintaining good blood sugar levels can also prevent glaucoma, eye damage, and vision loss. Another way to prevent glaucoma and maintain good eye health is to maintain your overall health. Eating a healthy diet, along with regular exercise and taking your prescribed medications, can help to keep your eyes and eyesight in good condition.

Schedule a Consultation

Located in Hamilton, NJ, the Campus Eye Group is here to help you with all of your vision care and treatment needs. We offer comprehensive exams, treatment, and surgery for vision correction, cataract removal, and other eye diseases and conditions. Schedule your consultation with our team by calling or filling out our online form.